Wow! What a topic suggested by Shakman to write on for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 Blog Post! The other blogger Shackman is an American and I, an Indian. Two remarkably diverse nations. On the assumption that Shackman will be writing about the USA’s diversity, let me address ours.

India has 29 states and 7 Union Territories. My Western readers will understand the latter if I use “Federally Administered Territories.”

Its citizens speak 22 major languages written in 13 different scripts, with over 720 dialects.

Every religion with all their sub-sects of the world is present here plus some odd local ones too.

Its geography encompasses mountain ranges, plains, coastal regions, huge lakes, deserts and some peculiar to India features like back waters, inland islands, mangroves and dense forests.

Its wildlife too is highly diverse with different regions home to different species. Its fauna too is highly diverse again based on regional and climatic differences.

Its people vary in colour from very fair to very dark with a great many somewhere in between.

Its history too is a fascinating collage of different types of rulers in different parts and times. Its history goes back to more than five thousand years of civilised existence and there are traces of primitive societies in existence even today.

Our politicians never tire of talking about our “unity in diversity”.  While they talk, the ordinary Indian simply practices it.

Having looked at the macro India, let us take a look at the micro level.  I think that I represent a fairly representative person of modern urban Indian.  While such examples are more now a days with increasing exposure to the outside world, my family started the process of diversifying from my father’s generation.  We had an uncle who first married a Caucasian Australian and subsequently an Anglo Indian Roman Catholic.  Another uncle married outside our subcaste of Hindus as did an aunt.  In my generation, I directly have two caucasian sisters in law, one a Scot and another an American Southern Belle.  I married outside my language caste and religion and my son married outside our linguistic background.  In the next generation we have just about all possible combinations of nationalities and religions and I have nephews and nieces who are Christians, Muslims and even Jew.  That apart from the other linguistic and regional differences.  So, my extended family can also be called as a very diversified one as can many other families of my friends.

Taking another area of diversity in my personal life, my blog world consists of friends from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The USA, The UK, Indonesia, and many parts of India. I visit and comment on many blogs from all over the world too. In this process of visiting and commenting, both learn from each other and are richer for that.

With modern communication methods increasingly making the world a very small place, I think that such diversified families and nations will be more the rule than the exception in the next few decades.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic.  Thank you.


“No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.”

~ Thomas Sowell

As we begin the new year, to me at least, it appears that we are heading to a period of calm after the storm of a year of political turmoil in many parts of the world. We had Brexit, The USA’s Presidential elections, impeachment of the President of South Korea, Italian elections, etc, and in my own backyard, the high decibel politics due to the demonetisation.

While all these things and many more minor political shenanigans took place, what grabbed the maximum attention, naturally due to its global importance is the electioneering, the election and the result of the American President.

Over here in India, the political oneupmanship following the demonetisation continues unabated. Addding spice to the curry as it were are forth coming elections in some crucial states in India for the state legislatures. The cacophony is mind blowing and within my circle of friends, some rifts have taken place due to differing ideologies and loyalties. Politics and religion does that! I am grateful that the latter has not popped up as yet among us!

To conclude on a lighter note, India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls shortly and the dynasty that has been ruling there is facing a palace revolt as it were.  Mulayam Singh Yadav is the patriarch and the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is his son.  The joke is that Mulayam is suffering from Akhilesh’s Heels.

Since I will be otherwise preoccupied tomorrow,  I am publishing this this week’s Friday LBC post a day in advance.  The topic has been chosen by Shackman. Other than him and me, Maria the gaelikaa and Pravin are likely to write on the same topic. Please do drop in at their blogs and see what they have to say about it.

Conspiracy Theories.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious,gaelikaa, Grannymar, Padmum and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get five different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad.

I am not surprised that Conrad chose this subject. He is a past master at hatching conspiracies, ably assisted and abetted by the inimitable Grannymar.

Let me explain.

After the last week’s LBC was posted, Grannymar and Conrad brainwashed Padmum into becoming a member of the LBC and that unsuspecting sweetheart succumbed to their charms and agreed. For those of my readers who do not know, Padmum is the nom de plume of my one and only blood sister Padmini. I make that distinction, before my other sister, also an LBC member, gaelikaa objects. The latter is my adopted sister is no less capable of conspiracies. I dread the day when the four of them. two Irish at that, hatch another conspiracy.

Now that Grannymar’s and Conrad’s proclivity for conspiracies has now been exposed, let me turn to some more mundane conspiracy theories.

The most popular one in our back yard, is our neighbour’s tendency to come up with conspiracy theories every time a suicide bomber kills himself and scores of other innocent bystanders, in their back yard. Since the Americans have started drone attacks however, the theories have taken off into orbit about how the Jewish American/Israeli/Hindu enemies have conspired to destroy Pakistan. Before Sri Lanka destroyed the LTTE, the conspirators inevitably included the Hindu LTTE till it was discovered that the LTTE was predominantly Christian in composition. After the Indian security agencies unearthed Hindu extremists setting off bombs, our neighbour has simply given up on India but the American/Israeli hand is seen in everything. The latest that does the rounds is that even the Middle Eastern uprisings are engineered by these very Satanic conspirators. I would not be surprised if the Japanese earth quake, tsunami and their after effects on the nuclear power situation is also attributed to this evil axis.

The Indian media has so far not started off on this kind of conspiracy theories, but I would not be surprised if they too start, if their ratings go South.

I have a paranoid relative, a very close one at that, who is convinced that all the others in the family conspire to badmouth him and to destroy his reputation. At an appropriate time that saga will unfold in my future blog posts.

Now, I better go off the subject before I become paranoid too. Or am I already paranoid?

The USA and India.

As my regular readers know, the USA breaks many Indian hearts regularly, for the way they mess around in Pakistan. I am one of those whose heart regularly gets broken and I wait for the day when wisdom will dawn on the powers to be in the USA.

G L Hoffman whose blog I admire and who I cited in my last blog is an unlikely person to come up with some insight into why this should be so, but he readily agreed to my request for a guest post on what his take was about my angst.diagfordad

In his inimitable style, he has come up with this diagram which says more than an essay would. Thank you GL.

Solution Before The Problem – II

Back again to some serious stuff. I confess that I made an error in judgment about the new American judgment in my earlier post here. It is worth reading my response to Delirious about what I believed was the new administrations agenda on Pakistan.

I had not anticipated such rapid developments on Pakistan and on day 1 President Obama has ruffled feathers in Pakistan and the cat and mouse games have started all over again. Our leading newspaper in Western India, the Times of India catches the nuances quite well and I urge my American friends to give some time to this article.

I also request my American friends to read this post by my friend Jerry Davich in his blog. This is also a case, unusual for its novelty value to keep track of a politicians promises and his ability or willingness to deliver on them. I hope to start something like this in India come next elections for our national parliament, just three months away. Here is a case of the solution being presented before the problem becomes one! Just citizens monitoring action!!