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Archive for November, 2010

India’s success – the race for credit!

November 9, 2010 11 comments

With India’s recovery from economic devastation of colonialism now irreversible, many are standing up to claim credit.

A mercenary mass-media and a 'captive' intelligentsia distort the picture! (Cartoon by Jeff Stahler).

A mercenary mass-media and a 'captive' intelligentsia distort the picture! (Cartoon by Jeff Stahler).

End of WWII

Try imagining the Bretton Woods conference. Of the less than 50 countries, three stand out.

Britain – with an empire on which the sun never set.  At the end of WW2, Britain was a superpower, its huge colonial Empire intact – apart from the massive debt that it owed the US. With Germany defeated and Hitler dead, Italy in shambles and Mussolini hanged, Japan nuked into submission, Britain sat at the head of ‘high tables’ in the post-WW2 world deciding the fate of the nations – with its partner in crime, the US of A.

The US itself was financially dominant (with 25000 tons of gold reserves), militarily effective (with atomic bombs) and industrially strong (unaffected by the WWII).

The wreckage that was India

India on the other hand, was an abandoned wreckage, impoverished by 100 years of colonialism, millions killed by an indifferent British Raj during the Partition of India (giving rise to a Pakistan), The Great Bengal Famine.

Poverty, hunger, disease, with social distortion and destruction on an unprecedented scale in world history stalked the land.

Is corruption an Indian monopoly?

Is corruption an Indian monopoly?

To the Indo-skeptical US and UK, add a few thousand Muslim secessionists, claiming to represent nearly 10 crore Muslims!

Regardless of accountability, contribution or acceptance, Muslims secessionists were “much too conscious of their erstwhile political, intellectual, and cultural superiority to be able to accept their new position.” Muslim leadership saw themselves as in a position to demand an “equal share of the power which would befit and be commensurate with their status as the erstwhile rulers of India.”

Cut to the 21st century

‘Great’ Britain is close to bankrupt Britain – with a gross national debt (public, private, corporate debt) equal to 500% of GDP. The decline  of US is palpable – though the imagined demise is at least a few decades away. Pakistan’s implosion is happening in real-time and apparent. India has come out in the last 60 years – stronger and greater.

For every Indian success there are many, in India and abroad, who give and take credit. No one, but no one, wants to compare the Indian politician to his global peers who have presided over the fate of ‘superior’ nations. The following report by an ‘interested’ party is no secret – but a matter of prejudice and intellectual baggage that needs to examined.

Lazy minds, mercenary media (Cartoon by Don Addis.).

Lazy minds, mercenary media (Cartoon by Don Addis.).

Seriously

India Habitat Centre has rarely witnessed such a gathering … line of cars waiting to gain entry snaked around the road and outside the Stein Auditorium, the queue of Delhi’s intelligentsia was long and winding … never before had such a huge crowd spontaneously turned up  – The occasion was the Penguin Annual lecture –  the speaker, Ram Guha … I looked around me and was amused to see that I appeared to be the only politician present. [for a] lecture [that]was intensely political namely “India’s political tradition — those who made it and those who did not” – also the platform to launch Guha’s new book, Makers of Modern India, an anthology of writings of those who have been, according to Guha, the primary “makers of modern India”.

[As it progressed]… an eminent writer in the audience loudly commented that the leaders of today referred to by Guha had not only failed to read these seminal works, but if they read them, could probably not understand them … this admittedly eminent writer … was entirely serious. His cynical dismissal of the entire political class shocked me to the core. What was worse, the entire audience sniggered at the remark … can [anyone] be considered to have an open mind — be it a good writer or sociologist — if he simply dismisses the entire political class with one demeaning remark.

In a democracy are only politicians corrupt? What about bureaucrats, judges, teachers, lawyers, policemen, doctors, nurses, bus conductors? Are not even some journalists and media houses and writers corrupt? What, therefore, gave this eminent writer the right to snigger crudely at senior political leaders? How did he think politicians get elected? By being stupid? In fact, electoral politics is the most intellectually and physically challenging of occupations, as any elected MP will tell you. Besides, you live in a fish bowl, get kicked out every five years and have to seek re-election … (read more via The leaders’ legacy | Deccan Chronicle | 2010-11-08; parts excized for brevity; text within […] supplied for clarity).

The World Of Indian Politicians

The World Of Indian Politicians

Filmi Stereotypes

Till 1980s, the popular Hindi filmi villain was the caricatured businessman. Madhuri Dixit’s movies and the 90’s liberalization, killed this stereotype.

Possibly, the massacre of politicians in ‘Inquilab’ ( a 1980’s film starring Amitabh Bachchan) initiated the change of villain from the businessman to the politician.

Today, a popular profession for villains in Hindi films is politics.

Behind Indian Success

Is this forward march of India an accident ? Or a happy co-incidence? Black magic, perhaps? Not forgetting credit to The West? After all, the the West is confident that modern Indian success is due to Western contribution? Of course, it begs a question as to why this has not happened in any other country.

Or why the West could not arrest its own decline?

Is the secret of India's success like the Indian rope trick?

Is the secret of India's success like the Indian rope trick?

The Wonderous NRI

We must not forget the NRI contribution – especially the Westernized NRIs (like Lord Meghnad Desai who wants to be an Indian now). Possibly, the only people who should not get any credit is are the desi, home grown Indians – and Indian politicians.


For crying out loud …

November 9, 2010 8 comments

Why is English-speaking India so eager to give credit to the West where none is due.

Indian Economy  |  Cartoon By Marty Two Bulls; Image source & courtesy - bimedia.net  |  Click for image.

Indian Economy | Cartoon By Marty Two Bulls; Image source & courtesy - bimedia.net | Click for image.

Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder of the National Association of Software and Service Companies in India, explained that for the first 40 years of Indian independence, entrepreneurs here were looked down upon. India had lost confidence in its ability to compete, so it opted for protectionism. But when the ’90s rolled around, and India’s government was almost bankrupt, India’s technology industry was able to get the government to open up the economy, in part by citing the example of America and Silicon Valley. India has flourished ever since.

“America,” said Srivastava, “was the one who said to us: ‘You have to go for meritocracy. You don’t have to produce everything yourselves. Go for free trade and open markets.’ This has been the American national anthem, and we pushed our government to tune in to it. And just when they’re beginning to learn how to hum it, you’re changing the anthem. … Our industry was the one pushing our government to open our markets for American imports, 100 percent foreign ownership of companies and tough copyright laws when it wasn’t fashionable.”

If America turns away from these values, he added, the socialist/protectionists among India’s bureaucrats will use it to slow down any further opening of the Indian markets to U.S. exporters.

It looks, said Srivastava, as if “what is happening in America is a loss of self-confidence. We don’t want America to lose self-confidence. Who else is there to take over America’s moral leadership? American’s leadership was never because you had more arms. It was because of ideas, imagination, and meritocracy.” If America turns away from its core values, he added, “there is nobody else to take that leadership. Do we want China as the world’s moral leader? No. We desperately want America to succeed.” (via It’s Morning in India – NYTimes.com).

Cartoon Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 27, 2009 @ Frugal Café Blog Zone. Click to enlarge.

Cartoon Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 27, 2009 @ Frugal Café Blog Zone. Click to enlarge.

Doors and windows

For sixty years now, India has been closing doors and opening windows. And no, the US, Great Britain had nothing to do with it.

Between the 1950-1960, all the British patronized and protected companies were asked to restrict imports and become self-reliant. Monopolies were taken away. Many of these companies went under. Out went products like cars from GM, watches from Switzerland. I presume you want to ‘credit’ the Americans and British with this?

The sixties was about Indian industry updating itself with buying technology. Bajaj made a winning move in two-wheeler segments. Daimler Benz trucks tied up with Tata Motors for heavy trucks. Indian agriculture was given tax reliefs – which allowed Indian peasants to start breathing again. Food shortages started easing. No, the UK and USA and nothing to do this.

The Seventies was about oil. Especially Bombay High. This discovery of oil allowed India to stand up for the first time. Indian space program got a boost. India’s atomic explosion announced India’s entry into the atomic club. Multinational monopolies and cartels like IBM and Coke were simply told, “Or else!” You think the USA and UK had anything to do with this?

The Eighties saw the beginning of relaxation in licensing. Automobile sector saw new licences which made India into a world-class competitor in automobile ancillaries over the next 20 years. Telecom and computing technology were declared as ‘missions’ – and we saw India gain a cutting edge position in the next twenty years. Currency devaluations partially corrected the rupee overvaluation of the previous 30 years. Who was pushing this – UK and USA?

The Nineties was finally ‘The Great Push’ – driven by policy formulations of the previous 40 years. Industrial licensing was abolished. Capital markets were freed. New private sector banks were set up. Import restrictions were removed. Telecom industry was made competitive with the entry of private sector. India’s unsung Unix revolution was copied in Silicon Valley – which changed the computing landscape forever. You will want to hand-over all this credit to the USA again, I surmise!

Will we ever credit this poor, vernacular, dhoti-wearing man some credit? (Cartoon character - RK Laxman's Common Man).

Will we ever credit this poor, vernacular, dhoti-wearing man some credit? (Cartoon character - RK Laxman's Common Man).

Open your mouth – ha-ha-ha

Saurabh Srivastava!

Open your mind and shut your mouth. The deal goes something like this. If people think you have the smarts, don’t open your open mouth and prove them wrong. Nothing makes people more mad, than when they are proved wrong.

Saurabh – Remember, one of your predecessors was Dewang Mehta.

Poor Dewang Mehta. His ash particles must be doing a wild tandav in grief.


The Arctic’s strategic value for Russia

November 3, 2010 2 comments
In this Aug. 24, 2009 picture provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice ahead of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent in the Arctic Ocean. The two ships are taking part in a multi-year, multi-agency Arctic survey that will help define the Arctic continental shelf. Photo: AP; Courtesy-thehindu.com.

In this Aug. 24, 2009 picture provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice ahead of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent in the Arctic Ocean. The two ships are taking part in a multi-year, multi-agency Arctic survey that will help define the Arctic continental shelf. Photo: AP; Courtesy-thehindu.com.

NATO, for the first time, officially claimed a role in the Arctic, when Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told member-states to sort out their differences within the alliance so that it could move on to set up “military activity in the region.”

“Clearly, the High North is a region that is of strategic interest to the Alliance,” he said at a NATO seminar in Reykjavik, Iceland, in January 2009.

Can the West see beyond oil in the next 50 years. Not unless, they are led by their nose. (Cartoonist-Matt Wuerker; Date-25-6-2008; Courtesy-cartonistgroup.com; Copyright-Matt Wuerker).

Can the West see beyond oil in the next 50 years. Not unless, they are led by their nose. (Cartoonist-Matt Wuerker; Date-25-6-2008; Courtesy-cartonistgroup.com; Copyright-Matt Wuerker). Click for larger image.

Since then, NATO has held several major war games focussing on the Arctic region. In March this year, 14,000 NATO troops took part in the “Cold Response 2010” military exercise held in Norway under a patently provocative legend: the alliance came to the defence of a fictitious small democratic state, Midland, whose oilfield is claimed by a big undemocratic state, Nordland. In August, Canada hosted its largest yet drill in the Arctic, Operation Nanook 2010, in which the U.S. and Denmark took part for the first time.

Russia registered its firm opposition to the NATO foray, with President Dmitry Medvedev saying the region would be best without NATO. “Russia is keeping a close eye on this activity,” he said in September. “The Arctic can manage fine without NATO.” The western media portrayed the NATO build-up in the region as a reaction to Russia’s “aggressive” assertiveness, citing the resumption of Arctic Ocean patrols by Russian warships and long-range bombers and the planting of a Russian flag in the North Pole seabed three years ago.

It is conveniently forgotten that the U.S. Navy and Air Force have not stopped Arctic patrolling for a single day since the end of the Cold War. Russia, on the other hand, drastically scaled back its presence in the region after the break-up of the Soviet Union. It cut most of its Northern Fleet warships, dismantled air defences along its Arctic coast and saw its other military infrastructure in the region fall into decay.

(Cartoonist-Chip Bok; Date-23-6-2008; Courtesy-cartonistgroup.com; Image subject to copyright). Click for larger image.

(Cartoonist-Chip Bok; Date-23-6-2008; Courtesy-cartonistgroup.com; Image subject to copyright). Click for larger image.

The Arctic has enormous strategic value for Russia. Its nuclear submarine fleet is based in the Kola Peninsula. Russia’s land territory beyond the Arctic Circle is almost the size of India — 3.1 million sq km. It accounts for 80 per cent of the country’s natural gas production, 60 per cent of oil, and the bulk of rare and precious metals. By 2030, Russia’s Arctic shelf, which measures 4 million sq km, is expected to yield 30 million tonnes of oil and 130 billion cubic metres of gas. If Russia’s claim for a 350-mile EEZ is granted, it will add another 1.2 million sq km to its possessions.

A strategy paper Mr. Medvedev signed in 2008 said the polar region would become Russia’s “main strategic resource base” by 2020. Russia has devised a multivector strategy to achieve this goal. First, it works to restore its military capability in the region to ward off potential threats. Russia is building a new class of nuclear submarines, Borei (Northern Wind) that will be armed with a new long-range missile, Bulava. Navy Chief Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said recently he had also drawn up a plan to deploy warships in Russia’s Arctic ports to protect polar sea routes. (via The Arctic’s strategic value for Russia By Vladimir Radyuhin.)

Thin ice …

Some sixteen months ago, 2ndlook speculated that West’s redemption may come from oil – from the Arctic. With receding Arctic ice-caps, the West may find itself sitting on large oil reserves. Production from these discoveries may take 10-25 years – climate permitting.

West on the drip - needs Arctic oil. (Cartoon title- Arctic Oil; Cartoon By - Monte Wolverton, Copyright-Monte Wolverton; Date - 3/20/2005 12.00.00 AM). Click for larger image.

West on the drip - needs Arctic oil. (Cartoon title- Arctic Oil; Cartoon By - Monte Wolverton, Copyright-Monte Wolverton; Date - 3/20/2005 12.00.00 AM). Click for larger image.

A big if.

Climate change, I don’t believe in. How long will these weather patterns persist? The West is skating on thin ice – but then what can they do. Slavery is not an option – not for another 50-100 years at least. Dig mother earth, is the second and only option they have believed in.

For the last 3000 years at least.

Now Germany too admits they cannot manage diversity

November 2, 2010 2 comments

When the West wanted cheap labour, they changed laws. With economic stagnation they no longer need immi-grunts.

Behind the facade of liberalism, progress, democracy, is good ole bigotry. (Cartoonist-Ann Telnaes; courtesy-cartoonistgroup.com.). Click for larger image.

Behind the facade of liberalism, progress, democracy, is good ole bigotry. (Cartoonist-Ann Telnaes; courtesy-cartoonistgroup.com.). Click for larger image.

West does not need immi-grunts – for now

Aserious problem is that many believe that the Western world is about freedom, choice, individual rights, et al. After all Kasab wants to go to Yumm-rika! When the West wanted cheap labour from the Rest of the World they changed laws – and made a charade of change. During the Great Recession, with economic stagnation – they no longer need immi-grunts.

Has the West changed? Look at the religious profile across Europe.

Protestant Britain has less than 10% Catholics. Catholic France and Italy have less than 10% Protestants. The West today has the lowest levels of diversity – ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. And makes the most noise about freedom and human rights.

Rise of German right

Angela Merkel of German Christian Democrat CDU Party claimed that multiculturalism had failed. Muslims have not integrated into German society as much as expected.

Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has “utterly failed”, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam polarising her conservative camp.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

Merkel faces pressure from within her CDU to take a tougher line on immigrants who don’t show a willingness to adapt to German society and her comments appeared intended to pacify her critics. She said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her usual line that they should learn German in order to get by in school and have opportunities on the labour market. (read more via German multiculturalism has failed, says Chancellor Angela Merkel – The Times of India).

Thius is what assimilation, proselytization, melting pot, et al mean - finally and really. (Cartoonist - Ron Tandberg; courtesy - theage.com.au; date February 24, 2006.). Click for larger image.

This is what assimilation, integration, proselytization, melting pot, et al mean – finally and really. (Cartoonist – Ron Tandberg; courtesy – theage.com.au; date February 24, 2006.). Click for larger image.

Interestingly, Thilo Sarrazin, the man who is leading the Charge of the Right Brigade, is himself a descendant of Saracens –  Muslims. The current situation in Germany (and also in Europe) is captured by this report.

Ever since the release this summer of a polemical book by a former finance senator and central banker arguing that Germany is being “dumbed down” by “over-breeding” foreigners, the country has been gripped by a fierce immigration debate that has seen the chancellor, Angela Merkel, enter the fray. Thilo Sarrazin’s Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab (Germany is Digging its Own Grave) has sold more than a million copies and led to 20% of Germans saying that they would consider voting for a Sarrazin party.

Häusler described the fact that the push for Germany’s far right is coming from the small neighbouring republic of Austria as “history repeating itself as farce”.

“Austria’s political culture has developed differently from that of Germany’s,” he said, because Germany underwent a postwar denazification process that Austria was largely spared. “You have been able to say things on the Austrian political stage that would not have been acceptable in Germany,” he added.

Nurhan Solkan, general secretary of the Central Council of Muslims, said: “Personally, it scares me. The inhibitions towards voicing your opinion about Muslims are fast breaking down. Nowadays I only need to park my car slightly badly for an old lady to come up to me and shout that I’d better go home to wherever I came from.” (read more via German far right emerges from shadows to join Cologne campaign against mosque | World news | The Observer).

Is this waht they were trying to hide. (Cartoon titled-The Melting Point of the Melting Pot By O'Farrell, The Illawarra Mercury, Australia - 1/25/2007 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Is this what they were trying to hide. (Cartoon titled-The Melting Point of the Melting Pot By O’Farrell, The Illawarra Mercury, Australia – 1/25/2007 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Europe dons heavy armor

Sarkozy, is a part of the French vanguard to deport “700 members of the Roma Gypsy minority, to Romania and Bulgaria, as part of its controversial crackdown on communities officials hold responsible for criminal activity.” Why could the French State not prosecute these 700 Roma Gypsy responsible for whatever crimes that the French authorities claim they have committed.

Sarkozy has encouraged French law-makers to prescribe dress-codes for the French. Sarkozy’s laws sez ‘no burqa’ for French Muslims. The French feel let down because “immigrants were supposed to blend harmoniously into society and not exist in separate communities” – and they did not. Sarkozy and the EU are playing out a charade over a fine for this deportation – and later apologize. Like the many false apologies, made or not made, after the genocide of Jews, Native Americans, or the Roma Gypsies or the Australian aborigines, and then get on with life.

Italy cheers for Berlusconi who is willing to take global frowns on the finger-printing of Roma Gypsies.

The Swiss want the State to determine the shape of Muslim mosques. No minarets on mosques, say the Swiss. Millions of Swiss have voted against having a third mosque in Switzerland with minarets.

The Danes want to pay Muslims to leave Denmark. Britain has imprisoned thousands of Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of people have been arrested in Britain to build a DNA data-bank – ostensibly to help in criminal identification.

Multiculturalism is Canada’s greatest mistake, but if it is any consolation, it is every western country’s greatest mistake. And now some of them are paying a terrible price.

In its ideological insistence on the equal value of all cultures other than ours (ours being the sole inferior one), multiculturalism’s main “accomplishment” has been to instill self-loathing in heritage Canadians, a sense of responsibility-free entitlement in identity groups, and the suffocation of critical diversity in the public form.

Even though Canada was a colony itself, and had never indulged in imperialism of any kind, Canadians were informed they must share in the blame because of their religious, racial and cultural association with former colonialists. (read more via Barbara Kay: Multiculturalism was Canada’s biggest mistake – Full Comment).

With token presence of Native Americans, Eskimos, Aborigines, Maoris, the West has become pioneers instead of invaders, genocidal regimes, racist bigots! (Cartoon titled-Maori Add Colour to National Party List By Chris Slane, New Zealand - 9/2/2005 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

With token presence of Native Americans, Eskimos, Aborigines, Maoris, the West has become pioneers instead of invaders, genocidal regimes, racist bigots! (Cartoon titled-Maori Add Colour to National Party List By Chris Slane, New Zealand – 9/2/2005 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

What does this mean

These statistics is about persecution and bias. Like after 9/11 in the US, more than 200 attacks occurred in the US on 500,000 Sikhs in a US population of 30 crores (300 million). I am not even counting attacks on ‘guilty’ Arabs and other Muslims.

Truly, like a Canadian commented on a multiculturalism debate

we’re not immigrants, we’re pioneers who made this country. Do you understand that? You didn’t immigrate to a stone age culture dominated by aboriginals in Canada or the USA. The society created by pioneers from Britain and also that created the modern Indian state. Your land was a mess and is only united by the British law, customs and good government. Same as Canada.

The aboriginals were savages and prehistoric, we tamed them! My only regret was that we didn’t fully assimilate them and destroy their past. (read more via Multiculturalism: Canada’s Biggest Mistake? | The Langar Hall).

When people start believing in propaganda, (reminds me of maya), it is a matter to worry about!


The truth behind sting operations

November 2, 2010 3 comments
Media-and-politician nexus to keep the people from understanding issues by throwing an occassional victim in front of a baying crowd. (Cartoon courtesy - indiadaily.org.). Click for larger image.

Media-and-politician nexus to keep the people from understanding issues by throwing an occassional victim in front of a baying crowd. (Cartoon courtesy - indiadaily.org.). Click for larger image.

farce is not the only thing that fascinates Bahal. He’s done a set of about 60 sting operations for various television channels, the best known among them being Operation West End that shows politicians taking a bribe from undercover reporters for defence contracts. “A lot of colleagues are a little shocked by sting operations. They feel this somehow violates the tenets of journalism. But what we’re doing now, the Western media did 60 or more years ago. There is a wealth of case-law on this: that giving money is not entrapment if there is prior intimation that the person is ready to take money,” he says.

In the cash-for query scam, that was broken by him (where reporters did a sting operation by recording MPs who accepted money for asking questions in Parliament), he says he did not single out MPs from any pre-decided set of political groups. “We were asked to depose before the Rajya Sabha committee. (Former RBI Governor) Bimal Jalan asked us how we chose the MPs we recorded. I had to tell him: we didn’t choose them. They were suggested to us by middlemen (‘dalal’ is the word he used) who acted as the go-between. It was all very organised, and that suggests what a huge business it was. We didn’t go to them. They came to us”. (read more via Under the covers).

Media is itself a scam

The recent CWG ‘scams’ is another scam – where media has itself been partisan. Kalmadi has been made a scape goat – even though he had less 3% (less than Rs.1800 crores) of the purported Rs.70,000 crores budget for CWG. Yet the media made out a huge song and dance about Suresh Kalmadi. We know who the media was gunning for. Who exactly was the media protecting?

It is the ‘Western’ style of empty journalism which makes me twitch.

How much can you blame a player - after a rich sting-journalist waves huge amounts of money in front of a poor Pakistani cricketer. (Cartoon by  by Satish Acharya.).

How much can you blame a player - after a rich sting-journalist waves huge amounts of money in front of a poor Pakistani cricketer. (Cartoon by by Satish Acharya.).

GFFIM

And in all this The Protector of the Indian interests, the Great, Fearless, Free Indian Media, (GFFIM) goes along. Ambles along. For the last six years, GGFFIM (and many others, too) ignored the CWG issues – till it was too late to do anything. They have raised CWG issues 60 days before the games. What  earthly benefit will this give us?

Is the media not being mercenary and opportunistic? Trying to encash on readers’ anxieties and insecurities? What was Indian media doing for the last few years! Pretty much what Organizing Committee-CWG was doing. Taking the short and easy way to ‘achieve’ their objectives! Dubious and shady objectives. After this kind of media circus, pocketing a few crores seems so harmless – if not some fun! I would even say …

After putting up a good show, Kalmadi & OC Team seem less guilty to me.

At least, lesser than Indian media?

Rohinton Mistry should be thankful to Sena, V-C for banning his book

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment
Shiv Sena has been ‘persuaded’, in the past, by artists and creators, to ban their own books and films – it is whispered.

   

Bal Thackeray (Cartoon courtesy by outlook.com).

Bal Thackeray (Cartoon courtesy by outlook.com). Click for larger image.

Media blows its own trumpet

There has been much talk of how Shiv Sena led by Bal Thackeray’s grandson ‘forced’ Mumbai University to withdraw a book from University syllabus. Now this story actually is a political comedy – and not anything about censorship, freedom, et al.

Mistry says that Thackeray’s action is in keeping with the Sena’s history of trampling on freedom of speech. “In this sorry spectacle of book-burning and book-banning, the Shiv Sena has followed its depressingly familiar, tediously predictable script of threats and intimidation that Mumbai has endured since the organisation’s founding in 1966. But it is the expeditious decision by Mumbai University which causes profound dismay.

Mass media has hyped up Bla Thackeray-Shiv Sena. (Cartoon courtesy - deccanherald.com). Click for larger image.

Mass media has hyped up Bla Thackeray-Shiv Sena. (Cartoon courtesy - deccanherald.com). Click for larger image.

After his long silence, the vice-chancellor has now stated that he, in fact, followed correct procedures, and the decision was taken by the Board of Studies. The outgoing Board of Studies, to be precise. But one thing remains: a political party demanded an immediate change in syllabus, and Mumbai University provided de luxe service via express delivery. The University, in the person of the vice-chancellor, occupies an exalted position in civil society, the champion of academic independence and freedom of expression. Instead, Mumbai University has come perilously close to institutionalising the ugly notion of self-censorship. The vice-chancellor knows what he must do to remove the stain.” (Read more via Rohinton Mistry hits back at Sena, V-C for banning his book – The Times of India).

Shiv Sena supports Congress in the Presidential election!

Shiv Sena supports Congress in the Presidential election! Click for larger image.

Mass media builds up the likes of Bal Thackeray-Shiv Sena types into larger than life figures because it suits them. This larger-than-life-portrayal helps mass media to portray itself as a victim, brave opposition to rightist stormtroopers, protector of freedom, etc.

Collusive democracy

2ndlook has always maintained that democracy breeds politics of collusion. Democracy creates a collusive polity where bad rulers conspire with each other, against us. There is no better example than this.

First, Mumbai University VC passes an express order removing book from the syllabus. Two- Soon after the book is withdrawn from the syllabus, the Maharashtra CM, Ashok Chavan finds the book objectionable.

The Congress has been playing off Shiv Sena and MNS against each other. Nett, nett - it keeps the BJP out of power in Maharashtra. (cartoon by Satish acharya; courtesy - cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

The Congress has been playing off Shiv Sena and MNS against each other. Nett, nett - it keeps the BJP out of power in Maharashtra. (cartoon by Satish acharya; courtesy - cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

“There is objectionable language in Rohinton Mistry’s book and we wouldn’t approve his book for students,” he said.

“Just because somebody asked the book to be introduced, without following procedure and formalities, it was just introduced at somebody’s behest,” Chavan told a TV channel.

The Chief Minister however said these were his personal views and that he would not like to interfere in the affairs of the Mumbai University, which has received flak from several quarters for withdrawing the book after the Shiv Sena made a demand. He also made it clear he was not siding with anyone.

“I have not gone through the entire book. Whatever paras were shown to me, I read that, the language is highly abusive…Do we expect our students to go through such books and use them in the educational curriculum,” Chavan told reporters in Mumbai. “However, I am not interfering into the affairs of the university. I leave it to the university to decide whether they would approve or endorse such a book,” the chief minister said.

The Congress immediately rushed in to distance itself from the Chief Minister’s views of the book, calling them personal and said the University was free to do what it wanted but that the party’s stand could not be the same as the Shiv Sena’s. In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said the Chief Minister is obviously entitled to his views.

Tiwari said Mumbai University is an autonomous university and that it is not under the Maharashtra government. “If anyone has objections to the book, there are appropriate fora,” he said. “Shiv Sena and Congress can never be on the same page. Our idea of India is very different from their sectarian approach.”

Common wisdom - Shiv Sena bans help the victims many a time. (Cartoon courtesy - cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

Common wisdom - Shiv Sena bans help the victims many a time. (Cartoon courtesy - cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

Welcoming Chavan’s remarks, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “If the CM of the state is with us, then you have to understand that we are right.”(read more via news.outlookindia.com | Ashok Chavan Agrees With Shiv Sena on Mistry Book).

Simple answers don’t sell

The media, author and intellectuals dive into censorship, freedom debate. This seems like simple collusion. Congress is cutting MNS down to size by creating ready made issues for Shiv Sena. Earlier Congress had tried to cut down Shiv Sena by propping up MNS.

"Ban-nees' have paid Shiv Sena to ban their books and films - it is whispered. (Cartoon courtesy - kajalkumar.wordpress.com.). Click for larger image.

"Ban-nees' have paid Shiv Sena to ban their books and films - it is whispered. (Cartoon courtesy - kajalkumar.wordpress.com.). Click for larger image.

Congress doing this is par for the course. MNS and Shiv Sena taking part in the collusion is surprisingly not being identified, seen, understood, discussed. Is it a wonder that these English-speaking, reading, writing, ‘intellectuals’ get such scant respect from lay public.

How Shiv Sena uses its image

If Shiv Sena is the ‘ban-ner’ and the victim is the ‘ban-nee’, it has been common wisdom that many a time Shiv Sena bans have been ‘arranged’ by the ‘ban-nee’. This immediately gets national media attention, government action, courts to come into play, politicians of all hues to start giving sound bites and a probable dud becomes a success.

Rohinton Mistry may have to thank Shiv Sena for their graceful attention – in case his books start selling more.

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