Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Before We Rejoice Jessica Laal Verdict

Excerpts from BBC report on "India's elite feel courts' heat"

Supreme Court lawyer Bharat Sangal cautions, however, that "two swallows do not make a summer".

He says in the Shibu Soren and Navjot Sidhu cases, the convictions are based on direct evidence, but in the Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo cases, the high court depended on a lot on circumstantial evidence.

"The crucial test will come when the cases go into the Supreme Court as appeal. The Supreme Court generally does not give much importance to circumstantial evidence. The important thing then will be whether the highest court upholds these convictions or not," he said.

Interesting to know that the battle is half-won. Does the red-turban theory still stand a chance ? My bet is Jethmalani is already preparing for the final showdown.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Youth Curry to Miss Its Spice

We, the Hindus, are the most creative people on this goddamn earth and heaven. Even before the population of the earth reached this figure, we created the whole set of 33 crores gods just to make the lives of future mythologists miserable.

To celebrate our penchant for creativity we worship the biggest symbol of creativity : The Divine Phallus fornicating with the Divine Vagina. This image is otherwise known as Shiva-Lingam and seen in many mandirs across the length and breadth of the country.

Some creative smart-ass in JAM magazine had used the image of a Shiva-Lingam to pass on the following message on The World Aids Day : "Khada ho to Condom Chahiye" [ie. If it's erect you need a condom].

You must be smiling that muchki (mischevious for non-Bongs) smile and thinking to yourself what's so offensive about it. Allow me list down the top reasons that hit my creative mind immediately.

1. You are trying to choke up the very essence of creativity with a wrapping of latex. Have you ever wondered what will happen if the pressure building up inside ever burst out ? That's more than enough to bring the world to perils, you silly non-believer.

2. Where is the sensivity towards the erection-challenged folks you creative moron ? After all Manmohan and Arjun that tries their best not to chuck-off the minorities from any of national activities. Next time try to keep the entire population in mind while sending out anti-aids message or be prepared to face the minority wrath.

3. For a moment leave aside national pride and try to consider
the report on exported latex malfunction in Indian sub-continent conditions to be true. Then this seems to be another hatched conspiracy to demean the length and breath of our much worshipped divine phallus.

4. Don't preach something that is not 100% statiscally accurate without accompanying fine print to detail out the exceptions. Ask any guy who has vented his carnal desires with his own hands(ie. musterbated). You'll come to know only an erection doesnot gaurantee usage of the rubber.

Sadly these pearls of creative wisdom were not present in the jewellery set of the JAM editor. In a light-hearted humor she allowed the ad to be printed that offended people belonging to the above categories. Pretty soon someone took this matter to higher authorities saying that their precious fragile sentiments have been hurt.

When sentiments are hurt, it's a No-Mercy policy in India. Afterall we are a sentimental nation yaar...try playing with our sentiments and we'll burn the trains, pull down the statues until you do something to get our sentiments back to its intact state. Hardly left with any other choices, facing a non-bailable warrant, all Rashmi Bansal could do is to go under-the-ground in a Sita like effort to prove her innocence.

I'm hoping sooner or later she will be unearthed to her innocent glory. Whatever be the case, JAM has surely lost the "Just Another" epithet. Now it's more of a "Trust Another" Magazine till the editor returns back to her editing desk. Waiting for the spice in the Youth Curry to come back.

Update: She's back and blogging with a vengence while we Indians continue to appreciate our creativity by bowing in front of the Divine Phallus and doing our share of what is required to become the most populous country in the whole world.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Singur : Who will answer the unanswered questions

With heavyweights like Medha Patkar and her ilk joining the protest against land acquisition at Singur, Mamta Bannerji's movement seems to be gaining momentum. However as expected, what's missing from the movement is the agenda itself. After the Didi joined the movement and took it to bench-breaking heights with her grand show at the West Bengal Vidhansabha, we haven't heard anything as to what the farmers at Singur wanted.

No-one from her camp talked about what were the alternates that the opposition wants the government to consider. In fact there were hardly any dialogues between them about the issue other than news bytes thrown at eachother. All that is left of the movement now is Didi and her personal vendetta against the Left Front.

All that Mamta wants is to gain back her lost foothold in West Bengal politics. To do that all she needs to portray herself as the savior for the down-trodden. The draconian manner with which the government was acquiring agricultural land provided her the right opportunity for her to jump her guns. As the political battle-lines were drawn and swords are crossed, the major questions wherein lies the cause-remedy of the whole issue are receiving little or no attention.

How the entry of newer industry into the West Bengal will take place?
No answer yet.
Will a total back-bending posture ensure the flow of capital or shall we try to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the proposals in the long term?
No answer yet.
Are the SEZ(Special Economic Zone)s the only way to go or there are alternatives ?

No answer yet.
How were the compensation package determined ? Why it was below the market price for these lands ?
No answer yet.
How will the balance between this newer industry and the people displaced take place?

No answer yet.

One of the reasons we need government machinery is to strike the balance between the capitalist greed and the welfare of the people. Left to them, capitalists would bend every rule in the book to boost the profits and outdo the competitors. That's where the checks and regulations by government are brought in so that in the long run it's a win-win situation of all.

The pro-people CPI-M seems to overlook some of these basic reasons that they justified their parliamentarian struggle as opposed to a revolutionary communist fight against the state. In their willingness to make the Sonar Bangla dream come true they are loosing the perspective of the bigger picture and its responsibility towards the people.

There's no point in denying that at its present economic scenario, West Bengal cannot afford to loose any capital that comes in. The state has lost its credentials a long time back and every effort spent now in regaining that should be applauded. It’s high time to shed away the dogmatism and militant protests and try to join the economic boom that the rest of India is enjoying.

Still what remains unchanged is that the government cannot turn back its face from those who will be displaced due to setting up of newer industrial zones. As the citizens of the state, we ought to know that why the fertile multi-corp yielding land in Singur was the only choice for this Tata factory. The government needs to reveal whether there were other alternative plots considered and what were the reasons for discarding them. Government also needs to disclose if there are any plans that it has to help the displaced farmers to resettle and find means of livelihood.

Unfortunately Buddha-babu and his fellow ministers have left an aura of mystery over these unanswered questions. That's the main reason why Mamta has able to hijack the movement and use it for her own welfare. Going by her past records of how she stood beside the evicted hawkers or the jute-mill workers, it won't be long she'll resort to even more violent tactics to attract more news byte. CPI-M will do what it does best - find an equally befitting answer with its cadres going on a rampage.

Lost amongst the logger-heads of the black-n-white of politics, the very reason for the movement the fate of the displaced farmers will hang on a thread that'll snap the moment Mamta sees another greater news-grabbing opportunity elsewhere. That's where it hurts the most and that's where concerned people dedicated to the cause should apply the balm. Sadly none of our present day politicians seem to fit the bill.

Update: It seems good sense is prevailing in Buddha camp over the compensation to those left jobless. Let's hope for a win-win situation for all, but as the sceptic part of me reminds its optimistic counterpart "If wishes were horses....."