Category Archives: Politics

WELL DONE, ORISSA !!

With most Oriyas, the most common complaint is the lack of representation in media.

The fact that we have such a rich culture/heritage/Chief Minister, and yet none of it is shown to the world outside, while the nation is obsessed with Bengalis/Punjabis, is a common line of complaint that most urban, educated Oriyas hold on to.

In the 70 years of independence, hardly a handful of Oriyas have made any impact outside the state. If featuring in the news is any indicator of such impact, we only have Nandita Das, Debashis Mohanty, and Sudarshan Pattnaik. The only other thing we are in the news for is natural calamities – floods, cyclone, earthquake.

And yet, in the last week, we showed our true colours. Sona Mohapatra sang an Oriya folk song and we filed an FIR against her for committing the grave crime of attempting to re-interpret a folk song. And surprisingly, the outrage is being led by musicians, social workers, artists – people you’d generally expect to have an open mind about such matters. And yet, we cling on to our quaint ideas of ‘culture’ with such insecurity.

Our idea of protecting our culture is making it wear the burkha – it is precious so let us cloak it from head to toe. Let no one touch it, look at it, have anything to do with it. It is ours.

But it isn’t science. It is art.

The very nature of art is to change shape, to adapt, to be embraced by people across generations and still be revered. Sholay, arguably the biggest cinematic product of our nation, has been remade numerous times. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs are adapted, Amir Khusrow and Bulle Shah’s songs are sung by rock bands across the world. Adaptations and interpretations are a part and parcel of art.

Shakespeare is the most widely read playwright in the world. Not because the Kingdom protected his writing and made them sacrosanct. But because Shakespeare has been adapted into every culture, every language, every context. And yet, his writings shine through because they touch something deep within us – they show us our dark sides, they throw light on our good.

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Most of the outrage has been because Sona Mohapatra has ‘polluted’ the song.

Well, if you ask any boy who grew up in Bhubaneswar or Cuttack, you’ll realise there wasn’t much purity to the song when we grew up. For all its rich traditions, Rangabati was sung and performed in baarats – accompanied by sleazy, pedophilic songs about the breasts of 15 year old girls. It was sung on the streets at night, as drunken men shouted out the lyrics, made lewd signs, and generally became a pain in everybody’s asses. I never heard a single of these protectors of culture complain about it.

And to differ in opinion is one thing. To file an FIR? Seriously? Now the artists have to run from pillar to post, deal with court hearings, and get called up like petty criminals – just because they remade a song? Who are we? The Taliban? ISIS??

And who should be the culprit? Well, the youth wing of BJP, who else?

These are the same guys who run around shattering coffee shops and man-handling young girls on Valentine’s Day, these great upholders of the culture of Orissa.

And yet, it is not the first time that we are embarking on such foolishness. A few years ago, a Bill was passed in the Assembly to change the name from Orissa to Odisha. We all celebrated on social networks, and took pride in ‘bringing back our lost glory’. Wait, what the fuck?

How does a name change from Orissa to Odisha change anything? For a state grappling with malnutrition and illiteracy, NOBODY thought it inappropriate to spend crores of rupees on a useless bureacratic process. While we harp on about culture and Oriya pride, nobody speaks about the politics of Orissa. There has been just one Chief Minister for the last fifteen years. While there has been hardly any laudable progress (apart from the usual benefits of modernisation), he is hailed as a ‘clean’ man (*Makes mental note to wear white kurtas when meeting girls*).

Nobody speaks about that. About the fact that politics and the electoral process in Orissa is crumbling. That one man in power for long periods (no matter how good/clean he is) is a disaster for electoral democracy.

We don’t care about such things. What we want, is to cloak our songs with burkhas. Let nobody touch them, for they are ours.

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Well, well done Orissa!

It was just a song on YouTube. People would have watched it, and forgotten about it. But now we have gone ahead and proved to the entire nation how petty and myopic we are!

And singers, writers and musicians from Orissa, beware!

Like Shah Rukh Khan says in one of his shitty romantic films, ‘FIR milenge, chalte chalte!’

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Yo, What’s Your Beef?

In the continuing absurdity that is Indian politics, another chapter was written two weeks ago when the Maharashtra government banned the sale, consumption and possession of beef.

And this has confirmed my staunch belief that religion mixed with politics is a recipe for disaster. As with every stupid government decision, behind every decision, is a hollow, fuck-all logic.

The most common reason stated was that it is hurtful to Hindu sentiments, as the cow is a sacred animal for millions of Hindus.

Firstly, Hinduism isn’t a monolithic religion, it does not have one scripture, one set of rules, or norms. And yet, sadly, all the great upholders of religion on social networking sites seem to follow a certain, media-created idea of Hinduism. One that was woven out of mythological serials on Sunday mornings and Amar Chitra Katha comics.

For if any of these idiots actually read any scriptures, one finds a huge number of references to non-vegetarian food. That it was consumed, written about, and celebrated in a million ways. Yet, for all our pride in our ancient roots, and the wonderful diversity that Hinduism enjoys, we choose to abide by (and shove down upon others’ throats), a particular streak of carefully-chosen Brahminical Hinduism.

They told us that this is what the religion is – encapsulated thousands and thousands of years of a vibrant, unique way of life into a set of Dos and Donts – and like blind sheep, we choose to abide by it.

Then, there was the second logic thrown around.

Why can’t we ban beef, when other nations have banned pork?

Which is such an idiotic logic, that you feel like stuffing a seekh up their ass.

Just because other regressive nations dictate how their citizens should lead their personal lives, why should India do it too? Why are comparisons always made with UAE and Dubai and other regressive states? Why can’t we aspire for higher?

Which is an interesting thought. If you analyse any pro-Hindu dumbwit, you see a pattern. These guys hate Islamic states with all their heart. And yet, they will stand by and applaud as India gets reduced to exactly that – a pseudo-Islamic state that believes it has the right to decide what is right for the people.

And all the supporters of the ban are the same set of people – Hindu, upper caste/class, vegetarians, and BJP supporters. Idiots who drank from the well and now want to spit the wisdom down your throats.

But trying arguing with a BJP fanboy!

For some reason, BJP fans are the most aggressive, intolerant sort on social media networks. The Communist will meander about the discussion and then put up a link to a Rumi poem. The secularist will keep disagreeing, avoiding anything outlandish, for fear of coming across as intolerant. The Congress supporter is still hiding his face in shame. But the BJP supporter!

Arguing with a BJP supporter is like playing Tug of War with an ox. After a point, you look at yourself, wonder what the what the fuck you were thinking, and let go of the rope.

And so obsessed are BJP fanboys of their leader, that they will go on about him on social media when he does something right (I’m not a fanatic, and he IS doing some things right, won’t deny him that).

But when his government does something stupid, the BJP langots simply vanish into thin air. Question them about it, and they’ll share a picture of their dog pooping on a plate of Upma.

And vegetarian animal rights activists will add to the debate with their asinine logic of global warming and animal rights violations. Because it is fine if you slaughter buffaloes, but not cows. Go Mata, go!

What we forget is that beef is cheap, nutritious, tasty food for billions of people. Yes, it is sacred for some Hindus, but so are other animals. In some communities, even onion and garlic are considered unholy because they grow underground (yet another fuck-all logic!). Do we go around banning it?

Why do we have to stoop as low as the extremists?

In many ways, Hinduism is among the most tolerant religions in the world. Why can’t we celebrate that, revel in its diversity, and let people choose what is right for them? Why do we have to stoop to the levels of …ahem…You Know Who?

India doesn’t need to do shit like that, man. Grow up!

And the ruling party imposing rules pertaining to personal life is a dangerous trend. In many…*cough cough*…religious countries, we have seen how disastrous it is for the social fabric of the nation.

And where does this cycle of banning what we don’t approve of, end?

rahul-gandhi

mamata-banerjee final

baba ramdev

kalki avatar fridolin froelich

Roast Roast Na Raha…

Even while watching the AIB show, I was taking guesses as to which jokes would piss off what kind of people of.

There’ll be the saffron idiots who would take offence to jokes on sex and penis and vagina (because they were born by rubbing two logs of wood, adding ghee and setting fire to the yagna). Then there would be those who would whine about respecting parents and family and not exceeding lines.

And when Tanmay Bhat cracked the joke on Modi, a few million Modi fans pausing the video, signing out, and moving on to Niticentral to obtain some quality knowledge on India and the world.

Whether the show was funny, if abuse was necessary, or if the gender and colour jokes were required – can be debated endlessly. But one cannot deny that the show was much needed in a nation like ours, where we have kamandalus stuck up our asses when it comes to swearwords.

The entire debate on swearwords in India is skewed in Ashtavakra ways. Elders ask youngsters not to abuse, and yet we have all seen our fathers with their friends – a few stray ones spill out before they realise you’re in the room. We are fine with racist jokes – chinki, madrasi, sardar – and yet, a motherchod is blasphemous.

Among friends, abuse and swearwords are accepted, but only among them that belong to what we like to call ‘close friends’. Swearing is seen as cheap and classless in native languages, while tossing around the F word (if you are fluent in English) is neo-cool.

And don’t even get me started on humour.

As a nation, we might have achieved many things. A sense of humour is not among them.

We have a fucked up notion of what’s funny, and anybody who doesn’t toe the line can go fuck himself fly a kite. Look at our films, for example.

The joke is always on fat, gay, goofish people. Go through the list of Indian cinema’s greatest comic actors, and they are all oddball characters who are either fat, or short, or dark – the kind who clowns around, gets bashed up by the hero, gets drunk and sings a song – that’s our idea of funny. Even in mythology, there are very few instances of people making fun of the other, and they end with gruesome consequences – Draupadi mocks Duryodhana and sparks a war; Shishupala mocks Krishna and is shown the finger – from which a shiny Sudarshan chakra appears.

A joke is supposed to be cracked on someone stupid, or evil. But good people should never be mocked. It is alright to laugh at Rahul Gandhi, but not at Narendra Modi. Somewhere deep within our psyches, we have come to relate a joke not as a harmless taunt, but as a grave, personal insult.

A GUIDE TO WHAT YOU CAN JOKE ABOUT IN INDIA

                   CAN JOKE ABOUT                CAN’T JOKE ABOUT
Rahul Gandhi Narendra Modi
Sreesanth Sachin Tendulkar
Congress/AAP supporters BJP supporters
Ravana Rama
Sardars Marathis
Arvind Kejriwal Narendra Modi
Pakistan India
Jesus Allah You Know Who

As the show came to an end, I knew these guys were in trouble.

And I wasn’t wrong. If there is one thing we have developed as a nation – it is our predictability.

MNS, that rogue party that beats up people from other states, threatened to boycott Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh’s films. An ex-Censor Board chairman published a comment that deserves a Pulitzer Award for the greatest Tweet written by a penis. There was general hue and cry about aping Western culture.

And then people went back to watching Comedy Nights with Kapil, that artful show which has the most sensitive, tasteful jokes this side of Syria.

But what can I expect when we are ruled by a party that believes in controlling culture and morals along with CRR ratios and currency rates?

Which is when I realised the masterstroke!

We, the unfunny, smug nation that we are, deserve this.

We will whine and complain and crib, while All India Bakchod will rake in the money.

Their show will be downloaded on Torrentz, performances will sell out to packed audiences. Every time a politician cries foul about declining morals, a teenager will light up a joint and laugh her lungs out.

The joke, truly, is on us.

Why are we apologetic about Islamic terror?

Hundreds of children shot dead as they were reading their books. A woman beheaded in Mecca in full public view. Thousands of people slaughtered by Boko Haram.

All these have happened in the last ten days, and the only common thread among them was that the perpetrators screamed ‘Allah O Akbar’ when they killed innocents.

The response of the Indian intelligentsia circuit was predictable as always. On how we are falling into the trap laid out by the terrorists. That they want us to feel angry and lost, and moments like this require us to delve into our deep, humane side. While the terrorist delves into his pocket and pulls out a Kalashnikov.

Why is the whole gamut of rational-atheist-intelligentsia silent about Islam? Why is there always a gigantic blanket of apology over the issue? Why are we embarrassed to talk about Islam and its problems?

The other surprising fact is that the same bunch of people raise a hue and cry when a book is banned. Remember Wendy Doniger’s book? How many people actually read it? How many people did it affect? Were lives lost? Did blood flow?

I understand the common argument – that oppression is not necessarily physical. That suppressing free speech could be as heinous as any other crime. I get all of that. But what about when people are getting slaughtered in reality? What about when gunmen (who are supposedly fighting the cause of Islam, but do not possess the balls to show their face to the world) enter a building and shoot journalists? What about the freedom of speech then?

Most apologist arguments about Islam tread four main lines, each argument a hollow, half-baked dump of an idea. Let’s see what they are:

  1. Not every Muslim is a terrorist: I get pissed off when I read this. Who said that every Muslim is a terrorist? Did anybody say that? Could you show me one book, newspaper, film, or paper that calls every Muslim a terrorist? Nobody does that, not even the Hindutva bigots that you so hate. Relax!
  2. One cannot expect to offend a religion while calling oneself ‘liberal’: Really? How many children died due to the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad? While we constantly call on our brethren to reform themselves to new ideas and times, why should Islam be allowed to continue abiding by laws that were written thousands of years ago?
  3. It is a young religion, and has gone through trials and tribulations inflicted on it by the Western world: Another classic liberal-bullshit liner. Yes, what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan was wrong. But the world doesn’t exist in black and white. There are gigantic shades of grey. What about Boko Haram, then? Did the US bomb people there too? How long are we going to keep blaming the US for all of Islam’s problems?
  4. Violence is always political, Islam is being used by bigots to secure their own motives: Yes, but isn’t it worth discussing what makes Islam so vulnerable to such hijackings? Why don’t other religions (some of which are younger, and are practiced in regions that have witnessed worse horrors) come in the news for killing innocents?
  5. (And this is my favourite) Islam is actually a religion of peace: Yeah? Then how come most Muslims in the world have died in the hands of fundamentalist Muslims themselves? How can you be a religion of peace? The concept of religion in itself doesn’t allow for peace, more so one that considers non-believers as infidels. If it really is a religion of peace, why don’t the followers of this very peaceful religion raise up and condemn it?

Since the last two weeks, opening up the news has become a chore. I am a student of Journalism and understand that news images are not biased and fair. And yet, how long are we going to fall back upon these claims? How long are we going to blame everybody else, because we do not have the courage to look the problem in the eye?

And every time there is some incident, the upholders of wisdom in the country (Scroll, Kaafila, Caravan) begin their bullshit-doling. Every statement begins with ‘Tuesday’s attack was horrific, however (random bullshit argument follows).

Or, ‘While one’s heart is pained by the loss on Sunday, one must remember that (some other chutiya explanation).

It is almost to say that Yes, we understand that people are dying, but listen up to our lofty idea now.

Since I live on a university campus, my wall is inundated by such sort. Those who see red when a book is banned, and yet talk you down if you say anything against Islam. Anything at all. Which is surprising because everytime I crack a joke on any other religion (as I firmly believe that there is only one true God – Jackie Shroff), everything is fine.

This has often baffled me. How can our intelligentsia, our best-learned, our most competent, be so myopic? Why don’t the same people who flood your news feed with articles not raise a single murmur of protest as children are shot in the head, as masked men scream ‘Allah o Akbar’, and pump bullets into innocent heads?

And that is when it struck me.

Because they’re all rich. They are artists, and poets, and journalists, and influential people whose opinions are sought after. They are rich – their children will never attend schools that do not have machine gun toting security guards. They will never use public transport, to buy vegetables from the local market.

An act of terrorism is another incident to them, to sit on their high pedestal and tell us lesser mortals about how we need to base our understanding of the world. About how we must not crib and complain about Islamic terror because it is not the right thing to do.

Well, dear intellectuals. You can go fuck yourselves.

Islam is a very problematic religion.

I have known Muslim friends all my life, and it would have been incomplete without them. And yet, I am not blind to the fact that they read the same Quran that the dudes at ISIS do. They worship the same God.

Whether their ideologies are the same or not, it is Allah’s name that is uttered when a head is slit.

I don’t know if Allah exists. But if he does, I imagine he’s sitting up there, looking down at us. His eyes permanently welled up with tears, his heart broken.

Kiss of Love and Fist of Fury

The kissing event in Kerala was much needed.

And as always, there were morons who called it against ‘Indian culture’.

Nothing pisses me off as much as listening to the words ‘Indian culture’, freely thrown around by these idiots who wave flags and shout slogans. Most of these guys haven’t read much, their idea of Indian culture coming from an India of Ramayan and Mahabharat. What they are fighting for, is not really Indian culture, but assumed ideas of chastity for women.

And it is tragic that the government in power at the Centre, the so called wave of change that supposedly swept the nation a few months ago, has nothing to say about it. In fact, the BJP’s student and youth wings – the ABVP and BJYM – are frontrunners in this trade.

The criticism against anything that is new – be it in the realm of art, fashion, cinema or culture – is labelled against Indian values. What really are Indian values? We live in a country where cultures, languages, customs change every few hundred kilometres. What values are they really protecting?

And I can bet my monthly scholarship on the fact that none of these guys have actually read anything pertaining to Indian culture, history, or philosophy. For if they did, they’d know that while Indian society had its problems, we certainly weren’t prude about clothing and actions. Till the British came in and enforced their ideas of civility and decency on us. Seventy years after the British left, these dickheads are still hanging on to colonial ideas of civility and decency, shamelessly passing them off as Indian values. If only I had a dollar for every time I had a strong urge to smack such idiots across their dumb faces!

And then, there’s also the fact that most of the people who give out such opinions are from an earlier generation. Politicians, religious heads, these are all people in the 60s (and above). If we truly are a nation with largest youth population in the world, as our Prime Minister announces to every country he visits, with considerable pride, why are our lives still determined by rules drawn by geriatric idiots?

How on earth are we going to be a global superpower if we cannot even wear, watch, and do what we think is right? It’s not like there are people having threesomes on railway platforms. Why then, is there such fear?

In most parts of the country, one cannot hold one’s partner’s hand, or put their arms around their shoulder. If an elderly person sees you, or a cop (God forbid!), they will give you a dressing down on how shameless you are. I was once walking with a girl, when a woman called her ‘characterless’ for holding my hand. Me being the guy, was called ‘Useless’ (or something generic like that), but the girl was addressed in terms that stopped short of a prostitute. Why? For holding hands while walking.

And this fear, this absolute unwillingness to accept that people and traditions constantly change, is enforced by these two groups – ABVP and Bajrang Dal. ABVP is the student wing of BJP, and Bajrang Dal is a special group for people with an IQ of 37 and below.

And this is where my above argument of the youth deciding for themselves, falls flat. These people are all youth (some distinctly less youthful than others), ranging in the age of 20 – 35. Why do they parrot the words of some foolish old minister? Why do they beat up people, smash property, and blacken faces of couples on TV?

Because none of these guys have girlfriends. Think about it.

Think of all the people you know, who support Hindu groups, or are members of ABVP and Bajrang Dal – they are all single males. What they are really against is the fact that other guys can do it, and they can’t.

For, think about it, if you have a girlfriend, would she let you beat up other couples? If you were in a relationship, would you spend Valentine’s Day breaking chairs and tables, screaming ‘Jai Sri Ram’? No way in paataal loka!

bajrang dal

In a way, I feel their pain. Imagine watching your friends hang out with beautiful girls, walking hand in hand to movies, clubs, and libraries. While you have wait for your family members to fall asleep, then switch on Zee Cinema, mute the volume, and jack off. Every single night. It can be very frustrating!

And that is why these morons line up, all of them single, their right hands distinctly thicker than their left, ready to fight for Indian culture.

abvp-respect-women-campaign

If you are a Bajrang Dal supporter, or know an idiot who goes around yelling, give him this bit of advice.

Get into a relationship. It might seem Herculean, but remember that even Govinda managed to woo Rani Mukherjee at some point. Do not lose hope. Ask a girl out politely, and get into a relationship.

It’s beautiful. Straight out of my mind, here are a few advantages I could state:

a. You will have something to do on weekends.

b. You get to make out, which is a gazillion times better than masturbating in your bed.

c. You will learn to actually understand women. You will learn that they are not all the same. How can you protect a woman’s modesty if you have never known one closely?

4. Long shot here, but you IQ might just increase.

Just a little bit.

The Trains Strain

At the risk of sounding like Mahesh Bhatt, I must acknowledge that trains and railways have been an integral part of my life.

As Indians, we take some sort of pride in quoting off facts and figures related to the Railways. Largest network in the world, the largest employer among government agencies, has been running since 150 years, all of that.

And yet deep within, we all know the truth.

Indian Railways is the largest network of shitpiles running across the length and breadth of the country. Like most government amenities in the country, those of us who can afford to bypass the realities of our country choose to travel by air, or in AC compartments.

When the government announced the hike in train fares last week, the responses weren’t exactly what you’d call surprising.

The opposition cried foul and lambasted the anti-poor move, the ruling party said it was necessary to upgrade the railways, and Times of India quickly drafted an article called ‘5 Reasons why Katrina Kaif’s dog might be fucking Abhay Deol’s cat’.

But what’s done is done. The fares have been hiked and after a little grumbling, we will all move on to other things. What is surprising however, is that nobody is asking what really is the plan from here on. 14% is not a lowly figure by any means, and since the Railways are not auto-rickshaws where we can bargain and heckle, we have no option but to pay the amount.

But what really is the plan? What does the government plan to do with the additional choda pratishat that it is charging us?

One cannot discuss the Railways without feeling like Aparichit – The Stranger. Without feeling an intense rage to bash a few heads, and then dance with Sada in a blond wig.

I am a reasonably practical person. I am not asking for IRCTC to be running with clockwork precision. Surely I know the difference between being an informed citizen and a writer of fantasy. But have you wondered what could be done with the money?

Here are a few things to begin with.

  1. Cleanliness: Indian trains are grime-boxes on wheels. Go to any compartment (except 1st AC, of course – politicians travel in those), and you can see it for yourself. The windows have layers of brown-black hash all along the borders. The floors have a strange stink that people tend to romanticize as ‘the unmistakable smell of trains’.

People eat groundnuts and throw the shells on the floor, till that handicapped boy can sweep it off while he begs for alms. Hawkers, joyriders, and lovers of women and aesthetics pop in at any given station, sprawl themselves across seats and litter it like they are the descendents of Shah Jahan.

For how long?

If we as a nation are particular about cleanliness, we need to prove it. Modi is supposed to be finicky about cleanliness and hygiene. I wish he took a 2nd class journey from Vishakapatnam to Calcutta. It’d be amusing to see how clean his kurta would be at the end of the journey.

Littering trains is as good as pissing on roads and scribbling ‘I love Champa’ across historical monuments. How about running surprise checks and fining people who litter trains? It won’t even cost the Railways additional money. With the amount of littering we Indians indulge in, the Railways coffers would be overflowing with funds.

 

  1. Food.

Remember the days when food on the Railways was piping hot and lip-smacking delicious?

Yeah? You must have grown up in Australia, then. Because as far as I can remember, food on the train always sucked like an intergalactic vacuum cleaner. Every new Railways minister talks of measures to assure meals at affordable prices. But if you look at the Rail Aahar food, with their Shit-idlis and Crap-sambar menus, you will run straight back into your compartment and buy Tiger biscuits.

Chicken biriyani smells of egg and tastes of rubber. Vadas have oil on them, that has already been tasted by about 17 trainflies before it reached your berth. Daal was prepared by someone reading Oliver Twist, and rotis are prepared by expert craftsmen in Lacoste.

If all the food prepared on trains is outsourced to catering agencies, why should the 24 million people who take trains everyday pay the price for it?And even in the food department, there is a clear divide between the rich and the poor. The food in AC compartments at least smells like food. In Sleeper class, you have to close your eyes, think of your mother’s homecooked food, gulp down as quickly as you can, and then rush to the toilets.

railways lunch

With my extra 14%, will I be guaranteed better food?

 

  1. Security

We are no strangers to horrific stories that occur on trains. Women are raped, ticketless travelers are often pushed out of running trains, women are heckled at, and TTEs quietly add to their daughters’ marriage fund.

There are also stories where army men have raped women on trains, where dacoits have entered compartments at night to rob all the people in it. All this in spite of a well entrenched Railway Police Force that is supposed to look into the worries of the people.

And yet, all I have seen the RPF personnel on train do, is to take ‘rounds’ a few times in the night, to haul up ticketless travelers and smokers. If 72 people in a coach are paying 14% extra on their train fares, is it far-fetched to expect one security personnel for every two compartments? Can the government guarantee that much?

 

  1. Advertising on Trains

This move has been discussed quite a few times, and every single time, a Left politician rises from his grave, dusts off his clothes, coughs ‘anti-poor’, and goes back to the grave.

Our trains run across a mind-boggling network of 115000 kilometres. If the government was indeed serious about greater revenues, how about doing the sane thing of leasing out spaces on the train for companies to advertise?

It has been experimented with in phases, but most trains in our country still have ‘I love Champa want sex call me I love you Pooja penis vagina I like sex do you?’ scribbled all across them. Train fares are a common occurrence in our times, with every 5 year term witnessing one or two hikes in price. Why not tap into a resource instead of hiking prices whenever conscious pricks through your expensive safari suits?

As it is, our politicians do whatever the fuck they want with the Railways – announce trains, coach-building factories in their native constituencies, and name trains after their favourite sons of the soil. Who can forget those horrific Duronto Express trains that were introduced during Mamta Banerjee’s times?

taarezameen01_thumb

 

  1. Toilets.

Frankly, I could live with any of the above not being implemented, if only this one issue was sorted out.

After 150 years, our trains still have holes for toilets. So if you summoned up the courage to go to the toilet, and are trained enough in anulom-vilom to control your breath for the entire duration, you get to shit all over the country.

In fact, if you take the Himsagar Express, you could shit all across the length of the country – from the Himalayas, to the Ganga plains, to the ghats. You can crap over waterfalls and plains and plateaus, and hills and rivers. The entire country is your dumping ground.

We want to ban manual scavenging, but don't mind shitting on the tracks. PC: Tehelka.

We want to ban manual scavenging, but don’t mind shitting on the tracks. PC: Tehelka.

Not if you’re rich, though. If you’re rich, you get to travel in 1st AC. In there, if you look down from your iPhone, you’d notice that your toilet has a system where your shit goes into a tank which is flushed out later at a station. Which makes sense, because you’re rich. Your shit shouldn’t fall on the floor like other commoners, to be eaten by pigs and stray dogs.

But like I said, if you aren’t rich, you can shit all over the country. Hate Maharastrians? Take a train, order chicken biriyani from the pantry car, and dump all over the state. Dislike Tamilians? Ask for idli-sambar, and watch down the hole with amazement as your insides melt into gooey yellow water and line up the entire state.

Ah! The little joys that the Railways bring to our life!

Frankly, it is quite astounding that after 150 years in operation, nobody even thought about it. Not one official in the Railways walked up to a minister and said, ‘Sir, do we need to do something about all the shit that falls out of trains?’

Which is all the more shocking because we are a country with severe sanitation and hygiene problems. And it is not like the trains run through our malls, cities, and expressways. Most trains run on outskirts of cities, where we can dump our shit in front of farms and slums, because who gives a fuck anyway?

 

If we have truly entered the era of responsible governance, surely there must be a plan to modernize the Railways? A quick 10 point agenda that the Railways ministry might want to share on their social networking pages (in Hindi if need be)?

If all the millions of people who are traveling on trains are going to pay 14% extra everyday, can they at least expect clean toilets?

Does anybody, for want of a worse pun, give a shit?

 

*

Hey Indians, how about strapping some balls on?

In the last three overs of the Indian innings in the final, I knew a storm was brewing.

We logged on to Facebook to check out Yuvraj Singh’s Facebook page, and we found people trolling him. Some of the posts were really funny. We scrolled down some more, and then there were few that weren’t very funny, some that were poor attempts, and finally, some that really lacked in taste.

Which is why I wasn’t surprised the next day when I read the news of Yuvraj Singh’s house getting stoned. People wished that he had died of cancer, than to come back and play in the final.

*

Whenever such an incident comes up, there are two common explanations.

The first explanation for it is that we are an emotional people. That we love cricket as a sport, and it is the frustration of a people whose only bright spot in life and popular culture is films and cricket.

Which is an absurd explanation. If we were really passionate about the sport, we would know that a team sport is dependent on the entire team. If they scratched a little more, they’d also know that a team sport is dependent on a variety of external things – luck, strategy, playing conditions. And if they really had an IQ of 80+, they’d know that it is really difficult to hit yorkers outside the off stump.

The second is that it comes with being a sporting icon. When people love you, you enjoy the success, the grandeur, the fame and the wealth. If you go through the Ups, you also have to grin and bear the Downs.

Ahem, no?

Because we are not fucking Taliban??

Because we are a supposed civilised democracy in 2014?

Come to think of it, what really did he do? Did he fix a match? Did he pursue and hack someone to death? He had a bad day at work. In the way that you and I do. Now when your boss asks you to come meet him, do you stone his house and blacken his face?

Na. He has power over you.

'Kya gaandu log ho yaar, tum log?'

‘Kya gaandu log ho yaar, tum log?’

*

That is the second thing about the mob frenzy.

Have you ever seen anybody stone the house of politicians? What about N.Srinivasan – the guy who has been accused of running a betting racket? Or A.Raja? Or Suresh Kalmadi – that other Indian who was really passionate about sport?

Or the police officers who roam the streets like modern day Razakars? Or the builder who built that shitty road outside your house? Na. No, sir.

You know why? Because they are powerful. Because if you try to get near their house, their bodyguards will punch you till your small intestine becomes your large intestine and your liver becomes a dier.

*

And so we always choose the easy preys. Actors, authors, cricketers, social workers, and women in pubs. Those not powerful enough to defend themselves.

If somebody was watching from Uranus, they’d shake their heads and laugh. Ek toh all the 100 crores of us follow only one goddamn sport. A sport that only eight other countries play. Bangladesh toh simply does timepass.

It’s sad in a pathetic way.

Aye, why you hurting my sentiments??

There was a time when I would wait for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films.

I loved getting transported into those timeless, geography-less lands that he created. I loved the drama, the colour, the painful soundtracks. It was just what my teenage heart needed.

Unfortunately, while my taste in cinema has grown, Bhansali’s endeavors seem increasingly tiring by the day. I am sure in his nightmares, Maps and Calendars come walking towards Bhansali, their hands outstretched, making whooshing noises.

If you strip them down to their basics, Bhansali’s films have always centred around a handicap (Khamoshi, Black, Guzarish), or unrequited love (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Sawariya). While enough has been said about his knack for creating these other-worldly worlds, the colours and the drums seem unnecessary in this film.

Playing to the galleries, Ram Leela is an average story, and all the peacocks and the statues and the colours cannot change that fact. And by the time the three hour colourfest has ended, you’re sincerely wishing the two of them die already. Since it’s inspired by Romeo and Juliet, don’t we all know how it’s going to end?

At the end of the day, Ram Leela is like Gordon Ramsay cooking pani puri. A good cook stirring up an everyday dish. So whether you like Ram Leela or not, depends on what you feel about Gordon Ramsay preparing Pani Puri.

Image

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But what’s more interesting than the film itself, is the controversy surrounding the film.

You see, some groups were offended by the film’s content.

The film hurt their religious sentiments. Even before the bloody film released!

Absurd, you say?

I don’t think so. Even before Lord Krishna was born, Kamsa had known that the boy would offend his sensibilities (by killing him). So it’s not all that a novel idea to get offended by things we haven’t even seen yet.

I did a bit of research on who were these sensitive people who got offended, and who should I find, but my old friends?

The Bajrang Dal.

Image

For years now, the Bajrang Dal has magnanimously taken up the daunting task of handling our sentiments. And that is a Herculean task.

Because as a nation, we love taking offence. It’s what we do.

Image

I read in the news that Bajrang Dal had taken offence to the film because it was called Ram Leela. Very, very, valid point.

It’s such an overarching point that it negates the need for other banalities, like actually watching the film to find out what it is about. Ever the logical diplomats, this is the reason that was given – “The title has the name Ram, and Leela is associated with Lord Krishna, so people would mistake it for a mythological film, but it is a film steeped in sex, violence, and vulgarity.”

Don’t you feel like standing up and saluting? I know!

Because we live in dark ages, where we walk into a film having knowledge only of its name. Trailers, teasers, and promotions are for Martians, in case they want to enjoy some of our films.

*

But this is not new at all. We have been banning films for a few years now. And while you’d expect that with time, societies around the world would loosen up their iron grip on culture, in India we keep going a step backwards every year. Let’s have a look at the list.

Fanaa: The film was banned in Gujarat because Aamir Khan had spoken out against the Narmada Dam project. Personal opinion, you say? Haha, you little fool, you.

Billoo Barber: The film was based on Billoo, who’s a barber. Apparently, barbers took offence to a barber being called a barber. Dignity of labour, you say? Haha.

Black Friday: Unlike other films, this film did not malign anybody’s name or character. In fact, it is among the rare films that uses real names, real locations, real incidents. But how can something that really happened, be offensive? Haha.

The best part is, these films were banned before they were released. Before anybody had an inkling as to what the film could have contained. Talk about a seventh sense.

And as if the petitions aren’t intellectually stimulating enough, Indian courts entertain these people and pass those laws. Raasleela has been banned in the UP, as were the earlier films mentioned in the list.

Now, isn’t it the work of courts to uphold someone’s legal right to release a film? For all their erudition and experience, shouldn’t lawyers and courts be looking at larger issues? Aren’t we heading towards a Banana Republic, if any Tom, Dick, and Hairy can walk up to a court with a piece of paper and stall the release of a film?

*

But you shouldn’t get depressed. No, no.

Apart from upholding our culture as a nation, religious groups also take on the side job of entertaining us once in a while.

The second reason for banning the film was this – How can a character named ‘Ram’, be involved in violence and killing?

Because you know, Lord Ram vanquished Raavan by sending him a bouquet of roses. After which Raavan wiped his tears with the words, “Ab bas kar. Rulaayega kya?”

The petition goes on to say that the character named Ram is also involved in other trades, like selling of vulgar CDs, and is a general Casanova.

Very very valid point.

I am sure I couldn’t get through the Bajrang Dal because my CAT score was only 18%. After all, how else could one come up with points like this, you tell me?

Talking of which, let’s look at some other people who dared to act against their names.

Govinda: Even though he is named after Lord Krishna, he had the audacity to romance Raveena Tandon. He also shamed the nation, Lord Krishna, and the entire cosmos (because the entire cosmos was inside Krishna’s mouth!), by wearing yellow pants, and crooning ‘Meri pant bhi sexy’. He should have instead crooned ‘Mama Pitambaram Ati Madhuram’. Burn his house and blacken his face, I say.

Ram Jethmalani: Mr. Jethmalani has two wives. In one stroke a few strokes, he has shamed the name of Lord Ram, who was faithful to Mother Sita all through his life, never looking at any other woman, us nazar se.

But this shameless Jethmalani fellow goes on to live his life without his face being blackened.

Shakti Kapoor: Even though he’s named after Shakti, Mr. Kapoor has less than religious feelings towards women. In an interview, he told a girl that she has to ‘fuck’ to get ahead in her career.

Apart from this sacrilegious act, his career has spanned a wide vista of characters – ranging from the friendly neighbourhood sex offender, to a vicious rapist. How about we blacken his face?

Oh wait, we already have!

Bala Krishna: Named after Child Krishna, this actor has done things that can neither be counted as Krishna-like, nor childlike. Apart from being accused in a shooting incident, he has also done things that little Krishna would never have imagined. Even though he had the whole cosmos in his mouth.

Image

How dare these people do anything vulgar, when they have been blessed with names of Gods?

How can they dare do their own thing, even though this is a free country?

How can they offend my sensibilities?

Blacken their bloody faces!!

Why I’m not Orgasming over Modi yet

It is undeniably heartening to see the response Modi has got on being chosen the PM candidate. Heartening that probably for the first time, someone from humble origins has come up to the top, waving a massive middle finger at dynastic politics. That there is someone whose main platform is development.

However, the frenzy on social media seems a little hollow, and half baked. He might have stellar records to back him up, but to speak of him as the panacea for all troubles might be a little too far-fetched.

If only!

If only!

And it is perfectly understandable why he makes the intelligentsia uncomfortable.

1. Polarised Opinion: Ever since Modi has been in the reckoning, the entire political discourse in the country has been reduced to a dogs vs. cats sort of argument. You are either a right wing fundamentalist, or a pseudo-intelligent, pseudo-secular Congress stooge.

Well, sorry to break it to you. But there are others too, you know. Those who are sickened by dynastic politics and yet might differ from your opinion. Those who want a sane discussion without being reduced to either one of the categories. The space for sensible dialogue has vanished. The Congress calls him Rambo. And Modi’s supporters say Amartya Sen is not Indian because he has a foreign wife. It’s all become a terribly off-putting farce.

But it is difficult to even put across a point to Modi fanboys, because they will hear none of it. You have to be able to slit your wrist, take some blood, and apply it as a tilak on your head, or you are a Congress supporter, or a Communist.

A polarised discussion leads to nothing, except Arnab Goswami fapping away with pleasure, looking down at us lesser mortals.

2. Media Bashing: Another favourite pastime of Modi fanboys is to diss the media.

Yes, I understand that our nation’s media does not blow our minds away on a regular basis with its sensitivity, but isn’t it a little hypocritical?

Much of the hailed ‘revolution’ that has occurred in the last few years, has been primarily because of the media. The Anna Hazare campaign was promoted by the media, the media hounded the government on scams, and also had a major part in the push for justice in the Delhi gangrape case.

Also, much of Modi’s allure is because he handles media very well. Every speech of his is covered live by news channels, and even his speech in Hyderabad, where BJP has little presence, was beamed to the entire nation.

Also, the media has even made up facts, as shown during the Uttarakhand floods, knowing fully well that there will be gullible morons waiting to believe everything thrown their way. Also, when Modi was declared PM candidate, NDTV (which is spoken of as a sister concern of the Congress) flashed a banner asking people to send him wishes. Surely that’s not ethical, right? But why bother when Modi is being praised.

But God forbid, if the media reports anything against the guy, or so much as carries an opinion of a person who feels that the earth doesn’t revolve around Modi, god save them. They are damned Congress supporting pricks who probably party in Delhi with the crooks, right?

Very mature.

3. Bottom of the Pyramid:

Skewed statistics or not, Modi has undoubtedly succeeded in being able to use development as a political plank. The business class, the people of Gujarat, and people on Facebook are convinced about his abilities as a leader.

But governing a state and the entire country are two different things. While Modi’s popularity among the social media-savvy crowd of the country is unquestionable, there are no real statistics on his popularity outside Gujarat, in the lower middle-class sections of the society. And it’s an undeniably large number.

Also, most urban youth in the country don’t actually vote.

Here’s a look at the urban voter turnout in our top metros in the last municipal elections held there:

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/low-voter-turnout-a-reality-for-big-indian-cities/230915-37-170.html

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/low-voter-turnout-a-reality-for-big-indian-cities/230915-37-170.html

The game clearly lies in the rural and semi-urban belts. The biggest challenge for Modi would be to convert his popularity into people who cast their vote.

So instead of preaching on Facebook, how about you actually go cast your vote this time?

It's also a great opportunity to show the middle finger to Salman Khan

It’s also a great opportunity to show Salman Khan the middle finger

4. The big Muslim question:

There, I said it.

It is funny how if you simply say the word Muslim while discussing politics, people will growl at you and begin calling you names. I find it a little derogatory the way Muslims are discussed. It is always about secularism, or vote bank politics. As if Muslims are not normal people who might also want better amenities, better governance, and the same bloody things that a Hindu might want.

Now, the reason why media houses hound Modi with the same question, is because it is stunning to see someone as obstinate as that. Everytime he is asked about the Godhra riots, the channel is accused of being a pseudo-secular.

Firstly, no one is asking him to admit his guilt. But as the leader of a nation with multiple religions, would it cost the earth to even give a word of assurance? To express regret at what happened, and to assure that it won’t happen again? As the leader of the nation, isn’t that a tiny bit of what you’re supposed to do?

Another baffling explanation that is given is the example of how Congress caused the Delhi riots. What is this, a checklist? If they caused the riots, shouldn’t you aspire to be better than them? If you accuse them of playing the minority card for votes, are you being any different here?

But no. Try explaining this to a Modi fanboy and watch as he reduces you to an Android. Complete with the green suit and all.

5. The dirty coalition politics:

While the UPA had it better off with only four major allies, the NDA is a motley crew of parties who are as dependable as Rohit Sharma when it comes to keeping the government afloat. More alliance members means greater instability at the centre.

And since it is far fetched to imagine that a Shibu Soren might be having the benefit of the nation in mind, it will mean a terrible tug of war in four directions. Exactly the kind of thing that would make the industry high five itself and do a somersault in pleasure, eh?

Number of parties in the NDA

Vajpayee had to resign as Prime Minister for the first time after 13 days, and the second time after 13 months, following which the NDA successfully remained in power for its full term. Modi’s challenge will lie not only in getting to the top post, but keeping it tight up there, by fostering a strong bond among the alliances.

But like I said, there is only so much one can trust parties like Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.

6. The Ugly Tangle of Religion:

As someone who abhors religion becoming a part of politics, I find the unholy tangle that the BJP is a part of, a little unsettling.

Much of the BJP’s actions are determined after consultation with the RSS and VHP. It is baffling how a religious organisation could have a say in politics when they do not even contest elections. But sadly, that is how it is.

Mention this to a Modi fanboy, and it will quickly be sidetracked, and you will be smothered with statistics and investment figures. Because nobody wants to talk about it.

And keeping the RSS and VHP aside, there are other smaller organisations that don the saffron colour to push their agendas. Bajrang Dal, whose members tick off February 14 on their calendars to have some fun. Sriram Sene, whose members beat up women from entering a pub. In Ranchi, girls wearing jeans could have acid thrown on them. How is this progress, again? Or change?

And with all the criticism against the UPA for being soft on terror, has Modi said anything about the Bajrang Dal? Members of the organisation have been involved in bombmaking on more than one occasion, even accused of planting bombs. How are they any different from terrorists? And organisations like Bajrang Dal and VHP are directly a part of the Sangh Parivar, which is the guiding body for the BJP.

Agreed that Islamic terrorism is a worldwide threat, but is this a comparison game?

If Modi really is the man for progress and a fresh thought, will he be able to distance himself and his party from its religious links?

Look at the amount of intolerance for films and film festivals, books and literary fests. And this is perhaps why most intelligentsia is against Modi. Not because they are people with low IQ, but because the rise of religion in politics means a direct threat to their work and lives.

And I would have said the same thing even if we were a Muslim country and someone coming to power meant more mob control for Muslims. It is a dangerous trend, mixing politics and religion. It is how elections in Pakistan are fought.
If Modi really has to impress me, he should be able to fight off the stranglehold that religious groups have over his party.
So there you go, those are the reasons why I am not orgasming over Modi, yet.

I hope he can prove me wrong on all the counts, and I would be his biggest admirer.

But till then, I don’t want to buy that Modi mask. Thank you.

Aam Aadmi Rape vs. Baba Rape

Namaste.

Over the last few days, many of our brothers and sisters have been raising questions about Asaramji, with regard to the rape accusations.

These people are foolish. They do not understand the truth.

But that is alright. I hold no grudges against them. “A man whose heart is free from doubt and away from passion, attains the supernatural powers of the Supreme Lord,” Bapu has said.

On this day, let me explain to those people who are raising these questions on Bapuji. Let me spread the light of knowledge on the ignorance of the masses. May they see the light of truth!

Tamasoma Jyotiraditya Scindia. 

Hari Om!

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

Let us begin with the basic accusation. Of the rape.

Now you see, there is a difference between an Aam Aadmi Rape (i.e. a rape done by a normal man) and a Baba Rape (i.e. a rape committed by a saint).

A Baba Rape is different.

Let us begin with the first point: The reaction.

Now, when a common man is accused of rape, people take to the streets. Often, people are seen to ask for the rapists to be hanged/castrated/married to Arnab Goswami. But then, those are the ordinary citizens. We are talking about people who have evolved to a higher level of consciousness.

You see, in a Baba Rape, you cannot simply ask for conviction and justice. That is sin. Shiva Shiva! *mock slaps both cheeks in quick succession*

You see, when a Baba Rapes, it is a political conspiracy. It is not just a mundane case of a man violating a woman, it is a grand storm that is brewed in the highest centers of power. It does not entail a simple penetration, it is hatched by the sharpest of minds, and then planned, and then the actors are sent to put the plan into action. It is a conspiracy of Ghattotkacha proportions.

Secondly, when it is an Aam Aadmi Rape (AAR), there is an immediate nationwide hunt for the accused. Their photos are on Facebook, their posters put out in the open. Televisions run their sketches on their news bulletins. But you can’t do that to a guruji, no?

When we talk about a Baba Rape, things are different. For one, Guruji will still come on television in the morning (5 AM, Sankar TV, by the way. Please watch. Hari Om!). Also, Guruji will be supported on television by many people. Some of them even former Chief Ministers. They will declare Guruji ‘innocent’. Which is of course, the truth, as you, our Lord, and the entire universe knows. Yet these doubting Thomases want to go through investigations, blood samples, and other such banal procedures!

Thirdy, the discourse around the rape victim is also a matter of great importance. Generally, in an AAR, it is the victim whose condition (drunken or sober), attire (saree or western outfit), or social status (married, divorced) is discussed. Guruji has also spoken on this issue earlier, when he had said that the girl could have tied a rakhi to the rapists and called them ‘bhaiyya’. See how simple, and what a beautiful solution it is? The girl would have got six brothers, and they would see her off safely at her bus stop. But then, kya karein, some people do not understand.

In the case of a Baba Rape, however, the girl is a liar. This has already been established. Firstly, the girl is from Gwalior, the rape is supposed to have happened in Jodhpur, and the FIR was lodged in Delhi. Why?

Also, Guruji’s son has also publicly said that the girl is mentally challenged. Pagal hai ladki. And like one of our brothers said on Times Now yesterday, if a girl has accused a great soul of rape, how can her mental condition be right in the first place?

Those who are making these accusations do not know of the achievements of Asaram Bapu. Asaramji runs thousands of schools for poor children, providing education and livelihood to many, many citizens of the country. He is also seen as a spiritual icon, and revered by lakhs of devotees.

Which naturally means that he is elevated over what you and me, dear brother and sister have to go through.

Please understand, dear brothers and sisters, that there is a difference between an Aam Aadmi Rape and a Baba Rape.

An Aam Aadmi Rape is an act of a citizen of the country violating the modesty of a woman.

A Baba Rape, is an erection of the inner consciousness, a thrusting of one’s efforts, and a climax resulting in an outpour of enlightenment. Thank you!

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(Adjusts hair) Theek tha, bhai? 

Ek dafa aur de doon?