And as he stood at the border, making faces and shouting slogans at the man across who was busy, not playing cricket, but minding his country, he heard a voice behind, “Come back, we’ve lost Delhi!”

“What? Impossible! I have been standing here and shouting and threatening that ex cricketer across the border, that should have got us Delhi!”

“We’ve lost Delhi!”

“Didn’t you push the people of one religion against the other while I was standing here and shouting at that man across the border?”

“I did!”

“Then what happened?”

“We still lost Delhi!”

“Didn’t you instigate people against those who were agitating against the CAA?”

“I did, but we still lost!”

“How much did that muffler man get?”

“Sixty-two seats!”

“That’s impossible, there are only seventy seats!Tell the people it was electronic machine rigging!”

“That is what the people always said!”

“So now agree with them!“

“It’s past all that, come let’s go, we’ve lost Delhi!”

“Are the people mad, we promised them majority rule, majority bullying, majority religion, what happened? What did they want?”

“Cheap electricity!”

“How do we do that?”

“Better education?”

“I don’t know anything about that!”

“Running water!”

“No idea how that’s done!”

“I know!”

“You know what?”

“That you don’t know!”

“I thought you knew!”

“I know how to push one religious group against another, and cheer you as you shout at that cricketer across the border!”

“You don’t know anything more?”

“No, nor do you! So come back..”

“Come back where?”

“Back to Delhi!”

“But Delhi is taken!”

“But we can do all the things we are doing, even while he…”

“Builds schools, gives cheaper electricity, starts hospitals…”

“And we?”

“Can call him names, make fun of his religious visits, and mock his muffler round his neck..”

“That sounds good. I’m good at doing that”

“Yes, I know, but the people of the country now want what Delhi is getting!”

“Then let me stay at the border and shout at that man on the other side!”

“Yes, I think you should keep doing that. There are still fools who are fooled by that.!” 

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Nearly a thousand years ago, a king murdered his close friend, just because words he shouted in anger were misinterpreted: It was Henry II, King of England, who shouted with rage, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” Four knights who felt it was a command, and not realizing it as an impulsive cry of frustration, between friends rode to the cathedral of Thomas Becket, killed him and brought back his head to the now grief-stricken king.

That is the deadly power of words!

"We all have to remember,“ says AdamaDieng, UNs Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide,    “that hate crimes are preceded by hate speech We have to bear in mind that words kill. Words kill as bullets."

He continues, “We allhave to remember that the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda started with hate speech!The Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers: It started long before with hate speech.

What we have been seeing in Myanmar against the Rohingya population started also with hate speech!

..And today what we are witnessing around this world with the rise of extremists, be it in Europe, be it in Asia, everywhere, when we see the growing number of neo-Nazi groups, neo-fascist groups, when we see the way migrants and refugees are being vilified, we need therefore to make every effort to address this hate speech!

“We have to bear in mind,” he continues, “that words kill. Words kill as bullets. That is why we need to make every effort to invest in education, to invest in youth, so that the next generation will understand the importance of living peacefully together.”

Hate speech needn’t be apparent, it needn’t be blatant words like, “Go and kill!” Henry II frustrated with his friend the Cardinal, must have wearily uttered those words, but to the four knights those were commands.

Today, our political leaders, because of strict laws utter clever, cunning, ‘hate speech’ without using words like ‘kill’ or ‘murder’ or ‘assault’ so they posture themselves and shout shrill rhetoric against a neighbouring country time and again.This is subtle hate speech, because those cries are taken by fringe elements and used against a community who share the same faith as those in the country to whom the clever leader’s speech is directed.

Or when clever laws are passed, bringing in religion as the criteria, we again hear ‘hate speech’!

Today, these leaders won’t stop, because hate speeches bring votes..

..but we can STOP!

STOP listening to them, especially as they keep reigniting old scenes of the Indo-Pak partition. Just ask, “Does this hate speech get me my roti, kapada or makhan?”

On your part, STOP making derogatory remarks about those who worship different, look different, or speak different and in your talks to your children, WhatsApp groups or friends circle, stop jokes that ridicule!

STOP hate speech, because ultimately millions, including we or our loved ones will die..! 

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A few days ago as we remembered the murder of the Father of our nation, my mind went back to a drive through Kentucky when suddenly my eye was caught by miles and miles of stonewalls alongside the road, "Built by slaves!" said my brother and I stared at the walls.

"Stop the car!" I whispered and as I looked at those flat stones placed roughly one on top of the other, I heard faintly, through the ages; sounds of singing: Agonized, harrowing, painful, it pierced my soul tearing me apart with the sadness the words and tunes carried!

I could picture the poor blacks carrying stone after stone, placing them one above the other, stumbling, falling, getting up again as the whip of the white overseer cracked on their backs. And through it all they sang; songs of hope, of an escape through death!

Yesterday I heard those songs again and same tears that filled my eyes in Kentucky spilled down my cheeks. The voice singing those sad songs sang powerfully well and there wasn't a soul in the hall who didn't feel the agony the negro spirituals evoked. "Sometimes," she sang, "I feel like a motherless child!"

I thought of the poor child carrying those heavy stones more than a hundred years ago, looking up and crying, wondering what she had done to have become a beast of burden, when she could see white children playing carefree, she had to labor in the sun, drenched with sweat and shielded only by the way she placed the stone on her aching shoulder. 

And when she lurched under the weight, the overseer's whip set her straight!

As the car started again that day in Kentucky I thanked God slavery was now dead at least in America, but tyranny reigns! Tyranny: Where cruel, brutal,elected dictators use army and police and force countrymen and subjects into acts that make them less than animals. Where a man is judged for his citizenship not by his Indianess but his religion!

Tyranny: Where like the little child thrashed by the overseer, an Indian government have police watching likemute spectators as a gun is brandished, bullets fly and wounds students, protesting for their rights!

In different parts of our country such tyranny is building up, and whips of a different kind are cracked as walls of other material more severe and harsh than stone, are built.

Such needs to be broken down. The world had men like Gandhiji who stood and fought! But today the world is being made to despise such brave men. Our country needs you to stand and make the people remember, why we are not slaves anymore or subjects to foreign rule and we need never be afraid of who we are in India!

That the overseer’s whip will never crack on us or our children!

Let us remember Gandhiji today..!      

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Category: Merit based

Scholarship: Breakthrough Generation Fellowship 2020

Description: The Breakthrough Institute, California has announced this award from recent graduates and postgraduates from around the world and offers financial awards. This fellowship aims to support the development of a new generation of thinkers and writers.

Eligibility: Final-year undergraduates, college graduates, and postgraduates from around the world, who are interested in any of the three research areas i.e. energy, cities, or food & farming.

Prizes & Rewards: The selected students will get USD 600 per week for 10 months and additional travel and housing assistance stipends..

Last Date to Apply: February 11, 2020

Application: Apply offline

Short URL:


Category: Merit based

Scholarship: Trent University Entrance Scholarships 2020

Description: Trent University, Canada has announced this scholarship for the students who are eligible for getting enrolled in an undergraduate course at Trent University, Canada. The selected students will get variable financial awards.

Eligibility:-Students who have proof of English proficiency (or conditional admission through Trent-ESL: English for University) and meet minimum grades requirement as outlined in country-specific admissions requirements, can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards: The selected students will get financial awards up to CAD 3,000.Last Date to Apply: February 15, 2020

Application: Apply online

Short URL:


Category: Merit based

Scholarship: All India Scholarship Test Exam (AISTE) 2020

Description: Ctoan Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, India has announced this scholarship for the Class 4 to 12 students. The aim of this scholarship exam is to offer financial support to students for their welfare and education. Selected students will receive a scholarship and other benefits.

Eligibility: Indian student of Class 4 to 12 can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards: Three national-level awards and two state-level awards will be offered. Award amount is up to INR 90,000 and 1000 students will get participation certificates.

Last Date to Apply: February 20, 2020

Application: Apply online

Short URL:



A few years ago, I had the privilege of being the MC for the annual Navy Week in Mumbai, and later at teatime on the lawns of Navy House, I was introduced to the Vice Admiral. “Thank you for the wonderful emceeing you did, and also for the piece you wrote on the navy,” he said and even as I smiled my head turned hearing the strains of ‘Abide With Me,’ as the sun set that evening.

               Abide with me; fast falls the eventide,

                The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide;

                When other helpers, fail, and comforts flee,

                Help of the helpless, Lord abide with me.

And then the trumpeters on top of the Gateway joined in and I sang softly with them.

This hymn has been played by buglers, trumpeters, drummers sometimes by a lone flautist for soldiers at the end of a long day at battle, to tell them to retreat from fighting and rest for the night. And what better thought, then asking the Lord to stay by their side through the darkness of the night. What a beautiful way, to be restored, repaired and rejuvenated with the Lord abiding with you through the night.

And yet, suddenly, the hymn, which was also the favourite hymn of the Father of our Nation, was removed for this Republic Day at the Beating the Retreat!

A hymn that had strengthened the hearts of millions through the ages, was suddenly thought of as unnecessary: But soon quiet protests were voiced, not just by Christians, but those of other faiths too,and it was brought back and hopefully will be played at the Beating the Retreat this year!

My question is, why tamper with what is smooth and going well?

Aren’t there enough problems in our country, without having to time and again focus on issues that could best be left alone?Or are these frequent tamashas, a way to stop people focusing on the real issues of non-availability of enough roti, kapada,makaan and jobs, which are not being dealt with?

My prayer this Republic Day, is that the Lord, who’s ‘abiding’, was needed by this government will open the eyes of the nation, and then we together in unison, our voices rising in rising magnificent crescendo will sing out the last verse:

                I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless;

                Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;

                Where is deaths sting? Where grave thy victory?

                I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Yes, it is time for we people of this nation, abiding with the Constitution of India, and with the Lord abiding in us,triumph, as we make India strong again..! 

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