काश ! मैं देख पाता

आधी रात को हो रही बारिश को देख कर
ना जाने क्यूं अचानक मेरे मन में एक आस उठी
की काश ! मैं देख पाता इस बारिश को
उस आदि मानव की नज़रों से
जिसे नहीं हो विज्ञान का कोई ज्ञान
जो देखता हो प्रकृति को उस नवजात शिशु की तरह
जिसने लिया हो अभी अभी जन्म

काश ! मैं देख पाता सूरज को अस्त होते हुए
ठीक उस इंसान की तरह
जो लौटा हो अभी अभी अपनी गुफा में
थका मांदा शिकार करके
और जिसे नहीं हो कोई खबर गैलीलियो की किसी भी
खोज का

काश ! मैं देख पाता आसमान में उड़ते पंछी को
उस पाषाण युग की महिला की तरह
जिसके नहीं कतरे गए हो पंख
जो नहीं बांधी गई हो समाज की किसी भी बंदिश में
जिसकी आज़ादी सिर्फ किताबी नहीं, यथार्थ हो

काश ! मैं देख पाता पेड़ों से गिरते पत्तों को
उस प्राचीन युगी इंसान की तरह
जिसे नहीं पता हो न्यूटन का कोई भी सिद्धांत
जो बेखबर हो धरती की आकर्षण शक्ति से

काश ! मैं देख पाता इन्द्रधनुष को बनते हुए
उस प्रारंभिक मनुष्य की तरह
जिसे नहीं हो कोई अंदाजा प्रकाश की गति का
जो अनभिज्ञ हो सूर्य के सातों घोड़ों से

उस रात बालकनी में खड़े खड़े ना जाने
क्यूं अचानक मेरे मन में एक आस उठी
की काश मै देख पाता इस प्रकृति को
विज्ञान के चश्मे से परे
और भर जाता उस आश्चर्य और उत्सुकता की
खुशी से जिसे मैंने विज्ञान की पुस्तक
के पन्नों के बीच बहुत पहले कहीं खो दिया है।।

– सिद्धार्थ

घड़ी से शिकायत

घड़ी ! मुझे तुमसे एक शिकायत है
जिसे मैं तुम्हे बहुत अरसे से बताना चाहता था,
पर समय तुमने आज दिया है।

वैसे तो तुम हमेशा मेरे साथ थी,
कभी मेरी कलाई पर,
कभी मेरे कमरे की दीवार पर
और कभी मेरे स्टडी टेबल पर पड़े किताबों के बीच।

पर हमेशा साथ रहने के बावजूद,
तुम कभी मेरे हिसाब से नहीं चली,
हमेशा अपनी ही रफ्तार से रेंगती रही।

मैंने चाहा,
कई बार चाहा तुम्हे टोकना,
कि जरा रुको,
और मेरे हिसाब से चलो
क्यूंकि इस पुरुष प्रधान समाज में
किसी भी स्त्रीलिंग वस्तु को
अपनी रफ्तार से चलने की अनुमति नहीं है।

पर हर बार मुझे मेरे प्रगतिशील विचारों ने
कुछ भी कहने से रोक दिया।

कई बार गुस्से में आकर,
झुंझलाकर मैंने तुम्हारी बैटरी निकाल दी,
कई बार चाहा कि तुम्हे अनदेखा करू,
तुम पर नज़र ही ना डालू
या वापस डाल दूं तुम्हे तुम्हारे पुराने डब्बे में,
और फिर लगा रहूं बिना तुम्हारी फिक्र के,
अपने उल जलुल कामों में, अपने मकसद से परे।

पर आइंस्टीन के उस सिद्धांत को कैसे झुठला पाता
जो समय के बिना
अस्तित्व की कल्पना ही नहीं करता।

घड़ी! मेरी तुमसे हमेशा तकरार रही है
पर उन सब के बावजूद,
वो तुम ही थी
जिसने मुझे मेरी रफ्तार का अंदाज़ा दिया,
वो तुम ही थी
जिसके बदौलत बची है मेरी हर ट्रेन
छुटते छुटते।

ऐसे अनेकों पल है जब तुमने मेरी एक ना सुनी,
जब तुमने मेरे हिसाब से चलने से मना कर दिया,
और हर बार ऐसा होने पर, मैं झुंझलाया,
हर बार ये सोचने को मजबुर हुआ
कि क्या मैंने तुम्हे बहुत ज्यादा आजादी दे दी है?

पर जब भी मैंने इस बारे में सोचा तो यहीं पाया
कि ये वही पल थे
जिन्होंने मुझे गढ़ा,
जिन्होंने ये सुनिश्चित किया कि कहीं मैं समय की रफ्तार से पीछे ना छुट जाऊं,
मेरी कभी कोई ट्रेन ना छुटे।

घड़ी! तुम वैसे ही रही मेरे साथ
जैसे रहती है एक प्रेमिका अपने प्रेमी के जीवन में
तकरारों और मतभेदों के बीच,
एक दूसरे को संवारते हुए…।

  -सिद्धार्थ

MS DHONI – THE REAL GAME CHANGER

In a country which is so obsessed with the game of Cricket and where every state, every city and every street is filled with fanatic fans who lift cricketers to the status of god when they bring home the glory and turn them down to ashes when they fail, it seems outlandish even to imagine the quantum of fan following, the respect and glory which is recieved by Dhoni through out his career.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that after Sachin Tendulkar, he is the most celebrated cricketer in the history of Indian cricket and that too for a reason.

More than those epochal victories and the numbers he etched, leading India in a record 199 ODIs (winning 110 and losing 74) and piloting squad in 72 T20s, what remains is the self belief and confidence that he inculcated into the Men in Blue. Until his leadership acumen came into display, Indians were resigned to get nostalgic only about 1983 world cup win engineered by Kapil dev’s men. Now we have 2007 and 2011 also in our closet to look up to.

The most charismatic trait of his which attracted everyone’s attention was his “Street smart cricketing style” which he brought to the central frame for the first time. Be it his unconventional keeping moves, his unconventional batting style, his unconventional style of captaincy or his unconventional hairstyle at the time of his debut, all of them took everyone by amusement and a freshness. He played the game of cricket like a ‘Poker Player’ always holding his cards close to his heart and putting it forward turning around the game altogether.

Remember the long-haired new captain who had just won India the first World T20? He had given away his match shirt to someone in the crowd and was walking away quietly. The more suave captain who had won India the World Cup of 2011? Spot him in any of the pictures? He let it be Sachin Tendulkar’s moment. He let it be about Indian cricket. It wasn’t about him and he didn’t force himself into every frame. It was, actually, his evening but he looked at it from afar.

What Dhoni achieved, goes away beyond the numbers he produced. He told young Indians in small towns that they could conquer the world. To them he was the the beacon, he was the dream that they could achieve too.

Of course he will missed. His calmness, his dignity on the field, everything is going to be missed but as the saying goes “A legend never retires, the memories remain”, he will remain forever in the hearts of billions of cricket fans.

Migrant Crisis – An outcome of India’s uneven development

The history of migration in India is as old as the history of this country as an independent nation. Just at the dawn of independence this nation has witnessed the largest human migration ever happened in this world. Although that migration took place in a completely different context and was based on religious lines resulting from the political differences between Muslim league and Indian national Congress which eventually led to bifurcation of the nation in two parts, but still it has left such a traumatic and grave impression in the conciousness of this nation that it cannot be forgotten in near future.

In the wake of COVID pandemic, this nation has once again witnessed and experienced a similar yet more traumatic incident of mass scale migration of migrant labourers from grand Indian cities back to their trivial villages in several parts of the country and that too on their feet through rough coal Tar based roads in the scorching heat of the summer. Those gloomy pictures and videos of helpless migrant workers and their families took the nation with shock and despair.

Many political experts and Policy makers came up with many perspectives and reasons ranging from unplanned and hastily imposed lockdowns across the nation without thinking about the most vulnerable class of the society, to the lack of both leadership and financial sustenance to bridge the social and economic disparities. But to the core of this sudden and surprising phenomenon lies the more broader and monstrous cause that is ” spatial faultiness of India’s development” which has became more and more vivid in all these recent past years but was exposed by this migrant crisis amid COVID pandemic.

To understand the deeper roots of the migrant crisis, we have to trace the history of development in India. During 1960, the state both susidised and selectively routed the technology package of seeds-water-fertilizers to certain regions of the country at the expense of others. This agricultural modernisation programme produced a geography of uneven development that arced from the northwest to the southeast of the country.
Now from 1991 onwards, the postliberlisation Indian state launched ambitious new logistics infrastructure of Special economic zones and other urban enclaves strung along a series of economic corridors, which provide high-speed and world class highways, water, power, and internet networks to these enclaves. Herein lies a locational surprize. The most economically active corridors, including the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the Vishakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor, almost all neatly overlap onto former Green Revolution regions.


As a result of such vast investments made in these selected states and cities, the entire region arcing from northwest to the southeast comprising of states like Gujrat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Telangana started prospering with such a significant pace that their counterpart states in northern, Eastern and central India such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West bengal, Madhya Pradesh lagged behind with huge margin in terms of Growth rate, per-capita income, basic infrastructure, per-capita GDP, industrilisation, job oppurtunities and standard of education. Although there is also a role played by the caste based politics in northern belt which forced political parties and leaders to focus on appeasing their caste basket rather than indulging in developmental works in order to win elections but the former played the pivotal role.

This great divergence in terms of development between these states led to high internal migration through the country. It is estimated that nearly ten crore people, at very least, migrate from states with low growth towards states with higher growth and employment opportunities. Unfortunately, the work they find as contract labours in these states does not result in higher purchasing power compared to their home states as living costs are exponentially higher. This situation was recently been seen as playing out when the COVID induced lockdown threw migrants around the country in a lurch, specially in Delhi and Mumbai. Without job security, savings, and staying power, many migrants had to resort to painful ways of returning to their home states.

Now in this time of crisis, a fair and effective labour migration governance system for workers within the country is urgently required. Back home, the migrants need to be provided proper councelling for job search and employment oppurtunities given their skills and previous experience through their local governance and panchayat structures.

It will be a matter to wait and watch that how our central government in cooperation with state governments is going to approach this issue of spatial faultiness or uneven development within the country on policy fronts so as to fill this huge divergence between different regions in order to curb and contain this issue of mass scale migration of labours from eastern to western part of the country.

The global experience shows that migration will continue as long as there is hope, aspiration, and an alternative livelihood option better than those available at home. The destinations, now have the task to build back better and this is only possible when built with a human-centred approach at its core.

Celebrities – A Double faced Spineless Class

Just a few days back, a video went viral on social media and took us all by shock and despair in which an elephant was seen being offered a cracker stuffed coconut by some demonic bastards which she gulped and henceforth suffered serious injuries eventually leading to her death.
It was indeed a gut wrenching act of cruelty and barbarism and as soon as the video surfaced on social media, the entire film fraternity, writers, Social activists and intellectuals took to the social media to express their anguish and despair over this tragic incident.
The entire film fraternity or so called celebrities were apt in expressing their concerns over this inhumane act but their selectivity of incidents about which they ought to share their thoughts on social media raises some questions regarding their cautious and careful concerns.

Let us make it more comprehensive.

Since after the lockdown was imposed across the nation in hasty and unplanned manner, the most vulnerable class that was about to experience its wrath was the migrant labourers and workers. Just after a month or so, their minimal savings started to deplete and soon as being forced by the extreme circumstances they were living in, they took the extreme decision to start their journey back to their villages on their foot.
In these past three months we have seen some dreadful pictures and videos of migrant workers walking back to their villages in scorching heat without having proper food, water or even slippers. We saw them being beaten up brutally by police and some of them getting killed on railway tracks. There were numerous videos and pictures that were surfacing on social media showcasing the immense pain they were going through.
But the so called celebrities who are getting so emotional and showing their anguish over the death of an elephant gave a cold shoulder to the migrants crisis that was comparatively far more dreadful and gut wrenching.
Except a few ones who showed courage to speak up and rather took some initiatives on their own to contribute a bit in helping these migrants reaching their destination, none of them even cared about sharing those pictures and videos on their social media handles.

In the root of this double standard and careful and cautious display of concern, there lies a fear factor. Fear of speaking against the government and its after effects. Actually when you speak about the migrants crisis, you are basically questioning the government and their mismanagement regarding imposing lockdown and handling the issue of migrants and since this is an era of authoritarian government which had previously showcased many instances of grave actions against those who speak up against the government, that is why as a very cautious step they preferred to silently give a cold shoulder to this nationwide crisis.
But as soon as they got chance to express their concern on something, of which the recent killing of elephant is an instance, which does not bring the government in the dock, they took to the social media platforms and expressed their strong anguish and pain.

Their selective and cautious display of concern certainly showcased the double faced and spineless character of this previledged class which wants to speak up on issues but is lacking the spine to do so and hence ending up expressing their views on something which certainly is important but surely far less important than many issues which they preferred to give a cold shoulder.

This class surely holds a social responsibility to lift issues which are important and vital from social perspective as well since their views certainly helps in creating a public opinion and hence we all are having expectations from this class to stand up and be fearless as some of them from that class itself are doing so.

Boycott China – A Distant Dream

Since after the speech of our honourable PM advocating for local products and urging people to be vocal for local, a public opinion has been started to build which is not new to us that is “Boycott Chinese Products”.

This is not the first instance where people being guided by nationlist feelings are making an impractical appeal and buzzing the entire social media forum with a call to boycott Chinese products.

But we should surely make a fact check in order to decide wheather it is even practically possible to do so or not.

China is at the centre in global value supply chains for major industries including Aviation, Pharmaceutical, Medical equipments, Automobile etc.
According to data of the world integrated trade solutions, nearly 200 economies across the world import goods from China with intermediate products accounting for an average of 21.7 % of all imports. China is the largest exporter of intermediate goods across the world which are assembled to get the final product.

Now since almost all economies across the globe are dependent on global supply chain of which China is a major player, thats why majority of them got badly hit by the delays in exports from China due to imposed lockdown in order to contain the Corona spread in Chinese provinces impacting their manufacturing sector badly.
So all major countries are figuring out ways to lower their dependence on global value supply chain and Chinese products.

But we should remember that supply chains cannot be established overnight. It takes time and effort to identify potential suppliers in areas of manufacturing, quality, capacity, delivery, and cost. China is at the central hub for a number of reasons such as lower taxes, good logistics and low wages and that is why it will be a humungous task to fill the void if we gonna boycott Chinese products.

Also in order to reduce our dependence on global value chains and chinese products we need to invest heavily in developing our domestic sector which is not feasible in these extreme situations since like all other developing economies including ours the priority is to keep our businesses alive, to provide economic security to most vulnerable socials groups, to protects our banks from getting bankrupt and many more and hence we cannot afford to invest in developing domestic supply chain due to lack of funds.

So although our long term goal should definitely be to become self reliant and have minimum dependability on global supply chain but that seems to be a distant dream in coming times.

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