Thursday, July 9, 2009

KAMAL BHATTA -an unsung hero

I was going through mother's old pictures .There she was 12 years old with all her cousins.Suddenly I saw someone who was about 5 years.A boy -what struck me was his looks golden hair ,fair face and burning eyes.I pointed it towards my mother and asked who it was ? She looked towards where my finger pointed and suddenly there was a drop of tear in her eyes.She choked and then she went quite.I stood there preplexed never ahd I see my mother so emotional except maybe when we felt sick .Who was this cousin of her's what was so special about him.I stood there waiting not knowing what to say.Suddenly dad came saw the picture and looked at mom.He then replied that WAS your mom's cousin KAMAL BHATTA .The way he said the name was so funny it was like dad was taking god's name.Not understanding I asked again who....he said your uncle and one of the greatest son's Assam ever produced.And soon I heard a saga a tale of valour corage and love for your land.

It was way back in the 1970's my mom was a 12 year old girl.She had gone to visit her uncle and aunt.It was the season of floods in Assam.So one day her aunt took her to see lot of ducks which she had collected.They had actually flown in the flood and landed in their house.Mom was amazed to see so many ducks.Suddenly there was a shrill sound "MOM" my mother and aunty looked towards aunty's 4 year old son Kamal.His eyes were burning he commanded"Mom I know those are not our ducks so let them go immediately".There was such command in his voice that his mother didnt dare defy him.She let all the ducks go.My mom 12 years old was afraid to talk to this 4 year old kid who was not a kid in any sense.Such conviction for what was right she had never seen.She left after a few days that incident etched in her memory.

Years passed by it was 1978..the year AASU(All Assam Students Union ) and ULFA(United Liberation Front of Asom) made a mark.Agitations after agitation ..Assam was burning.Mom was in college now.One day she heard the news that Amal ;Kamal's elder brother was shot dead in Nalbari while trying to protest,She was even more hurt to learn that the 15 year old Kamal too had been shot and he was hurt.She went to meet him later that week along with her parents.The kid she left years ago was now turning into a handsome young man.But then she saw his bullet ridden hand she cried inconsolably.Later that month Kamal Bhatta was sent to AIIMS for treatment.He came back after one month his left hand was rendered permanently useless now.Years passed by the young guy passed his 10th and 12th with flying colors .Soon he got admission into Assam Engineering College.

Yes the dream the family had seen was coming true .The young boy was a Civil Engineer now.The family was proud of him.He was also turning into a proficient debator and writer.The whole was proud of this young man.Soon he passed out with flying colors a BE (Hons).His parents his cousins my mom everyone was proud of him.Time passed however and he couldnt find any job.His parents were upset but not he.He said to his father he kept saying to his father dont worry I will do something.I wont go unnoticed.He left home one fine day in search of a job.

It was two years now since he had left his home.One day the family receives a call there was no more Kamal Bhatta ......there was Commader Kamal Bhatta now of United Liberation Front of Assam.The young boy had not forgotten the death of his brother the bullet ridden hand .HE HAD NOT FORGOTTEN HIS FRIENDS WHO WERE KILLED.He had not forgotten anything.He was quite calculative deceptive he knew what he had to do .He knew his goal .And now he was working towards it.Every day bridges were blown off there were skirmishes in the army.Both sides lost ..casualties ran high in both sides.Homes were uprooted.And all this was being attributed to the one handed Commander .He was the man ;army began to dread.He began to live his words

"O people of Assam one day one day will come when you will realise the value of our blood and that day we all will rise to fight for who we are."

Soon he became one of the dreaded genre of so called insurgents not terrosists becasue ULFA back then was not a terrorist but an insurgent group.It was the time for my mom.'s marriage .The whole army battalion in Nalbari had ghearoed the house yet he came and went .After that it was untold misery for my grandparents and my uncles.Every day they were picked up for questioning but no one knew his whereabouts.He contacted his parents a few days after that but they couldnt find him either.The one handed boy spelt trouble.His words reverated of a eglitarian Assamese socity.He talked about the misgivings no oppurtunities no jobs ..batches of enginneers and graduates were jobless. There was no industry in Assam.His grievances were many his solution one -gun.He beleived talk to them in the language they hear.He became a legend because he was rightoues .He became a legend because he was right..he became a legend becasue every action of his was justified .A few years dragged on Opration Bajrang continued .I was born to my parents and my dad was posted in Arunacahl Pradesh.One day she received a letter 'Her favourite cousin was no more.The army ahd shot him."

They came back to Assam that day night.The next day mom watched as her brother burned in the pyre.Such idealism such thoughts such valour such courage standing up for what was right standing up for what was true ....all that went up in flames.Her aunt cried as she watched her son burn ;shouting" there will be hundreds more there will be thousands".Mom looked at the sky and shed a tear .She smiled at her brother who was in heaven as if asking him did he finally get what he always wanted so bad.

I stood there as I listened to the story.I never supported any form of terrorism and I never will.But then this story set me thinking that the four year old boy who scolded his mother can he really be a headless war mongerer.True the times then were testing then so what you do to assert your right it terrorism ?I know I will never be able to answer so I took the photo back from my mother .I turned it and saw a poem which was his favorite:

Moi jano
Edin nohoi edin
Tomalokeu jui bisari
Mor osoroloi aahiba
Edin nohoi Edin
Tomaloke akou mor hote
Hei hondhipotrot swakkhor koriba
Hei dintoloike moi
Okolei uruam
Mor tezor potaka
Eya mor roktoborno protigya..

( I know a day will come
You will also ask for fire
you will come to me
you will stand with me
and take a pledge with me
I wil wait till that day
waving the flag
of my blood
this is my bloodridden promise)

There stands a memorial in the place where he was shot reads

'"hey shwahid tumak salam"

( O martyr I salute you)


Monday, July 6, 2009

ARTICLE 377 -judgement and fallout.

The recent Court Verdict has as expected drawn remarks from various quaters.People whom i doubt ever knew that article existed are expressing their displeasure about it.NGO's as usual are taking the opposite stance ;after all that is what NGO's do these days go aginst the tide and get published in the paper about you being a crusader.A crusader for the human cause.

My first question is to the homosexuals.We all are living in a democratic society and although there maybe a few talks yet I have never felt that this needed to be decried in such a manner.I mean you love someone and it doesnt matter to anyone true a few fools might comment on you but otherwise this is India none cares ..hell people dont care if 100 die in a terrosist attck ..why should they care if you date a boy.The so callled gay emancipation as being judiciosuly reported these days in all newspapers was on right tarck but this verdict which tried to act as a catalyst might exactly go against them.True life is not easy but then I feel this would not make thier life easier rather the moral police brigade and even the general public would start veiwing them as a mortal enemy.People who never knew homosexuals mattered will now take sides and mostly it is going to be agaisnt them.In this day when dog bites man in breaking news ;media will play its part in forming public opinion against them by actually trying to form public opinion for them.It would have been better if things worked at the pace they were working.I fear this jumpstart instead will harm the process of their settling into the social strata.

Havong said so let us move to next actor the religious leaders.Every religon except the Buddhists monk have criticised this move.,I am unable to comprehend why are they bothered .I mean when did god concern himself with your sexual prefernces.Our religious leaders have defined india on the basis of vedas and korans and that is the best part!Every religious leader is decrying that i is against Indian culture,Oh pardon me but the last time I checked breaking temples,setting trains on fires,Firey speeches against the nation isnt very much part of our culture either.Yet we saw riots ...our religios leaders couldnt form a consensus definition on God then but today in the homosexuals they have found a common enemy intersting is that.When religon was all about undesrtanding the beauty of life it ahs turned into governing your prefernces.So much for God.

The third triade is of course politicians.I think India is really the land of the oppurtunist .Nowhere in the world will we find oppurtunists so great as in India.As soon as the verdict was made almost all the prominent leaders were seen denoucning it.Well I never saw them denouncing dowry death or rape so voraciously.Where was all this fire to save Indian culture when one girl was raped by 7 boys.Where was that big talk then about being the custodians of Indian culture,Oh no we were busy then because it didnt seem so oppurtunistic at that time.Hell here we have a minority in the homosexuals who can be utilised as a threat to garner the votes of the masses.I am pretty sure soon someone will come up with the catchline how dangerous homosexuals are ,,,,,to save you give us vote in return.

This is 377 for you people prespective

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I would say us Brahmins as a class have been subjected to fiercest criticism than ever.It is accused that Brahmins is the worst kind of hate spreader in modern India.I never knew of this fact until I went to the JNU Campus in Delhi.I saw a particular writing on the hostel walls which I found funny

" Brahmins have form times immemorial harassed others .Parasuram(a sage) killed a 1000 non Brahmins and his stories are told to Brahmin kids today"

I was shocked because my whole life I have been a Brahmin and in my whole life my parents or my grandparents never harped on that particular aspect of Parasuram.I went on to find that there is a massive hatred atleast on the walls I thought would set the record straight.

First of all in ancient times Brahmins did contribute a lot to the society and by that I don't mean religious scriptures only.The Brahmins were masters in bringing society together.When they were given land grants by kings in forests they came to realize ..problems were galore.There were various warring tribes who wouldn't listen to each other.So there was no stability in the society.The Brahmins hit upon a plan which was amazing they build a common temple like structure and put the deities of all the tribes in one places.Slowly people from all tribes started coming here and then finally peace regained. This is what the priest did.

Coming in to the modern times today am ridiculed by some for first of all my sacred thread.They think this is some serious dope some shit some harping back on some old stupid culture.I beg to differ with them.i belong to that class which has RHCP and LP stacked up in the music desk along with books of geeta.I belong to that class which goes to McDonald's but then never forget to change the thread before a puja.I belong to that class which believes that my identity is not me my dad but my seven generations right from Kannauj to Assam .I believe in myself when I see my seven generations their names recorded in the palm leaves of the Kamakhya temple.Am I arrogant about it I am not.Am I proud about it yes I am.My best friend is a Muslim guy Tousif yet I still do the "Sandhya ' three times a day.I light candles in mosques yet I never touch food before a puja.

Yes I am filled with travesties yes I am about extremes now yes I am changing yes Brahmanism is changing.But this is what Brahmanism has always been about change ...we are changing for tomorrow. I never argued we are the leaders i have never advocated that we want reservation.I have never believed we should not mix with people who are not Brahmins.All I believe is my tradition my culture.The culture which is seven generations old; the culture which is in the form of three small sindoor smears in top of my laptop.The culture which is epitomized by my bowing the head across every temple I come in the way.

Do I think I wil go wrong ?No because tomorrow I wil be answering to my 7 generations who will be looking up to me and asking.......Did you have the guts to stand for the right?

I would look to them and say YES I AM PROUD TO BE A BRAHMIN