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Archive for the ‘Controversy’ Category

A first time BJP MP from Nawada, Bihar Giriraj Singh shot to fame last year during the run-up to the General Election when he had declared that the Modi critics would find themselves across the border after the 2014 election. Mr. Narendra Modi is now the most popular prime minister of India. Regardless of his larger-than-life popularity, Mr. Modi’s critics not only criticise him but they also continue to live in India. 

  

Back then the mainstream media infamous for its visceral hatred for Mr. Narendra Modi had played up this remark of Giriraj Singh to the hilt to prove that the future for the minorities was going to be scary if Mr. Modi came to power. The Modi-led NDA Government is on the cusp of completing one glorious year in the office. Sadly, for media its prophecy of apocalypse is yet to come true. This is mainly because people of India continue to live as amicably and peacefully as ever.

So much for scaremongering. 

Having said this, today Giriraj Singh who is now a Union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises in the Modi-led NDA Government  is back in the news. This time around he finds himself in a controversy for calling the Congress president Sonia Gandhi white-skinned. In Hajipur, Giriraj Singh asked an innocent question that has earned him the wrath of the senior Congress leaders, mainstream media, the Nigerian High Commissioner based in India and the Gandhi sycophants (not necessarily in the same order). 

Poor Giriraj Singh’s crime is he has told the bitter truth. If the late Rajiv Gandhi had married a Nigerian woman, would Congress have accepted her as its chief after Rajiv Gandhi’s death? Just because she is a white woman, she has been able to retain her iron like hold on the party that is dying a slow and painful death.

We all know this for a fact that Sonia Gandhi’s skin colour has played an important role in her political journey thanks to the deshi fascination for gori chamadi.  The mainstream media has, as usual, termed this remark as sexist and racist. The Congress leaders have left no stone unturned to slam Giriraj Singh who has soon shown both the courage and grace to express regret over his ill-fated remark if they have caused hurt to the Madam Sonia Gandhi or her son Rahul Gandhi. 

But the Congress Party would like to have none of it. It wants the prime minister himself to apologise for his colleague’s remark for which the regret has already been expressed. There’s no doubt that the mainstream media has smelt blood and the controversy is likely to receive a fresh lease of life much to the chagrin of Giriraj Singh who is being made the fall guy once again.

Did what Giriraj Singh say is wrong? Did he cross the line in uttering the bitter truth no matter how grave the provocation was? Should the prime minister offer an apology and show Giriraj Singh the door? These and many more questions are likely to dominate the TV debates until new controversy pops up. 

Be that as it may, political leaders cannot speak the politically correct things all the time especially when they happen to be surrounded by their cheering supporters. Sonia Gandhi’s maut ke saudagar remark is still fresh in the collective memory of the nation. The SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had raised many eyebrows over his rape remark stating that boys will always be boys. The NCP leader Ajit Singh’s urinating into dams remark is the best example of how political leaders tend to go overboard when the supporters are lustily cheering at every word uttered by their leaders.

But none of the above mentioned leaders has come under the same harsh scrutiny as poor Giriraj Singh. These leaders have pure secular credentials. They don’t pose any threat to the idea of India and they don’t divide the societies along the religious lines to win elections. This is the narrative that mainstream media gleefully offers to defend leaders of its choice every time they pass sexist, racist, anti-women and misogynist remarks.

Whereas Giriraj Singh deserves no mercy from the kangaroo courts run by the mainstream media and pronounced guilty ad nauseaum until proven innocent because he is from the BJP and represents Mr. Narendra Modi. This twisted narrative has got stuck in a serious time warp but the mainstream media has failed to read the writing on the wall. 

Giriraj Singh may not get the clean chit from the biased mainstream media who loves to sing the hosannas of Madam Sonia. But the common man can clearly see through the mainstream media’s game-plan to target Mr. Modi’s Ministers to sully the image of his government that is winning more and more people’s confidence with each passing day. This is precisely why Giriraj Singh has received a clean chit from the common man without betting an eyelid.

Mainstream media will do well to stop playing the racist and anti-women cards every time Madam Sonia is under the line of fire because these cards have no takers now especially when the nation is headed in the direction of development, unity and communal harmony. 

  

How difficult or challenging it may be to become Chetan Bhagat? In other words, what it feels like to be Chetan Bhagat. Chetan Bhagat is not new to controversies. Whether controversies love him or he loves them is difficult to say. Those who follow Chetan Bhagat on Twitter, read his articles and books and watch films based on his books know that Chetan Bhagat and controversies are always within kissing distance of each other.

One wrong or politically incorrect word in a tweet can land him in a controversy. This is what seems to have happened today. Nowadays the word ‘rape’ sends a chill when used in public discourse or in a tweet. Due to two incidents of gang rapes in the recent past, there are those who believe that the use of word ‘rape’ must be avoided at all costs. And if a celebrity and a Youth Icon like Chetan Bhagat who has lakhs of followers on Twitter ought to think more than twice before using the R word in a tweet that’s likely to get hundreds of RTs and Favourites.

While slamming the slide of rupee, he used the R word in a tweet. Unfortunately, the ill-fated tweet stirred up hornet’s nest and outrage was so deafening that he had to delete that tweet. This spontaneous outrage over the use of R word in a tweet by a best selling author raises many serious questions.

It is agreed that rape is a beastly crime and the rapist deserves the harshest possible punishment. By committing rape, a rapist violates not only his victim’s dignity but her entire existence. Those who follow the current affairs would know that Indian rupee has been falling as if there were no tomorrow. This unabated fall of rupee is raising serious concerns. Economists are worried at this alarming trend and to make the matter worse, there’s no trick in sight to arrest the fall of rupee. The ruling class is equally clueless and what we get from the powers that be are false assurances and free advice to remain calm even as the rupee fall continues to break all previous records.

Now if this brazen disregard with which the ruling class is dealing with the falling rupee is not rape of rupee, then what is it? If Chetan Bhagat demands punishment for this continuous rape of rupee, what’s the problem? Why should he be subjected to the lectures on the usages of certain words in popular discourse? There’s an entire army of self-proclaimed conscience keepers out there against Chetan Bhagat and his use of R word in a tweet. Are they not going overboard in taking him to task?

In spite of incidents of rapes in metros like New Delhi and Mumbai, the Hindi films often portray heroes stalking heroines with a view to wooing them. This is exactly what rapists are supposed to do. They stalk their victims before striking. Why doesn’t anybody raise their voice against such scenes in films that glorify stalking? There are songs in which heroes tease heroines and call them by names. This type of behaviour in real life amounts to eve-teasing if emulated on streets. Why don’t we ever hear even so much as a whimper of protest against such songs?

Nothing can justify these potshots against Chetan Bhagat. His tweet was subjected to unfair scrutiny, criticism and vilification. It is sad to see that he had to delete that tweet because his detractors were out their with knives to misinterpret it. Another sad thing is he often gets unsolicited advice on English grammar and usage of right words at the right places on public platforms like Twitter.

It must really be extremely tough to be Chetan Bhagat. One wonders how he copes with so much scrutiny and not to mention unfair criticism. But he often comes across as a brave underdog who keeps doing his job no matter what others think and say about him. He doesn’t mind getting pilloried. Maybe he knows that what great heights he has achieved both as a popular writer of fiction and a Youth Icon are exactly what not many (read his detractors) can digest. And this is precisely why his path will continue to be infested with thorns.

Poor Chetan Bhagat. He is someone who keeps dodging bullets and yet manages to write best selling novels that get converted into super-hit films and columns that create controversies and debates. As I’ve often argued on this platform, if Chetan Bhagat’s detractors are successful in muting or dumbing down Chetan Bhagat’s spontaneity, then Twitter won’t be half of as much fun as it is today.

I wish his detractors are forced to eat an humble pie yet another time and Chetan Bhagat comes out smelling of roses this time too.

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The Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah is a passionate cricket lover these days. He’s following the national side’s selection process quite closely nowadays. Today he went one step further. He aired his opinion on Twitter as to who should be picked up and dropped from the playing eleven.

Needless to say this unsolicited advice has obviously not gone down well with many cricket fans and he has drawn a lot of flak. The question is why is cricket Mr. Omar Abdullah’s new found love? Why this sudden interest in cricket and the functioning of national side?

Well, the answer is for the ongoing India-Zimbabwe series, the national selectors have picked a promising cricketer Parvez Rasool who hails from Jammu & Kashmir. And as it turns out, Mr. Omar Abdullah is very keen on Parvez Rasool making his debut in the ongoing series against Zimbabwe.

Though Parvez Rasool is with the Indian cricket team right now, he’s yet to get a game. He’s warming the benches. And according to Mr. Omar Abdullah, this could be demoralising for Parvez Rasool. He blamed BCCI for this on his Twitter page. He went on to say that if BCCI wanted to do this, why did it send Parvez Rasool all the way to Zimbabwe. It could have demoralised him here in India.

Nobody knows whether BCCI wants to demoralise Parvez Rasool or make him a cricketing hero. Why Mr. Omar Abdullah is taking a dig at BCCI is confusing all cricket lovers who had never expected a CM to speak on behalf of a player from his state selected to play for the country. This is as strange as it can get.

This pressure tactic from Mr. Omar Abdullah has left genuine cricket lovers fuming and frothing at their mouths. This happens in cricket. Many cricketers get selected for a particular series or tournament. But they don’t get chance to play and make their debut in that series or tournament because the captain and the coach don’t want to tinker with the winning combination.

But it doesn’t mean that they are always denied a chance. Later on, when they do get a chance, they make the most of it. As a result, they end up becoming an integral part of the national side and go on to play for the country for years together.

What’s the big deal?

What’s the fuss all about?

What prompted Mr. Omar Abdullah to jump the gun and slam BCCI? Should politics and sports be mixed? The national selectors have found Parvez Rasool to be a talented player. This is why they’ve selected him. Let’s assume that he doesn’t get a game in the ongoing series. After returning, he continues to perform at domestic level. Selectors will certainly give him another chance.

When the national captain and the coach place their trust in Parvez Rasool, he will make the most of it and leave no stones unturned to create a lasting impression. But unfortunately, CM Mr. Omar Abdullah’s over-enthusiasm has created an unnecessary controversy and opened a whole new debate.

Why should politicians interfere in the affairs of Cricket? Selectors pick up a formidable national side and hand it over to the captain and the coach. If the politicians start putting pressure on the captain to include players from their respective states in the playing eleven, nothing can be more damaging for the spirit of the game.

What’s even more surprising is Mr. Omar Abdullah is worried that this warming the bench would demoralise Parvez Rasool. But he is not bothered what kind of demoralisation his tweet would cause to the captain, his team members and BCCI.

Will BCCI ignore this diatribe and nurture Parvez Rasool’s talent for future? Or has Mr. Omar Abdullah’s ill-fated tweet ended the career of a promising player like Parvez Rasool even before it kicked off? Only time will tell.


@GheTa

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