Archive for ‘Socio-Political’

August 20, 2011

Anna – a man, a mission, a movement. It’s not about him.

Anna’s Jan-Lokpal could be contentious. There could be issues against its structure and implementation. His method of protest and stiff stance could be viewed as a dangerous trend if it is seen as an attack on the parliamentary democracy.

But it is easier to defend and stand for when seen as an opposition to the Government’s Lokpal. For Government’s Lokpal is an outcome of conceit, dumb-wit and machiavellian tendencies. In short, the Government’s Lokpal more than anything shows what lies inside the mental corridors of people who are at the helm. A mind so besotted with power, corrupted by its habit and bent on increasing its hold and tentacles that it dares to openly ridicule the democracy through a bill which is supposed to do just the opposite. Sample some of the provisions it recommends,

– The officer accused of corruption will have the right to file case directly in the court, against the citizen. Government would provide lawyer to the officer. If charges are proven to be false, the citizen would be imprisoned for a minimum of two years. Minimum term for the corrupt officer? Six months. Lawyer for the citizen? None. Arrange for it

– PM would be investigated by the CBI. Who controls the CBI? PM!

– Judges would be investigated by whom? Peer judges!

– MPs would be investigated by whom? Peer MPs!

– Lokpal members: Out of 10 member committee, six would be politicians. Five of them from the ruling party!

– Lokpal members would be answerable to the Government. Only Government can file case against them in the Supreme court! Normal citizen would have no say in their selection or eviction

– Only A level senior officers would come under its ambit. State level employees, lower grade employees would stay out. To keep load on the Lokpal limited? I wish it was true. Along with A level officers, NGOs, public movements, citizen groups large and small right upto the village level groups would be under Lokpal’s ambit. So if a village group brings out corruption against the Panchayat, Lokpal would not spare the Panchayat members, BDOs etc. for he is overloaded. But he would be able to investigate the citizen group on the behest of the BDO and Panchayat members. Whose bill is it? Who is it for?

After reading above, if the thought in your mind is, okay, all right, but what’s the problem with it. Shouldn’t Government be securing its employess, then all I can say, I have nothing to say. Please don’t join the movement. Ask for an election ticket. You deserve it truly.

Anna’s Lokpal may have some technical loopholes (though I can’t see many. There can never be anything fool-proof till it is tested. And a strong system shall be able to tackle glitches as and when they arrive. It is the spirit that is important. India is rotten because of its all too perfect theoretical constitution which just never gets implemented).

There are others including Mr. Nilekani raising questions about the precedent the campaign is setting. Whether it is healthy for the democracy. Whether Lokpal is enough. My response to him is, Mr Nilekani a rotten body needs surgery. Surgey leaves marks. But it is never doubted. Campaign is not an outcome of sane mind but one buckling under an insensitive system. It is voice of a desperate, seething and stifling angry spirit ready to burst. You can not feel it, for you are far too busy securing UID for us. Thank you for that. take your time. In the meanwhile let others do what is urgent. Your fellow Mr. Murthy does not want to take public office because at 65 he is too old. Well, at 74 Anna is young. Have respect for him. He is not adept at law may be. He may not be adept at mouthing intelligent remarks. May be. But it is not even needed. For he does what needs to be done. Disruption is not a solution, it is a cure. Disruption is not the need of the hour. It is an hour of disruption. Need has long been there. There was a similar public outcry after the Taj attack. But it fizzled out. For it could never get a central leadership and think-tank. It could never get a direction and vision. This time there is. Don’t let the moment pass. For it may not come anytime soon. Those who have things to fear from it will not give it a second chance. They would be back ensuring it can never happen again. Don’t question the moment. Help shape it.

Use it to your advantage. Make it to bring changes which may else take years to come. Lives would be lost in the meanwhile. Please don’t wait anymore. We have waited long enough. Saying ‘long enough’ doesn’t seem enough though. Do something. Support us for a start. Come join the protest. With you the change may happen a little sooner. You may not be pleased to know that. But without you it may never happen. We all will regret that. Truly.

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September 21, 2010

Baba Ramdev and Ms. Celina jaitley

There are two kind of people. One is Baba ramdev. Other is Celina Jaitley. One you learn to admire, other you can’t help liking. But in the tussle between the two, whom would you favor. Babaji or babyji? Babaji is pioneer of Yoga and became instrumental in making it a household thing. Who does not know babaji’s alom vilom. If you just get up early enough someday to visit the local park, you may find a group of oldies, sitting together and puffing air out of their dilapidating lungs while closing one side of their nose. Everyone wants to live. But to enthuse life energy and turn it into an action? Thats no mean deal. And that is what Babaji has done. What he has also done is gone ahead and attacked on modern day woman image. In a way by comparing Ms. Celina jaitley of lovely legs to a call girl. Whose side do you take? Just because Babaji is doing a big cause, does it give him right to indignify someone? And Ms. Celina sexy legs also is doing something for a cause, of gay and lesbian rights. Okay, it also looks like a fad and is a modern day lifestyle cause, but so what?? It is a cause non-the-less. Just because it does not ring a bell with us doesnt mean it is a mean cause!

The twist is as follows. There are several issues and they exist on different levels. Levels in the sense that their urgency, their impact on human life, both in terms of scale and intensity. What Babaji is doing is working for a cause which is larger, long lasting and connects to a much wider set of people. What Celina is doing is a cause for a limited set of people, and it is about someone being able to live life as per their desires and needs while the other is someone just being able to live at all!!! In a country and world where people are dying for lack of food and basic water, putting your energy for a cause which focusses on people being able to express themselves completely and living with utmost freedom, probably doesnt warranty as much attention. Do it by all means if you want to do it, but do not expect the society to react to it, do not act resentful and try to take a high moral stand if you dont get enough support. Because there are much more pressing and larger issue on hand. We will come to you when we free from these. But I may never get free! Well then keep fighting, till I hear you. But you will need to knock knock hard. Why? because that is the deal. That is what flagging an issue requires. Either it resonates on ts own or you make the deaf hear. I am deaf, make me hear.

Further, it is also about commitment of the individual. Though the two figures are not comparable, not at all but let us still do it. It is always fun to run down bimbos. Babaji is devoting his life, energy and all he has for the cause. It is anot an easy cause to strive for. Today he may have created a stage for himself, where things flow to him. But it was anot always so. Certainly not. While what does it take for Ms Celina to fight for the gay cause? Write a couple of article here and there, get inited to functions, give your written over speech, get claps and come back to your well done house and go for  aparty or whatever. Basically it doesnt take much at all. And it flows well with the modern woman image. Afterall gay rights is to some level a lifestyle cause. There is a lot os lure in raising a cause which is unconventional and which can immediately show a liberal thinking. Which is fine. But the differentiator shall be what are you losing for it? Do you donate part of your life which you could have spent doing something more benefitial to you otherwise? Do you part with something dear to you for the cause? Does it bring you something that you would much rather not be? Or does it bring you things which you seek anyway? Publicity anyone? She may have nobler intentions but one can appreciate them only when they are menifested through actions. If she parts a large sum of her hard earned money for the cause, I would appreciate what she is doing. I may still say she is just seeking more publicity, but what the hell. Who am I? She just threw the money. It is for that reason I admire and appreciate Menaka Gandhi. he cause may not be something which shall top our list of concerns but she has given the cause a dignity by not making it just another fad. She has given it something of her. her life, her time, her money and her devotion. She has made the cause worthy of taking notice.

So you see what am I trying to say and which side of tide I sit and why. But ofcourse, all this can change if Ms. gay rights comes and decides to turn me into one. Afterall once I had said to a friend of mine, that the world would be a lot more easier place to live if all girls looked the same and preferably like Celina. No hurt, no hearbreaks. They all look the same and look rather well. No need to choose!

 
July 13, 2010

Peepli Live…Chance encounter with a superstar

 

I have often been accused of thinking too much. I at times wondered why? I mean why I think so much. Not that I thought I think so much but if everyone is saying so then it must be true. No? Anyway, thing is today I realized why. And also what the fuck I should have care for what people say. I think because I think. I dont try to think. It just happens by itself. Thoughts germinate and take shape on their own and it just so happens by chance that they do so within the space called my head.I know I am sounding a bit boring. That is because I am writing not because I want to but because I have to. I met Amir Khan after all today! My writing can not be so pricey that an event like that can not elicit a few paragraphs from me!
Event was Peepli Live press meet and music launch. I was there in some capacity which is neither important nor relevant. I knew Indian Ocean band will be there. I knew Raghubir Yadav and other cast members will be there. As I entered the venue, I was stopped by the bouncer. he didnt know I would be there. I am with *****, I told him. he let me go. I am not sure if he knew who **** is but my eyes were clean, without any fear, honest and straight. He let me go. (I would like to belive he let me go because of whatever my eyes told him, ofcourses chances are he knew whom I knew).
I wandered about inside looking at the preparation. There were cameras, lotsa them. A few people, none of whom I knew. ofcourse no one knew me as well. We were all strangers to each others and that was the common thing between us. We were all waiting for someone to come and fill our day. Soon some came. Indian Ocean band. I could recongnize them from their pics I had seen and also from their concert I had seen a few years back. There was Ragubir Yadav too, sitting on one of the seats. I could recognize him from so many places I had seen him. I was amused but not carried enough. Then he came. I mean Amir Khan. I wasnt ready for it. I just kept gawking at him. he looked just like he looks in his movies. Not much of a difference. There didnt appear anything completely out of ordinary about him. But obviously we know there is something about him. It is not so obviously visibile to everyone. As he moved around, it looked as if all present automatically gravitated towards him. A few clicks, a few handshakes. He took it all in stride. As he came closer to the cameras, everyone turned them towards him. Arre, ise event ke liye rakhiye. Meri to lete hi rahate hain (photo he meant), he said casually. You could see that he is aware of his stardom, of his affect on people and had perfected the art of handling all of it, without least bit of hassle. With a gesture of humility so well perfected over time that it looks fabricated. And also that he enjoys it. This attention. This people acknowledging and his display of casualness towards it. I just stood frozen as he walked past me a couple of times. This time as he walked in my direction, I kept looking. Someone standing closeby went upto him. Shook his hand. Said something. Something nice ofcourse. He shook his head. Said something polite. Smiled. And let him go. I didnt know what to do. I just stood. Gawking. For a brief instant he looked at me. In expectation of a response probably. He was anticipating my move. There didnt happen any. He moved past me. His smile remained intact. I moved away from him. Towards a cushy seat. Soon place was filled with many more stars and starlets. I could recognize a few. Rakesh Omprakash Mekra, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Rajkumar Hirani etc. Then I saw Sherman Joshi. he was standing close to where I was sitting. Someone sitting ear me went upto him. Shook hands, said something. A compliment. Thank you, Thank you, he said. He looked around. At me for a split second. Again the same moment. Expecting a response form me. there was none. I stay frozen.
Then the event started. Everyone got their due. Shutterbugs chased Amir. Those willing to get clicked had to follow a simple strategy. Stay close to Amit. Performance started. But one thing was clear. Media was interested in just one man. Need I name him.
Soon event was over. Everyone went home. I mean after a few drinks and chat-a-chete. I had left early. I couldnt find a reason to stay there. I hadnt thought about what to do there. I hadnt thought about it at all. And that was my undoing. I had even forgot to take a camera. As I travelled back in the local train, standing, holding a support I began to do what I have often been accused of overdoing. Thinking. What the fuck was I doing there. I saw Amir again. Moving in my direction. This time I did something different. I moved ahead. Grabbed his and with both hands as soon as he offered it. Babbled something about me liking his two moview specially, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and Akele Hum Akele Tum. I could see him a bit pleased and reacting that controlled amusement and delight which is again so well perfected that it looks fake. But it isnt. Superstars like being told that they deserve to be so. Again and again. It doesnt matter how many times they have been told so. My telling him one more time would not have been a thing in vain. I thought a few more dialogues being passed between us. But i will spare you with them. I feel a little foolish telling them actually. I also saw myself jumping towards Sharman. Tellimg him that he looks different from screen. He looks leaner and boyish on screen. he looks well off it too. It wouldnt have hurt saying so. Actors like being told they are good again and again. And what the fuck am I fooling myself. It is not for their sake I should have done so. I should have done so because I do not get to meet them on a daily basis. I met once. I let it go. Why? Because I hadnt thought about it. I hadnt pre-meditated it. What the damn fuck. So tonight I am going to (pre)meditate about a lot many of them. Let me see, a chance and sudden encounter with who all should I be ready with. Priyanka (Chopra), (Lara Dutta), Vidya (Balan), Sushmita, Celina (Jaitley), Riya (Sen), Deepika (Padukone) come to me immediately. I think I would add Drew Barrymore and Barbara (Mori) too, to make list global. Hmm…anyone I am mising you think! Let me know. I dont like to repeat the same mistake twice.

July 10, 2010

Its a mad world. No really, I have an explanation.

Things have a strange way of connecting themselves. Sometimes they are really connected but we dont see them. Thats obvious. Often they are not but we see the connection. Not so obvious to you but obvious to everyone else. Predictable thoughts. Yes. What is not is that we live in a mad mad world. It is mad not because it lacks any order but to the contrary. We live in a world which thrives on order, on control, on perspectives, on reasoning. An event is not mad because it is but it will be if we can not find a justifiable reason for its exitence. Examples? Ofcourse. Naxals. Easy one. Mad. Not because they are blowing up CRPF personnel. Because we take notice of them only when they do. And move over it in a matter of nothing. Most of us dont blink an eye, dont stop at the main coverage beyond a few seconds or a miliseconds. They want attention, they need to keep blowing something you see. Shahrukh’s next movie is coming. That needs to be read about. Naxals? Well, its a socio-political problem and a conflict between locals left out of bourgeois economy and a democracy struggling to get them into its fold! Easy. We can uderstand it so we dont need to react to it. People are dying. So what? They do so all the time! Tribals have latest ammunition. So what? All such struggles have sympathisers and they arm them with that. May be Pakistan helps them as well. Its all very easily explanable you see. There is not much we can do you see. Its Government’s job. Does our home minister Mr. Chidambaram knows what he is doing. He should. He is well qualified you see. Even f he doesnt, elections are far you see. Give him time you see. So lets turn our head to why Kites failed! Its simply mad. There is simply no explanable for it. Hritik looked hot. So did Barbara. Direction wasnt poor too. And the technology. Awesome I say. Why the hell did it fail. Beats me. Its a mad world I tell you. You just cant gauge people’s reaction you see. No matter how much of that marketing and research gizmo you do see. There are something still out of reach for science. So much left to do you see. Fuck it. Damn it. Hang it. Whatever. Farmers commit suicide. Not one or two but thousands of them. But you see in a sane world all this is expected. Its not a mad world just because thousands of them hang themselves because producers of food can not find the same for themselves. We have an explanation for this if only you would listen to it with patience, Mr. I dont give a damn. Dont say you see. First begin to see. World needs an order no matter how unorderly it itself is. MNS threatens North Indians every now and then. Goes about breakig their vehicles and beating them up as per their wish. Sometimes it uses North Indian goons to beat up North Indian labourers. It does so because it needs to grab eyeballs and rack up an image. Congress Government lets that happen because it creates trouble for Shiv Sena which in turn is good news for them. Other regional parties from North like it because it gives them  chance to prove their loyalty and commitment towards North Indian lives by taking stance opposite to it. But you see the chief of MNS goes scott free. Also the parties committed to North Indians forget about issues pertaining to their daily livlihood, their sustenance, their right to a rightful life. Posturing comes easy. Belligerence comes easy. Diligence? Perseverance? Forget it. That is not what political parties are supposed to do. Mad you say! Not enough before you hear what the person most impacted by it has to say. The autodriver from Jharkhand. He plied me from Bandra to Kandivali today. I asked him isnt it a pain for him? Not really, he said. Mad, I thought. There are so many pain in life, what can you do about them. It is just one of many. Doesnt really count. Someone is really mad here. Cant be the world. Must be the autodriver. Uneducated he is you see. Doesnt even know what is the real issue for him. Huh! How do you really go about helping these people. Thats why you need to beat them up. Right Mr. Thakeray!