Sunday, October 30, 2011

Politically incorrect-False bravado

Only a few days back Kanimazhi, daughter of DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi, who is involved in 2G spectrum scam up to her neck, had defiantly declared: “I shall come clean. It is not easy to touch me,” or something to that effect. Her utterances almost betrayed her involvement in the scam. But she was confident of her father’s influence and people around him to worry about anything. Moreover she was sure that many heads will roll if she was declared guilty and that the ruling party could not afford that.

It turned out to be a false bravado. Now that her passport is taken away, her movements restricted, her IT returns scrutinized, her transactions being checked, she lost all her confidence and so called defiance. Earlier she was sure of getting bail and the rest would be handled by cunning lawyers like Jethmalani. Not so now. She has been arrested and is likely to be there for a long time. Where earlier she behaved like a fighting man, now she wants bail on the ground that she is a woman and a mother.

How noble of her. Where was her womanhood and motherhood when she committed the crime? She is well aware that India is an emotional country. It believes in Mother Goddess. So if nothing works, the last thing she can do is emotional blackmail. But Goddess Kanimozhi forgets - that status is for women like Mother Teressa and Ma Sharda, not like Kanimozhi and Jaylalitha. Again if her claim of being a woman and hence the bail, is accepted, all female criminals should be freed on the same ground. The law has to be changed for that.

Kanimozhi would do well to let Jethmalani do his job and keep her own mouth shut. After all, she can rest assure, she won’t have to part with her scammed money, only a time in the clink at the very worse. There she can expect company of worthy VIPS cooling their heels.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Famous painter, Hussian-The Nomad

The doyen of Indian art, Maqbool Fida Hussain left for his heavenly abode in London. It is a shame that the most revered figure in art, not only in India but throughout the world, had to die in exile. Though an Indian, he died a Qatari. India could not treasure its most valuable treasure.

Bursting with unexplainable energy even in his nineties, Hussain had childlike nature and his very own outlook in art. He liked to remain in contact with mother earth and that is the reason why he always went barefoot. His decision to go barefoot was not some kind of gimmick many people make out to be.

Hussain’s beginning was very humble, having painted hoardings for film advertisements. But he reached the zenith of the art world in a few years and that too globally. He made millions in the process. Today, even his doodle on a paper napkin of a restaurant would fetch a fortune. But he himself remained humble, simple, down to earth and more important curious.

When BJP was in power, Bajrang Dal went after him, for it had nothing better to do. As we Indians have mob mentality, anti-Hussain campaign gained momentum. And though an Indian by heart, as much as you and me, he was forced to go in exile. He frequently expressed his desire to return to the country of his birth. He yearned to roam the lanes of Grant Road and have tea and Maska Khari at his favorite Irani joint. It was not to be. It is a pity that the UPA govt. could not assure protection and make sure he spends his last years with dignity he deserved in his motherland. He died and was buried in London. In life our govt. did not lift a finger to ensure his safe return, in death it offered to bring his body back to India, what hypocrisy.

As Bahadur Shah Zafar had aptly said: “Do gaaz zameen bhi mil na saki koo-e-yaar mein…….lagta nahin hai dil mera ujaade dayar mein……..”

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Indian politics-Anarchist

Baba Ramdev has called youth to join his so called army and has challenged the government of stern reaction if an incident like the Ramlila ground eviction is repeated. The Baba has plans to raise an army of 11000 strong military type men to deal with the government and security forces, just in case. Some Baba this, this is not only an open mockery of the government which left no stone unturned to appease him but also playing with the future of the youth he intends to recruit. Our administration is fully to be blamed for the situation to come to this pass because it lacks political will to confront a mere Baba.

From a Yoga Guru, then a sage, this Baba has now turned into an anarchist or trying to turn into an anarchist. His declaration of creating a parallel army smells of rebellion against the state and should be dealt with as such. In the present circumstances he can be called anti-national and a traitor. Baba has turned against the state which gave him so much.

Because this is India the government has mildly responded saying: “We will allow peaceful protests but will not allow anything that will trigger a conflagration.” In any other country he would have been behind bars and tried for treason. Even now the first thing the administration should do is to tame the so called messiah of the common man. All his Ashrams and other properties should be confiscated and closed. This will break his financial bone. All politicians supporting him should be taken to task. Make him a tiger without tooth. Ninety percent of his followers will desert him. Next, leave him to the UP government and Mayawati to deal with. Both will break each other’s head. That is as it should be.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Celebrity news-Salman the saviour

Zarine Khan says she owes her career to Salman Khan. Don’t worry Zarine, many girls have said the same thing in the past. You are not the first. Right from Katrina Kaif to Sneha Ullal to you and many more in between and of course, many more to come. Salman takes equal care of all his protégés. He has famously declared that Katrina is part of his family and what he has not declared is that so are the others.

Salman is fond of new entrants and is keen to go out of his way to promote them, mostly girls. Ah yes, I forget Govinda. Govinda is the only male Salman has ever tried to promote, rest of them are female.

Salman has fetish for look a likes, it seems. Zarine dear, you are likely to have been dubbed a Katrina look a like. When Salman fails to get the original, he scouts for a look a like. Another case in point is that of ravishing Aishwarya, then Rai. When their relationship soured, Salman set about the task of finding her duplicate and came up with Sneha. That done, and considering his ‘now on now off’ relations with Katrina, he found you.

Now Salman’s next step would be to find Sneha’s look a like and then yours. And then look a likes of those look a likes. The cycle of look a likes will go on. So Zarine, don’t wait and depend too much on savior Salman. Go right ahead and take control of your career and life. Very soon and Allah willing, you will be in a position to find a look a like of Salman Khan and promote him. One good deed deserves another, so they say.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cricketism

The issue of playing cricket for India is directly attached to nationalism in our country. The matter of Gautam Gambhir is a case in point. It is pointed out that because Gambhir does not want to play for India (for whatever reason), he is not a nationalist. Every player worth his salt when plays well, dedicates his play to the nation.

The entire thought of nationalism in cricket is humbug and misleading. Nobody plays for the nation. There are only two kinds of players. One kind plays for the love of the game. Vinoo Mankad, Ramakant Desai, Bapu Nadkarni and more recently Sachin Tendulkar are a few examples. The second lot plays for money, fame and glamour connected with the game. Sreesanth, Yuvraj and innumerable others fall into this category. There is no nationalism in it.

Today cricket is a profession like any other. Like doctors and engineers earn, a cricketer also earns from cricket. Money is the main factor where as glamour and fame added perks. Nothing wrong with it, it is a career like any other. But to say or believe that one plays for the love of nation is hypocrisy. This preference for money is not a new phenomenon. It happened even in the time of genuine lovers of the game like Vinoo Mankad. In the year 1952, Mankad opted to play for a club in Lancashire league for money and money was the reason he gave. More recently, Gavaskar refused to play for India on the ground fatigue but played for Somerset all the same. Again money was the criteria. At no time ever, anybody started playing cricket for love the country, be it in India or anywhere else in the world.

But in India when a player rises above norms, is fast, performs miracles in the game like Tendulkar does, that he is placed on a higher pedestal and the question of nationalism or playing for the nation or making the nation proud comes into picture. Otherwise it is love for the game itself, then money, fame and glamour, in that order.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Politically incorrect-Boomerang

Charity should begin at home: an apt line for our dear Ramdev Baba. Baba’s crusade against corruption has boomeranged. His Patanjali Yogpeeth is alleged to be in possession of illegal 120 Bighas of land in Haridwar. There are also questions regarding his business empire. Baba Ramdev who hijacked the genuine issue of corruption from Anna Hazare, is in trouble now for corruption himself. His back is against the wall. After declaring fast against corruption, he can’t back out now.

The result is utter chaos in his camp. Baba has tried to circle the issue saying his earlier pronouncements and commitments were simply “tactical,” speak a lot about his wavering mentality. The very beginning of his so called crusade was on a false note. He booked the Ramlila ground on pretext of parting Yoga lessons to his devotees, whereas he intended to use it for political purposes.

The UPA government on its part, fully aware why and for what purpose Baba was going to use the ground, made a mockery of itself by sending four top ministers, an unusual step in itself, and spreading red carpet for the Baba. What the administration did, that is, throwing the Baba and his followers out of the ground, should have been done at the airport itself. Instead, four top ministers almost bowed to the Baba.

Ramdev has gulped more than he can chew little realizing that RSS and BJP are capable of washing their hands off him and leave in lurch and that is what they have done. Ramdev is a sinking boat as far as this particular mission is concerned.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Political views-Anna Hazare vs. Baba Ramdev

Now Baba Ramdev has decided that he will go on indefinite fast from 4th June against corruption. It appears that of late, Baba Ramdev was not able to gain enough limelight, hence followed Anna Hazare’s footsteps and decided to hijack his cause in his flamboyant style.

Anna, on his part, didn’t take a month to go on fast until death. He decided that the government was not doing enough (if at all) to curb corruption and went on fast on the spur of the moment and was actually on fast for quite a few days. Ramdev has given a month’s notice in the hope something will crop up and he will not have to adhere to his decision. Anna didn’t wait for any followers to follow him in this endeavor whereas Ramdev wants lakhs of people to follow him.

From all this it is quite obvious that Baba wants to takeover and hijack Anna’s venture so to say. Baba may have been successful in his Yoga teachings, may have thousands of followers but has failed in his political activities in spite of having quite a few politicians as supporters.

Corruption in our country is not a new phenomenon. It is more than a half a century old. Where was Baba all these years? Anna has fought small and big battles against administration for years in favor of the poor in this country. Baba Ramdev has not lifted a finger for the underprivileged. He has affluent followers and is always surrounded by the rich and mighty.

It is said that the Baba is good or rather excellent as far as Yoga instructions are concerned. Let him stick to that. Any effort in politics or any other field, for that matter, won’t cut ice. When asked why he put his demands all of a sudden when Anna was already in it, he replied that he did not want to loose his own identity. That alone proves his intentions.

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Header image credit: adapted from David Niblack

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