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Ahl al-Kitab

Ever wonder what made writers like Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Franz Kafka, etc, the greatest of all time? What made them stand out from the rest? What validation they had unlike their peers? The answer is READERS. Vladimir Nabokov, The Russian writer, who wrote Lolita, used to say that readers are not sheeps, not every pen can tempt them. The GOATs had a set of intelligent audience who knew what a good piece of writing is.

“Tacitus did not write a most dangerous book. His readers made it so.”

Christopher Kerbs

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corruption, crime, education, law, public awareness, SOCIAL WORK

(India) law for safety of women- a joke!

I would like to start with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”

Strengthening legal provision will no doubt ensure safety of women in our country but it is not the only way to do so. Well, when we talk about the laws and constitution of our country, we all know how well-defined, well-framed and well-prosecuted they are.
In case of women safety, Article 375 and article 376 also known as the ‘rape laws’, has several loopholes. Talking about a few problematic things in the law, we first of all don’t have a well-defined definition of RAPE in it, secondly the law does not takes into account acts of forced oral sexual intercourse, sodomy and penetration by foreign objects, the third thing is that no defined penalty or punishment is mentioned in it.
The other laws are IPC section 498A, section 406 and section 304B which deal with martial abuse, dowry and other marriage related problems, and every now and then breaches are seen in these laws too.
Aristotle once said,

‘At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst’.

Now the thing is will strengthening laws and defining punishments lead to women safety. Aren’t there strict and implementable laws against murder, but do they keep people from murdering? Can laws change the mental and psychological build-up of somebody?
We all are aware of the rising crime rate of India, and of our state. The involvement of law-makers in breaking the law, the religious preacher like Aasaram Bapu and Gulzar peer, the ever-increasing frustration and depression of youth leading to drug abuse and then to crimes, all serve the example of how law and order is ensuring safety. The un-timely and biased law implementation, the loopholes of IPC and constitutions only ensure the safeguard of such criminals and nothing more.
What we need is sound mentality, empowered and employed youth. After an analysis of the youth of India and by interacting with the students of several colleges what was found is that, “unemployed educated people, low-earning husbands and drug addicted rich people seem to be at the heart of the crimes against women.”
The root cause is unemployment and drug abuse, which leads to utter depression and in-turn crimes, both in general and against women.
So what we have to do is instead of strengthening laws or better to say in addition to strengthening laws, we have to eliminate the reasons to do crime, the root causes of crime.
At last I would just like to quote, Hunter S. Thompson

“In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves the only final sin is stupidity.”


Interfaith Marriages In kashmir.

Interfaith Marriages… The Real Story.


Leave alone inter-faith marriages, in India inter-caste marriages are treated with much anxiety and a hostile outlook. It is a social taboo to marry out of your caste or religion. Talking about the Kashmir, a more backward area or India, where terrorism has made the life slow and dull, where development is a miss, the culture of inter-faith marriages is not yet accepted. We Indians are not so westernised that we would allow our children to marry whom-so-ever they want. We have special respect for our religion and want to keep our relations confined to own religion. From Kashmir the Hindus have already been forced to move out, they know live in exile suffering from a mass exodus. The cases of interfaith marriages are seen once in a blue moon. There have been some very interesting personalities which are exemplary in this segment. Omar Abdullah, the CM of the state has married a Hindu girl, Payal Nath. From the same family Omar Abdullah’s Sister Sarah Abdullah has married a Hindu boy, Sachin Pilot.

The lesser Known tales of misfortune!!

Similarly one Amina Yusuf of Kashmir and Rajnish Sharma of Jammu fell in love eight years ago in Gulmarg, they dreamt of a new life and a new Kashmir. By Amina’s own admission before the Jammu police and the media, the couple went on to marry against the wishes of the families and the diktats of their community leaders. But they could live together only for a few days. Rajnish was booked on the charge of kidnapping and forcibly marrying the 26-year-old Amina, aka Anchal Sharma post marriage. He was “picked up” by the cops on September 29 and found dead in the Srinagar police’s custody on October 4. `A judicial investigation is on in the case. Amina, after living with her in-laws for three months, returned to her parents’ house.

Talking to a senior police officer in this concern, he said that, “No community here wants its members to join another community after marriage. The community members fear that one by one, their numbers will dwindle and the demographic change can affect the separatist demand. Interestingly, parents don’t mind if their son brings a girl from another community and converts her. But when it comes to their daughters marrying outside the community, there is violence and bloodshed,” says former DGP M.M. Khajuria.

“What wrong did we do?” asks Shabnam with her husband Ravi Sharma (names changed) holding her hand tightly in their two-room rented house in the city. “We are both working in a multinational company. We liked each other, respect each other’s religion and told our parents of our decision to marry. But there was a volcano of a protest. We had no option but to elope. We got married but were caught. He was booked for kidnapping but the court came to our rescue. Now, we are living happily,” she says. Some even take the fight up to the Supreme Court. The case of a Muslim girl from Doda and a Hindu youth from Nagrota is a case in point. The apex court provided security to this love-lorn couple, hounded by relatives and cops. Anjum, 19, a Muslim from Doda, and Khemraj, 24, a Hindu from Nagrota, both belong to influential families. They are reportedly living in hiding.

Conversion after marriage becomes the main issue. The DGP remembers how a Sikh girl despite marrying a Muslim in England spent a torturous life for years. She wanted to follow her religion but there was opposition. She pulled along for a few years. But when it came to the children’s religion, she left the family.

That’s not the end, several cases go unreported, several are muted for the fear of insult and shame.

(Source: Tribuneindia, reports from various media channels.)


2 States, the story of my marriage.

Title: 2 States, the story of my marriage.

Written by: Chetan Bhagat.

A review by Bupinder Singh.


“2 states the story of my marriage”, is a realistic, semi fictional, autobiographical novel, but it acclaims a note pointing to be read as a true fiction by the author himself. It is the 4th stereotypical novel by Chetan Bhagat. The book comes in a blood red coloured cover which has not so mesmerising but meaningful design. Like all Five Point Someone, The 3 Mistakes Of My Life, Revolution 2020 And One Night @ The Call Centre, this book also features a numerical figure in its title, “2”. The book is available from the publishers Rupa & CO. at Rs 140(earlier Rs 95) under the ISBN No 9788129115300 and was first published in 2009

Being a realistic novel, the story is of now, the space is where we live and it proves to be a good past time occupying activity. Its easy on language and has a lucid vocabulary, so that one doesn’t needs to carry a dictionary along. Funny at times, it grasps the attention and turns interesting in several parts. The action seems to be condensed in the first 40 pages – love, dating, live-in, sex, college life, struggle for jobs, after which the story seems to lose the pace and give the readers a space to turn a few pages at times. Being the story of how and why the families fall in love the readers are compelled to stick-in upto the end.

Chetan’s catchy back cover summaries are enchantingly attention seeking.

“Boy loves Girl. Girl loves Boy. 

Girl’s family has to love boy. Boy’s family has to love girl. 

Girl’s Family has to love Boy’s Family. Boy’s family has to love girl’s family. 

Girl and Boy still love each other. They get married.”


— But after finishing one feels to add an “if” in the start of the last line, as the couple fell out of love trying to get their families to like each other.


The book is a satire on the inter-community marriages in Indian social culture. Although being original and a new theme in printed version, it reminds us of some Bollywood movie in which actor and actress who are from different communities love each other and their relationship is against the will of their parents, but still at the end they marry each other.

A hint of the wit is showcased by Chetan as soon as one opens the book, when he dedicates the book to his in-laws and at the same instant visualises it as being henpecked under the thumb of his wife, or not being a man enough. Not only humour, but a cause is also highlighted, as the author in the book itself states, “I want to be a writer” and defines it as “someone who tells stories that are fun but bring about change too”, that is the message of “One India”, a country without the demarcation of states and communities. Towards the end, it also plays an emotional tune when the alienated father-son relation melts down to a normal one.

To bring out the irony of inter-community marriage into the foreground, the author has kindled an affair between a Punjabi, Krish and a, Tamil Brahmin Ananya.  The book features the first person point of view, lot of dialogue and no or very little monologue and soliloquies. The book does not has a long cast of characters, only a few well-woven characters are found. Other than Krish and Ananya the characters are their respective families only and that two three from each sides. Character development is minimal. The characters are flat, and end as they have started, that is, they posses the same character from the start to the end.

The glamour of IIT’s and IIM’s is prevelant in the text which also leads to the exposition of the education system and the prejudices and views of people towards education and their centres. 

Although a work of fiction, it lacks a firm exposition, a good foreshadowing and a solid rising action. Informal in style the text does keeps the reader sticking to it until one finishes it but still the story is predictable after the first 60 pages. The text also exposes the characteristic qualities of both the Punjabis and the Tamils. The coolness, money mindedness of Punjabis and there preference of money over intellect is shown in addition to their love for food. The Tamils seem to posses a love for knowledge and hatred for showing it off, an understating and passion of Carnatic music, and offcourse Rawa Dosa and Sambhar. He compare the two as “Marble flooring is to a Punjabi what a foreign degree is to a Tamilian”.

The success mantra is repeated in this novel also – the coffee table issues, the traffic jams the chai walla, the identifiable characters from within the society, the twists and turns, the local names and places.

The novel is a sure page-turner, a delight to read, understandable and readable by most of the people, but it lacks a literary taste and even as a post-modern novel, it dosent has much to allure the tastes of the literary intellectuals. It can be placed somewhere to the right of Five Point Someone on a ten point scale.

“2 states, will gather audience in all the states”

                                                —- Bupinder Singh Bali.

help, medicine, SOCIAL WORK, Uncategorized

Ladhak. A view of the Disaster.

Pic1- Prof S.S. Bali From Jammu with a ladhak flash Flood Victim.
Pic2-A Lady bottle FeedingA child Whose Mother is lost.
Pic3- A Veiw of what happened.
pic4- A Child In a camp whose house has been turned to nothing.
Pic5- Jammu representatives Distributing relief to leh victims.

BOOKS, education, schools, SOCIAL WORK


“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”– G. K. Chesterton

Education is the imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning, especially at a school or similar institution. The earliest educational processes involved sharing information about gathering food and providing shelter; making weapons and other tools; learning language; and acquiring the values, behaviour, and religious rites or practices of a given culture. Before the invention of reading and writing, people lived in an environment in which they struggled to survive against natural forces, animals, and other humans. To survive, preliterate people developed skills that grew into cultural and educational patterns.

Education developed from the human struggle for survival and enlightenment. It may be formal or informal. Informal education refers to the general social process by which human beings acquire the knowledge and skills needed to function in their culture. Formal education refers to the process by which teachers instruct students in courses of study within institutions.

Talking of the modern day education, one feels proud; of saying yes I am an educated person. Formally or informally all of us are educated. Education is the equipping with knowledge. The overall development of mind, body and soul is the real education.

Carter G. Woodson once said “For me, education means to inspire people to live more abundantly, to learn to begin with life as they find it and make it better.”


Modern day education is aided with a variety of technology, computers, projectors, internet, and many more. Diverse knowledge is being spread among the people. Everything that can be simplified has been made simpler. Science has explored every aspect of life. There is much to learn and more to assimilate. Internet provides abysmal knowledge. There is no end to it. One can learn everything he wishes to. Every topic has developed into a subject.

New inventions and discoveries have revealed the unknown world to us more variedly. Once a new aspect is discovered, hundreds of heads start babbling over it, and you get a dogma from hearsay. Not only our planet but the whole universe has become accessible.

Now we have good and learned teachers to impart us with knowledge of what they know. Every one is a master in his field. We and our children are getting taught by professionals of their field. Presently our education is based on making us the best in our area of interest, to help us reach our goals more easily. More of the fact based knowledge is being grasped by us. What we learn helps us in our career and in our profession. Professionalism is deep-rooted in our society now and this education makes us so.

Skill-development and vocational education has added a new feather to the modern system of education. There is something to learn for everyone. Even an infant these days goes to a kindergarten. And a little grown, mentally and physically is promoted to a Montessori. Everything is being categorized, be it a primary, middle, a higher secondary or graduate school. We have temples of education known by a familiar word the “university”.

Whatsoever we are getting educated day by day and what’s good about is that it’s a never-ending process.

Rightly said by Aristotle, “Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refugee in adversity.” is what everybody feels now.


Well, that was the positive side, but every story has two telling. Of all the virtue, our education system has developed into mere schooling now. New trends are being developed which are far more a baloney that boon.

Albert Einstein once said “Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything one learned in school.”

Firstly our education is confined to schools and colleges. It has become a process of spoon feeding. “Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon” were the words of E.M.Forster. We are being fed with facts and knowledge. Not art, not books, but life itself is the true basis of teaching and learning. Cramming of facts and dates, hi-fi mathematical formulas, theories and doctrines should be at college levels when one has chosen his area of interest. What will the history pay a doctor or a mathematician, or medical terms to a historian?

Secondly, an art can only be learned from a workshop of those who are earning their bread from it. Modern education has spread more ignorance than knowledge. Most of the women even don’t know, where, the fabric they are wearing, came from. The word “How” is missing in our world which causes ignorance.

“Education…has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.” says G. M. Trevelyan.

Thirdly all education is bad which is not self-education. Presently, children after school are sent to tuitions. This is a clear question mark on the ability of school teacher. Homework tutorials are mushrooming up in our society. Students are thought of like they can’t do anything on their own and so are sent even to do the homework. Our schoolings got a lot of loop-holes. They guide us through a well catered pathway which finally leads to professionalism. Homework is a waste of time, if it is to repeat class work done today or to be repeated as class work to be done tomorrow.

Our schooling does not leave us with time to get educated. Mark Twain once said that” I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”. Our child’s normal routine has become to wake up early, brush up their minds with light reading, go to school, then go to tuition and finally come home and do the homework.

Finally our education is producing machines out of pupil. They read books, they speak books and they do books. Discussing in class lead to complications, which remains as confusions for a life time if left untreated. Vladimir Nabokov, a U.S critic, poet and novelist says “Discussion in class, which means letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something that neither their teacher nor they know.”

So, it’s a matter of debate that our education system is fallacious or fair.