Monday, October 27, 2008

A couple of links...

A like-minded soul who very aptly expresses the disease that ails us.

My friend why? from the Mutiny seems to believe that all I ever seem to have time for is to criticize the sangh. He obviously doesn't know me well enough yet, but this link is to show him what I'd be doing if I'd devoted myself solely to that cause. Not that I think that this gentleman is wrong. I think his attempt is praiseworthy!

He who lives by the sword?

I woke this morning to the disturbing news of a young life wasted by violence.
I was very pained at Rahul Raj losing his life, another casualty due to the stir by the maharashtra navnirman? sena. What a waste of a life given by God.

If Rahul had not chosen the path of violence in response to violence he may still have been alive today. He would still be able to enjoy life, the joys of being alive, being able to smell the flowers, the food, to be able to savour it. His parents wouldnn't be suffering so much today if he had eschewed violence.

Gandhiji comes to my mind in this difficult hour for the humanity that inhabits India. This is why he abhorred violence I guess. This is why he spoke of non-violent protest. If Rahul Raj chosen to fast in front of Mantralaya, he could've been beaten up sure, but definitely not shot dead.

I'm not for a moment saying that he didn't have provocation. I'm not for a moment suggesting that everyman is strong enough in the mind to eschew violence. I'm not saying that he may not have been pushed over the edge. I have been very vocal about the violence raj thakre has unleashed. This is the unfortunate result of his words & actions. And that is why I speak in favour of Gandhiji's & Buddha's ahimsa instead of the path of violence.

We are a fragile society these days, under pressure & increasingly fractured & on the edge. More such incidents could happen if this navnirman doesn't stop soon! Gunman on a passenger bus? I mean these things happened in the US not here!!!

There are people working for Indian unity & for Hindu unity. Both of these have failed consistently ever since raj thakre chose the violence path. he has managed to undo the work that his own political mates had been trying to do for years!
thakre's uncle had earlier sent encouraging words in the direction of bomb-makers!
I hope the people following them wake up soon & realize the extent of damage they're doing!

A couple of facts worth mentioning about this case:
1. aaj-tak, that vermin among media channels, was interviewing Rahul Raj's father in his moment of grief. The man wasn't even given time to grieve! The father was being badgered by the interviewer, cross-questioned I swear! How low will men stoop? The father pointed out that Rahul was not in possession of a country-made revolver as suggested, if indeed 6 shots were fired from his gun, and alluded to a conspiracy based on that inconsistency & demanded an investigation.
2. Many are of the opinion that the police acted in haste & could've arrested him alive.
Does this remind anyone else of the closing scenes from Rang De Basanti?

Anyway, coming back to the crux of this post. Another apostle of peace, Jesus Christ is the one who said: He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.
And history has repeatedly proved him right.
I hope raj thakre realizes that at least.

Friday, October 24, 2008

On Bihar

My friend writes a passionate piece about Biharis. And brings to light again the abominable problem of stereotyping.

Please read here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Two can play this game.


LK Advani : I'm secular.

Me: I'm a pink elephant in a fuzzy tutu dancing on a circus ball.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This Casteist state of India...

I feel nauseated.

This morning, I read this about the state of affairs vis a vis the super-resilient caste system in our country. It's like a stubborn stain on pure white fabric, that refuses to go away!
For years, reformers have been trying to fight this evil, there have been breakaways from Hinduism because of this evil, this evil continues to rage. I've only recently chanced upon a theory that explains why.

Despite the efforts of reformers like Gandhiji & many others, there has long-existed a lobby of religious conservatives that has been opposed to reform. Opposed to reform for two reasons primarily: 1) Because of what is called a "comfort zone" or "inertia" sometimes. 2) Because moving away from the caste system would leave them without the power that upper castes have traditionally enjoyed.

As I have pointed out before, these religious conservatives are referred to as the right-wing. Now think of a right-wing ruled state in India. Gujarat pops foremost to mind because of their rejoicing over the "Gujarat experiment".
And what is happening in Gujarat? Let's not talk of 2002 for a moment. Let's talk about today's news.
Is this what reformers have been fighting for hundreds of years?
I'd like to ask my rightist detractors on the Mutiny, is this what progress & reform is?
Is this what the founding fathers of the Nation imagined for India?

To me, this is what comes from voting religious conservatives into power.
This is what comes from creating what Sagarone calls the Hindu Republic of Gujarat!

Wake up people! Please!

Please elect those people & parties that stand for Reform & Progressive Thought, not for those who want to hang on to established rituals even if they are evil!
Be an Iconoclast!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm done with DNA!

I was very excited when DNA entered the news market with their detailed research and clever marketing campaign. They promised change. Of course I didn't know what they meant by change until recently.

I subscribed as I wanted to break from the blatant commercialism of the TOI.
Initially, their articles were good (incompletely researched sometimes), but of late they've started displaying a tilt towards right-wing politics in India.
For the benefit of those who wonder why this term is applied to their favourite political party, allow me to quote from Wiki: "right wing views continued to be concerned with keeping "traditional" values (often religious values)". Allow me to digress a little here. So the right-wingers are those who are conservative, and specially so with respect to religion. Compare this with progressive or liberal thought. Compare this with secularism.
It should be obvious at this point why what is referred to as the right-wing in India is opposed to secularism & do not leave any opportunity to denigrate the very idea & it's proponents. It is at total variance from their cherished ideals, however outdated they may be.

Allow me to demonstrate this tilt.
The Indian Express recently did a story on how Azamgarh in UP has increasingly thrown up goondas & terrorists in the recent past. They presented facts. They interviewed people and presented both sides of the story, and left it at that. That's called reporting. You investigate all facts, write an unbiased report & leave it at that. The public will read & decide.
DNA too did a story on Azamgarh (much later than IE understandably), but they opened the article branding it aatankgarh. This is not what reporting is. This is sensationalism & this is a not so subtle attempt to influence public opinion!

When the Tatas awarded the Nano project to Gujarat, the IE reported it like that. "Gujarat gets the Nano" or something to that effect.
DNA on the other hand was jubiliant. For them it was some kind of a victory that needed celebrating. And it wasn't about Gujarat for them. It was about murder-accused modi for them! The headline read "Modi & men bring home the Nano"!
Is this a mainstream newspaper that thrives on unbiased journalism? Or has it become mouthpiece to the right-wing?

I spoke about secularism & the stance of the right-wing on it earlier. Take a look at how two of their columnists attempt to take down secularism & it's adherents. I can understand if you feel that someone is ignoring a point of view. If you have to make a point, make that point! Why repeatedly take on an obviously modern, progressive concept? Silly according to me this attacking an idea! Take a look.
R. Jagannathan attempts to blast secularists here, and
Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr tries to do the same a few days later.

It's becoming obvious to me that DNA is either attempting a balancing act that has gone totally wrong, or worse gone over to the one side instead of staying firmly in the middle.
And until they can get their act together, I am unsubscribing myself from DNA. Advertisers please take note.

While I was a huge supporter of Subhash Chandra when he started the ICL & went up against the BCCI establishment, that support is on hold ever since I heard that he recently expressed that the right-wing needs adequate representation in the media. Can someone please present a link that either confirms or denies this bit of news?

Happy Dusshera

Dusshera represents the victory of good over evil.

India today is struggling in the grasp of evil. From the evil of the multiple & repeated bomb blasts of the terrorists, to the evil of communal riots, church burning, murder & mayhem of the sangh parivar, to the evil of most of us turning a blind eye to this evil & it's perpetrators.

I pray today for the triumph of good in my land, and in all other lands afflicted by evil.

I pray for God to give all of us the strength to speak out if not do something about the evil.

And I present two links to people who are doing something good in the environment of evil. Things like this give me hope that we will win like Ram did. I wish the people I meet in the blogosphere, would give me that hope too.

Please do read this & this. It's the least you can do.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shame on you Ratan Tata

I wonder what kind of a world Ratan Tata lives in. He didn't read this???
Or on a more serious note, this?

While my faith in Tata products had been dwindling for some time, my faith in the group, their legacy, what they stood for, had remained. With one move, Ratan Tata has totally shattered that! And brought disgrace to the Tata name.

I guess Mr. Tata has just proved that business comes above everything else, that money matters more than anything else, that the alleged blood on modi's hands doesn't matter to him (it would've to his predecessors), that in his chase for the glory of the Tata group, he has shamed the India that we (& our forefathers & his!) have been fighting to build!

To me & to others like me, he will be remembered not as the man who revolutionized (read debased) India's car market, not as the man who salvaged the fortunes of the Tata group, but as the man who sold India's soul for the sake of his business.