Posts Tagged ‘politics

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.

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

20
Feb
09

Censored Humor.

Beauty, said someone, lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Same is the case with most things I suppose, humor in particular. Whist the fact remains that the line dividing what is funny and sick is a rather thin one, what defines the quality humor(or any work of creativity) is primarily how someone interprets it for example while many swore and still swear by Shakespeare as the most prolific playwright ever, Leo Tolstoy dismisses him as a pretentious writer who contributed nothing to the world of literature and instead fooled people with his word play.
The muslims went off their rockers when the infamous cartoon about Prophet Muhammad was published in a Danish daily. A fatwa was issued and people descended the streets.
The world witnessed a similar situation two days back when the New York Post published a cartoon relating the latest stimulus package unveiled by Obama and the Chimp that attacked a woman in the US. The cartoon was prompted by a comment made by an noted economist wherein he said that a better package could’ve had been written by a monkey.
The critics have been loud and lashing their tounges like whips asking the paper to apologise for having scooped a racial joke at the (seemingly still marginalized) Black Community. I am at this point reminded of a quote by Dostoevsky which goes like:

 

“If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”
With lack of self respect comes a sense vulnerability, you end up becoming a cynic forever under the impression that the world is conspiring against you. That is the same emotion I believe that most marginalized communities, which have tried to mingle and demand their rights over the years, have – a constant sense of rejection a constant sense of vulnerability, a feeling that cannot be eliminated unless they start respecting themselves.

And then again there are politicians and opportunists, constantly trying to politicize every possible issue.

But more than anything else what bugs me is the fact that the man who claimed would bring about a change hasn’t reacted? Where is his sense of humor/maturity? Why is he not helping the so called marginalized develop a sense of self respect and stop being paranoid?

Does he too suffer from the same feeling of being marginalized?

I liked the paper’s statment/apology:
Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon – even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.




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