Saturday, August 24, 2013

Anirudh Diwakar: A tribute to Fiji’s Golden Voice, Fourth Anniversary -25.08.2011


      Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand

A tribute to ANIRUDH DIWAKAR - Fiji’s Golden Voice who left a legacy for radio broadcasting in Fiji, and wherever Indo-Fijians are involved in Radio in our Diaspora


His voice still boom in Radio Tarana in Auckland - the Golden Voice, after three years is still fresh as today -everlasting.

It has been three years since the golden voice of Fiji, Anirudh Diwakar, left us, but that vacuum still remains. While he has gone, he has left us a legacy and trend that Hindi Radio stations in Auckland, and elsewhere in the world copy and follow: Fiji Style Radio.

ANIRUDH DIWAKAR -An award winning radio personality who started a new trend in Radio, now copied by Hindi Stations worldwide. This is called Fiji Style Radio.

The sudden passing away of Anirudh Diwakar, Programmes Director of Communications Fiji Ltd’s Hindi Station, Radio Sargam came as a big shock. This loss was not only felt by people in Fiji but also by Indo-Fijians settled around the globe. Most of them were touched by the golden voice of this veteran with 40-year long service to radio broadcasting.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rise, Indians: Stop your hypocrisy, your women need protection- Where is my India?

Where is my India?  Rise, Indians: Stop your hypocrisy, your women need protection

Thakur Ranjit Singh

I am forced to revisit my earlier posting after yet another gang – rape in Mumbai and continuing disrespect for women in India, despite so many protests.

Is this the face of women in India?

Anglo Saxons, White men and non-Hindus do not have Rascha Bandhan festival, vows to protect sisters: they do not have Navratam, singing and dancing praises to women: they do not have multitudes of Goddesses who are revered above male deities.
Yet these non Hindu men, these Anglo Saxons and White men appear to have more respect and regard for women than Hindus and Indians with so many show-pieces and hullabaloo glorifying women. And in real fact, we treat our women as trash and crap. A Gold medal, perhaps a platinum one, for hypocrisy?

Are brothers ( read males) in India incapable of protecting and safeguarding their sisters and showing respect for other women? What is the message of RASCHA BANDHAN when we cannot respect ALL sisters? How can we expect our sisters to be safe when there is wholesale disrespect for women with law becoming a joke?.

We pray and revere lifeless Devi, Deity and Mata, yet rape and mistreat out living Goddesses-our women. Is mera Bharat Mahaan? (Is India really that great? If rapists become Members of Parliament, then law and justice are really blind.

All the Sadhus and Swamis roaming the developed world, collecting foreign dollars and teaching us about manners and God-fearing ways should go back to India and civilise Hindus in India first. We in developed countries have laws protecting our women. India does not have that. It appears justice system in the largest democracy has become a laughing stock of the world. The supposed oldest civilisation in the world has to learn good manners, social justice and human rights from Anglo Saxon countries like USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia

When will our women be safe?

In the aftermath of gang-rape in New Delhi and ensuing eruption of smouldering volcano of protests, what came out loud and clear is that INDIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM HAS FAILED WOMEN, IS VERY JAUNDICED, SLOW-PACED AND MALE-CHAUVINISTIC.

Existing laws have failed to serve as a deterrent, coupled with questionable and slow-paced corrupt justice system, equally corrupt, unprofessional, ill-trained male-chauvinistic police force and corrupt elites and politicians who can buy justice, police and freedom from crime. It is a dying shame for a country which claims to be doing well economically, which treats half its population with such contempt. It appears conscientious, dedicated and honest policemen in India like Singham and Chulbul Pandey, exist only in Bollywood movies.

Are honest, conscious, loyal and non-corrupt police officers in India like Chulbul Pandey and Singham only limited to Bollywood screens? Where are they in real life?

Especially hypocritical is the fact that India has festivals, rituals and mythologies glorifying honour and power of women. The most powerful deities have been our Shakti Mata, and Durga, but only in stories and mythology. Hindus pray reverently to lifeless statues of Mata, Durga, and Shakti made of imported plastic and masonry made in China or Brazil. Yet we treat our living women in India with such contempt and indignity. It speaks volumes for Hindu religion, which theoretically respects women but really treat them like dirt.

This is a call on migrant Indian population in developed world with more civilised rules, regulations, norms and customs about treatment of women- USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Britain. Is it true that had it not been for British civilisation, the supposedly oldest civilization in the world would still be burning its widowed mothers, sisters and daughters of the pyre of their dead husbands?

New Zealand is one of the “cleanest” and non-corrupt countries in the world, including Australia, USA and Canada. Indian migrants owe an obligation in our fortunate positions to do this and raise voices against the rot in India. Migrant Hindus migrated to developed countries, normally pray in Diwali to deliver us from darkness into light, and praise truth. However, we appear to show silence, in fact tacit approval of the rot in our former home. This goes against the grain of Diwali message and Hinduism to deliver us from darkness to light.

For how long will our Draupadi and women get abused and disrobed without any Lord Krishna, in form of Government and laws coming, to their rescue? Is the largest democracy in the world failing their women?

This is a call to all women organisations, Hindu organisations and all others migrated to developed world, which have been beating the slogan of “MERA BHARAT MAHAAN” to stand up and be counted. Join Indian revolution now initiated by brutal rape in Delhi, and call for better governance on treatment of women in India. Let the Indian High commissioners busy in cocktail circuits in your respective countries to carry the message to India that actions of Indians and its corrupt governance shame all People of Indian origin throughout the world. Economic prowess may be there, but as nation, India has failed to protect its women. It appears to be country without a heart.

For how long will our Sita in India continue going through "Agnee Paricha"- proving chastity through fire? Haven't human rights, social justice and equality reached the largest democracy in the world?

Rise for your India. Cry, beloved India.

[E-mail: thakurji@xtra.co.nz]

[NOTE: I have been accused by many of being very negative and raising issues which should be left alone. However, I feel that as a media commentator and journalist, I should be a watchdog of the community, rather than being its lapdog for financial and other benefits. How long can we sing, dance and raise flags, hold conferences and forums in name of Motherland, assuming everything is hunky dory back in India. Somebody needs to speak truth in the national motto of India: Satyamev Jayate - truth shall triumph].

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rakscha Bandhan Message: Respect all women if you want your sister respected do so to sisters of others


Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand



Anglo Saxons, White men and non-Hindus do not have Raksha Bandhan festival, vows to protect sisters: they do not have Navratam, singing and dancing praises to women: they do not have multitudes of Goddesses who are revered before and above male deities, like Gauri-Shankar, Sita -Ram, Radhe-Shyam ,  Lakshmi -Vishnu, and so on.


Yet these non Hindu men, these Anglo Saxons and White men appear to have more respect and regard for women than Hindus and Indians with so many show-pieces and hullabaloo glorifying women. In real fact, we treat our women as trash and crap. Why this hypocrisy? Why do we Indians and Hindus have institutionalised discrimination against our sisters when our businesses make money on falsehood of Raksha Bandhan?




RAKSHA BANDHAN - Brotherly-Sisterly love:one of the deepest and noblest of human emotions.
The chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister is one of the deepest and noblest of human emotions. 'Raksha Bandhan' or 'Rakhi' is a special occasion to celebrate this emotional bonding by tying a holy thread around the wrist. This thread, which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments, is rightly called the ‘Rakhi’. It means 'a bond of protection', and Raksha Bandhan signifies that the strong must protect the weak from all that’s evil. 

Brotherly-Sisterly love and affection commences at a very early age. Where does all this disrespect for women in Indian males come from? Should not this trait remain forever? That is why, Raksha Bandhan festival should be used to re-inculcate and rekindle respect for all sister and all women
This Hindu festival will have little relevance to the theme of brotherly-sisterly love and respect for women if all what it involves is singing, dancing and a platform for speeches by politicians. And an avenue for Indian businesses to sell more sarees and Indian media to have an avenue to make more advertising dollars.

To the brothers, who has Rakhi tied to their hands, and who vow to protect their sisters, I have one question for them: You vow to protect your sister, but who protects my sister - your wife?


Sisters, when you tie the sacred thread, Rakhi on your brothers’hands, please ask them not only to vow to protect you, but your Bhabhis (sister-in-laws) – their wives as well, because they also are somebody’s sister.

This is especially relevant because Indians in general and Hindus in particular hold the relationship of a brother and sister in high esteem, which supposedly signifies respect for sisters – the women. To Indian brothers, while your married sister is someone else’s wife, at the same time, your wife happens to be someone else’s sister. Hence there is a commonsense reason for reciprocity if one wants to protect sisters. What this means is that for your sister to be respected and protected, you need to do the same to your wife who is somebody else’s sister.

Bollywood has glorified brotherly-Sisterly love. The leading one is Dev Anand's "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" which immortalised this love with melodious song: Phulo ka taro ka sab ka kehna hai.
But is this happening? We reportedly have high incidents of family violence in India and amongst Indian migrants to New Zealand. It therefore came as no surprise to me that Hota, one supposedly combined group of Hindu organisations and temples, when they are blaming Indian Newslink for publishing a research report they see derogatory to Hindus. That research by Massey University shows that Indians in general and Hindus in particular are biggest woman beaters in Auckland. I believe that, as that is a fact. Hospital records, police statistics and Ministry of Social Development figures substantiate this. Through this concerns, in 2010, Waitakere Indian Association held a joint workshop with these organisations to tackle this problem.Rather than yipping like puppies on steroids, these Hindu organisations will be better -off to inculcate better respect for women among Hindus in nHw Zealand. What they learn from multitudes of Swamis visiting NZ, they need to practice in life. Rather than running with a bruised ego, these people need to inculcate better respect for women within their community.

That is all Raksha bandhan is all abot., 


 History of Raksha Bandhan extends to mythological times of Lord Krishn and Dropadi and to Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun, which dates back to 1535. The central ceremony involves the tying of a Rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her. That is Raksha Bandhan.

Another Bollywood Brotherly-sisterly love: Feroz Khan and Kum Kum. The root of Rakhi can be traced to Mahabharat and Mughal Raj

Last year, when the highly acclaimed Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate, was played on TV, it covered the topic of family violence, still quite relevant to Indo-Fijian migrants and Indians in general. For countless women, entering married life often means the beginning of a stressful, violent existence. Beating one's wife seems to be ingrained in many men's mindsets as the appropriate behaviour for a strong male, but the consequences are misery for the wife and children, and often a broken, unhappy home. The show conducted a survey which showed that women are NOT in the biggest danger in public places, but while in their own homes. That is not only confined to India but among Indo-Fijians in New Zealand as well.

The issue we have is for Hindu and Indian groups to recognize the problem and address the vice, because richness in our culture on respect for sisters and women seem to be inversely related to how we actually treat them. In fact, for celebration of Raksha Bandhan, my suggestion would be to pass a message to our community to address the issue about respect for women and family violence. This is because celebrations are good avenues for addressing social issues in the community. Therefore sisters, when you tie the sacred thread, Rakhi on your brothers’ hands, please ask them not only to vow to protect you, but your Bhabhis (sister-in-laws) – their wives as well, because they also are somebody’s sister.

Therefore I plead to all brothers to accept this theme and slogan for all Raksha Bandhan in future:

 Tumhari bahen ka main rakshak mere ghar mein, meri bahen ka tu rakshak apne ghar mein. In other words, I request all brothers to take this pledge please: I vow to protect your sister in my home, please pledge to protect mine in your home.

Tragedy for Indians is that while they pledge to protect their own sisters, then why do they openly abuse sisters of others. If we took the theme of Raksha Bandhan to protect sisters, that translates to respect for women. Then why are women so much abused and dishonoured in India? Are our festivals only a sham and show piece , without any meaning?

We cannot continue to happily celebrate Raksha Bandhan while our sisters get beaten up by their husbands behind closed doors in their own homes, without community taking any positive action.




Let us all join in the spirit of Raksha Bandhan to respect all women, and introduce social theme for betterment of our women. Happy Raksha Bandhan to all.


[Thakur Ranjit Singh advocates change in community attitudes towards festivals we celebrate, to address issues in our communities. Otherwise the well-meaning festivals remain hollow and meaningless. ]



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Responsibilities of Indian Diaspora to actions embarrassing India

Responsibilities of Indian Diaspora to actions embarrassing India

Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand.

We have just marked 67th Independence Day celebrations of India in Auckland and presumably other cities of Australia, Canada, UK and USA. As the dust settles from such celebrations in Auckland, New Zealand at Vodafone Event Centre, Civic Theatre and Mahatma Gandhi Centre respectively, the migrant Indians need to stop and think. We should not merely sweep and hide reality and problems of India TODAY under carpet and sing and dance about India’s proud history of the PAST.

At India Independence Day, we dance and sing to India's PAST. We need to have things in PRESENT India which also make us proud, and not shame us. We salute all freedom fighters who make us proud. Hope current generation of leaders can also make us proud.

Indian Diaspora needs to appreciate and understand their responsibilities to Bharat Mata, Mother India, which has been fast falling in the chasm of dishonour internationally in certain respects. We need to question: what has six and a half decades of Independence delivered us? Where is my India today?

Last year I riled Indian leadership in Auckland by raising some truths about India in the spirit of the motto of the country: Satyamev Jayate-truth shall prevail. For speaking truth, I was virtually lynched and blacklisted by Indian community which later agreed about the truths I has spoken.

This is a call on migrant Indian population in Developed World with more civilised rules, regulations, norms and customs to stand up to injustice in India. Fortunate Indian migrants/ Diaspora in Developed Countries, with better governance, social justice and human rights provisions owe a duty of care to the unfortunate and oppressed women, scheduled caste and poor people in Mother India.

Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi - two proud leaders of India who the present-day Indians need to emulate. Unfortunately most of their teachings have been eroded out of action of today's many politicians and citizens.

New Zealand is one of the “cleanest” and non-corrupt countries in the world, with Australia, USA and Canada not far behind. Misplaced nationalism and blind loyalty of Indian leadership and Indian media in New Zealand cannot remove the fact that today’s India is at the bottom of the ladder of “clean” countries. Hence as migrant Indians in Developed Nations, we can work as pressure for change in India, even in small ways. We owe an obligation in our fortunate positions to do this and raise voices against the rot in India so widely documented and unearthed.  We normally pray in Diwali to deliver us from darkness into light, and praise truth. However, we appear to show silence, in fact tacit approval of the rot in our former home or home of forbears. This goes against the grain of Diwali message and Hinduism to deliver us from darkness to light.

The land where the Ganges flows - a proud nation-India has been internationally tarnished for some vices which shame Indian Diaspora. There are many things in India which make us proud. We migrants collectively need to raise objections to New Delhi about poor governance and other oppressive practices that shame Indians worldwide. Diaspora need to act as pressure group to bring in changes.

This is a call to all Indian organisations, women and religious organisations beating the slogan of “MERA BHARAT MAHAAN” (my India is great) and publicly celebration India, its festivals and achievements, to stand up and be counted. Join Indian revolution now initiated by brutal rape in Delhi, and call for better governance, anti- corruption laws and better treatment of women in India. Let the Indian High Commissioners busy in cocktail circuits and public relations exercise in your respective countries to carry the message to India that actions of Indians and its corrupt governance shame all People of Indian Origin (POI) throughout the world. Economic prowess may be there, but as nation, India has failed to protect its women, lower caste and poor people. It appears to be country without a heart.

Organisations in Auckland like Bhartiya Samaj, Auckland Indian Association and Radio Tarana which organised respective Indian Independence functions in Auckland need to take a collective stand. So does the umbrella body of Indians, New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) and Indian media, especially its radio stations and print media, need to stand up as watchdogs. They need to collectively raise their voices collectively against vices in India, so that, we as a Diaspora, may be able to pass a message to India that it needs to improve its human rights and social justice issues if it wants to do business with New Zealand and other respective Developed Nations. Indian trade delegations, conferences, forums etc. and other organisations promoting trade with India need to pass this strong message of distaste of things in India which shames all Indians in New Zealand and other countries. Other developed Countries with sizeable Indian population could follow suit.

"Satyamev Jayate": It is inscribed in Devanagari script at the base of the Indian national emblem. The emblem is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Asoka which was erected around 250 BC. National motto of India is - Truth Alone Triumphs. But how true is this in activities of Indians in India and abroad?


And advice to Indian leaders, especially here in New Zealand, is to be more reflective as people from the largest democracy in the world and be protectors of free speech and media freedom. Therefore it belittles all Indians if they indulge in the shameful habit of shooting the messenger, and those who stand up for truth.

It is time to rise for your India. Cry, beloved country.

(About the Author: Thakur Ranjit Singh is a third generation Indo Fijian. He was born in Fiji Islands. His indentured grandfather, Bansi was a Thakur from Karauli in Rajasthan, India. He is also a holder of People of Indian Origin (PIO) passport issued by Indian Government that allows him free access into India. He runs his blogsite FIJI PUNDIT, which is accessible at: www.fijipundit.blogspot.co.nz.)