Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mathura Museum

 old building of Mathura Museum. The new building is ready but still the old building is being used as Museum.When the Museum shifts there will be more space and more works on display hopefully. No countrty can become proud of itself without keeping in mind it past history, art, culture. What we are today is the result of what our forefathers created and left for us
Lingam Kushan period (Mathura Museum) Thnx 2 Director Mathura Museum to photograph the work for my next book on Indian art 

The great art of India in North. this Yaksha was chiselled by artist with great visual n creative force 200 years before Christ was born. See the great softness and serenity conveyed (Mathura Museum) Thnx to Mathura Museum Director for permission to Photograph for my new book
If you are looking one place for the the great art of north India-ancient north including parts of China, Khotan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mathura it is.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The phenomena of a New India—Anna Hazare and his Indians

Some dream for themselves some dream for others
The emergence almost overnight of a star for 1.21 billion Indians in Anna Hazare as a symbol of faith, determination, hope, honesty is a miracle of sorts. It is a great example to the world of the largest democracy on earth changing its direction for the better.  It is democracy confronting ill-functioning democracy. It is democracy vs. democracy. A man of 73 years who lives out of a bag and owns no land, house or assets and has 10’X10’ room to sleep has spearheaded and awakened even the most cynic of Indians and jolted a Govt. who and whose predecessors dithered from making an effective legislation against the corruption specially of rulers and high and mighty. Unfortunately India is a country where after swindling $20 billions a powerful person never sees even the portals of a jail while a poor person can stay for 20 years in prison on being falsely implicated of stealing Rs20, all this because the laws are lax and the system is dilatory.
A new icon is born and every Indian has appropriated him as his own and vision of future by saying, ‘I am Anna Hazare’ He has overtaken every other living person as a popular icon among the urban and rural youth and grown ups. He stands taller than any other Indian by miles. People see in him the most handsome Indian whose crystal heart beats for India and Indians. A couple of politicos called him an uneducated driver. But what a driver he is for Indians driving them out of the muck and slush of dirty dealing corrupt of India.

There are three kinds of people—
1 those who live for themselves, are indifferent and they are the majority in normal circumstances but are jolted out of their slumber when a leader of  heroic dimensions appears
2 those who live for themselves at the expense of others and that include all the corrupt politicos, bureaucrats and industrialists and all the riff raff of society
3 Those who dream and turn the dreams into a beautiful reality of hope for others
Anna Hazare is from the last category. Indian regard such likes of Narayan Murthy, Azim Premji, and Metro man Sreedharan, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar from the third category.
Unfortunately no politician at present is regarded as an icon for the country. People have reached a stage of despair with endless march of corruption, low morality among rulers. There was hopelessness for people found no way out endemic corruption till on 5th April Anna Hazare appeared at Jantar Mantar. His simple, spotless life and a straight forward readiness to die fasting to save India and Indians from corruption endeared him to all. He asked for peoples’ right to frame an effective legislation against corruption. People came from all walks of life they gathered all over India, they sang patriotic songs, they fasted unto death, and they resolved to be with Anna Hazare. They saw a 73 year old common man like themselves in Anna Hazare who had nothing, wanted nothing rather was willing to die for them. They pledged to be with him come what may. I saw a strange light in peoples’ eyes, they talked of Gandhi, of British Colonial atrocities, of Jai Prakash Narayan’s selfless leadership, they emptied their pain, their sufferings, miseries on total strangers, but bound together by a common bond and the rope was Anna Hazare. They brought water for people and they did not mind the sun, they were polite as tender petals of a flower to each other. It was mesmerizing, and I wondered are these the same people who indulge in road rage! No the magician has worked his magic on these people and the magician par excellence was Anna Hazare.  Personal life is an important indicator of a person and we see immoral flaunting of wealth by classes. India despite it growth rate has also descended in stark inequalities.70% people live on Rs20 a day and they bear the burden of the corruption. What belongs to them as transfer of resources and redistributive justice has been stolen through corruption. The burden of corruption is the highest on the poor though no doubt India’s sizeable middle class suffers no less and has participated vociferously in the change spearheaded by Anna Hazare.

People know now that power is wielded by politicians, bureaucrats, in cahoots with super rich industrialists. The public knows that   often after climbing its shoulders politicos blatantly use the power to amass wealth through corruption.
The corporate social responsibility has acquired a new meaning and created a high social respect for Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Azim Premji, Narayanmurthy and metro man Sreedharan The society does not view positively examples of lavish conspicuous consumption while 47% children are malnourished. A Mukesh Ambani may be the richest Indian but he stands nowhere in societal respect of the masses. The stock of industrialists generally is not very high in our country for they are seen mostly to do nothing for India other than building empires for themselves and their children.
 Among masses of India the brand value of Mukesh Ambani the richest Indian who build for himself a Rs10,000 crore house is miniscule compared with Anna Hazare who lives in 10’X10’ room in a temple.
This is an emerging India where moral values and not your wealth is the indicator of your worth.
Quite a number of industrialist are embroiled in scams in cahoots with politicos and bureaucrats, this has further eroded the faith of the masses. Imagine Gandhi called business as trustees of society but in many cases they have emerged as immoral exploiters and manipulators.

India and Indians were  bewildered and helpless till Anna arrived on national scene on 5th April 2011 and media manned by middle class journo and anchors morally felt obligated to openly take sides for the India that was almost crushed under, by the corrupt in positions of power. Yes media was partisan in favour of Anna Hazare and ordinary Indians  and when I saw Kapil Sibbal blowing his fuse on  anchor Barkha Datt of NDTV accusing her of being unreasonable and partisan she merely said, “Oh You are annoyed”. It was the same story with the anchor Arnav Goswami from Times Now. Yes media was partisan but it was partisans for the suffering people who constitute the foundation and the main pillar of democracy, yes media was partisan for a nation unable to breathe under weight of obese corrupt, yes it was partisan for Indians under siege, it was partisan for the undernourished children whose morsels of food were being snatched by the corrupt, it was partisan for the poor and above it was partisan to make democracy for the people more effective. The lawyer in Kapil Sibbal wove the web of procedures and systemic labyrinths for two days but it came to naught as anchor after anchor asked why in 42 years they could not bring legislation against corruption. The ministers were mouthing ‘us’ and ‘them’ initially but by fourth day it changed to Govt. and civil society are on the same side
 People did not see Govt. and Opposition differently and did not allow political opposition to gate crash in the movement. First time people stood above the divide of caste, class, religion, regionalism and political divisionism. From media to mobile telephones, SMSs, internet, Facebook it galvanized all Indian in India and abroad.  Media became the democratic opposition to safeguard peoples’ interest. The speechless stunned opposition and the Govt. in power appeared to be on the same side for people. For the first time the political class appeared to be on the defensive. The unceremonious ejection of Chautala and Uma Bharti was watched by all across the country. It was a different mood that Anna Hazare’s fast had created in the people. The school children came with their teachers, college students with professors, employees came in lunch hour missing their lunch and again after the office was over, women  and man in twilight of their lives, mothers with little children in tow came from  far off states, they came from here and there, they came from far and near, they came from towns, villages cities and streets  To an extent it was true, people have seen the geometric growth of the wealth of quite few of functionaries of democracy, they dithered in giving details of their assets, they were found to be in company of criminals or had criminal background, some of them were seen by people doing deals for money on the TV, they had seen hitting, slapping abusing politicos more akin to street goons. When Anna Hazare embarked on his fast unto death the stock of politicos had reached the lowest ebb. Scams after scams had just taken away any solace the political class could offer to ordinary mortals called Janta.
But remember the people have realized their power and in future they will be the ombudsmen for the correct behaviour of the servants of people. India turns the corner and a moral reeducation seems to be in the offing at least for the ruling classes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

India rewrites history via Anna Hazare

I have been taking part in the Revolution--being Anna Hazare's soldier fighting to make for a corruption-free India.With my camera I was at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi watching Indians of all colours and shade coming to join him. A Gandhian to the core Anna Hazare who own nothing and lives out of a small bag and sleeps in a 10'X10' room, has changed India in four days--from 5th to 8th April 2011. People come with little babies, old, small school children, doctors and lawyers, farmers and daily wagers, shop owners and Govt employees. We have a democracy but a leaking one. Anna Hazare comes to stop the leakage. 300 persons in Jantar Mantar joined him in fast unto death. Many were hospitalized but they carried on. I heard people talk of India's subjugation under British and felt that still we are not free to work and enjoy the fruits of honest labour. As did the Colonists carted away by force what belonged to India, so do the 'Brown Sahibs'. They came from Villages from Jharkhand, from Bihar, from UP, from Bangalore , they came with faith, they came with hope.  I saw the same emotion, same determination in the eyes of a 8 year old child as in the silver haired 80 year old. I had not seen anything like this ever before. I suddenly saw a new India and new Indians; until now i had not know this new India existed. But it was so because this new India was created in 4 days by the diminutive, humble, simple, ordinary looking but with extraordinary determination to dream a India free from corruption. His dream was not his own it was a dream which every Indian wanted to dream but could not. He has brought back dreams in the eyes of ordinary Indians and now they are willing to fight for their right to dream. Here I share some of the dreamers I saw in the multitude of Indians.   

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday Guardian on Niall Ferguson

On Sunday the third of April the Sunday Guardian carried an analysis of the work and the mind of the Harvard Prof Niall Ferguson by PIERS BRENDON.

Also my comments in Telegraph


Saturday, April 2, 2011

When did I realize that a Xerox British Colonial Empire is impregnated to rule not India but the world

'As a painter and artist I was just busy to study Indian art from ancient and middle ages and discovered on the way the story of Portuguese and British colonial decimation of the persona, the culture, the religions, the identity of India and of Indians. My concerns were the so called Renaissance art and 'Humanism' of Colonial Europe and I found it was one of the most anti-humanity period of Europe. At the base of this was a new Europe of greed, avarice, Racism, religious bigotry, Royalty, nobility and a Church who saw nothing immoral in enslaving and colonizing humanity out  side the pale of Western Europe and Church. For me was perplexing to find beautiful paintings soft sensual shiny rose tinted white flesh of the nude women in the paintings like Titian's Sacred and Profane  or sweet Mona Lisa smiling in her own reverie by Lionardo da Vinci, or the perfect realistic  portrayal of  handsome muscular men  by Michelangelo appeared dichotomous and sham. The images of slaves with wooden shafts locked around their necks, beautiful white women with flowers in bonnet and flounced skirts sitting in carriages pulled by barefoot loin cloth clad Indians or  flesh-bereft starving dying children, men and women. I realised the presence of the white Colonist and slave trader behind both type of images--beautiful Eden of Europe and Hell of all other continents. One was the cause of the other!! It was not Humanism it was a simple case of hunting humans like animals, and ruthlessly gunning down to have access to the gold and silver mines. Brought as booty from the sweat and tears of slaves and colonized to Europe it would finance the aristocratic lives of kings nobility and the Church. Oh not to forget, the gentry would commission best of the artists to paint beautiful pictures of 'Humanism'.  What magic the Colonists and slave traders had--they transformed the blood and tears of the subjugated, enslaved, colonized into such happy 'Humane' art.
From this was born my book 'Mona Lisa does not smile anymore' and was published in Delhi in February 2011. But just as  entered the month of  March 2011, I was drowned in a media blitz about a book published--Civilization: West and the Rest. Indian media-print and electronic had gone dizzy to rewrite the history of Colonialism as dictated by the blessed laureate Professor at Harvard and in  many more glorious institutions. He has put forward a grand new thesis that  it were 'six killer applications' that put West on the godly pedestal and the Rest well the word Rest itself means those who have no identity just lingered.  I wondered how such a big professor be so innocent of the the slave trading, indentured labour, colonization, engineered famines, destruction and decimation of many races from Africa, Asia, Americas and Oceania. But I was wrong it was not innocence.As I read more of his ideas I realized he is advocating the 'return of the Prodigal' the Colonial master to take over the world in twenty first century with a little change in the script. The USA should become the Colonial grandfather of the erstwhile British Colonists. They say USA is home to democracy and here is big Harvard tag professor just suggesting the creation of two worlds that I talked above--a Renaissance for homeland West and slave collar for the Rest.
I also realized it is not important what you say but what position you have and the glorious media relations or connections you can muster. 
How little has changed in the world, the desire to paint well nourished pink opulent images of Renaissance 'Humanism' and the black Indian coolie pulling the 'noble' lady in bonnet still persists at least in Niall Ferguson's thoughts.
But I wonder what happened to Indian media?? They review and interview him and parade his intelligence, positions in universities, his cleverness but not a word on his justification of  British Colonialism.
Mohan das Karamchand Gandhi who is India's icon for many things from non-violence to his fight to throw out  British Colonists must be turning in his Samadhi, finding how many in Indian media are feting  a person who wants the return of the Raj!!! Another example of media spending a lot of ink on 'sensational as news' is about a book on Mahatma by Joseph Lelyveld about his sexuality. For India and the world more important are the ideals Gandhi stood for and nothing more.
Note-- Among the Indian media that I read and saw about his book only Times of India had a review of his book by Minhaz Merchant who raised vehemently the question of colonial atrocities. My rebuttal of Colonial philosophy of Prof. Ferguson every newspaper or journal in West that I emailed published. Alas my own country's media would not invite me for a rebuttal of colonialism  thesis for to share with you I am an Associate Prof in Delhi University which is in the Rest and not in West.
While how IBN 18 online treated my rebuttal of the great thesis of 'killer applications' I have already posted.
But who says I have lost. If our Mahatma Gandhi when thrown out by white colonists from a First class train compartment could throw out the British Colonists. I can fight for my India and for those who gave their lives for the freedom of our great Bharat Mata--Mother India.
Have I not the internet and the blog to tell you that some desire the 'return of the Prodigal Colonist' to India and the Rest!
Please do read the link below about what British Colonial masters  did to us.  it is by a very talented  and truth searching Prof in USA Vivek Chibber.


Link to Niall Ferguson's justification of British Colonial Chain around India's neck

An Indian can not say that British colonialism was bad through an Indian media chanel

Niall Ferguson justifies British colonialism in India in his book West and the Rest.I Sent a rebuttal of this to  IBN18 online but  they decided not to publish it. I give below what I wrote quoting from my book Mona Lisa does not smile any more.  My lurking worry is, is India media more Western than the West in thinking about India.
Incidentally I sent rebuttal of colonial OCCUPATION justification of Ferguson  to The Guardian UK, The Independent etc, and they published it wIthin 1 hour. But IBN18 ONLINE AFTER THREE DAYS STILL THINKS THAT IT MAY BE WRONG TO REFUTE COLONIZATION OF INDIA BY BRITISH.
My email to IBN when my rejoinder was not published and the material that rebuts West and the Rest.

Hello Meenakshi,
  Thanks for taking my call and being helpful.
As per the telephonic talk I am putting in attachment the rejoinder to the review of Niall Ferguson's thesis justifying and supporting colonialism in general and in India in particular.
In keeping  with the fair tradition of freedom to express you would publish my rejoinder. Incidentally almost similar rejoinders by me have been published by The Guardian UK, Independent, and the Telegraph. 
I also resent your reviewer for putting down the receiver when I called to enquire about the rejoinder. It will really be uncomfortable to think my own country's media deny me the right to counter a theory that justfies Brtish Colonialism on India, while the West has published my opinion on the subject.
Thank You,
Viktor Vijay Kumar 
Associate Professor Delhi University

The Rebuttal

In rebuttal of the racial-superiority and Colonial justification arguments of Ferguson I quote from my book 'MONA LISA DOES NOT SMILE ANYMORE' (ISBN 978-81-8465-512-4)
" No human or animal desire to live in cage or chains. Would the British have swapped development at the expense of slavery under Nazis? It is the primary motive that counts, incidental outcomes there from are of no consequence. British subjugated India and sent Indians as virtual slaves to different islands—from Fiji to Mauritius, to West Indies to South Africa—to work as indentured plantation labour, they occupied an independent country and used its resources and humans in a bland exploitative manner over nearly two centuries. It is not stupid but cunning to justify robbing of freedom of other nations. No religion should make a business of distributing moral righteousness by way of force and temptation to convert. No religion should have had legions of missionary priests disembarking from colonial ships, whose life mission was to convert as many as possible. I think that the introduction of ‘missionary’ priests to convert has close links with the colonialism. Colonialism and religion worked together as a synergy to show the dominant power of the ruler. I ask why the colonizers were all Christians and not Jews, Muslims, Chinese or Indians. The justification came from the material power of the king and the Church. Christianity transformed from a religion of the poor and suffering humanity to that of rich and powerful and Colonialism was a manifestation of it."
About the 'globalization' Ferguson talks of look up the role of Church in destroying India's culture and religion and I quote from Henry James Coleridge, ed., The Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier, 2d Ed., 2 Vols., (London: Burns & Oates, 1890), 
"These children, I trust heartily, by the grace of God, will be much better than their fathers. They show an ardent love for the Divine law, and an extraordinary zeal for learning our holy religion and imparting it to others. Their hatred for idolatry is marvellous. They get into feuds with the heathen about it, and whenever their own parents practise it, they reproach them and come off to tell me at once. Whenever I hear of any act of idolatrous worship, I go to the place with a large band of these children, who very soon load the devil with a greater amount of insult and abuse than he has lately received of honor and worship from their parents, relations, and acquaintances. The children run at the idols, upset them, dash them down, break them to pieces, spit on them, trample on them, kick them about, and in short heap on them every possible outrage."
Naill Ferguson dreams of replicating such a world. His thoughts will come to grief. No East or West should try to be the fascistic moral godfather of humanity and this applies to all--to emerging China and India, or West or USA.
For has not the West killed 70 million in II World War and this alone should be the reason enough for West or any among the Rest to not talk of civilizational superiority. One has to be wary, for Hitler was not a person but was an idea that was sold to millions of innate superiority of some in relation to the Rest.