Thursday, November 27, 2008

As We Sow...Redux

Well, here it is. The reaping.

We sowed it by doing nothing when Naxalites shot people in AP, Orissa and Bihar.

We sowed it by turning the page when cops were killed in Kashmir.

We sowed it by looking away when the Tripura Liberation Force and ULFA gunned people down specifically on Independence and Republic days.

We watered it by letting any politically-connected fool get away with calling bandhs, inciting riots, robbing freedom of expression and emasculating the law.

We fertilized it by going on with life as usual.

All that's left, is the reaping.

Bombay is reaping it since Wednesday. And what a reaping it is.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Awesome One-Liners I Haven't Found Use for Yet

This one's for Tams who like to mix English in their daily Tamil:

"Bourgeois aavudhu Theergaayis aavudhu!!!"

Get it???

Awesome One-Liners I Haven't Found Use for Yet

"She really puts the 'tit' in 'titillate'!!"

I'm open to suggestions as to context of use. More such lines coming up as I think them up (sans the story they should be in)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

As We Sow......

Desh Drohi is this weird B-movie made by a fellow called Kamaal R Khan. So far, this was pretty much the most attention it got.

As of a few hours ago though, the state of Maharashtra called for a ban on the film. Apparently, cops and government officials watched it and concluded that it would offend the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. The reason - the film is on migrant workers and more importantly has a villianous politician who ever so coincidentally resembles an estranged Thackeray high up in the MNS. Proving himself to have some sort of data processing equipment, this estranged Thackeray called for attacks on the film screening.

The response of the Maharashtra government is one for the annals: Concluding that the MNS would be pissed, they decided to ban the film "...apprehending law and order problems". Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, "We are happy that Mumbai police have realised the movie's potential to create law and order problem if it is allowed to be shown".

People talk of the need for a strong response to terrorists. Well, now we see just what the Maharashtra government's response will be. When you cannot be bothered to defend someone's right to free expression from a terrorist who openly shows himself everyday, how can you be bothered to protect their right to live from one who hides ?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Night

Ok, no BS on who's going to win - as of now, I don't know. And nothing on why either candidate should win either - lots of people have done better jobs on that. What I'm going to tell you is a story illustrating US politics.

Going to the Purdue Students' Union Building this morning, I saw a person ask people "Have you voted?" and pointing a couple who evidently hadn't towards the general direction of the nearest booth. I'd noticed people doing things on these lines for a while. For over a year, the news has pointed out how young people love Obama and attend his rallies and so on. Being in Indiana, a hard-core Republican state, I found similar action taken in favour of McCain, and this wasn't anything new.

On the way back, I notice this girl who's taken the current shift of asking people to vote. She tells me "Have you voted, sir?". I'd made it a point to look apologetic when telling them I'm not a citizen, and I do the same now. "I'm not a US citizen, so I can't vote" I tell her.

"Yeah, I know how it is. I'm 17 and can't vote till next year either" she says.

Note the number and voting status there. 17. This kid's still in high school, or is a freshman in college. Her batchmates are figuring out majors, sports teams, girls, GPAs or all of them. She takes this initiative to get people to vote (not vote Obama, but vote), and that despite being unable to vote herself.

This has been the real suprise to me in the Unites States, not the stuff about "a black man cac against all odds become president yada yada..". The importance people - and I mean middle class, educated people, who back home only may have voted, and would then moan about how it came to naught - attach to this responsibility.

Presidents come and go, and Obama (if he wins) is no exception, however much he may be a darling of the media at present. What is amazing in the United States is this attitude the people have towards politics, wherein they guide you to poll booths, volunteer to register you to vote (earlier on), set up clear directions to voting booths on campus and even offer voters discounts on coffee (Starbucks). This, and not party ideology, is what makes this country's offices strong, however accomplished or not the holder may be. Democratic power lies with the people. In the US, the people pro-actively wield it.