Return of the Indo-European

The European Union is hoping that the long-awaited free trade agreement with India is completed before New Delhi is consumed by the coming general elections. “A lot hinges on the FTA. These are coming to a moment of decision,” says the EU ambassador to India, Joao Cravinho.

Brussels sees a “window of opportunity” in the coming few months. Many would be sceptical – the India-EU FTA has been in the works since talks began 2007. Though, by EU standards, the India FTA is narrower and shallower than is normal for Brussels, says Cravinho, the opposite is true for India – it is far more comprehensive a trade agreement than India is used to negotiating.

Over the past one and a half years, says the EU envoy, the two sides have reduced the gap considerably. “There is not much left to be negotiated,” says Cravinho. The EU is pushing for lower tariffs for automobiles. India wants greater service trade access. That seems to be the crux of the difference. Pharmaceuticals and other such issues are largely now resolved.

The EU is suitably appalled by its trade deficit in the automobile sector. India exported 240,000 cars last year to the EU. The return traffic was barely 6000 to 7000 vehicles. There are plenty of European cars on the roads here – mainly German – but they are manufactured or assembled in India. Cravinho blames tariffs and other cesses which double the price of European cars for the trade imbalance. Of course, the bulk of the cars India exports are actually Japanese and Korean brands.

In theory, the India-EU FTA makes perfect sense. Bilateral trade is about $ 100 billion and almost evenly split between the two. With the Doha round of the World Trade Organisation in the doldrums, negotiating robust trading agreements with key trading partners is now a priority among the world’s big economies. So the EU has begun preliminary talks with Japan over an FTA. The biggest daddy would be a US-EU FTA.

Brussels is starting all of them. This may be another reason it would like to get India out of the way – with so many other large agreements to negotiate, there wouldn’t be much interest in a relatively smaller Indian agreement.

It is not clear that New Delhi gets any of this. India has signed over a dozen bilateral and regional FTAs in the past few years – so many and so quickly that it is now finding that their clauses amount to an incoherent patchwork of concessions and openings. A small cottage industry of trade lawyers who track down loopholes in India’s FTA maze to find means to export products to India via third countries has arisen.
But the other problem is that India continues to struggle to find a holistic relationship with the EU, the strategic partnership with the least amount of strategy in it.

Cravinho, however, believes this is no longer the case. “A burgeoning area of cooperation is security, especially in three specific areas: counterpiracy, counterterrorism and cybersecurity.” Civil society has expanded. The EU expects to bring 2000 Indian students to study within its borders over the next two years under its Erasmus Mundi programme for example. But the political relationship continues to struggle. No one in India paid attention to the meeting of the new Indian foreign minister, Salman Khurshid and his EU counterpart, Baronness Cathy Ashton, was barely noticed in the Indian media, noted Cravinho.
I have long argued that India and the EU would continue to struggle to find a genuinely strategic basis for their partnership. India is in the midst of nation-building, is sovereignty conscious and sees security in the way of a 19th century European state. The EU has created a security structure that is post-sovereign, based on merging nationalisms, the avoidance of conflict and as much openness and transparency as possible.
The EU has in the past been critical of India’s human rights abuses, especially those that cropped up as a consequence of the Kashmir and Northeast secessionist movements. India finds the entire EU aversion to military action and stress on multilateral cooperation naïve and unrealistic – except if you live on the eastern tip of the Eurasian land mass.

These haven’t gone away. But India’s Kashmir state and the Northeast are experiencing an exceptional period of calm, a consequence of a certain set of circumstances that may not hold as the US withdraws from Afghanistan. There was, so to speak, less reason for the EU to lecture India on human rights. In addition, the Western experience with Islamicist terror since 2001 has made the Europeans accept that one cannot always spare the rod. So that past irritant is, well, in the past. The Indo-US nuclear deal has put the nuclear non-proliferation issue off the agenda. But it was noticeable how India responded so savagely to unilateral EU attempts to impose a carbon tax on international airline flights. The issue was not the cost to India of the tax but the principle of Europe imposing its own standard on the rest of the world.

It would be too much to say India and the EU have found a strategic bind. But there’s a lot more meat to the relationship than in the past. It is too much to say that the Indo-European is now something other than a linguistic grouping. However, New Delhi treats Brussels with a bit more respect than in the past. Which is why it would be nice to see the FTA done in a hurry and a nice touch on a year marking the 50th anniversary of India-EU relations.

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  • Ravi

    Its not true to say the Mayawati government did nothing for development. It did a fair amount particularly for Dalits, and indeed a lot of the vote against her government was because Landowning castes like Thakurs and Yadavs resented the fact that Dalits were no longer scared of them, and they felt that their dominant position in the village was being threatened. You complain about the parks but every four years the Indian state spends 4 lakh crores on the Kumbh Mela and we wasted god knows how much on the Commonwealth Games- yet the complaints and allegations only come up when it comes to Dalit monuments. Why is it okay for the Indian state to spend crores on Temples, and on the Haj subsidy but nothing for Dalits? This mindset reflects the extent to which India’s educated elite is blind to the continued problems of inequality and marginalisation in our society! By ignoring Mayawati’s other achievements and only focusing on Parks, you show your own prejudices. Especially at a time when Dalits are now sufferring violence and intimidation by SP goondas!


  • Anonymous



  • Kanika Dhupar

    Brain dead :(
    Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis :)


    Kushal Reply:

    Kanika – :)


  • Kushal

    A great chance, Deb, since you recommend it. Thank you!


  • 5cingulategyrus9

    Zia, few facts to mull over. MITTAL HAS LOST 1.5 BILLION POUND IN THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR(just google it). He spent 23 million pound erecting an ugly piece of steel sculpture by anish kapoor , next to olympic stadium in stratford(you will be heartened to know majority of its inhabitants are muslims , balgladeshis). HOW MANY PAISA HAS HE DONATED FOR THE GOOD CAUSES IN INDIA. He simply rode his luck , which seem to be running out.HE IS THE GREATEST ACCOUNTANT world has ever seen. His knowledge of metallurgy is same as manu sanghvi’s comittment to marital fidelity and human moral virtues. speaking of which , i am galled at the SHAMELESSNESS of the scum NDTV in rehabilating him. perhaps the folks and the women anchors share his predicament , for they may be fellow travellers. As much indians like to lecture the “west” about its moral decrepitude , this stench of manu sanghvi would never ever be allowed in the west .

    mittal is as the saying goes in bengalee “ELO KOTO GELO KOTO ROILO KOTO” . Not surprising his RIGHT hand man is not a scientist or engineer but a CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT , some MUKHERJEE.

    On a separate note please read MADHUSHREE MUKHERJEE’S “CHURCHILL’S SECRET WAR”. It has blown the cover of the propaganda of the benign nature of british rule. ISLAMIC RULERS OF BENGAL SIMPLY SOLD BENGAL TO THE ENGLISH. here is a quote

    page xii, “Mir Jafar paid the East India Company £2.2 million , and its officers and troops £1.2 million,TWO HUNDREED BARGES CARRYING THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE COMPANY’S BOOTY SET OFF FROM THE CAPITAL CITY OF MURSHIDABAD ON JULY3, 1757 DOWN THE GANGA”


  • rd

    Author, are you stupid? Man wants to pour money and create jobs, lets facilitate the process of increasing investment by leading industrialists while taking care of environment, land and forest concerns. This reckless game of one-upmanship wont lead us anywhere. Remember, India is not the only country eyeing his capital. Just because we are 1 billion doesnt mean we have a birthright to do whatever we want. Such arrogance and misplaced confidence has led us to 5% growth from 10% a year. Request you to please please to be more thoughtful for our country’s sake.


    Manish Sharma Reply:

    He can take his money and shove it where the shun does not shine. He has an overgrown idiot who has no regard for policies and law of the land.


    freedomofspeech Reply:

    As opposed to you being an undergrown idiot having lots of regard for policies and law of land.

    When was the last time you bribed a traffic policeman or some government official.


    Manish Sharma Reply:

    What makes you think everybody is a scum of the earth like you.

    Anonymous Reply:

    You truly represent the filth represented by Zia.


    manujsk Reply:

    And he has money. You have envy.. Me clear.. bring the money in. You cant dealing with poor Indians and ask money bags to shove money up their &*^. Thats stupid, clearly


  • geekay

    What Zamindari got to do with this. I don’t see any connection. Do you? You are saying like that as the minister did who wanted Mittal to ring him and plead. For God sake, in stead of apologising and assuring that India will not repeat this kind of behaviour, you are saying – take it or leave it we will remain the same. The fact is arrogance is in not just ministers of the govt, it is in ordinary folks too in India. No wonder, every body thinks nothing of rules. Those Indians who live abroad lose the habit if they ever had of bribing any one for things that should happen normally .In fact the expect the concerned ministry or dept will keep them informed of the progress after they have applied for permission from govt. I do not think this happens in India. When a foreigner whines, it does not bother any one, but when an Indian say the same. It still does not bother any one. Very strange. Is this how yoy or this govt will make India investor friendly. It simply does not matter if any one considers him an Indian or not. Business need profit otherwise it runs in the ground. Look at Air India. Only if govt still wake up to give it in pvt hands.


    RK Sharma Reply:

    Correct Indians have false ego in everything, just we all should learn to respect other people as human, talk to anybody and they immediately become revengeful in India and after other person to teach a lesson, well no sane person should invest money in India, what is ground reality, corruption, no agreements are enforced because legal system doesn’t work, there is no fear of law and order, you catch anybody and he/she will cry that why only me, because reason is nobody follows law, for example take case of Sanjay Dutt, to some extent he is also right, in country like India he already went to jail for 18 months and spent 20 yrs in tension, paid money to lawyers now this is enough punishment when he is remorseful, what about Delhi gang rape juvenile who will walk in 3 more months, and Chief Justice says he is juvenile, well can this juvenile reformed, has he stolen some bike or snatched chain, that he can be reformed, Indians have too much ego and self pride, for what ?


  • freedomofspeech

    We need more Mittals and less Haqs, if that happens the world will be a better place.

    Compare the tax revenue, jobs each create the answer is simple.


    FreedomOfSpeech Reply:

    We need more Haqs and less of Chaddis. Period


    Mirchi Reply:

    Mirchi lag gayi.


    FreedomOfSpeech Reply:

    Mirchi to tujhe lagi mere chaddi ;)

    Ganesh Reply:

    Muslims should be given chance in the mainstream if and only if they can have balanced view and a aview acceptable to majority.A muslim Haq,should not be given place in HT to write his “quranic attitude” abusing all kaafirs!!

    guest Reply:

    ganesh…….Why should a god have a wife? A man may enjoy with his wife for an
    hour or two. Even for this many need drugs and medicines to whip up
    their potentialities. But our Puranas say that our god had intercourse continuously for thousands of years. The Devas
    were witnessing this scene. They became afraid. They prayed to the god
    to stop. The god expressed his inability to stop. At last with great
    difficulty he stopped the intercourse. His semen gushed forth like a
    canal. The devas are said to have drunk Siva’s semen. Is it not so
    written in the Puranas? Is this the way to create a god? If the
    Brahmins had any respect for us and considered all of us as human
    beings, would they dare to record such absurd things in the Puranas? Are we devoid of common sense? No. He has the boldness to compel us to believe every thing he has written in the Puranas.

    Gods as murderers: God is described as the
    embodiment of love. But you find dreadful weapons in the hands of gods.
    Are gods murderers? Is there a single god that has not killed anyone?
    The Puranas are replete with umpteen instances to prove that
    gods killed so many. Are our gods butchers? How are we to be convinced
    of the statement that gods are kind?

    With all these baseless, senseless and idiotic puranas, they have succeeded in making our society static, reactionary and dumb. People have lost their sense of thinking.
    Hence no sensible man endowed with reason would consider it necessary to worship such gods or touch the f

    Ganesh Reply:

    To answer in short,Sanatana Dharma is the only Dharma which has details of the creation of the univere,various yugas,time when there will be pralay etc.Our Dharma is so great that it is continuing for the past more than 1 lac years or more.Even in Buddha’s period,our Dharma was being called”sanatanaDharma” which means very very old Dharma!!Now ,whatever is in Puranas, there must be a reason which we dont know at present!!But that does not mean that they are all false!!Just see what we know about the universe…!!Our Earth is less than insignificant compared to the thousands of Billions of Stars in the universe and we know nothing about them!!Hence there are some things which we have to believe..even if we do not know the reason as of now!!

    No Guest Reply:

    Wow Guest. You are so full of hatred for Hindus that you are twisting the facts. So what are you? Muslim? Lets look at the facts. Your Mohammed got married to a 9 year old daughter of his friend in the name of Allah. Mohammed was a nymph with multiple wives. He was also anti-women by preaching that a man can have multiple wives and she has to be covered in Burkha (as it she is his property) but a woman cannot have multiple husbands? And everyone should go to Mecca or pray in that direction? Or you have a right to kill a Khafir. My god what kind of bloodsheding religion is this? OK are you a Christian? Lets look at Biblical facts. First, Jesus was born to a Virgin. What kind of garbage is this? Was it because he was born out of wedlock and not justifiable in those days. Then it is well known that Jesus had a wife also Mary who was a prostitiute. And on top of it, in the name of religion more missionaries have done harm including wiping out mayan and aztec cultures. And then kids being rapesd by missionaries?

    Ganesh Reply:

    Chaddi is allah to you Gujarat…hahahahahahahah!

    Mirchi Aur Mirchi Reply:

    Please guys, lets not fight about Chaddis and Dadiwaley or topiwaley Muslims. We need entrepreneurs like Mittals and better and cleaner administrators like SC CJI Kabir, Gujrat CM Modi, Goa CM like Manohar, Bihar CM like Nitish. We dont need foreigners like Sonia, looters like Robert and 15 corrupt ministers and MMS, terrorists like Owaisi and Bukhari, fundamentalists liars like Theesta and unpatriotic people like Barkha, Seema Mustafa, Zia here, Josey Joseph, Sardesai and many more including Bollywood personalities on Dawoods take like Mahesh Bhutt.

  • Sumit Bose

    The blog should be pertinent to “muslim”, though this article is about an industrialist, who started from India and over time able to make a place for himself in the searing world of international business. Though , ostensibly, there is nothing muslim about this article, but the “muslim” mindset cannot be missed.

    The same attitude of grievance mongering, the same attitude of “injured pride” pervades this write-up.

    Mr Mia, please do not denigrate your secular education, Mr Mittal has many reasons not to keep India as his priority, and for good reasons. The Ruling Parties right from the independence has made it a habit to hold back “objections” that they have sanctimoniously created in the name of clean and ethical governance, only on receiving suitcases of raw cash or for money transferred into overseas accounts.

    Why grudge him his Taj Mittal, he has earned it with clean hands, not like our beloved Italian ex-maid who now ranks as the 4th wealthiest politician in the world, not like our Mulayan or Mayawati or Jayalalitha or late Chandrashekar Raddy and son Jagan Reddy, sitting over hundreds/thousands of crores of unaccounted cash when they were never in any trade/business, other than granting permissions.

    Mr Mittal’s investments are his own concern and as he has his financiers and stockholders he is answerable to, and there are many more countries in the world that do not have beggar/bandit politicians that have their hands outstretched sitting over every business proposal. It appears that there is one state in India that does not have that , and that is so because of one CM who has opted not to be a beggar/bandit type of politician and he has reinvented his state machinery, but that person is a “diabolical entity” for this Zia Mian.
    That quintessentially is the crux of this article, that this Mr Mian prefers the beggar/bandit politician over clean governance, and as Mr Mittal wants to steer clear of such types, Mr Mian is aiming his “AK-47″ at him.


    RK Sharma Reply:

    Correct why to comment on Mittal even if I open a shop won’t i first try to earn money for myself and family without causing damage to society, Mittal has worked for what he has, why to act victim in everything day and night, why should he become to socialist,go to government office and check the attitude of babus, no file moves, may be he is not in mood to hand over few crores to our politicians, that is his choice, but don’t blame him.


  • Mittal.L

    First of , Mittal does not belong to India.
    Everytime an NRI shines in overseas, India starts a slogan, Indian shine.


  • Ghost

    You need to study more and yes please try to open a even single shop or please, please , please try to query any of your business needs with concerned government of INDIA offices or department I think you will write Please forgive me for what I have written in this blog. Gentleman Mital is not an Indian citizen and we Indians proudly relate him to India. Many of Indians left and still leaving India and many of business men are try to do business not in india but out side india. I am among many millions who wish to do something and wish to contribute in my society but with great regret no help or info from government. And in a country in which there is feeling what ever you do nothin will happen then every thing in the hands of GOD.


  • tbr

    j@@**a** article. Socialist filth hanging around in 21st Century. Give me the full form of the abbreviation: Test for Indians— GAFY!!!**


  • freedomofspeech

    Zia Haq is a prime example of low quality journalism. This author does not understand economics and history and goes on to comment much like a two year old child.

    For example – he is commenting on Britain’s recession hit economy – as if India is doing very well. As a comparison Britain’s per capita GDP is 35000, India is 1500.


  • Arvind

    Many international agencies and businesses have called India one of the worst places to do business due to burueaucracy and corruption. Mittal is not the first one to say that.

    Why call him anti- India for it? If he is anti- Indian , then what do you think of Kashmiris who keep killing Indian soldiers and even civilians? Or terrorists who regularly explode bombs in Indian cities which UPA blames on Indian Muslim groups?


  • niraj

    If the delay is for the right reasons’ I would agree with author. However most delays are due to red tape, babugiri, bribe or just political power play. Do you think western countries care less or more for their citizens. Most people would agree that value of life is more in west. How come they happen to clear projects faster


  • Navin

    Haha!!! writer has no idea how the world works these days…forget the ideal world of communism where no one owns anything. You need investors to create job, grow economy and create value added industry, otherwise you will export cheap iron ore and someone else will create steel and make most of the money.


  • Sanjay Kumar

    Mr. Zia Haq is absolutely right. No one can be deprived of his land without getting proper compensation as per market rate. Mr. Mittal want cheap land and cheap mines with the help of Government. All MNCs love only those Governments which provide them cheap land and other cheap inputs at the cost of people and resources of their country, for the very purpose they are ready to pay any bribe to anybody. That’s why they are not putting new factories in USA, Europe, Japan and other developed nations. We want development, but do not want to become slave of developed world by exporting them products at the cost of our citizens. We must grow up…


    PatriotIndian Reply:

    People who want to hold on to land is fine.

    Stop giving them free power, water, fertilizer, seeds, remove minimum support prices. Stop making agriculture income tax free.
    Let them produce on their own without government support which comes from tax revenue on industry.

    Don’t let them access healthcare services supported by taxes generated from industry.


    Sanjay Kumar Reply:

    Are you ready to give away your house or land for industrial development without proper compensation.. No one can man, grow up.


  • Mohd Hussain

    What is the connection with him amassing the wealth with his good decisions and management techniques and zamindari system? In my opinion the name of this blog should be changed to a “A cynical perspective”.


  • Timra

    Does it make sense for an industrialist to put money in a country where he has to give a cut at all levels to push his projects through? The education in social welfare has to be given to our corrupt leaders. They are the ones who ahve created the new zamindari system


  • Arup

    I have just wasted 5 precious minutes of my life reading this piece of S**T


    dd Reply:

    Now jump into the Indian Ocean and save the world!


  • Joe

    What are you smoking? How does this trash get published in a national newspaper, sheesh.


  • modassar

    Have you or anyone in your family ever even run a corner “Kirana” store in your life?

    Do you have any understanding at all of how economies work?

    They do not work by rhetoric and thumping your chest. They work by taking pragmatic, effective and efficient decisions. None of which applies to India.

    I guess having being brought up in an environment of politics of appeasement, in which you were provided things just because of your political affiliations, that you can not comprehend that Mittal owes India nothing. India needs Mittal, not the other way around.


  • Indian

    HT head Shobhana Bhartia is congress MP. HT also received illegal congress party fund money to save itself from bankruptcy which was on TV news as example of direct involvement of Rahul and Sonia in corruption.


    Shiva Prasad Reply:

    Shobana Bhartia is a chamchii of Sonia. She will stand in line for hours to meet Sonia. Then she will show off in Delhi as if she knows Sonia. Then she will hire minority writers with lowest IQ like Zia to write articles that are anti Hindu to mak Sonia and Roul happy. Where are we with real issues. If Mittal does not want to invest in India…stop blaming Mittal. First create an environment of corruption free growth for industrialists to come to India and by writing this article you have shown that you are stupid Zia. Just because you can write does not mean that you know antying about economics. It is not the Mittals of the world who are India’s enemies…it is you Zia who are muslim fundamentalist, Shobana who is a sychopant of the mafia white fascist Sonia’s chamchi, Sonia, Roul, Robert, are the enemies of India. You got it backwards Zia. Lets kick you to Pakistan, kick Sonia to Italy, and kick Shobana to Jail and we got a perfect India ripe for investments.


  • Ank

    What lousy journalism. This article reads like written by some kid in college or highschool. Just rants and no reasoning…


  • Anonymous

    Does this blog meet the “MUSLIM” theme?

    Zia should stick to only muslim issues.

    By the way Zamindari system is still working in Pakistan, a land ruled by pious muslims (favorite of Zia).


  • Anonymous

    The article may or may not be great but most comments are. Cannot believe ppl are attacking Zia in Islamophobic way.


  • Smartkap

    Not valid arguments. This attitude towards industrialists is the reason for India being shunned by big ticket investors.


  • Ganesh

    Typical muslim mindet….Trying to abuse and degrade a proud Hindu son of India!!thses authors should not be given space in hT just because they are muslims but they should be able to write a balanced view as any other hindu writer about Indian issues and people!!


  • Abhi

    “Mittal doesn’t do us a favour – to re-phrase Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to traders — by selling stuff to us;”
    While most countries today are falling over each other to appear investor friendly, we are still stuck in “you do not do us a favor by putting an industry in our backyard”. Rather, pathetic.


  • guest

    मुंबई में 1993 में हुए सिलसिलेवार बम धमाकों के मामले
    में संजय दत्त को प्रतिबंधित हथियार रखने का दोषी मानते हुए भारत की सर्वोच्च अदालत
    ने पांच साल की क़ैद की सज़ा सुनाई है. गुरुवार को प्रेस कॉन्फ्रेंस करते हुए संजय
    दत्त फूट पड़े और कहा कि वो अदालत के इस फैसले कि खिलाफ़ अपील नहीं करेंगे.

    इस बार होली में जब सारी दुनिया रंग और उल्लास में डूबी थी तो संजय दत्त के घर
    में मातम पसरा था. उन्होंने ये स्वीकार कर लिया है कि अगले साढ़े तीन साल वो जेल
    में बिताएंगे. सवाल उठता है कि संजय की जड़ें क्या इस तर्क का समर्थन कर सकती हैं
    कि वो हिंदू विरोधी या मुस्लिम विरोधी किसी काम को अंजाम दे सकते हैं?

    संबंधित समाचार

    संजय दत्त: मुझसे ज़्यादा दया के हक़दार

    हम हर विकल्प तलाशेंगेः प्रिया दत्त

    संजू को सज़ा, ट्विटर पर दुख की लहर

    इससे जुड़ी



    जद्दन बाई

    इन्हीं सवालों से उलझता इस बार होली पर मैं एक बार फिर यूट्यूब पर जद्दन बाई की
    रचना राग दुर्गा में सुन रहा था. सुरों के आरोह-अवरोह से ऐसा महसूस हो रहा था कि
    उन्होंने इसे 1930 के दशक में गाया होगा. 78आरपीएम के पुराने रिकॉर्ड से निकलनेवाले
    गीत के बोल थे, “रूप, जोबन, गुण धरे रहते हैं इन भागन के आगे.” अवधी की इस रचना का
    हिंदी अभिप्राय है कि भाग्य के आगे रूप, यौवन, गुण – ये सब धरे के धरे रह जाते हैं.
    हैरानी नहीं होनी चाहिए कि कई लोग जो खुद को अयोध्या की विरासत को हिंदू होने से
    जोड़ते हैं वो अवधी की इन पंक्तियों का अर्थ शायद ही समझते हैं. अवधी वो भाषा है
    जिसमें तुलसीदास ने हिंदुओं के शोषण के लिए बदनाम किए गए मुग़लकाल में
    ‘रामचरितमानस’ लिखी थी. मलिक मोहम्मद जायसी और अब्दुल रहीम ख़ानेख़ाना शायद इस
    पंक्ति का संदेश बेहतर समझते.

    न तो जद्दन बाई और न ही राग दुर्गा की पहचान रंगों के त्योहार होली से है. आमतौर
    पर होली के समय जो राग गाए जाते हैं उनमें खमाज, पीलू, ग़ारा और काफ़ी महत्वपूर्ण
    हैं जो कि या तो दोपहर के बाद या पहले गाए जानेवाले राग हैं.

    लेकिन आज होली के गीतों का मिज़ाज बदल गया है. अब होली मनाने वाले लोग माइकल
    जैक्सन की भोंडी नकल वाले संगीत थिरकते हैं.

    1993 में मुंबई में हुए धमाकों के सिलसिले में संजय दत्त को सज़ा
    सुनाई गई है.

    लेकिन होली की कई संगीत रचनाएं भैरवी, तिलक कामोद जैसे रागों में हैं जिनमें
    मिथकीय देव कृष्ण और राधा की लीलाओं का उत्सव गान किया गया है.

    गंगा-जमुनी विरासत

    होली के हफ्ते की शुरुआत में मैं कराची से आई अपनी भांजी को लेकर दिल्ली में
    ठुमरी के एक समारोह में गया जिसमें 80 वर्ष से ज्यादा की हो चली मशहूर शात्रीय
    गायिका गिरिजा देवी का गायन होना था. वो शायद भारत की गंगा-जमुनी तहज़ीब वाली गायकी
    की विरासत की कुछ आखिरी स्तंभों में से एक हैं. उनके समकालीन समकक्षों में रसूलन
    बाई थीं जो जद्दन बाई की तरह ही दरबारी नाचने-गाने की परंपरा से जुड़ी थीं. रसूलन
    बाई ने अपने विशिष्ट स्वर में राम और कृष्ण की भक्ति के कुछ पद गाए थे. उन्होंने
    1970 के दशक में गाना तब छोड़ दिया था जब अहमदाबाद में उनके घर को एक हिंदू भीड़ ने
    जला दिया था.

    ये रोचक जानकारी है कि जिस अहमदाबाद ने नरेंद्र मोदी के धार्मिक असहिष्णुता के
    ब्रांड को आगे बढ़ाया, वहां बेगम अख्तर और कई अन्य मुसलमान संगीतकारों और
    कवियों-शायरों को भरपूर प्यार मिला. बेगम अख्तर की मौत अहमदाबाद में ही एक संगीत
    कार्यक्रम के दौरान हुई थी. जो कि इस बात का प्रतीक सा बन गया है कि अहमदाबाद से
    उन्हें इतना प्रेम था कि प्राण भी वहीं त्यागा.

    मोदी के राज में

    हाल ही में मोदी के समर्थकों ने 17वीं सदी के शायर वली दक्कनी की क़ब्र का अनादर
    किया. ये वही वली दक्कनी हैं जिन्होंने हिंदुओं के मक्का कहलानेवाले वाराणसी के
    बारे में कभी लिखा था, “कुचा ए यार ऐन कासी है, जोगिया दिल वहीं का बासी है.”

    मोदी समर्थकों ने बड़ौदा में फ़य्याज़ ख़ान की कब्र का भी अनादर किया. वो एक ऐसे
    गायक थे जिन्होंने अपनी कई रचनाएं कृष्ण और उनकी लीला को समर्पित कीं. गोपियों के
    साथ कृष्ण की रास लीलाओं को अपनी रचना में जगह देनेवाले विख्यात लोगों में नवाब
    वाजिद अली शाह का नाम प्रमुख है. अंग्रेज़ों द्वारा कलकत्ता के नज़दीक मटिया बुर्ज
    में निर्वासित किए जाने से पहले अवध के इस नवाब ने ठुमरी और कथक नृत्य के लिए पद
    लिखे जिनमें कृष्ण की लीलाओं और उनसे जुड़ी होली के उल्लास का महिमामंडन है.

    वयोवृद्ध कथक नर्तक बिरजू महाराज ने नवाब की विरासत को संभाल रखा है. पिछले
    हफ्ते उनके शिष्यों ने जब प्रह्लाद की कथा को नृत्य नाटिका के माध्यम से मंच पर
    जीवंत किया तो कराची से आई मेहमान धन्य हो गई. होली मनाने की परंपरा प्रह्लाद कथा
    से भी जुड़ी है. मेरी भांजी ने बताया कि कथक की विरासत को पाकिस्तान में शीमा
    किरमानी नाम की नृत्यांगना बहुत परिश्रम से बचाने की कोशिश कर रही हैं.

    संजय की जड़ों की तलाश

    मदर इंडिया का किरदार निभानेवाली संजय दत्त की मां नरगिस के पिता
    हिंदू थे.

    सवाल उठता है कि जब मेरे आसपास की दुनिया रंगों से होली मना रही थी और भांग के
    तरंग में डूबी थी तो मुझे जद्दन बाई और राग दुर्गा सुनने की ज़रूरत क्यों महसूस
    हुई? हक़ीकत ये है कि मैं उस संजय दत्त के ख़ानदान की जड़ें तलाशने में लगा था जो
    फिल्मों में ख़राब अदाकारी करते थे लेकिन खुद एक अच्छे दिल वाले इनसान हैं. हाल ही
    में उन्हें मुंबई में 1993 में हुए बम धमाकों में कथित भूमिका के मामले में पांच
    साल क़ैद की सज़ा सुनाई गई है. उनके पास एक प्रतिबंधित बंदूक और शायद एक पिस्तौल
    पाई गई थी जो कि उन्होंने मुंबई अंडरवर्ल्ड के अपने कथित दोस्तों से हासिल किया

    संजय दत्त में हिंदू और मुस्लिम दोनों ख़ून हैं अगर खून को आप इस तरह समझ सकें.
    उनकी मां 1950 के दशक की मशहूर अदाकारा नरगिस थीं जो कि जद्दन बाई की बेटी थीं.
    जद्दन बाई के तीन बच्चे थे जिनके पिता तीन अलग-अलग शख्स थे, जिनमें दो हिंदू थे और
    एक मुसलमान. नरगिस के पिता हिंदू थे और वो अकेले व्यक्ति थे जिन्होंने जद्दन बाई से
    ब्याह रचाया था. संजय के पिता सुनील दत्त हुसैनी ब्राह्मण थे. किंवदंती है कि
    हुसैनी ब्राह्मणों ने यज़ीद की सेना के खिलाफ़ कर्बला की लड़ाई में हिस्सा लिया

    ‘लाचार मुसलमान’

    संजय दत्त से जुड़ी धार्मिक विरासत की परंपरा चाहे जो रही हो, हक़ीक़त है कि
    उन्होंने 1993 में मुस्लिमों के खिलाफ़ हुई हिंसा के विरुद्ध आवाज़ उठाई थी. शायद
    उनके भीतर अपनी जड़ों को लेकर एक असुरक्षा की भावना पैदा हो गई हो जो आज खुद को
    लाचार महसूस करने वाले मुसलमानों में पाई जाती है.

    ये भारत में ही हो सकता है कि होली का सबसे लोकप्रिय गीत शकील बयायूंनी ने लिखा,
    उसे नौशाद ने संगीतबद्ध किया और गाया शमशाद बेगम ने और इसे फिल्माया गया था नरगिस
    पर. गीत था – “होली आई से कन्हाई, रंग छलके, सुना दे ज़रा बांसूरी”. इस ऐतिहासिक
    फिल्म में नरगिस ने मदर इंडिया का किरदार निभाया था. नरगिस का धर्म क्या था? इस गीत
    में गोपियां नटखट कृष्ण से गुज़ारिश कर रही हैं कि वो होली के मौके पर अपनी जादूई
    बांसुरी बजाना बंद न करें. संजय दत्त की त्रासदी और जद्दन बाई की धर्मों की दीवार
    को तोड़ती विरासत इसी गीत के मध्यम होते सुर से बंधे से लगते हैं.


  • Koki

    This is what happens when people are fed with unreasonable hope of doubling the return on their investment every year. Unrealistic euphoria,it it is called.


  • Deepak Jain

    Hope the author realizes that the solution lies in empowering the downtrodden, instead of doling out money as has been the case. And please name the UPA when they deserve, the way you do with the BJP


  • young bengal

    Folks INDIA IS GOING DOWN THE PAN.LIVING IN INDIA IS SAME AS LIVING IN A MORAL SEWER.Else how can you explain the scum NDTV brazenly inviting MANU ******** SINGHVI , day in day out in prime time tv.Indians who like to lecture the “west” on its moral decrepitude need to reflect how a man who tramples on marital fidelity and USES high office and the bartering of judge’s post for some nookie in his back office can go about as if nothing happened. Now it is possible the anchors in NDTV empathise for they may be fellow travellers..Next a russian hooker will be able siphon off stragetic secrets for a few shag.


    Next the ECONOMY. I have discussed this umpteen times in some other guise in these blogs.Let me reiterate.

    Inflation is universal ,even I feel it in uk. though being a surgeon , doesn’t preclude me from going to watch Flamenco Festival , tickets costing the equivent of one way fare to resorts in spain.Only a year or two ago there were FOOD RIOTS in cairo. Though EU has GRAIN MOUNTAIN and WINE LAKES and butter mountain , but high fuel prices vis a vis transport cost as well PRINTING MONEY IN BILLIONS now euphemistically known as QUANTITATIVE EASING.has caused this inflation in uk.You dont need rocket

    science to explain the plight of greece and spain, though there the ONLY problem is UNEMPLOYMENT running at 25%.


    1.India needs “Revolution in Agriculture”. Needs to come out of STONE AGE.

    All land holding coalesced into a CORPORATION with patta holders getting a share of the company as well as job in the corporation.

    TOTALLY MECHANISED FARMING with computer controlled irrigation and fertiliser use, and INTENSELY DENSE sowing of seeds by machines as is done in WEST, with a view to bring the productivity in line with the west.
    Currently the stasiticsis 3 india 8 west(per acre yield)

    COMPULSORY UNIVERSAL ENGLISH MEDIUM EDUCATION with 500 marks for vernacular. Establish a centre for comparative education to learn about the different methods in different country.
    DIGITALISE EDUCATION with virtual teachers
    all you need is a television studio and bandwith.
    instead of teachers there should be LIFE COACHES in classes with mandatory qualification in child and adoloscent psychology


    Anonymous Reply:

    You would quote Nirad choaudhry as if he were God. Now the news has come out that Nirad was a British spy !! And he got UK citizenship for it. What do you have to say to that?


  • ehgrich

    dimple nothing is possible till stomach is full.muslims are last to be hired and first to be vrious reports by committees appointed by goi u will find muslims in worst condition as compare to others.this is because of descrimination.


  • Faruk

    This article represents a gross misunderstanding of the subject by the author. The issue at hand is that the red tape in India is frustrating and it has to be fixed for the economy to grow.


  • engrich

    not even a single muslim is jehadi in india.abhinav bharat was planting the bombs putting the blame on muslims.thanks god they are caught and having good time in jail.

    muslims are the golden gooze of indian economy most of the cities in india are known because of their handicraft works.


  • Faulitics

    This author even frames a common problem of poverty in communal terms as if not being Muslim means you are living it up.he looks at everything through a communal colored prism. Sign of an arabized mind which is trained to look at everything as us and the them.


    GUEST Reply:

    hindu haijehan gareebi hai wahan.they dont share their wealth with poors.they share it with bhagwans.


  • Javed

    then thank god you are not the Industries minister

    where did you learn economics? in a madrassa?


  • adarsh

    India is a land controlled by cocky babus and politicians who are perpetually busy protecting their income sources. Their way of keeping the poor janata happy is by throwing crumbs at janata like Maharajas did. Industrialists and businessmen who create jobs are treated like dirt.
    Every businessman wants to make money; in the process jobs get created and national wealth increases – leading to good for all. Rich NRI businessmen industrialists also want to make money and it takes some patriotism and courage to think of India with its red-tape and business unfriendly attitude. Unlike industrialists who are stuck with India, NRIs don’t owe shit to India and can take their investment elsewhere.
    I think we deserve our rotten PSUs and DRDO type organizations whose incompetent and inefficient managers and employees have screwed this country all these years. DOT kept telephone prices high for half a century (till privatization) and Air India types cost govt. tens of thousand crores every year. Jaihind.