Category Archives: India

Like these brothers who couldn't spell 'Israel' because their struggle is rael. They're also not particularly fond of the card game Uno. 

Pic: Dawn.com

The origins of ‘Fuck off to Pakistan!’

‘Fuck off’ has been the nation’s war cry for a long time now.

It is not due to the Surgical Strike in Kashmir or the ‘Sir jee, kal strike’ in Kolkata. For a while now, we have been obsessed with kicking people out. 

The sentiment is not restricted to nationality and jingoism. We do it among ourselves too. Pioneers of this school of thought are the two Senas in Maharashtra – Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Right from the attacks against ‘Madrasis’ 30 years ago, to the present day, they have been playing the ‘Fuck off’ game to stellar effect.

Those who cannot speak Marathi fuck off to your own states. Biharis fuck off from Mumbai. Pakistani cricketers fuck off to your country, or we’ll dig up the pitch – which if you think about it, doesn’t do much good for anybody. If the Shiv Sena really wanted to win the nation’s approval, they should have dug up the pitch just a little. Just enough for Anil Kumble to razzmatazz the fuck out of Pakistani batsmen, dismissing them for 73 runs. That would have been smart, but alas! – Shiv Sena.

But it is not just them. Other ‘Fuck off’ situations are those between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Two seemingly developed, mature states that produced stately statesmen like Javagal Srinath and S. Venkataraghavan. The two states have been asking people to fuck off to their own states with the recent Cauvery imbroglio. Telangana people wanted Andhra people to fuck off, Kannada people wanted North-easterns to fuck off. Kashmiri separatists committed an entire genocide to ask Pundits to fuck off. Our primeval response to conflict is ‘Bhai, bahut ho gaya. Ab tum nikal lo’.

Then there is the case of social media and popular opinion. A comment that doesn’t fit the mould of a patriotism is met with – Fuck off to Pakistan. Criticism of The Leader elicits the cry to fuck off. An alternate opinion, and you’re asked to fuck off. Criticise a God, and you’re asked to fuck off.

I do not insinuate that we are the only country with such reactions. Our neighbours across the border have fancy protest too.

Like these brothers who couldn't spell 'Israel' because their struggle is rael. They're also not particularly fond of the card game Uno. Pic: Dawn.com

Like these brothers who couldn’t spell ‘Israel’ because their struggle is rael. They’re also not particularly fond of the card game Uno.
Pic: Dawn.com

Or these dudes, whose slogan 'Go India, Go back' makes you wonder if they're egging us on, or egging us out. Pic: www.latimes.com

Or these dudes, whose slogan ‘Go India, Go back’ makes you wonder if they’re egging us on, or egging us out.
Pic: www.latimes.com

But what really is this obsession with ‘Leave our land’?

Is this an inherently Indian phenomenon? Has it somehow been ingrained into our consciousness?

I think it has to do with the way our families and societies are constructed. We as a culture live with our parents and the cruelest punishment is to banish the child from the house.

Our greatest stories, our oldest epics – from Ramayan to Devdas, involve a son being asked to leave the house. Our films and our novels further propagate this idea.

And perhaps that has seeped into the way we think. Perhaps that is why we as a nation are obsessed with kicking people out of our country, our states, and our screens. The reasons may vary, the conflicts may be diverse, but the response is standard – Nikal lo.

But when there’s a war, or a question raised on our nation, we all stand together. The Bihari banished from Mumbai and the Kannada banished from Chennai. We get together and ask the new enemy to leave the nation. May be ‘ghar se nikal jao’ is a big deal for us. Perhaps it has become our first response.

As the K3G soundtrack plays in the distance, I notice that we had a traitor living amongst us all these days. Time for me to do what I must. 

Dear ToI, You Deserve The Slap You Got.

The recent ‘OMG Deepika Padukone shows cleavage’ controversy was mighty cathartic for me.

A newspaper is the first thing I look at in the morning, and the pain I felt every morning, for years, is indescribable. You hold the newspaper in your hand; you want to see what’s happening in the world. A supplement slips out on to the ground, with an article ‘Bips’ dog fucks Sushmita’s cat’. The rest of your day is shit.

The first newspaper I ever read was The Asian Age. They were gossipy too, but back in those days, even gossiping was done with class, I guess. At school, when I began to read the newspaper for cricket, it was The Hindu.

In my +2, I got to pick my own newspaper.

The Oriya newspapers were all printed on re-recycled paper, their pages greyish, their images blurred. Among English newspapers, The Hindu would arrive in the evening, so fat lot of good that did me. The other papers – The Indian Express, The Telegraph, The Statesman – were all published from Calcutta and carried news from there. The Times of India had a desk of their own in Bhubaneswar, and also, their pages were colourful and glossy.

And so, like a monkey that goes for a jangly toy, I chose The Times of India.

Shifting to Hyderabad meant a rekindling with The Hindu, and in spite of all its problems, it still is a better newspaper to read. They say ‘Tell Me Your Company, I’ll Tell You Who You Are’. I would say, what newspaper a person reads is also a parameter for me.

“If your window to the world is a sleazy money-minting newspaper, I wouldn’t credit you with much.”

– Judge Judgerson.

1. Gimmicky: The Times of India, especially if you read the mobile version, hits you as extremely gimmicky. Their headlines put the Sen in sensational. And what can I say about their entertainment articles!

All ToI entertainment articles are written in a certain way. It’s like the editor got a bit of news, it’s placed on the table, and the sub-editors are asked to make it as KLPD-ish for the readers as possible.

                                   ACTRESS CAUGHT TALKING ‘DIRTY’!

by Anjali Fakesurnamewali

Bollywood heartthrob Simran Shetty got ‘dirty’ on Wednesday while promoting her film ‘HairBrain’.

During the media interaction, the smouldering actress was asked what was her favourite city. When asked what she liked the most about Chandigarh, she said that it is the cleanest city.

She went on to add that all other cities should take steps to keep their cities clean and recycle their waste. Hmm, we wonder what made the actress to talk ‘dirty’ in public. Her fans sure want to know.

2. No Respect for Privacy of Any Sort:

While it preaches about the representation of women and stuff in its editorials, the entertainment section seems to have Shakti Kapoor as Chief Editor.
If Aishwarya Rai turns up at Cannes (which she does, every year), our brothers at ToI will publish an article saying ‘Aish’s hottest dresses at Cannes’. Shweta Basu was caught in the prostitution racket, there will be an article called ‘Actresses who were caught in sex scandals’. Out of which there will be two genuine cases, the rest would be ‘allegations’.
And not content with having people surf through such tripe, ToI ensures that they earn money while they are at it. So each of those articles will be in the form of a slide show, so you keep paying a little bit of your internet costs to educate yourself.
 
 
 
3. No Moral Compass Whatsoever: 
 
When the Times Group got into entertainment, it wasn’t in the GEC category, it was the entertainment section, in the form of ‘Zoom’, perhaps the most useless channel in the history of useless channels. For a group that claims to be the largest media conglomerate, encompassing TV, print, radio, and news, the quality of the channel seems like it has come from the Ramsay stable. 
 
Zoom leaves no ambiguity in what it wants you to do. Zoom – Isko Dekho. Isko dekho aur hippopotamus jaisa IQ pao. What passes off as ‘news’ on the channel would make even our sleazy brothers at TV9 – another torchbearer of sleaze – go ‘Yeh toh bada ToI hai’. Take for example this news about scratches on Deepika Padukone’s back. Which by the way was the reason for rising crude oil prices in the Middle East. 
 
 
 
4. Paid News: While the terms is freely thrown around in political battles and random bitching about the media, paid news is a highly problematic phenomenon. And our brothers at ToI are leading the way. You’ll regularly find articles called ‘Advertorials’ singing paeans about a company, institution, or personality. While it sounds like an oxymoron – how can ‘news’ be ‘paid’ for? – reading the Times of India first thing in the morning is a sureshot way to end up in an asylum. 
 

And in spite of the rather lame justifications for it, paid news is not the only problem. The front page of the newspaper is filled with ads for toothpaste, real estate, and underwears. And who can forget the fiasco they created when they entered Tamil Nadu. For those of you who live on Uranus, here is what happened.

The Times of India was entering Chennai, traditionally the stronghold of The Hindu. In true ToI style, they released an ad depicting The Hindu as a newspaper that puts people to sleep.

 
The Hindu reacted in stellar style, delivering one of the greatest bitch-slaps ever delivered, with an ad that showed Times of India for what it really is – an encyclopaedia of who dated whom. 
 
 
5.  Coverage of Rape/Violence News: In spite of parroting lines like ‘We shouldn’t shame the victim’ and other such rhetoric, the Times of India has its own unique way of reporting stories pertaining to rapes and molestations. Every story will have an image of a woman crying out, or covering her head in shame, or screaming in fear. These graphics stand out, adding further sensation to the stories, which aren’t really reported with much sensitivity. 
 
times of india

Every story has an image like this.

 

So here’s the deal, dear Times of India. You might be the largest read English newspaper in the country, but that is more due to the spectacular spawning rate we Indians maintain. It is hardly surprising that someone like Arnab Goswami heads your TV channel. Reading your newspapers feels like entering his brain for half an hour every day. 
 
If you really take pride in being the largest read newspaper in the world, grow a spine. Act like the largest read newspaper in the world, not like a sleazy daily version of Manohar Kahaaniyan. 
 
I am glad someone gave it back to you. You really had it coming. 

***

What a (rotten) Idea, sir ji!

Yet another Indian festival is coming up, and like every other brand, Idea has decided to make a new advertisement for Raksha Bandhan.

Every year, Idea has been making ads on everything that plagues the nation. Corruption, Cultural Differences, Overpopulation, Illiteracy, and Environment.

Each and every of those problems, solved by some half shit idea that wouldn’t be published in Champak, and a smug Abhishek Bachchan at the end smiling like he pooped an Oscar statue in the morning.

Now, I don’t have anything against bad ads. Pepsi has been making shitty ads since decades. Brainless montages of clips and punchlines that have no link whatsoever to each other. There’s no harm in that (except to MJ’s hair).

But it is pretentious ads that make me puke. And I don’t really see a point in it. I mean, it’s not as if you are educating the people about the problems of the country. Neither are you putting forth a serious (or even a funny) solution to the problem.

Instead, all the ads have asinine hypotheses like wives watching 3G on their phone to reduce population, or people using their phone numbers instead of their names. Which not only makes a mockery of the problems in the first place, they mock our intelligence. It is not interesting, it is not funny.

It is plain stupid. The kind of thing I would make my enemy watch on his deathbed.

With Rakhsa Bandhan coming up, the think-tank drink-drank at Idea Cellular decided to come up with another idea.

In this ad, a girl is riding towards somewhere, asks a cop for directions, and then ties him a rakhi. In the end, in the same smiling, pompous tone like in all their ads, we are told what a brilliant idea it is.

It is not, sir. It’s a fucking stupid idea.

Here’s why.

1. Cops are assholes.

The police is supposed to be the protector of law. The ones who enforce that everything goes in order and no one harms anyone else, and perfect law and order is maintained.

But in reality, the cops are hated. They are scoffed at, loathed, feared. Anything but respected. And with reason.

I have never seen one, not one, policeman who is polite, and seems like he is paid to follow some rules, and is not fucking Zeus.

The cops are bullies, modern day bandits who go around in their vans, immune and fearless – shouting, beating, bullying, and extracting money from anyone who they see fit, on that particular day.

No one questions it, no one says a word. You keep quiet and avoid a cop at all costs. I have seen young Home Guards – hardly 25 – abuse and slap an elderly gentleman. Films like Dabbang give the image of a cop a halo, making it even more acceptable that a cop can enter a room and start beating up people. No one finds any problem with that.

The government pumps in money, fuelling their vans, so these fat, unfit, uncouth bullies can go around striking fear in the hearts of people.

And no one says a word.

Transparency International, in its Global Corruption Barometer 2013 survey, that tracks public opinion on corruption, reported that about 75% of the country thought that the police was corrupt. Second only to political parties. Also, 62% of the respondents said they had paid bribe of some sort to the cops. Also, the figure for annual bribes paid on the road in India is 4.5 million dollars, and Transparency International themselves say this figure might be understated.

But it is not really the corruption that is unsettling about the cops. It is the impunity with which they treat people – like thieves and slaves.

But then, that’s not the only reason your idea sucks donkey balls. Here’s the second.

2. Cops don’t give a fuck about women.

Keeping general behaviour aside, cops mutate and transform into monstrous assholes when there is a woman involved.

You may get away with a few hundred rupees, or a litany of apologies, but take a walk with a girl at night, and you are walking around with a can of worms. They will haul you up, ask you for identification, your parents’ numbers, and generally talk to you as if you are a pimp and a whore, taking a walk in the night.

You have to watch how cops look at a woman in a police station, even if most times it is she who is the wronged one.

And before you accuse me of basing my opinion entirely on personal experience, kindly google up on crimes against women by policemen themselves. Forget sensitivity and a sense of duty, even basic courtesies aren’t observed.

soni sori

An intelligent system identifies a problem, and tackles it in the most efficient manner. Crimes against women have been reported everywhere, even causing ripples in the heart of power in the country.

Do you think anything at all has been done, anything at all, to even solve a bit of the problem?

Zero. Zilch. Shunya.

On the other hand, Salman Khan, a criminal who ran over people, will star in Dabbang 34, Sanjay Dutt will star in Policegiri, and Ram Charan, who asked his bodyguards to beat up two software engineers on the road last month, will star in the remake of Zanjeer, where he will play a cop who beats up people.

I am sure he’ll be natural in the role.

And still, no one says a word.

********************************************

So dear head honchos at Idea Cellular, if you could step out of your boardrooms and have a look at the real world, a world that isn’t infested with Bachchans, you’ll realise that the girl would stand in front of a raging bull, than approach a cop. No good can come of that.

And oh, you should fire the guys who make your ads for you.

They’re fooling you. They’re whoring out the biggest problems of the country to you, making you seem like an educated, concerned conglomerate. Do you have an idea that you seem like a bunch of no-brainer idiots, parading around with your lazy, hair-brained ideas, that have no link to the product you’re selling?

No? Well, how about you get idea?