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Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Come Bapu’s birthday and lip services become the flavour of the season. Suddenly the gasbags feel an acute need to revisit Mahatma’s ideas and principles only to tell those who care to listen that how relevant they are even today!

Upon closer examination it becomes clear that in their personal lives these Bapu fans do exactly opposite of what Bapu preached and expected his followers to emulate. But then some occasions such as Bapu’s birth anniversary have ended up as the spectacles for indulging in unabashed hypocrisy.

In the build-up to Bapu’s birthday, there were no controversies until the theft of the spectacles perched upon Bapu’s statue at Anna Hazare’s native place came to light.

Now this theft however small or trivial begs the question why to steal the spectacles of a statue of Mahatma whom people revere or pretend to revere? What kind of thief will commit such an absurd and logic defying theft? Is the thief mentally unstable or what? Above all, should we laugh at the spectacle-less statue or the thief who committed the crime of robbing the symbol of its most recognisable trademark?

Either there is no respect left for Bapu or people will go to any extent to earn their five minutes of fame. Will the police register a case and not rest until the guilty is/are brought to book? This means to say that one prank bordering on inhumanity has the potential of setting off equally silly and time consuming reactions.

Has the mischief taken place on any other normal day, would it have got the coverage it got on the eve of Bapu’s birth anniversary? The travesty of justice is Bapu is a forgotten hero who appears on the radar of our collective conscience only when there is a controversy attached to his name.

Bapu would have forgiven those who have stolen the spectacles of his statue. Then, the joke would have been on the thieves themselves. The best way to celebrate Bapu’s this birthday will be to visit Bapu’s statues installed across prime locations in our respective cities and replace his rimless spectacles with the designer glares ala Dabangg style.

This will not only give Bapu an image make over but will also help him reconnect with today’s youth. The mischief makers have given the genuine Bapu fans an opportunity to bring Bapu back into the reckoning.

Bapu needs Ray Bans. Bapu’s fans need some path breaking ideas to keep his relevance in today’s age. The Bapu detractors need attention by indulging in acts of stupidity such as stealing spectacles of statue to prove their point. Sadly, nobody gives a thought to Bapu’s feelings any more.

Bapu’s principles are all for simplicity and non-violence. Let’s remember and forgive the thief.

Happy Birthday Mahatma. You continue to live in our hearts.

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Honourable President Shri Pranab Mukherjee,

Please accept my sincere apology for taking a few minutes of your valuable time for the matter that is yet to concern you as of now. I know that you are still trying to feel at home amidst your new palatial surroundings. Moreover, there is a lot of pending work to do. But I, as a layman, request you to take out only a few minutes to read this letter which may serve as a reference point some time in future.

To tell you the truth, after a long time our country has got something to rejoice about. No, no, please do not misunderstand me. I am not talking about under-19 cricket team becoming the world champion by winning the world cup. In fact, I am talking about the Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the death penalty awarded to the lone surviving terrorist Kasab.

All the patriotic citizens of India are celebrating this verdict. Everybody is now relieved. The law has finally taken its course. The wheels of justice have come a full circle for Kasab and company for having waged war against our beloved country.

Our independent judiciary has delivered. Right from the lion-hearted policeman Tukaram Ombale who nabbed Kasab alive by risking his life to all the jail officials to all the public prosecutors and the judges deserve to be applauded and rewarded handsomely for ensuring that the justice is delivered. The families of the victims too must have heaved a sigh of relief.

The verdict must have sent a shiver down the spines of those who are secretly harbouring ambitions of waging war against India. The speedy execution of the verdict will forever seal India’s image as a soft state. Having said that the real test begins now.

As you are aware that amongst our political class there is a tendency to polarize society along the caste and religious lines to win votes. These folks have been playing one community against another since Independence. The country too has been suffering great losses in terms of everything on account of this short-sightedness. The fear is that some vested interests will try and play a bloody game by giving this verdict some political colour keeping the upcoming elections in mind.

My humble request to you is as the President of India, please do not allow this nonsense to happen. If and when the mercy plea of Kasab comes to you, without betting an eyelid please throw it out for this beast deserves no mercy. He has killed the innocents. He has shed the blood of those strangers who had never done any harm to him. The deadly bullets that left his automatic machine gun were meant to kill the human beings irrespective of their caste, creed and above all religion.

Does such a terrorist deserve any mercy? No, right? Instead he deserves to be sent straight to the gallows without any further delay. In fact, he has overstayed his welcome. He has eaten enough plates of Biriyani. He has watched enough Hindi films. He has hurt the pride of this country enough. Most importantly, he has murdered enough sons of this soil. Please spare no thoughts for such a terrorist. He is neither a human being nor he belongs to any religion. He is a death machine whose sole job is to snuff out the precious lives given by god.

Sir, you are the statesman of impeccable integrity. Your commitment to democracy and the esteemed post you are holding is beyond reproach. You know the impact of the mindless bloodbath. Being the honourable man you are, please do not let your countrymen down who are looking up to you to set an example by rising above petty opportunism to deny a victory to this country.

Thanking you for your patient reading.

Regards,

An Indian.

This Congress-led UPA government led by the passive and ever silent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has got an uncanny knack of shooting itself in the foot. Everything that this government touches is turning to ashes. Everything is falling apart with the government looking clueless and lacklustre. To make the matter worse, its inability to provide good governance has reached legendary proportions.

The writing has been clearly written on the wall for quite some time now. But the final nail in the coffin came recently when the government, in an ill-advised move, decided to clamp down on the bulk smses and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter by asking them to remove objectionable contents and block the handles of those spreading hate massages by sharing and circulating widely the morphed images. This directive came in the wake of the exodus of North-East people from cities like Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad that caught everybody unawares and the blame for which fell upon the technology.

The gaffe-prone government sat on the dynamite by blocking the Twitter handles of those accused of spreading unrest and thereby posing a security threat to the country. Obviously this move didn’t go down well and within minutes the massive online protest hit the already beleaguered government like a tornado. Every twitterrati started throwing open challenges to the government to block his/her Twitter handle. The online protesters replaced their DPs with black flags even as the hash-tag #GOIBlocks trended unabated for over forty-eight hours.

Instead of learning any lessons the government spokespersons huffed and puffed to deny any such move although it soon became clear that Twitter was under pressure to suspend six handles impersonating the PM or PMO. By doing so this government has proved beyond an iota of doubt that it will not take any dissenting voices emanating from Twitter and mushrooming elsewhere online lightly. The PM can continue to observe his sacred vow of silence even as the riots break out killing the innocents and rendering countless homeless, the economic growth declines steadily, scams after scams tumble out of the closet and the scenario of gloom and doom prevails.

The satire is one of the most potent weapons a common man has at his disposal. Even with the help of popular satire one can register protest against the unpopular government decisions and policies or public figures. In a democratic set-up the dissent expressed through satire is widely accepted as long as it retains the decorum.

As if blocking these parody handles were not enough, the handles of certain respected and well-known journalists were also added to the blocked list. Soon it was apparent that the jittery government was in no mood to spare those expressing disagreement over any of its policies or style of functioning.

What followed was a lot of outrage and the solidarity expressed with those whose Twitter handles were blocked. Sensing danger in the air, the red-faced government lifted its roundly criticized clamp down but not before huge damage was done to its credibility.

Now many fear that the powers that be are so desperate that if they lose the mandate to rule, they won’t mind imposing Emergency. The attempts to censor the Internet were a trial run for the real thing that seems to be in store.

All the recent unfortunate developments lead the political observers to believe that all this brouhaha was both ill-timed and unwarranted. Where this government should have been seen as taking stern actions against rumour mongers, it indulged in the attempts to mess around with the citizens’ right to freedom of speech.

It is really unfortunate to note that the government has slipped into a state of permanent decay for which instead of addressing the root-cause, it is hankering after the symptomatic relief by dragging its feet on the sensitive issue like Internet censorship.

Whatever happened at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan last Saturday was shameful and shocking beyond words. If Raza Academy was indeed holding a peaceful protest against the recent killings in the Assam riots, why did things turn as ugly as that? Why did protesters turn rioters leaving two dead and fifty plus injured in their wake? What was the provocation for the mindless bloodbath and damage to the public properties worth crores? Nothing can justify this hooliganism that has brought untold shame and fear of retribution upon the minority.

The images of an OB van going up in flames along with skull caps wearing peaceful-protesters-turned-rioters indulging in vandalism went viral like the wildfire. As soon as the faces behind the smoke of smouldering OB van became clear, the pouring of scorn over peaceful Islam and its violent practitioners began in no uncertain terms. In the blink of an eye, the call “Hindus-should-unite-against-the-cap-wearing-Mullahs” began to reverberate leaving no one in doubt which way the wind was blowing. Even the call for banning Raza Academy that had organised this botched-up protest grew shriller although it had distanced itself from the violence.

All said and done. But how on earth did this supposedly peaceful protest turn violent? Was all this mayhem preplanned? Why did the media bear its brunt? What were the protesters trying to prove by targeting the media? What were they actually demanding? The riots (originally dubbed as the clashes between two ethnic communities) had taken place in Assam, why was Mumbai chosen as a venue for the protest? Most disturbingly under the guise of “peaceful protest”, what covert message was being sent out and to whom?

It is an open secret that of late resentment against the media is growing by leaps and bounds. The allegations of media being biased and paid keep cropping up time and again. In spite of this nobody can deny the powerful role the media plays in making or breaking any perception or image. Then why this assault on media? What is going to get accomplished by alienating the fourth estate?

Whenever riots take place irrespective of geography, the perennial question whether the riots were preplanned starts doing the round. Even in this case how did a strong mob of 50000 armed with weapons materialise from thin air taking the police by surprise and holding the commercial capital to ransom? Still the point is whether spontaneous or preplanned the violence is the violence and there is absolutely no justification for the lawlessness.

Following this gruesome rioting, the patriotic fervour reached its crescendo making the call to condemn both the violence and Raza Academy reach its highest pitch. Whenever such unfortunate incidents happen, the moderates find themselves between the Devil and the Deep Sea. They have nowhere to hide.

The violence may be over. But it has left some uncomfortable feelings in its wake. The situation has become extremely volatile. In fact there is a lot to fear. The rioters have played right into the hands of certain vested interest. If one takes a closer look, there appears to be a deep-rooted conspiracy at play. This conspiracy is aimed at a]. Instilling the fear of minority as a violent force that needs tough handling and b]. Running a successful campaign of installing Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India.

Look at what happened in Gujarat in 2002. The Muslims burnt the coach of Sabarmati Express carrying the kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya. The Modi regime taught the rioting minority a proper lesson only to take his state to dizzying heights. Similar treatment is needed for the all India Muslims and the only politicians who can do that is none other than the Virat Hindu Hriday Samrat Narendra Modi. This argument is likely to find many takers in the days leading to the General Elections of 2014. Therefore one shouldn’t be surprised if the clamour for Mr. Modi as PM grows louder.

The rabble-rousers knew for a fact that if the rioting happenned in Mumbai, the whole country would sit up and take notice. And perhaps this is precisely why such a symbolic venue for the protest was chosen. The repercussions are going to be severe in the days to come. All the political parties are gearing up for the General Elections. Soon the names of probable candidates as PM will be out. In a communally surcharged atmosphere, the PM candidates with right wing leanings will have it easy.

To make the matters worse, the prevalent mood is anti-Muslim with the stories of horror committed by Muslims in neighbouring countries getting reported almost everyday much to the embarrassment of the moderates. On top of everything this ruthless violence is bound to alienate the media leaving the space for political discourse further shrunk in the public domain. This, in turn, will give rise to all sorts of anti-minority propaganda.

The time has come to make a clear break from the fanatics. The solution to stay clear of the humiliation and persecution is to shun the rabble-rousers completely. For they are not the friends but the biggest enemies. The choice has to be made fast since the clock is ticking away and the ground is shifting rapidly.

Mary Kom is the newest pride of the nation. All of a sudden, the whole nation has woken up to the latest pin-up sensation. It has become extremely fashionable to pay respect to what Mary Kom has achieved for her country in the London Olympics 2012.

The constant refrains that one hears in last few couple of days are Mary Kom has won the hearts, she has set high standards, she is the real HERO of the Olympics, she has put her home state on the map of the country and so on and so forth.

All the high profile celebs, politicians,  business tycoons and software czars have paid homages to this mother of a twin urging the nation to bow in her respect. The media too has welcomed this new messiah of masses with the arms wide open. The story of Mary Kom goes on and on. We cannot have enough of her.

This Mary Kom wave has now achieved a status of farce. We just don’t know where to stop when some relatively unknown sportperson or film actor breaks on the scene by doing his/her country proud. We end up giving so much of attention that the line between adulation and snobbery blurs making the whole show of spontaneous responses look like a manufactured and short-lived mass hysteria.

The most ridiculous thing is the call to learn something from Mary Kom given by the so-called intelligentsia. Overnight the wisdom that right from the silent PM to the beleagured business tycoon to the struggling Bollywood actress have something to learn from the eternally graceful Mary Kom has dawned upon us.

How can we place the gun on poor Mary Kom’s shoulders and fire? Isn’t it plain hypocrisy? Doesn’t this line of thinking smack of doublestandardness, especially if we consider the fact that we had absolutely no role to play in the first place in the making of Mary Kom? Whatever she is today, she is because of her unmatched passion for boxing and sheer hard-work.

Shouldn’t we now stop paying lip-services to Mary Kom’s many achievements for they belong to her and her alone and get a life? The way she perspired in private to prepare for this battle, she deserves to cherish the success in private so that we don’t see the tears of happiness and pride in her eyes simply because we have no right to see them.

Long live Mary Kom. Thanks for arousing passions and uniting the country.

Following the recent episodes of attacks on women in Guwahati and Mangalore by the so-called moral police, the Indian Male Bashing has suddenly become the flavour of the season.

Poor Indian Male has nowhere to hide. The onslaught is mind-numbing. The anger directed against the Indian Male is genuine or manufactured only time will tell. But as of now every pen wielding, key-board addicted Bharatiya Nari has risen up in arms against the Indian Male.

What does the collective anger demand? Is this anger a precursor to a new dawn which will signal the arrival of an era in which the safety of the women will be given the premium importance? In which the molesters will go straight to jails without any trials and languish there for decades altogether?

The anger that is floating around in cyberspace and TV studios is devoid of any agenda for a better future. It is a given that the incidents of eve-teasing will continue to happen with amazing regularity. The crocodile’s tears will be shed in front of cameras. The demand for strict laws to punish the molesters will be raised. A few articles condemning the Indian Male will appear in the dailies and weeklies before life returns to normal.

Nowadays whatever happens happens with profit in mind. Is anyone really bothered about the safety of women? The complicity of TV channels shows brazenly that controversies are manufactured keeping certain win-win calculations in mind. Everybody is craving for his/her fifteen seconds of fame. And they are even ready to pay the price no matter how expensive it might be.

All this anger is sadly going to amount to nothing. At the most the issue will increase the traffic to the blog much in the same way as it raises the TRPs of those channels showing the gory images of the molestation incident without any regards for the victim’s future.

But the question here is why to villify the Indian Male and put him under the same bracket as those overjealous handful men? Isn’t it the worst type of stereotyping? The massage that the-men-are-lecherous-by-nature-and-they-need-to-be-dealt-with-effword-if-they-look-at-women doesn’t hold true for every man.

Moreover some argue that God has blessed the woman with a beautiful body that needs to be revealed to the appreciating eyes and not to be covered from head to toe smacks of the arrogance of come whatever may we, women, won’t change. How sad!

The moral of the story is the anger is artificial. The more the things change, the more they remain the same. Today Indian Male finds himself under the attack. The day is not far when some girls will get drunk and indulge in Adam-teasing outside some famous pub from where the TV channel office is at a stone’s throw. When the world sees the images of unruly girls molesting a cool dude with six packs, the table will have turned.

We live in stranger times. Socializing on the social networking sites has sadly become all about poking fun at politicians, leaders, film-actors, cricketers, journalists and certain communities.

There’s a parallel universe called Twitter. The inhabitants of this universe are fondly known as tweeple or tweeps. What do these tweeps do? Most of the times they express their ideas on the current affairs. For example:-

  • Narendra Modi should be the next prime minister of India.
  • MMS is taking the country back to the stone age.
  • Team Anna is misguided and its intentions are not noble.
  • Satyameva Jayate is a money making exercise for the actor-turned-crusader Aamir Khan.
  • Shah Rukh Khan is a drug addict who has got an attitude problem.
  • Jr. Mallya is a rich brat with shaky morals who has no right to lecture how the future wives should behave.
  • Sachin Tendulkar should not become the Rajya Sabha MP under this corrupt government.

The list is endless. Hankering after the number of followers, Re-tweets and celebrity bashing are the main objectives. Everyday some or other famous personality becomes the butt of ridicule and victim of endless silly jokes lampooning him or her.

What does all this mean? What do these tweeps gain? Except a few new followers, Re-tweets and ego satisfaction there’s hardly anything else that they may gain.

The more intriguing aspect of this parallel universe is almost every famous person is a villain. It is as if we forget the fact that in the first place it is we the people who have made that person famous. Then why should we have any ill-will feelings towards that famous person aka celebrity?

Today Twitter verified Sagarika Ghose’s account and the entire twitterverse rose up in arms against her. Soon all kinds of jokes lampooning poor Sagarika began to do the rounds on twitter.

What happens when Twitter verifies your account? It is a sign of the fact that you’ve arrived on Twitter. The symbol that one’s Twitter account is verified is something akin to the MP’s car with a red beacon atop. It signifies that you are a VIP on Twitter, and nothing else.

Sagarika Ghose is one of the high profile journalists with quite a good number of followers on Twitter. If Twitter has deemed it fit to verify her account and bless it with that prestigious symbol of verified next to her name on her Twitter page, what’s the big deal?

What will happen when the favourite whipping boy of Twitter Kamaal R Khan’s account gets verified? Will the humour cross all the limits? How will tweeps deal with the not-so-politically-correct tweets emanating from the verified account of Kamaal R Khan?

One also shudders at the thought what will happen when Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister of India? How will the Modi brigade celebrate that occasion on Twitter? Maybe by blocking every anti-Modi tweeple?

There’s a clear cut divide along the caste and religion lines in the country. Some people object to the very term ‘secular’ which according to them has come to mean the appeasement of minorities. There are many people who  don’t like Muslims.

In this age of social media what is scarier is the fact that now people are spiting venom against Muslims openly. Nobody can see their faces since they’re tweeting from the safe cocoons of their houses and therefore they don’t mind expressing their hatred against Muslims without any reservations.

Is so much freedom of expression vis-a-vis Twitter or Facebook a bane or a boon? Another recent example that comes to mind is a tweet from someone whom I’ve come to hugely admire and respect on Twitter.

Mr. Kanchan Gupta is a well-known media personality and when he tweeted, “Mumbaikars: How tough is it for Muslims to find flats? True or part of fake victimhood narrative?” He was referring to an article published in The Hindu dated 03/06/2012. This tweet drew a sharp response from Mrs. Atiya Zaidi and soon there were heated arguments between the two idols whose tweets I immensely enjoy.

The Twitter is a perfect barometer to know which way the wind is blowing. It’s depressing to know that the Muslims are disliked so much and even more depressing is to know that nowadays people are expressing it on public forums. Why and how has the gulf between the two communities become so wide all of a sudden?

When the members of intelligentsia become so vocal about their dislike of a particular community, what hopes or expectations can one have from the common men? Twitter opens our eyes to a scary reality if not addressed properly on time, nobody can complain that there were no warning signals.

May the peace prevail forever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 


@GheTa

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Wow....!!! This Much Love.....!!!!

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