National Register of Citizens, India’s “Pogrom” Begins.

Indian government’s new National Register of Citizens (NRC) drove nearly two million innocent people off their citizenship status, causing havoc. The Hindu supremacist government’s actions and rhetoric are similar to Trump’s, and eerily remind us of Hitler’s pogrom in Germany.

“Who’s going to pay the price?”

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Yes, India’s police minister Amit Shah often called Bangladeshi immigrants “termites.” Just the same way, here in America, Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists and murderers.”

How strikingly similar are India’s BJP of Modi and Shah, and America’s Republican Party (or GOP) of Trump! Both parties are supremacist: BJP is Hindu supremacist, and GOP is white Christian supremacist. The mastermind of Trump’s anti-immigrant hate is Steve Miller. And in India, it’s perhaps Amit Shah.

There are other similarities. Behind the Republicans are huge and violent forces, such as National Rifle Association (NRA) and KKK. Behind BJP is extremely militant RSS, an organization I was deeply involved with from 1962 through 1979.

Both KKK and RSS have been ardent supporters or followers of Hitler, Mussolini or such fascist or Nazi forces. Both organizations are anti-immigrant, anti-black, and anti-Muslim. Both are fiercely anti-socialist. In India, RSS is also fiercely anti-Christian, but they have downplayed it now, because they don’t want to irk Trump and lose his support.

Both BJP and GOP are for total privatization of the economy. In fact, they want to do away with the government; to them, as Ronald Reagan said, “Government is the problem.” They want to keep a skeletal government, mainly for military, police, and mass-spying agencies such as FBI and CIA in America, and RAW in India.

Most importantly, both forces want to use a democratic electioneering system to actually destroy and replace the traditional system with an authoritarian “One religion, one country, one language, one leadership” structure.

In fact, that is a stark reminder of how Hitler came to power in Germany.

In 1930’s Germany, Hitler called the Jews something similar to what Trump calls the Mexican immigrants and Amit Shah calls the Bangladeshis. He called the Jews “dangerous bacillus,” which means germs, bacteria. But because nobody reads history anymore, or analyzes it, reality like it is now forgotten or ignored.

Especially today, in case of India, the people in power want to divert people’s attention off the gravely ill economy, catastrophic climate crisis, unemployment, income inequality, or the countrywide violence on women and other weaker sections of the society. The manipulated, artificial crisis in Kashmir or the new NRC crisis in Assam is highly expedient.

On one hand, we have massively rich communities like Ambani and Adani (or in case of America, the Walton family or Koch Brothers), and with them we have their Goebbels-style media corporations, working closely with Trump, Modi, Shah, and RSS’ supremo Bhagwat.

Goebbels said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” In today’s India and USA, corporate media have been following that model for a long time. And they have successfully brainwashed the ordinary people. Nobody realizes that in a true democracy, dissent is essential; in fact, dissent is patriotic. Now, with mafia on the ground, Indian voices of dissent are branded as traitors. They are heckled and harassed. In cases like Gauri Lankesh, Kalburgi or Panesor, they have killed those voices. For others like Amartya Sen, Arundhati Roy, Medha Patekar or Nasiruddhin Shah, they have undermined their credibility.

The new NRC chapter is an integral part of this game. We’ve had Pulwama, and we’ve have Kashmir. Now the new episode is Assam and NRC. The so-called National Registration of Citizens pushed off two million (twenty lakhs) ordinary, innocent people of Indian citizenship, and put them in serious jeopardy. These people are mostly Bengali Muslims or Hindus, many are lifelong Indian residents. Now they are without status. They are neither Indian, nor Bangladeshi, nor of any other country. Major despair, poverty, disease, starvation, joblessness face them. Some have already killed themselves after the government published the first list of “non-citizens.”

This is a historic chapter of barbarism. An international crime – crime that global media such as the New York Times, BBC, the Guardian and Al Jazeerah have all strongly criticized.

Where are these two million people going to go, from an economic and social point of view? They will escape and hide for some time, and they will then die, or go to prison camps Indian government is building following U.S.-style private prison. America’s private prison is all about making profit out of putting people in jail. They even trade their shares on the stock market. Don’t believe me? Look up Geo and CCC – two big private prison corporations on Google.

Then, out of these hapless people, many would end up in Bangladesh (or West Bengal) to save lives – the way Rohingya refugees did. That is going to put major financial and space burden on Bangladesh, which is perhaps a part of the game too. Squeeze Bangladesh’s economy to death, because right now, India’s economy is sinking and Indian rupee has hit an all-time low. Make Bangladesh and Pakistan equally miserable, and save face. We need to understand all these various pieces of the puzzle – the various elements of the big game.

Then, end result of all this misery would be more violence, and more terrorism. And reaction to that violence and terror would be more violence, war, hate, bigotry, and repression. More hunger, despair, and more religious fanaticism and social divisiveness. Both on the Hindu and Muslim sides.

So, let us try to answer the question I asked above, “Who’s going to pay the price?”

I wait for your answer.

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Photo courtesy: CNN (not-for-profit, educational use)

Chessed Down by Bobby. Chessed Up by Fischer.

Scary Man. Inspiring Moves.
Scary Man. Inspiring Moves.

He still haunts me. And, his ghost does. They chess me up. They chess me down.

Five years after his untimely death, Bobby Fischer is still very much a moving force.

His chess chases me, checks me, and mates me up.

Sometimes, he and I are still mates. In stalemates.

His dark, white-supremacist, anti-semitic identity is a Mr. Hyde. Monstrous. Evil. Devilish. A xenophobic Bobby Fischer is scary, to think such a super-intelligent man is hatefully anti-equality, anti-humanity. That Bobby Fischer drives me like a terrible nightmare. And, he has so much power with his sinister, little pawns that they can destroy me in just a few, quick moves.

Checkmate!

Yet, his genius as one of the greatest chess players of all time, only if you can separate Bobby Fischer the super grandmaster from Bobby Fischer the Hitler-worshiper, is unbelievably inspiring! You follow his games with a teenager’s passion, you try to learn his grandmaster plans with a wide-open mind, and you are simply blown away!

And if you can then extrapolate some of his opening plays, and mid-game strategy, and end-game maneuver with your own life and its unfolding events, you would be amazed how they help you to enrich your analytical power! If you can find parallels with Bobby Fischer’s sacrifices on the chess board with the real sacrifices you have made willingly, perhaps to win your own life’s game, you’d be awestruck to see how education and training, vision, insight and well-designed action plans can help you have the last laugh!

I was simply awestruck to find those parallels. I was following the so-called Game of the Century Fischer played with Donald Byrne in 1956. Fischer was 13 years old!

Just think about it!
Just think about it!

I am not a highly-ranked chess player myself to analyze the game the best possible way. I am not the current world champion Vishwanathan Anand of Tamil Nadu or even the young Calcutta grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly. I’m only a lifelong admirer of the game of chess, which they say, was invented in ancient India. Growing up in Calcutta, I heard about Fischer. I heard about him and followed his Cold War-era game with Boris Spassky of Soviet Union. For the first time in my life, I came to know about the two famous grandmasters, the fact that they were playing in Reykjavik, Iceland — a neutral country, and then of course anecdotal information about some other world-famous players. Bengali and English-language newspapers and radio commentaries in those pre-television days told us the ever-enthusiastic Calcutta teenagers how USA and USSR arranged for the Fischer-Spassky game to cool off the Cold War heat. And Calcutta media also taught us about some of the most famous chess players of all time. I came to know about Mikhail Tal, Anatoly Karpov, Emanuel Lasker, and much later, Gary Casparov. I came to know about the Game of the Century between Fischer and Byrne. Here’s a YouTube of the game.

Very soon, I’ll be talking about the most important, phenomenal “sacrifice” a young Bobby Fischer made in that game, and then, with your indulgence, comparing it with a sacrifice I’ve made in my life when I was young too.

That Incredible Sacrifice!
That Incredible Sacrifice!

Therefore, as they say, stay tuned.

I’m describing the magical, momentous move, paraphrasing from online publication ceasefiremagazine.co.uk. Bobby Fischer playing with black pieces. That means, he was already at the receiving end of the game, especially with such a powerful opponent.

Fischer unleashed the Queen sacrifice on Move 17…Be6!!

That means, Fischer let the white bishop take his black queen. Nobody ever lets their queen — most powerful piece on the board — be taken without an exchange of the opponent’s queen. In 99 percent of cases, this means a sure death…I mean, a sure defeat. But Fischer made that extremely well-planned sacrifice in order to win the game. He could see the next ten or twenty moves coming up in chain reaction!

As the magazine said: “This was, without doubt, one of the most stunning moves ever played.”

Ceasefiremagazine continued: “A ‘windmill’ of discovered checks now follows which results in a decisive material advantage.”

Eventually, because of that advantage, Fischer won on Move 41. Fischer 1. Byrne 0.

A major international grandmaster loses to a 13-year-old school kid from New York.

Parallel 1 (however far-fetched it is to you, for me, it is real as a rousing rooster). — I left India. I left a stable, permanent, well-paid, respectable job as a college professor and head of the department of botany. I left my familiar world behind. I left my society behind. I left all my friends behind. People were shocked!! I left for a completely unknown world known as the U.S. I had no money with me. I didn’t know anybody on the Western Hemisphere. I left my wife behind, not knowing when she could come and join me. I didn’t know how to speak English (I could barely manage…for thirty seconds). I never cooked in my life. I could not understand the American accent. I didn’t know how severe a Chicago winter could be. I didn’t know what loneliness could be.

You guess the rest. It was a HUGE risk. It was an ENORMOUS sacrifice — both for myself and my wife. One year later, she left her parents, family and friends too.

Parallel 2 (however far-fetched it is to you, for me, it is real as a rousing rooster: I know I’ve repeated it). — I read my moves right well ahead of time. I planned correctly for the next ten or twenty years. Result: I was able to finish my Ph.D. from a reputable American university, worked for a few years as a scientist, and then switched careers to humanities, media and social science: a lifelong goal. At age 40, an Ivy League school in New York selected me as one of their graduate students. At graduation, the university also gave me a special achievement award. I began working as a writer, journalist and social activist. Finally, perhaps as the end-game, I began working as an educator with a labor college, teaching American workers politics, economics, media, immigration, and writing [English!].

Teaching American labor global economics and politics...in English language!
Teaching American labor global economics and politics…in English language!

Like Fischer, I started with black pieces…er…with a handicapped situation. Traditional wisdom was, I should have been happy with whatever I had back there. In chess terms, I should have been content with a draw.

But I took calculated risks, used all my education, experience and insight, made well-designed plans, and won the game. By sacrificing a LOT.

And I could imagine how things would turn out to be positive down the road.

Just the same way Bobby Fischer did it.

MORAL OF STORY. — If I can do it, you can do it too. Believe me, you can.

Humbly Reporting,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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