Rebel India… A dream

My father the Late K Kasturi Rangan a Gandhian and veteran journalist drafted this concept Rebel India about the people running a parallel government ultimately resulting in partyless democracy.

By Swachid K Rangan
India that is Bharat, reconstituted into a Gandhian republic based on his concept of “gram swaraj” or Village Self government, is Rebel India, free of corruption, hunger, ignorance and disease.
Mahatma Gandhi was the foremost rebel in the world. All his life he rebelled against untruth, injustice, oppression and discrimination. In South Africa, he led an Indian civil rights uprising against the racist authorities. It was nothing short of a rebellion. Similarly, the Indian Freedom Movement was also a massive rebellion guided by him.
The word ‘Rebel’ is usually associated with violence. But Gandhi doused it with his non-violence principle and turned it as a potent weapon of defiance. He called it Satyagraha. Now it has become a means of protest all over the world against the authorities. The Rebel India Movement will campaign for the alternate political, economic , educational and social setup that prevails in the country. Serious flaws are pointed out by many people in the system and drastic changes are called for to ensure food security, water, housing, quality education and health care for all.
To accomplish this task, the Rebel India movement has an action plan.

1. Change over to partyless Presidential form of government instead of the present multiparty parliamentary democracy where unprincipled and opportunistic political parties rule the roost.
2. Each of the 535 districts of India will be declared as a sovereign republic as in Switzerland which is a confederation of sovereign independent Cantons.
3. The district councils will elect a president who will nominate a suitable person to the national parliament. The parliament will elect a president for a 5 year term and he will have absolute authority without the pulls and pressures of political parties or coalition partners as there will be no political parties.
4. Elections will be held every 5 years only to the panchayats of the villages and towns. The Gram sabha or the Nagar Sabha will elect a president and a 7 member panchayat. [Where there are more than two contestants, the majority will be decided by preferential voting.]
5. The president will also serve as a councillor of the district council.

6. The country’s economy is widely seen as the most mismanaged and devised to benefit only the privileged class of people, big industrialists and foreign investors. People are kept in poverty forever. A vast majority of people live in thatched hutments and hovels in the cities. They are forever forced to depend on government doles for their food and other means of livelihood. The agriculture economy is ruined by the expansion of industries and encroachment of urban complexes.

7. The divide between the super rich and poor is growing with extremists stepping into the gap. The economic policy of Rebel India will seek to narrow down this gap by raising the minimum wages to at least Rs 1 Lakh a year or Rs 300 a day and siphoning of surplus funds from the rich to be used for development projects. Those having income beyond Rs 10 Lakhs will be required to deposit the amount in a lifetime savings plan called “Public Investment and Deposit Insurance Corporation” [PIDIC] which will be wholly owned by the Union Government.
8. After one year, the depositors will get 10% interest annually and after 30 years of maturity the entire amount will be paid back to them or to their nominees. There will be no direct taxes on personal income.
9. Those who are earning between Rs 1 Lakh and Rs 10 Lakh a year will be required to deposit a percentage of the income with the PIDIC. The advantage of this plan is that besides getting a regular amount every year as interest, at the time of old age, the depositors will get a substantial amount which will give them financial security.

10. Rebel India will revamp the education system that will really be purposeful. Regular schools will be run for students from standard 6 onwards. Primary education will be provided by RISS in association with SWACHID Academy of Enhanced Education.
11. Children upto age of 10 will acquire at single teacher home schools writing and reading ability in three or four languages – Mother Tongue, English, Hindi and Sanskrit/Urdu.
12. Teachers and students will be enrolled in regular schools for the continuation of education from the 6 standard onwards. After the primary school the children will study in classrooms upto 8 standard where they will be prepared for public examination. And a middle school certificate will be issued to them. Most of the unskilled labor force will benefit from this middle school level learning and they can go in for vocational training in jobs like driving, plumbing, etc.
13. There will be public examination at the end of Standard 10 where the student will be given secondary school leaving certificate. Those who qualify will be eligible for jobs in the government and the private sector and also take training in various vocational jobs.
14. All the schools will be upgraded to college level after SSLC. Students will undergo a three or four year curriculum which will take them upto arts, commerce and science subjects. They will sit for the university exams and obtain bachelor’s degrees.
15. By this system, the university college complexes will be available for higher education in various professions and post graduate courses. This will put an end to the present system where the students have to run from pillar to post to seek admission in professional colleges. Education at all levels will be free.

Rebel India Security Services(RISS)
16. Rebel India will create a Rebel India Security Services which will be a non- governmental organization. They will recruit anyone who is seeking a job including the extremists. They will be given training in appropriate skills and put on regular wages.
17. The RISS will be made responsible for maintaining peace and protecting public property. The RISS cadre will not carry any weapons. They will work with local police force in maintaining law and order, and any activity disturbing public peace will be considered as a crime.
18. The Indian Penal Code will be replaced by a new punishment code where there will be only one verdict – that is 15 days to 15 years of hard tolabour in any of the RISS projects. The convicts will be paid daily wages with which they will have to buy their own food and support their families if necessary. Corruption will be considered as a heinous crime.
19. RISS will also oversee the maintenance of infrastructure such as roads,parks and other public utility services.
20. There will be no restriction for joining this movement, either by age or by learning, but the youth between the ages of 18 and 35 should be persuaded to get involved in this Rebel India movement as the future of the country is at stake for them.
21. RISS will undertake a massive housing project and build a network of canal system. The existing canals will be made navigable by widening and deepening. Every district will be ringed by a canal which should be linked to the nearest reservoir or water body so that there will always be enough water in the system. Besides recharging the underground water level, the canal will provide a cheap means of transport for the benefit of the rural people.
22. Alongside the canal, a housing complex will be built patterned after the railway coaches that can be upto a length of upto 1 km and 20 feet wide so that it can be divided into several apartments with good ventilation. It can accommodate atleast 100 families with educational, medical and other facilities for the people.
23. There will be two categories of RISS workers. One, voluntary and the other – fulltime paid. The voluntary workers will spend atleast one day a week with the RISS supervising the projects and engage themselves in public service.
24. RISS will be a buffer between public and the authorities. The public have many grievances but the authorities are mostly insensitive. The RISS will take up the grievances with the appropriate authorities and will ensure that the issues get redressal. Thus the direct confrontation between the public and the authorities will be avoided.
25. The RISS will derive its authority from President of India and the Presidents of the district-states. The government will use RISS as a conduit to reach the people with whatever benefits they are offering.
26. The RISS will follow our guideline ‘WHAT IS NOT RIGHT, WE WILL SET IT RIGHT’.


February 21, 2018 at 12.00 Leave a comment

Shimmering Island

It glitters, it shines

This place

On the surface

Clean MRT, buses

All streamlined.

Even the waste.

Plastic covers for every little thing.

Nifty Disposables for every task.

Smoking prevails. Is the norm.

But nothing to be seen

On the surface.

All streamlined.

Where does it go?

Unseen, but endangering?

The cancer of everything.

March 16, 2017 at 12.00 Leave a comment


Insecurity appears to be the root of all evil. It is a state of not being able to accept ourselves  as we are. Insecurity can manifest in various ways. And this is what makes people harm themselves and others.

A small child may feel insecure if separated from its mother. A school going child if not acknowledged or appreciated by parents, teachers and peers. A teenager who is not noticed by the opposite sex. A young man or woman in desperate  search for employment or marriage. A spouse who feels neglected. An elder who feels redundant etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Of course these are only very obvious insecurities.  People have deeper emotional needs that need to be addressed before they develop into an insecurity.

Someone who is deeply insecure can be quite self destructive.  Their behaviour can be very negative and they will have a hard time building healthy relationships. Those who are insecure get easily affected by the way others judge them.

Interestingly, some people may appear very confident even arrogant. We think they are very sure of themselves.  In fact such persons are the most insecure. While it is easy and natural to be besieged by insecurity, who is secure? I think it needs a lot of work to feel and BE secure.

Secure people have the following characteristics :

  • Total acceptance of the self
  • Willingness to adapt
  • Non judgemental of others
  • Willing to learn from mistakes and move on
  • Awareness of and freedom from all manners of hang ups and prejudices
  • Letting go of ego about our own ‘achievements, knowledge and beliefs.

Be secure. Become GOD…

May 21, 2016 at 12.00 Leave a comment

Long time, no see

Hello! I know its been a long time. 5 years? I am surprised I am still alive. I mean on this forum. Guess I got swept away in the social media wave, particularly Facebook! I was once the proud early user of FB and even created an app ‘How addicted are you to FB?’. The irony!

I think every FB user goes the phases of use, overuse, disgust, quit, use, overuse….

I did too! But finally I can say I am over it. No more selfie, groupie, check in compulsions. No more obligatory birthday wishing to me and from me. No more getting carried away by unverified information. No more voyeuristic ogling on what my ‘friends’ are upto and where. Yay! Freedom!!!

I do hope to write on this forum more and more often. But no promises there…

May 21, 2016 at 12.00 Leave a comment

Teacher as Guru

Teacher, as the Guru.

Rangashree Srinivas

Along with our parents the Guru occupies a key position in our culture, in guiding us towards the absolute truth (Deivam). Even today, the teacher as a Guru, should be a para-parent interested in the overall development of the child. Parents too, should consider education as a means to self-development, rather than its attribute to help bag well-paying jobs.

Read more in page 34 to 35 of Parent Circle Magazine September 2011

September 17, 2011 at 12.00 1 comment

Tribute to Grandparents

A tribute to Grandparents!

Rangashree Srinivas

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humour, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.

Rudolph Giuliani

The average Indian grows up surrounded by relatives. Every family has an elderly head who is propitiated when an important family event takes place.

Grandparents not very long ago, were also important decision makers. The dynamics have shifted significantly with the onset of nuclear families and geographical distances separating the grandparents from their children and grandchildren.

What is the role of an elder in the family today? When we look at some urban families, we find that grandparental roles vary from being primary care givers to-seldom-seen- long-distance relatives.  And everything in between!

Read the Full story in Parent Circle magazine  September 2011 issue

September 17, 2011 at 12.00 2 comments

White sands, blue seas and green green forest… aahh Andaman!

Not to mention blazing sun and the incredible Jarawas! Andaman and Nicobar islands is really an archipelago of small isles separated by blue waters in all hues and geographical features. On our five day trip we experienced pristine beaches, glorious white sanded beaches, underwater life, an ancient stalactite & stalagmite cave, aboriginal men and an inspiring peek into the Nationalist movement.

We had made up our minds to heave our butts off the humdrum of Chennai life to see something unique and experiential.  A possible trip to Mauritius got cancelled and our eyes fell on A&N islands as we had already imagined a ‘waterful’ holiday! My brother’s school friend Raghu runs a diving school there in the Havelock island, and helped us make our bookings for stay and touring the islands. We were particularly interested in snorkeling and going close to the mysteries under the seas. My friend Anita, a travel enthusiast ignited our, especially daughter Shaila’s interest towards snorkeling.

While Raghu was putting together an itenerary for us, I scoured the internet for best air fares. Fares hugely vary from day to day and the lowest I could find was about Rs 10000, per person round trip.  Ship travel operated by the Government of India is also available if you have 2.5 days to spare for travel. The ships ply once a week and bookings must be done well in advance. I hear that ship travel is an experience in itself! But personally as a first time traveller I had my share of ferrying from island to island in those 5 days! And the ship fare is nearly the same as airfare!

So we landed at Veer Savarkar Airport at Port Blair in the wee hours of April 13, 2010. This capital of the A&N, at first sight looked like any other small town elsewhere in India – complete with its tea shops and Francis tuition centres! But driving away from the airport, we came to wide roads flanked by very Government looking buildings including a huge State Library till we came upon the breath taking vistas of the harbour which is like our local bus terminus for the inlanders! But much more beautiful and much less crowded.

We checked into the hotel which look much less glamorous than its website photos. But by that evening, the hotel had grown on us and we looked forward to getting back to our room every evening. Shaila was disappointed by the unkempt pool, but as one of the hotel staff pointed out and we  later enjoyed, when she had the pick of the best beaches to swim in, why would she need a pokey little pool?

After a hearty breakfast of toast, omelettes, aloo parathas and fresh guava juice we set off for the morning’s lesson in history! First stop – the infamous Cellular Jail of Kaala Paani… actually a magnificient heritage centre today.

We entered into a museum which housed photographs and artifacts of some of the well known freedom fighters who had been housed there in the 19 & 20th centuries.  Our guide Mustapha in mellifluous Hindi, explained the history and the pathos of the place and the people who had been there. We saw the brass vessels used for gruel and water as well as those used for collecting urine. We saw life like models of prisoners chained liked animals, and an Indian sepoy beating a chained prisoner. The sack garment used to garb repeat offenders (read- those who raised their voices against their British captors. Their hands would be tied up above their heads and they would be left to bear the heat and itchy garment and beaten for days together. All of the prisoners were nationalists and freedom fighters. There were no criminals housed in the jail. In the beginning, the British would leave the captured on the island, because there was no chance of escape. But when a few did brave the hostile environment and escaped they built this jail. Once imprisoned in Kala Paani, they had no hope of returning to their ‘mulk’ and seeing their families again.

Later we got to see the sound and light show which was really inspiring but in very flowery hindi. The narrator was an ancient peepul tree whose voice over I am sure was by the venerable late AK Hangal.

That evening we travelled to Havelock islands where we were treated to a glorious sunset at the Radha Nagar Beach, Snorkeling adventure spotting corals under sea at Elephant Beach and a dream like beach on our own resort – the Symphony Palms. As pictures speak more than words, I shall say no more and only show more…

Since we were not allowed to take pictures of the Jarawa tribes (an indigenous Andamanese tribe,) I will have to resort to words. We opted for a long day’s tour into the thick jungles of Middle Andaman where the Jarawa tribes reside.

June 5 2010 – Started writing this post more than a month back and still not completed! How awful can that be? So I am going to just post the rest in pictures and captions…

Cellular Jail

View from Veer Sarvarkar's cell

Ancient stalactites and stalagmites cave in Barren Island

Ancient stalactites and stalagmites cave in Barren Island. A short trek from the the shores of a deep mangrove forest, this place should be called Paradise islands.

A boat ride to Paradise

View of the 'Barren Island' Mangroves from the Sea

Srini posing with a relief of the Jarawa tribals

The Jarawas are an ancient hostile Negroid tribe of the Andamans. They are not allowed to be photographed. However we drove as a convoy through the forest to see them. They stand by the roadsides and make a sign asking for tobacco - an unfortunate habit they seemed to have picked up from 'civilisation' that passes them by.


They appear like this in person. This image was picked up from

Ferry to Havelock

Islanders use ferries and helicopters for their daily commute. Cars, Buses and Heavy vehicles are also ferried between islands.

queue to board the ferry

Andaman's public transport!

Flying Fish

Tried capturing an image of flying fish in the seas... in vain. Beauty that is so transient!

Srini with an islander

The demographic composition of the islanders is made up of Bengalis, Tamils and a few people from other states of India. They are largely employed by the Government. We struck up an acquaintance with this man - a forest department employee and his wife (Tamils)

Still on the ferry

Shyla and a pair of German backpacking girls befriend each other on the ferry.

Sighting Havelock!

Sighting Havelock from the ferry. Still about half hour away.

Radha Nagar Beach

The sand here is fine, white and firm - your feet don't sink in


Glorious sunset at Radha Nagar Beach

Radha Nagar Beach

Eco Friendly huts on the beach


A wonderful pattern by crab movement on the soft sand

Bottle on the beach

The inevitable Eyesore!

RN Beach

Artistic shot by Srini!

Sunrise at Symphony Palms

Symphony Palms is the place we stayed at Havelock Island. A few minutes after we reached this place at night, a path down the property lead to a small private beach - which was truly dreamlike. Quiet, small waves, starry sky. A boat silhouetted against the moonlight...

Symphony Palms Cottage

A cosy wood cottage, built in island style

The dream beach

The dream beach in daylight


A lone tree... an endless horizon

 dunghee ride

on a dunghee to snorkel - Elephant beach


reclining tree

Elephant beach

Elephant Beach

Snorkellers at Elephant Beach


Sunrise in the forest - on the way to the Jarawa settlement


Our boat took us through nearly 3 kms of thick mangroves on either side, the shrubs forming a low canopy overhead.

Barren Island Volcano

This is a mud volcano that spews cold ash as opposed to lava volcanoes. The ash renders nearby landscape infertile -hence the name Barren Island

June 5, 2010 at 12.00 4 comments

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