Aamir Khan rips the media apart
"On the issue of terrorism too, the star was equally outspoken: 'What I'd like to say as a Muslim here is that any person claiming to be a Muslim who indulges in killing innocent people, in my opinion, is not a Muslim.' But he criticised the media, who 'conveniently take it (the government version) on face value and say that phalana dhimka from phalana dhimka group has in fact done this (terrorist act).'
'The job of the authorities is to find out who's behind it and the job of the press I feel is to investigate whether the authorities are telling the truth,' he added."
I find this sad and ironical. Sad because his films were part of my growing up. One of my first films (first on VCR) was QSQT.
Although I do not claim to be a movie connosieur (my preference being "latke" and "jhatke" than "hatke"), I enjoyed his movies.
However since he became an activist his leanings and his statesments have made me uncomfortable.
The political statement that "Mangal Pandey: The Rising" made was ridiculous at best.
But the interview takes the cake.
Now Amir Khan who was searching for his "Muslim identity" has become an amateur conspiracy theorist. According to him the media coverage of Varanasi blasts was shoddy.
Actually it was, but the other way.
His grouse is that an Islamic terrorist group was identified by the administration and media did not investigate it. I can understand if he feels embarassed by actions of fellow Muslims (hell I sometimes feel embarassed by actions of fellow Hindus), but that doesn't mean that he get rid of sanity for paranoid delusions.
He can be rest assured that "secular" government (both in UP and Delhi) were not trying to indict Muslims and that there was a Islamic terrorist group behind attack is expected.
He should also watch some other channel other Doordarshan he would have realized that the attack by terrorist groups is a fairly known fact.
There are three morals
1) There is a good reason that actors should not become activists. They are dolts.
2) That Aamir Khan, who by all account is a moderate Muslim is inventing excuses, instead of confronting the truth should be a reality check to the secularist who expect moderate Muslims to reform Islam on their own. Ofcourse ultimately it is up to Muslims to steer their religion, but it is a common human failing to cop out unfortunately this is something India can not afford now.
3) The whole issue of identity is a pretty complicated business. Partition can be redeuced to problem of identity. That and clashes of personality.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Manohar Shyam Joshi is dead.
He was one of the few authors in Hindi who could write beyond proletariat.
I may be called philistine but I prefer writers and poets who worked with cinema and television (Fanishwar Nath Renu, Kaifi Azmi etc)
Literature needs to be popular and connect to masses. Unfortunately Hindi literature has become seduced by the trumpets of communism. There is no joy and all existential dilemmas.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 12:36 pm
Monday, March 27, 2006
Consider this; I have two weeks to make a presentation. Of these 14 days, I spend 12 in purely intellectual pursuit of surfing net or doing anything except for presentation.
The end result is that I have to finish the job on weekends, which I do after two consecutive night outs, and using all sorts of short cuts available. I am ashamed to say that I slept during final hour.
At present I am not in a position to post about anything. But I will try.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:29 pm
If you wish to have a night out, then the final hours are crucial. It is essential that you do not let your guard down at that time. Otherwise you have lost to sleep.
This is my 300th post by the way
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:25 pm
Friday, March 24, 2006
No I don’t want to go into debate about arranged marriage vs. love marriage.
For that another post. However for me arranged marriage is a bit embarrassing
(I do not relish the thought of rejecting inanimate mobiles, rejecting a living human being is all the more difficult or being rejected for that matter) and love marriage inconvenient (high investment, outrageously low return, not to mention my being omega male).
So, I think marriages are good, even necessary. Why necessary? Because marriage is a contract between people. Why is a contact necessary? Because it secures relationship between man and woman. Why the security is necessary, shouldn’t relationship be about love? Well love is a good thing, problem love can not be objectified or quantified or even defined, which makes it impossible to factor into social institutions. Therefore a suitable contract stabilizes the relationship.
Again, why the stability, shouldn’t love be enough? As said before love can not be analyzed, however aim of any social institution is to promote general well being and stability of human civilization, all said and done security and commitment go a long way to accomplish this, as real as love is, so is power play between interacting individuals, a matter of basic psychology.
Love is the cement, not the structure.
Further children are more secure when the parents are married than otherwise. There is nothing bigoted about, I think studies prove. (Although I won’t bother to present it here, out of sheer sloth)
What kind of marriage is better? In my view it is monogamy, though I may be biased as I live in monogamist society. However my reasoning is that a relationship involving two persons is simplest to handle. Anything complex and power dynamics become too complicated to be stable.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:01 am
Despite the title the post has nothing to do with thermodynamics (although I must say that thermodynamics is an interesting subject, which I hope to cover in some later post). No sir, this post is about society.
One of the more remarkable aspects of human behavior in modern age is this fetish with “coolness”, alternatively called “hotness”, “hepness” etc. Having never been cool (or hot), I have no in depth knowledge of this phenomena. Yet what is remarkable about this is its superficiality and hypocrisy.
Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against intellectual fads and fashions of the society.
From Plato to Aristotle, from Voltaire to Thomas Paine and onto Nietzsche, every epoch had its heroes.
History has seen every thing from Age of belief to Age of reason, even Age of Superman. Nothing this age is witnessing has not been seen earlier. Any idea in currency today has its precedence hidden in long shadows of past.
But this modern pretension is different from earlier fads. What is the credo of “cool” citizens? Non – conformity. Zeitgeist of this age is independence, contrariness, speaking “truth to the power”.
The motive behind this is to emulate the heroes and martyrs of bygone eras, long dead and buried, noble indeed! But this nobility has feet of smoke, so as to say. Because it is all prentension, no substance.
People are contrarian not because they have an argument to back them up, but just for sake of being; in the manner one wears his or her hair. It is not the content of the debate which has relevance but the posture one makes.
Since we live in a relatively benign era, we can not find many villains, dilemma for the profession of heroism. Therefore we invent villain where there aren’t any, we go on our knees and look in all the difficult corners of the human civilization to find any pretense of a cause, which merits martyrdom.
The independent stands with puffed chest to fight off a monster and save the maidenhood of civilization. Only he doesn’t fight monsters, he tilts his lance against shadows, shadows of deceit that he himself has created.
It is immaterial what the issue is, or whether there is merit, the standard operating procedure is to make a show of swimming against the current. This sham act merits Cub Scout badges of tired intelligentsia. There need not be any point; the mere act is the whole point.
So if you are a cocaine smoking (is cocaine smoked? Or snorted?) Rock star living a self gratifying life style you are a hero, a champion of this age. There is no goal but pleasure. No higher virtue other than self indulgence. Any mention of morality or purpose is worse than blasphemy, it is “irrational”. Freedom of speech has been confused with the worth of speech and any attempt to inject circumspection or intelligence is resisted.
So anything is cool, anything goes as long as it is against conventional, no demand at all for acumen, or thinking for that matter.
We do not say this is good or bad, the adjectives are cool and uncool. Coolness rules on its own with no relevance to scrutiny and is worthy of acclaim and emulation.
The only measure of worth is popularity in a self appointed circle of dissimulators of modern wisdom.
As one wag said this non conformity is all gothic.
This is not hedonism; this is morality of new age.
And hence I bury my seven year grudge.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:50 am
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Today is the day when Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev sacrificed their life for the mother, this land, called Bharat, Hindustaan, or India through the ages
Bhagat Singh did not do it only for Punjab, Chandrashekhar Azaad did not do it only for UP, Batukeshwar Dutt did not do it only for Bengal.AshfaqullaKhan did not do it only for Muslims.
These people died so as to free every Indian irrespective of region, caste, creed from the yokel of British slavery.
These people did not flinch in the face of death because they believed in something,that was as idea of India free from tyranny and for which they were ready to die. India as an idea which existed in collective subconscious and found expression in cultural harmony for more than millennium but was realized on 15 August 1947 when India got independence and on 26 January 1950 when India got the constitution.
This is an old nation because it has existed as civilization since time immemorial, yet it is new too because for the first time India has been united under the will of her people and not a king, or a foreign despot.
Even as India completes her sixth decade of independence, I am dismayed to note people forgetting the nation which we take for granted was taken at a very high price, a tithe of blood and misery of some of the finest and noblest souls has been paid for the right of freedom.
And yet, do we respect this? Do we realize the importance of nation?
Amidst all the babble of how there is a golden rule of either communism (or the latest fad libertarianism) and nation has become irrelevant, we do a disservice to the freedom fighters.
Nation protects what is good and noble from nihilists. Nation thwarts the “barbarian at the gates”.
Does it sound paranoid? It isn’t.Civilization and progress is not a given, it takes blood and toil. The price of freedom is eternal and unceasing vigilance. So let’s protect what we have.
Absent alertness and readiness to defend it, civilization is fragile.
Great civilizations have, in past, crumbled from nothing more than indifference.
Let us not get duped by the promises of utopia and neglect our nation.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 4:28 pm
I refer to your Clueless post of the day.
Shivam, I don't know about you, but I find it upsetting that people are killed in India (to be precise in your, and mine city Lucknow) for something that happened in Denmark and for rogue state like Iran.
I have yet to see a single protest by Hindus for what is happening to Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh (not to mention a single death). There is a difference between civil dissent and rioting.
That you support literal belief in Koran (where it advocates beheading of infidels, which mean you as well not just us Hindus) is an evidence to me how far secularist have become deluded. Yes and concept of Ummah does run counter to the notion of sovereign nation - state.
Your moral equivalence is beyond outrageous and has entered the realm of surreal.
You make it too clear that in India, secularism just means being apologists for "minority" and affront to "majority".
Sad part is that professional secularist like you are harming the "minority" the most.
You are encouraging minority to draw itself in a cocoon.
I don't mind delusion, but in this case your delusion will get both of us killed. You are free if you wish to die, I do not.
A Hindu Nazi
PS. What was it, that made you loathe India (in general) and Hindus (in particular) so much ?
PPS I do not get personal but the comment to the referred post were closed.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 10:03 am
Why am I so skeptical of welfare state?
Because it has failed for six decades and I think it is reasonable to expect that this concept has rather weak legs, but let me present a case based on my limited understanding (hence I can be wide off the mark).
The notion behind welfare state is that of altruism. One can argue that altruism is not necessarily such a bad thing. The most obvious example (of a form of altruism) is investment (including but not limited to financial support, emotional investment and opportunity cost) in development of children by parents.
One can argue that since family has at its root the principle of altruism this can be extended to cover the state.
It can be rebutted in two says.
First the “altruism” which is supposed to be foundation of family is an extended version of self – interest
This Self interest again can be analyzed in two ways.
One is that parents invest in children because it improves the chances of propagation of the
genes. This is one of the most accepted views, I view it with skepticism for the reason it is sort of dead end, because no matter how obvious the evidence that instinct to propagate species is very strong, it doesn’t stand to the reasoning.
Second is that parent by investing in children are securing their own future.
This one may seem to be on rather thin ice, but I think that its importance is underestimated.
Case in point is Europe, her birth rate has fallen replacement level because parents are not willing to invest in children (all said and done gene propagation as a social construct is dubious)
Here I note that I am not denying the strength of filial love and affection, many parents will willingly risk themselves for sake of their children, but admitting that I can not explain it with reason alone, and therefore I discount it for discussing policies.
The second argument against the even if admitted that family is indeed based on “altruism”, it can be a basis of policy for state for the reason that altruism doesn’t scale well.
For society to thrive, the policies which are imposed by the state should be agreeable to the people on which these policies are being imposed.
An average man displays maximum altruistic tendencies (selflessness) towards his family, as the circle spreads to a wider group of people, the altruistic tendencies weaken and self-interest dominates his moral judgment and economic preferences.
This is the reason that policies which are based on self- interest will fare better than policies which are based on philanthropy.
I am not arguing against private charities. Those are a matter of individual preferences and discretion. My argument is that economic policy should not be based on charity.
I am also not commenting on whether a man should be altruist or not (this deserves another post), just arguing that as far as social scale is concerned man is not altruist and therefore any economic that force altruism will not succeed.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:58 am
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
You can believe in reason as much as you can believe in sledgehammer,
Both are useful, but don’t explain anything. Reason remains the way, not the aim.
What is the aim? Will man ever find it? Who knows it!
Belief in God is not refusal of reason, just acceptance of its limitation.
At worst belief in God can be a tautology or semantic jugglery.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 10:27 am
Out of the box thinking
To solve terrorism, we must invite Bruce Springsteen for a concert.
The concert “Make terrorism history” should be held at Wagah border.
The reason Kashmiri youth is so angry is because no good concerts are ever organized in India.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:05 am
Nitin has written a series of informed posts on nuclear non proliferation.
My 100% uninformed take, If present state continues (which I think will), nuclear weapons will proliferate independent of any action India takes.
Nuclear disarmament? Impossible.
Are nuclear weapons so undesirable? I don’t know.
Humans have managed to survive notwithstanding their attempts to contrary.
As far as cosmos goes human existence is less than blink of eye.
Who knows, what is in store for us. Better to have all the fire power we can afford.
(Must stop reading science fiction)
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:01 am
Two penguins Sam and Samantha are taking bath. Sam says, “Samantha honey, could you wash my back with sponge?” Samantha replies, “Sorry Sam, but I am no longer your typewriter”.
My question is that how can people who perpetrate such cruelty be allowed to go Scot free.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:59 am
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:59 am
ST: That don’t impress me much
Me: I agree, personally speaking methinks that COM is wayyy too overrated, if you know what I mean. Oh, and by the way if you are not doing anything in the evening, may be we can meet somewhere for, you know discussing the comparative advantages of three – tiered architecture.
My previous conversation(s)
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
“………. There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer makes enemies of all those who profit by the old order and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order……….”
Niccolo Machiavelli (“The Prince”)
The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related that it is difficult to class them separately
Do not multiply objects without necessity.
When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less
Humpty Dumpty (Alice in Wonderland)
Your quote here
Abstraction is selective ignorance
All of the above quoted from The C++ Programming Language (Third edition)
By Bjarne Stroustrup
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 3:49 pm
Monday, March 20, 2006
Hoi Polloi claims that Hindi movies nowadays suck. This is true, but not the complete truth.
Hindi cinema took a downward turn after the invention of “Angry Young Man”. Socialism for all its faults is a romantic notion, therefore during the good old days when central planning was considered as the answer to all problems and poverty was considered a moral virtue, not a breakdown of economic system, the movies had poetry, even at that time Hindi cinema was “inspired” by west, but the treatment was its own, its strong point was not technique but the innate beauty. Raj Kumar imitated Charlie Chaplin, Dilip Kumar Cary Grant (?) and Dev Anand Clark Gable, and yet they left impressions of their own. Those were heady days when a nation ancient and yet new was luxuriating in unshackling after nearly 800 years of bondage, and excited at prospect future held for them.
However 70 was a turbulent decade in Indian Politics, people were fed up with corruption, unemployment and perceived decrepitude.
After 30 years the romance of independence was ultimately beginning to wear off and people did not like the reality. This was the reason behind rise of Jayaprakash Narayana, this was also the reason behind the rise of angry young man.
People who claim that Hindi Movies are not realistic are actually too wrong, Hindi movies eerily reflect moods of the society; one just has to look beyond the obvious.
This angry young man was a mirror of the frustration of masses. Masses aspired for change, they felt helpless, and they were ignorant. So the hero fought the “System”. Villains inevitably defiled hero’s sister or mother or killed his family. This found resonance with an insecure and wounded society. Hero shouldered the burden of masses and he avenged them. At any rate with Angry Young Man and his eternally suffering and yet morally indomitable Mother, Hindi Cinema had found a sure recipe for success, producers had found a guarantee against bankruptcy in what is a high risk industry. So out went story and songs and the formula of “crime and retribution” was milked throughout 80’s.
Another thing is that Cinema is a derivative medium.
It needs original literature to build upon. Almost every Hollywood creation is rework of some famous theme or story. Problem with Hindi is that she has always been treated as a maid’s language, something to be scorned upon or to be ashamed of. Speaking Hindi in some circles can cause you to be treated as inferior for ever. Anyway before Amitabh Bachhan conquered Hindi cinema, producers were compelled to invest in story and songs to attract masses.
Hindi cinema was the last resort for any Hindi poet or writer, as masses had stopped reading literature long back (last decent bestseller was “Gunahon ka Devtaa ” by Dharamveer Bharati in 1947), but now that action hero could carry film on his shoulders alone, they were promptly thrown out. This slowly but surely killed the core of Hindi cinema. Nowadays, songs may be hummable or foot tapping, some even have melody by freak accident but soul is missing.
This is the reason we no longer have “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya” anymore. People of future will marvel at our stupidity in strangling our own culture because of
Fortunately even as Hindi is dying, Tamil and Southern languages survive, How long is the question.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:03 am
Long time ago TOI had a debate (?) on whether Mars should be made habitable.
The argument against this was since humans have already messed up one planet, they have no right to mess up another!
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:00 am
Most of the movies which peddle romance end with “And they lived happily ever after”. Since I am on roll here, let me present alternative endings.
DDLJ: - In the climax scene Kajol is running to catch the train, Shahrukh Khan is beckoning her from the train. She is just about to board the train, all of sudden she slips and goes down under the train and meets a ghastly end. Shahrukh Khan is heart broken and for the remaining life he seeks unrequited love in arms of voluptuous blondes (or for that matter red heads, but please no brunettes)
Moral of the story: Don’t attempt to board moving trains.
KKHH: - In the climax scene Sharukh Khan is going to marry Anjali (Kajol), but unbeknownst to him, Anjali (his daughter) who has a sadistic streak, poisons Anjali (Kajol). Anjali (Kajol) meets a ghastly end, after writhing for an hour, foam coming out of her mouth. Shahrukh Khan is heartbroken and for the remaining life he seeks unrequited love in arms of voluptuous blondes (or for that matter red heads, but please no brunettes).
Anjali (his daughter) grows up to become an acclaimed English author and is frequently cheered as voice of modern women.
Moral of the story: First contrary to propaganda girls are cruel, beware of them. Second don’t give your daughter your ex-girl friend’s name; you are just reinforcing her Electra complex for Chris sake.
K3G: - During one of those scenes where Jaya Bachhan is climbing a sky scraper to knot Amitabh Bachhan’s tie, she slips and meets a ghastly end.
Kareena discovers that she is a lesbian, and Hrithik Roshan seduces Kajol.
Shahrukh Khan is heartbroken and for the remaining life he seeks unrequited love in arms of inflatable dolls (in his defense those dolls were the top ends, as good as the real one, if you know what I mean).
I implore you not to be too judgmental, on me for having a sick mind. Boy’s hostel is to be blamed for this.
Moral of the story: Ties can kill.
HDDCS: - In the climax scene Aishwarya realizes her folly and returns to Ajay Devgan, who however has his eyes set on a virtuous cabaret dancer and refuses to accept her citing rule 200 of hand book for chivalrous wooden marionettes. Salman Khan is killed by a speeding black buck, thus meeting a ghastly end. Aishwarya wanders the streets of Venice claiming to be lost arm of Venus de Milo.
Shahrukh Khan is heartbroken and for the remaining life he seeks unrequited love in arms of Venus de Milo.
Moral of the story: Buck doesn’t stop here.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:38 am
Who was the most tragic figure in Sholay ?
Was it Thakur, whose both arms were cut off and whose wife had died?
Or Ramu Kaka? I mean some one had to clean Thakur after his act.
I hope when Ram Gopal Verma remakes Sholay he explores this angle.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:34 am
What I don’t understand is why the people who want to see reality can’t just open their eyes and look around, instead of spending 150 rupees and bearing obnoxious stall food to seek reality in movies.
Myself, if I want reality I just look around. If I want something thought provoking, I read a book. Movies I watch for entertainment, an escape from reality.
To think one can sit still for three hours in a dark hall full of unpleasant smells, on an uncomfortable seat, suppressing call of nature and still scrutinize anything important or analyze complicated dilemmas of society is a modern perversity.
The only good movie is that with full of masala, so bring on sardonic Amitabh Bachhan, ass kicking Dharamendra, pelvic thrusting Govinda or cigarette tossing Rajni Kant. And let God condemn all those who make or watch movies like white-noise or mango-souffle to the deepest levels of hell.
Christian said to Hindu, “Let me save you from perdition”.*, +
Monkey said to fish, “Let me save you from drowning”. **,+
God save us from saviours.
* It may be true that Hindus are going to be condemned, but to convince me please use something more substantial than anecdotes from a book. Insult my belief, don’t insult my judgment, I am not a sheep to be herded, nor my soul a crop to be harvested.
** Fishes can drown if their gills are damaged, but it is doubtful that monkeys can save them.
+ Monkeys are not Christians, and Fishes are not Hindus. Monkeys are scientologists and fishes are libertarians.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:27 am
AL: Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?....
Me: Because, umm, I am billed hourly?
Saturday, March 18, 2006
There is a new sheriff in the town. This guy, he is a tough one. He is here to protect the little guy and kick greedy capitalist’s asses. He doesn’t shoot, he doesn’t use kung-foo or taekwandoo. He vanquishes his enemies by appealing to heart. Brothers and sisters, the new weapon is sentiment and not brute power.
I am joking of course. But there is one site "http://www.theotherindia.org/". Apparently ladies and gentlemen who are behind this feel strongly that there is one other India, there is a different reality, which is being ignored by the entrenched middle class. Of course this is news to me and entrenched middle class, why I was under the impression that barista was a down market thing and every Indian could afford iPod !
Since they feel strongly about the issue, they are absolved from using cerebral matter between their ears. It seems to be unstated belief among them that using brain or indulging in any intelligent analysis is a bourgeois pursuit and therefore automatically verboten. In place of arguments and statistics (tch tch! We don’t talk of stats in polite society!) The visitors are bombarded with anecdotes, each aimed to trip guilt complex in middle class scumbags.
The not so subtle message is, “See while you heartless capitalists are enjoying sinful cups of cream laden mocha, farmers in Vidarbha are committing suicide, your very excitement at economic growth is an affront to poor. Since you have committed the sin of being born in middle class, your only penance is to beat your breast and fret and sing gloomy dirge”. This tricks works in case of majority of people as we are trained, even encouraged to feel guilty. And heavens forbid if someone attempts to ask any serious question, he/she is either suppressing right to dissent or being insensitive jerk (can girls be jerk? I mean girls can’t jerk, can they?).
But if they are really passionate about poor, then why can’t they discuss the policies and programs? If I obsessed over Ayn Rand and imagined myself to be John Galt, I would have said that they were being cute little Ellsworth Toohey (Yes different novels I know! But it is the same difference).
But since I think that Ayn Rand sucks and since I am a coward-capitalist-upper caste-North Indian-HinduNazi-MCP, I can only speculate that they are WMBC.
God have mercy on them.
PS. There were posts on Farmers suicide and poverty line which were slightly better than the rest of blog.
I said they did not discuss policies, but they do. And those policies are more quota, more subsidy, a welfare state, and people dependent on charity.
Of course that those policies have been used since last 57 years and utterly failed in their objective means nothing, because reasoning is a capitalist bitch.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:42 pm
This is a non sense post
I think modern women have a streak of masochism in them (don’t know about ancient). Otherwise why anyone in her right mind would wear high heels? It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think high heels are comfortable, or safe for that matter. Contact area with ground is so less that tendons have to bear high pressure which means that there is always risk of sprain or even fracture.
Of course wearing high heels make sense if the aim is to attract the attention of male of the species. What I do not understand though is how does one reconcile “be a magnet for male gaze” with “any male who stares is a dirty sob”?
Why am I saying this? Because I find the sound very annoying, this because I am not used to the sound in India and in Japan this distracts me from ogling.
But this is nothing compared to unspeakable horror of waxing. Why, if women are equal to men, do they have to pluck hair from all the body? What kind of self inflicted punishment is this? Men don’t do this! (Well some do, they are called girly men)
The most horrible is piercing. Why is mutilating the body such a fad?
This is the problem, sex doesn’t make much sense. By a quirk of evolution humans are biologically hardwired to be very sensitive to sex, this was ok in times of Adam and Eve (hence the injunction about go forth and multiply), but what does one do with this libido in this age. It is of no practical use and a distraction. Just one of those cases, where evolution is a disappointment.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:10 pm
There are three good ways to thwart a good argument.
First claim that your right to dissent is being denied.
A: Moon is made up of blue cheese.
B: Spectrographs shows that spectrum of material moon is composed of is different from spectrum of blue cheese.
A: So, you deny that I have a right to dissent, you fascist!
The second way can be used by status quoits to suppress any debate.
Ask rhetorically the relevance of debate to unrelated topic, for example poverty alleviation or economic growth, and then declare discussion is waste of time.
A: Aryan Invasion Theory is incorrect.
B: Why are you discussing this? Would it alleviate poverty? Or for that matter get rid of my body odor?
B: See, you are wasting precious air time, which can be better used to discuss foibles of glitterati.
Third one is the most brilliant,
A: I find the ad campaign of TOI in bad taste.
B: So you think it is illegal! or a sin! You bleeding heart leftist!
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 12:52 pm
Remember the time when you were a kid and you did something which you were forbidden to. More often than not the reaction of the authority figure (your parent, elder siblings or teachers) would be to hammer that your action was unparalleled in history for its vileness and that your villainy had increased the entropy thereby pushing earth towards destruction and you were one of most naughty boy or girl (are girls naughty?).
This kind of conditioning instills a healthy sense of guilt in individual while growing up.
Why is this healthy? For the reason, that it lets one vent psychological pressure. Confronted with a problem which is difficult or even impossible to solve, one can resolve the dilemma by feeling guilty.
The problem starts because psychological escape is addictive. Increasingly one starts looking for escape even when situation is not difficult. What does this lead to? When one becomes addicted to guilt complex, instead of even attempting to critically analyze a problem the tendency is to bring into play guilt complex and sidestep the problem with rhetoric and hand wringing. At this point, it is no longer a harmless escape but a neurosis.
Hence “I am ashamed to be Indian” crowd.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 12:42 pm
I posted it as clarification for this post. On second thoughts I think it deserves a separate post.
1) Subsidies provide a more level playing field for talented but economically underprivileged people, who might otherwise not be able to afford the tuition in IIT.
"Economically Underprivileged" students get a fee waiver anyways,But subsidy I am talking about is general and apply to all the students.
The double quotes are important. The fee waiver (or Merit Cum Means ScholarShip as it is called) is a sham, There were many students belonging to rich families in my bacth who mis-used this.
But yes some sort of
initiative incentive for poor students should be there and I am not contesting that, my question is why should I,who is not poor by any standard, be subsidized.
2)The govt has an option of having the grads work for them or in nation building.
3)What about having a compulsory stint for a year or two at a government lab or centre? That would ensure at least some contribution, and people who enjoy the work can continue.
4)if 1 out of 100 contribute "tangibly" to nation building.
First What is nation building ?
Does nation building means that every IIT graduate has to be a Mohan Bhargava and work in village?
My point is that if individuals are left to pursue their own ambitions it helps the whole society. Nation can progress only if the individuals are ambitious and enterprising.
And what good will it do if a IIT grad has to work in PWD or Mazgoan Docks. Ultimately however genuis an IIT graduate is it is useless to expect miracle from him in a dysfunctional and failed system which our government is.
5)Tax the NRI
May be, but what about people like me who remain in India ?Won't it be better if instead of subsidizing and taxing, there was no subsidy in the first place?
6) Is it very clear that the country doesn't get back the money in the form of tax or by other means?
7)An average IITian pays more in taxes every year than what was offered as subsidy by the Indian government during the 4 years of the course.
I would have gone to IIT even if I had to pay 5 times, I would have ended up in the same job and have paid the same taxes, so what is benefit of subsidy to tax payersIn fact by spending on me, government is failing to provide for clean water or primary education.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 10:43 am
Friday, March 17, 2006
This is a random post
Why do some bloggers use plural instead of singular ?
For "It is our belief ...." or "We will suggest ......."
Is this because of lack of comprehension of basic English skills? (Which is excusable)
Or just a natural instinct borne out of group think ?
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 10:14 am
Last few weeks I have been reading Robert Heinlein’s works. One peculiar aspect of his science fiction is that in almost all of the stories the society is depicted very different from present society. To be precise male-female relationship are more often than not polygamous and polyandrous. The exact nature of relationship is ofcourse dependent on nature of society as well as male to female ratio. However assuming the male to female ratio remain equal, I believe that not only monogamy is the best way for society, but most probably it is the only stable way.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:46 am
My graduate degree from IIT was subsidized by tax payers, which includes reader(s) of this blog. For this I am thankful and I do not in the least mind paying less for my education.
What I do not understand is the rationale behind the subsidy. Ostensibly, the reason is that IITians serve the nation (at least that’s what was inscribed on the institute building), however I don’t see how I or for that matter most of the IITians are serving the nation. A large percentage of IITians go abroad to pursue higher studies and more often than not remain there. Others switch to managerial side by doing MBA and are not related to any engineering. Even people like me who are working in India either in software or even their field of study are not in strict sense “serving” the nation.
When I work (I do not really work, but just for sake of argument, assume I do), I do it for the salary, my commitment to my company is limited to my compensation package, in other words, I work for purely mercenary motives. The result of any productive work that I accomplish is to bring profit for my employer(s). Therefore neither I nor my employer work to serve nation.
This can be said for any individual engaged in economic activity. In an indirect way ofcourse anything which brings prosperity to individuals serves the nation.
But the point remains that why public which doesn’t get any benefit from me should pay for my education.
Update: Hey Bhagwan ! Desipundit linked to me !
Anyway welcome Desipundit readers and please excuse the clutter and atrocious writing
Another Update: Oh! Do have a dekko around. Pretty please
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:42 am
There is a marked difference between nature of the public discourse in India and America.
While in India tendency of participants is to reach a compromise and arrive at some common ground, the Americans more often than not tend to take extreme point of views. Even conceding the fact that US at present is highly polarized between liberals and conservatives; I think that this type of polarization and heated debates are the rule, rather than exception.
While I think that any form of deliberation is going to be a mixed bag, I prefer American way.
The problem with Indian way is that the only purpose of the discourse remains somehow to arrive at consensus just for the sake of it, and fails to address the concerns or provide an insight into the issues involved.
One example is debate about economic reforms, one of the most used terms is “reform with human face”, and yet so far there is no understanding, hardly anyone knows what it means least of all those who repeat it.
Such circumlocution, while admirable in advertising and door to door selling does nothing really to articulate the issues.
From what I understand this “human face” is nothing but an excuse for “tax and spend” welfare state, now even though I am not an expert on economics, past experience with socialism makes me skeptical of the notion of welfare state. As usual it is a case of showing our collective “asinine faces”.
Another is debate on “secularism”, much effort is made to distinguish between “secularism” and “pseudo-secularism”, the implication that while secularism is a “holy grail”, it is this pseudo thing which is the curse.
And yet I think this is a most dishonest depiction. I will post in detail about secularism at a later date, but let me say that while in west secularism may mean much, in India due to historical and philosophical reasons, secularism is a concept of limited utility, even redundant one.
I for one do not consider myself to be secular or for that matter consider it to be a badge of honour. Further in my opinion the terms of this debate are incorrect in first place and can be discussed as well in terms of “vote bank politics” and “good old demagoguery”.
But the most important is this consensus about Foreign policy. First this consensus and status quo means that India remained stuck to “third world” and NAM past their utility (that they had any in the first place is itself questionable).
Fortunately we are over that (here I accept that Indira Gandhi for her all faults, was more pragmatic that her father). But more than status quo, this atmosphere of consensus and agreement makes us complacent, for example since UPA government came to power there is a tendency towards communalization of foreign policy (Iran issue or Cartoon protest), and yet there is no sense of urgency. Instead of concern, there is a collective “shrugging off”.
And at risk of sounding paranoid, most of the cataclysmic events start not with a bang but with a whimper. If detected at that stage, it is easier.
However the American way is far from perfect.
After a point, shrillness and one-upmanship overcomes any serious attempt to analyze any issue.
One case in point is the “vitriolic” debate over abortion rights.
The debate is complicated involving conflicting issues of individual right, sanctity of life and social responsibility and yet it has for most part devolved to,
“OMG, NeoCons are trying to control my womb”! I mean, get real for God’s sake. !
All said and done, while democracy remains the safest and the best option for individual and civilization, it is hardly the easiest. Any public discourse if it has to succeed demand responsibility from participants. The market of idea or in fact market of any nature while impervious to honest mistakes of actors, is nevertheless susceptible to deliberate fraud and malice. To say, that an outside agency (law and order) can ensure compliance at all times is incorrect, as strictly speaking none of the human institutions are isolated from each other.
For the last time,
India is not part of Anglosphere. Yes she was ruled by English and even today her elites model themselves after west, but India is an independent civilization.
So please quit trying to co-opt India, considering how until last decade anglophiles used to predict demise of the nation
This is a call to America to adopt metric system, it is embarrassing for humanity that most powerful and advanced nation is obstinately clinging to foot and pound.
From Robert Heinlein’s Moon is a harsh mistress
TANSTAAFL (There is no such thing as a free lunch), exactly. Now who can tell this to welfare state proponents?
As far as systems involving human interactions are concerned, almost any decisions or value judgments can only be evaluated by applying fuzzy logic.
Only good manager is dead one (preferably on Thursday afternoon).
Putting the cart before the horse or such thing
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:26 am
Saw South Park : Jesus vs. Santa Claus. I don’t think me or for that matter most of the Indians, however secular will be able to ridicule Gods in the way west does.
All said and done, India is a religious country.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:19 am
In previous post I stressed the need for analyzing the causes behind Islamic terrorism. I should say it is not the only kind of terrorism in India. Naxalism also poses a grave danger and so does insurgency in North East. However Islamic terrorism is unique in its ability to jeopardize Indian security, and this I am not saying for purpose of rhetoric.
Causes of Islamic terrorism can be analyzed from two angles.
First which is prevalent (and incorrect), to consider Islamic terrorism as only an expression of Kashmiri separatism (or to be precise expression of valley Muslims). It does make sense; it can be argued that it is the demand for independence which is fueling the terrorism. The oppression (real or imagined) perceived by Kashmiri populace is reason behind the local support and therefore it is ultimately limited in its extent
However there is second view which is more accurate. In my view Kashmiri terrorism has less to do with oppression of Kashmiri than with indoctrination and manipulation of local population. Kashmir remained peaceful from 1948 (when Kashmir merged with India) to 1986.
Post 1986 however situation changed dramatically, as Mujahideen fighting soviet troops in Afghanistan stared infiltrating to J&K, Pakistan had attempted this earlier in 1965 war, however it had failed owing to non co-operation of local population, this time however the infiltration was supported by the fundamentalist Muslim cleric.
Unceasing propaganda by these clerics drove the local Muslim population towards extremism creating atmosphere of hatred and distrust. The cant that India and Hindus are oppressing Kashmiri Muslims and thus enemies was successfully implanted in Muslims minds. It did not matter that there was any truth or not in this.
First casualties of this intolerance were Kashmiri Pundits, who had to leave the valley. This could have been a warning to Indian government that however was ignored (and still remain ignored). Soon the extremism and hatred culminated into the armed terrorism which continues to this date. Unfortunately instead of learning from this lesson the educated class is still looking in all the wrong places for the reasons.
The Kashmiri terrorism is not a result of army or illegal Indian occupation or poverty or unemployment. It is a obvious result of all the incitement and rabble rousing.
The most important implication of this is that what happened in Kashmir can easily be replicated anywhere. Whether the instrument of accession is disputed is immaterial. The misinformation and propaganda of Kashmir can be replicated anywhere. The obvious question to that is why it has not been carried out yet.
Three reasons can account for that, Muslims do not happen to be majority in rest of India,
Second the Muslim population lies in the core of India.
Third average Muslim is no more poor and dispossessed that an average Hindu.
So does this mean that everything is hunky dory? Not quite.
All the reasons that I gave above can be overcome with careful misinformation and concerted campaign. The indoctrination can start with subtle insinuation. Any lie can be established as a truth through repeated assertion. Then once a lie has been established, other lies are established with that and soon we have a labyrinth of cant so dense that no reason, no sincere argument can cut through it.
The psychology of humans is to blame other for their own misfortune, it provides escape. Therefore more often than not any rhetoric which affirms this tendency is going to be believed.
And that is what happening, since UPA came to power, there is increasing pandering to Muslim as a vote bank.
Whether reservation for Muslims, or minority status for AMU, or special quota in Army all this help in reinforcing the separate identity between Muslims and Hindu.
In coming days this appeasement is going to sink to new lows. Congress is desperate to regain Muslim vote bank (which it lost to regional parties like SP, or RJD), and to accomplish this it can go to any depth, also that the competitors will try to beat Congress in this game. Along with this at present there is no effective opposition to this, with BJP in disarray and media for all purposes dancing to “secular” tunes. Once a sense of separate identity is established, it is easy to instill a feeling of being oppressed.
To some extent it has already happened, there is no explanation for Indian Muslims protesting over Denmark cartoon or Iran that too during Bush visit.
There is a strong theological basis in Islam for Ummah, which runs counter to the notion of sovereign nation – state. Once there is considerable acceptance in Indian Muslim, incitement and provocation is very easy.
Already some radical clerics use the mosque to provoke Muslims against west, how long before it turns against their compatriots.
If this trend continues, then we may soon except disturbance in districts bordering Bangladesh and may be in Kerala.
However it doesn’t have to reach to that extent, terrorist attacks can be carried out with much less level of participation.
Is there any way out?
Yes, there are two.
First, secular media should stop trying to cover up. By doing this they are just making sure there situation will worsen. Any Hindu, immaterial of how indifferent he is, will strike blindly, if there is a threat of survival.
Second I appreciate as an Indian when Muslims condemn terrorist attacks.
However, what is called for some introspection and a real effort to come out of siege complex. I have to reluctantly say that Muslims are themselves responsible for the situation they find themselves in. They have painted themselves into a corner. Unless there is a serious effort to reform, any delay will only worsen the situation. By playing into hands of self appointed community leader and secularists, Muslims are not doing any good to themselves.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:13 am
Monday, March 13, 2006
This is a random post
What UP lacks in development, more than makes up in Politics.
Jaya Bachchan: Congress' UP bungle
Covering a large area of Gangetic plane, UP has for long time been a prime real estate loacation
for warring kings and invaders.
Therefore its people take to politics & intrigue like fish to water.
We in UP can lack power for television, but our politics will continue to amuse.
Ofcouse with 180 million population UP constitutes a "sub nation", fortunately there is hardly any feeling of sub nationalism.
Lucknow might not be a metro, but it had sindhis, punjabis, bengalis and marwaris. Good thing about Lucknow was that usually people do not live in isolated communities.
You can get dosa, rosogulla or dhokla for that matter.
From the article
"In the kachehari of every tehsil in UP, every Mathur and Shrivastava (law is usually the chosen profession of Kayasthas. Harivansh Rai Bachchan, one of UP's most famous Hindi poets and Amitabh Bachchan's father, was an aberration) is discussing angrily the treatment the Congress has meted out to a fellow Kayastha.
Brahmins are upset, too. You can't insult Harivansh Rai Bachchan's family in UP and hope to be forgiven.
The Kayastha and Brahmin votes in UP are not large enough to secure victory in individual constituencies. But they can influence the verdict in a large number of seats, especially in Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Bareilly and Western UP."
Ofcourse Kayastha have seen their glory days during Mogul rule, they were one of the few castes which was well versed in Persian, official language of most of the Muslims kings.
Their presence in royal court and administration elevated their social positions.
It also earned them some what derisive moniker of "half-muslims".
It is not clear what is their social class. Article on Wiki tells that they are in essence Kshatiyas.
However Kayastha folk lore claim origin from Bramha (from Kaya (body) of Bramha) and consider themselves distinct from "Chatur Varna".
Generally they are considered as upper caste, except for Bengal where they are considered as "Shudra", albeit Noble ones.
"Famous con artist Natwarlal was also from this caste. Present day Don Babloo Srivastava also belong to this community." Heh
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 3:29 pm
From Robert Heinlein’s Puppet Master
We are about to transship. I feel exhilarated. Puppet masters-the free men are coming to kill you! Death and Destruction!
From Robert Heinlein’s Glory Road
"Above all, don't put serious problems to a popular vote. Oh, there is no rule against local democracy, just in imperial matters. Old Rufo--excuse me; Doctor Rufo, a most distinguished comparative culturologist (with a low taste for slumming)--Rufo told me that every human race tries every political form and that democracy is used in. many primitive societies . . . but he didn't know of any civilized planet using it, as Vox Populi, Vox Dei translates as: "My God! How did we get in this mess!" "
"But a democratic form of government is okay, as long as it doesn't work. Any social organization does well enough if it isn't rigid. The framework doesn't matter as long as there is enough looseness to permit that one man in a multitude to display his genius. Most so-called social scientists seem to think that organization is everything. It is almost nothing--except when it is a straitjacket. It is the incidence of heroes that counts, not the pattern of zeros."
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 3:23 pm
Japanese are by and large honest people. While dealing with Japanese on normal basis you can safely trust them. That may make some people claim that the reason that Japan is so prosperous is because of honesty of her people.
This will not be completely true as while common Japanese may be assumed to be more honest than a common Indian, her politicians are much more corrupt than Indian politicians.
The amount that Japanese leaders rake (or used to rake) makes Laloo and Sukhram look like reincarnation of Raja Harishchandra. So why is the reason that average Japan citizen is honest? I think that the reason behind is vastly different extent of corruption.
While there is corruption in Japan, it doesn’t affect daily life of citizen. Since the government there is not omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent, average Japanese can transact without having to bear the cost for corruption. Ofcourse any kind of corruption has a cost which is borne by all, the point is that it is not apparent in Japan and America to common people and it doesn’t hamper their daily life.
The other aspect of Japanese culture is deeply engendered sense of loyalty and hierarchy, although present generation is very much influenced by west, the older generation remains committed to idea of social commitment.
In contrast Indian state is so intervening that corruption interferes with daily life. A venal state translates into a dysfunctional society and indifferent people.
Once the people become indifferent and even accpeting in many cases, it sets up a vicious circle to perpetuate corruption, without doubt impoverishing the country.
My family (near as well as extended) as well as my social circle constitutes almost exclusively of government servants (common occurence among middle class Indians not living in metros),
and since my childhood I have lseen a disgustingly high tolerance for corruption.
Even my mother who has been honest all her life gives lots of latitude to some of my relatives who I suspect are corrupt.I find it exasperating.
In fact "upar ki kamai"(bribery) is not a uncommon topic of conversation and till few years back used to be one of important criteria for judging the "selling price" of grooms.
This will also explain my attraction to free markets. They are not corruption free, but they are more manegable than government.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 2:51 pm
Democrats are trying to impeach Dubya, from what I understand that will make Cheney president. And I think it is fair to say that if GWB gives them epileptic fits, Cheney will burst their veins.
So are they crazy or something?
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:27 pm
While blogosphere has its periodical topics of interest, there is a consistent self righteous indignation over perceived prudishness of Indian society. While not debating the whole issue as such I will like to comment on one subject.
That is of kisses, when traditional people object to kissing in public, the instinct of liberals is usually to term it as moral policing, and giving example of west where kissing in public is acceptable.
There is a distinction in this case between India and west, because while in west kissing has always been a social gesture, in India it has been considered to be intimate.
In west relatives will greet each other by kissing, which is never the case in India where kissing is only reserved for small children. Therefore I think the parallel between west and India is unjustified.
For example while Japan is very much westernized (what with way too short skirts and dyed hair), so far I have not seen any public display of intimacy.
(This is a anecdotal evidence and a poor one at that)
I think there is no absolute rule for this, some societies accept kissing as a social practice, and some do not. It is more of a matter of social convention than any “prudishness”. Ultimately as far as judging societies are concerned we have to consider time and place and even then it can be only a thumb of rule. Any attempt to draw water tight compartments can only lead to slippery slopes one way or another.
Ironically for the short time I was in USA, I came to know that if males were to become too friendly in public they can be considered as “brokeback cowboys”. Fortunately in India there is no such danger of misunderstanding.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:25 pm
There is a theory (proposed by me)which says that those living in boys hostels become crazy, doubly if they happen to belong to IIT.
One example is the word “sexy”, usually used for the fairer half (although some times used for rougher half also), nowadays it is being used as a superlative form of “cool” which itself is superlative form of “hot”. However its application becomes rather confusing in IIT campus.
For example, “neural network, it is so sexy!” or “
PerduePurdue is a sexy University” while puritans and punks alike may object to such flagrant abuse of the adjective, nevertheless it is more or less the accepted idiom in IITs.
In my view this occurs because of the severe gender imbalance in ecology of IIT.
A ratio of around 14: 1 (14 boys to 1 girl) means that males live under constant strain of competition for propagation of the genes (this doesn’t mean that any child is conceived in IITs, just that the instinct for mating is very strong and can mostly explain for what is called love).
Those who succeed in finding a suitable mate live under constant fear of being usurped by a stronger candidate while those who fail usually become bloggers or crack putrid sexist joke about feminine form (Atleast I do).
This environment can provide an interesting subject to anthropologists.
This will also make a good documentary for Animal Planet “Alpha Males of IIT”.
(I am somewhere below Omega)
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:20 pm
have a tentative theory. As far as evolution of species on Gaia goes homo sapiens are pretty much the final result. It is not because evolution which mean random mutation and natural selection will cease, but it will become insignificant in comparison to advances in human technology.
While the form of living organisms may seem complicated the fact remains that it is the result of evolution spanning over billion of years. While at present Human technology has many significant shortcomings as compared to nature, the advances have occurred in such a short time that in cosmological terms our modern civilization is less than blinking of eye. So where does that leave the humans. What will we finally evolve as? One answer is physically and psychologically perfect species of Einstein.
Probably! but why should advancement stop at that level. All said and done protein based life forms are fragile and can thrive in a very narrow scale of cosmological parameters. What if humans are able to download their personalities to computers? While it is better than protein based biology the severe disadvantage is that the reproduction is fairly difficult, and unlike protein based life form, it is not scalable from molecular level. What about Nano life forms? While it will solve the problem of reproduction, survival of Nano life forms will be some what analogous to protein bases life forms.
This brings us to the next question, why is reproduction necessary? The reason is that protein based life form being ephemeral, it is necessary to reproduce in order to perpetuate life itself. This will lead us to the meaning of life ofcourse ,but it is a philosophical conundrum so it can be postponed for further discussion. If life were to be based on such form, where it was immortal or near immortal, the problem of reproduction will be solved. How can this be achieved? Who knows ?
May be after million or billion years the humans will find a way to transform into pure energy form. May be we will continue in this flesh and blood, or may be humans will be extinct to be replaced by machines.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:19 pm
A classic is a book that everyone wants to keep in the book case but no one wants to read.
There are two such classics that I tried to read and I am still not able to figure out why.
One is Ulysses by James Joyce. It is story of Mr. Leopold Bloom, a Jew in Dublin, a tale of his travels on a single day. Since it is considered to be most influential novel in 20th century, I think there must be some point in the story, but which evades me to this day. This work was banned for excessive vulgarity in England and Probably USA. Understandable considering it starts with Mr. Bloom trying to clear his bowels.
The other book is “Thus spake Zarathustra”, while not as recondite as Ulysses, being about birth of ubermensch and Dionysian man, its biblical narration makes it difficult for some one like me who at best has average comprehension skills.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:15 pm
In the aftermath of any terror attacks, there is a rush (in India and in west) to condemn blasts. The condemnation has become benchmark for any secularist (pseudo-secularist, in popular parlance) to prove his/her secularism.
Alternatively there is expectation from Muslims to condemn blasts in order to reaffirm his/her Indian roots. The second instinct is to assert how India is a resilient country and nothing can deter the Indians.
I think this is just lots of hot air.
No, I don’t mean that there should not be any condemnation. If there has to be any civil society, such acts need to be denounced.
First problem is this indignation and cheer leading has a diminishing return.
After the first attack, the condemnation and all the pep talk about how Indians are resilient, is effective. It boosts the morale and discourages any fringe group to manipulate the masses. After second attack, the return is diminished, after nth attack only the gullible believe in this (which is not a bad thing considering we are all gullible at sometime)
Second problem which is much more serious is that such kind of knee jerk responses are just symptoms of “politically correct” shallowness and ignores the real issue which is growing radicalism.
This ofcourse is somewhat intentional and arises out of a righteous albeit misguided bent of mind. The intention here is to protect “minorities” from real or imagined threats from “majority”.*
The result however is to cover up the causes and discourage any serious discussion on terrorism. The result is that terrorism and what is more serious radicalization continues. Another result is that in long run, even the “minorities” which are hurt by this process, first by antipathy of “majority”, second by handing over power to radical elements in minority group.
Therefore this rhetoric of condemnation and platitudes to India is all fine, but we need to go beyond it, and try to address the issue.
Sadly this is not happening “secular” media (Indian express, TOI, The Hindu, NDTV) covered the Varanasi blasts for 3 days, condemned it using the right words, waxed eloquent on Indian people and gave the story a silent burial.
Even in blogosphere except for Atanu , Nitin, Arnab and Cynical Nerd hardly any of the prominent secular blogger bothered to investigate the issues.
I think this issue is grave enough to deserve our serious attention. Yet I do not think that there will a Blog-O-Thon on this. Too politically incorrect for such things.
But yes they did get time to comment on proposed Rath Yatra of Mr. Lal Krishna Advani.
*I say imagined because contrary to what is projected in secular media, it is not as if (fundamentalist) Hindus have been butchering Muslims. If anything the account of carnage would turn out to be balanced. I will not engage here in Hindu did it first or Muslims did it first, Hindu-Muslim relations are very complicated to reduce into such simple equations.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 12:38 pm
So you think that it is only Indian politicians who are demagogue and pander to their base.
Well then sample this,
Hillary Clinton (D-Senator - NY) speaking at Martin Luther King celebration to predominantly black audience, “The Congress has been run like a plantation by Republicans”
GWB gets a lot of flack for his lack of language comprehension, however all said and done he doesn’t indulge in character assassinations.
GWB on being asked about Intelligent Design controversy, “I think Intelligent Design should be discussed along with Darwinian evolution”
While we are at it, I demand that theory of stokes should be discussed along with theory of sexual reproduction.
I am thankful that for all our superstitions, India doesn’t have this controversy.
Ofcourse this doesn’t stop our leaders to take a dip in Ganga or perform a yagna whenever there is solar eclipse.
Ray Nagin (D- Mayor of New Orleans) speaking at a conference, “When New Orleans is rebuilt, it will be a chocolate city”, I bet if some white conservative to say that, there will a big outcry against “The Man”.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:50 am
Friday, March 10, 2006
For once and all I want to settle question of J & K.
First at the time of partition, although it was a Muslim majority state it was being ruled by a Hindu king (Maharaja Hari Singh )who was facing a popular resistance being led by Sheikh Abdullah.
Now Pakistan claimed J&K on the basis of it being Muslim majority state.
However King was unwilling to do so, he wanted to have an independent state and so he delayed. Pakistan afraid that king will accede to India launched an attack using tribes. King asked help from India, but India refused to help until King acceded to India taking Sheikh Abdullah into confidence. Now it is difficult to believe today but during partition J&K was largely unaffected by rioting, in fact it was for most part picture of communal harmony. Sheikh Abdullah himself was not enthusiastic about joining Pakistan, so he agreed to the accession.
After King had signed the instrument of accession Indian army joined the war and was almost successful in repelling the attacking and could have repulsed the tribal forces. However Nehru acting contrary to political wisdom (not for the first time or for the last time) decided to go to UN under “unlawful foreign incursion”, however under Anglo-American bloc political maneuvering UN passed a resolution under “disputed territory”. The first condition of resolution was that Pakistan remove her army from J&K territory. This Pakistan never did and therefore I think it is absurd to expect now India to call referendum, in short it is a closed chapter.
Another meme is how Kashmiri terrorism is a result of poverty, unemployment or Indian Army. This is another falsehood. The terrorism started in 1986 after more than 37 years of Indian rule, before that Kashmiris had no problem. In fact when Pakistani Army sent intruders in J & K in 1965, to its dismay not only the local population did not support the incursion, it helped India against them.
Also one reason that is counted for terrorism is how Congress rigged elections in 1987 with National Conference. While the way Congress formed a coalition was absurd, this was in no way limited to J&K, the natural conclusion of above absurd assertion would be that Bengalis and Biharis also become terrorists.
The terrorism in Kashmir was direct fallout of Afganistan conflict between USSR and USA. Pakistan used American money and weapons meant for Afganistani Mujahideen to incite terrorism in J&K. In this way America could have been said to sponsor Kashmiri terrorism.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 11:14 am
The bomb blasts in Varanasi released my anger which was building up since long time, to be specific since UPA came to power. No, I don’t claim that BJP is perfect. I am not very proud of the fact that Mr Vajpayee let Musharraf make a comeback, I am also not very proud of what happened in Gujarat.
However all said and done, if I have to make a choice between political parties it is going to be BJP for three seasons
1) It is a nationalist party
2) It doesn’t treat Hindu like dirty rags
3) Only in BJP, one can become a leader, irrespective of his/her background or surname.
Since this present abomination came to power, it has done everything from subverting the constitution, to pandering to vested interest in Muslim communities, to genuflecting before naxalites, to communalizing foreign policy and to convert union cabinet into a criminal line up.
The Prime Minister is a joke and one of the worst lame duck leaders having never been elected in Lok Sabha and presently representing Assam without being a resident of the state.
The real power behind PM, Sonia Gandhi is a moron, who if not for her surname would be serving pizzas.
And yet, even though government is blundering from one scandal to another scandal, media is treating the government with kid gloves. Journalists like Shekhar Gupta are playing loyal opposition, absolving PM and Sonia Gandhi from any charge. NDTV for all purposes has become a Congress mouth piece.
This is one of the most irresponsible government with the minister working on cross purposes and contradicting PM, and yet the media is not taking PM to task, letting him go away with anything and everything.
Ofcourse there is a simple explanation. English media comprising almost exclusively of secularists (who more often than not graduated from some school beginning with St.), are doing their damnest to keep BJP out of power.
This government is not about economic reform. If anything Chidambaram and Arun Shourie have more in common than between Chidambaram and Sitaram Yechuri. This is to keep BJP out, this is to keep secular stranglehold, this is to keep Hindus as second grade citizens and Muslims as third grade citizens.
The upshot is I reacted in a rather negative way. Since it is out of way I hope I will not burst a vein soon.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 10:48 am
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Via Indian Express
Pak arrests 1000 kite-flyers under terror laws
"Pakistan has detained 1,000 people for flying kites and warned they could be tried as terrorists after 10 people were killed in a week by strings coated with glass or made from metal"
I can not emphasize this enought.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Kites sare evil. If you let your children fly them, they will grow up to be terrorist.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 10:02 am
You want offensive cartoons ?
Try this (Via michelle malkin)
I don't think there is any need to explain.
Even though I am a Hindu, and even though I disagree with Christians, I find it disgusting.
That is why I think that freedom without responsibility is a dangerous thing.
Also why this will not be a problem with liberals in west.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:27 am
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:15 am
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Meek shall never inherit the earth.
Personally I believe in giving as good as I get, sometimes more than that.
And I have no compunction in using weapons to save my life or my country.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:50 am
BJP to ask for removal of Sonia Gandhi
I am not an admirer of Sonia Gandhi or for that matter Gandhi – Nehru dynasty.
If I had my way I will deport the sorry bunch to Burkina Faso or Ulan Bater.
But that is not the issue. The problem here is that BJP is direction less. It happened as soon as it assumed power at the centre, compulsions of coalition politics meant that it had to put its core agenda on the back burner. It never had any economic agenda to speak of (or for that matter any political party).
However as long as it was in power there was any need for it. But since it lost elections it is running like a headless chicken. From one issue to another issue it is stumbling along the way squandering countless opportunities presented to it on so many occasions. Its reactions in their partisan tenor have been of almost reflexive nature. Unless it formulates a coherent strategy, it will continue to blunder along. That doesn’t mean that it can not come to power, if Indian politics teaches anything, it is that success is remarkably content free and intelligence neutral. However as an ardent BJP supporter I think I deserve more than just another version of Congress.
There is an issue of leadership. I have two names one is Sushma Swaraj. I know libertarians and moral bandits will snicker on the choice, but frankly speaking I could care less about brain dead issues such as sexual liberty and blah blah blah.
Another one is Arun Shourie, I know he is hardly a popular leader, but he posses the intellectual power to forge a coalition.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:48 am
There is Blog-a- Thon (by Blank Noise Project) current underway on women harassment such as eve teasing and physical intimidation. I have not much to say about it.
I have read innumerous accounts of this and I find it is detestable. However fortunately, I have never witnessed anything of this nature.
But I have heard few accounts. One was how few students made it a point to grope girls in disco held during our annual spring festival. Second was how at one time one friend of mine felt some one up. As I said I find it disgusting beyond description.
But ultimately if this has to stop, public has to stop take it lying down. While writing blogs about it is something I appreciate, I don't think it will stop the reprehensible acts, as greatbong has pointed out.
There is another point, generally if a girl were to accuse a boy in crowd, the boy will be beaten first and then handed to police and then may be asked for question.
Fortunately speaking, I have hardly experienced (being ascetic and all) or witnessed it. Unfortunately for me, however once I had a rather irritating experience, I and my friends were watching a movie in theatre, next to us a couple was sitting with girl next to my friend.
Now girl asked one of my friends to cut down the noise, since the whole hall was noisily making the comments (including ironically the couple), my friend refused to do so, politely pointing out that the couple was itself noisy.
What happened next was unexpected. The boyfriend misunderstood my friend (who I must say is a honorable man) and started fighting, the girl also joined, soon guys (and girls) in front and back started supporting the couple assuming that we had done something wrong. Ultimately ushers asked us to change the seats, which we refused to do, they were going to throw us out, but then my friend managed to convince them we had done nothing to girl.Ultimately the boy and the girl swapped the seats.
We were lucky as girl also agreed the fact, but if she had said anything to contrary out of annoyance, we would have humiliated for sure or probably beaten, because there was no way we were going to take it lying.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:22 am
Terror arrived today to the holy city of Varanasi. As has been the pattern, the blast at Sankat Mochan Temple targeted women and children. (Via rediff and Pankaj)
That is the problem that Indian secularist do not understand.
Terrorism or fundamentalism do not start with a bang but it creeps slowly until it reaches a tipping point.
It is in vested interest of our secularist to ignore warnings and when it happens just act shocked.
What a bunch of bleeping morons!
And let us make no mistake this is an attack on Hindus, and for that reason I am sure that either secular apologists will sweep it under carpet or sweeten it (if that is possible) as "attack on nation".
Oh ! it has already started, the irony is that BJP is as much responsible for softening on Pakistan as Congress or our secular dolt in media. The second irony is that if anything it will end up harming Muslims in the end, towards whom apparently media acts so protectively. Ofcourse it doesn't care about Muslims. It has to destroy Hinduism and Muslims provide a shoulder (sometimes unknowingly, sometimes knowingly) for them to shoot.
As soon as this settles the old canard of how there is no Al Qaida in India will start.
My foot it is
I agree with this totally,
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living: “Terrorists are specially attacking the Hindu community. Today, Hindus are feeling completely unsafe.”
Well thought posts by Cynical Nerd here , here and here.
A brief post by Nitin.
A must read by Greatbong, and when I say must it means must.
Expectedly usual bunch of secularists are either silent or coming up with this.
Sandeep has expressed his frustation with the "secular media".
The priest of secularism has spoken.
"While India needs to take all possible steps to hunt down the terrorists and to secure our people, we must understand the likely nature of these provocations and not create an excuse for Pakistan's many friends in Washington to snub President Bush's deal with India.
It is India's measured response to even the most extreme Pakistani provocation that will, ironically, emerge as the fitting epitaph for the idea of Pakistan."
In normal language,
"Bend over and grease up. Do not complain. It is a matter of prestige for Dear Leader Sonia Gandhi"
I wonder when it comes to attack against Hindus, why do secularists lose their power of virulent rhetoric and sound so lame. But then Hindus are cheap, I mean how can be there a sob story for the majority.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:12 am
Monday, March 06, 2006
I am wary of so called Dalit Activists. Chandrabhan Prasad is one such fine example. Going through his columns I fail to understand what is he aiming for.
If it were for upliftment and progress of Dalits I could have understood it.
And yet even a cursory reading will be sufficient to establish the fact that whatever the intentions, the writer spends much of energy and space in ranting against upper caste. I do not deny the fact that there is a sufficient ground for any Dalit Activist to be irate.
I accept that casteism has been a bane of our society and Dalits have been oppressed. I will not speculate the origins or intentions of caste, it might have social stratification or it might have been racism, but let it be said whatever the intentions, the effect of caste has been most pernicious not only on the oppressed caste, but also on Indian society.
However what I do not understand is how a Dalit Activist proposes to resolve this. So far my experience has been that Dalit Activists are more interest in visceral hared against Upper castes, than any constructive program. The ire and anger towards upper caste is so absolute and all encompassing, it makes one wonder that this hostility is more a result of resentment than any serious contemplation.
The language of Dalit Activist is that of a polemicist. His enemy is each and every person belonging to upper caste.
I belong to upper caste, I did not choose to be one, it was just a matter of birth and for me caste identity holds least importance.
Neither I nor any member of family (immediate or extended) has ever discriminated against dalits either consciously or unconsciously.
Therefore I fail to understand ire of Dalit Activist towards me, or my family, because he directs his bile towards, all sparing none. In doing so, by marking me as an object for hatred and contempt, he is perpetuating casteism.
Instead of obliterating caste identities, he is just making them stronger.
But the matter doesn’t stop here, while creating a permanent enemy helps in consolidating the constituency, it does nothing to uplift them. On the contrary by aggravating social division it works against dalits.
Dalit Activist professes to work for Dalits. Yet by slandering Hinduism he causes acrimony and division. Blinded by pseudo – scientific theories of racial division between upper castes and lower caste, it seeks to create separate and antagonistic identities. Neither is this intellectually honest, while caste oppression has been a feature of Hindu society for long time, so is the fact that social reformers and saints have worked against it.
The final result is that it will work against Dalits, but in all probability that is the intention of these activists.
PS To understand his rhetoric, see rig vedic budget, according to gentlemen the lack ofo reform (or industrilization) is not due to obstructionist policies of communist thugs but becauase of brahiminnical conspiracy. Also note the wonderful comparision between Dalits and Dasyus.
The irony is that as far as I remember Chidambaram is hardly a brahmin or for that matter pro- Hindu.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 4:14 pm
An interesting post by Amit Ghate concerning western civilization. (via lgf)
I agree for the most past. West is indeed an intellectual descendant of Ancient Greeks, even Roman Empire for most part was extension of Greeks. Where Romans excelled was in modifying the institutions which were robust enough to handle the extent of Roman Empire. If I may be pardoned the geek slang, Roman architecture was scalable.
Here I will beg to differ from the writer, while influence of Greek is most visible on west, role of Judea- Christian ethos is also significant.
Christians were persecuted by Romans for their belief and practice before Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as state religion. Therefore Church developed an early antagonism towards roman ethos. The reason because Church became so popular in the first place because Rome had descended to hedonism, (refer this post). That said early church borrowed a lots of idea from Greeks, especially Plato. That was one of the reason that Greek wisdom survived even if dormant. In addition to this Ten Commandments and Gospels helped establish an egalitarian society. Overall the relation between modern west, ancient Greek and Christianity is complicated.
As I have said before that when Indians think of west, we fail to appreciate the history behind west. West was not built in a day. Further it is my belief that Indic civilization holds as much promise as, if not more than Greek civilization.
Also Indian ethos and Greek ethos complement and compete at the same time.
Lastly more than radical Islam west should be more concerned about itself.
West is again sinking into a state of morass arising out of absolute individualism and hedonism. West might again go the way of Romans.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:26 pm
Friday, March 03, 2006
There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
Although I am not an economist, I think that much of the debate in blogosphere regarding Indian Economy can be summarized in the above quote. I am afraid that much of acrimony regarding prediction of Indian Economy and it's comparison with China while not exactly tarot card reading, is nevertheless an exercise in speculation based on overstretched assumption resulting in expectation which can only be termed as irrational exuberance.
Why do I feel like this? Consider the problem that Indian growth is sustainable or just flash in the pan? Now not being an expert on it, I do not know.
What I do know is that there are significant roadblocks; one is dismal condition of infrastructure. Another is less than flattering education standards, yet another is dysfunctional administrative structures, controlled market and restrictive labor laws.
Sure they are mentioned as a footnote in any essay, but I have yet to see their detailed analysis in either media or blogosphere.
I am afraid that either people have become overconfident or worse assuming that all things will remain constant. And that is what I am afraid of; our competitors are catching up all the time.
Reforms have been stalled at least till 2009, Indian industries are still pygmies compared to global giants and it is not clear to me whether they will be able to scale up or not.
Further the opportunity cost is steadily increasing, for example toys manufacturing. India is suitable placed to leverage as it is possible to acquire technical know how as well as there is a robust domestic demand, however since it is reserved for small scale industry, there is a situation where market is inundated with Chinese imports.
Another example is shipbuilding and ports, both of these industries are labor intensive and as such Indian and them are made for each other and yet there is hardly any movement. These issues are important and in my view serious enough to spoil the party.
That is the reason I remain skeptical of rosy analysis.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 2:24 pm
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 2:20 pm
I remember a remark that US President George Bush made, that US wanted to make India a superpower. As much as I appreciate President and USA, I think any such assumption is delusional or worse disingenuous. One can no more make anyone a superpower as he can make him a genius. That status has to be achieved. Respect is earned not petitioned.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 11:03 am
Secular – Right posted about a debate regarding reform of Islam.
The gentleman who was representing Islam, to me seemed to be not at ease; his arguments were evasive and tended to be defensive.
The problem with any discussions can be stated like this.
How Islam (or any religion for that matter) is defined. If it is assumed that Koran contains words of Allah in immutable and final form and therefore a true Muslim has to obey it in absolute sense without modifying any of the instructions, it poses a problem because along with suras which instruct for kindness and tolerance, there are many others which instruct to ruthlessly crush the non-believers.
This is not unique to Islam. Old Testament, New Testament and Hindu scriptures contain lots of instructions which call for violence which will be unacceptable in modern civilization. This is a dilemma for any religious person, but especially adherent to “book”, by this I mean Muslims and to a large extent Christians. It is sought to be resolved by reinterpretation of the inconvenient verses, this in my view is a self defeating exercise.
For example there are verses which exhort to eliminate idolaters, or which instruct to distrust Jews. The instructions are clear enough, they can not be reinterpreted or limited, nor is it possible to quote some other instruction which preach tolerance. This causes lots of stress to anyone willing to follow the canon.
As a religious person here is my thought on that. I was born Hindu therefore I have a natural bias for Hinduism. I hope I will be able to form a consistent world view, a right way in other words. It might be Hinduism or Christianity or even Atheism. I am a seeker, since I have a. inherent affinity with religion of my birth, I am also skeptical of my conclusions.
I do not accept that scriptures were handed to us by God. They were written by men, exceptional men no doubt but men nevertheless. Therefore scriptures contain human wisdom, they also contain human folly.
I will accept scriptures which I agree with, I will reject those I do not agree with.
For example I accept of a higher truth, but I reject discrimination on basis of birth. I accept dharma but reject suppression of women.
The earliest Hindus were seekers of knowledge; least I can do is to emulate them.
From “Beyond the Horizon” by Robert Heinlein (I have not finished the book yet)
“The only rational personal philosophy based on a conviction that we die dead, never to rise again, is a philosophy of complete hedonism. Such a hedonist might seek his pleasure in life in very subtle, indirect, and sublimated fashions; nevertheless pleasure must be his only rational purpose-no matter how lofty his conduct may appear to be. On the other hand, the possibility of something more to life than the short span we see opens up an unlimited possibility of evaluations other than hedonistic.”
This is the reason all philosophies whether theist or atheist, strive to assign some value system independent of and outside logic and perceptions.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:08 am
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Anti-Bush anger spills onto Delhi streets,
The usual suspects are Amar Singh (who in addition to being a second rate celebrity and third rate politician, is also a first rate telephone conversationist) and China worshippers like A B Bardhan, D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat.
They are leading the usual bunch of gullible and clueless public.
In way they are yang to fawning Indian media.
It is all a circus.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:26 pm
I wonder what would have happened if Indira Gandhi had married a "LokhandWala" instead of "Gandhi", I think India would have been a much better place.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:21 pm
If anyone were reading Indian news papers (or portals for that matter), he would have found it impossible to miss the ecstasy over visit of US President George Bush. In contrast American newspapers (and even the bloggers) have missed this story or at most given a cursory coverage. Similarly visit of Indian Prime Minister to US is hardly any news.
Now I am not questioning this asymmetry, I perfectly understand that India is nowhere near US either economically or military wise.
As much as I would like India to be a superpower, she is not, what is more there is no guarantee that India will be one is near or far future.
However I do object to the revolting fascination of Indian media. I do not understand for example why the fact GWB will be eating mutton biryani is news. The way Indian media is covering the present visit it almost seems that GWB is a monarch and Indians are his subjects.
Why should media blow by blow account of visit, with such embellishments as how he is awed by India or what he wrote at Rajghat is beyond my comprehension.
When the west stereotype India, we are partially responsible for it.
By dissecting such trivialities in such a earnest manner, Indian media is just showing how a particular group of India suffers from low self esteem.
PS. Atanu wrote about inane obsession of Indian media with current visit.
I do not share Atanu's scorn for GWB, while he is not a Thomas Jefferson, I prefer him over
John "Benedict Arnold"Kerry
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:08 pm