Posted in Political

Agnipath: the path of fire.

Agnipath does give me the jitters. Someone has put in exactly what was going through my mind. Unnecessary militarization of today’s youth. Dilution of military standards. Effective engagement of an otherwise idling young population. Inspiring career. This can change the way the Indian youngsters may be viewing India. There are other pluses: fitter and younger men and women for our armed forces. No industrialist who talks big about employment of the discharged military men has ever absorbed any ex-servicemen in their production line as history reveals. Can we rule out in entirety a trigger happy 22 year old youth community from wrecking havoc when frustration mounds. Agnipath is a double-edged sword to be handled carefully. What would the young men and women who retire on four year commission do with a bounty of eleven lakh rupees each. Their mental maturity may not match their physical prowess. At 22, the boys and girls are still kids. They are to miss the vital years at university for which the military school learning can be no substitute. They will be missing the fun and action and may not fit back in easily. A fourth of the Agnipath’s Agniveers may successfully get enrolled in our armed services. It is the other three fourths that are our concern. Agnipath may be a temporary solution to deal with the rising unemployment issue in the country. The world will get increasingly high-tech and automated, with machines taking over most of the jobs meant for execution by our labour force. Once a small percentage of human population will be the actual workforce in years to roll. One has to resign to such an inevitable fate not in very distant future. In a way perhaps, Agnipath can be a saver but not a permanent answer. Agnipath mandates clearing of basic and minimum criteria tests for recruitment. Agnipath may be ‘dream come true’ for millions in this country who aspired to get into military services but could not owing to stringent standards in commissioning. Our political thinktank must know, Agnipath will not pan out like the Demonetization or GST. This is an entirely different ball game with the nation’s security and interests at stake. For the moment I keep my fingers crossed. I am not happy or cheerfull about Agnipath. To me Agnipath is a gamble that can go either way. Even if it can take off with a zing at the outset, one cannot rule out when the agnipath will boomerang and bomb on our heads. A lot of my countrymen may cite Singapore etc., where enrollment in military service is mandatory for their citizens for upto four or five years. The sooner it is done, the better. But India is not ant size like Singapore. India is gargantuan. My only hope and relief may be that, we are simply too big for a coup to overthrow our government or hold our capital hostage!

Posted in Books

Review: Points of Entry – Nadeem Farooq Paracha.

Well, I am just done with this one, I took all the time I could to read it because I live with my books for days. If I finish a book too fast, I forget it fast. To let a book seep deep into my psyche I read it ever slow. That way I retain its pages and memories for days and months to come. Over time you forget details, but slow-reading helps keep what you read fresher in mind and for longer.

This is my second book by the author. Frankly the first one to me sounded amateurish. Understandable, as the author was stepping onto new tarmac, writing books. But I have been reading the columns by the author for long, may be some 10-12 years now, that I have developed or acquired a taste for this style of writing. What made me come back for more in those days was the political satire and trademark sarcasm. I never expected such a firebrand from our neighbours who I always imagined to be dour and boring lacking inspiration and mirth!!!

So from journalism to authoring on research is a natural progression I guess. I think in my mind, I gave nicknames to the author in his prime blogging days: postmortem specialist (!) (for the way he analyzed matters throwing everything threadbare especially about Cricket). His blogs were winding!

But I would like to now commend the author for keeping the book short and sweet. Just the right volume, crisp writing and good finishes. Nice correlation to the subject or theme of the book. Different approach.

The language is an awow! I love the prose, the flow, the grammar, the idioms and phrases, the metaphors, the simile or whatever! In fact I try to copy from the author (i am amateur and very private blogger)! In my early blogging days, the author was my psychological guru (of which he may have had no idea)! Anyway, who am I here to review any book. Just a housewife me past my prime with too much time in hands. But books take my mind off a lot of matters and give me a strange sense of peace. And this is one of a kind.

As for the book, I guess the author has come of age. May be this is his third? So what did I miss. I read the first in my kindle. This one I got as hardcover edition in India.

Normally I don’t subscribe to Pakistani views (!) in many matters because, there is this conflict of interest in anything of India-Pakistan nature. But the author is neutral kind of. Rational. This I have inferred over years reading him. I think I can go with him.

I like the lucid prose as I said. I like the precise narration interspersed with personal touches here and there to the right measure to add spice and credence to the story. Here is one window into contemporary Pakistan history and culture on broader spectrum. May be a bit unofficial, if I must add. The author could have drafted the volume in more official form editing parts, had he wished to make it a text book for young Pakistanis in near or far future. How about building this aspect into future works? This can do for a nice non-detailed read for English literature (and not history) for standard 11 & 12 in my opinion. Or even class 9 and 10. I mean, by Indian standards. I would want the drug details to be edited. And I would ask for more specifics.

My particular love is Indus Raga. Indus raga is the raag called Sindhu Bhairavi literally in classical Hindustani/Carnatic, the native or traditional music of India. It is also a raag very close to my heart. I liked the sync the author made with the chapter and the raga that took the name of the magnificent Sindhu nadhi, albeit unwittingly. Anyway loved the sindhu folk music and thanks a ton for the reproduction of the verses. Of particular interest was also the entry from the west on Pakistan pop and sufi pop in specific. This one authentic Pakistan music/art form has millions of followers from India and I am one among them even if I am not as knowledgeable. If I can have a say on this matter, I would like Pakistanis to master the Hindustani classical. The old doyens must have done that, but the current crop may not be keeping up with the classical. You will lose the sound base when you don’t take care of the foundations, in my opinion. Western music is totally a different scene. And dear author, don’t call it eastern music please. Have a heart and courage and intellectual honesty to call Hindustani classical by its name. You have every right to stake a claim in undivided India’s Hindu cultural past. You cannot write Pakistan history without mentioning India. You are Pakistan only from 1947. For 4000 years you were India and for 3000 years or even 3800 years you were Hindu. You are muslim and Pakistani only for a decimal fraction of Hindu Indian history. Of course, this is the point the author has been trying to score in his entire book. And unlike southern India, what constitutes Pakistan was prone to multiple foreign invasions. Has it ever struck any Pakistani that, had the British been like the mugals spreading faith by sword, they would all be christians today?! You can ask the Filipinos. They were muslims first, but with Spanish conquest, they converted from Islam to Christianity. 200 years or so of being muslim and then becoming fanatical christians. Yes, this is also history. This is the history of the vanquished. Now there are no pious catholics like our filipino brothers and sisters. Soon they will grace the world with a pope!

My favourite Pakistan pop was Junoon that I was crazy about in my Malaysian days. Not a day went without listening to them. I love the deepthroated base voice of the Pakistani male vocalists.

I wish I can visit Mohenjo Daro someday. Otherwise I have to satisfy myself only with the Bollywood flick with our desi Hrithik Roshan hahaha! King Porus was actually the Hindu king Purushotham who Alexander defeated. A word here. I had this ‘de javu’ reading the book as the content sounded familiar to me from the author’s columns in their national newspaper.

The book is an insider view of Pakistan in 1980s. My first memory of Pakistan was about Bhutto hanging. It was in the Tamil daily ‘Dhina Thanthi’ and even ‘the Hindu’ I guess, that my granny read aloud. That was the first time I heard the name or word called Pakistan. I don’t remember the year. I remember my parents discuss this though I cannot recall the finer details. I do recall the fireworks going up in my neighbourhood when the Zia plane crash news was out. I too jumped up and down with friends in celebration! I think we friends assembled in our terrace celebrating the demise of the monster. The last moving news was Benazzir’s assassination which felt as worse as Rajiv’s. I am not lying when I say whole of India wept for her. We did mourn her in our holiday resort for the year end. It spoilt our picnic mood. It was a moment to reckon for me and most of us in India the way the shock permeated us. At that time, we felt a connection. But why should that happen with a tragedy of such mammoth proportions. Why can’t we just be friends.

To my knowledge, Indians in general see Pakistanis like siblings in spite of cultural differences. India is naturally protective about the entire Indian subcontinent and we may feel responsible for the SAARC nations. You will understand this only when you are Indian by birth. For us the other five to six nations carved out of one landmass Bharat Varsha – Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka will always stay Bharat or extension of Bharat. But gladly there is no India anti-thesis in this book. I am weary of Pakistani writing for this one thing. They all implicate India in some manner for something. It was a relief reading the book with no reference to India mostly. Not even the Nazia-Zoheb connection to India through Qurbani made it to the book. That is very thoughtful on part of the author. Nazia Hassan was my mother’s favourite before she passed away in 1982. I could sing Nazia’s and Runa Leila’s in that year in the generally non-Hindi speaking Tamil Nadu procuring cassettes. This demonstrates the reach of Pakistan pop in India.

What is my general take on reading the book and on Pakistan: you need to work a lot more hahaha! I do sometimes find the flair missing, please don’t get me wrong; I mean, the flair is missing about the nation. I find this in amateur video edits, news bulletins, etc., where I find the finishing not upto the mark. I find the professionalism lacking. I find the same issue with Pakistan produce that I come across in middle east. The packaging and even the substance leave a lot to be desired. I can’t pinpoint reasons. May be there aren’t many motivational heroes. Inspiring personalities. See, it is not about the size or ethnicity of a nation. You must have that spark. If you don’t have it, light one up.

I may not have traveled as widely as the author but I am also an NRI (non resident Indian) on and off for over a quarter century. We meet Pakistanis in our everyday life in the middle-east. Our men work together in the same professions. Generally we are polite and civil towards each other. North Indians especially enjoy such a bonhomie with Pakistanis as they speak the same language and even share similar cuisine. Every time I pick a Pakistani produce such as fresh green peas or green tea or a kurti, I think of the Pakistani farmers and not of Musharraf or Kashmir or the nuclear missiles or even Modi! I see Pakistanis buy lots of Indian stuff. There is presence of Indian manufacture and even Indian automobiles in middle east, but never have I come across a made-in-Pakistan industrial product. Brand building is not an easy exercise. India did not have it cheap or easy.

Traveling does open avenues of your mind. But the essence of you always stays with you wherever you may go. I agree with the author that their economy is in doldrums, far worse than Indian. I have heard of widespread corruption putting even India to shame! But the pot cannot call the kettle black. So I stop here!

The book is a breezy read – like even a coffee table book. Refreshing perspectives. Is it too much to have expected pictures?

Its okay, enjoy being called an Indian, buddy! I am happy you are mistaken for one! You are after all Nadeem = mitr = dost = snehidane !

Posted in History-Culture

The Unsummable.

A  μΣ called I N D I A hahaha 😀

The unsummable, undefinable, unbelievable, immeasurable, uncontainable, unfathomable is my India. This is what courses through my mind whenever I read summation or brief historic stories that tend to capture everything of a particular place at any singular point or period of time. To be fair to the authors of these news capsules, it is possible that some places, some communities, some epochs of history can neatly fit into boxes of definition, time period, region, faith, nationality etc., that it is so convenient to just pick up the appropriate pieces and assign them into the relevant container and label them and total them enmasse, in quantum. This can give you a general idea of things. You get the picture. Can this ever be possible for or with India? Did our history begin by 1947 or have we had one for over 4000 years now. Do we have to have our gods come down to us from the Middle east or do we invent our own. How many architectural marvels will you write about? One chapter each for the thousands of 1500-2000 or even 3000 year old vast ancient temples dotting Tamil Nadu alone that have withstood not only the environmental erosion but also destructive invasions by foreign army. I just visited an acre huge and over 1500 year ancient one raised by the Chola king in the temple town of Chidambaram, 250 km from Chennai. The dancing Shiva’s foot has this big toe that rightly points to center of gravity.

Here is a quick copy-paste job: research of our ancient temples is ongoing spanning decades now.

Western scientists have proved that at Lord Nataraja ‘s big toe is the Centre Point of World ‘s Magnetic Equator.
Our ancient Tamil Scholar Thirumoolar has proved this Five thousand
 years ago! His treatise THIRUMANDIRAM is a wonderful Scientific guide for the whole world.

Its called the center of earth,because earth is the only planet to have both magnetic and gravity field. So chidambaram is the place for the starting point or middle point of earth gravity, satellite above chidabaram Temple doesn’t work due to the action of magnetic field on this place.

(Satellites don’t work when they are right over the Chidambaram temple that led to research).

Well, this is just a sample. One of the million amazements.

How many music genres to encapsulate: from classical and instrumental to commercial filmy and folk. Dance forms. How many points of entry for Chennai alone. We have an Armenian street that had the Armenians living here when on business for centuries who built the cathedral that stands until today. We have the borah muslims and sindhis. I once even met a woman who said she had pashtun origins. Her family moved down south during partition. The ocean called literature and language: my native Thamizh will give any world language a run for what it is worth. Thamizh is the oldest spoken language in the world, older than Latin and may be even Sanskrit who knows, that is now bestowed with the classical status. Having a structured grammar in Tamil in 3 century BCE, in a full court where women poets compose and sing in the king’s presence… and the dam across the river Cauvery the king raised standing tall until today with light touch up here and there… having a maritime past in ancient Indian history…. we were n’t the conquered but we conquered the south east Asia including Malaysia, Ceylon, Burma, Indonesia… Does this ever figure even in Indian history text books? The fine arts of jewelry, dyeing of fabrics and weaving: weaving tradition of India alone is an inexhaustible subject. Thousands and thousands literally of the intricate weaves and handblock prints. Imagine the national, state, district, village diversities. India’s cuisine is the best window to the enigma called India. There is nothing to match it in the entire world and there can be no justice done scooping it all at one go for connoisseurs’ delight. What about our geography. Against the imposing icy peaks are the parched deserts and the tropical western ghats lush and rich after the fertile Gangetic plains. There are the frothing snaking rivers and the forest reserves and a wildlife scene next only to Africa. We feed the world while we feed a billion of ourselves with our wheat and other farm produce. There is no way one can summarize even such things as IRCTC, our railway that ferries not only millions of passengers any day across destinations around the country, but also carry goods to the tune of tonnes and tonnes. The largest network after the Amtrak perhaps. The armed forces. The banking institutions and the IT sector. The pharma and the medical advancement.

Sometimes, I do wish India is less chaotic, better manageable. Even the US is readable! We can have gross estimates about everything there as the history is very new or almost absent. For a continent as huge as America, that really comes as a surprise. When we resided in Malaysia, sometimes we would drive through 3 or 4 or even 5 states in a day, something unthinkable in India. It is there some 25 years back I understood what it is to be the giant landmass called India. I got a cognizance of her sheer size and beauty and also her ethnic diversity and varied nature that I could never get a Malaysian understand what India is like. Because we are not the uniform like aisles and aisles you walk through in a shopping mall: standard and neat and nicely labeled. We are the complex sigma. We just cannot be computed. We are truly into the infinity! Where do we begin and where do we end. At the time of the moguls we also had concurrent history in rest of the peninsula that is a different face of the multi-faceted prism called India. Hinduism also grew in leaps and bounds right under the invasion times because, it is in 7th-8th century CE that Shankara Mutts were established right across India – including the one in Kashmir. Hindu Dharma entered a greatly civilized phase around this time dropping warfare and embracing higher spirituality. I would call this period a Hindu reawakening time. So many many things unfolded in India at this point of time, and the mugals were just under a ten percent. To those from tinier nations with inconsequential population who hardly impact the world matters (who i have met in the gulf countries), I do not even try to explain India, because they can’t and they never will get the full import. Neither can I do the justice because I am not primed for it, for I lack the knowledge and relevant expertise. Also it is not my job. I let them be. I just know I am from this phenomenal place like which there is no other place on earth. India may have gone to the dogs lately but it is still that magic that can intoxicate you totally. Coming from this mammoth democracy gives me a natural confidence. I know this also means a tremendous responsibility: not only for those of us who call India our home, but also for our policy makers in economic, political, scientific, technical, agricultural, cultural and even medical matters. One inevitably sinking truth is that, yes India hugely impacts the world. And I am not talking of mere Yoga our soft power, or the meditation or Ayurveda. I am talking of how our actions may lead to chain reactions, create demands for instance in global markets kickstarting unending production cycles contributing to changes in environment. India to me is ONE HUGE REPONSIBILITY. What we consume, what we research, what we produce, what we share – all this can affect the rest of the world. I guess this is the only summation I can come up with, for my India. INDIA IS ON THE MOVE. Nothing else about my elephantine country is definable. We aren’t a measurable quantum. You cannot size us up and write a theory. We all do our little bit here and there and try to sew up this magnificent carpet called India.

Posted in Economic

Title Deeds In Bold Fonts

NRIs who own estates/homes in foreign countries may know what it is to hold crisp, concise documentation for your investments. No encumbrance ever. Clear title deeds. Neat presentation. Slim portfolio. Sits snug in your briefcase. I did expect this to be the case of papers filed for properties bought and sold in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. In the case of Asia, I expected such a neat work from the Asian tigers and Korea and Japan. But I happened to chance upon a title deed held by a Filipino in Middle east sometime, that was so concise, fitting perfectly in an elegant file folder. It was easy to handle and refer to. It didn’t seem to run to hundreds of pages. Computer fonts advertised that every single detail held electronic data proof. Ever since I have been wondering, where in India we went wrong. Like in India the filipinos do have language issues with a hundred dialects spoken from island to island in their scattered archipelago nation. But their government seems to have unanimously chosen the English language for official communication. When I looked at their impeccable presentation, I was reminded of the pages and pages of soiled title deeds punctured with staples and holed for tying with thick legal ropes, covered with smudged seals from indelible rubber stamps with no space to spare. Indian title deeds to properties are a riot of colours. Hardly there remains a margin for any notation or observation or comment. We register deeds invariably in local (state) languages and rarely is a documentation done in universally understood English. Which means, the mother or parent documents in a title deed may make no sense to someone from Delhi buying a flat in Chennai for instance. Stamp papers are the way we Indians pay court fees for registration of properties. The top one fourth of every document sheet is therefore reserved for the stamp value affixation. Small mercies: we switched over to A4 size finally with the turn of the century. You just can’t fit the old sepia-tinted papers of another age and time, neatly into a present day folder designed for the A4 culture. To me the documentation in foreign countries underscored the discipline that you found in these places that is lacking in India. Just like us Indians, our title deeds are chaotic and messy making no sense to third parties. There may not be relevance, but documents must be legible and comprehensible to whoever. I guess the title deeds you may find in other parts of the world may be decipherable to a great degree unlike our complicated Indian title deeds that come as a loose bunch mostly: of tattered papers with ends frayed and haphazardly tied up, ink or print blotched. Things are changing in India as well but India being India, do we even have an idea on ‘standardization’ ?! Years before, there was not even the need for the seller to present himself/herself to the registrar when someone sold/bought a property. We have come a long way since then. Now apart from solid admissible ID proof and third party witnesses, there are conscious efforts to adhere to legal parlance in entire documentation leaving no grounds for ambiguity. Loopholes are plugged in documentation process at every stage as much as possible. While bribes have not been completely abolished from registrar offices, there is the saving grace that the data are saved by the government and a lot of the registration process is well streamlined. The statistics garnered must help in future planning. Lot less hassles compared to what it used to be just a decade ago. So can we at all have a neat and presentable documentation of our title deeds?

There are a couple of interesting discrepancies or differences between how we Indians document and register our title deeds and how the rest of the world may be going about it.

Unlike some newborn nations, India has the longest history and living memory which adds to our backlog of attached documents. This is called the chain of title deeds that cannot be broken. We have reams of papers connecting the dots! Government mooted development projects or settlements are not as common in India as in the newly formed republics. In the latter’s case, there is very short history to be recorded formally which means least documentation.

Well for one thing, India seems to be one or one of the rarest nations on earth to have nonjudicial stamp papers for registration. Look at others. They are way too simple. That header is a huge space consumer for us. The stamp duty is calculated at about 7% of guided value of property in question approximately. Further registration charges apply. To that effect, the stamp papers are made in India wherein the title deed may be executed in front of the concerned registrar. This is the legacy from the British Raj understandably. But is it not time we do away with this cumbersome practice. Why cannot the stamp duties and registration charges levied be printed in the annexure to the documents. Or perhaps in the place of the wide header, a small and simple square stamp will do. When did world nations grow out of the stamp paper practice that India is still keeping up.

India has adopted a whole range of economic reforms in last few years. One more in the mode of documentation of our title deeds is the need of the hour. Sleek title deeds crystal clear and to the point can be possible. If I were the prime minister, I would constitute a legal panel to look into this matter. Simplification of procedures and uniformity of terms and conditions and styles of registration are a must. As nothing in India is standardized from our garment sizes to school bus colours, we are at a fix when it comes to grave issues like title deed uniformity and standardization. How would you go about the chain of links or the history of documentation.

The watermark authentication seal must be the only way a title deed can be verified. This will leave room for observations and foot notes if any, at the time of registration. The deeds in any case must not run over a couple of pages. We are not writing volumes here.

Postal addresses in India need to be contracted and regularized as having a distinguishable PINcode has hardly helped matters. Along with postcode, the residential/commercial addresses must not run over four lines. This is how addresses are printed in America.

Paying detailed attention to every entry in the title deed and rectifications and regularizations can make way for sleekest and slimmest document folders in future.

World is growing out of physical monetary system, physical ID proofs, physical certifications etc., and even physical board meetings, as we slowly transcend to the digital age. Soft copies cannot summarily replace hard copies and the original title deed documentation is one such an area where transit from physical form to digital can be slowest and unreliable. May be in future, there is the possibility when we can entirely shift to electronic documentation. One of the hurdles that prevents such a total transformation is the age old parent documents that have to exist to maintain the chain link and authenticity of title deeds. The clue lies in how we process these old papers and bring in a revolution in the documentation process. Is Pradhan Mantri ji listening. Have you given a thought to this ji. Further, will this be foolproof. Can the digital title deed lead to scams and forgeries. Or is this the way forward.

Just a thought. With this I set the ball rolling. Why not. When Aadhar is here, PAN is here, Rupay is here, PayTm is here, Smart family card is here, Smart driving licence is here, when futures trading can be done from the cool comforts of your home, when there is the cryptocurrency, why should not be there an electronic title deed at all. How do we assemble the jigsaw puzzle.

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I am limiting the scope of this post to mere appearance and/or shape and physical volume of title deeds with no input for substance.

Posted in Political

India can do without those damaging loose cannon shots

When our Indian politicians and bureaucrats decide to shoot their big mouths off target, nobody can shut their nonsense and filth up. So damaging were the recent off-the-mark remarks that have sparked a fury in the Middle-east undermining India-GCC bonhomie that took years or perhaps decades to foster. So much so that our late external minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj could quote from Sanskrit at the OPEC meet where Pakistan was kept at bay. Foundation stone for Hindu temples in the Emirates were laid by ruling Arabs. Just imagine the clout India has been enjoying in the epicenter of Islamic fraternity. Millions of Indian citizens are gainfully employed in the gulf nations repatriating valuable foreign exchange over years. Indians own business enterprises, Indians run hospitals to supermarkets. Indians are successful entrepreneurs. Indians are doctors and engineers to shopkeepers and teachers. Indians are SAP professionals. Indians are bankers. Indian community is far better placed among the whole lot of expats – some 100+ nationalities, who constitute the workforce in various capacities in GCC countries. Indians enjoy unparalleled prestige and respect in the Arab world that took years and Himalayan efforts to earn. And a majority of Indians making a living in Islamic nations are HINDUS. India’s traumatic history has left some scars no doubt but we are now invested in mutually beneficial economic and productive activities in the Middle East, that has offset many a bad memory kept alive only thanks to our textbooks. In today’s context especially when world economy is sluggish and employers are cutting corners giving pink slip to long serving staff without batting their eyelids, GCC nations are doing a great job employing not just Indians but blue and white collar workers of every race, hue and faith without a discrimination.

We expat Indian Hindus feel safest and securest living in Arab countries over living in crime-ridden India. We are respected, treated fair and well provided with. We enjoy world class medical and other amenities for FREE. The Arab governments take good care of us. For most of us NRIs, it is the inevitability of returning to India for good someday that seems like a nightmare.

Exactly what is the contribution to Indian economy from the Silicon valley NRIs in the US. From the Patels of hotel chains. It is always the expats employed in Arab countries who fill India’s coffers with foreign currencies and gold bullion. It is the NRIs from middle east who drive the stock markets and real estates up with their substantial investments. Who is buying the gold bonds, debentures, retirement plans and insurances the way the expats from gulf nations do. Suppose the NRIs in the gulf nations are to be displaced, can India find suitable placement for every single one of them returning home. Its not just economics, employment in gulf also guarantees India longtime peace and spares India from civil-war like grave economic situations. The harsh truth is that, the core industry of India still cannot absorb the quantum of fresh graduates Indian universities are churning out year after year. Where will all these young men and women fit in. Partly Indian government’s headache finds a panacea in job markets open for Indian citizens in gulf countries. Unlike the US, UK, Australia and Canada who want only the creamiest Indians leading to braindrain in India, the gulf countries provide scope of better and fruitful engagement for our middle level grads and even factory and site workers. To absorb and train a healthy chunk of the core industry workers produced by India is the greatest service the GCC countries render to India. Once upon a time, it were the Keralites who comprised the maximum percentage of Indian expat community in the gulf countries. Now, there is representation from every corner of India in gulf nations. Representation found a new meaning, I mused, when I struck up a conversation with Bhutan women in a shopping mall in Qatar. There are the blue collar workers employed as site workers, chauffeurs, cooks, shop assistants, nursing staff etc., who may be otherwise jobless in India plunging the nation into misery and chaos.

Will Nupur Sharma or whichever loudmouth find jobs for millions of Indians gainfully employed in GCC countries, in India. What is the need to upset the applecart? Highly irresponsible. Years of diplomacy and political correctness and goodwill have finally come to a naught thanks to such an insensitive ignoramus. The cost of this hostility will be borne by the labour class and working class Indians working in GCC countries. Every single loose canon shot by careless Indian politicians damages the political goodwill hard-earned by the Indian diaspora over years. It only takes a moment of sheer callousness and thoughtlessness to destroy such a precious relationship that India has been traditionally enjoying with Arab countries. Our media guys are bastards. Jealous outright. They would rather see the NRIs suffer because these guys are now sweating it out in our tv studios. They will do anything to inflict damages. Then there are the TRP ratings for sensationalizing non-issues. India never took sides when the GCC countries were divided over Qatar. Top brass in India as well as GCC nations are aware of the significance of the strong ties enjoyed by both sides. It is time for Modi government to shut some loudmouths tight. India has been a great ally to Arab countries walking the tightrope, never missing a foot. Hopefully this matter dies quietly the soonest. India can do without these debilitating controversies. This is no good.

Is this a local Indian issue: May be. Media still has to play a responsible role. Sometimes the architects of riots are none but the Indian media. The ones who must be booked are the anchors who did the lead and the producers behind the stories.