Archive for the 'politics' Category

22
Mar
09

IPL Blues.

This is one time of the year when journalists are most busy – the transition from winters to summers. I am unaware of the reason but newsrooms overflow with news this time annually and most of the time editors are forced to make a hard decision about whether or not a news report ought to be shelved, whether or not a journalist’s intelligence ought to be undermined. The relationship between information inflow and public memory is best illustrated at such times – that there exists a direct proportion between the two;everyone’s forgotten Varun Gandhi the focus has now shifted to IPL, and for a change Congress is facing the heat.

Anyway. Everyone is going ga-ga over IPL being shifted out of the country, people are in mourning and political parties and politicians are trying to shift focus from the main issues and divert the attention of the public. Its a pity that Indians were forced to a situation where they had to choose between democracy and cricket. And its disgusting to see that Indians, in general, prefer cricket over democracy.

What I fail to understand is, that a private sports extravaganza be held in the country or outside the country, how does it matter? I mean do we create such a ruckus over where our politicians and actors celebrate their birthdays? Why doesn’t the general populate realize that BCCI does not represent India and that it has been evoking our emotions and fooling us all this while.

And what on earth is wrong with the losers in BJP? Why are they turning this into a political issue when it is not just the congress led states that are against holding matches before the elections? BJP’s poster boy in the south Mr Yedurappa clearly stated that providing security is impossible before the elections. BCCI authorities say that Maharastra’s and Andra Pradesh’s refusal to hold matches in the respective states is what has forced IPL to move out of the country despite the thrice revised schedule. Are these losers even aware of the problems in these states? I mean Andra Pradesh is a naxal hit state where booth capturing and kidnapping is a well known phenomenon during the polls and Maharastra in the wake of the recent Mumbai attacks is on a security high even otherwise. Don’t these bastards ever read the newspapers? That the fates were rescheduled is another joke that people are forced to believe the Ministry of Home Affairs wanted the dates to be shifted and what Mr Modi and his foolish cronies did was make a cosmetic change in the dates. Do they even know about the logistical issues that the government faces when it comes to mobilizing security?

The BJP claims Congress is admiting defeat at the hands of the terror organizations and that it ought to move ahead and hold these matches irrespective of the threats. Two things now – First, the subcontinent is the second most politically unstable and dangerous place in the world after the Middle East and security concerns raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs are genuine and second what is more important a bunch of fools running around a ball and a crowd of fools clapping hands at that absurd thing or Democracy and freedom – something that lets these fools do what they please and others to criticize them.

What all these fools are missing is the kind of money that is involved and the kind of profits the IPL organizers stand to make at the cost of these fools. Unofficial reports claim the profit involved is more than 10000million $ through merchandise, sponsorships, telecast rights and other such things. Mr Mallaya and Madam Ambani ought to respect this democracy, something that let them rise to such position instead of criticizing it and defaming and demeaning the democratic process.

Jaagore Bharat. Jaago

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21
Mar
09

Shut Up And Vote

India is a Hindu Nation and no one can deny that – Mr Mohan Bhagwat made a brilliant start at his new job today as he took over the leadership of RSS. First day’s first utterance got him instant headlines. While many of you might be disgusted at that statement he made, I on my part totally agree with what he said – India is indeed a Hindu nation. There’s nothing wrong in what he said except that he failed to define what Hinduism is and who Hindus are. Hinduism is NOT a religion its a philosophy, a way of life and each one of us is a Hindu because we consciously or unconsciously have embraced this great culture and its way of life. This country belongs to us and not some uneducated fools who have no clue what they speak or stand for.

Its rather depressing to see that the world’s largest democracy happens to be the dirtiest, the least participatory and the most religiously polarized one. Like it ot not sixty years of freedom and democracy hasn’t ensured that none die of starvation and that none is exploited. More than half the country is illiterate, and an even greater percentage uneducated, Muscle and Money power still rules, Criminals still get elected, Clergy is still more or less in power and People are still not a part of the process, except once in five years.

Education I have always held is different from being literate. You might study at LSE or Oxford or SOAS or Yale and yet be uneducated, Varun Gandhi is the perfect example. All his foreign degrees failed to educate him, failed to stimulate his rationale and failed to pull him out of the bliss of ignorance he lives in. What he said reflects not just his point of view but that of an extremist organization that he is a part of. But then there’s nothing that we can do. Just like Muslim fundamentalism is legitimate in a Muslim dominated country so is Hindu Fundamentalism in a Hindu dominated country, and don’t you dare raise your fingers at them for the likes of Varun, Togadia, Modi and Advani would chop off your hands and label you as the enemy of the state and a communal force.

From times unknown religion has played a rather important role in polity and modern India is no exception, the only problem being that unlike in the US or Iran there are too many religions and all of them command power be it Hindus, Muslims or Christians. I mean take a look at the statement that Varun made after he landed in the controversy – I am a Hindu, a Gandhi and an Indian in the same measure. Note the use of language – A Hindu first, and then a Gandhi and after all that an Indian. His statement points out two important problems with Indian Polity, first there is widespread communalism and hatred being spread my mainstream political parties and second you cannot dream of joining politics or making it big unless you have a lineage to back on – a look at most young Indian MPs proves that.

Its not just the Hindus who spread hatred and polarize our communities, a look at the rather silent christian community shows how efficiently it has turned into a big political force in the south. Priests and Bishops shamelessly urge the communities to vote for a certain candidate, write letters to the centre to place candidate of their choice and come out strongly against people who oppose them or their tryst with politics to an extent where people descent to the streets.

Is this what our constitution calls secularism? Is this what our forefathers’ had envisioned? Who is to blame for all this? Savarkar? Muslim League and Jinnah? Bal Thackery? or Togadia?

Unfortunately the blame lies with Gandhi, the pre independence Indian National Congress and their vision for the country. Gandhi and INC’s excessive use of Hindu symbolism in the freedom struggle alienated the minorities and that led to the formation of Muslim League and other such religious political parties.

While on one side we have all this, a rather grim picture of the Indian Politics on the other side there is hope. For once educated people are joining politics, the latest in fray being Shashi Tharoor and Mallika Sarabhai. Not many have lost hopes. There is a new wave of optimism. People want their share of power and say in the governance. Jagore Campaign has done wonders. The ever complaining Indian youth is up in arms against the warlords of Indian Politics. They want to vote for a change. They want to be a part of the revolution.

The murky waters of Indian politics, it seems, would clear up for good soon. Or would it?

The fact is that most Indians are still uneducated they’d still be influenced by the clergy and muscle power. All these war cries for responsible voting can be heard only in our cities. Shut Up And Vote is written in English a language that more than 80% of the country cannot speak. Who are we fooling? India still is in its villages. If we want a change then that ought to start at the grassroot level.

Anyway Shut Up And Vote.

11
Mar
09

My Crime? I Am A Woman…

He took my rib to make the most dumb thing ever

He took my rib to make the dumbest thing ever

Marxists view the world as a society composed of classes, the clergy view it as a society of sinners and puritans, the philosophers as a society of the observers and the observed, historians and sociologists look at this mortal world as a mixture of cultures, different people look at the world through different eyes. Through the glasses their roles require them to look at this absurd human drama, and yet somewhere we’ve forgotten to look at ourselves as human beings as man and women.

Women in Mangalore are attacked because they are women, moral brigade is up in arms against Frieda Pinto because she is a woman, Fiza is denied justice because she is a woman, acid is thrown on a child on her way to school in Afghanistan because she is a woman, houses are denied to single women and why not? Born out of a man’s rib bone women are to blame for all the miseries in the world. It was Heva or Eve who brought sin to the world, Eve was the reason man was thrown out of Eden and had to face the hardships of the real world. It was Pandora’s curiosity that brought sorrow to the world and Helen’s defiance and love that brought war upon Troy, Draupadi’s Vastraharan that caused Mahabharata, Sita’s beauty that caused Ram to declare a war on Lanka. Women have for centuries been blamed for everything that goes wrong, a child becomes spoilt because of mother’s love, a family looses honor because of a woman’s emotions or love and is often termed as defiance. Man is righteous and hence man will forever be free of blame.

What kind of losers are we to believe in that crap? I mean seriously!?

Our society is fundamentally made of two kinds of people not capitalists and laborers not laymen and clergy, but of man and women. And both have their importance, importance that cannot be denied. A man is nothing without a woman and woman is nothing without a man and this society is nothing without either. And yet women are placed below men when it comes to social hierarchy, why? Well that’s what the Bible teaches us, a woman was made from a man’s rib bone and not from the soil like man, the doomed city of Babylon is represented by the famous whore who sits on a beast. Is our history biased? Or is it that we’re wired that way, wired to accept that women are lesser of a species?

I dunno, but I would like someone to answer that? Why does history portray women as a lesser being? Why do religious texts portray them as whores and gossip mongers? Is it not because men are ready to pay for their carnal desired that women become prostitutes? Is it not because our society has resigned them to the four walls of our homes and kitchen that they find time to gossip and spread rumors?

I mean a man can remain a bachelor if he chooses to no one says a word but why isn’t that the case with women? A man can sleep around with whoever he wishes to but the moment a woman does we call her a woman with a loose character, a slut or a whore? Why are women looked upto as keepers of morality, do men have no share in that?

It’s depressing to see how our societies have evolved over a period of time. Women who once were deities and commanded respect are now beaten up on the streets, acid is thrown on them, their dignity questioned and above all paid lower wages!

I too am a victim of the above mentioned stereotyping, I believe that most, if not all, women are dumb and would prefer to spend my time with men than with a woman.

We seriously need a total brainwashing, we need to erase all the pre-fed data in our brains.

We need change.

I need some grass.

06
Mar
09

The Coming of Age

I have quite often been critical of the church and religious institutions. People who know me know of my opposition to any form of organized movement that seeks to impose upon people a set of ideologies;I may seem like an anarchist but I believe anarchy is inevitable when it comes to dreaming of a rational society, a society governed by peace and that involves true participation, something on the lines of Jewish communes called Kibbutz.

But then again the thought of a commune system gives me creeps because what instantly comes to my mind is Ayn Rand’s Anthem –  the loss of individuality – and Manoj Nnight Shyamalan’s Village – a society of Puritanians.

I am finally convinced that my friend Lal’s work was a masterpiece. Lal happens to be a friend of mine who wrote a book, a philosophical critique on governance, wherein he claims that no form of governance is truly participatory.

Anyway, enough of rambling. What I seek, in simple terms, is peace and the freedom to choose, a capitalist society with a humane touch.

The world is reeling under the aftereffects of recession, unemployment rate in the US has hit a new high. Loans are difficult to get by. Lay-offs in every possible direction. The sale of anti-depressants has shot off the roof.

Who needs divorce?

While on one side we have news that is depressing on the other side is news that is amusing – Divorce cases have hit a new low! Religious institutions are getting record attendance(and money)! Self help and investment books are selling like hot cakes!

Atheists often look down upon theists as irrational people, people who are dumb enough to believe in karmic cycle, resurrection, apocalypse and sins.

In a recent post by one of my friend, on his blog, he discussed about the same and claimed that babies are atheists and if allowed to grow so will lead us to a world that works on rational principles – a claim that I had fiercely argued against. Well it looks like, for once, my claims were right.

A recent research claims that Gods are a natural extension of the evolutionary process and also the manner in which we’re wired, up in our attics. And that this new-found phenomenon of seeking solace in our gods(Thanks to recession) is something that is natural to us humans, we will at times of adversity turn to some mystical power, which is nothing but a creation of our imagination.

The research draws its inspiration from the phenomenon of kids and adults having imaginary friends.

Nevertheless, Gods/no Gods the debate is an unending one and so is our quest for a perfect and rational society.

REVOLUTION!

REVOLUTION!

To me the present world is in someways a world similar to the swinging sixties. Music is the latest thing and that too indie music, anti-government feeling is on the rise, socialists are on the rise, more and more people are speaking out and all that we see around, most things seem to tell me that we’re on the verge of a cultural revolution.

Then again, it might be the effect of all the conspiracy theories I’ve seen and read in the past couple of years.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have entered the age of Aquarius, or so some people claim.

In astrology, the Age of Aquarius is one of the twelve astrological ages.Each astrological age is approximately 2,150 years long, Unlike sun-sign astrology where the first sign is Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces whereupon the cycle returns to Aries and through the zodiacal signs again, the astrological ages proceed in the opposite direction or order.

Astrological ages exist as a result of precession of the equinoxes. The stars and constellations appear to slowly rotate around the Earth independent of the diurnal and annual movements of the Earth on its own axis and around the Sun. This slow movement takes slightly less than 26,000 years to complete one cycle.

In 1929, the International Astronomical Union defined the edges of the 88 official constellations In 1929, the International Astronomic Ages are believed by some astrologers to affect mankind while other astrologers believe the ages correlate to the rise and fall of mighty civilizations and cultural tendencies.

Aquarius traditionally rules electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealists, modernization, rebels and rebellion, mental diseases, nervous disorders, and astrology. Other keywords and ideas believed associated with Aquarius are nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity, perseverance, mankind and irresolution. The appearance or elevation in status of many of these Aquarian developments over the last few centuries is considered by many astrologers to indicate the proximity of the Aquarian age. There is no uniform agreement about the relationship of these recent Aquarian developments and the Age of Aquarius.

Some astrologers believe that the influence of a new age is experienced before it arrives because of a cuspal effect or Orb of Influence. Other astrologers believe the appearance of Aquarian developments indicate the actual arrival of the Age of Aquarius.

But then again the astronomers are not in agreement with the date of commencement of the age. While some say it started way back in the 19th century some others claim it started this year in the month of Feb. Anyway my in box is often full of promotional emails from astrologers and oracles who claim that the transition is here and I ought to make the best use of it by paying these frauds100$ for telling me how to make the best of this transition.

The reason I gave you so much gyan about the Age of Aquarius is because of a certain announcement by the Vatican this week, an announcement that, to me, confirms the fact that we’re indeed in the age of Aquarius and thus on the verge of a revolution.

The famous Darwin cartoon that hit newspapers soon after Darwin published The Orign of Species

The famous Darwin cartoon that hit newspapers soon after Darwin published The Orign of Species

The Vatican earlier this week announced that it accepts Darwinism. While to many this is a welcome move because christian theologians had years ago rejected the claims of the book of genesis a fact that often baffled the laity, to many this is the first nail on Christianity’s coffin. The church goes on to claim that accepting Darwinism does not in any manner interfere with the church’s claim of acceptance of God and trashes the claims of Richard Dawkins- the church calls it absurd;for it was God who  made the soul.

I believe its time for researchers in the field of cognitive and conscience sciences to pull their socks.

Meanwhile a research conducted by BBC claims that people often lie about the books they’ve read. The most lied about book is George Orwell’s Ninteen Eighty Four, followed by James Joyce’s Ulysses, Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s children. I happen to have pirated prints of all the four books and with the exception of War and Peace have read all the three, or at least am in the process – stuck with Ulysses!

According to BBC of the hundred books listed below an average individual would not have read more than six.

Place a mark next to the ones you’ve read.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen #
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien #
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee #
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell#
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens #
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller#
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien #
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulkner
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger#
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald #
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy *
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams #
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky #
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll #
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy #
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens #
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen #
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini #
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres #
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell #
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown #
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez #
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy #
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding #
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens#
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley#
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez #
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie #
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville #
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker #
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce(Reading)#
76 The Inferno – Dante#
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens#
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert #
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry#
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle #
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad#
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl #
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo#

37 Books! I am better read than an average Briton!

What’s your score?

04
Mar
09

Cricket and Blood…

The subcontinent is shocked. A thin string that held this volatile place has finally  snapped.

Sri Lankan team had a near death experience when a bunch of fanatics open fired on them.

India so far has been critical and lashed out against Pakistan for not having done enough. Meanwhile Lalit Modi remains defiant – IPL will not be rescheduled, the home ministry cannot dictate terms.

My reactions?

I’m happy. Laughing my head off.

Although I condemn any form of violence, I cannot stop laughing. The Gods have been attacked! People who ruled the imagination of most individuals continue to do so except that their godly image has been shattered.

Terror organizations in the subcontinent have realized, for the first time, that a normal life, yours and mine, is not worth more than a insect’s;if the governments have to be made heard what is required is to target high profile individuals;which in one way is good, for we are safer than them, even after all the security they get.

While Pakistan slips into chaos, what most Indian media, on the first day, concentrated on was the horror of the cricketers being attacked, the fate of cricket in the subcontinent and more importantly the fate of world cup. Somewhere they forgot about the five police officials who got killed and the driver who drove the team to safety – after-all who wants to see poor and unglamorous people on screen. Media reiterating the fact that our lives are not worth the lives of some fools who run around a ball.

Meanwhile after the Home Ministry’s request to look into the possible rescheduling of dates of the IPL because of the upcoming elections and related security issues, Lalit Modi went on record to say that Centre was no one to dictate terms to BCCI. Vijay Mallya went to suggest that rescheduling IPL would hurt the sentiments of cricket fans across the globe;a poll conducted by NDTV says otherwise, people want the dates to be rescheduled. There are two things that the general public fails to see here, first, Team India does not represent India; it represents the interests and motives of a group of India’s elite who call themselves the Board of Cricket Control in India and have been fooling the likes of you for years now. The government of India, which in turn represents you and me, has no stakes in Team India or BCCI, therefore none of us here have any stake in Team India. Second thing that we fail to see is why BCCI is unwilling to change the IPL schedule – if we look at what BCCI has done at the government’s request, which is not hold games 48hrs around the election dates, what we find is that the BCCI stands to loose more than 250crore. How’s that?

Refugees in Darfur

Refugees in Darfur

While on one side you sat glued to your television screen, horrified about the death of cricket in the subcontinent on the other side there were likes of me, a bunch of useless freaks who celebrated, for more than a million people saw a ray of justice for the first time in more than 20 years . For those of you who do not know what I am speaking of, I do not blame you. The International community finally took notice of the atrocities being committed by a regime in a non descriptive and God forsaken place called Darfur, a place where millions have died and many more still die every moment in the name of ethnic cleansing.

Government Militia

Government Militia

The International Criminal Court at Hague has issued an arrest warrant against the president Omar al-Bashir of Sudan for war crimes and crime against humanity, in Darfur.

It’s a rather interesting form of war that is being fought in Darfur, primarily because of the means employed, the weapon being used by the Arab majority is no sophisticated weapon, nothing that resembles an AK 47 or its likes, the weapon deployed by the Arab majority is called RAPE. While men are murdered in the most brutal manner, women and children are raped.

Rape Victims

Rape Victims

A rather strange weapon for something like genocide aint it? What harm can rape probably do?

Its a means of killing that can leave the most torture techniques ineffective. You don’t just experience the physical pain and disgust, that pain becomes your companion forever. You’re not just left with the physical pain and scars but also social ostracization. Both men and women look down upon you, reminding you every minute of the rest of your life the atrocity committed against you.

If I go by the UN and Amnesty International reports children as young as 5 years old have been victims of this barbaric act of violence. And for 20 years we kept our eyes closed and continue to do so. May be blacks aren’t as glamorous as the Jews.

I leave you with a song – Bangladesh by George Harrison. A song that I believe, has a universal appeal.

28
Feb
09

Democratic Naxalism

When it comes to a blogger like me, there is nothing more disturbing than to see my blog stat hit a rock bottom. It’s 11 in the morning and I haven’t had a single visitor visiting my blog.

And hence the post which was to be posted tonight is being posted now. To begin with, I am sure I have been pissing you off with all my lamenting and social commentary but then to me writing is more of a stress buster like grass, but because of the unavailability of grass in Hyderabad, I am forced to comment than get creative and pour out my emotions onto paper in the form of stories. I want to make full use of this blog before I head to Delhi’s greenery and this blog becomes obsolete like three of my other blogs.

What does AR Rehman’s Oscars mean to India? NOTHING, I would say, and observe everything in capitals.

I don’t know how many of you remember having seen the case of a mother who sold her new born baby for six thousand rupees to pay off the hospital bill – the news wasn’t a crowd puller but some news channels did justice to the woman and granted her about a minute of prime-time television coverage and none thereafter, after-all who’s interested in all these poverty stories when there’s killing happening on in Bangladesh, when Pakistan’s forever contradicting it’s findings and when Ishan Sharma’s pants are falling off – NDTV ran a discussion on the same trying to figure whether it was Nike’s fault/Ishan’s fault. Who’re we trying to fool here? The media feeds us with filth for news and we’re happy buying it. A mother was forced to sell her new born baby to pay off her hospital dues while over 10000crore rupees from the exchequer would be spend on election campaigns across the country in the coming months, and all we’re obsessed with is some uneducated fool’s pants!

Noam Chomsky calls the above phenomenon – a phenomenon where the so assumed independent media and political forces act hand in hand to divert the public’s attention from real issues – Manufacturing Consent. Note the use of words, MANUFACTURING, an industrial phenomenon that is undertaken if and only if there is a scope of profitability, irrespective of the type of governance. It’s a profitable venture for everyone involved – the government, the opposition, the media, the advertisers everyone is happy making a fool out of us. Osho, in one of his public lectures discusses about intellect and intelligence and he says intelligence is inborn it’s like one of our six senses while intellect is something that me cultivate, something we gather from our surroundings, we feed on books, newspapers, and other things in our bid to make our intellect stronger and competable. Unfortunately, our intellect is filled with useless filth! How else would we defend ourselves when it comes to politicians and clergy and media making a fool out of us, everyday and every minute of our life.

We hail democracy as the most perfect form of participatory governance, and it is this perfect and participatory governance that is fueling Naxalism in this country. Unlike in case of terrorist attacks, these men who take up arms and live in inhospitable jungles aren’t Pakistanis or Bangladeshis they are Indians like you and me, abet they are poor and hence unlike us the worst victims of this participatory governance, men and women who are a result of our booming economy and brilliant democracy. Unlike us they have nothing to loose if the markets crash or bounce, if it’s BJP led NDA or Congress led UPA that is at power in the center or even if Rehman Gulzar and Pookutty gather Oscars.

No one wants to die off a bullet but then if it is a bullet that gives you an honorable death, then so be it.

Perhaps the only ray of hope at this juncture is the so called independent judiciary, which has indeed been acting more or less dispassionately and independently. The recent PIL in the supreme court which asks the court to examine the contoversial fundamental right to property would come as a big blow to the corporates and the government if it is accepted as a fundamental right, for it would make land grabbing on the pretext of SEZs difficult for both the government and the corporates.

A rather brilliant example of how the government fools us here is that in 2007 there was a delay in the publishing of NCERT sociology text books, the reason given out to the public was technical delays, the real cause of delay was that many of our parliamentarians were rather uncomfortable with some out of the box questions posed in the ‘interactive’ text book for example “China is six times bigger than India and while India has more than 200 SEZs already sanctioned China has only three, do you think that the SEZ policy pursued by the government is in the interest of the country?”

It is a democracy and yet we cannot question, participatory and yet we cannot decide.

Our cities are an illusion of our growing economy, while we feat on caviar and best of wines, people in the villages starve and yearn for that tiny morsel that fell off your high table.

Is there anything we can do? Perhaps not. Perhaps we can take comfort in the saying from Bhagwad Gita, “There will always be one who oppresses and one who is oppressed”, and as long as we aren’t oppressed or the oppressors we can keep guilt at bay and feast on that caviar.

I desperately need some grass.

26
Feb
09

Harrison’s Hinduism Vs Muthalik’s

I have been obsessed with Hinduism since my tenth grade, a time when I started reading Dostoevsky and Krishnamurti and started questioning my own religious beliefs. And then I had the good fortune of spending time with some great scholars who enriched my grounding in Hinduism and I turned into a christian who believes and tries to live by Hindu Philosophy.

It’s been over a year now since I got addicted to The Beatles. While many of my metal-head friends dismiss them as a bunch of sissies who wrote nothing but love songs, what they fail to see and fail to realize is that it was Beatles who wrote and performed the first heavy metal song – Helter Skelter. While most of the songs Beatles performed were written by McCartney and Lennon, I for some unknown reason have a strange leaning towards the lesser known George Harrison.

This Post was supposed to be written on the 25th of February,   George’s birth anniversary but due to some unavoidable reasons I had to postpone it to today.

Nevertheless, for those of you who haven’t been infected yet by The Beatles mania I suggest you watch this Movie called “Across The Universe”. Unlike the kind of songs that rule the billboards today, bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and others looked at music as an outlet to their dilemmas, observing life like philosophers and commenting on the same and therefore every song had a interpretation often deep, be it Stairway to Heaven by Led Zep, Mother by Pink Floyd or I am the Walrus by Beatles. And it was perhaps for this reason that Beatles fans across the globe where divided when it came to “Across the Universe” while some liked it others trashed it as the worst tribute to The Beatles. Nevertheless, after the movie, Beatles were never the same and now quoting my own example I can say with full confidence that even the greatest of metal heads who’ve seen the movie would have a newfound respect for the Beatles and their music.

George Harrison was someone who was obsessed with Hinduism and as a part of his religious efforts he organized the legendary Concert for Bangladesh, on 1st August 1971, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Organized for the relief of refugees from East Pakistan (now independent Bangladesh) after the 1970 Bhola cyclone and during the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities and Bangladesh Liberation War, the event was the first benefit concert of this magnitude in world history. It featured an all-star supergroup of performers that included Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, and Ringo Starr.

While the the likes of Harrison embraced a peaceful form of Hinduism we in India started embracing a rather militant form of Hinduism, led by savarkar and gang.

First it was the demolition of the Babri Masjid, then the Gujarat Riots, Sethusamundram Project and most recently the Manglore pub attacks.

At this point I am reminded of a proverb, “Empty vessel sounds much”. Half baked knowledge is always dangerous and that is what I believe is the problem with these Hindu fanatics, of course coupled with socio-economic injustices.

Hinduism unlike Christianity is not a violent religion in fact it is NOT a religion. Hinduism is a philosophy, a way of life and the Hindu scriptures lay down the rules for this philosophy. To claim that Hindu epics are true to the core, that Ram existed, that ausuras existed is nothing but sheer stupidity – we’re already witnessing the result of the asura interpretation, the strong anti aryan, dravidian movement in the south. Hindu epics are nothing more than Aesop’s Fables for the mature.

Hinduism does not preach violence, it does not preach hatred rather it preaches tolerance, acceptance and love.

Now if I were to respond to why Hindu fanatics should not react to the threat they face from other religions in the form of religious conversions I’d say it is because of their own created system that there is a threat, people like cows prefer greener pastures, and if some religion helps them get over the atrocious caste system they’ve lived and suffered under for centuries, they’d embrace that than live like the dust off the Deva’s feet.

The world has changed a lot from what we is in our villages, India has moved from its villages to cities. And to bring the centuries old morals of our villages to cities is criminal.

Women, for God’s sake, are as human as men and it isn’t illegitimate for them to ask for their share of freedom and you are no one to deny them that. Celebrating valentine’s day is not a crime! public display of love is not a crime, if it is start by demolishing temples that have images of nude apsaras and dieties, start by demolishing the lingam in a yoni that represents Shiva!

What the Fuck is wrong with those freaks, they have no clue what their fucking religion is and they”re out there to impose upon us some assumed sense of morality that they claim existed for centuries!

Although ignorance in one reason another major reason which many people have failed to see is the socio economic disparity that exists between the rich and the poor.

Morality is a social construct of the middle class. With globalization and booming economy, the middle class became the upper middle class and the divide between the rich and the poor increased. Now the rich have across the globe have more or less the same kind of morality and then you have the poor who have been victims of the middle class morality that has been imposed upon them and made believe as the ultimate truth. And it is this class, a class that has been for years crushed and bullied that is revolting.

Academic outlook of our ruling class hasn’t ensured that macroeconomic gains trickle to the bottom of the society. The likes of Muthalik and Thackery do not have a strong following in the locales of South Delhi or Malabar Hills or Banjara Hills, they have a following in the poorest and the often neglected quarters of Dharavi and JJ colonies.

Each one of us here is at blame for the rise of likes of Muthalik and Thackery.

They are our creations who’ve turned against us. Just like Taliban – a creation of the US.

Damn I am going bonkers. I need my pills.

At this point I leave you with a beautiful song written by Harrison called “Here comes the sun”, performed at the Concert for Bangladesh in the year 1971




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