The coolest effigy burning party ever

Did you attend the latest effigy burning party? no …. oh you are soooo not hip

The latest holier than thou episode doesn’t seem to be nearing an end. It all started by South Indian actress Khushboo who said that pre-marital sex was ok but protection should be used at all times. Indian tennis star Sania Mirza who supported Khusboo’s views is now under fire because she seems to have an opinion on this issue.

Sania Mirza tch tch tch tch …. now what can we advice you, how could you dream of having an opinion on anything. Did you forget the fatwa issued against you for wearing a skirt, I mean come on how can you think about wearing a skirt, did you even consider the latest fashion trends in salwaar kameez and saris on the bombay ramps. A decent Indian girl (not to mention the additional responsible of your Islamic heritage) would never ever be caught dead in a skirt.

I mean notwithstanding the fact that we are soon on our way to becoming the most populous nation and on the verge of having a full blown AIDS epidemic which would make Africa’s problem seem like a minor flu, but to even think and have an opinion about safe sex is a strict no no.

VHP leader Acharya Dharmendra sums up the emotion filled in our outraged indian minds “she is trying to destroy the institutions like marriage and other social institutions by saying certain things which are beyond imagination. Her supporting film actress Khushboo by saying it is not important to have sex before or after marriage rather what is important is that there should be safe sex is also highly objectionable” Kudos to you sir, we could not have said it better.

A group calling itself the ‘Priyanka-Rahul Gandhi’ brigade (Could a group having such an illustrious name and possible linkages to our glorious Congress party ever do any wrong) took to protests and burnt an effigy of our latest tennis star. By far one of coolest bonfires around, a postively must attend by our Page 3 regulars. Sania Mirza and Khushboo, I hope this is a lesson well learned, please stick to our Indian traditions of not thinking and definately not sharing your opinion … oh and another thing …. GET THE FOOD READY!

A day of rememberance – 1993 Bombay riots

There are a lot of news articles recently about the arrest and extradition to India of Abu Salem, for his role in the bombay serial blasts on March 12, 1993 which killed 257 people and injured 713 (source: Times of India).

This news is closer to home and heart as it rekindles memories of the bombay riots in 1993 which followed the babri masjid demolition in ayodhya on december 6 1992. The bombay riots which left more than a 1000 people dead and almost 3000 wounded was one of the worst communal riots affecting almost every suburb of bombay. This riot was also very eerily similar to the sikh riots and the gujrat riots to follow, where the police had an active role in firing on the innocent, turning a blind eye on the rioteers and supplying support and ammunition used in the murder of a lot of innocent people.

The Maharashtra government then rejected the report submitted by the Srikrishna commission set up to identify the principals in the riots including 24 counts of incitement and other charges against Bal Thackeray the head of the fascist Shiv Sena party – the governing party at that time.

None of the principal players in the riots from the Shiv Sena and the police named in the SriKrishna have been indicted and continue to be major power players in the local government.

A day of rememberance – 1947 India Pakistan Partition

August 1947 gave birth to two new nations in the world – India and Pakistan. India under the British Raj was divided into two nations after they left from India.

The new border displaced around 10 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. One of the largest exodus facing humankind, also created one of the largest riots and massacres rivalled only by the extermination of jews by the nazis.

Almost 1 million people were killed and the seeds of revenge and hatred have been sowed ever since. Entire train loads of butchered people were sent across the border with the train engineer being the sole survivor, with the responsibility of carrying the carcasses over to the other side.

Mahatma Gandhi, who observed fasts unto deaths in Calcutta and prevented riots in the east. Unfortunately that message wasn’t picked up in the Punjab where scores of innocent were hacked and butchered to death.

Ironically Gandhi, who was the only Indian politician who was opposed to partition, forecasted this scenario and saved countless lives in his own unique non violent way was blamed for partition. He was one of the final victims claimed by partition.

A day of rememberance – 1984 Sikh Riots

Just finished reading Dominic Lapierre’s Freedom at Midnight. Have been meaning to read it for quite some time now. We’ve read and heard about the horrors of partition, but it is often ignored today being labelled as “something” that just happened during the time.

Actually the entire nation of ‘Unity in Diversity’ applied to India is just a farce. The level of discontent running through the numerous communities oriented towards the other “different” people is real and explodes every so often.

Politicians and local ‘goondas’ are often blamed for inciting these riots, but its the people who follow who should really be taken to task. The politicians are just playing on the hidden antagonisms in rioters which when given an avenue, results in the african machetti type executions and slaughter of thousands. One of the more hard hitting movies depicting such acts during partition was ‘The train to Pakistan’.

Given our history and proclivity to violence (ironically from the nation which introduced the concept of non-violence), I thought we can take a step back and remember the deaths of countless innocent people in post partition riots.

We’ve just passed the 21’st anniversay of the anti-sikh riots which engulfed delhi and other cities after the then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her sikh body guards on Oct 31, 1984. Over 3000 sikhs were systematically murdered by the ruling Congress Party activists and sympathisers. The congress party not only turned a blind eye and condoned the killings, but the Prime Minister at that time, Rajiv Gandhi – Indira Gandhi’s son, was reported to have remarked ‘When a big tree falls, the earth is bound to shake’.

Justice has still not been delivered to the victims of the state sponsored genocide and probably will never be.

Quoting from Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali

Where The Mind is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

90 years from the time the poem’s been published, still awaiting it being a reality.

Mob mentality

India has been famous where the mob becomes a law onto itself.

The most recent case seems to have arisen after the Delhi – Diwali Bomb blasts. The police released a sketch of a suspect in the blasts. This seems to have occured to the misfortune of Mohammed Nawab, 19, who was on Thursday beaten up by a mob at Vaishali in Ghaziabad because he looks like the man police suspect.

“Then people started pointing to a sketch in the papers and beat me. I don’t even know what crime they think I’ve committed, I think people shouted that I started a fire. I’m just an innocent man. My face looks nothing like that in the sketch. Just because I am poor people are beating me.”

He also added “The only people who haven’t beaten me today are the police” and he was there the rest of the day for his own safety even after police gave him a clean chit.

A farcical and an almost wickedly funny story.

Hail to the mob and for once the police (known for its endemic corruption and human right abuses) seem to have been the good guys for once.

Fair and Lovely

The Indian obsession for fair skin seems to have turned a new page when an Indian cosmetic company has launched a new skin lightening cream targeted exclusively towards men. This attempt seems to be in complement with thousands of such creams available for women.

I dont know if this is just an ugly leftover from the Raj or a bit earlier to the supposedly fair skinned Aryans, but this obsession seems with skin seems so hard to understand. And fair skin is not a lightly taken issue (no pun intended).

Indian women’s matrimonials are filled with ads such as ‘FAIR, slim and beautiful woman, light complexion, can sing, dance, cook and carry 4 babies at the same time’.

The fairness complex seem to have affected the gods too. All mythological serials seem to accentuate the difference between fair and dark skins. All gods, devs and generally the good guys are invariable light skinned (with a ton of makeup to make it lighter) and the asuras and bad guys have dark skin.

Such a throw back from the times, when the gods were all depicted as dark skinned (such as krishna painted dark blue in the murals at Ajanta and ellora.

With people in the western hemispheres trying to be darker with regular tans, and Indians trying to be lighter, it gives a different meaning of not being comfortable in your own skin, should be more like not comfortable with the color of your skin.