Friday, May 11, 2012

How Amir Khan's Satyamev Jayate is basically the same as Palash sen's Satyameva Jayate, done years ago of course

Here's the brilliant explanation of Plagiarist Amir Khan's Plagiarism by Jay Hind! Scrubber Band's lead guitarist Bali. 
In his words : i have been hearing from a few people about the Satyamev Jayte Tune controversy:

so lets get into the theory and figure it out :)
the notes for the for aamir khan's version composed by Ram Sampat is 
E D E F# G 

so the song is basically in E minor Scale ( notes of E minor scale E F# G A B C D E)

2. the notes for Euphorias tune is

G# F# G#
G# F# G#
G# F# G# A# B

now this song is in G# Minor scale( notes of G#M are (G# A# B C# D# E F# G#)

bcoz of the B note both the songs although in MINOR KEY but different scales follow the same intervals like

Tone Tone

Tone Tone

Tone Tone Tone Semitone

if u play the chords, u might feel that both the songs are different coz of unique vocal character sung by both the singers

chords for Aamir's version is Em G and Euphoria is G#m B

but if u play the tune on any instrument without the chords in the background u will notice that it has same intervals and are basically the same tune : which brings to a conclusion that Aamir Khan loses here and Palash sen might win the case...

Moral of the story : Every single note of Music can make you a millionaire :)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Last Turnaround

(I was planning to post this later. But as things are ghoing exactly as I have predicted in private conversations and emails for more than 3-4 years, I think it must serve the purposes of as many as possible. I was able to benefit from the following analysis in 2007 and am benefiting now as well.)

The markets are turning around. Particularly in India. The world will turn around too. For the next 18 months, the markets will shoot up again. Everyone will forget the gloom and doom. The stimulus packages would seem to have worked. And then when you least expect it, the markets will crash for the last time.
There will be no turnaround after that.
The banks will be gone forever. Currencies will meld into one. An aera will pass. And all of you who think this is crazy is the pattern...
The first recent crash happened in 1987. 13 years later, the markets melted in the dot com bubble. A lot of bailouts happened in 2000-2001. Then the marjets recovered sharply and it lasted exactly 1/2 of 13 years. 6.5 years. That brought us to 2007-2008. And again the markets crashed. Again bigger bailouts happened. The markets have started recovering sharply again. This time the half life can max be 3.25 years. Which is sometime in late 2011-2013.
If you then expect a recovery after even bigger bailouts, then the recovery will last just about a year the markets will crash before they can recover. And lose all sense. A new paradigm needs to be found. Like all empires near the end of their reign...the last kings rule for shorter and shorter time. So it is with the rule of these markets. The reign is nearing its end.
Enjoy the last turnaround.
And get ready to welcome a golden era of True Change.

p.s. i recommend (but you might have even better ideas, in which case please keep me posted):

1. buy a piece of land - far, far away from any city. preferably with adequate rainfall and sunlight.
2. instal one of the small solar energy solutions which can keep one light, one fan and a cooker going forever at an investment of Rs.4000/- or so. now. later it might be the most expensive thing around.
3. Liquidate everything you have by JUne 2011. if you have a decent networth now, you might consider doing it rightaway instead of trying to time the Systems Crash. and then don't hold it in cash. exchange almost all the cash for land, Gold and Necessities including water. these will be more expensive than anything else.
4. Teach your children about alternate ways of living and to do without comforts for a while. I expect the world to return to a New System within 5 years. BUt these 5 years will be hell if you are not prepared and you might not survive for 5 years if you are stuck anywhere in a city when the thing happens.
5. get hold of as many books as possible. your children will need them to stay educated. don't forget a copy of Das Capital. Mr.Marx might have a lot to do with what happens next. So also Atlas Shrugged. Mr.Rand will also have a lot to do with what happens next. And a copy of the US constitution as written by the founding fathers. For Jefferson too will have a lot to do with what Ssytem is built next. Other than this books on quantum physics, chaos theory, computation and electronics will come in handy. not to mention mechanics and basic engineering and automation. don't forget fairytales. you wil need the escapism.
6. forget the DVDs. you will need electricity to play them. and electricity might take 5 years to return. you see why books are better than DVDs? they work at all times. and they never ever waste your money on lithium.
7. Learn some for of hand to hand combat. I personally will not be doing this so i will be counting on you for my safety. :) You might need guns also. but i will not recommend it.
8. Learn some meditative techniques. It will be a good time to practice your spirituality.
9. Learn swimming. I will. It's a dangerous thing to not know swimming when the water is upto your neck and everything is drowning.
10. Learn a little about Ayurveda, get a book, collect the herbs and the medicines. be ready to live without pills. good news is these things are cheap and can be quickly assembled (at the moment) to treat every disease.

Good Luck. And Hope you do take all the precautions just in case I am right.

May the Galactic Spirit make the Great Chaos withstandable and short. less than 1 year will be agreeable. :)

i can be reached at

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Undercover Utopia

It's been a long hiatus. But the wait is truly worth it. With Mrinal's rocksolid support and encouragement from friends like Anil, I have now undertaken the biggest venture of my life. Undercover Utopia.

For a long time now, I have been saying that The Time Has Come! Indeed it has. We are well and truly in the process of ushering in The Age Of Imagination.

Come share our journey as we take this leapof faith.

Our first book will be out next week.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Soul Search Engine

Soul Search Engine
( by abhigyan & mrinal jha, extracted from the book of the same name, copyright 1995.registered with WGA, west, California)

It’s early morning -
I’ve brought my tea
To the table
And am waiting - to
Discover the burdens of the day.

There’s something
In the air
Today, I feel
I can catch the
Whiff of it -
If I try
And strain my blocked nose.

Haven’t put
The lenses
On, so I can be sure
Of undivided attention,
For once I wouldn’t want
My senses
To let the scent down -
For it seems to
Tingle at the base
Of my memories -
Trying to pry open the blocks
In the nose,
Forming images
The eye will never need
Contacts to recognize.

It’s a junction.
Where the tracks are
Never ending
And the signals
Switch from red to green
To red to green
In isolation -
Yet in tandem,
Bringing motion
To rest
And rest to motion.

But what stuck then -
In the mind
And what’s stirring
In the soul
That the smell is catching,
Up with the slowing speed
Of the smoking chimney,
On the two
Finite parallel lines -
Is the lone
Silhouette, as it
Brought the carriage
To stop on the platform
Number nine.

Was the name
Of the game
People played in my
And then it was time
For the whistle to blow -
Flags to wave
And take the story forward.

It’s a special thing,
This our memory -
It remembers - only
That which carves
A niche and discards
All that’s worth its place
On the side of the way.

And so I saw the engine
Detach from it’s bogey
And strike out a lone furrow
With the simmer
Of fire inside the steel -
As the dark coal burned
And spread its flavor -
The ashen steam, searched
And found its outlet
Driving the pistons to speed -

The engine hammered along
Now as if on a mission -
Along - the same two
‘Twain shall never meet’
Lines, that somehow
Seemed now -
To stretch and join
At the horizon -

I took a deep breath
And internalized
The aroma in the air,
The same breath that’s
Come to haunt me
Years later this morning,
Seeking to burn the blocks
Of darkness, within
And force the gray doubts
Without -
Surge the self beyond being
And steer the wheels
Of my Soul Search Engine.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


CELEBRATION of celebrities
A SHORT STORY by abhigyan jha (copyright oct.2006)

This is not a work of narrative non-fiction. Any resemblance to real life actors, characters living dead or as yet unborn is completely coincidental and of course unintentional. Ditto for any hurt or heartburn.


He prepared himself well whenever he decided to meet her here. She was not his girlfriend and gods forbid she wasn't his wife either. Though he saw the merit in meeting one's wife in a secret rendezvous. Adds spice. He liked spice. As opposed to spice girls. What rubbish we spawned in the dying years of the 20th. He poured himself a sherry as he stopped the thought about spice girls. It is not appropriate to be judgmental. He liked Christ. He was specific about this modern commandment. Who are we to judge? Who is ever going to cast the first stone?

He smiled as the warm sherry hit his having quit smoking a year ago throat. He really liked Christ. Not because he was into religion. god knew that wouldn't do. A modern writer of pretentious prose and hooked on religion? No sir. That simply wouldn't do. He was too cool to be that dumb. Christ himself was cool though. it helped that his publishers in NY were raised Christians. But the truth was he liked Christ independent of any ulterior motives. He loved him for he promised to forgive. God knew one needed forgiveness.

the world had moved past capitalism, communism, nonalignment and such intellectually challenging theorems to a simpler platform. A basic stratagem really. he had to admire the unspoken arrangement his world had arrived at.
Might is right. Only might was no longer to be confused with muscles, machine gun or even intelligence of the mind. The mind was involved but the power it wielded was not derived say from the intelligence that made Edison invent approximately 1000 patents. It was common. It was like the rule of thumb.
Smartness! Clever.

Common enough for everyone to feel comfortable with this new currency of power and vote for it eagerly for who didn't fancy outsmarting the rest in a free equal society? There lay the catch. He smiled. Fortunately the catch was there. Imagine the horror of living in a world which was truly equal. It would be unbearable. Almost as unbearable as a world which craved of genius. That would be too much inequality. Brazen. He wouldn't want to feel complexed.

This was where he belonged. The visible relaxed present. Where the explicit and implicit were as different as the dictionary promised. Here he was assured of a higher plane of existence, the cheapest wine he drank was 2 oceans, though seemingly he had no apparent genius that stood him out of the common and in a different era wouldn't have deserved a special treatment.

He was fashionably common yet very very smart. He was the kind of clever man who could sell a 914 page novel to an American publisher for a million dollars which had already been written as a 550 page bestseller by an ex convict only a few years earlier. And so he did.

Being clever is not a 9 to five job. It is 24x7. He was at least as good as the Gujju guy who sold Bombay in narrative nonfiction to an ill informed America and definitely a worthy successor to the lady who sold in celluloid the slumkids and streetfilth in salutation of his native byelanes. They both had maximized the city. And now it was his turn.

His book was out. A 10 city international tour was to begin tomorrow. And he was flying business class. But that wasn't the only reason he was out here at the secret hideout. His sister's new movie was premiering next Friday. He would miss that but there is always a way to make up for lost opportunities. He loved meeting his sister here. She was the only woman who had set foot here. Oh well except the prostitutes. But that was research. Good research. Some of them were so good; he was finally convinced of the fallacy of marriage. What couldn't be bought? Whatever it was, it would have to be boring or dumb or god forbid. Both! He chuckled. Sherry was good for his digestion.

It reminded him of the glib critic who had suggested his magnum opus was hard to digest. It wouldn't have done to have confronted him in a party. Too vile. Instead he had replied, he recalled with pleasure, try some sherry. It's good for digestion.

Very clever.
He wasn't gay. Just clever.
Too few left of his species if you asked his friend. A film-maker who his sister hated, one of their few disagreements, it was healthy to agree to disagree, but he simply loved the guy, if not his films, too kitschy!

This guy released his latest blockbuster as a coming of age film. No the film wasn't about coming of age; it was the maker who had finally come of age in this glittering movie resembling a glorious suiting advertisement of yore. The nation loved it. You had to dig it. The theatres were jammed. But that wasn't the end of it. He sighed, thinking of the masterstroke his friend had performed. His film was invited to the Toronto festival. Now he knew the talent scout of the Toronto film festival. A black man in search of Asian ghetto cinema. He had met him at the screening of a film one of his sister's friends had made. Awful dark, brooding, images with a deliberate attempt to make you think. But that hadn't bothered the black man from Canada. He found racial prejudice in the film! Why do you have a white cast in an Indian film? Why is the film in English? Why is Calcutta so beautiful? Where is the filth? This is too unreal!

Incredulous, he had asked the coming of age sultan of shit, how did you manage him? Your film is too plastic for his likes.
With a majesty he found irresistible, sultan confided: I always fancied sucking black cock. But I wasn't sure. God, he could have been straight!

Then there was the monologue loving modern Muslim novelist and his brother the avant-garde screenwriter, the twin savants of literature from Dongri. If Islamic terrorism didn't work, literary terrorism from these two would ensure civilization would fall, definitely.
Was he being too harsh? Perhaps it was alright to be politically incorrect in the privacy of one's own sherry? Still, he would be fair. You had to give it to them. They were playing by the same rules as him. Okay, they weren't too good with the moves but they were articulate enough to learn. Life was a learning curve.

If you were willing to practice and network, the craft was sure to be perfect someday. He burped with satisfaction, craft is an apt word. For what is achieved without a bit of craft?
Crafty is just another word for clever. Not as benign perhaps but who's to say it wouldn't be the 'in' word in 2029? After all smart wasn't the best adjective back in the 50's! Look how far we can come given the time!

That was one of his favorite lines from a poem he had written during his brief stint with the erstwhile poetry circle. He always used erstwhile for this bunch of esoteric beasts for though they hadn't become extinct like the soviet union they ran the society behind a curtain that had to be made of sterner stuff than ordinary iron. And darker. But more rusty. He took a sip of the sherry to rid him of the bitterness.
How he had loved looking down from the dais at one notorious member of the circle who was present for one of the launch vehicles for his new book.

He had seen the envy and the gloating in the man's eyes. Yes gloating - in his own self worth. The pompous pig gloated in his own failure to find an audience. True he was now published but it was difficult to tell where and who published the two volumes of unreadable gibberish. This man was born a Christian, where did he leave his bible lessons? He was ever ready to cast the first stone. At poetry circle meetings, our man would grab a copy of your poem and finish scribbling vociferous comments beside every line even as you read out the rest with a sinking heart.

But why think of such scum when he had 7 more zeroes in his HSBC account statement than the poor sod who wasn't even a successful journalist?
But he had been lucky! if the confused ex advertising man was not busy reinventing his mythological masterpiece, he would been the one with more zeroes in his bank, justifying the name his much flogged father bestowed on him carelessly.

There were those months when he thought he will never get the commission. After all the publishers wanted the grown up boy from Bombay central to write the definitive plagiarism of the ex-convicts story. With a dose of the Gujju's penchant for real life references. That a gujju can live in New York is the wonder. How can he know the taste of sausage on his Vaishnav tongue? So a man who can't even describe truthfully an American breakfast is now going to write a book about New York!

If only his last book hadn't been such a disappointment. Perhaps he would have had the chance. He had worried repeatedly when his book was due out. Cloaked in fiction his stuff mightn't rake up enough controversy! He had compared his city with the Gujju's and cursed long into the nights...but no point remembering old disappointments. Everyone has their timing. Their chance.
Take his sister for instance, she slept with a hedonistic autobiographical director when barely out of film school and never thought it would pay off so soon. Next month he announced his retirement and anointed her his prot?g?.
His sister was never late. She had taught him the value of turning up at the right time.

The doorbell rang.

His sister was here. He opened the door. She hadn't forgotten. She held the Dom Perignon poised at his nose. He waved it aside carefully and kissed her on the lips. He had heard once in a five-star men's room that his sister's mouth was too full. The idiot. He sucked on those lips for what seemed like ages.

This wasn't incest as you might know it. Not some ordinary fetish or obsession. The physical expression of it was only demonstrative. It had started in childhood as a way of sharing their deepest secret. They had no talent. Yet they had decided they will make it, 'together'. And tonight they were celebrating their success.

He felt the urgency build up. She pressed back, hard. They hadn't done it for ages. And it was good to find things hadn't changed. Panting, already, they separated. She smiled. He smiled back. Then almost together they exclaimed. Zindagi Rocks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Censorship and Intolerance in the Information Age for PEN Meeting 12.08.06

Censorship and Intolerance in the Information Age for PEN Meeting 12.08.06_by Abhigyan jha
As Ranjit put in the email circular: I am a script-writer and director. And I have been most recently associated with the film, Sacred Evil (2006), whose theme – that ofthe parallel dimensions which lie beyond the reach of our rationality and science – was lost sight of, in the debate that ensued over itsportrayal of certain characters, clerical members of the RomanCatholic Church; and its interpretation of the relationship betweenorthodox faith and Wicca.
Though, I am the scriptwriter and director of Sacred Evil, I have never seen myself as scriptwriter or director. When our first novel November Rain (co-authored by my better half Mrinal) was published in 1994, I made it a point to include on the back cover the fact that I am not so much a writer as a raconteur. I am a narrator of the imagination. Sometimes I write stories, novels - poems or scripts, sometimes I make films but at all times I am a speaker for the imagination and a die hard believer in the freedom to create.Whatever.As my topic for the day is orthodoxy & creative latitude, I am going to take the liberty of taking a bit of creative latitude with the time given to me and the topic itself and stray into areas that I believe are important for all of us who value freedom at these challenged times. And I warn everyone that my views could be unpalatable to some including my fellow speakers and I hope I will not be censured midway. I will be rapid and I will tend to rave and rant. But for the sake of coherence I will stick to an overarching index. And I outline them now: they are in their order of appearance:What is orthodoxy?What is freedom? for creative latitude is nothing but the basic fabric of freedom.The Spirit of the Age: what is our place in history?What happens when we choke freedom?Where are we going? Freedom and the next Paradigm Shift________________________________________________What is orthodoxy?America's founding fathers were men of both science and faith who attributed creation to the laws of Nature and Nature's God. Not the Christian God or the Jewish God or the Islamic God: Nature's God. In that hallowed tradition epitomized in the Declaration of Independence , a document I will refer to again along with its counterpart the Bill of Rights; I am strongly inclined to believe that after acknowledging the effects of quantum mechanics and looking through the lens of the Hubble we will find that woven throughout the universe is an abstract intelligence which may without offense to either science or religion, be permitted to call divine.This is the language of the twenty first century which was not accessible to Galileo or Bruno. To doubt and to question are rights we have had to fight long for. Whoever we humans have had to fight for those rights are the orthodox and their agents of inquisition. As we go on I intend to leave you in no doubt as to 'who' these reactionary orthodox are.I will briefly mention the challenge from the Orthodox Church to my film Sacred Evil. Sacred Evil was/or rather is the story of a nun who is haunted by grim visions. Though she lives in the sanctuary of the Convent the demons continue to pursue her. As a last resort the Mother Superior calls in Ipsita Roy Chakraverti to heal the nun. Now Ipsita is a qualified Jungian psychotherapist as well as a self proclaimed Witch or practitioner of Wicca.This raised the heckles of the Church. No matter that the rest of the film was about the healing of the nun and no Christian doctrine or ritual was put into question or subverted. The point made by the Orthodox in this case is that you have no right to judge what is correct portrayal of our faith. Only we can judge. This then is the domain of the Orthodox. He is the final arbiter. He is the judge. No law or due process applies to him. He has abrogated that right to himself.It is pertinent to note that those who challenged my film with a Wiccan theme, are the same people who killed millions during the Inquisition, including 600000 so called witches who were burnt to death like Bruno the scientist. 400 odd years later they haven't yet been brought to book or tendered a proper apology though everyone goes on and on about one Hitler. The Catholic Church has killed more people than a hundred Hitlers put together. So have the fundamentalist followers of Allah and the Zionist landgrabbers of Israel. Even the supposedly nonviolent Buddhist emperors of India razed a minimum thousand Hindu temples and were responsible for the killing of thousands of priests between Asoka's time till Sankaracharya revived the Vedic faith.From Wicca to Wikipedia we have come a long way But the orthodox of course have never understood the bottom-line for all those who like me and you are governed by the creative impulse. That bottom-line is: Nothing less than Freedom; nothing more than Faith.What is freedom? For creative latitude is nothing but the basic fabric of freedom itself?Freedom in essence is a negative concept. In this it is different from power which is a positive priciple. by negative or positive I am not referring to their ethical value. I am only refrring to their intrinsic nature. Freedom is about being free from… a subtraction of something undesirable. Whereas Power is an addition of something desirable. As more often than not we differ as individuals about the nature of the desirable but agree on what is absolutely undesirable: Freedom is a higher concept than Power. And nowhere is it more enshrined than in the United States Declaration of Independence. A document drafted by the greatest pioneer of freedom Thomas Jefferson. A sign of these deluded times is the way we have treated this man whose words have enabled every freedom we have been able to gain over the past 217 years. Freedoms which did not exist for any man before Jefferson enshrined them forever.I will repeat those words for I feel we are beginning to foreget them often.We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.I also repeat the first five amendments to the US Constitution, popularly called the Bill of Rights, for they make explicit the rights of all men promised in the Declaration.First Amendment – Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Second Amendment – Right for the people to keep and bear arms, as well as to maintain a militia.A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Fifth AmendmentDue process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, private property.No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.I know America bashing is the popular pastime of the day and America itself is rather not conducive to its own constitution these days but if you were Tammam Adi you might agree with me that it is still the freest place on earth. Tammam has been helping me research the background of an immigrant Muslim family in USA post 9/11. He himself is one such immigrant and to top it is a leading cleric of his mosque in Eugene, Oregon. He was born in Syria. I quote him:I enjoyed reading dictionaries and learning new languages in the sameway other kids enjoyed playing basketball. I did not know that such aloving, harmless hobby could put me in serious danger.I had just translated a famous Armenian poem into Arabic when mytranslator friend said that he had a great idea and wanted to introduceme to an interesting man. He took me downtown to a tall unmarkedbuilding and we took the elevator to the fifth floor. We were expected,and the man behind the desk grinned as he greeted me, but I saw no traceof humanity in his face. Where did it all go?It was as if he read my feelings in my face--I am very transparent thatway--and I stuttered into explaining why I was there. He made severaldisjointed opening remarks (one would have done if one is honest), Iunderstood that he wanted me to translate peoples' letters and phonecalls, just to check them for national security reasons.I was triply frightened. I was shocked at the "job offer." I knew thatmy face revealed my shock. And I also knew that my refusal to accept theoffer would have dire consequences.Spy on my beautiful friends who taught me the nuances of all thosebeautiful words in their beautiful languages? What a monstrous request!But I froze. "I would love to serve my country," I stuttered. He said,"We will see what we will do next. We will contact you."There was only one way out. I had to leave Syria.An Armenian friend picked me up at the Charles De Gaulle Airport inParis. We went to his roof-top apartment and I could not wait towhisper to him all the gory details of my ordeal with the facelessspyman. My whispering upset him a lot. It upset him so much that Ifelt scared. He stood up, opened his window, stuck out his head andscreamed as loud as he could, "De Gaulle is crap." Then, he turned tome and said, "See, you are free now, free, free, free. You can say whatyou want, wherever you want. You are no longer in Syria."That was my first lesson in liberty. Paris, October 1970.Soon thereafter, my joy with freedom was interrupted when I discoveredthat every French person I met wanted to know whether I prayed andfasted as Muslims do. If I said yes, they would frown and turn awayfrom me. They all believed that religious Muslims were dangerous anddid not belong in Europe. Practicing Muslims had to hide their "foreigncultural practices" in their own ghetto in the town of the EiffelTower. This was also my experience in Germany for 13 years.I had to hide my prayers in the West and did so even after I settled inthe US, until I finally found out that, unlike Europeans, Americansinclude religion in their concept of liberty. From then on, I no longerpulled my livingroom curtains closed when I prayed.Unquote.This was of course before 9/11. Tammam's life has changed radically since. An FBI van watches over his mosque 24/7 and monitors/videotapes everyone going in to offer prayers. He finds it humiliating. But still Tammam finds the strength and the hope to write articles like these: Many Muslims do not understand their religion well anymore. In unfree societies, one is not taught to think, only to hear and obey.Another of Tammam's articles:America represents ‘true’ Islamic principles . Quote : "America may be the most Islamic country in the world. With our Bill of Rights and our national history, we have struggled to implement the central Islamic principle which commands pluralism in matters of gender, race, national origin and religion.he notes : It is ironic that in 1492, the Spanish monarchy not only conquered the last Islamic-pluralistic city-state of Granada, but also sent Christopher Columbus to discover the New World, where a second great pluralistic society took root.unquote.We go on and one about democracy but democracy or majority rule was not the guiding principle of the constitution is of the USA. It is the concept of individual freedoms which is at the heart of that magnificent bill of rights.No dilly dallying, that constitution makes it clear that the state and society that this constitution creates is for the good of each individual. Specifically that this state should facilitate each individual's pursuit of happiness. In his own way.Everything else is of secondary importance. Society. state, groups? No. Only that One matters. One that is you, me, him, her and all others. But as one. Not as a horde. There are no rights given to groups of people.The reason I did not quote the Indian constitution is because the language is not so clear, the heart not so set on the rights of the individual. Our constitution is regressive compared to the US as far as rights and freedoms are concerned. You mights check the exact words if you doubt me but I warn you the shock will be greater at the duplicit and decrepit formulation of our natural rights. Even the UN Charter of Universal Human Rights pale in comparison to the text Jefferson enshrined.Why? Is the question I have ponedered a lot. Why no stress on the word individual in these two century later modern documents? Why no stress on private property? Why no mention of pursuit of happiness as the goal for ensuring the rights?Who made sure these were deleted. Only one answer is pertinent. There has been no influence greater than the American Declaration of Independence on 20th century thought except the RussianRrevolution and its individual crushing theries of Totalitarian State. whereas jefferson sought to liberate man from all who tried to control him including the state, the leftists saw the individual as a cog in their social wheel, a part very easily dispensable if the collective good decided otherwise. It is they who weakened the UN charter. It is they who weakened our constitution. It is they who supported dictators like Castro and looked the other way when Saddam and Khomeini appeared. It is they who popularise the concept of collective bargaining and reduce the individuial to a powerless beggar, it is they who want to control the so called greed, lust and passions of the individual and assume the roles of cultural, moral and ethical dictators. These are the purveyors of power in the garb of liberals. They are the self-righteous who often supposedly fight on behalf of the underdog, the people and other half baked group entities who are forever trying to limit the horizons of thought, the floors in buildings, heights in dams, segregated classrooms for intelligent childrten, whatever goes beyond the ordinary and smacks of the individual is to be denied and defiled.They are stuck to an ancient tribal/cabalistic code that revels in the sacrfice of the individual to the group.My plea to these tribal gods is to let us alone. We have fought hard to shake off those chains and we are not going to be bullied by your higher moral ground wherever you might derive them from, religion, race, ecology, humanism, communism, nothing allows a group of men to censure and dictate terms to an individual on the basis of the gun or collective will.They must go to the courts for all their grievance and the courts should use the bill of rights to judge the truth.One of my poems has a line: You can let go only that which you are holding back.In this case all you fascist chieftains; you are holding back the rights that empower me. Let go.The Spirit of the Age: what is our place in history?When we think of Descartes' famous assertion "cogito ergo sum", I think so I am; we tend to hear it as the supreme expression of enlightenment belief in the power of human reasoning when in fact it was the upshot of his struggle with grave doubts about whether one could be sure of anything at all. His remedy for this uncertainty was to postulate that there could be no capacity for doubt unless there existed an "I" to do the thinking. An I that is separate and individual from all else. With this Cartesian divide he severed the mind from the matter and made the world focus on what was objectively real. And he used this scientific objectivity to banish centuries of dark and malignant orthodoxy and superstition.350 years on, orthodoxy still haunts us. I will quote now from quickly drafted rant against censorship which I wrote for a PEN Meeting on 13.03.06 called Censorship and Intolerance in the Information Age. It has gained relevance because it turned out to be prophetic in nature. As the Censors, extra legal in this case, came out in full force at my own doorsteps to ban Sacred Evil.I might have changed my view at some future point in my life but now I permanently abide by these words I wrote then:It is a dilemma of the liberal world that in the Information Age suddenly we are threatened by censorship.In many ways it is the doings of the neo-liberals that has resulted in such a situation.Freedom is a constant vigil and freedom is not a relative ideal. If you let an inch of your freedoms slip, you will lose all of it. Gradually, if you are lucky, without warning, if not.Remember the old story about the German shopkeeper : first they came for the communists, i wasn't a communist I didn't protest, then they came for the poles, i wasn't a pole, i didn't protest, then they came for the Jews, I wasn't a Jew, I didn't protest, then they came for the man down the road, well I wasn't him so I didn't protest, then they came for my neighbor and I didn't protest cause it was none of my business, then they came for me! There wasn't anyone left to protest!In the last 20 years, we liberals have stood by and watched the rights and freedoms of many a group of people trampled upon and very often (to the horror of someone like Jefferson) joined in the chorus demanding the subjugation of such rights.First it was the smokers, every conceivable inch of space was snatched from them, they were painted pariahs (forget the fact that from Newton to Russell they were all smokers). People have to stand outside buildings like untouchables to have a couple of puffs.Before I proceed here is a disclaimer. I am not a smoker. I smoke from time to time only to affirm the right of the smoker to smoke in peace. The moment I saw Yevegeny Yevtushenko's grinning smoking picture on the cover of a book Jerry Pinto was reading in this room, I decided to enlarge and frame it. Jerry was not sure about handing over the worn out, out of print copy so mrinal had to win by an auction on ebay another worn out used copy. The enlarged print has gone n0ow for framing. With the caption in red scrawl: smoking lives.Let's not get into the righteous garbage about the rights of non-smokers. Yes they have the right to not smoke passively but where is the courtesy of choice. Yes you can build massive areas for non-smokers but the smokers must be given their space too.Why is smoking banned completely from public spaces?Why can't we provide for their preferences?Since March the anti smoking lobby has spawned a series of howlarious acts of censorship, the latest being in England.The man who is playing Churchill in a play about Churchill has been asked not to smoke the pipe. I am amazed they have not actually hopped aboard a Time Machine and snatched the pipe out of Churchill's mouth even as the poor man stood gaping in the war room! I will return to the need for a time Machine among many protesting groups in our times.I go back to the Broken Windows theory...if you leave one broken window in the city, you will find the whole city contracting the disease of apathy and disorder...fix the rights of those whom you might even abhor and only then can true freedom flourish.What of the recent bit about the revision of ba-ba black sheep in British schools to ba-ba Rainbow sheep? What is that? Do the antiracists know that the poem itself was a protest about the tax on wool during the 13th century, 1 to the local lord, one to the king and the last 1/3rd to the poor little boy down the lane, himself?! Where is color in all this? What's going on?Why are the anti-racists fighting the free expressionists...are they racists? Aren't they supposed to be on the same side?The liberal west denies one the right to deny the holocaust, you can't and shan't be a Nazi sympathizer...making us as Nazi as Hitler. Mein Kampf is not the holocaust. If I were to read passages from it without telling you who wrote it, you could be mistaken into thinking they were written by Lenin, or Marx or a latter day Arundhati or Medha Patkar. Hitler's acts of violence is unpardonable but his ideas and words are as sacred as any other man's. Notwithstanding anyone's sentiments.This business of not hurting the sentiments of others is hogwash. The only hurt we should worry about is the physical kind.Free expression is bound to hurt sentiment; didn't Galileo hurt the sentiment of the church? Sentiments are not worth a dime, freedom is. It is the basic right to freedom that gives one the luxury of sentiment.We must stop ghettoizing drugs, fundamentalism and other so called socially unacceptable behavior... the only thing ghettos breed is violence. Let's defend everyone's freedom to be as they choose to be under the Human Charter, even those whose expressions may repel us. And if everyone is confused about what the Human Charter is, let's draft a NEW BILL OF RIGHTS for the whole world.Because in the end, people don't live as groups. People live as individuals. The smallest and most vulnerable minority in the universe is the individual.We must protect the rights and freedoms of each and every individual and that means we mustn't gang up against the rights and freedoms of anyone except those who intend to browbeat history back into the Dark Ages. Let's not champion environmentalists against the entrepreneur, let's not champion governments against parents rights to raise their children the way they want to, let's not champion the rights of minorities against the rights of the majority,let's not champion the rights of those who question the basic human rights and finally let's not champion the rights of nations, let's ask at all times for the abolition of all boundaries.Let's not forget that History must march on , liberties must progress, let's not revise our position backwards, let's not redraw the boundaries of freedom, we fought hard for 10000 years to find the individual his freedom from the TRIBE, let's not lose it now.Now when the Information Age is ready for freedom of expression beyond the wildest imagination of Jefferson when he wrote the Bill Of Rights.What happens when we choke freedom?Look at this wonderful city of ours.Hemmed in from all sides with restrictions.Nature forces the city to be a bony finger island.Then we put in laws like rent control. a man is not allowed to charge a fair price for his own land.Then comes urban land ceiling act. in a city where everyone comes to fulfil the dream of unlimited wealth, even an Ambani cannot acquire the land for a decent sized house after paying 20 crores. contrast this : For 20 crores you can buy 200 acres in new York sate on ebay.Others sit on 100s of acres of land from before the dumb act waiting for the day when this ridiculous act will go. Meanwhile they don't develop an inch of that land depriving the city of much needed space and the ability to grow with some sense of plan.Finally we arrive at the doors of FSI. The unlimited dream of the mumbaikar is snuffed out by the worst FSI restrictions in the world. No city with a population of more than 10 lakhs has a FSI of 1:1.33. This is not UP or Bihar. We are not in some medieval farm belt. This is a city. The commercial capital of the country. Compare this with FSI in New York (FSI 1:15), Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore where it ranges between 5 and 15. Let's not even mention Hong Kong and Tokyo lest we humiliate ourselves.So buildings are not allowed to rise in Mumbai beyond an average 20 floors. and if someone dares everyone tries their best to cut his dreams to size. New York had a 50 storey skyline in the 1920s and almost a hundred years hence we are stuck yet in our 20s. Americans meanwhile have been to the moon.And then we have the gall to be angry and shocked and even disappointed when the waters rise out of our gutters and spill first into the streets and then into our homes. Drowning in sewage the bodies and aspirations and achievements of some of the most enterprising people on earth. Cars, trophies, mementos, businesses, buffalos all swept aside by the waters that should have flown downwards but instead keep rising and rising with each monsoon.Newspapers say the garbage clots the drain pipes. I say it is too many dreams choked that now choke our pipes. When we deny the spirit a glimpse of unlimited sky, when we flush the aspirations of countless dreamers down the drain, we invite buried filth in our gutters to rise up and submerge us in the darkness of watery graves that we deserve. For there is no fine balance in the battle of being. Either go up or go down. Only the mediocre fantasize about the middle path. But for civilization there is only one choice, really; progress or stagnate. Dream on or perish.I come back to that Time Machine. Would the people who are forever asking for restrictions on development and barking for no development zones, cuts in greenhouse gases and clamoring for the rights of tribes to retain their way of life like to get on a Time Machine and revert the world back to the 1500s? I am sure they would love to For they have a morbid fascination for tribal warfare, virulent disease, darkened mud houses and infant mortality not to mention the condition of women in those hallowed times before development began. Why then don't they support the Taliban? a very Tribal group. Dear liberals you have to choose: either you want this free modern world or go back to the dark tribal ages.The freedom to go beyond the restrictions of our time is the most important of all. For all ages are burdened with a majority which loves to gather moss on the unruffled waters of status quo. or worse want to thrust their nightmarish aspirations for the Old world.When Galileo says the earth goes round the sun. The problem is not one of dogma. What he confronts is the spirit of the age. A medieval spirit not yet fully awakened from its long slumber of the dark ages. Galileo's affirmation is denied because he exercised the freedom to get ahead of his time. His crime is not religious. His crime is: he has moved on; for human society has developed this knee jerk response to one man walking a new path: safety is in numbers: if he walks alone he must be wrong. What moral ground could he possibly have? Isn't society supposed to be for the maximum good of the majority?Let me tell you a short story. A railway track forks near a village and splits into two. one line goes to a dead end which is no longer in use and another that carries on to the next station. Today as the train approaches, children are playing on the tracks. On the track that leads to the dead end is playing a solitary eight year old and on the main line are playing approximately 50 children of various ages. What should the motorman do if he cannot stop the train on time. Should he change tracks and kill the solitary girl and save the 50 on the main track? or should he carry on and let the 50 children die but save the one child who is doing the right thing by playing on a track that is no longer in use? what would he do if he believed in the collective good and what would he do if he believed in doing what is simply good. The right thing. I hope you would choose right.After all Galileo was in the minority. The loneliest minority in the universe. Me. You. Him. Her. And of course The One.More than 500 years after Galileo and Bruno, we are still stuck with the morality of the medieval. Most of the countries don't even tackle it explicit in their supposedly free constitutions. So the question of individual or the group - which is primary, still remains.It appalls me when educated people who have had occasion to study the history of mankind; who know how hard each individual freedom has been won; still take to the streets to claim another man's mill land for the city. No one protests the stupid FSI rule, in fact some of these well meaning bleeding hearts support the horrible FSI rule and applaud the courts every time they cut down on TDR which enhances the narrow FSI, just as narrowly.None of these so called liberal intellectuals protest the Octroi which affects every individual in the city, be it beggar or broker.These liberals cannot still make up their minds about reservation in centers of excellence.They could not make up their mind about the cartoon controversy either. When a writer's freedom of expression is threatened, one expects other writers to protest such threats, and to show solidarity by sharing the expression with readers fearlessly, instead we find the same liberals whose hearts go out to human rights violations in Iraq, acquiesce to the fundamentalist's line that there is a limit to the freedom of expression.I said that day that when we agree to censorship, the ban mongers will land up in each of our houses with increasingly ridiculous demands on the limits of our freedom of expression.That's exactly what happened within 60 days. They landed up on my doorstep with a demand to ban or censor objectionable portions in my film sacred evil. This after the learned censors of the land had passed the film with no cuts.It is like a car, if you never take the car out on the highway for a drive on the open road, gradually the engine forgets it can do 140kms per hour without breaking into a sweat. It gets used to the stop start traffic and the jerky shift from the third to the first gear. It forgets the overdrive and begins to believe it is beneficial to have a restriction on the speed limit at 50.The freedom deniers keep upping their ante when we don't keep pushing the limits of our freedom.There seems to be a limit to all our inherent undeniable rights. Who sets these limits? Invariably you'll find a group of people pitted against that vulnerable minority of one. For whom no one takes to the streets.Originally our rights are meant to balanced (I won't even use the word curtailed, because rights curtailed are rights denied) by others rights. But with each passing day this interpretation is being twisted by the liberals not to mention the fundamentalists, to create new limited boundaries of freedom.To give an example, I go back to that PEN meeting on censorship. An extremely learned and equally articulate editor of a prominent Marathi daily tried to argue the case for limitation of individual freedom by citing an old English adage : your freedom stops where my nose begins. Then proceeded to apply that to the cartoon controversy. I couldn't believe my anguished ears!Your rights stop where my nose begins, is one of the best ways to understand our freedoms. The nose is the most extended extremity of our bodies in normal circumstances, with due apologies to the fairer sex - so the nose signifies that when our rights intrude on another physically, then we must withdraw lest we infringe on his/her rights. It clearly draws the distinction between the mind and the body. To kill someone in the pursuit of my right to life is not ordinarily justified but to kill someone's arguments by another argument is my inalienable birthright. It also makes it clear that freedom of expression is not limited by anyone's nose as no one knows the smell of expression. Of course the fundamentalists know how to raise the stench of medieval graves and the liberals know how to spread the stink beyond the boundaries of those Islamic danger zones.That is the bottom-line then. As long as the practice of my rights do not physically intrude on another, I must have unbridled use of my rights.A poster, a banner, a cartoon, an affront or a verbal or written abuse is not physically injurious and so cannot and should not be allowed to become an issue.No one should be allowed claims of mental injury as it is one's own duty to maintain mental strength and fight the battles of the mind with the mind.This is the basis of civilization; we have reduced the battles of the physical to the realms of the mind.To be mindless then is not a right in the free society. As also there is no right to resort to physical violence in a free society. insanity and guns are both not conducive to the practice of our individual freedoms and the insane and the gunweilder are both then citizens of the province of the freedom deniers and no wonder often it is impossible to distinguish the insane from the one who wields the gun.We must make it clear that nosaying is not an option. In a free society the one thing that cannot be permitted is saying no to any peaceful pursuit.Booker winner Ian mcewan in his new novel Saturday has written a passage which I will quote: Perowne steps under the shower, a forceful cascade pumped down from the third floor tank. When this civilization fails, when the Romans, whoever they are this time round, have finally left and the new dark ages begin, this will be one of the first luxuries to go. the old folk crouching by their peat fires will tell their disbelieving grandchildren of standing naked midwinter under jet streams of hot clean water, of lozenges of scented soaps and of viscous amber and vermilion liquids they rubbed into their hair to make it glossy and more voluminous than it really was and of thick white towels as big as togas, waiting on warming racks.And again: what simple accretions have brought the humble kettle to this peak of refinement: jug-shaped for efficiency, plastic for safety, wide spout for ease of filling, and clunky little platform to pick up the power. he never complained about the old style - the sticking tin lid, the thick black feminine socket, waiting to electrocute wet hands seemed in the nature of things. But someone had thought about this carefully, and now there's no going back. The world should take note.Unquote.There is no going back.So, no, the tribes do not have the right to languish in their prehistoric backwardness.No, the economically underprivileged uneducated have no right to say no to the educated privileged.They must pay the price of freedom.Every privileged person has won that right the hard way and all underprivileged must do so too. They have the right to earn privilege and they must. And no, one cannot argue that privilege has been inherited.Bill Gates' father was not a billionaire, nor was dhirubhai's, abdul kalam's father was not a doctorate and no he didn't buy him a seat at harvard, mani bhowmick rose from a famine stricken midnapore family to invent laser surgery that has freed me from the need to wear specs with a power of minus7 and yes he made millions from that invention and no the other 100 kids from his village didn't.They didn't bother to walk the 10 miles to school in the post flood muck like mani did for years.My grandfather didn't speak a word of English and died when my father was 10. he left his family penniless. I myself left home when I was 19. There was a time when I lived in a slum without a toilet and only a tap for a bathroom and when the lift carries me to my 23rd floor duplex today, I know I have earned it. I have sustained myself for 15 years on my own without any inherited privilege except my dna.I never did graduation in English but I have earned more from writing in English than most Indians who have been educated in England. I have paid the price to be where I am. The price is called struggle.And when my American agent tells me my screenplay has sold but I will get only one tenth of what an American author would get for the same sale, I don't whine at the American writer's privilege. Jefferson has earned it for him. And perhaps if I fight well I too will be able to earn it for my countrymen.I am nearing the end of my agonized tirade and because all things that end well are well, rather wellier than the rest; let's look at the possibilities that present themselves before us.Where are we going? Freedom and the Next Paradigm shiftI am going to quote from my essay on The Next Civilization.Each new Age in human civilization brings its own mode of production and its own barometer of wealth as also its own system of trade. The means of production in the Agricultural age was human labor and a piece of land, wealth was basically how much land you possessed and how much that land yielded in terms of crop. Money was around but barter was fine. Wealth was not measured in terms of money yet. Trade was an informal system of barter.The industrial age changed all that. The means of production was machine and man's labor. Capital and labor. Wealth was money itself. Money was no longer only currency - it was capital itself. You could buy and sell money. Trade was not possible without money. If you had land and couldn't get rent or sell it for money, you were as poor as if you never owned anything. You might have owned a million shares but if you couldn't monetize them, you were hoarding junk. Your labor was useless unless someone paid you money in exchange. This is the principal difference between the Age of Agriculture and the Age of Industry. In the Agriculture Age you produced what you consumed and what was extra you bartered for stuff you called luxury. In the Industrial Age you consumed what you could never produce yourself and you needed money to consume the bare necessities. It was complicated and it disconnected a vast majority from the cycle of consumption as they didn't have the basic currency to be part of the exchange mechanism – the market.But that is changing in the information Age. Before EBAY came along – imagine an unemployed Martin in Arkansas whose sole possession is his labor and a bunch of old Vogue magazines that his mother used to collect. What could he have done if couldn't get a job. He couldn't monetize his Vogue magazines in the small town he lived in. But in the Age of Information and EBAY, he sold his collection to me across 8000 kilometers just when I needed it desperately for my film shoot. He could monetize seemingly worthless junk as we could connect directly with each other. EBAY is not a conventional market. It is a peer to peer mechanism of exchange. Often it is only an exchange of information. It even facilitates barter.We see outsourcing all around us. Why? Because everything that a man can do – that part of a man's labor that can be digitized will be digitized and become commoditized. This will proceed at such a rate that soon there will be very few things that man will be able to charge for as fees for his labor. Though this will be a destabilizing factor for millions of people, this is not a bad thing at all. At last man will be free from the tyranny of physical labor. He will have to find ways for monetizing who he is and not what he can do with his hands. How unique he is and what unique value he as a human being can bring to his fellow beings will determine how much he is worth. Surely a human being is not human because he can make his hands produce rice or turn a lever or punch a few keys. He is human because he can think, he can emote, he can empathize, he can help and he can entertain. In short he is as good as his imagination is.Welcome to the Age of Imagination. A short 39-44 years away. In between will come the shortest of All Ages in History : from 2025 to 2037- 45. The Knowledge Age, where for a brief period the barometer of wealth will be knowledge. Some will also call this the Age of Energy as the only other measure of wealth will be who has the highest control of the World's Energy. But all this will change with the Advent of the Age of Imagination. In this Age there will be a New Economy (not the one we now call the dot com bust) that will be as much about valuation as the dot com bubble. But the valuations will be of human beings and the product of their minds. And this won't be a bubble. This Age will last a minimum Thousand years. The Next leap in Human Civilization will come only after that long a time because the implications of the Age of Imagination will boggle the human minds burdened with the baggage-thought of the preceding Agricultural (feudal), Industrial (imperial), Information (corporate marketing) Ages. That Age after 1000 years is beyond Imagination. It could be anything that our grandchildren wish to create. Yes, it will be the Age of Creation. The Final Frontier. When finally we will be able to gaze at the face of God. And when finally, He will embrace us as his equals.This is the process which the proponents of Censorship and Fatwas want limited and sabotaged. They want to gag our imaginations.When I started writing for this presentation, a line kept bubbling up over and over again.NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR imagination. YOU ARE YOUR imagination.Let's revise that collectivist motto of daylight robbery and parasitism: From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.Let's affirm in the spirit of true freedom: FROM EACH ACCORDING TO HIS DREAMS AND TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS ABILITYThis then should be our code in the Age of Imagination and beyond:I am here to create. Because nothing that is created can ever be destroyed completely.Our first goal is to be happy.Second is to create. Create anything that can make us or others happy.But create we must. This is the second will of the Universe. It manifests itself in Creation and all us created beings have to carry the task forward.God created us in his own image and we must create just like him. God doesn't distinguish between good creation and bad creation, he creates prey and predator with the same skill and same love.But God insists we create something unique. For in God's creation every one of us is unique. Happiness is served only by Creation of Uniqueness. A moment, a gesture, a face, a touch, a poem, a story, a sunset...nothing impacts us if we have experienced it before.This now is what I know as nature of The Truth: we are here to be happy by creating new experiences. We can choose to be victims or victors, brutal and brutalized, melancholic and forlorn but we can also choose to be compassionate and kind, joyous and inventive, original and the best of this possible world. True evil is nothing but the impulse to steal, subvert, fake and destroy the creation of The Original.To all who read this and have felt this truth in their souls, I tell you: be undaunted, what you create is your offering to HIM and his Creation. He will uphold. He will protect and He will experience the bliss you sought to create. Even when no one else does.So don't stop creating. That is the wealth; you will carry beyond your grave.The Grateful Universe will return to you the Creator, a hundred times the joy you helped Him experience; if not now then next time you choose to be Here!

Monday, July 31, 2006

A New Tax System

This is regarding the recent phenomenon of our Finance Minister Mr.Chidambaram scaring the shit out of us using Big Brother lingo! Which is why I am posting my vision of A New Tax System. Please let everyone know. Change is inevitable. And the TIME HAS come for CHANGE.

A New Tax System

From the time man has lived in society and has felt the need to organize his social relationships, government and tax, have been hand in glove. From the Tribal Chieftain & the Medieval Kings upto our grand Democratic Elected representatives, have all used tax to pay for the job of social organization and to a larger extent themselves.

Tax is what keeps the government in business. Tax is source of all power and power games. And Tax has not changed one bit from the age of the early overlords and Kings to our modern legislatures. The purpose is same, the method is same and the wastage is same as through all history. We have come from the Stone Age to the information age but one thing refuses to change ? the number and variety of taxes increase but the nature does not. The King took a proportion of the farmer's produce; our Welfare State takes a percentage of our income deducted at source.

Fortunes have been squeezed out of the Billions who have lived from pre-history till now and all have been lost and squandered by the respective Governments on War, Corruption, Hoarding and Misuse.

What then justifies Tax? Why do people still pay it?

The answer is simple, there seems to be no better alternative for paying for social organization. How do we pay for roads? Schools? Police? Courts? Healthcare? And a zillion other schemes and needs that keep the wheels of society moving?

So Tax in a way has changed. From the force of the King it is now because of the social imperative that we pay Tax. It is implicit though; this sense of paying one's Social Dues and still the Government extracts Tax on the basis of Force and not co-operation. Everyone pays Tax and no one pays it happily. The poor pay it with anger and frustration often trying to hide their already pitiful income and the rich grudgingly pay Tax having already manipulated every possible loophole to escape the Tax net as much as possible.

Why is that, everyone dislikes Taxes? Everyone wants the things Taxes are supposed to pay for but no one wants to pay the Tax. Is it because people are selfish, not wanting to pay their social dues?

No. It is because they don't know what their Taxes are finally used for. Take an example: John has a child dying of leukemia. At that moment his heart bleeds for all the people affected by leukemia, he wants to help. As he walks down the road from the hospital, a mugger holds him at gunpoint and robs him of the $1000 he has in his wallet. The Mugger assures him, I am going to use this money for the benefit of leukemia patients! Believe me!
Do you think John would believe? Do you think he will feel any better about being robbed of his money because the robber promises to do good with the money?
He won't. Because he doesn't know if the robber will keep the promise. And even if he were to keep the promise, John will not be happy to lose his money because John will not get the satisfaction of helping other leukemia patients himself. He won't be able to help them himself.'

We like to spend our money with our own hands. We like to budget and we like to plan how that money will be spent. And most people have the greatest satisfaction from spending money when they spend it for a good purpose. The present Tax system removes any possibility of the Citizen enjoying the fruits of the Social Good he does when he pays Taxes. He doesn't even know where his money went. The present Tax system makes him feel helpless, powerless and at the mercy of a society which is intent on robbing a portion of his hard earned money! The Act that would otherwise have been one of the most rewarding has become the most unfulfilling. It has alienated people from their Social responsibility instead of binding them tighter in the social fabric. When I participate in doing something for the social good, only then can I feel the joy of it. When I decide what I want to do for society, I feel a sense of ownership for the society I live in. I am one of them; instead of they are coming for my money.

What is proposed is a simple change in the nature of Taxes.

The Government for the time being can continue to fix the rate at which we pay Tax but we as Citizens get to spend that money on things that we think are Socially important. Your money goes where you intend it to go. After all you earned it. You have a right to decide how it will be spent. Yes you owe a chunk of your earning to the society where you grew up and where you earned that living but why should some unknown faces deprive you from spending your own money on things you cherish or admire or feel for, or simply put on things, people and places you want to help. May be you have always wanted to help the homeless, now you can with your tax money! May be you have always wanted to fix those potholes in your neighborhood: now you can with your Tax money.

You direct the paying of your Social Dues. Through designated Govt. Agencies, through local self help groups, through NGOS and the monies that you spend on the social causes will reflect as Tax Credit!

The Government can allocate the Agencies through which you have to spend the money but it cannot take away your right to choose how to utilize every penny of your Tax money. In one Year the Government will know what the citizens want. No one will need a Hundred Thousand Budget Sub-committees to figure what to do with Billions of Tax Money; it would have already been utilized where the Citizens wanted it utilized. People will be happier. They will actively participate in the Social Good and phenomenal wastage of resources will be stopped forever. The Government will know within a Year where the Citizen's priorities are. People will know where their society lags behind and next year they will adjust, they will give where Giving is needed because all humans are born with the ability to empathize.

We don't need to be told what we should do for society. We know. We are Society.


The world is too big - too unknown and events can often overwhelm us. What is it that makes us so special? If we are so insignificant - how come we still battle on? The poem below, I wrote about six years ago is valid at all times and for everyone. It is collected in the International Poetry Society Anthology.

by abhigyan jha

One man's conscience
Can bring an empire down.

One fleeting gesture
Can save a lifetime.

One simple idea
Can change the course of mankind.

One little lie
Can hide the whole truth.

One shining bullet
Can take another life.

One single arm
Can play the winning hand.

One sparkling river
Can bridge an entire land.

In this prodigal universe
You are the chosen one.

Just look in the mirror
And say I'm the one.

The Comfortable Civilization (I)

by abhigyan jha

Moments pass
Sorrows pass
People pass away -
Every time spawns its men
And every cycle
Its civilization;
This one's so comfortable
You would want it to last a while.

We’re so lucky.
With our markets for
Multimedia melancholy -
And managers
To make the masses
With macros
Or micros
And keep
The scales of margins safe.

Ah, there are disasters
And those Manic Mondays
But relax
There’s insurance too
Mediclaim and Social Security
To keep
The sagging spirit afloat.

There are ghettoes
To look down upon
For relief there's the sky-
Scrapers to dwarf the eye –

Its a fine place to be
Finer than ever before
Everything's new, improved
All that glitters
Is all that gold.
The heaters keep winters warm
And we've all but forgotten the cold -
But there's something I've
Known a while
Maybe its time for you to know
The chocolate always melts
Sooner than the snow.

The Comfortable Civilization ( II )

by abhigyan jha

When the mind
Was young
And ready
To learn
To fight
To stand
Up for that something
Higher than our arms
We were taught
To duck and
To deal with
Every passing blow –

The mind is worse
The psyche slides
When ideas aim to soar –
The apparent is the truth
Forget about the core
Everything is relative
We were told –
Every altar colored red and
To be left alone cold -

With shame we never
Dared climb beyond the fold
And hopped our way
To Gold –
Faster, higher, stronger
The body could go –

But the mind had
Lessons to learn
Legion things to run
Bills to pay
A livelihood to earn –
Consider all points of view
And then much else to do.

Its taken a while to come
But finally I’m ready
I’ve closed the lids
And opened my eyes
Deep within
Staked my creed
On the axiom
But I know one
Glimpse is all I’ll need

Now when
The soul is eager
To gain its higher ground
Lost over the time,
In wilderness, wasting around -

The spirit is willing
But the body is soft
To hold the head aloft
Every cell buried in sense
The flesh is killing
Me softly
With its sins.

Once Upon A Time

song from the OST of Sacred Evil ( Universal Music, May2006)
lyrics by abhigyan jha, music claver menezes

I woke up every morning
And wished my life would change
There would come a day
When love will change the way
I've felt all my life
Once upon a time
I wished for love
Now my love is tearing me apart
Once upon a time I wished for light
Now my love is lost in the dark

There's so much I want from you
There's so much you've already given me
My heart is brimming over
Yet my soul is running empty
For all the light I see in your eyes
There's an eclipse in my heart…
My love is tearing me apart.
Once upon a time I wished for light
Now my love is lost in the dark

Where do you go
When you're going nowhere
What do you say?
When there's nothing to say…

Would you hold me?
Would you kiss me?
Would you change my life?
Is forever going to start tonight?
My heart is brimming over
Yet my soul is running empty
For all the light I see in your eyes
There's an eclipse in my heart.
Still I feel…
Forever's going to start….

Deep Blue Dusk

song from the OST of Sacred Evil ( Universal Music, May2006)
lyrics by abhigyan jha, music claver menezes

The sun doesn't wait
Before going down
The taxis are waiting
To go downtown

I can't wait another moment
But I am waiting for you
Just for you

Another deep blue dusk
Deeper than the night
Darker than the shadows
Growing by my side

I cannot feel
The pain yet to come
Your laughter's fading
You're already gone

I can't loose another love
But I'm lost without you
(yes I am) without you

Another deep blue dusk
Deeper than the night
Darker than the shadows
Growing by my side.