Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let's solve all our problems by building a statue, like they did during ancient times

There is nothing surprising that the Govt of Maharashtra unveiled it's plans to build a monument worth Rs. 350 crores in "honour" of Shivaji. In India, you don't honour someone by trying to emulate the good works that those people did in their lifetime, rather you can only honour someone when you build an ostentatious statue in their probable likeness.

The statue is nothing but another step towards the black hole of identity politics. The foundation for identity politics in Maharashtra was laid by the Shiv Sena. The MNS simply snatched away the torch and took it to the next level. And now, it's simply like a game of poker. The Congress-NCP has upped the stakes. It's like their telling their opponents, I see your indigenous vada=pav stalls & your empty rhetoric and raise you a hundred million rupee Shivaji statue. Whose the real Manoos now, huh? Gappa Bas?

Since there is no reasonable explanation for the statue, the Congress-NCP government surrogates who are sent to defend such an expense will talk in cliches and say that only the  "elites" are against the Statue and anyone who is against building of the statue is against the Marathi people, and so on. And then if that doesn't work, they will send their violent-protestors-for-hire to intimidate and silence the critics.

Of course the money could be well spent in other areas. Like perhaps making a better life for all those slum kids who did not star in a Oscar winning movie by giving them access to quality education so that they don't spend their lives waiting for a their own great white hope. Or the  families of thousands of farmers who kill themselves because they don't have a good crop due to the fact that they can't irrigate their fields and can't pay back the large and unfair interest that the moneylenders impose on them.  Or developing a proper sewer system in Mumbai so that whenever it drizzles, the country's "financial capital" doesn't resemble Venice (Which by the way, is not something to brag about)! Or buying quality equipment for the people who are our first line of defence against a terrorist attack so that their courage is not betrayed by faulty equipment?

But hey, there's nothing a large statue will not solve, eh?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If the Swine Flu does not kill you, then reading banned books will

In Gujarat,while the government scrambles to give reasons for banning Jaswant Singh's book, anybody carrying the book can be arrested. Yay! Now that we've caught all the book readers, maybe we can try to catch the terrorists? Maybe? Please? [TOI]

Just like my friend's wife on her honeymoon, India seems to be wasting good money to buy cheap crap from Russia. [The Faster Times]

Since Bush and Cheney could not go personally to shoot each and every "terroriser" in the world, they did the next best thing. They outsourced the killings to a private firm. [The Nation]

Some smart teenagers blogging for the WSJ have determined that we are not ready to fight the impending Swine Flu epidemic, we are all going to die soon. See you in hell, everyone. I'll be the guy sitting on the beach drinking weird alcoholic drinks while telling everyone how to improve things. [WSJ]

After the Afghanistan election, the biggest one for a pretend country, everyone is worried that it may not bring peace to the region and escalate the violence to levels which have not been seen since last week. [Times UK]

I&B minister Ambika Soni plans to make DD news more like the private news channels. The first step in that direction is to start getting the DD anchors to shout the news at the top of their voice. Then, they start reporting on food items shaped like Lord Ganesha. [Indopia]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Curiosity did not kill the cat; getting stressed out over the wrong thing did

So welcome to another episode of "Let's get outraged together, because some lady on teevee said so".

Tonight, we take a look at how an arrogant American immigration officer treated the Badshaah of Bollywood like a mere commoner.

Okay. So SRK was stopped an interrogated by an American CBP officer for a couple of hours. I'd like to say that they officer was doing his job, but he seemed to have crossed the line and gotten a little Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay-overboard.

But you know what's really outrageous? The fact that there are people who have to go through this everytime they go to America because they don't have Congress MP Rajiv Shukla on speed dial. Why doesn't the Indian embassy do this for EVERY INDIAN who is racially profiled at an American airport? Why are the rules different for movie stars?

You know another thing that is outrageous? Robert Vadra, son-in-law of the nation, does not have to go through security check, whereas the former chief of the army has to.

The Indian government lodged an official complaint with the American embassy in Delhi. Why does the government have to lodge an OFFICIAL complaint? Why do we have to act like little children whose fragile little ego's are hurt everytime someone wants to follow the law? The American embassy in India spends most of it's time trying to stroke the humongous egos in South Block.

The whole SRK incident in short: If you want to get people outraged for being mistreated, go do a couple of movies first. Otherwise, just grin and bear it.

As far as coverage of the incident is concerned, there are a few things:

  • If anyone else points out the irony of Shah Rukh Khan being stopped at the airport and his upcoming movie, they need to be waterboarded by Dick Cheney. Because, um, even little children figured this out. So you don't have to mention it EVERYTIME you report on this.
  • You know what's not ironical? This happening on Independence day. Besides us and a few NRI's trying to compensate for their "guilt" at abandoning the desh, no one else gives a fudge about OUR Independence day. At least not until we have an actor use it in a memorable speech given at a very poignant moment in a blockbuster movie in which the human race is fighting aliens together for the survival of the whole planet.
  • SRK is not a "world celebrity". There are millions of people in India who haven't heard of him because they don't have TV or electricity or BSNL phone lines.
  • Ambika Soni's brilliant suggestion of racially profiling American tourists is our childish desire for an eye for an eye. Some dude named MK Gandhi once said that An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. I wonder if that dude is on twitter because I'd like totally follow him.
  • For once I'd like a leader who stands up and asks the country to act like a frikin grown up. However, I don't think that's happening anytime soon. Which proves once again that growing old does not necessarily make you wiser.
  • One immigration officer does not make the whole country racist. Also, electing Barack Hussien Obama does not make the whole country post-racist.

If the Newark CBP officer was in India, he would have been transferred to some naxal-infested area before you could say Dilwalaye Dulhaniya Le Jayengay. In fact, our security slogan should be "Come to India, if terrorists don't kill you, the swine flu will".

Jai Ho?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chicken Manchurian is the best revenge

Hey, remember the time when we lost the war and said to ourselves, "never again" and decided to shore up our defence capabilities.

Let's check in and see how that's turned out.

Admitting that India neither has the “capability nor the intention” to match China’s military strength, Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee and Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said here today that “common sense dictates” that India needs to cooperate with China rather than confront it.

“In military terms, both conventional and non-conventional, we neither have the capability nor the intention to match China, force for force. These are indeed sobering thoughts and therefore our strategy to deal with China would need to be in consonance with these realities,” Mehta said, delivering an address on National Security Challenges organized by the National Maritime Foundation.

Oh, goody.

If only we you were in a position to do something about it, like being chairman of the chiefs of staff committee or chief of the navy. I wonder ho things might have turned out.

Thankfully, we've not been at it for long.

For most of the last six decades, the ethos of the Indian military has been to prepare for a battle on two fronts — to the west with Pakistan and to the north with China.

Oh, a-ha, ha, ha.



However, that's not the important thing to focus on. No, not at all.

Even if the military balance with China is heavily loaded against India, it is simply not in the culture of armed forces officers to publicly acknowledge the weakness.

Mehta has gone against the grain, fully aware that he was giving a reality check.

Of course, government-official-who-knows-what-he-is-talking-about, how dare you say something aloud which everyone is aware off? I don't believe you. The only people I believe are those "defence analysts" on my teevee who have never really seen a battlefield outside of watching reruns of Lakshya and Border.

Also, since when have we started acknowledging things in public? It's totally against our culture. Because everyone knows that unless you publicly acknowledge something, it is simply not true. Just like pregnant woman and homosexuality, if you close your eyes long enough, it goes away.

Have you ever heard someone talk about a fart? No, because he who smelt it, dealt it. That's the rule that applies to most public discussions in India.

Our government officials aren't supposed to speak the truth. Heavens, no! Government officials are supposed to treat the people of the country like a five year old who starts crying as soon as he hears about all the bad monsters under his bed.

So instead of saying what you said, you should have followed the lead of the all our defence officials of yore and said that "We are more than capable of defending our borders with might but we act like wussies everytime China jumps from behind the door and shouts "BOO! because we are a PEACE LOVING people".

And that, my friend, is how it's done.


Aw, India is less macho now [The Telegraph]
Don’t have capability or intention to match China force for force: Navy chief [
Indian Express]

Monday, August 3, 2009

This is why we're screwed #8979089697525453654

Unfazed by the criticism over its statue-erecting spree, the Mayawati government of Uttar Pradesh has sought the assembly sanction for an additional Rs 556 crore for the projects, and in contrast sought just Rs 250 crore to deal with the prevailing drought in the state.

Over the years, Rs 5,000 crore have been allocated towards chief minister Mayawati's dream projects since the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) came to power in May 2007.
On Monday, she raised a fresh demand for Rs 556 crore in the Rs 7,559 crore supplementary budget tabled before the state assembly here. And a mere Rs 250 crores for fighting the prevailing drought.

Misplaced priorities is an understatement.

Ironically, the state has been after the central government for release of a special economic package to deal with the drought-hit districts that cover almost the entire state.

Irony doesn't even begin to describe this clusterfuck.

They were also critical of the chief minister's craving for new aircraft in her fleet. A special Rs 10 crore provision has been made to purchase a helicopter.

Capital idea, Madam CM. Capital idea.

Pretty soon she is going to hold a press conference and will announce that as far as she is concerned, all the parched children in her state can have Evian sparkling water.

And then she will turn into a bat and fly away.

Or we wish.

Okay, the last part will not happen. But this woman will not rest until every damn inch of land in the state of UP is covered with her statues.

And then she will go on to be Prime Minister.

Which will cause her to lather, rinse and repeat.



Where is Glen Beck when you really need him to scare people?


Mayawati seeks more money for statues [TOI]

Journalism 101


This is how you conduct an interview.

There was no shouting. No putting words in the guests mouth. But Fareed still handed the "professor" his ass in a handbasket.

To think, if Fareed had stayed in India, he would be reporting on some dumb bitch getting married on teevee.

Le Sigh.