The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 24 October 2016


Things (and perspectives) vary depending on which side of the fulcrum you are. So, the ongoing Samajwadi Party (SP) family feud is the politically most surcharged event of the times (and not just the day).

But the day threw one more surprising development today - abrupt sacking of Cyrus Mistry - the 48 year old Tata Group chairman who had succeeded the formidable and most admirable face of the Indian corporate world, Ratan Tata in December 2012.  

But like the SP family (and thus party) feud smacks of intriguing stories, mysteries, conspiracies, sabotage and even flat rebellion, there is nothing that you would tend to read in the Tata Group development.

Because branding and perceptions are entirely different here.

The SP feud is about politics, the craft, the entity, the social practice, whatever we want to call it, and politics has almost no credibility when it comes to branding, when it comes to conform to the established norms of humanity and human rights, the trust value, the most basic thing with branding. Life of a political party or a politician is full of controversies - a detriment to the branding perceptions (and thus exercise).

But with the Indian corporate world is better placed here, with bag of mixed possibilities, depending on who command what. And Ratan Tata is the one person whom almost everyone admires. He is epitome of integrity, humanity and business excellence. And the same can be said about the Tata Group even if the conduct of some of its companies do attract controversies (basically business-oriented in nature).

So, even if it is going to be the most surprising and (shocking) high-level sacking in the Indian corporate world so far and Cyrus Mistry is going to challenge it in the Bombay High Court, it is going to be seen as just yet another business-oriented controversy, because it has Ratan Tata's endorsement who has replaced Cyrus as Tata Group's interim chairman till the group finds the next one.

And that makes the reason that Cyrus was micro-managing everything and was not allowing CEOs of different Tata companies work independently that in turn was affecting the group's work-culture and that in turn was affecting the performance (except TCS and JLR, other Tata Group companies are not performing well) the most plausible (and acceptable) one.

So, no mysteries here. 



So, it was a day of intense drama, revenge sackings, letter wars and war of words in the ongoing family feud in Uttar Pradesh's first family to wrest the power. And today could be even more fiery, even more spiteful, even more dramatic, even more shocking, depending on which way Mulayam decides to go, and in turn, depending on that, which way Akhilesh would go.

Let's do some wise (wild guessing).

Tomorrow when Mulayam Singh Yadav will speak on the controversy after meeting his party's MLAs and MLCs, it will have the hangover of the meeting we can say.

Will Mulayam speak his mind irrespective of which way the meetings goes, with Akhilesh's power display or Shivpal's show of loyalty? Or his final word will become final after he assesses the mood of his party - that who carried more weight now - Akhilesh or Shivpal? Whatever happens, one things is sure that it will write the next chapter in the script of the Samajwadi Party family feud.

Harm has to happen. Votes will split. Irrespective of which way Mulayam decides to go.  What he can hope at best - that the repercussions will not last long.


Sunday, 23 October 2016


Going a step further this time, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has sacked his uncle and the most senior minister of his cabinet, Shivpal Yadav, who is also the state president of his Samajwadi Party, the ruling political outfit of UP led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, a position that previously Akhilesh held.

This time, it is a worse sort of split.

Last time, on September 13, Akhilesh had, first sacked UP chief secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shivpal, and then had stripped Shivpal of his entire ministerial portfolio (but had not sacked him).

Protesting this, in a late night drama, on September 15, Shivpal had resigned from both positions, as SP’s UP state president and as UP cabinet minister. Amar Singh was relentlessly targeted by Akhilesh supporters for creating this havoc in the party.

Next day, on September 16, Mulayam rejected Shivpal’s resignation. Led by Mulayam, the party patriarch, Akhilesh’s father and Shivpal’s brother, a deal sort of arrangement was brokered and it was announced from Akhilesh’s office that Shivpal and the controversial UP minister Gayatri Prajapati, close to Shivpal, would be reinstated and Shivpal would be given back his portfolios.

Now, that today, on October 23, 45 days after September 13, Akhilesh has gone a step further and has sacked Shivpal Yadav from his ministerial berth, as well three others including Gayatri Prajapati and Jaya Prada, vocally targeting Amar Singh this time, we can gauge the obvious fact that it was just a temporary arrangement which came at the cost of humiliating Akhilesh’s self-respect.  So, there doesn’t arise any question of Shivpal’s resignation now. He has been shown the door in clear, unequivocal terms this time.

There was never a ‘peace’ deal. After Shivpal was reinstated, he did everything that he was doing to antagonize and compromise Akhilesh’s stature – sacking/expelling people from the SP who were seen close to Akhilesh, replacing names who were seen as Akhilesh Yadav’s people from the party’s list of candidates for the upcoming UP assembly polls and successfully reengineering Quami Ekta Dal’s (QED) merger into SP fold which was foiled by Akhilesh in June as the party is seen the front of the dreaded gangster Mukhtar Ansari.

So, what Akhilesh has done today was waiting to happen.

Akhilesh, on his part, has said that he will not leave the SP and will purge everyone who is seen close to Amar Singh.

But a vertical split is the most likely outcome in these circumstances. If Mulayam continues with the stand he had taken last month, Akhilesh will be forced to find his own separate way. Can Mulayam replace Akhilesh as UP CM, as Shivpal supporters have been demanding, when elections are just three-four months away? Is Mulayam still confident enough that it is he in whose name people vote for the SP?

If Mulayam favours his son this time, Shivpal Yadav is expected to cause a vertical split in the party. And whatever has to happen will happen soon as the UP assembly polls are just around the corner where the party, with a huge anti-incumbecy, is pitted against two formidable foes, the BJP whom the first round of opinion polls have shown winning the state, and the BSP, a favourite of analysts this time to win the polls.


Saturday, 22 October 2016



VIPism is an inherent ingredient of India’s VIP culture that has come to define our routines. It has become so intrinsic to our day-to-day lives that we cannot imagine our social life without it.

And government hospitals including AIIMS are one of the best places to see this social curse live into action.

Now it is a well established fact that government hospitals and government health care services are den of corruption. Who can forget the killings and corruption in the National Rural Health Mission?

Corruption is at every level, from ward-boys to doctors. Local purchase of medicines, spurious suppliers, private practices by doctors and convenience fee are norms here. The rot has become so deep that it has left the government run healthcare system and officials mostly with incompetent or insensitive doctors for whom money is the only criteria (and mantra). For them patients are nothing but unwanted intruders whom they just somehow want to drive away.

Condition has deteriorated to the level that no one, who can afford private treatment, goes to a government hospital. Yes, the irony of the Indian masses is, though its private healthcare system provides a formidable alternative, it is still limited to metro and urban India, (and largely scavenges on its subjects’ hard earned money). So the vast swathes of our country are left to its insensitive, ineffective government run healthcare system.

Where AIIMS is different - is the quality of healthcare professionals and facilities it offers. They are unarguably the best in the country.

But the difference ends here.

The basic thing that is required in a doctor is his humanitarian approach – that how he treats his patient – irrespective of his caste and class. AIIMS is the same bad place like the other government run hospitals when it comes to this. Its doctors and nurses may be experts and efficient but when it comes to treating the human subjects, they leave humanity at bay. AIIMS is the perfect example to show how rude doctors, nurses and other hospital staff can become. And corruption, well, can we discredit AIIMS corruption unearthed by its chief vigilance officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi?

Yes, AIIMS now look neat and clean but there are different reasons for it. AIIMS is in Delhi and is in consistent focus of a state government, a national government, national media outfits and Delhi’s population that effectively reacts. Different sting operations done on AIIMS by different media outfits reveal where it falters.

There used to be a saying that doctors are next to God. Now doctors have twisted it to ‘doctors are next to devil’. And like doctors and other institutions, AIIMS, too, has contributed to it.

If we are talking about AIIMS, we all know that here either only super-VIPs including the President or Prime Minister would go or those who cannot afford the treatment anywhere else, including the patients with complicated cases. Yes, AIIMS does get a consistent inflow of patients who can afford treatment anywhere but if they do so, it is basically about its doctors and their expert opinion. But it doesn’t come easily. Senior professors and doctors of AIIMS behave as if they are super-elite and maintain their exclusivity. They remain incommunicado. Now if you have patience to waste your three-four days, there may be some chances that you can see a senior doctor there. And those who can afford this much time sure try their luck there.

And since almost of the doctors are laggards when it comes to adopts the basics of humanity in the human behaviour, it reflects in the behaviours of every other staff member – nurses, lab-technicians, clerks, receptionists, ward-boys, guards and so on - and it the so-called systems they follow - the classic case-studies of how to harass and turn away people. 

The basic thing is when you start addressing a 70 year old person in the same vein as you address a 20 year old – with no courtesy and politeness – instead with a rudeness that smacks of elitism and high handedness – you lose it all. They have forgotten that they are just doing their jobs for which they have been trained. They are living in a fallacy.

The basic problem with today’s doctors is – they are fast losing their humanity. And it has become chronic in government institutions. And AIIMS Delhi is no exception. 


Friday, 21 October 2016


It was not a day to get sentimental
Yet they rushed in, like any other day
What can you do in such moments?
Well, it’s always better to go with it
After all, emotions never betray you
Yes, at times it feels like they suck
But, then it is always the next day
But, then it is always a new day
Emotions are quintessentially true
To life and times weaved around us
And if they overpower our souls
It is only to help us, to give us a view
That we somehow had missed so far..



Thursday, 20 October 2016


What is Hindutva for you? Does the word Hindu signify a religion or is it symbolic of a way of life?

For me, Hindutva or Hinduism or being Hindu is a way of life. And the origin of the word Hindu confirms it. In ancient times, Persian and Greek people would use the word Hindu for the people of the Indian Subcontinent living on this side of the river Indus. So it basically connoted a geographical and cultural identity. Though there are differences on when the word Hindu became synonymous with a religious identity - in medieval or British colonial India - but it did happen so. And if we talk of the last or this Century - it is now an established fact that Hinduism or the Hindu religion is the largest religion of India in terms of number of followers.

It is said that Savarkar explained the term Hindutva in his essay to explain Indian national identity. But if the word could not gain universal or wide acceptance in India, there were inherent reasons behind it and the main was that Hindutva was still seen in the context of Hinduism or Hindu religion. After the independence, some rightwing political outfits made politics based on Hindutva their ideology and agenda. With time their sphere of influence increased and with it increased the allegations that these parties were using religion to gain political mileage - be it the day-to-day politics or electoral politics.

To continue..

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


I broke the Literature Nobel to Bob Dylan news at my place and soon it got the traction that was expected.

The Nobel Prize @NobelPrize  Oct 13 - Stockholm, Sweden
BREAKING 2016 #NobelPrize in Literature to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”

Santosh Chaubey added,
The Nobel Prize @NobelPrize
BREAKING 2016 #NobelPrize in Literature to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”

And it was a decision that sounded perfect - and it, indeed, was perfect - because Bob Dylan is a cultural doyen, a counterculture icon and a living legend not just in the US - but across the world. (We will happily forget those criticisms based on grudges and nudges of some who thought what Bob Dylan was creating could not be seen as literature). So the first reaction that came was:

As is natural to me, I wrote some pieces on Dylan, focusing on his India connect and the Literature Nobel for what he is. Being an Indian, I have had interest in knowing 'why and how' of the India connect of everyone who visits India more or less for similar reason - its spiritual treasure and the solace of nature it provides to such souls (like Sorensen, Leary, Jobs, Dylan or even Zuckerberg).

A Nobel to him again pushed me to know more about his India visit and connect, but despite best of my efforts, I could not get much - as would happen every time. What was different this time was the approach that I took. In an age of social media, I thought to get in touch with Dylan directly to see if I could some first-hand help from the person who was centre of my efforts. So I tweeted:

Santosh Chaubey @SantoshChaubeyy  Oct 15
@bobdylan Nobel 2u is a big respite.Ws tryng2find ur Kasar Devi visit India views.A 78 RollingStone i/v gives sm insight. Cn thr b mor luck?

But the luck didn't smile. Anyway I had expected it. Maybe he or his team didn't see it. Maybe he or his team was not interested in talking about it. Maybe he or his team just ignored it.

And then there is another angle to it. Though I know it is not even remotely related, I would like to feel so, because gives you a direction (even if it may be non-existent) :).

Bob Dylan has not acknowledged his Literature Nobel yet. The Nobel Prize committee after five days of consistent efforts abandoned its exercise but Dylan remained incommunicado (for them). While he held concerts and events where others lauded for him for his Nobel (but he looked like he didn't notice it). He also unveiled his 'permanent work of art for a public space' according to a Daily Mail report.

As if he never cared for a Nobel. (Now may be different reasons for it that a reticent Dylan would never speak about.)


Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Melting in your arms,
It was like just yesterday
A story from past,
That still makes my day
Quiet would be the pulse,
Silent would be identities
Our time would make a day,
Like the music of fifties
Always a new salvation
Afresh on a journey
That began on our day,
Somewhere in that alley..



Monday, 17 October 2016


A seven judge bench of the Supreme Court is going to deliberate on its 1995 verdict that defined 'Hindutva and Hinduism' as a 'way of life'.

While reinstating Shiv Sena's Manohar Joshi and the BJP's Ramchandra Kapse assembly election victories, Justice JS Verma had observed, "It is a fallacy and an error of law to proceed on the assumption that any reference to Hindutva or Hinduism in a speech makes it automatically a speech based on Hindu religion as opposed to other religions."

His bench, in fact, further said that 'Hindutva and Hinduism' represented India's people and its cultural ethos - "It may well be that these words are used in the speech to promote secularism and to emphasise the way of life of the Indian people and the Indian culture or ethos, or to criticise the policy of any political party as discriminatory or intolerant."

It was an epoch-defining judgment which cleared the path of the BJP and the like-minded parties who weaved their politics on Hinduism and Hindutva as it removed the legal hurdle due to the interpretation of 'Hindutva and Hinduism' as under religion and thus as corrupt practices under the Representation of People (RPA) Act.

Its Section 123 (3-A) says, "The promotion of, or attempt to promote, feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India on grounds of religion, race, caste, community, or language, by a candidate or his agent or any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate."

And that defines one of the many corrupt practices it lays norms for.

Now, according to this landmark judgment, any electoral practice aimed at influencing voters in the name of 'Hindutva and Hinduism' doesn't constitute the case for corruption because Hindutva is not a religion but an all-encompassing term that defines the Indian way of life.

But the verdict has not been beyond questions, even from different judges of the Supreme Court. So anything can happen tomorrow.

To continue.. 


Sunday, 16 October 2016


Bob Dylan is only the second American to get the Literature Nobel in over 20 years. Before him, the world’s beloved American novelist Toni Morrison won the Literature Nobel in 1993.

But she was clearly a novelist who conformed to the notions of the Nobel committee on what is 'literature' as per its standards, something where even the great and rare African writer like Chinua Achebe could not fit in.

So, obviously there would be controversies on Bob Dylan's Literature Nobel.

Bob Dylan is a poet-songwriter first. Though he is a singing legend, there is more or less a unanimity that he is not as acclaimed a singer as the lyrics of his songs that he himself writes (some even find it even boring). But yes, he is a mass singer who has been one of the most important faces of the counterculture revolution of 1960s and 70s. Though he doesn't like, he was the protest singer of those years when people used his words and tunes to mobilize their sentiments and other people.

In a way, he is like Chinua Achebe who matters the most in his sphere of influence - obviously here it is about bringing social influence through creativity.

Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' remains the ultimate magnum opus of literature of a continent where human life began, but a continent which has been forced to lag on every development parameter - so much so that it now ranks last.

Though Dylan was never a solitary figure, nevertheless, he was an important contributor. Dylan's songs motivated a generation that brought about the most vital changes in the US society through the counterculture (and hippie subculture) of 60s and 70s that was aimed at fighting for civil rights and uprooting racism, US participation in the Vietnam war and even a dislike for the Cold War.

And this generation achieved it with able support of people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Bob Dylan and Harper Lee. A multitude was there to provide the leadership. And millions were there to follow, inspired with songs, books and speeches.

And it so black and white, even by the norms laid down by Alfred Nobel on 'how a recipient' should be judged.

"..shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind..(for Literature Nobel).. one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.."

"..the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.."..yes, that is what Bob Dylan has done.. conferring the greatest benefit to mankind..and that is what Chinua Achebe did..again.. conferring the greatest benefit to mankind..through their literary works.

The problem is..the Stockholm Academy that decides who will be the next Nobel Laureate..saw the norms laid down by Alfred Nobel as mere wishes..and did all sort of manipulations over the handpick even many controversial names..all in the name of ethnic/geographic superiority (like only European writers can produce Nobel sort of work)..or in the name of superiority of language and not the content in writing (something that kept Chinua Achebe) out..or silly geopolitical considerations (like to award some anti-establishment author only because the global community is opposed to that establishment).. and so on.

Now that good sense has prevailed and Bob Dylan has been given his due, will there be some room for Chinua Achebe even if the Nobel Prize cannot be posthumously. After all, it was not so before 1974 and Dag Hammarskjöld and Erik Axel Karlfeldt got their Nobel Prizes posthumously.