23 February 2009

Jai Ho ?!

Tonight again Britain raised the flag at the expense of India at the Oscars.

Q & A the original story written by an Indian Diplomat,Vikas Swarup is the movie Slum dog millionaire that took home many awards. An equally talented British screen play and script writer translated the same into a movie bringing it to many living rooms because a genius mind saw the potential of a great plot and a story for accolades, attention and awards that appealed the western psyche but for an average Indian this movie is only an ordinary one.

The Brits are thorough with their knowledge to vex their muscles with India. Having ruled them for 200 years and stolen human capital and material possessions they did not hesitate to make their way back in the 21st century this time depicting poverty and collecting Oscars. It seems like Indians in every form is a lucky charm for the British.

Slum dog millionaire wouldn’t have graced the red carpet if it was done by an Indian. However one leverage being that an Indian household name A.R Rehman took not one but 2 Oscars to night.. Talent in India is many, but opportunities are few and recognition fewer! Congratulations A.R Rehman. Congratulations Resul Pookutty.

Congratulations to the many cast members of slum dog millionaire who took a flight for the first time in their life. The stars may have been perfectly aligned for them at least for once and I hope this is just the beginning for them. .I would think that most of them who played their real life for the reel go to public school where even the basic infrastructure is not present.

When I worked in GE, in the next cubicle, I heard boos of laughter when an American raised in upstate New York narrated the story of child beggars who hovered around him when he landed at the Bombay airport. And today slum dog millionaire earns an Oscar depicting the same characters. The movie is a story of triumph and perseverance against all odds.

While all of us sat in the comfort of our homes and saw the ceremony that glittered amid recession, millions of slum dwellers crowded in homes smaller the size of your galley kitchen that had a television set but many more left their homes early at dawn to earn bread. I heard in the grape vine that the land – Dharavi, the largest slum in Bombay is being sold for thousands of millions to real estate developers. That means the slum dwellers will be without a home.

And on another note is this Oscar award a political move? I cannot help but think that Washington had played a role in tipping the scale for Oscars in favor on a movie based on India. Are they encashing on the emotions of Indians for an unseen favor ?

The world is definitely a stage. I must agree with Shakespeare.

Edited to add: the painting above

13 February 2009

Know that you are being Read. And Letter to Sagarika Ghose -Part II

In response to my earlier post letter to Sagarika ghose a commentor has signed and left as Sagarika Ghose but there is no link. So is she the real one ? Not sure. If she is, then great.

Google search results for "sagarika ghose, chaddis "( as indicated in my site meter ) is how the proposed sagarika ghose has reached my blog (Kudos GOOGLE ).

Ms Ghose has addressed me "HeyMr whats your name ! "

My right bar indicates my Name Clearly under the label About Me.

Has Ms Ghose forgotten to address a person politely and professionally,how much ever agonised she is.Isn't she the senior editor and prime time news anchor of CNN IBN ?(but on googling Ms. Sagarika ghose I have come upon sites where she has been unprofessional on many fronts. So I am not surprised at the sudden outrage in the written form of address.)

She writes “You have misquoted my blog. I never wrote the line 'Don't confuse love with lust'. Please check my blog before you spin out lies. sagarika Ghose"

Please note that I have linked Ms Ghose's article at Hindustan times to my post and there should be no confusion in case of a typing mistake or an error of cut and paste from my word document. And the error was corrected.

Journalists/Reporters at the start of their profession want to investigate and write a story which will catch attention , have an interesting plot or convey a message, but as time sweeps by other banalities of the profession get hold of them and they forget the “task” which they first set out for.

Journalists/Reporters are known for manipulating and for pointing fingers when they get a reply from the readers. The megalamonia of Bharka Dutt,an extremely well written piece by shubo raises many interesting points. Has fear gripped the professionals?

Journalists create hype and have their own prejudices. It just goes to show that they can become arrogant.(the way she has addressed above)When they hear a striking response to their work they speak louder, create confusion and try to manipulate. With their proficiency of words and the tricks of the trade under their arms they try to leech.

Once creators of mass opinion they are now under check by a mass of bloggers. No more can professional journalists think that “freedom of expression” is only there’s to keep. Ancient are those days. Until recent years the letters to the editor would not be published as it is or those published are the ones that sing their praises ! But now with inking of thoughts online we do not have to send it to them.The journalists will come to us. The journalists will hop and skip online and franatically search google to read what is being said to them. Citizen journalism in action?.Perhaps, Participatory democracy is the right word here.

The likes of Ms.Ghose and Ms. Bharka Dutt ( a member of SAJA forum ) will be In check no matter how they continue to fill NEWS. They can overfill their kitties with gratification, but also with insecurity that their voice may drown under the sea of voices that talk to them.

So bloggers keep logging in. Know that you are heard. It is worth your words and time. We live in an exciting time.

And here's a note to my non-indian readers if you are wondering what is going on -

A blogger was served a law suit by a major Indian TV channel. The megalamonia of Bharka Dutt tells it all. Another prime time news anchor and senior editor of CNN IBN Ms. Sagarika Ghose is to whom I have written this and an earlier letter. As you know the english speaking crowd of indians who have an access to internet are are raising voices against media, government etc just like any citizen would do on their blog when they are not satisfied or happy ( Think election of Obama)

When indian citizens exercise their Freedom of speech they are being stamped on. India may have bought Information Technolgy to the world, but the government and its quasi army,the media constantly tries to suppress and scare the citizens - bloggers included.

I thought you should know as the world is becoming more globalized.

Indian Woman Fights back Non-Violently

You may have heard of the Hindu Taliban attacking women in the pub who were sitting down quietly for a drink. This menace is one of them with all the other terror that men have been inflicting woman when they step out of their houses in both urban and rural areas

I also write on Testosterone Terrorism faced by woman in india. The woman have kept quiet for long and their struggle has been long and lonely. Now the women are gearing up. This time the Indian Woman are planning to fight back non-violently through the pink chaddi campaign -

This is what NPR has to say.

BBC covers it.

Huffington Post mentions it.
Request to Women All OVER THE WORLD

While you celebrate Please raise a Toast to the Indian Women on Valentine’s Day as they fight the self instituted moral police (the Hindu Taliban’s who cordon woman in the name of indian culture) Raise a toast for her as she fights back her attackers tomorrow in the most non violent fashion –

Related Links:


and many bloggers covers it to.. ( Too Many to List )

Request to Google India

Please support the women of India as she fights back the hindu testosterone terror tomorrow that she has undergone for years. A change in the banner for the day showing support of the non violent woman is a great symbol of social responsibility.

Thank You.


11 February 2009

Letter to Sagarika Ghose

Ref: To the article in the Hindustan Times. My letter is in Pink.
please note that i am raising many points with reference to Ms. Ghose's article which is in white . so the letter in pink will only make complete sense if you read the para above. Thank You

Both the zealot and the sex symbol claim to be the defining face of a new India. Pramod Muthalik, the Sri Rama Sene chief, claims to represent a tidal wave of public revulsion against Western culture. In sharp contrast, bare midriffs and cleavages stare down from hoardings as if to declare proudly that it is they who represent the aspirations of every young Indian. A Facebook group, ‘A Consortium of Pub-Going Loose and Forward Women’ (a group to which your columnist also belongs) is now planning to send ‘pink chaddis’ to Muthalik in protest. Undoubtedly, the Sene’s actions are loathsome and unacceptable, but sending pink underwear to perverts is pretty undignified too.

Millions of women have been terrified since many years by the testosterone terrorists. Gentlemen do not behave in an illicit manner when he sees a woman. Many women took it in their stride to protect themselves – they have done it individually but it continues. The regionalistic movements continue to torment and terrorise women in the name of moral policing. But the fact is Complaints lodged against Eve teasing or molestations in police stations gets piled away under dusty files in Indian courts and many times police officers refuse to take a complaint. And you know it better than I do protests are never dignified. If It makes you squirm it is enough to show that the protest is a winning combination

In fact, therein lies the dilemma of most educated Indians today. Most of us are scandalised by the Sri Ram Sene’s actions, horrified at being told that ‘love’ is foreign to India. We’d like to remind the Sene that the love stories of Shakuntala and Dushyant or of Roopmati and Baz Bahadur show that some of the greatest love stories of all times were made in India and love has always been a socially revolutionary force destroying taboos of caste, class and religion. St Valentine is only an upstart in our centuries-old experiments with romance. Also, where does one draw the line at ‘Western’ influences on India? Does the Sene know that the potato and even cottage cheese from which mithai is made, were, ‘foreign’ to India, brought in by Portuguese traders? The custodians of ‘Hindu sanskriti’ are not just absurd, they don’t know their history.

Lust is not foreign to India. It is the land of the kamasutra. Eve teasing and Molestation are public outcries in its different form. It is the form of entertainment that many individuals engage in when they want a sexual thrill when they are in a crowd. It is the cheapest form of entertainment for testosterone terrorists. And it does not need consent. As for the westerners, they are influenced by the east too. They are wise enough to pick up the good points.

Yet the dilemma is that groups like the Sri Rama Sene force the thoughtful Indian to defend things he may see as a fundamental right, but does not necessarily want to defend. However much we may hate the Sene, upholding the commercially-driven Valentine’s Day as a supreme cultural resource, or seeing the pub as the shining symbol of our social ‘freedom’ may not be forward movement for India.

Pubs are an urban answer to the cultural associations of rural India where festivities are celebrated with families and communities where they sang folk songs and danced. Bhangra among Punjabis, Gharba and Dandiya Raas among Gujaratis. The people of Assam, Sikkim, Tripura and Manipal have their own tribal dances and festivities to unwind after a hard days or hard months of cultivation in their paddy fields and other agricultural activities.

Young people choosing urban lifestyles that are desi imitations of Sex And The City, is hardly a matter of celebration. Fears about ‘westernisation’ are so deep that with the exception of U.R. Ananthamurthy, few of Karnataka’s galaxy of public intellectuals have come to the defence of the young women drinking at the Amnesia Lounge in Mangalore on January 24.

Young people are finally living as they think they should live. Finally their financial freedom helps them to break free of the cordons that parents draw. Two sets of cordons – One rule for girls and the other (NONE) for boys. Westernization also brings about freedom of thought, standing for oneself, emphasis on individuality, being assertive, rights and responsibilities. Let’s talk about it too before beating down the “westernization” that you are talking about. And it is strange coming from you because you have been educated in the west - Oxford, is that right ?

Politically, there is a consensus on the moral failings of ‘pub culture’, with even the BJP’s ideological opposites, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss expressing energetic disapproval of pubs. When Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury urged that there should be a ‘pub bharo’ campaign, several of her own Karnataka Congress leaders protested that drinking was against their norms, in a state where the ‘rootless cosmopolitanism’ of the IT industry has been the focus of much cultural criticism.

As for the “ drinking was against their norms” you may want to recall that the largest share owner of the famous united breweries is none but an Indian himself. Doesn’t that speak once again about the double standards that torment the Indian society?

It confuses me what you are attacking, “ the pub culture” or the fear of the vote hungry politicians who would like to politicize every issue. You may also want to elaborate on how the “rootless cosmopolitanism of the IT industry “ has raised the GDP of the country. Many people from Indian educational institutes do not have to leave the shores for better prospectus. And for those educated men who would have created mafias and hooliganism on the streets because they do not know what to do with their time and education have been gainfully and productively employed in these very IT industry. It is because of the very same IT industry that the global cameras have turned towards India. And there is surplus cash in the Indian treasury. Need I say more about the benefits of IT industry ?

Two years ago when the national anthem was played and not sung at an Infosys function, Kannadiga intellectuals said that software tycoons embodied an English-speaking cosmopolitanism that was far removed from the realities of India. At the recent IPL auction, the stark exhibition of glamour and wealth, in an economy where 500,000 workers have just lost their jobs, was an unabashed spectacle of rootless elitism.
History shows us the dangers inherent in an elite pleasure island floating in a sea of deprivation. The Iranian revolution of 1979 was a political movement against the repressive Shah, as also a massive conservative-religious backlash against a rich and westernised elite. Ayatollah Khomeini’s class war soon became a cultural war. Groups like the Sene have no mass support but the fact that militant traditionalism is now the calling card of thuggish youth shows a dangerous fusion of cultural and class hatred — a class war expressed through culture.

The caste war, the hooliganism of the hindutva, RSS, and all political organizations that “religionize” every issue is a long cold battle that has been fought for the past 60 years. The Bombay mayhem which lasted for 3 days was just another reaction by the Muslim counterparts. If the Indian government forgets to wage this battle the country is losing a failing war. Religion Wars and Political delusion are byfar the highest on the list of battles that the country should be fighting. Worry about India becoming a failed state. The class war is at the bottom of the list.

This is why India’s globalised westernised elite — or those who are its most visible face — are under attack by those who have a grievance against modern women and the new economy. The Sri Ram Sene, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the Kannada Rakshana Vedike or other myriad ‘religious’ or ‘cultural’ groups are all targeting ‘secular’ plays, fashion shows, the IT and biotechnology sectors or migrant workers. Every aspect of public life that is characterised by freedom and affluence is under threat and a potential target of violence. The chasm between the India of pubs and the India of the Sri Rama Sene is growing wider and as economic transformation produces more social unrest, the emerging elite might face more such attacks.
Which is why the battle for freedom and progress must be a sensible and a rational battle and not a trivial one where we fling coloured underwear at maniacs. We must learn from the Nehruvians of the 40s and 50s who were incredibly westernised, but deeply rooted; many of whom were rich but lived modest, tasteful lives. They drank, smoked and romanced, yet were discreet and embodied a tradition of Indian elitism that was rooted in excellence. C. Rajagopalachari was considered a scholar in three language. Rukmini Devi Arundale may have been deeply influenced by the Theosophical Movement but dedicated her life to reviving Indian dance and music by founding the Kalakshetra academy. Sarojini Naidu’s favourite poet was Shelley but she took pride in the fact that she could speak Urdu, Telugu and Bengali. However westernised their minds, India’s nationalist elite could not be accused of living in a cocoon of extravagant privilege or having their pleasure spots guarded by armed commandos.
Maybe India’s young, instead of trying to be like characters from Sex In The City, should try to emulate Sarojini Naidu and Jawaharlal Nehru. While the ghastly cultural hoodlums must be dealt with sternly by the law, the lifestyle norms we choose, especially in public, must be attuned to our surroundings.

The battle of and for freedom never was and never will be sensible or rational . It makes the most comfortable person in the most comfortable chair get up and get a gasp of air.

You see more performances of Indian dance than I do and you would agree with me that it requires energy and one cannot dance “Indian” in a crowded place. There is a place for it and that is where social functions and gatherings come in. Indian dance is tiring and it is not the dance that one can perform after a hard day’s work. Most of these working women share small apartments and they rather sit down where somebody can get them a drink than getting up and making one for themselves. They need to let their hair down and relax.Is that asking for too much ?

The rendezvous of the Nehru and his sisters is not a secret anymore. They danced, and romanced among the westerners who knew they were not discreet. They had their share of lust and love and no national media or press covered their acts. It was spoken and written in hushed tones and (ssh, and i heard it too !) They performed their pompous acts under cover, threats, manipulation, lies and deceit. The embodiment of " truly elite tradition par excellence" lies in the heart of the hard working people of India, not Nehru and family who exhibited arrogance and thronged for power and hobnobed with the powerful imperalists of the world. Writing about Nehru and modesty is like putting water and oil in the same bottle.

We all have our likes and dislikes about who our favorite author is. But we also take delight in the fact to accept what is good for growth from every culture be it greek, roman, french, mediterranean or american and trash the ones that depress and retard individual growth.Trying to differentiate western and eastern culture in the day when american companies flood indian markets is trying to trace roots - should we eat ice cream because it is a western food. Speaking English is foreign enough!

If we persist in trying to create a mindlessly imitative mythical Las Vegas, we will not be able to defeat the Sri Rama Sene, however many pink panties we may throw at them.

Like it or not the pink chaddi campaign is in full swing. If you do not support the movement Please step aside.

10 February 2009

Testosterone Terrorism faced by Women in India

American woman have enjoyed their freedom for years. Thanks to all those who fought to make it theirs. When woman of other country come and feel this freedom, they secretly envy what the american women have created for themselves and feel a sense of relief from the “cordoned “feeling back home. Going to a market or a restaurant or walking in crowded stations is not a terror anymore.

India seems to have been enjoying the red carpet of globalization for some years now. International companies brought many jobs to the unemployed educated youth of India .Women instead of going back home after graduation accept job offers from companies away from their home towns to live a life full of possibilities that was once a dream to someone who graduated one decade ago. Handsome pay packets enables the new graduate buy many assets and services that would be considered normal in a western environment.

Away from home many women now live a life that everyone should normally have. After work they hang out with their friends where they can enjoy a meal or a drink. Many new restaurants, bars and pubs have found a place in upcoming cities.

Few days ago a regional youth activist 40 goons of the ‘Sri Ram Sene’ entered a pub, assaulted people there, dragged women by the hair, molesting them and lifting up their blouses and skirts.
They claimed to be righteous defenders of ‘Indian morality,’ incensed by ‘women boozing’ and ‘pub culture.’ Since these scenes came to people’s notice through national TV, there was widespread outrage, and after a delay of many days, finally, some of the perpetrators were arrested.”
Writes Rachel Chitra on her

Many regionalist movements have now and then attacked women in the name of “moral policing”. Bombay still continues to reel under the face of terror that happened 3 months ago but women have been facing “testosterone terrorism” individually for years in India every day. “In a crowded place a 13 year old can be touched in her most private parts. Another can brush past a woman and mull her breasts, pretending it to be an accident. And they wouldn’t spare to pinch her bottoms.” A friend who is raiseed in Delhi told me once that her dupatta was pulled out by a man on the bicycle. She was amazed that at 10’o clock in the night she was out in Bombay, while in Delhi she would be shut indoors. Read more incidents
here and here.
My younger brother once asked me “what will you do if a strange man comes and hold you from behind”. I was even aghast that he had asked this question. Because few days ago a friend was faced with the same situation.” I was 16 then and still not armed with the knowledge where a man should be shoved to get hurt .

In Hyderabad, now the IT capital of India next to Bangalore it was difficult for me to rent an apartment by myself. In less than 2 years I had moved 8 times. But after moving a couple of times I learned that it is easier to bunk in with guys who gets an apartment easily and who wouldn’t mind sharing an apartment. At 7.30pm I was followed by a man on a scooter when I was on my way to my aparment after dinner. When I wore a sleevless top I was looked as if I had committed a sin. They talked behind my backs and said to themselves, “What else do you expect from a person who is raised in Bombay” (this was 13 years ago and hyderabad was still under the dominant influence of muslim culture ) I had learnt to become mentally alert when I was in a crowd after a “touchy incident”. I learnt to look back to see who was walking behind me. ( I still do when I am in crowded places ) My bag is under my arms. And even if an accidental brush came I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the collar of the T.terrorist.

However I had no support of friends who also faced the same terror.They would ask me not to exercise my anger after being brushed.
They would say to themselves, “wish we were not girls”. Some would even go to the extent of saying, “ I hope I give birth only to boys so that they do not have to go through all this. The bad women would say “it is not appropriate for decent girls to scream and yell in public places”. But testosterone terrrorists do not spare anybody. Young girls, or even older ones. Dressed in jeans or skirts or
salwar kurta and a dupatta, the gnawing fingers of the testosterone terrorists would be attracted towards a women’s private parts. For all these years,(some) women in their stride have yelled, screamed, kicked or hurt men with sharp objects to in response to the terrrorist ways.

They have come and vented it to their friends who would also echo some of the same stories. Fathers would tell their daughters to keep out of crowded places. Some would accompany them as much as possible wherever possible. But that is not the answer because in a crowded train when your father stands next to you, a testerostone terrorist can touch and mull a 13 year old that can numb her. The worst scenario is when she comes back home and tells her mother, she is told -That is a lesson to not to  go where women should not . And the little girl was only accompanying her father to a casual visit to his friends place.  On a side note, Do women also want terrorism to take place because she is jealous of another woman having the courage despite of all the stories she hears and read since childhood and also happening to her ?? Why didnt she tell her father  ?  - Simple enough. she did not want her dreams to be squashed - the little girl wanted to learn to fly and went with her survival instinct.

Some of my male friends and colleagues have obliged in accompanying me to places where I think that it would be better to have a man around. When I started working, a large chunk of my expenses would be spent on private transportation. But all these years there was never a public protest or an outcry. Each woman did their own thing to feel protected. We shared safety tactics and what to avoid and when to. But this was not the answer because highly charged testosterone terrorists got away with what they did.

As more woman step out of their houses in order to earn a livelihood they are finding confidence to
speak up and speak against testosterone terrorism. So all the good woman of India, send your pink chaddis to the men in protest against those who lifted the skirts and blouses of women in the pub. And to all the bad men indulging in such things know that your days are numbered. And for all the women who is trying “to protect their Indian culture by having testosterone terrorists enjoy their private parts and still keep quiet because that is what you believe Indian culture is all about and feel that this movement is not dignified enough" ( but just stop to recall the 'touch incident) know that we are upholding our tradition of protecting ourselves as a human being first.

p.s. how the politicians politicise the issue or how the notorious mainsstream media treat the issue is a different matter, but now the indian women are fighting back. And that is what it is all about.

01 February 2009

Free India from the clutches of the sonia and rahul gandhi scam

indian people have been constantly under the regime in some form - Bonded laborers, Oppressive landlords, foreign gnaws such as the french, portugese and the british into the clutches of nehru and its cronies and now the indira gandhi family. it is time to cut these chains, snap them and melt them.

Start the civil disobedience movement version 2.0. It is time.

Any Thoughts ?

Edited to ADD:
An amazing read: Breaking free of Nehru. Lets unleash India by Sanjeev Sabhlok.
The book is available at Oxford Bookstore.

Copyrights Reserved