February 27, 2006

Rs.10 lakhs for one hand!


The Shiv Sena Has offered ten lakhs rupees to anyone who chops off the hands of famous painter M F Hussain. The artist’s recent painting, which portrays “Mother India” in the nude, is the issue. Recently an UP minister announced Rs.51 Crore for anyone who beheads the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Prophet Mohammed. These are voices of someone whose religious sentiments have been hurt. Now these announcements and protests have become a daily affair in India. Indian media is celebrating all these protests by conducting hours long discussions, and SMS polls. Latest of the lot is Jessica Lal’s murder case. One channel received around 2 Lakhs SMS on this issue. I feel, apart from finding its place in discussions and SMS polls in news channels, these protests achieve nothing commendable. But the issue of Jessica Lal’s murder case and the acquittal of the people involved is turning out to be a different one.

The nation-wide protest is lead by some of the news channels along with some organizations. But did you notice the ignominious silence from the politicians of India? They are the people who are supposed to represent the public in fighting against such injustice. The speechless politicians, who had opinion on every damn thing around them, make the protest from the public and the media a different one. I think this is the first instance where our politicians don’t have a view! Reprehensible it is!

Ironically this parliament has the maximum number of young MPs, even these young ones are not ready to give their views on this issue. No one is expecting them to come out to the streets and lead a demonstration against those criminals. But there has been total silence on this issue from all political parties. The public should protest not only against the verdict on the case but also against the politicians who have gone speechless over the past few days.

The Question is; how long will this campaign last? And will this campaign serve any purpose? Even though it was money-spinning issue, channels did a good job in this case. Their hours long discussions and frequent updates created an opinion and they could succeed in making people aware whats happening in our society. But the forthcoming Budget is going to push this case from the news-desks to the dustbins. The public outcry will take an abrupt stop here and in-turn it will become Jessica’s family quandary. This is the fate of any socially relevant issue in India.

Jessica…May you Rest In Peace!

February 16, 2006

a love story

February 15, 2006

Oh My God!!

During the last couple of weeks we have been watching and reading a lot about prophet cartoon fiasco. Now it is the turn of Hindu Goddess Durga to be taken to the protests & debates. A disco bar in Athens, Greece displayed posters of Goddess promoting a Whiskey brand. With this the “Balon Oriental Disco Bar” has invited troubles and fury from the entire Hindu community. But the most surprising fact is that the disco bar has been using this poster for the last three months and all the efforts by the local Hindu bodies went futile.

The immediate response of my colleague on seeing this was “why don’t they do it with Jesus?” but mine was something different. I was trying to find out, which brand of whiskey is Durga holding in her Hands. It doesn’t mean that I am totally insensitive to such issues. Of course I protest. I am cursing who ever behind this, ‘silently’ (coz, I know its going to be of no use). Such acts will stir up communal hatred and violence. What would have happened if Jesus was shown with such stuff in public places?, it would surely promote anger and hatred in the mindset of people because religion is very sensitive in nature, and it has to be handled carefully. The recent Prophet cartoon issue is a good example in this scenario.

In the next couple of days this issue will brew-up in all kinds of media in India and abroad. Overnight this whiskey brand is going to be in international news. That is what the promoters of this brand want to happen. This is not an unknowing act, but a deliberate one. But they would be hardly bothered about the consequences. Nobody is going to stop consuming liquor for this reason. The possible punishments are closing down that Bar, banning the Brand of whiskey in India, and…. that’s all!! The whole purpose of giving such a punishment is that, such acts should not be repeated. But will this have any effect on Goddess Durga, who is considered to be the manifestation of extreme beauty and lethal powers?

I believe there are lots of issues in India, which requires immediate attention. Of course acts like this are condemnable but it should not waste precious time of youngsters in demonstrating against the culprits and destroying the public properties.

Friends, come back to reality…Did you know, India’s fastest train went on tracks today? India is moving fast; let us not go back to the epoch of Lords!!

February 08, 2006

Soaps and top 10s

TV watching can be an experience, now that cable dealers have got more than 50 channels to offer. You want live India/Pak cricket matches, Koundamani/senthil comedy or a detailed report on Reliance Brothers fiasco by Rajdeep Sardesai, all you have to do is flip through the channels. Any given time, you are guaranteed to watch “Devooda Devooda Ezhimala Devooda”, of Superstar Rajnikant in one channel or other. All channels have its prime time TV serial shows, which are boring to death. I don’t understand how my mother managed to tolerate them. The stories are so complicated that even Stephen Spielberg would love to copy them. I remember to have watched one such episode 6 months back. When I watched the same serial yesterday, I couldn’t find much development in the story line.

Most of the time there will always be a top 10 countdown going on in some channel or other, except that each channel has its own top ten list. I think, the top ten saga became very popular with “BPL Ek Se Badkar Ek”, which appeared in DD many years back. Now that almost all channels have more than one top ten lists for songs and one for movies. Music channels are the main contenders in the top ten races. The phone-in program is another thing, which deserve a special mention here. SUN network’s Sun Music is intolerable these days because of back-to-back phone-in programs. Gone are those good old days of phone-in programs of “Pepsi Uma” and her ilk.

Nowadays they have a movie quiz also for the (unfortunate, I would say) callers. First thing the presenter would be telling the caller is to reduce the TV volume to the lowest level. Bloody hell, the whole purpose of calling to this program is to listen to my voice through TV and now that they are asking me mute down the TV. Here comes the question for you, which is the latest movie of superstar Rajnikant???…You must be thinking, “How dumb is she to ask such an easy question?” Wait wait, don’t conclude like that. The caller is even worse. She doesn’t know the answer. Here comes the clue…The Movie name has two parts, one is “Chandra” and another is “Mukhi”. With a few seconds of thinking, “Got the answer, it’s “Chandramukhi””, said the caller!!…. “Wow, very good answer”, said the presenter. Here comes the participant’s assertion (in Tanglish), I don’t watch Tamil movies these days, that’s why I struggled in the beginning. This conversation takes hardly 2 minutes then followed by the song. Nothing special about the song, that would be the 100 time you are watching it. What more can happen to a phone-in program?

February 03, 2006

That's Funny!!

Everyday I wake up looking at a daily sheet calendar in the drawing room (yeah I sleep there), with a picture of my friend and his wife smiling shyly at me. I got this daily sheet calendar when I attended their marriage sometime back, in November, I guess. It’s very common in Tamil marriages to gift something to those who attend the function; you will get a coconut (after peeling off the outer most cover) too. But a daily sheet calendar with photo “ just married” was something new to all who attended the marriage. After all its from a MBA brain; my friend who got married was also my MBA batch mate. We were taught in MBA “differentiation is the best strategy to be successful in a competitive market”. I think he just applied (rather tried) it immediately after finishing the course. But, where is the market? And who are the competitors? Ok, cut the crap...

Last Month was that time of the year when the stores doled out calendars to their customers and every second person who visited their shop. I remember, during school days I used to go to big textile and jewel shops just to get some calendars. Wrapping the textbooks and notebook using an on-going year calendar is something special; a “differentiation strategy”. Also by the time of New Year all books would have become messed-up and the brown-paper wrapping, which was done in the beginning of the academic year would have gone. So it’s better to get the books wrapped again otherwise you will end up in a punishment of writing “I will always keep my books neat” a 1000 times. This writing punishment used to be my class teacher’s (Raman Sir, my biology teacher) favorite one. Other modes of punishments include cleaning the black board everyday, standing up on the bench in all his classes (this is a good one), etc. Standing on the bench gives you far better view of the world,

Coming back to calendars. Normally “calendars of Tamilnadu” are characterized by Attractive fluorescent color (multi color) with a picture of some god or goddesses on it. Calendars here are very advanced these days. It provides hell a lot of information right from festival schedules to famous personalities’ birthdays, and Train timings to your “Marana Yogam”. You can find details on Tamil months, muhurthams for various auspicious occasions etc. Along with all the religious events and almanac specifics, one of the calendars, which I saw this year mentions that February 20th is ‘Selvi Jayalalitha’s Birthday’! Talking of birthdays, it was Rajnikanth’s birthday sometime in December and even though Bharathiyar’s is also around the same time (I Believe), he lost out to the celluloid star!

Surely, a sign of the time we live in.