Monday, January 29, 2007

Who cares who wins?

Another of those frustrating thingies about celebs winning some shit in some part of the world. Why should "Shilpa Shetty wins Big Brother" be a "Breaking News" in most channels when there are some serious issues in our land. A day or so back was when a hostel collapsed in gujurat while no one seems to showcase it. No signs of any investigation being shown for this while this Big Brother crap seems to hit potentially all channels. What is happening to all those media reporters we had. What becomes more frustrating is when serious channels like NDTV too seem to hype this whole issue.

On an alternate note when racist comments were supossedly passed, the media created a huge hue and cry. Went to the extent of saying "This is a blow to India and Indians". Shilpa Shetty is not Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam or Dr. Manmohan Singh to represent India. She is a freaking film star and coincidentally happens to be born in India. Thats all she has as credits for herself. Lets step back and think about this so called racist comment? Are we indians non racists?
In our colleges, have we not made fun of mallus for their pronunciation? Have we not called andrites as gults? How many bollywood movies have made fun of south indians and sardars. How many santa/banta jokes have we nourished ? And what about our governments? Bombay => Mumbai, Madras => Chennai, Calcutta => kolkatta and the recent "bengaluru". Come on gimme a break. We live in a far more communally diversified environment than any other country. Racism is not just about belonging to different countries. It even stems from all the examples quoted above.

And what about "winning an international event"? Is it like she had to do something extraordinary to win this competition? Whats there to win in an event like this? What does it take? Just staying in a place for a few days? cooking ur own food and washing ur own clothes? My grandparents have done that for over a 50 years or so and no one seems to pay them like 100 thousand pounds for that?

If it was just an indian winnning an international event, every month one or the other Indian wins something for our country somewhere, maybe in sports, maybe in quizzes, maybe in software competitions and what not. But why don't we promote things which actually need promotion like this and promote an overly promoted thing like Big Brother in the first place? Just think about this, we have simply failed in promoting talent while nurtured mediocracy. Lets take sports. Once in a while we promote a Sachin Tendulkar or a Sania Mirza. But is that all we have in this 100 billion populated country?

My question is directed more towards the media? Have we failed in understanding journalism? Or is our news channels just another "sans bhi kabhi bahu thi" sort of an entertainer?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mafia DON in UP elections?

This is an interesting bit of news i am reading these days that Abu Salem is contesting for UP elections. Fortunately, for the people in UP, Abu Salem cannot become the CM there as his name is not in the voters list. This is by far the most funniest thing i have ever read in the recent times for 2 reasons:

1. EC approves of a former DON to contest for the UP Polls
2. One cannot become a CM in a state as his name is not there in the voters list.

More news available here:

Friday, January 19, 2007

the trees

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.
The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Children of a Lesser God!

It was the 31st of dec, 2006. The year was dawning to an end. For the influential in this country, it had been a great year when Indians - and of late quite a bit of the world as well - keep talking about the new India's economic prowess and potential... of its 8-9% growth rate, how India produced more millionaires than China last year, and how India may become the world's largest economy after the US and China in the next few decades. As the rich and the well-heeled made preparations to ring in 2007 in style across a new, shining India, a sleepy, poor housing area - Nithari - almost ruined their party. On the 31st afternoon, the noida police dug the seewage of the alleged Mohinder Singh to find some body parts blocking the drainage. This was perceived by many, just as a scene of mass killings by some imbecile. India loosing to SA was greater concern for the rest. For the police in another part of the country, providing safety in Goa was a greater concern since there were many foreigners expected to party there.For some of them who witnessed nithari on the various media channels, it was like watching a horror film.An initial wave of revulsion swept through the country after details of the mass killings in Nithari village of Noida - a suburb of the Indian capital, Delhi - unfolded like one grotesque sequence.But after a while, most Indians came to see the killings as simply a gory crime committed by one or more sick individuals.In the end, most parties and festivities went ahead as planned. Just a few weeks ago when a rich software company(Adobe Software) CEO's(Mr. Naresh Gupta) son was abducted from Noida - not more than 3 miles (5kms) from Nithari - the case hogged the limelight 24x7 and the police worked overtime to solve it. The result? The child eventually returned home safely.

After weeks, months and years of complaints of missing children, the noida police have been found to give least importance to all the genuine hue and cry. Reason? these were parents who worked in farmlands, nearby mines and quaries, construction workers and resided in slums. No media ever went to look into their conditions or figure out what was happening. The skeletons were also dug in a questionable way to find any DNA traces and without any forensic experts, to say the least. Finally, i thought there was light in this situation when they got in CBI to investigate the issue. All the narco analysis and psycho tests conducted do not seem to give them much clue. It is premature to comment at this point on the findings of the CBI, but yesterday's news was devastating when they said the murder count increased to 40 while the noida police claimed it was 17. But, again, the media had better things to investigate: Abishek and Aish's wedding dates.

What is more drastic was the comment Mulayam Singh's son passed on the incident : "Such things are day to day issues and the police will look into this incident carefully".

What i tried to understand from both the incidents(Naresh Kumar's son's case and Nithari) was this: In the former case, the complaint was termed as "cognizable" offense as it is a reported kidnapping case while in the latter it was "incognizable" as it was reported as "missing children". Never knew an alphabetical soup like this could have such devastating effects.

On a second note, a couple of days nithari, 4 children were found dead in a factory in pubjab. Another case of sexual abuse and murder. And two days back, a child was beaten to death by her teacher because she (the child) did not pay her school fees. What better way to welcome the year.

While it is nice to look at the good side of Indian economy and sesex going upto to 14k and the likes, many Indians are also convinced that is the way the Indian story will unfold and all this growth shall be built on the graveyard of such innocent children. Nothing wrong with this optimism - it makes them confident and proud.But can many Indians say with same degree of optimism that there will not be another Nithari when India does realise its dreams?