Happy Ugadi

Sort of snippet

Just back from a MYCycle tour on Srirangaptnam with mother and her son from Delhi.

Everywhere were signs that it’s Ugadi or the Hindu new year. People amassing leaves, positioning them around their entry door, creating ornate and colourful Rangoli, to invite the Gods, girls all dressed up, people splashing and having family fun at the bathing ghats.

Coincidentally, I get back to a new parcel from Amazon. A book …..

The author is an effective self-publicist and has rightly challenged many of the assumptions around the British Raj. This book on Hinduism (which isn’t an ism, just my humble view) is a timely counter to the increasing, unsettling, unacceptable, extremism that we’re currently hearing and seeing.

Meanwhile, Manjula has been back at home getting a well deserved lie in (guest numbers are reducing now we’ve reached the end of the season) punctuated by endless phone calls from our friends wishing a Happy Ugadi, so Happy Ugadi to you too.

Khushwant Singh is King

Well he isn’t really, fact is he died a couple of years ago just before he reached a 100 years old.

He was a writer covering novels, polemics, facts, opinion pieces in an incredibly direct and challenging way! His style is refreshing.

I’ve read many of his books and would recommend them all. I think ‘Train to Pakistan’ is powerful and ‘India an Introduction’ is a really easy accessible way to begin to get your head around some of the complexities of India. But do check them all!

P1150262I’ve just finished reading ‘The End of India’. It’s a mix of different papers so doesn’t necessarily all fit together as a coherent whole. His analysis of the communal violence, the role of the politicians and what it means for India of the future is useful and insightful. He highlights some of the real risks of India’s shift (in some senses) from a secular to a Hindu dominated society.

The reaction from India’s is in itself illuminating. Check the broad range of opinions in the reviews at goodreads or if you can wait long enough for the ridiculous number of ads to load, check India Today

I really like the way he finishes the book. I can go with that!

“I will sum up my faith in time-worn cliches: good life is the only religion.

Ingersoll put it in more felicitous language: ‘Happiness is the only good; the place to be happy is here; the time to be happy is now; the way to be happy is to help others,’

Ella Wilcox put the same thought in plainer words:

‘So many gods, so many creeds,

so many paths that wind and wind.

When just the art of being kind is all that the sad world needs’

the morning after….

or elections part three.

The BJP has won a landslide victory. The press and media in general is full of analysis of how, why and what it means to us in India and the wider world. Who knows what it means?

Modi has already initiated many changes. Amongst them, he’s introduced a presidential style in the election, utilised the social media and shown great leadership, all to great effect.

One thing I’ve noticed something new, on a morning shortly after the election.

In one of the parks near my house, members of the RSS (wikipedia labels it a ‘para-military volunteer Nationalist Hindu group based on selfless service to the nation’ although the neutrality of the article is disputed) who have close links with the BJP, will meet once or twice a month, in their uniform of shirt and khaki shorts, to parade and drill. At the most there are 2-3 usually elderly people.

Shortly after the election, there was a parade of maybe a dozen young men from pre to mid teens parading in the park. The elders looked on. So, Id say that the election and the impact of BJP is influencing younger people and their interest in the nationalism of the RSS.

and who knows where it leads….

 

 

We await the other changes…