The Supreme Court has prohibited the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi and NCR region and daggers have been drawn. The noise on twitter post the decision has been shriller than any of the crackers sold during Diwali season can produce. For many, like every other debate in our country today, this has become a Hindu identity versus other religions. There are others who are pitching 364 other days against this 1 day and defending the sale and usage of fire-crackers. There are also people who are rationally calling for bans on a lot of other pollutants that are more poisonous and hence more harmful. I stand by the last lot.

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Internet is perhaps the most democratic country you can get. I concede that it has its own ugliness but show me one democratic country that doesn’t have its claws soaked in viciousness? With all its traps and tribulations, this is how a free and open society would perhaps look like. Finders of information and seekers of knowledge never had a better time in the history of humanity.

An India Today article quotes from the autobiography of Kuldip Nayar Beyond the lines: An autobiography (Source). Kuldip Nayar writes, “It was Sanjay Gandhi, known for his extra-constitutional methods, who suggested that some ‘Sant’ should be put up to challenge the Akali government. Both Sanjay and Zail Singh, particularly the latter, knew how the former Punjab chief minister Pratap Singh Kairon had fought the Akalis. He had built up Sant Fateh Singh against Master Tara Singh, the Akali leader, who had become a hard nut to crack. Zail Singh and Darbara Singh, who was a Congress Working Committee member and later became chief minister, selected two persons for Sanjay’s evaluation.

“The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.” Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth.

“The simplest meaning of the word sutra is “thread”. A sutra is, so to speak, the bare thread of an exposition, the absolute minimum that is necessary to hold it together, unadorned by a single “bead” of elaboration. Only essential words are used. Often, there is no complete sentence-structure. There was a good reason for this method. Sutras were composed at a period when there were no books. The entire work had to be memorized, and so it had to be expressed as tersely as possible Patanjali’s Sutras, like all others, were intended to be expanded and explained. The ancient teachers would repeat an aphorism by heart and then proceed to amplify it with their own comments, for the benefit of their pupils. In some instances these comments, also, were memorized, transcribed at a later date, and thus preserved for us.”

From the Translators’ Foreword.