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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Competitors

So Mamata Banerjee wants to have her own TV channel and newspaper to put across the real news. She is missing Doordarshan perhaps. Anyways, you will not find a more grassroots politician than her. With her simple attire and hair style, she seems to represent the average person of Bengal. Other politicians come with other qualities. Narendra Modi is in a hurry to convert Gujarat into China. Development seems to be his sole agenda. And he doesn't like criticism either. Nitish Kumar tries to undo the ill effects of Laloo's 15 years in power in Bihar. He is trying to improve basic law & order. He seems to be adept at suppressing negative reporting about his administration.

Explaining India

How would I explain the latest happenings to an unexpected visitor to India? What do you know! There was a huge bang in the backyard last night accompanied by a bright flash of light which startled me and I woke up to investigate. Of course I saw a nice little cute alien just like in that movie where Drew Barrymore is a baby. So I welcomed the trans-galactic visitor and offered him water. Slowly we got around to discussing the current state of affairs in India. What a coincidence that an alien should visit me when the Pakistani President is visiting India too. I of course did not rake up the past with the alien … stuff such as some attacks in Mumbai or taking a percentage in deals. I did mention that a baby died recently in AIIMS. All of two months old. She experienced a lot of pain in a short life. I didn’t ask ET if they believed in god in their neck of the universe.

The Lure of Idiocy

Disclaimer: this is a personal reflection. As I observe a generation grow up in front of my eyes, I marvel at the choices they make. The lure of groupthink, the overwhelming herd mentality leaves me perplexed. I witness the astonishing tenacity of meaningless customs. People grow up in conventional households and acquire some sort of a degree and land some job or the other. Then they fall back on some age old method of finding a wife or a husband as the case may be. When I consider the absolutely inverted logic of arranged marriages, I am flabbergasted that anyone in the modern age would opt for it. And the youngsters are supposed to be educated. Why do they do it? Clearly the desire for sex outweighs the possibilities for pitfalls. Arranged marriages are above all safe choices … as safe as a choice of this sort can be. The alliances tend to take place among people who are already related to each other or belong to the same caste and district.

General Mayhem

War-fighting requires morale though not morality. Soldiers are supposed to be tough. Bravery can’t be fickle. If soldiers are going to be able to show bravery in battle, then they should be able to deal with ordinary, everyday corruption. Perhaps every nation claims that its armed forces are the best in the world and the soldiers the bravest. How do you quantify the bravery of the British in fighting the all-conquering Germans at the beginning of the Second World War? Was it not incredibly brave of the German soldiers to have accomplished all that they did? The soldiers of the Soviet Union made a lot of sacrifices too. The Japanese soldiers were also nothing if not brave including the kamikaze fighters and the soldiers who preferred to take poison and die rather than be prisoners of war. Indian soldiers have not really fought any major war with their back to the wall. India has never faced an enemy in the six decades since independence who wanted to occupy the land or the people.

Hitler Uttar Pradesh and the Cosmos

        When it comes to human affairs such as love, romance … or politics, things do not change much over the centuries. Which is why history repeats itself. Surely we can find parallels in history for events occurring in contemporary Indian politics. Much is different about the electorate here. In spite of extravagant dreams and hopeful claims about the orgasmic imminence of India becoming a superpower, the dumb data points to the brutal reality. While averages may not always reveal the truth, the per capita GDP of India doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Whereas India barely makes it to the $2,000 club, wayward Russia is sitting pretty at more than $10,000. Is Russia’s average inflated because of its billionaires? Well, India has minted many billionaires in recent years too. The people of Egypt and Libya enjoy a better per capita GDP figure than India… although how much of the wealth (oil and otherwise) of those nations benefited the people as opposed to benefiting the long-time d