Editor’s Note

15965525_10210543920105806_6728412755502345360_nJanuary 2017 (and a teeny tiny bit of December 2016)

There’s something about the chill of winter that makes you think.

Not the full-scale blown-up version of ‘Where is my life going?!’ followed by a chorus of ‘LALALALA – not thinking about it’ with a dash of ‘Look at all the things my Facebook friends are doing’ to spice things up. We do enough of that already and the damage that this symphony causes can be attested to by many jaded ‘young adults’.

No. It’s in the little things. We suddenly find ourselves nostalgic, sentimental; either filled with budding hope or random melancholy. Perhaps it’s the ambiguity of the season; so many messages bombarding us, telling us to do exactly this and that – be merry and celebrate the end of a year before ushering in a new one with good cheer, bedazzled and satisfied with all sorts of hopes and dreams.

[Of course, you’ll shed that extra weight, hey you’ll get the person of your dreams! Whatever it is that you’ve been hunkering after, you’ll get it for sure. You just got to work for it. Oh, we know that life isn’t simple and all that jazz, but we have resolutions.]

I think the point I’m getting to is this –

It isn’t easy to shed the baggage accumulated over the past year. There’s no magical drop-off point where you can toss the load of 2016 with cackling unrestrained glee and set it on fire. There will always be a tiny little creature that will catch hold of your hand as you’re exiting the place. It will be perfectly content to walk silently beside you, dispassionately witnessing all the highs before blindsiding you. A casual wave from this creature can either give you sleepless nights for a couple of days or ruin your life to the point where you’re seriously considering unthinkable options.

A ‘new’ year doesn’t last long. Everything’s more along the lines of ‘Same shit, different day’ with a dash of Murphy’s Law to kick things up a notch every now and then.

Putting aside this painful attempt at wisdom, we look forward to publishing all the amazing pieces of work you guys send us. Feel free to drop us a line in case you want any feedback or have some suggestions that can help us give you a better platform to express yourselves.

Cheers!



Storyteller’s Corner

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Ayushi Mona, PGP-1

A Hard Knock

Doors are beautiful. They are pathways that lead to new worlds. They sieve in what we need to see and sieve out whatever is unnecessary. An open door welcomes. A closed door resists. They admit, they repel. They forever swing between the dichotomy of opening up and staying shut. They become symbols of hope and symbols of despair. They tantalize you and then confound you.

 

A door is an opportunity. A door is a challenge.
The soul is a door. We think it’s always the same. They maintain the same reticent, opulent façade, until they are hiding something else altogether. Doors complete our existence.  They abet the sifting process. If you don’t maintain the standard of setting a door outside, how do you choose what stays in and what gets thrown out?

 

At times, we throw open our doors and invite people in. At other times, we latch them and wallow in self-pity. Doors shut, but they never close. Life says you can pause but you can’t stop. When you keep the doors of your mind open, you are kinder, stronger, and smarter. When it all gets too much, you close that door until the caged animal inside your head, asks for fresh air again.


Not all our doors have opened. Some feelings are so strong that letting them out only alienates you. Like the door that hides the skeletons in your closet.
At other times, we utter a harsh word, a scowl, a smirk, a statement tipped to hurt. This is your way of putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside. Don’t keep it hanging too long. Nothing is worse than loneliness. We are human. We were made to be loved and destroyed.


Our body is a mansion. A thousand doors. Your cells teeming with energy, light.  So many doors- sight, sound and touch. Doors colliding. Your eyes, ears, lips. It’s a festival of doors. When the last door opens, your body, it’s no more.

So what do you do? You shut doors of insensitivity. You dust the powder of lethargy from doors that have stayed shut too long. The doors that creak, they are your imperfections- oil them or let it be- one can’t do everything.


With our eyes open, we are lost in the world.
With your doors closed, you are lost to yourself.

Open up to 2017.


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Devpriya Chakravarty, FPM

By the flowing river

He sat on the bank, under the twilight sun. Tired of having axed wood all day, he liked the way the overgrown grass fondled against his calf. He ran a hand through his hair, now moistened with sweat. He leaned over the brook and drank from its bosom.

With his thirst quenched, he stared down at his own reflection. The young, sturdy village woodcutter with thick, greasy black hair, broad shoulders adorned with well maintained, moist, sinewy arms stared back at him. The water reflected his bare chest, inflated with dignity.

He was one of the strongest men of his village. For, who else had the might to pull down the wild giant trees? Who else would dare to come to the thick, dense woods by the flowing river everyday to axe down trees from dawn to dusk? He was indeed, one of the bravest men of his village.

Everyone looked up to him. He moved around the village, axe slung over his shoulders, with an air around him painting the spitting image of valour’s minion, proper.

He continued to gaze down at his reflection in the water, distorted by regular ripples. He saw his family in his coal black eyes. His family was made up of his ever trusting wife and his little ones. His wife was the common object of envy for almost all of the village girls who lusted after the strongest and bravest woodcutter of the village. His wife perhaps took pride of all the envious glares. He thought more about his wife and how she never complained about his absence from the first ray of day light till the very last. His children, who were so proud to be known as the ‘woodcutter’s offspring’, that it hardly mattered to them, how much of him they really saw.

His clean shaved, plaintive face stared back at him from Neptune’s Water Kingdom. If only his conscience were as clear as the water flowing by.

He looked up. There she stood on the other side of the bank.

The woman on the other side.

Who was she, he knew not. Where she came from, he knew not. He knew he loved her and that is all he knew.  

She would come to the opposite bank every dawn to fill water in the earthen pots that she beautifully balanced on her delicate curve. At midday, she would come again to wash clothes. And, at dusk again, she would come to refill them, pots.

The wood cutter sat on his side of the river, while she stood on hers. Neither said a word. Both would do their routine chores and momentarily look in each other’s direction. Strangely, neither would he ever go to any other streamlet to quench his thirst and nor would she go the local pond where the other women from her village performed the same tasks.

He couldn’t even make out her features properly. He knew she had long, flowing, thick hair. He knew she was the colour of the earth. Fresh and wet, when drenched in rain. He knew she wasn’t too young to be unwed, and he also knew she was no widow for her saris were of vivid colours. He knew she wasn’t mute for she sang to herself whenever she walked back, having filled water, her anklet adding rhythm to the music. And, he knew if she were to stop coming, he would never axe another tree.

He knew the river would always be flowing between the two banks. He knew, as clouds amassed in the sky, like every night she would go home and cry in the dark. Why? Out of guilt? Or at the beauty of their platonic love? This he didn’t know. He knew he would have to return home, too. Make love to his wife. And yet, the only thing on his mind would be the woman on the other side of the river. He knew they could never be together and yet they would never be apart.  

He slowly pulled himself up. Both stood on either bank. Neither moved. The clouds threatened at first and then drenched them. Neither flinched.

Back in the village the ever trusting wife gave the window a partial, half worried glance. She knew how now it would take him longer and he would be toiling even more. She could picture her husband, the woodcutter, wading through the muddy swamps with heaps of wood laden on his back. His axe would be held tightly in his grip as the veins on his wrist would be popping out and the rain water would be dripping from its blade. His bare chest would be glistening in the shower and how his gait would be followed by sinister and lecherous giggles. She, the ever trusting wife, would have had put the children to bed, and would run to welcome her man into her house.

In the next room, the two boys were bullying their sister. The little girl was upset with the rain. She knew the rain would delay her father even more and yet again today they would be put to bed before he arrived and the morning would come with him having already left. How will she take all the taunting stories of her friends when they would tell her the next day how they floated paper boats with their fathers? Her brother will never understand for they cared not of their peers. So they would continue to bully her till it was time for bed.

Two or three stray huts away, the new bride was to tell her husband a charming story. The fat merchant was staring at her, waiting for the same. She decided to tell him tales of the village she came from, the one across the river. She told him of the nasty girl who was believed to have befriended the spirits of the forest. This girl who refused to tie her long thick hair which everyone knew if left lose is bound to attract all sorts of foul spirits. This haughty girl would even travel far into woods to fill water and wash clothes. No one approved of this act in the village. Why, there was a perfectly clean and safe pond within the village whether the other ladies went, with their hair tied up, of course. No one would tell her much to her face, though. No one knew how she found the courage to tread into the dark and wild woods. She must be housing a hundred spirits in her thick dark mane. She was beautiful, yes. Most evil witches are!

The rain continued. The crops feasted on the shower.

The river gulped it down. Either side of the bank was still populated with the two figures. The woodcutter knew not for how long they would stand there. He knew however of their immense love for each other. He knew the pain of their platonic gestures. He knew both of them were being unfaithful to the ones they were tied in a society approved holy matrimonial. He knew how both of them now stood on either side of the river, crying.


 

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Ridhima Duggal, PGP-1

Perspective

Half empty or half full?

A few months back, when I was on my usual evening walks near my house, I spotted a new walker in our society, someone different from the usual set of evening walkers. This was a huge boy in size , and somewhat close to 18-20 years of age. He was walking with his mother. But what was unusual about this?  As I passed by him,I heard him speaking,making noises. He was half walking,half staggering. As he passed by the shrubs,he touched the green leaves near the sidewalk. He was someone who did not seems mentally fit as the rest of us. He had no sense of direction, no sense of people around him.He would make loud noises,sometimes small whisperings as he walked hand in hand with his mother. I would not say he was handicapped I would say such people are special. But as I passed him every evening, I slowly started taking note of the boy’s mother. She was a middle aged woman, walking with her son’s hand in hers. I could feel the helplessness in her eyes. The pain of her child was reflecting in her eyes and each time I passed them I had tears welled up in my eyes. There are people in this world who face real hardships, yet they smile and sail through. Every time I feel I am not in a so called “happy space” I close my eyes and recall that mothers face. She is helpless yet she has not lost hope. There is agony as she is not able to cure her son,but she is not letting go yet. So before you crib about how you have relationship issues with your boyfriend, or  before you complain about your rude boss at work, stop and think for a minute. Realize that happiness chooses you only if you choose it yourself first. Some situations may be hard,but every dark tunnel has light at the end. It is up to us if we choose to see the glass half empty or half full.



 Teacher’s Lounge

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Prof. Rasananda Panda

Three Sonnet – For You,  My Love

My lips:

Do not pretend to throw

Coins of kisses

Out of sympathy or mercy to me.

My lips are not begging

It Can also

Give the same to you.

Your name:

A sea of innumerable names

Lashes at my heart

But only one – yours alone – …..

Happily sails across!

Our friendship:

You are the letter in separation

You are the escastacy

You are the rendezvous

You are here and you are there

And you are everywhere

You are friendship.


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Sethu Iyer

25 Things That Organizing A Conference Taught Me!

  1. If there are 100 things to be done and you take care of 99, it’s for sure that everyone will ask about that 1 thing you missed.
  2. The most enthusiastic people who will do all the work will be the bachelors – just take care of their food and drink needs and they will do everything willingly.
  3. A government official is not always a safe bet as a Chief Guest since there is always the danger of last-minute drop-outs  due to official commitments  ; a retired, elderly statesman is anytime a safer bet.
  4. All Chief Guests begin by saying that they will just take a few minutes and admit they do not know the reason why they have been invited ; Yet the moment they are given the mike, it’s hard to get them to stop.
  5. When someone is speaking extempore, without a script in hand, it’s that much more difficult for him or her to know when to end.
  6. Regardless of how many people are running around doing multiple things, when the Head of the Institute  needs something everyone disappears into thin air.
  7. A couple of white-skinned foreigners are enough to turn a national Conference into an International Conference.
  8. At an International Conference, it is very essential that you keep your foreign participants seated in the first row where everyone gets to see them .
  9. The most critical care you must exercise when hosting a foreign speaker is to be able to pronounce his or her name.
  10. If you serve good food, arrange good accommodation and give your participants good souvenirs, be rest assured that the Conference was a big success with them.
  11. A Conference name badge hanging from your neck is a funny thing; the moment a pretty participant comes searching for you, its turns its back.
  12. The most unfortunate thing that can befall a speaker is to have his/her session slotted right after the luncheon break.
  13. Conference organising staff never get the chance to attend its sessions.
  14. An audio-visual equipment works on its own moods.
  15. The AV guy will be hard to locate when the presentation stalls.
  16. Everyone knows when to dim the lights in a Hall except the person manning the switches.
  17. Even if you have exercised adequate care and taken everyone’s name while giving a vote-of-thanks, the moment you step down from the podium, the name of that one person you missed out will flash in your mind.
  18. Sometimes the less articulate, less educated, less verbose speaker can convey more important, more interesting, more meaningful insights.
  19. Speakers who display a sense of humor get the loudest claps.
  20. A Conference ensures that every speaker gets applause – sometimes for what he/she has spoken, sometimes for the fact that he/she has stopped speaking.
  21. A  Conference which has more women participants than men has a good look; women generally are well turned-out in smart, colorful attires while the men turn up in staid, unattractive clothes.
  22. One of the perks that come with being a senior faculty is that all the women participants rush to have a picture taken with you.
  23. Every faculty who attends a Conference needs to be accompanied by a student or a research assistant; they come very handy for clicking pictures.
  24. The attendance at the first day, first session of a Conference is in sharp inverse to that at the last day, last session.   
  25. Finally, a Conference is like a Big, Fat Indian Wedding – at the end everything falls into place and all ends well.


 Poetic Musings

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Aditya Dubash, PGP-1

Ankahi Khamoshiyan

Bheed bhaad mein bhi ek ajeeb sa sannaata chaaya hai,

Maine is raah par Kai sadiyon ki daastaan Jo dekhi hai;

In Choti Choti galiyon mein chupi hai kayi yaadein,

Aur kayi khamoshiyan jo sirf mann mein likhi hain.

Rangeen khidkiyon se aane waali kirnon ke samaan,

Bazaar mein lagey hue bandhani saadiyon jaise;

In deewaaron par saje chitron mein bhi,

Kisi ki ankahi baatein chupi hain.

Jab Suraj ki aakhri kirnein aasmaan ko rang deti hain,

Tab jheel kinaare ek anokhi si shaanti cha jaati hai;

Din dhalne ki aadh mein usne Na jaane aisa kya kaha;

Jo sunke aasmaan bhi sharma gaya.

Jheel mein ek sunehra raasta mujhe hai chidhata,

Ki aisa kya hai mann mein darr jo hum uspe Na chal sake?

Jawaab main sochta reh jaata hun,

Mudhke dekha to aasmaan mein bas taare hi dikhe.

Aaj fir naya din hai aaya.

Aur humne raat ke taaron ko yaadon mein qaid rakha.

Hum fir nikle apni raah par mahalon ko peeche chodke;

Lekin mann ye sochta reh gaya ki agle yatri ko Na jaane wahaan kya dikha?


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Ayushi Mona, PGP-1

Running Through My Mind

I thank my heart

That it doesn’t have hands

For if it had

It would reach out

To touch you with the intensity of feelings

That craving too long creates. 

I hate my eyes

For when they blink 

They take away that fluttering second 

When I could stare at you

While pretending not to look.

I bite my tongue

Because it is led by my mind

It thinks ten thoughts before it can say 

A word in greeting

And by the time it greets you

It’s time to bid good bye.

I wish my ears 

Could contain themselves

From hearing your distinct voice

Expressing with passion 

The thousand questions

That flood your mind. 

The tenor of your voice

When I pass you by

Only darkens my desire 

To hear the sound of you breathing

Next to me

Cuddled on a cold winter night.

My knees go week

When they see you run

Pressing down the ground

The way imprints of your half – smiles

Are lodged in my mind. 

My cheeks are traitors 

Singed by a desire

That colors them red.

My teeth bite too often my lower lip 

But together both these monsters

Are behind my fingers

That pull the same strand of hair

Away from my burning face

A thousand times.

My phone gets invisible notifications every time you walk past.

The swing in my step 

Is only thwarted by the invisible rod that straightens my back.

The fervor of my hope

Is only dulled when I see you go

Afraid that one day you will not return

And I will wait with bated breath

In front of a closed gate.

There is an unspeakable longing I feel

That I am afraid to show

For fear of reproach

 

You know what

I would confess

To the warmth of my feelings for you

But I am afraid 

That I might lose all this imagination

If you ever said no.


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Vatsal Sethi, PGP-1

Celestial Beings

Celestial beings reluctantly drifting away from each other.

Soon the memories will be lost in time

Floating away like stardust,

Aimless and boundless.

Forever floating till one day everything will fade to black.

They’ve burned away in the raging fires of each other’s desires.

Survived annihilation at the cold hands of nebulous love.

Still they carried on,

Broken and bruised.

Crippling together through every sunrise and sunset,

Till one day love finally tore them apart.

Now, sorrowfully apart,

Endless opportunities lay in the horizon.

Still, they find themselves in each other’s orbits,

by the faint pull of invisible gravity.

They didn’t come together,

They collided like two black holes,

unable to escape the compelling force of gravity.

A violent purge of emotions

Merged them into singularity.

Powerful ripples flew through the fabric of space

As they became one,

While dispersing chaos and destruction all around.

They journeyed through frozen time warps

And lived in time loops.

Drowning in smothering love,

They cuddled in comfortable silences.

Yet here they are today,

trying to escape the same force of gravity.

As they seek new dreams and adventures,

Past memories boomerang out of nothingness as

Haunting nightmares.

But, one of them keeps moving,

With an aching heart and a bleeding soul.

While the other drowns into an empty blackness,

In gentle misery.

When time would have taken them far and wide,

one of them would stop abruptly,

wanting to look back.

Instead, they’ll continue on their altered orbit,

hoping the other to have done the same.


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Manu Pratap Singh, PGP-1

This is a tribute to actor and poet Piyush Mishra, and his creation “Ghar” for one of the episodes of Coke Studio. In that song, he talks about how two lovers are dreaming about their own future nest, and about how they’d go about living together. I have written something that tries to maintain the tonality of the original poem, and is in a way a fast-forward setting where the lovers have parted, and the man is reminiscing about what he feels he has lost.

खाली पड़े उस मकां में चलो

देखें अब कैसा है मंज़र…

रहते थे जिसमें ख्यालों में,

जिसे हम-तुम कहते थे घर ।

मेहकती थी चंदन सुबहो की दस्तक पे,

हमने खुशबू समेटी थी अंगड़ाइयों में।

काजल जो फैला तेरा तो लगता,

हथेलिओं में मेरे रेखाएं मिट सी गयी हों।

चाय बनाऊं मैं, तुम मुझको निहारती…

छेड़ देती मुझे, उफनने की परवाह कहां थी।

वहां अाज भी इक पतीला रखा है,

काजल का छोटा सा डब्बा वहां है,

ये ताकें हैं हमको कि तुम हो कहां रे?

क्या मर गये सारे वादे तुम्हारे?

अकेली पड़ी तुम दोनों की नन्हीं

यादों को लगता है डर…

अाके संभालो इक बार उनको,

है ये अब भी तुम्हारा ही घर।

बाल्कनी में कुछ रोज़ अक्सर…

सीने पे मेरे सर को रखकर…

गुनगुनाया था राग कोई।

वो घुलता मेरे कानों में…

धीमे… धीमे…

बतियाते थे रातों को लालटेन की लौ में,

सुबह देते टांग धुंधलाते तारे पे,

खोया वो तारा, लौटा अंधेरा…

ढूंढा बड़ा उसको आंगन में, छत पे…

हम-तुम थे सहमे, निकले मकां से,

हाथ थे थामे, छूटे कहां से?

या तुम रस्ता भटके, न मैं घर को लौटा…

न सुनता था तुमसे, सुकूं कैसे होता?

मिटते देखूं यहां अपने हाथों की रेखा,

मैं जानूं वहां दूर है साथी रोता…

मैं देता दिलासा खुद ही को यहां पे-

मेरा साया है तेरे ही सर…

मेरा साया है तेरे ही सर…

शायद वोही राग गुनगुनाऊं तो,

मिल जाओ तुम इस क़दर…

हर लालटेन की लौ का पीछा करूं,

कि मिल जाए अपना वो घर।

रहते थे जिसमें ख्यालों में,

जिसे हम-तुम कहते थे घर ।


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Poem: Aakarsh Sood, PGP 1 Art: Nirmit Shah, PGP 1

The Star Dust Road

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I walk through a mirage of Star Dust sprinkled road…

Where magic meets the stark, where every path taken had an arc

Where love and hate tangled, like a phoenix soaring in a sky star spangled

And I…

I think of you…

I walk through a mirage of Star Dust sprinkled road…

Where our every moment is sketched, in my memory etched

Where you said we’ll last, like a paper boat in serene waters cast

Where I made the water churn, and our love was spurned

And I…

I think of you…

I walk through a mirage of Star Dust sprinkled road…

Where I took a fall, neither that of an angel nor that of a warrior tall

Where I realized that the devil I read about but never saw, had hands fair as mine and not mangled claws

Where I was beaten and battered, and saw my life through a peep hole left in tatters

And I…

I think of you…

I walk through a mirage of Star Dust sprinkled road…

Where I rose from the ashes of my demise, with you and only you as my resurrection my premise

Where I took my mangled claws and scratched, but you were long gone… Detached

And I…

I think of you…

I think of what was what is what could have been…

Down the corridors of Star Dust…

That is all I have…

Star Dust…

As I walk through a mirage of Star Dust sprinkled road…



Articles

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Animesh Gupta, PGP-1

Musings that Matter

There are certain individuals, personalities that drive your soul. They ignite your passion and keep your spirits up even in toughest of times. Life has a habit of shaking things up, throws up situations that tests one resolve and extracts a lot out of the individual. It is in these situations that a person looks for inspiration be it internally or from the outside world, looks for personalities that inspire us to beat the odds and triumph in face of adversities. Their life, their travails and conduct teaches us a lot and there are many sporting legends who embody that spirit and have lifted us through their endeavors.

2016 was a sad year for tennis lovers. Roger Federer, the most charismatic personality the game has ever witnessed was forced to miss the majority of the season due to knee and persistent back issues. He is an icon, a champion that has inspired greatness and has a fan following that transcends continents. His ability to churn out breath taking performances year after year despite his age (at 35, his legs are not the same any more) has given boundless joy to his fans. But that was cut short due to a freak accident in February this year that derailed his campaign and it was ultimately brought to halt post Wimbledon. The champion he is, he made every attempt to play knowing very well that his knee had not recovered fully and needed more healing. This speaks volumes of his love, his passion for the game and his commitment to the sport, a sport he has mastered and has achieved possibly everything it has got to offer. His hunger to succeed even after 18 years on tour is inspiring to say the least. His five set victory over Cilic in Wimbledon Quarters after being two sets down is remarkable to say the least and speaks volumes of his hunger to succeed at any cost.

And sadly, tennis was robbed of its ultimate superstar this year. And when one talks of grit and determination, you cannot forget the Master of Dirt. Rafael Nadal, the fiery Mallorcan continued his battle with injuries and dipping form and left no stone unturned in making his 2016 campaign, a successful one.  His gruesome playing style over the years has finally taken its toll, torn knees are impeding his fluid movement and even his wrists were not in the best of condition this year. But he continued to play, to exert, to give his best knowing very well that it might not be enough to get him over the line. It is in these situations when you dig deep, empty your reserve, harp on even the slightest of motivation to give your best shot is when one dishes out the unthinkable and that inspires a lot more.

These two champions were missed. Their personalities on court have inspired a lot off the court and will continue to do as long as they as exist. As a tennis fan, the game has not been the same without them. Grand slams are not the same without their intensity and artistry. But I have learnt a lot more from them this year than I had during their hey days. Going away from your passion is not easy, but if you are forced to take a step back, focus on doing things that keep you joyous. Focus on striving to be better, work on your fitness, work on your shortcomings, every day is not the same, and keep the flame inside you ignited. At times, outcomes are not in our control but we can surely control the inputs and strive harder.

2017 is about to arrive and I cannot wait to see them back on the court. After all, they are joy to watch and inspire greatness beyond our realms of understanding.


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Mitrajit Biswas, FPM

Future of Democracy in India

Democracy as the word itself has a lot of different understanding for different people. Some view it with the idea of cynicism while for others it has always been the best form of governance. Now let us not start building around this for my article. Getting to the core of the topic where we are speaking about the future of democracy in India it would require us to historicize the path of democracy in our nation state system. India was not viewed as a single nation state for 1000 of years. It was always in existence as a singular geographic entity bounded by common cultural values. However the while idea of ruling it as a Westphalia democracy came in after we have had our tryst with destiny as commented by Pandit Nehru on the eve of our independence. It may be clichéd to say that the whole idea of democracy in India is still maturing. India itself has gone through a transformation from being a figment of collective identities to actually being the world’s largest democracy in a span of 200 years. Now we are slowly evolving into the identity of India as a country. The idea of direct democracy however surprising it may be had existed in the form of village communities which we call “Panchayats”. The idea of community based democracy basically was the first step towards self rule in the principle of democracy embodied in the understanding of “of the people, by the people, for the people”

The whole idea of India being a colorful democracy as represented in the Oscar entry known as “Rang Biranga Prajatantra” a kaleidoscope of various dimensions. Prof. Thussu mentions this in his latest book “Buddha to Bollywood” how this exercise of democracy in itself is a celebration. Democracy in India has started to evolve at two levels. The one is on the national front and the other one is on the regional front. At the regional front the democracy of India has been always based on local and hyper local sentiments which never have connected much on to the broader issues. Regional parties that have made it big have actually made the regional issue to the national canvas. Many political scholars and historians like Bipin Chandra and Mukulika Mukherjee mentions this as the maturing or the nurturing of the vivid democracy in India. It is a documented that in India there are at least 99 legally registered parties. Out of this a man of average knowledge even knows that at the national level there has been INC (Indian National Congress) and BJP the modern variation of the parent organization created by S.P. Mukherjee. These two have led to the formation of the alliances centered around them known as UPA and NDA respectively.  It is the scene till the 70 years of Indian independence. Now before the political pundits try to come up with their argument on the audacity that I have not mentioned the third front, let me say it is nebulous.

The whole idea of the third front which is based on the loose collaboration of the non major parties has never been much of a factor. However coming back to the topic of the essay that what is the future of democracy in India, it can be only predicted for a decade from now. The idea of congress and its moderate socialism in the socio-economic framework of India seems to have gone for a toss as of the moment. Legacy issues of the party that is synonymous with the civilian struggle for freedom in modern days under the present leadership seems to be oblivious and lax of the needs for modern and termed “Emerging India”. The democracy of India seems to have taken a twist from 2014 elections since the days of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Not only is it because of the absolute numbers garnered by BJP under their mission of 272+. However the results that came out from UP & Punjab in the national polls show that finally India is waking up to politics beyond the immediate. Rising above caste politics as well as region based affinity it showed the path to future democracy. Even this level of democratic maturity has been said to be portrayed in the regional elections. Bihar elections were an eye opener that people decided based on the efficacy and not just mere rhetoric. So overall the signs of the electorate in India looking for a shift in their way of outlook is worth looking

I don’t want to term from my personal perspective as a paradigmatic shift just as of now which I am not also capable of as well. However the whole idea of forming a strong government at the centre after 5 years of decay and stagnation from 2009-2013 should not stop at being a spark. Shedding aside the aspirations of the western elitist democracy, India is one of those unique examples of a democracy full of fallacy yet of compassion, flexibility in the third world. The future of democracy will shift most likely to the issues of employment, education and better living conditions from the old times narrative of “Garibi Hathao (Remove Poverty) mixed subtly with the overtones of caste, religion and other fragmentation”. It does not necessarily mean that the lure of fragmentation in Indian democracy and politics is gone. Probably it may be never gone in the next 50 years; however the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be there. People especially cutting down to the rural, urban and more aspiration class have started to look at the bigger picture. The whole idea of connecting the jigsaw puzzle of India seems to have happened at the right moment. I don’t want to seem over enthusiastic but in the days of populist rhetoric and nationalism on the rise, the idea of Indian democracy adapting its values to the times seems to be in. Still it can never be forgotten that India always surprises including itself over time.


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