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Kasav is Pakistani January 7, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, crime, india, nation, pakistan, Policy, Politics, State, terror, terrorism, World, Writing.
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Kasab (Kasav) is Pakistani. In a roundabout manner the Pakistani government has accepted that the lone captured gunman of the 26th nov atttack on Mumbai/Bombay is indeed from their territory. After more than a month of denial and abrasive posturing the Pakistani government has found its 1st scapegoat. NSA chief Mahmud Ali Durrani has been sacked for making statements about Ajmal Kasav without the consultation of Prime Minister Gilani. 

Where will this lead? Does this mean th first signs of good intent from our neighbour? Or will it lead to more obfuscation? Only time will tell.

Will this acceptance lead to a momentous attitudinal shift in echelons of power in Pakistan? Will the weak government suddenly gain the balls to take on the well entrenched nexus between the rogue military, intelligence agencies and the militants? Will the civil society rally behind the government or is hatred of India too rooted and entrenched to even make them realize that opposing and uprooting terrorism is as much of a benefit to them as it to India and the region?

Before I run away astride my horse of romantic idealism lets touch base with reality – it is going to be a long and hard battle to reach thresholds of sanity. Probably a decade to undo the institutionalized terror networks; to weed out the silent sympathizers and to given birth to new relationships. 

Kasav could be the beginning. Will Pakistan take the opportunity?


Dear Pakistanis – a letter from India December 9, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in bizaree, Blogging, Hindu, india, Mass Media, Media, Muslim, nation, Opinion, pakistan, Personal, Politics, Random, State, strange, terrorism, World, Writing.
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Dear All Pakistanis

Many wishes on Bakri Eid. On this auspicious day I would
like to get in touch with as many of my neighbour’s as possible, considering
that we don’t treat each other with a shred of respect or trust. That is an
over-statement. We do exchange liberals, pleasantries, sweets and cricket
for sure.

We also exchange a whole lot of artillery, bombs and hate.
Courtesy our history. Why to blame history? Why blame 1947 all the time. I have
stopped. How many generations have to die to forget the wounds of that horrible
partition? Nobody has any answers to that?

A little about India. Probably you know a lot
already, but here is a bit more.

We are all angry zealots here.

We have camps here where Hindu’s practice bombing Pakistnai
towns and cities.

The ambition of all rich and poor youngsters who practice in
these camps (yes wonder of wonders rich and poor together – the benefits of a
common enemy you see) here is to spread the saffron flag in all regions of the
world and popularize Hindu Gods all over this glorious earth

in fact is not a multi-religious country at all. The Indian STATE regularly
torments people of all other religions

Everyday numerous legions of people who profess a religion
other than Hindusim are slaughtered – the recent attack on churches in fact was
an aberration – what actually happened was – the Christians briefly gained guts
and started attacking the vandals – briefly – that’s the real story

The Indian Media is quite pathetic. It is controlled by a nexus of State/Capitalists/Hindus/Liberals – quite bizarre actually. Orwell himself approves of this combination

We are the most honest lot in the world. Period.

It is a corruption free country. Please check it out for

Cricket is actually not that popular in the country. Nor is
Bollywood. All that is hype and projection.

There is peace everywhere in our land. No violence.

The riots that happen in India are not because of social
tensions and exploitation by various power groups. It is because of deep,
extreme boredom amongst communities who then just do it…following the
empowering American mantra

Babri Masjid was actually not demolished by zealot Hindus.
It was the handiwork of non-state actors from…let me get back to you on this.

Dawood Ibrahim regularly plays cricket in front on his house
in central Mumbai. With the cops in fact.

I won’t go any further because I don’t think you will trust
me. But I am sure you will have your own sources to figure out what is true and
what is false. You will get all the ‘evidence’ needed to satiate your
inquisitive brain. Actually for you all of this is a no-brainer. Isn’t it?

Many wishes and all the best.


A deluded, chaotic, corrupt, violent, India. Hell, I said

Patil Out, Pakistan Next November 30, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, Death, Governance, india, Life, Opinion, pakistan, Personal, Politics, protest, terrorism, urban terror, World, Writing.
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Finally, Mr. Shivraj Patil has put in his papers. Or, as the gossip goes, he was asked by the party president Mrs. Gandhi to. It’s a sad state of affairs that even for relinquishing that thankless post that the entire nation now equates with inefficiency he couldn’t follow his conscience, but had to be asked. Will efficiency henceforth be the criteria for appointments or loyalty, your guess is as good as mine.

Pakistan next. India is on the verge of suspending the ceasefire on it western and northern borders. India should also suspend all trade, bus and air routes to this nation that is absolutely shameless. No wonder its people suffer from the rulers that they get. No cricket. No exchange during Id or Diwali. We are your enemies. You see us as enemies and so shall we. Tough international sanctions must be imposed on this wolf in a sheeps clothing, crying hoarse that they are victims of terror. Manmohan Singh believed this spiel. So did Advani and Atal and were back stabbed by Kargil. Still we believe the the janus in nexus – the administration and the military.

There is a time for peace and unfortunately a time for more stringent measures if not war. A lot depends on how the politicians and political parties. RR Patil must be prosecuted for his statements. How insensitive and callous can the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra get? He is congratulating himself and government for saving the lives of roughly 4650 people as according to his estimates 5000 dead was the target of the terrorists.

Will Vilasrao still continue to be the chief minister to keep other regional satraps out of power. Or will a person with a vision for the state, its people and one who understands the extra-ordinary role that Mumbai plays be allowed to ascend the chair.

I am sure other than some cosmetic measures nothing much will change. The current rage should not dissipate. I went to a citizines initiative in the morning today where people couldn’t come to a conclusion as to the route to be adopted. There are ANGER marches being planned against the government,  both at the center and the state. Most are frustrated with the apathy all around. Will peaceful pressure by numbers of Indian citizens have an impact on the politicians?

If not taken notice, one day it might not be peaceful any more.

Indo Pak Sidelined September 25, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in fun, india, pakistan, People, Politics, Random, UN general assembly, World, Writing.
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Manmohan Singh and Zardari at the UN General Assembly sidelines. A very confidential meeting. Aides are absent. It’s strictly one on one.

Zardari: How are you Mr. Karzai?

A shocked Manmohan.

Zardari: you have become too big for your boots.

Manmohan: excuse me…

Zardari: oye chhup kar…you allow American forces to attack my land. After all I have done for them…they attack my land. I will crush all of them.

Manmohan: you are mistaking me…

Zardari: you have sold your soul to the infidels. Your land, my neighbour’s land is a base for attacking a sovereign democratic country. Where is the LAW in this world? And YOU…I am seeing your growing friendship with India. They still call you Kabuliwala behind your back and you suck up to them.

Manmohan: I…

Zardari: we are neighbors.

Manmohan: so am I.

Zardari: oh…Sir, I am so sorry. It is you. My Indian neighbour. How are you doing?

Manmohan: congratulations to you.

Zardari: why?

Manmohan: you are the president now.

Zardari: of course. But at what cost sir?

Manmohan: I understand.

Zardari: no sir nobody does. Nobody trusts me.

Manmohan: that’s true.

Zardari: even you? Let me assure me sir that not even an inch of Pakistani territory is being used to launch terrorist attacks on dear friend India’s land.


Zardari: you got to believe me sir. The world needs to believe us. We are a democracy now.

Manmohan: we too; for the last 60 years. Do you believe us? Trust us?

Zardari: oh let’s not quibble.

Manmohan: oye chup kar.

Zardari is taken aback at the sudden Punjabi outburst.

Zardari: so you get angry too. Does the Congress party know? Does the President know?

Manmohan: only 10 percent of the time.

Zardari goes ashen.

Zardari: I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear it.

Manmohan: 10 percent. 10 percent.

Zardari: ok. Lets smile, shake hands and say we believe in love, peace and trade.

Manmohan: good.

2008 – New Year Protest January 3, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in 2008, Assassination, Benazir Bhutto, Blogging, Blogs, Ecology, Environment, Goa, Government of India, india, pakistan, People, Politics, protest, Revolt, SEZ, SEZ's, Writing.
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Convinctions are stronger than truths. Believe it long enough and they can do more harm than the truth.

It’s 2008 now. We are old by another year, day and month, whatever pleases you. There was Christmas cheer, there was tragedy and there was revelry. Move on said the dead bodies, the treacheries, the disappointments and broken promises. Celebrate said the remaining memories of happiness…a birth in the family, a promotion, a nuptial, a new love.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto was shocking. A friend messaged me when I was in Delhi, battling the winter chill. I informed my parents in Jamshedpur, who didn’t know the Rawalpindi incident. They confirmed and since then everything is in total confusion.

Bullets felled her. No, the lever of the sun-roof did her in. No, the blast killed her. What is certain is the fact that she is no more. Since then she has managed to wash off some of the taints that continued to haunt her when alive.

She immediately became a martyr for an entire nation. The unifying factor was eliminated. Now what will be the fate of Pakistan…commentators wondered? Punter, especially the ones active in the sub-continent would have betted heavily on the acsension of her son Bilal. After the high – profile political announcement the young man was shipped to Oxford, his mother’s alma mater.

We are slaves. At least we think we are. This is best shown in the reaction to Benazir’s death. Just like in India, our neighbour too is servile at the feet of its rulers. Be it the army, the civilian, the Guru, the preacher, the lover, or plain God. We need a master. A master who will guide us. Who will hold our hands and spank them if we make an error. We need a blue-blooded descendent who has been heaven-ordained to tell us…do this and not that. Tell us, remind us time and again, that they are superior and we are inferior. That we will be ruled by them for generations to come. That no matter what our education and ability, they are the one who will rule.


Because they own the lands. Because they own the government. Because they move in the wine and cheese circle that makes laws, breaks laws and gets away with it. Because they are the ones who know English or whatever language that is popular with power right now. Because they know Americans in power. Because they know Britishers in power. Because they have weapons. Because they have the contacts. Because they own the media. Because they have followers. Because they can fool people. Because the people are fools. Because we let them.

We deserve the rulers we get because we want to be slaves.


Everybody knows Goa. People go there to party, to relax, to unwind. It has the sea, the river and the rolling hills. There are hamlets that are tranquil and peaceful. There the air is cleaner.

No more thanks to the mighty government of India.

People of the state have been agitating against the establishment of SEZ’s or Sepcial Economic Zones. The government of the State has said that they don’t want any SEZ’s in Goa.

The Government of India says that the State government has no right to de-notify the SEZ’s. Why? Because the center has already spent 500 crores. So screw your eco concerns because we have spent somebody else’s money. And why are you worrying about the hills and the water? You will be dead by the time the harm comes to play its ‘taandav’. So earn the compensation and commit suicide because we have already spent 500 crores.


Compare the Nandigram situation last month. Political parties wanted to raise questions about Nandigram but CPI (M) said that violence in West Bengal is a state subject and questions about it cannot be raised in the parliament.


Pervez-crazy November 30, 2007

Posted by astralwicks in Democracy, Emergency, india, pakistan, Personal, Pervez Musharaf, Poems, Random, Reflections, Uncategorized, Writing.
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Mr. General you are still a President

You are a President but you would have loved to be a General

Loved the gun and the barracks

The salutes and the moolah

You are the ally

But sir you don’t allay

I will write my own democracy

I call it Pervez-crazy


Crown of thorns I dream

I say something, but contrary I mean

It’s a habit, I agree

Kashmir, Kabul, Karachi


The Uniform stares back

I wear it on the sly


This is my country

I love it

I am it’s Fate

My country doesn’t know it

They are my people

They don’t know it

I and I and I

The Legend will go on

The epitaph will sing my praises to the heaven high

But I, will I be there to read it?

I will be of course, for

I am imperishable, I am the President

And my word is the world’s command

I decree and the world agrees

How else otherwise?

Otherwise how else?

Monday in India and Pakistan November 19, 2007

Posted by astralwicks in Bangladesh, Benazir, Emergency, india, Monday, Musharaf, Neighbour, Opposition, pakistan, Personal, Politics, protest, Reflection, World, Writing.


Welcome to India on a monday. Monday in India is always late, slow, sabbath’s hangover, just like anywhere else in the world. It creeps in, the first child of the week, winking at the hours and minutes, the sun dragging itself from the clouds, a lumberous stretch. Are birds, bees, dogs, crows, cows, cats all afflicted by this strange disease. Or only we men and women are its special chosen victims? Has any scientist done research on this phenomena? Umm…

No work at work today. There are some niggling chores and then adios. Who knows, the 2nd half might get too interesting and then…who knows? 11 o clock and people are just filling up the offices…monday it is, don’t you know, writ large on everybody’s face.

Blogging is addictive. The freedom of expression is infectious. It is like a child discovering it’s ability to scribble and shapes taking form. Similar is the joy when the post is saved and the world gets to read one’s words. It also make one feel important? Words. Dead words for so long captive in the pages start to breathe, exist, talk and converse.

10,000 people dead in Bangladesh.

The same storm was about to hit India before nature took a detour and brought death and destruction on its neighbour.

Elephants don’t forget they say. But I have. And so has the world. Indians were bowled over by Benazir during the Rajiv era. Roses were exchanged and we like prejudiced humans, suffering from superiority and inferiority complexs, gave the benefit of doubt to the British education, accent, antecedents and political posturing. The world supported the embattled prime minister, her husband was allegedly framed and the prodigal daughter went into exile.

This past week Fatima Bhutto has been knocking on all liberal doors. Read an article by Fatima Bhutto about the status of Pakistan post the imposition of emergency by Musharaf. A poet, activist, she wrote lucidly about the affairs of the state or non-state that is in turmoil. Benazir touted to be the only alternative to Musharaf has some serious dirty linen. The neice also accuses her aunt of hijacking the democracy platform with her accent, American support and excellent media management. Possible in today’s democracy or despotism.

It is a case of the one-eyed being the king in the land of the blind. Benazir is presently politically acceptable. She is the liberal face, has a past experience in governing the fragile country, has history and legacy on her side and is pro-democracy.

Can you be pro-democracy and be bad for your country/state/family? Of course you can. The Pakistan President by promulgating a new ordinance has annulled all cases that Benazir was charged with. She gets special treatment to voice her displasure with the present (mis) government. None others do. And we smell a fish here.

Who represents the new opposition in Pakistan? Who is ready to take on the general, his cronies in all shapes and sizes and forge a new alliance? An alliance of what? Is a question that Pakistan should bother themselves with right away.

Any alliance that gives refuge to fundamentalists, the Taliban etc is not good for the country. It is time the entire nation realized that violence cannot be an instrument of state policy. Power corrupts we all know and agree. Power resides in arms and ammunition and in merceneries. And in the army, the police, the State.

When every attempt at ushering liberal secural values is crushed under one pretext or other, sometimes by the military, the police, the state machinery, the polity must foster an alliance on a greater Ideal. Musharaf has given a great chance that way to a generation of Pakistanis. What that Ideal is…can and should be defined by only the Pakistanis…not its military, its police, its generals, Americans, Indians, intelligentsia, media.

It should be defined by the honest man and woman of the street, the rich honest man and the rich honest woman, the educated, the uneducated but wise, the fool on the street, the genius in exile, the singer who hears and the poet who stays silent. It should be defined by the student at the madarsa who is searching for God but doesn’t know where to look, by the hindus and sikhs of Pakistan who love their country, by the Pakistan soldier who has died for his country and has been forgotten, by the soldiers loved one’s, by the kids, people who for long have been silent, crushed, deprived of their right to say, speak, select, vote or reject.

They have to choose from the choices offered by a President who has for various reasons crushed opposition, supported opposition if it benefits him, given shelter to terrorists, lost regions of the country to the Taliban, allowed American bombing of his country, gagged the press, the media, arrested protesters of all kinds…all in the name of restoring parliamentary democracy.

After all Brutus is an honest man.



Blog Fix September 5, 2007

Posted by astralwicks in Basra, Blog, British, Captain America, Chanda, Donation, Festival, Hyderabad, india, Janmasthami, Krishna, pakistan, Rawalpindi, Rawapindi.
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The Blog is the new fix. I need the fix. It’s been 4 days since I have not written and something seems to be going wrong. I am unable to get the jab of excitement when I check the Bog stats. The jump in numbers are visible but they didn’t make me jump. Does a new Blog guarantee more traffic? No. But hope is the drug of existence.

What has happened in the meantime? Lots. People are being dragged after being tied to horses, trucks and other human and inhuman contraptions for a variety of reasons. It was Krishna Janmasthami yesterday. A festive date in the year. Groups of youngsters practice all year round to make a human pyramid and reach the summit to break a clay pot – matka that is filled with curd or curd milk and win accolades and monetary rewards. It is meant to celebrate the most popular of Hindu gods – Krishna.

Clubs also ask for charity in the form of donations –money etc so that they can organize a cultural event, buy t-shirts for the members or to have party after the event. Booze.

A few days before the event a shopkeeper was shot dead after he refused to pay the ‘chanda’ or the donation. The irate bunch of devotees made a decision – to punish the apostate and thrashed him to death. Point taken. Nobody will refuse when they come next year or for the next celebration.

RGV’s Aag is a massive massive flop. Will it set alarm bells ringing or will it make the director even more secure in his knowledge that nobody understands his kind of film making and therefore he IS making good films? Frankly, who gives a damn any more?

Rawalpindi, in Pakistan was rocked by bomb blasts. Hyderabad in India too. We are neigbours India and Pakistan. British troops have handed over/withdrawn from Basra where bomb blasts are as natural as day and night. Captain America still fights on. Never mind the coffins. The coffins don’t care anyways.

So We Reap July 6, 2007

Posted by astralwicks in india, jesus, pakistan, peace, reap, sow, Uncategorized, violence, war.
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‘As we sow, so we reap’ is an old saying. So old that we have forgotten about it. We hear it from old people and then forget. We are skeptical of it. Is it really true? We do good and good happens back to us? Is that so? 21st century doesn’t believe in such naïve concepts.

But people in Pakistan could have a new different take on the old as jesus saying. For long secure in the knowledge that home grown militancy won’t bite the hand that feeds it the Lal Masjid incident has woken them up? Has it? I am not sure. It gave guilty pleasure to a lot of people, Indians included to see the Pakistan Army being pushed to the extreme to ward off the resistance from inside the mosque. These guys used to fight the neighbour and now…something is wrong somewhere.

It has happened in the past and it will happen in the future. It’s quite simple actually.

What is the educated, intelligent, enlightened polity of Pakistan doing about the continuing lack of democracy in their country? Is it happy that they are ruled by despots all the time? Is it happy that its good to have these tyrants around – at least they have the guts and the guns to set history right. Take on the Indians across the border, infiltrate into their country, give refuge to people in their country who have committed serious crime in India. Is that what makes them tolerate these dictators?

And it is not just them in fact. Even the flagbearers of the war on terror the US of A is proud to have the Pakistan establishment lead the proceedings. They are frontline allies to restore the order of civil law and humane reason. What can one say?

Gandhi had once abandoned an all India movement when Indian protesters burnt and killed 20 old British soldiers during the non-coperation movement in 1919. The entire country was upset. An all India agitation on the verge of creating unbearable pressure that could have prompted the Britishers to quit the country died after Gandhi’s announcement. India got independence some 27 years later. Indians still hold many a grudge against the old man.

He said and I am only paraphrasing that when the root itself is poisoned imagine the tree and its fruits. Violence begets more violence. You can win the battle using violence, but then what?. You cannot give birth to peace using violence. As you sow so you reap he said in his own way. So let’s stop this protest, agitation, no matter how close we are to independence because it has got violent and corrupt and senseless, with anger driving it to further anger and destruction. Let’s stop he urged and he got killed.

And India and Pakistan moved on.

We have fought each other in one way or the other. And I don’t see how its going to end. I guess it’s time we remember as we sow so we reap.