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Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’

Indian Food: Centuries of Parallel Evolution, Now Converging?

January 13, 2013 2 comments

Indian cuisine has been regional for centuries. But, in the last thirty-five years, Indian food habits have undergone a sea-change.

Image source & courtesy - hindustantimes.com

Image source & courtesy – hindustantimes.com

Something very strange is happening across India.

Indian cuisine has been regional for centuries.

Image source & courtesy - hindustantimes.com

Image source & courtesy – hindustantimes.com

Rajasthan has a dry cuisine that concentrates on preservation. Konkan food is full of greenery, freshness and coconut. Andhra cuisine has an overload of chilly and tamarind. Some brahmin sects in Bengal and Konkan coasts, eat fish.

But for the first time in 5000-years of Indian history, India’s Bombay High Generation (1975-2000) changed that. In the last thirty-five years, Indian food habits have undergone a sea-change.

Image source & courtesy - hindustantimes.com

Image source & courtesy – hindustantimes.com

Dosas and Idlis are now a breakfast staple across India. How much have dosas penetrated? Seen at a corner atta-chakki (a house-hold size grain-flour mill), a Muslim householder, who wanted some dosa-atta to be dry-ground. Clueless on how to make dosa batter, the family had decided to go the dosa way due to children-pressure.

Punjabi paneer items are now lunch and dinner regulars across food tables in India. Modern Punjabi cuisine, perfected in the last 500-years of gurudwara-langar cooking has taken the country by storm.

Banarsi chaat has surely spread across the country. Remember, Banaras is the world’s oldest living city.

In all this, an analysis of the food composition will show a broad focus on two things.

  • One – A good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fat and fibre.
  • Two – Maximum variety and increasing the number of elements that go into any preparation, which is the bedrock of vegetarian cuisine.
Image source & courtesy - hindustantimes.com

Image source & courtesy – hindustantimes.com

Here is an interesting post by Vir Sanghvi on Banarsi chaat.

I’m finally coming to terms with something I’ve always suspected about myself: my favourite food in the world is chaat. Give me caviar, give me white truffles and give me the greatest hits of Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià, and I’ll probably be diverted for a while. But after a briefflirtation, I will return to my first love: chaat.

One of my friends is a TV big-shot who prides himself on his foodie skills though he has a misplaced admiration for his local Bihari cuisine and little understanding of the complexities of Gujarati food! and even he and his wife were stunned by the quality of the chaat. The secret of good chaat, he said, is that UP has the best chaat in India but that it does not come from Lucknow as is commonly supposed but from Benaras. The thing about the people of Benaras, he added, is that they are naturally shy and reluctant to leave their city and show off their skills to the world.

I phoned Marut and asked him what he thought. He agreed that UP was the centre of the chaat world. But he thought that, within UP, there were many chaat traditions. He gave me the example of what we call paani-puri in Bombay. In Lucknow and Kanpur, they use the term ‘batasha’ or possibly, ‘gol-gappa’. In Benaras, on the other hand, they call it a puchhka and the taste of the paani is subtly different from the Lucknow version.

Marut thinks that there are strong foodie links between Benaras and Calcutta, which is why the term ‘puchhka’ is used in Bengal as well. He reckons that perhaps chaatwallahs from the Benaras region moved to Calcutta and seeded the city’s flourishing chaat scene.
He may be right. The more I thought about it the more chaat seemed to be a UP thing. The Calcutta tradition is essentially a morphing of Benarasi recipes to suit the city’s Bengali and Marwari clientele. This is why Calcutta’s puchhkas are tarter than the Benaras version. In Delhi, on the other hand, the chaatwallahs probably came from Lucknow and Kanpur and gave the city its own gol-gappa, which I regret to say, is easily the least interesting example of the genre.

Neither Marut nor I could work out which part of UP Bombay’s chaatwallahs originally came from. We know for certain that chaat was transported to Bombay by UP Brahmins, most of whom used the surname Sharma. (Take a poll of the chaatwallahs at Chowpatty and Juhu. You will find that most of the long-established ones are still called Sharma.)

It is a tribute to Bombay’s culinary genius that the UP chaat tradition was able to successfully mate with the Gujarati snack/farsan tradition so that a new chaat culture was born. The Gujaratis took the principles of UP chaat (something fried, lots of crispy things for texture, chutneys, dahi, potatoes, etc.) and created new dishes. The most famous of these is bhel puri but there are many others.
The Bombay dahi batata puri has its roots in UP chaat but is very much an individual dish in its own right. Ragda pattice is a Gujarati adaptation of that north Indian standby, tikki with channa. And Marut reckons that Bombay’s pani-puri, which is the local variant of the gol-gappa/puchhka/batasha chaat is probably the best expression of this dish. (I love Bombay but here I disagree with Marut: my money is on the Calcutta  puchhka.)

The more Marut and I talked about it, the more convinced we became that we could trace nearly all genuine chaat dishes to waves of migration from UP. This explains why it is so difficult to find a chaat tradition south of Bombay: the UPites did not venture further down the Peninsula.

It is funny, though, that at a time when every state is doing so much to put its cuisine on the map, UP takes so little credit for being the home of chaat. Kerala may brag about its spices, Goa may trumpet the virtues of vindaloo and so on, but UP seems to have surrendered all claims to chaat, which is now seen as a pan-Indian favourite rather than a regional cuisine.

The public image of the food of UP leads only to the Awadhi haute cuisine of Lucknow and to pots of steaming biryani or animal fat kebabs. I love Lucknawi food as much as the next man but I doubt if it has been as influential or as popular as chaat. And yet, the chaat geniuses of Benaras, Lucknow, Kanpur and other UP towns get almost no recognition at all. Their wonderful tradition is disparaged as being ‘mere street food’.

But India lives and eats on its streets. And that night as I turned away all the fancy food that Marut and the Michelin-starred chefs had cooked and stuck to the Benaras chaat, I pondered the injustice. In America, they celebrate the hamburger and the hotdog; pizza is Italy’s global calling card; and Britain is known for fish and chips. So why, oh why, do we in India not give chaat the respect it deserves? Why is it without honour even in its home state?

I say this not just because chaat is my favourite food. I’m sure that millions of other Indians are also crazy about chaat. So, for once, let’s give haute cuisine a rest and stand up for what we really love: the cuisine of the Indian street.

via Rude Food: the cuisine of the street – Hindustan Times.


Indian Elites: Stuck With Nostalgia; In Love With The Raj

December 15, 2012 2 comments

While learning English is important, must we develop bhakti and loyalty to English?

T

he Anglo-Saxon Bloc (Britain, America, Australia, Canada) have been the dominant power for the last 200 years. Behind the rise of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc was India’s traditional gunpowder production system – the world’s largest gunpowder manufactory system. The Anglo-Saxon position has been challenged by France, Germany, Soviet Union – and now China proposes to do the same.

In such a situation, learning English is important. This is something that India has done – but in some parts of the Indian Mind, there is bhakti, even loyalty to the English – and their empty ‘heritage’.

Wonder why Indi'a English-using elites so love the Raj?  |  Old cartoon by Mario Miranda on the Bombay to Mumbai makeover in Mumbai Mirror published on December 15, 2012 again.

Wonder why Indi’a English-using elites so love the Raj? | Old cartoon by Mario Miranda on the Bombay to Mumbai makeover in Mumbai Mirror published on December 15, 2012 again.

Back from Mumbai’s (which I always prefer to call Bombay) literary carnival, I have trouble with my hearing. There’s Axl Rose’s growling vocals in my left ear, Anita Desai’s gentle, precise whispers in my right.

In my admittedly warped book lover’s memory, Bombay had always been as much a city of books as of film. Friends who were writers themselves – Jerry Pinto, Naresh Fernandes – took me around the city’s bookstores on my first few visits to Bombay.

Bombay used to have a formidable set of bookstores — Strand, ruled by the intelligent taste of the late T N Shanbhag; Lotus Book House (above that petrol pump in Bandra), which had an unmatched selection of arthouse and aantel books; and Smoker’s Corner, a cross between bookstore and lending library.

The last few years were dark ones for Bombay’s bookstores. The 525 bookstores listed by TISS sounds like a healthy number, but it’s misleading — many of those “bookstores” are stationery shops, or textbook specialists who carry either no fiction or limited quantities of fiction. The chain bookstores are depressing places — you expect them to be commercial, but they are dully, boringly commercial, stocking only the most conservative of bestsellers. Lotus closed down in the mid-2000s; Strand and Smoker’s Corner remain, but Strand doesn’t have the range it once did.

The author Ann Patchett started her own large independent bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville some years ago. She built it to recreate the stores that she missed, where “the people who worked there remembered who you were and what you read, even if you were 10”. In an essay for The Atlantic, she defined the kind of bookstore she wanted: “…One that valued books and readers above muffins and adorable plastic watering cans, a store that recognised it could not possibly stock every single book that every single person might be looking for, and so stocked the books the staff had read and liked and could recommend.”

Bombay has a bookstore like that — Kitabkhana in Fort runs according to the Patchett Principle. Like her store, it also functions as a community centre, a place where people will bring their children for book readings, and where authors can do their readings in the pleasant, cosy company of books. If you could combine the two and bring Kitabkhana to Mehboob Studios, where the literary carnival is held, you’d have the best of both worlds.

via Nilanjana S Roy: Cappuccino festivals.

Mumbai should do something about its filth: London mayor, Boris Johnson

December 13, 2012 3 comments

Should we keep increasing the garbage, waste and filth we generate – and pay more to pollute more.

Is this what we want Mumbai to become? A garbage producing leader!  |  Garbage city cartoon by Norbert Niessen on May 08, 2011 ; source & courtesy - toonpool.com

Is this what we want Mumbai to become? A garbage producing leader! | Garbage city cartoon by Norbert Niessen on May 08, 2011 ; source & courtesy – toonpool.com

Mumbai should do something about its garbage and filth.

“While it may look inappropriate for me to be saying this, Mumbai should do something about the filth and squalour around,” said mayor of London Boris Johnson. He was speaking to DNA on the sidelines of an interaction organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

via Mumbai should do something about its filth: London mayor – India – DNA.

I actually agree with Boris Johnson. Mumbai should do something about its garbage and filth.

Reduce it.

We cannot keep increasing the garbage, waste and filth we generate – and pay more to pollute more. Should Mumbai and other Indian cities work to create the another island of plastic waste that now floats in the Pacific and the Atlantic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a few times the size of India, and some studies claim 20 metres deep.

Sometime back, carcass parts were found in Cairo garbage bins - a public-safety hazard  |  Cartoon source & courtesy - ahram.org

Sometime back, carcass parts were found in Cairo garbage bins – a public-safety hazard | Cartoon source & courtesy – ahram.org

Or a situation like Cairo, when animal carcass parts were found in garbage bins – a public-safety issue.

The Indian State increasingly a captive of Big Business, cannot think small. It is very possible to have methane-from-organic-waste; waste water recycling in Mumbai, with its super-dense population. Unlike Delhi, which is widely spread.

We cannot have the ‘modern’ model of urban cleanliness. And till we find a better model, we better tolerate and live with the garbage and filth we generate.


The British Raj: Finally Afraid Of Beggars

September 16, 2012 3 comments

By 1945, British imperial leadership had taken on air of defeatism and resignation – going by cartoons and documents of the era..

British politicians 'protesting' against the 'dominance' of the Indian negotiators during the Independence negotiations. People depicted - Musso; (David Low's dog); Low; David (1891-1963); Pethick-Lawrence; Frederick William (1871-1961); Attlee; C. R. (Clement Richard) (1883-1967); Jinnah; Mahomed Ali (1876-1948); Gandhi; Mahatma (1869-1948)| Artist: David Low (1891-1963) Published: Evening Standard, 26 Sep 1945

British politicians ‘protesting’ against the ‘dominance’ of the Indian negotiators during the Independence negotiations. People depicted – Musso; (David Low’s dog); Low; David (1891-1963); Pethick-Lawrence; Frederick William (1871-1961); Attlee; C. R. (Clement Richard) (1883-1967); Jinnah; Mahomed Ali (1876-1948); Gandhi; Mahatma (1869-1948)| Artist: David Low (1891-1963) Published: Evening Standard, 26 Sep 1945

As Indian Independence struggle resonated across the world, the Raj found itself isolated. An embattled British Raj, saw ghosts under every bed – and an enemy in every Indian.

More than 5,000 documents and files dated from 1930 to 1991 have been declassified and made accessible as part of a public archive inaugurated last week at Raj Bhavan.

These documents include a treasure of historical oddities, such as a 1943 note from the general administration department to the governor’s secretary, outlining the menace of beggary and emphasising increased punishment for beggars.

“As soon as the beggar profession know that we mean business, it will melt away from Bombay,” the document states.

There are letters from an Indian Mauritian requesting some part of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi after his death, so that “the Indians of Mauritius may also pay their homage”.

via From the archives: Paranoia of beggars and much more – Hindustan Times.


Mumbai Muslims Protest: Collusive Democracy At Its Best

August 11, 2012 7 comments

So, who is not a psuedo-secularist? Will any political party confront Raza Academy? Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena?

Basic Issues

https://twitter.com/ffaaiizzuu/status/234098515947700224

Taking it no more

https://twitter.com/Arifism/status/234349571575267329

Guilty Parties

https://twitter.com/emkay456/status/234638753963057153

https://twitter.com/mayaadvaita/status/234282442742190080

What to do

Shape of things

Say it again … I didn’t catch that …

https://twitter.com/Marathi_Rash/status/234341938516598784

Some tweets supporting Raza Academy

A Facebook Montage

  1. Mohd Anjum
    Two dead in Mumbai protest over
    Assam riots (Update-Mumbai
    Violence)
    At least two persons were killed
    during a protest demonstration near
    Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on Saturday.
    The deaths occurred as police moved
    in and baton-charged the
    demonstrators who were protesting
    against the recent ethnic and
    communal riots in Assam.
    The protests turned violent with the
    demonstrators torched a media
    vehicle, damaged buses and indulged
    in stone pelting, prompting the police
    to fire in the air.
    Hundreds of protesters gathered at
    the Azad Maidan in south Mumbai
    this afternoon following a call by the
    Mumbai-based Raza Academy to
    denounce the violence in Assam.
    Azad Maidan is located near the
    offices of the Brihan Mumbai
    Corporation and the Chhatrapati
    Shivaji Terminus Mumbai railway
    station. (ANI)
    Sat, Aug 11 2012 13:15:49
  2. Syed Qadir
    2day Mumbai news:
    20 muslim killed by mumbai police
    protest against Assam riots gets violent in Mumbai
    Shanti Ghimire | August 11, 2012 | Comments (0)
    Rate this
    The protest by several Muslim organisations at
    Mumbai’s Azad Maidan against the recent riots in
    Assam and so-called attacks on Muslims in
    Myanmar turned violent on Saturday.
    The protesters set several vehicles on fire,
    including an OB (Outside Broadcast) van of three
    private news channels. Police had to fire and
    resort to lathi-charge to disperse the violent crowd
    of protesters.
    The situation is currently under control, said IG
    Law and Order, Mumbai.
    The protests was led by Raza Academy, an
    organisation working to promote Islamic culture,
    were supported by other organisations like Sunni
    Jamaitul Ulma and Jamate Raza-e-Mustafa.
    Hundreds of members and activists of these
    organizations, sporting black badges, earlier
    converged at the Azad Maidan and expressed
    concern over the massacre of the Muslim
    community.
    Maulana Syed Moinuddin Ashraf, president of
    Jamia Qadriya Ashrafiya, has asked the central and
    state governments to interfere.
    Maulana, who is also known as Moin Miyan said
    “With regards to the massacre in Myanmar, we
    understand it is an external problem and that
    certainly should be taken care of, but what is
    happening in Assam reflects on the state of affairs
    of the country”.
    “It is the responsibility of the Congress
    government to protect the Muslims, and for that
    matter each and every citizen,” he added.
    Raza Academy Chairman Saeed Noorie said that “A
    large number of Muslims have been rendered
    homeless and are now living in camps”.
    Noorie said they have written to the government of
    Myanmar, the United Nations, the International
    Human Rights Organization, Organization of
    Islamic Countries, President Pranab Mukherjee
    and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to highlight
    the massacre of Muslims in Myanmar
    Sat, Aug 11 2012 12:49:19
  3. Pallab Ghosh

    friends, I was deliberately keeping silent on the statement of Asaduddin Owaisi, a Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad and the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Lok Sabha a few days ago that sparked off communal controversy…today a friend mailed and wanted to know why I am quiet on the issue…honestly, I was reading the speech rendered by him in Lok Sabha especially after the special phone-in and studio live shows on television news channels…I was surprised to hear on a Hindi News Channel ‘Assam pe phir ekbar firkaparast tatvon ka kahar’ (yet again the communal forces attack Assam)…two things that I wanted to tell the Editor-in-Chief of this channel and likes…reporting should not have the ingredients that instigate the masses and secondly I did not understand why Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement were being continuously played as the words were enough to instigate communal forces…now on to Asaduddin Owaisi’s remarks…after going through the speech in details I feel his grievance was on calling Muslims residing in Assam as illegal migrants from Bangladesh…I accept this this was a wrong as entire Muslim population residing in Assam can not be illegal migrants…however, I did not understand his comments on a popular English satellite news channel ‘are you scared of the growing Muslim population’ (what was he hinting at by saying ‘scared’…I felt he was using his Assam visit as a political-religious platform and a well orchestrated election campaigning speech…his deliberately mixing the plight of hapless Muslims across the violence stricken Assam was a deliberate instigation…this entire issue being used as a poll perspective…if leaders like Owaisi and likes instead of trying to pacify the situation prefer to instigate the masses by taking refuge in the age old religion card then indeed the situation is volatile…

    there are various issues which led to the Assam tragedy and many things will have to be taken into account if such violence are to be stopped but taking refuge into communal cards is certainly not a solution…

    I fail to understand and want to ask communal factions irrespective of religion preferences, was the partition of India which decided both the countries enough to realize the negativity of pseudo religious cult…can we not say no to communal factions…

    Sat, Aug 11 2012 13:15:08
  4. Mim Zindabad
    Dear Friends,
    Pl watch the debate which was deliberately made controversial and I have listened to the debate ten times and I feel that Janab Asaduddin Owaisi has not said anything out of context and wrong. What he said that, it is the natural process if the justice is denied or delayed and he meant that the occurances of incidents like Babri Masjid, Godhra etc should be avoided in the interest of the nation which otherwise would encourage the feeling of helplessness and despair among the youth….
    http://www.timesnow.tv/The-Newshour/Debate-Communalising-Assams-problem–1/videoshow/4408138.cms
    Sat, Aug 11 2012 14:34:32
  5. Pradeep Khuba
    Watch this Video from 8 Min: Hyderabad MP Owaisi says Indian Muslims will turn terrorists if Bangladeshi Muslims are sent back.
    Sat, Aug 11 2012 13:50:37
  6. Maajed Abu-Muslim
    Protest in India, by Muslims, against the atrocities being committed in Burma.
    Sat, Aug 11 2012 13:48:56
  7. LaelahaellAllah Mohammadarrasoolollah
    THOUSANDS OF OUR MUSLIM BROTHERS IN MUMBAI PROTESTING AGAINST THE GENOCIDE OF MUSLIMS IN ASSAM AND BURMA!
    Sat, Aug 11 2012 14:00:53
  8. Asim Sayaam

    Asaduddin Owaisi, a Lok Sabha MP from INDIA (Hyderabad) and the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), has visited Assam twice in the last two weeks.The people in and around Kokrajhar are living in an abject situation. And there is no one to look after them. In Jugirmahal High School in Dhubri area in Bilasipara, I saw 6,500 people living in a miserable condition. The building can only support 300-400 people, but I saw such a huge crowd there.

    The government nurse there only had 10 bottles of cough syrup and a few medicines – just imagine! For a large number of people, only 10 bottles?

    Similarly, in Kokrajhar, in Jamanganga High School, I saw 7726 people. Out of these, there were 412 baby boys and 366 baby girls. And just by looking at them, I figured out that all these people are 100 per cent sick. Even such small children. It was too much for me, I also have a family here, and young children. I just couldn’t look at them.

    These people are suffering from various ailments. There is no baby food, they are suffering from diarrhea, their mothers are worried because they have been uprooted from their native places. They don’t even have clothes apart from those which they could gather when they ran away from their places.

    There is a great human tragedy which we are witnessing in Assam. I visited nine relief camps, and so pathetic are the living conditions there that even I fell sick with a cough. And I just spent 2-3 hours in each camp.

    This was my second visit, the first one was when the PM visited Assam. When I went there with him and saw the ground situation with my own eyes, I thought about doing something about this. So when I came back I had discussions with my partymen and we decided to do something for them.

    I went with a team of doctors – basically 12 specialists including pediatricians – and medicines worth Rs. 20 lakh. During my second visit, I saw that the situation has deteriorated….

    KAASH ARAB COuntries aur dusr muslim mumalik bhi ASSAM aur

    Thu, Aug 09 2012 02:24:18
  9. Mohsin Inamdar
    2day Mumbai (india) news:–MUST SHARE–
    20 muslim killed by mumbai police
    protest against Assam riots gets violent in Mumbai
    Shanti Ghimire | August 11, 2012 | Comments (0)
    Rate this
    The protest by several Muslim organisations at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan against the recent riots in Assam and so-called attacks on Muslims in Myanmar turned violent on Saturday.
    The protesters set several vehicles on fire, including an OB (Outside Broadcast) van of threeprivate news channels. Police had to fire and resort to lathi-charge to disperse the violent crowd of protesters.
    The situation is currently under control, said IG Law and Order, Mumbai.
    The protests was led by Raza Academy, an organisation working to promote Islamic culture, were supported by otherorganisations like Sunni JamaitulUlma and Jamate Raza-e-Mustafa.
    Hundreds of members and activists of these organizations, sporting black badges, earlier converged at the Azad Maidan and expressed concern over the massacre of the Muslim community.
    Maulana Syed Moinuddin Ashraf,president of Jamia Qadriya Ashrafiya, has asked the central and state governments to interfere.
    Maulana, who is also known as Moin Miyan said “With regards to the massacre in Myanmar, weunderstand it is an external problem and that certainly should be taken care of, but what is happening in Assam reflects on the state of affairs ofthe country”.
    “It is the responsibility of the Congress government to protect the Muslims, and for that mattereach and every citizen,” he added.
    Raza Academy Chairman Saeed Noorie said that “A large number of Muslims have been rendered homeless and are now living in camps”.
    Noorie said they have written tothe government of Myanmar, the United Nations, the International Human Rights Organization, Organization of Islamic Countries, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to highlight the massacre of Muslims in Myanmar. —
    Sat, Aug 11 2012 14:06:23

I thought the Partition of India was clear.

To all those, to whom their Indian-Muslim politico-religious identity was important will go to Pakistan. In India, Indian identity will prevail.

Zero Muslim politico-religious identity.

In India, total freedom for Muslim worship, prayer, dressing, social customs. etc. But, Zero Muslim politico-religious identity was the deal.

Why is Muslim leadership allowed to promote politico-religious identity?


 

Why are these cartoons riling the Government so much?

February 3, 2012 7 comments

What behind the intimidation of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi by the Government of India?

Like other States based on Desert Bloc ideology, India too is moving towards greater corruption.  (Cartoon source & courtesy - anticorruptioncartoons.blogspot.com. Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi is wrong. Corruption will not win). Click for a larger image.

Like other States based on Desert Bloc ideology, India too is moving towards greater corruption. (Cartoon source & courtesy - anticorruptioncartoons.blogspot.com. Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi is wrong. Corruption will not win). Click for a larger image.

When cartoonist Aseem Trivedi’s friends told him that his website could not be accessed anymore, he initially brushed it off as a connection issue. The 24-year-old Kanpur-based professional cartoonist was busy exhibiting his political cartoons in the anti-corruption protest at the MMRDA grounds in Mumbai.

Indian State may soon start feeding on its people. It is surely moving in that direction. (Aseem Trivedi's cartoon is a warning.). Click for a larger image.

Indian State may soon start feeding on its people. It is surely moving in that direction. (Aseem Trivedi's cartoon is a warning.). Click for a larger image.

It was only on Dec 27th, the next day, when he received an email from BigRock, the domain name registrar with which his website was registered, that he realized what was wrong. “We have received a complaint from Crime Branch, Mumbai against domain name ‘cartoonsagainstcorruption.com’ for displaying objectionable pictures and texts related to flag and emblem of India. Hence we have suspended the domain name and its associated services,” the mail read. (via Website blocked, cartoonist moves content to another host – Times Of India).

Compared to leadership from other Desert Bloc states, Indians have not reached the top of killing and genocide table. (Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi's cartoons paint a grim future of India's future). Click for larger image.

Compared to leadership from other Desert Bloc states, Indians have not reached the top of killing and genocide table. (Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi's cartoons paint a grim future of India's future). Click for larger image.

The Bandra-Kurla Complex police has booked a Kanpur cartoonist, Aseem Trivedi (25), for reportedly posting “ugly and obscene” content on his web portal he owns and for putting up banners mocking the Indian Constitution during Anna Hazare’s anti-graft movement at the BKC ground in December last year.

“Cartoons that caused the stir included an interpretation of the Indian national emblem, where four wolves stand in place of King Asoka’s Sarnath lions. Also, the message on the emblem reads Bhrashtamev Jayate (Long Live Corruption) instead of Satyamev Jayate.

Why is Aseem Trivedi confusing corrupt leadership with the entire nation?. Click for a larger image.

Why is Aseem Trivedi confusing corrupt leadership with the entire nation?. Click for a larger image.

The police registered the case recently after conducting a probe based on a complaint received from an RTI activist, who had appealed to the Bombay High Court to take action against those who tried to malign the Constitution. (via Cartoonist booked by Bandra-Kurla Complex police – The Times of India).


Hawker bill proposes 6-month jail

Quietly, the Government has decided that Mumbai hawkers will be banished out of sight, without sound. It stinks of elitist power abuse.

Why fight? Collude …

It is amazing what political consensus (some call it collusion) can achieve. Quietly, in the Winter session of the Maharashtra legislature, this anti-hawker bill was passed. Without a word of protest. Every political party – Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena joined hands to ensure passage of this bill.

Political Santa Claus 'accept' gifts before distributing 'favors'. Welcome to the 'modern' Welfare State. Bought and sold, even before you can say 'Constitution of India'! (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Pub: Dec 2009) Click for larger images.

Political Santa Claus 'accept' gifts before distributing 'favors'. Welcome to the 'modern' Welfare State. Bought and sold, even before you can say 'Constitution of India'! (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Pub: Dec 2009) Click for larger images.

In a bid to control illegal hawkers across Mumbai, the state legislative council on Tuesday passed a bill that proposes a jail term of six months along with a penalty ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 for individuals indulging in unauthorized hawking.Any unauthorized hawker caught red-handed would be fined Rs 5,000 the first time. If caught again, the fine would progressively increase and a repeated hawker would attract the maximum fine of Rs 50,000.

The bill will now go to the governor for his assent.(via Hawker bill proposes 6-month jail).

According to estimates, there are over 2.5 lakh illegal hawkers in Mumbai, while only 17,000 vendors hold valid licences. Interestingly, the BMC has not issued a single new licence in the last 20 years, while the number of hawkers continues to grow with every passing year, sources disclosed.

As stated in the Tuesday bill, “It will be mandatory for each individual who wishes to start a hawking business to obtain a licence from the civic body. The definition of hawkers covers roadside vendors and persons conducting business on roads and artisans.” (via Hawker shocker, News – Cover Story – Mumbai Mirror).

With such political ‘unity’, when all political parties unite against the citizens, India will surely ‘progress.’

The Government must not stop at this.

Forget about questioning me. Have a TV to hear my answer ...? My only fear is that such an attitude may well be the reality. (Cartoonist - Kirtish Bhatt; Posted: Feb 18th, 2011). Click for larger image.

Forget about questioning me. Have a TV to hear my answer ...? My only fear is that such an attitude may well be the reality. (Cartoonist - Kirtish Bhatt; Posted: Feb 18th, 2011). Click for larger image.

Public interest

Further, the Government must acquire all hawking space. After acquiring the hawking space, roads must be broadened. These hawkers crowd roads and reduce the car-driving pleasure of the Uber-rich and the Unter-rich. The Uber-rich and the Unter-rich have a sacred right to the pleasure of comfortable car driving as per the latest UN’s Human Rights Charter.

Do not disturb

I would go further and recommend that the Government acquire hawking space so that the comfortable can remain comfortable.

Just like the Government acquires land for factories, so the rich can remain rich or become richer.

Discomfort to the Rich and Comfortable may turn these rare species into an endangered species. If the Rich and Comfortable turn into an endangered species, who will become the icons of Rising India?

The dirty, ragged hawker!

I command thee … Progress!

I am also not forgetting that the hawkers ‘snatch’ business from all the glitzy glass-and-chrome malls – a major crime.

After sinking thousands of crores in these prestigious glass-and-chrome malls, investors find themselves powerless in the face of these hawkers. Will the Government abandon these investors, who have invested thousands of crores for India’s prestige and progress.

So many poor people, in full public view is also bad, for the eyes. And bad for India’s image abroad.

The poor must remain quiet – and out of sight.

Make way for the bribe takers - These are not the bribe-tigers fighting corruption. (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; source and courtesy - bamulahija.com). Click for larger image.

Make way for the bribe takers - These are not the bribe-tigers fighting corruption. (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; source and courtesy - bamulahija.com). Click for larger image.

Only 6 Months in Jail?

The Government must not stop at just extorting heavy penalties and imprisoning these hawkers. This problem of hawkers will not go away by simple penalties and imprisonment.

I would suggest that instead of imprisonment or heavy fines, hawkers must face some light gun-fire.

By the way, most of these dirty, ragged hawkers are also dark brown or black in colour. Another good reason to shoot them. They should be shot.

Definitely, certainly, urgently.

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