गुरुवार, सितंबर 21, 2017

Rahul Gandhi in New York

Firdaus Khan
The Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi delivering a speech at Times Square: Rahul Gandhi on September 20 addressed Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in New York as a part of his two-week long visit to the United States. He has repeatedly raised the issue of joblessness during his meetings with experts, business leaders and Congressmen. He addressed the NRIs with the purpose of making them a part of India’s development.

Rahul Gandhi said, I’d like to welcome all the people on the stage and every single one of you in this room. You know, many years ago Sam came to India and he told you the story of Indira Gandhiji listening to his presentation. Sam, I think it was 1982? Yes, 1982. I was 12 years old. In the morning my father told me that there is a presentation and you have to come. I didn’t know what presentation meant, I thought I was going to get a present. Anyway, I went there, and my sister and I were made to sit down at the back of the room quietly. And we sat there for 6 hours. And Sam and my father discussed computers. I didn’t quite understand what a computer was, nobody actually in 1982 really understood what a computer was.To me it looked like a little box with a TV screen on it. And frankly I didn’t like that presentation, as a little kid, I couldn’t stand the fact that I had to sit for 6 hours. And four or 5 years later, I started to see the result of that presentation. There were typewriters in the Prime Ministers Office. And everybody wanted to use a typewriter. And Sam and my father said to everyone in the PMO’s office that everyone has to move to computers. And everybody said, NO, we like our typewriters, we don’t want computers. So in Sam and in my fathers typical style they said fine you can keep your typewriters, what we are going to do is, we are going to replace typewriters with computers for one month, and after one month we will have your typewriters back. They gave them the computers for one month and then after one month they said ok we are bringing your typewriters back and everyone started to fight, NO, we dont want our typewriters back we want the computer.
Ideas take time to travel into India. But, when an idea is good, India understands it very quickly, and uses it and shows the world how it can be used.
I have been talking to Sam and I made a point in the car to him and he said “I hadn’t thought about it”. You are all Non Resident Indians.
The original congress movement was an NRI movement. Mahatma Gandhi was an NRI, Jawaharlal Nehru came back from England, Ambedkar, Azad, Patel, these were all NRIs. Every single one of them went to the outside world, saw the outside world, returned back to India and used some the ideas they got and transformed India. I’ll go even further, the biggest success in India, our friends in BJP said nothing happened, but one of the biggest successes in India, the milk that most of India drinks, it was man called Mr. Kurien, he was an NRI. He came from the United States and he transformed India. Sam is another example. There are thousands of examples that we have not recognised. So before I even get into the depth of my speech, I want to tell you that I went from San Fransisco to Los Angeles to Washington to New York, I addressed people in Berkeley ,in Princeton, and wherever I went, you made me feel poud to be an India.
Everywhere you look in this country, there is an Indian person working for America, working for India, living peacefully and building this country and our country.So I would like to start by telling you, that you are actually the backbone of our country. Some people view India as a geophraphical construct. They view India as a piece of land. I don’t view India as a piece of land. I view India as a set of ideas. So for me, anybody who has the ideas that make up India is an Indian.
We have many religions in our country. We have many different languages in our country. Every single one of them lives happily together, and the reason they have been able to do so are the ideas of the Congress party. Sam Pitroda just said that the Congress is a hundred and thirty years old. Yes, it is true, the Congress organisation is more than a century old. But, the Congress idea in India is thousands of years old. We don’t represent an organisation, we represent a philosophy that is thousands and thousands of years old. I’ll tell you a little but about what this philosophy is. What did Gandhi actually fight for, what was our freedom movement about, what did Mr. Kurien do? What did Sam pitroda do? What do thousands of NRIs do? They stand up for the truth. It doesn’t matter what is standing against them, when they believe in something and they are convinced that is the truth they stand up for it and pay the price for it. That is the Congress idea.
I had lots of conversations in my trip. I met lot of people from the administration, I met people from both democratic and republican parties, I met many friends, NRI friends.And I must tell you, I was very surprised because before I could even tell them what I was feeling, before I could even tell them what I was worried about, they told me exactly the same thing. And the single biggest thing most people told me, What has happened to the tolerance that used to prevail in India?
What has happened to the harmony in India?
There are a couple of challenges that India is facing.
The single biggest challenge and I’ll give it to you in numbers. 30,000 youngsters come into the job market every single day. Today, only 450 of them are getting a job. I’m not even talking about the unemployed.
This is the biggest challenge in front of our country. And, this challenge is going to be addressed by building a unified approach by bringing people together.
We discuss everything in India.There’s a divisive politics in India but the real challenge facing India is that 30,000 youngsters looking for a job and only 450 getting a job. You can imagine as this process continues what the result will be. India simply cannot give its youngsters a vision if it is unable to give them a job. The Congress party has a vision to solve this problem. And I will tell you little bit about this vision. Currently, the entire focus is on 50 or 60 really large companies. We believe that if you are to create millions and millions of jobs in India, it has to be done by empowering small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs.
Second, I’ll give you another number, 40% of India’s vegetables rot. Agriculture can simply not be ignored. There are people from Punjab here, you will understand exactly what I am saying.
Agriculture is a strategic asset. We need to build agriculture, we need to develop a cold chain, we need to put food processing units close to farms, and we need to empower Indian agriculture. We need to empower our farmers.
Healthcare is going to transform. And I said this in my speech in Berkeley, today all the information in healthcare is in the doctors memories tomorrow all that information is going to be in computers. India has the world’s second largestpopulation. We do very large number of surgeries, heart surgeries, eye surgeries, we have a great understanding of how to do these things. There is a huge opportunity for India in healthcare and we can become the healthcare centre of the world but we have to plan for it today. And I am not talking about simply health tourism, I’m talking about about constructing whereby in the future large parts of medical processes are acrid out in our country.
I can give you a similar vision for the IITs. I went to Berkeley, I was in Princeton yesterday. US universities are networks, knowledge networks. Information travels within them, they are connected to businesses, they are connected to economy. Our IITs are tremendous institutions but they are not networks. If we connect our IITs to our industries and businesses across the world, they will start to compete with the best businesses in the world. these are things that can be done. I, want to go back to the beginning of my speech- You need to get involved. You have tremendous knowledge, You have tremendous understanding, you work in different fields. I invite you to come and work with the congress party and discuss the vision going forward. We want to take your help. Sam Pitroda single handedlytransformed the telecom industry. We don’t want one Sam Pitroda. We wantatleast 10-15 Sam Pitrodas to transform India, Because there’s a lot of work to be done in India.
The last thing I’d like to say to you, India has always shown the world how to live in harmony. For thousands of years India has had a reputation of peace and harmony. This is being challenged. There are forces in our country that are dividing the country and it is very dangerous for the country and it ruins our reputation abroad.
Many, many people in the Democratic party and the Republican party asked me what is going on in your country? We always believed that your country worked together, we always believed your country was peaceful. What is going on in your country?
And that is something we have to fight. India’s reputation in the world is very important. The world is transforming and people are looking towards us. China is rising, we have a relationship with the Unites States . Many countries in a violent world are looking to India and saying maybe, India has the answer to the 21st century. Maybe India has the answer for peaceful coexistence in the 21st century. So, we cannot afford to lose our most powerful asset. Our most important asset is that 1.3 billion people lived happily, non-violently, peacefully and the world respected us for that . This is something that as Congress people every single one of us has to defend. India is a country that belongs to all its people. Doesn’t matter who they are I can see my Sikh brothers, people from different states. India does not belong to any ONE of you. India belongs to this entire room and India belongs to every single one of us and that is what the Congress party is. Again, I’d like to thank you very much and I’ve told Sam, whenever you want me to come to theUnites States, whenever you want me to come anywhere, just call me, MEIN HAAZIR HO JAUNGA. And final thing, I told Sam today, he said about the photographs and I have learnt something, Sam hamarein yahan individual photographs chalti hain, so next time we will give a decent amount of time so that we can have selfies or photographs together. Thank you very much, All the best!

सोमवार, सितंबर 11, 2017

Rahul Gandhi in Berkeley, California

Firdaus Khan
The Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi delivering a speech at Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley, California on Monday. He touched all major aspects of contemporary Indian politics, right from defending questions on dynasty politics to raising questions over the BJP government’s demonetisation drive. He said that he was “absolutely ready” to take up an executive responsibility if the Congress party asked him to do so.
Rahul Gandhi said, Today happens to be the 11th of September. So I would like to start by paying homage to all the people who died on this day and all the people who lost their loved ones.
We stand with them today in their memory.
As a politician, we get to go to different places and listen to many different people. And I am going to start today by telling you a little story. Many years ago, you remember that there was a huge Tsunami, it came to India. And it hit the Andaman and Nicobar islands. And one of the things that we were doing at that time was trying to send aid to the Andaman Nicobar islands and I was looking at a list of people who had died and there are many communities who live in the Andaman Nicobar islands. And I noticed in the list that there were absolutely no tribal people who have died. So I asked some of the people there. I said, "Listen how does it happen?" I said, "There are many many people who have died. There are lots of tribals living in Andaman Nicobar but I don't see a single tribal person who has died in the Tsunami. What happened?"

So then, one of the people there told me, you know Mr. Gandhi when the Tsunami comes, the sea goes out. And when the sea goes out, huge numbers of fish are left stranded. And he said, the tribals, they know when a tsunami goes out and when a tsunami comes in, whereas the non-tribals did not know this. And when the Tsunami came, the sea went out.

All the non-tribals ran to get the fish and all the tribals ran into the hills. And some of the tribals told the non-tribals, don't go there. You are going to get killed. They didn't listen. They ran into the sea. And that's why no tribals died.

And as a liberal today, that's exactly how I feel. Everybody knows that something has gone very wrong in the system. And the right-wing politicians are saying go there and pick up the fish. And people are sort of looking at the simple answers. They are looking at the simple answers but, you are not going to get results from these simple answers.

And this is one of the reasons I have come here. This is a tremendous institution but this institution believes in a liberal ideology, it believes in discussions, it believes in listening to people, it believes in conversations. And, you have a tremendous history and I respect that history. As you, Mr. Chibber said, my great grandfather came here and gave a speech. So, I would like to thank you very much for inviting me here. I am going to speak for about 15-20 minutes and then we are going to have a conversation. You can ask me all the questions you would like.

India is a massive country. It is also one of the world's most complex countries. Every time you think you have understood India, she will reveal something new to you. In fact, I would venture to say anyone who thinks he understands India is a fool. According to most western academics and intelligence agencies in the middle of the last century, India was supposed to fail. We are 29 states covering every religion in the world. We have 17 official languages and hundreds of different dialects and a terrain that runs from the Himalayas all the way to the deserts. Most of these experts didn't expect India to survive. Thye predicted it would fall apart, torn to pieces by its own diversity and contradictions. And yet somehow, as Indira Gandhi said, when asked whether India leans left or right, India came out standing straight and tall.

The idea of non-violence or ahimsa, as we call it in India, is what allows this huge mass of people to rise up together. Uniting India's religion, castes and languages would simply be impossible without it. It is this idea that Mahatma Gandhi fashioned into a powerful but beautiful political weapon.

The common conception in the west is that people have ideas. You all say I have an idea. But there is an alternative way of looking at the world. The counter intuitive notion that instead of people having ideas that ideas have people. So, instead, if I have an idea, an idea has me. This notion is the basis of ahimsa or non-violence as taught by Gandhi. If one accepts the notion that ideas capture people, then the only possible response to a person infected by a bad idea, any person, is love and compassion. The only action you can take against him is to try and rid him of the bad idea and replace it with a good one. Using violence against a person who is infected by a bad idea actually results in the idea spreading more aggressively, multiplying among the people who care for him and love him. This non-violent philosophy in action has travelled far beyond India.

Non-violence is not inaction, says Cesar Chavez, it is not discussion. It is not for the timid and weak. Non-violence is hard work. It is this very idea, this beautiful struggle, that is viciously under attack in India today. But it is also the only idea on which humanity can survive the connectivity of the 21st century and come out unscathed stronger.

The road travelled by India since independence is difficult and filled with formidable obstacles. Our partition was the bloodiest migration in recorded history. At independence, most of our 400 million people were hungry. Yet the achievements of India have been significant. Increasing literacy, expanding healthcare and raising life expectancy, all within a generation. Achieving self-sufficiency in food grains, averting famine, pushing huge advantage in science and technology, even being a front runner in computer technology.

When Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and my dear friend Sam Pitroda who is sitting here spoke about bringing the computers to India, there were voices that ridiculed them. In fact, a leader of the BJP who became PM later asked a question: what does India need computers for? Why do we need computers, imagine that. When India built the IITs, the entire world including many in India were highly critical of the idea that a poor country should waste money on such technical institutions. They reacted to us with scepticism, wondering why a country like ours would need such institutions. Today these IITs and other higher educational institutions in India play a central role in Silicon Valley in the global progress of technology. And yet look at us today. We are rightly proud, we have done that and more lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. For everything everyone says about India, there is no democratic country in human history, and I repeat that there is no democratic country in human history that has raised as many people out of poverty as India has. It is never being done. And we have not done it with violence, we have not done it by killing people, we have done it peacefully together.

For the first time in our history, India, if it is steered correctly and faithfully, have the opportunity to wipe out poverty. If India is able to lift another 350 million people out of poverty by 2030, it would be an achievement that the human race can be proud of. Doing this would require us to grow by more than over 8 percent in the next 13 years. India has done it before and can do it again. But it is imperative that India sustain a high growth rate for an uninterrupted period of 10-15 years in order to do so. At the heart of this powerful engine which India has built with its blood, sweat and bare hands since 1947 are jobs and economic growth. No amount of growth is enough for India if it's not accompanied by the creation of jobs. It doesn't matter how fast you grow. If you are not creating jobs, you are not actually solving the problem. So, the central challenge of India is jobs. Roughly 12 million young people, 12 million, enter the Indian job market every year. Nearly 90% of them have a high school education or less. India is a democratic country and unlike China, it has to create jobs in a democratic environment. India does not have and nor does it want China's coercive instruments. We cannot follow their model if massive factories are controlled by fear. Jobs in India are going to come instead from small and medium scale industries. India needs to turn a colossal number of small and medium businesses into international companies. Currently, all the attention in India is paid to the top 100 companies. Everything is geared towards them. Banking systems are monopolised by them, the doors of government are always open to them and laws are shaped by them. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs running small and medium businesses struggle to get bank loans. They have no protection and no support. Yet these small and medium businesses are the bedrock of India and the world's innovation. Big businesses can easily manage the unpredictability of India. They are protected by their deep, deep pockets and connections. But the real innovative strength of India lies with the millions of small firms and young entrepreneurs that run them. And they are relying on us to build the financial, communication and political infrastructure that would allow them to turn their skills into global businesses.

Healthcare in the 21st century is being revolutionised. Today, a doctor examines you, analyses your data and tells you what is wrong with you. All this is based on his memory. When he retires, that information is lost. Tomorrow, all the medical data is going to be digitised and accessible on computers. Two factors will determine competitiveness in healthcare. First, the type and volume of different medical processes and procedures that are taking place in a country and second, the genetic diversity of your population. India's size will give it huge advantages. The sheer fact that India performs millions of cataract operations or heart surgeries a year, for example, means we are going to be the best at doing them. But much more important in scale will be India's rich genetic diversity. Thousands of years of cross culturalism means that India has the world's most genetically diverse population. If medical processes are going to be based on DNA, then India's diversity is going to be a huge global asset. So, if you are looking at the medical processes in the 21st century, by far, the best opportunities for groundbreaking research and innovation will be in India. It is imperative that we start thinking about these systems now while addressing the critical concerns of privacy and ownership before they arise. Done properly, this can transform India's healthcare system and while at the same time, help the world beyond our borders.

India has triggered a massive process of human transformation. The nature of India's transformation has now reached a stage where it's moment is so powerful that its failure is no longer an option. Our success impacts the world, but should our country fail, it will shake the entire world. What India is trying to do is to connect 1.3 billion people to the global economy with minimum disruption possible in a peaceful and compassionate way. But don't be confused. If this process breaks down, the potential for violence is massive.

I have given you the positives. But before I end, I need to tell you what can go dangerously wrong. Our strength so far has been that we have done all this peacefully. What can destroy our momentum is the opposite energy. Hatred anger and violence and the politics of polarisation which has raised its ugly head in India today. Violence and hatred distract people from the task at hand. Liberal journalists being shot, people being lynched because they are Dalits, Muslims killed on suspicion of eating beef, this is new in India and damages India very badly. The politics of hate divides and polarises India making millions of people feel that they have no future in their own country. In today's connected world, this is extremely dangerous. It isolates people and makes them vulnerable to radical ideas.

Finally, listening to India is very important. She will give you all the answers that you seek. India's institutions have over 70 years have built a profound understanding of our country. We have experts in every single field. Ignoring India's tremendous institutional knowledge and taking ad hoc decisions is reckless and dangerous. Decisions like Demonetisation which removed 86% of cash from circulation overnight and was carried out unilaterally without asking the Chief Economic Advisor, the Cabinet or even Parliament imposes a devastating cost in India.

Currently, we are not producing enough jobs. 30,000 new youngsters are joining the job market every single day and yet the Govt is only creating 500 jobs a day. And this doesn't include the massive pool of already unemployed youngsters. The decline in economic growth today is worrying and it's leading to an upsurge of anger in the country. The Govt's economic policies, Demonetisation and hastily applied GST have caused tremendous damage. Millions of small businesses were simply wiped out as a result of Demonetisation. Farmers and manual labourers who use cash were hit extremely hard. Agriculture is in deep distress and farmer suicides have sky rocketed across the country. Demonetisation, a completely self-inflicted wound caused approximately 2%loss in India's GDP. India cannot afford to grow and create jobs at the current rate. If we continue at the current rate, if India cannot give the millions of people entering the job market employment, anger will increase and it has the potential to derail what is being built so far. That will be catastrophic for India and the world beyond it.

It is siginficant that, In 1949, India’s first prime minister and Gandhi’s grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru had delivered a speech at the university. Leaders from Congress party praised Gandhi’s speech for its candour and eloquence.

सोमवार, मई 08, 2017

My Love...

My love!
in the age of
such a fiery noon
you are
the shadow of thick and fleshy tree…

In a burn up lonely night
you are the moonlight
silvery cool and calm...

In a life
like the wasteland
you are
the ocean of ever flowing
aabe zam-zam…

I am the earth
thirsty of years and years
you are
my immense rainy season...

You are the idol
My love
incarnates in my soul

At all
look at the inhibited dreams of mine
as I worship you for years and years
hiding of everyone... 
-Firdaus Khan

Courtesy : Image from google

Waiting for you

Oh my love !
waiting  for you a long way               
am being reached
to the stage of life 
from where
the journey of life once started 
comes to an end  
with the breakage of last breathe...

but again right from here        
the second journey starts 
which will finally be over
in the doomsday...

such a journey of your love 
I have to pass through in the life 
from one place to far off  distances
even life after the life 
for you only...
-Firdaus Khan