Five reasons why colonising America wasn’t a good idea for Britain.

This article on cracked.com made my day so I decided to include it in my blog. ūüėÄ

It’s easy to say the modern tea-baggers are assholes. The modern tea-baggers are assholes. See? We didn’t even break a sweat.

But as it turns out, these latest tea-baggers are simply carrying on a long-standing tradition of proud, vaguely patriotic douche-baggery that they learned from the OG’s of asshole behaviour; the guys who tossed some tea into a harbour a couple hundred years ago.

No, we’re not saying we wish the British had won the war or that we wish America had never been born. We’re just saying that American history glosses over a lot of true dick behaviour. After all, consider that…

#5.Great Britain Had No Idea The Colonists Were Unhappy
 
 

Benjamin Franklin had been chosen by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature to represent the colonies before the crown. If the colonies were pissed, or sick of paying unfair taxes (or as was more often the case, not paying them), it was Franklin’s job to let the crown know.

Unfortunately, Ben really loved the crown. Right before the revolution, he had been trying, unsuccessfully, to convince the king to take back Pennsylvania from the Penn family, and put it under royal control.

When the issue of the Stamp Act first came up, even though the colonists were furious, Ben Franklin was all about it, and he told Great Britain as much. Hell, he even gave a friend of his the cushy job collecting the new taxes.

But Why?

Because he was fucking clueless about the people he was representing and spent most of his time in Britain. When colonists eventually showed up at his house rioting, he must have been just shocked that they were so angry about the Stamp Act. Or, he would have been shocked, but people were rioting at his house and threatening to hang him, so he kind of had some other stuff to deal with.

When you think about it, Ben Franklin was a¬†terrible¬†choice for Voice of the People. The dude managed to be a rich, successful, self-made, internationally jet-setting playboy in the 18th goddamn century, for fuck’s sake. John Q. Public he was not. Of¬†course¬†he didn’t mind the Stamp Act; if it didn’t at all impede his ability to fuck princesses on hot air balloons, (or whatever the 18th Century analogue to the mile high club was), why should he care? Franklin’s hypothetical balloon-humping to one side, the point is that Great Britain was blissfully unaware on the other side of the ocean while the colonists steamed and let their rage build.

#4. The Colonists Were Living at home, Rent free, Without Following Any of the Rules
 

When we think of the original Tea Party Guys, we think of a bunch of decent, hardworking people who were treated unfairly and had every right to rebel against their oppressors. That’s sort of a harder pill to swallow when it turns out the “oppressors” were more like “laid back goons,” and the “opressees” were more like “whiney assholes.” True, Great Britain did impose taxes on the colonies without representation, but according to¬†Taxation in Colonial America, the British rarely bothered collecting them. Hardly anyone was paying the tax that the colonists were so pissed off about.

But Why?

Smuggling mixed with some general bad leadership. London was an ocean away and there just wasn’t an efficient way to manage an entire empire across seas. Not to mention the smuggling.Lord, the smuggling. The British taxes were only on trade, and it was just ridiculously easy to get away with simply not paying them. This was because the layout of the Virginia coast allowed merchants to sail past the authorities and just pull their boats right up to their customers. As a result, many merchants built their businesses on smuggling.

The British¬†tried¬†to put a stop to this, but how could they? Imagine if, instead of just losing a portion of your paycheck to taxes every month, you had to literally hand money over to an IRS agent who wouldn’t chase you, didn’t keep record of you and was incredibly easy to sidestep. Would¬†you¬†pay that guy?

Great Britain understood this inefficient system, but they also understood that they didn’t¬†reallyneed the taxes they were asking for. So unofficially, it was decided that as long as the colonies were doing well, the British were just going to¬†loosely¬†enforce the trade laws, lest they risk accidentally starting a rebellion. This is the same discipline philosophy held by parents who think that the point of having children is so that you can finally be invited to high school parties.

When it eventually did become necessary to start collecting cash, the British were never able to successfully put and keep in place any taxes, ever again. Every time they tried, a group of colonists would throw the kind of shit fit that ends in some embarrassed step-dad having to buy a pony.

So why bother?

#3. The Colonists Blundered Britain into the French and Indian War
 

Say you have a friend, who’s kind of a loud-mouth. He’s a few years younger than you and infinitely more irritating, so much so that he pissed off some tougher, bigger kids. Now they want to kick his ass. Even though it’s your friend’s own fault, and even though you had nothing to do with the dispute, you still feel like you have to step in and fight on his behalf. The French and Indian War was sort of like that, except Great Britain was the older, sensible friend of the idiot colonists, and the French “bullies” knew a¬†shitload of Indians.

But Why?

The land known as the Ohio Country was perfect for fur trading. The French realized this, so they claimed it. The British colony of Virginia claimed it “second,” which is English for first. Great Britain didn’t care¬†too¬†much and France wasn’t terribly interested in putting up a big fight over what clearly must have just been a misunderstanding. The colonists were, objectively, wrong. To apologize for the misunderstanding, the Virginian colonists started sprinting to the territory in order to gobble up land, take advantage of the fur trade, and annoy the living crap out of the Native Americans.

The French, hilariously thinking this conflict was still in the “words” phase, sent a bunch of troops on a peace mission into the forest to see if absolutely anyone in Virginia was in charge (nope!) A nearby colonial militia spotted the French, and being young, dumb, and full of guns, they thought it’d be real neat to sneak up and yell “SURPRISE!” With their guns.

Now, the French are fine if you’re running around saying “Nuh uh,¬†we¬†own the land,” but if you start wrecking their shit? They’re going to have something to say which, in this case, involved recruiting a buttload of Indians and an even bigger buttload of bullets. Regardless of the outcome, the ensuing French and Indian war ended up being ridiculously expensive for the British who, remember, didn’t even really give a crap to begin with.

On top of this, the British colonial smugglers continued to sell stuff to the French illegally throughout the course of the war. This kept the French well-supplied and the British well-supplied with rage at the colonists who, (once again), refused to pay taxes.

#2. The Colonists Were Crazy
 

Here’s maybe the most blatant display of colonial bullshit, because this is where¬†everything starts coming together. Remember that expensive war the colonists dragged Britain into? Great Britain thought it was only fair that the colonists¬†share¬†some of that cost, especially since the victory showed more benefit to the colonists than it did Great Britain. That’s reasonable. To cover this cost, GB tried throwing in some more taxes, which is also reasonable. As you’ll recall, though, the colonists¬†hated¬†paying reasonable taxes, so all of the new taxes, (except the tax on tea), were repealed.

We can’t even conceive of a government repealing taxes based solely on us not wanting to pay them, because that’s¬†all¬†taxes, but Great Britain pulled out.¬†Just like that.¬†Just to make the colonists happy, (those sonsabitches loved their tea), Great Britain came up with the Tea Act of 1773, which would give the colonists tea that was both cheaper¬†and¬†better than the tea they were getting from smugglers. Still sounds reasonable. France is out of the colonists’s hair, some taxes are removed, and they get high quality tea at a cheaper cost.

The colonists threw the tea in the water.

But Why?

It worked like this: the East India Trading Company was being driven into the ditch by colonial smugglers, and they only had one asset left that could save them: tea. So, Britain gave them an exclusive deal to sell their high quality tea cheaply to the colonists. Then, the British bundled it with a smaller import tax. Yes, it was like having to buy every¬†Wii¬†bundled with a copy of¬†Let’s Lotion Stuff 2, but the whole damn thing would only be 25 dollars, so it sounded like a fair compromise. Britain just wanted the Tea Tax in there to a) show they still were running shit at least a little bit and b) discourage people from illegally buy low-grade crap from smugglers.

Smugglers, like John Hancock, hate being told they can’t smuggle. Their businesses were metaphorically dependant on everybody remaining horrified by Great Britain’s terrible, (reasonable), awful, (in retrospect economically responsible) taxation practices, so they started a smear campaign in New York and Pennsylvania, painting the Tea Act as just a sneaky way to get everyone to accept new taxes. By this point, “new taxes”, while vital to paying down the still-a-massive-problem national debt, was a phrase now capable of making the colonists go apeshit like it was the fucking secret word on¬†Pee-Wee’s playhouse.


“THEY’RE TAKIN’ OUR TEA!”

And in this case, the secret word demanded that some motherfuckers better get their tea-dump on.

Riots, pamphlets and one Tea Party later, all done to help level the playing field for tea smugglers who were not about to let quality goods get in the way of their incredibly shortsighted business model.

 

#1. They Stirred Up Religious Bigotry to Get People on Their Side
 

To be fair to the asshole teabaggers, there¬†were¬†a few legitimate reasons to hate Great Britain but, to be fair to history, the colonists didn’t really choose any of those reasons. They picked¬†greed and bigotry.

Buy Why?

In 1774, Parliament passed the Quebec Act, which did two big things: 1) it provided religious toleration and rights to Catholics and 2) it expanded Quebec’s land in Canada down to the Ohio River,¬†away¬†from the colonists (who, remember, stole it from the French in the first place). Basically, it was like a big fruit basket from the British to Catholic French Canada with a card that read “Sorry we conquered you; maybe in time you will learn to love us?”

At this point, even after the Boston Tea Party, Massachusetts was the only colony that was really on board with the whole independence idea. Massachusetts, that is, and people like Washington, Jefferson and Patrick Henry, who invested a lot of money in the Ohio territory and didn’t exactly want to sit back and let the British give it to the stupid French and Indians, so they could ruin it with hairy armpits and crepe teepees. They were outraged and felt oppressed, sure, but they were still the minority at the time. They needed to convince the mostly king-loyal public that these laws were meant to oppress them silly, and they weren’t going to do that with the whole “I put all my eggs in the ‘Ohio Country’ basket and am personally screwed if this goes tits up” argument, so they decided to tap into the old English standard: frothing, belligerent Catholic hating.

Except for one problem: people didn’t really hate Catholics anymore. But they definitely had it in them to hate anything that they thought was ruining the Land O’ Opportunity, and the founding fathers totally played into it.


“Are you just going to sit there and let the goddamned¬†Catholics¬†eat all your babies?”

Alexander Hamilton argued that Quebec would become an irresistible magnet for Catholics who would then destroy the colonies, which is really about a drink away from just coming out and saying that Quebec is a self-arming death-ray that shoots popes. Paul Revere drew a cartoon showing the writers of the Quebec Act in cahoots with the Devil, and the Catholics for being one bishop short of Captain Planet:

It might not seem like a lot, but it was enough to enrage the colonists. Predictably, the British were pretty confused that THIS is what got the masses to turn against. But considering how much of a complicated clusterfuck the issues between the colonies and Great Britain had already been, it makes perfect sense that it would take something as simple as the 18th century equivalent of THEY TOOK OUR JAHBS.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_18442_5-reasons-founding-fathers-were-kind-dicks_p2.html#ixzz2d1fd4fuH

Telangana – Correct diagnosis, wrong cure – The Hindu

Correct diagnosis, wrong cure – The Hindu.

A piece on Telangana- India’s 29th state

Legitimate socio-economic grievances can take problematical political forms. Decades of neglect and denial of opportunities, especially in education and employment, have left the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh underdeveloped and backward. This inescapable reality explains the militancy of the movements that surface from time to time for a separate State. The region, which broadly corresponds to the areas that were under the princely state of Hyderabad, continues to fall behind both coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema in development indices. Dams and irrigation projects have helped to some extent, but the rural hinterlands on the Deccan plateau have resisted attempts to boost agricultural productivity and income. Rural unemployment and poverty are rampant. Leaders of the Telangana region, including many from the time of the first major agitation in 1969, have sought to frame these deprivation and development-related issues in the language of regionalism ‚ÄĒ as wilful, oppressive neglect of an entire region by those in power belonging to other regions. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the party behind the current agitation, is of the same mould. Although the TRS fared poorly in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections earlier this year, its president K. Chandrasekhar Rao has now managed to rally support by going on a protest fast. Such is the volatility of Indian politics that the mass mood can change within months, especially when an emotive issue is worked up by clever political footwork. The mishandling of the students‚Äô agitation by the police has clearly aided Mr. Rao‚Äôs cause.

Sound political diagnosis must of course factor in the mass mood but cannot be determined by it. In most cases, the real answer to problems of under-development and backwardness lies in big efforts aimed at development and progress. Aside from the unwisdom of breaking up South India‚Äôs largest State, a separate Telangana will fuel demands for a separate Rayalaseema, for a separate coastal Andhra, and, maybe, even for union territory status for Hyderabad ‚ÄĒ and there will be no Pradesh left. The problem of uneven regional and intra-State development is one of the major challenges rising India faces but there is little to suggest that smaller States will make for a more even process of development. Surely, regional imbalances can be corrected without recourse to bifurcating or trifurcating a stable and potentially prosperous State ‚ÄĒ which came into being through historical struggle and sacrifice and showcases the virtues of post-Independence linguistic reorganisation. For a start, the Regional Development Boards could be given more resources and more powers. Successive chief ministers have avoided resourcing the boards with sufficient funds, for fear of creating regional power centres and undermining their own authority. This must necessarily change. The diagnosis is right: Telangana is backward and cries out for rapid development and the regional autonomy needed for this. But the cure pressed by a succession of militant movements ‚ÄĒ a separate Telangana State ‚ÄĒ will do serious harm to the patient.

Source: The Hindu  December 9,2009

No Raanjhanaa broke no stereotypes, it did not make a positive impact!

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When the promos of the movie Raanjhanaa came out, people were heard shouting, ‘Oh Raanjhaana has Dhanush in it.. he will break the stereotype of the typical bollywood hero. This will change the way Bollywood had portrayed masculinity till now. Perception that the mainstream bollywood actors have to have a ‘hot body’ with ‘good looks’ would now be de-convoluted’. The above image exactly depicts things that have been doing rounds for long in the media. The moment I heard the afore-mentioned I knew something was wrong. Precisely why I decided to watch the movie!

Honestly, it was exaggeration at its best. The film was a good watch that made no lasting impression just as most of the other bollywood movies. Nothing that was promised was delivered.

If I were to de-construct the movie and the claims made this is exactly how I felt:

1. Dhanush will break the stereotype

It irked me a lot when I read the reviews by film critics that praised Dhanush for his commendable performance and his courage. This takes me back to the time when Gangs of Wasseypur had released. The film had no one from the commercial cinema who is thought to have ‘killer looks’ as per the so called bollywood standards but still managed to build a cult following. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi and Richa Chaddha, once unknown are now household names. Raanjhanaa made no such impact and was a sheer disappointment! Dhanush acted well in the movie but he is definitely not the trend setter. Actors like Suniel Shetty, Rajpal Yadav,¬†Omkar Das Manikpuri, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rajnikanth have made successful attempts to challenge the persisting notions in mainstream cinema long before Dhanush. The film’s attempt to manipulate the audience through Dhanush’s puppy-dog cuteness is insulting, if not downright sexist; this childish harasser is aggrandized as a pure lover, an innocent, blinded by saintly devotion to yet another undeserving shrewish and calculating female.¬†I felt neither the film nor the character did any justice to Dhanush’s acting capabilities.

2. Ladki sirf do cheezon se pat-ti hai, mehnat se ya fir darr se. 

There is something seriously wrong with this statement. The dialogue has been written and used recklessly in the movie. The film glorifies eve-teasing, encourages the use of acid attacks and slicing wrists as means to get the affection reciprocated when the normal methods fail. ¬†I do not disagree with the fact that a section of Indian men still use such methods to impose their will on the women they are infatuated with, but I do disagree with the modern educated girl in Zoya who failed to stand up to the boy’s antics and instead encouraged him. The film is set in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh and reflects the contrast in mentality of both educated and uneducated men in the state. However, it fails to acknowledge that the mentality issue is prevalent across the whole of India and not just UP alone.

3. If things are not going your way, attempt suicide.

Seriously, what is wrong with people? I know de-evolution is the trend of this century but there are limits to which one can tolerate idiocy. If things do not go your way, you work harder to change them. You do not use force on others neither do you kill yourself. No one promised you that life is going to go exactly how you planned it, but hey, its not going to be that bad either. Since when did slashing wrists started being considered as a pretense of bravery? Gimme a break… do not reason it out with me by saying.. it was love.. I was madly in love.. there was no other way! Sorry, you were not in love, you were only being a fool. In the movie, Zoya never falls for the jobless and uneducated Kundan. She still went for the better looking, educated, sophisticated and goal-oriented Jasjeet and royally ignored his flaws! Moral of the story, education, ambition and confidence is all that is required to win someone over. If they do not work on one person, never mind, there is plenty of fish in the sea. Trust me! ūüôā

4. A woman can turn the world around. If she doesn’t like you, she will end up killing you.¬†

Well, whose mistake is it anyway? Since centuries women have been perceived as timid creatures whom men can channel in which ever way they want to. Now when women have started challenging these age old assumptions and breaking out of the shell, men are suddenly uncomfortable with the whole idea of equal rights and women empowerment. They now brand them as manipulators. Honestly, if it was a man who was to take revenge from another man in politics, he would have resorted to manipulation too but in a much different way. Then why mis-branding women only? *No I am not a feminist but I do believe in equal rights!* As far as Bindiya is concerned, I feel sorry for Sawara having to play this character.

I do not think its the stereotype of male actors in Indian cinema which needs to be broken, its the obsession with use of clichés for depiction of masculinity and the gender stereotyping which needs a major upheaval. It is required that the film makers learn from the reactions of masses post the Delhi Rape case and start writing intelligent scripts. Its time to raise the bar and get your priorities right.

Overall Rating: ** 1/2 on 5

Verdict: An irresponsible attempt to be different

INDIA TO CHARGE BRITAIN FOR OVERSTAYING TILL 1947

I am baffled by the way the new rules for immigration have been formulated and implemented. Not only are they biased, they act as a deterrent for any ‘open for trade’ relationships as advertised by the UK government. What’s more disappointing is that, while the governments of all the other countries on whom the bond has been imposed have revolted, Indian government has chosen to remain tight lipped about the situation. What Indians need to think is: Is it worth suffering at the hands of imperialists or take it as a lesson and rise to the occasion so that they are entitled to well deserved equal treatment?

INDIA UPDATE

220px-ImperialCrownOfIndia2

In news that has been condemned by the Delhi Gymkhana, the Indian government has announced that it will be charging the British government arrears in rent and visa fees for overstaying till 1947. Calculations will be done on a per head per year basis, beginning in the early 17th century.

‚ÄúWe will be charging extra for Lord Mountbatten,‚ÄĚ said a government spokesperson, ‚ÄúSince he stayed till 1948.‚ÄĚ

This move was in reaction to an announcement that all Indians entering the UK will now have to pay a bond of 3000 pounds, leaving them little or no money for shopping. Instead, the British government will refund the money on departure, so that they can spend it back in India.

Moving swiftly, the Indian government has arrested prominent Britons Mark Tully and Katrina Kaif, prior to deportation for non-payment.

“In order to cause minimum inconvenience, I offered to share a cell…

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Random conversations that made sense in December!

I love talking! ¬†May be that is why I started blogging in the first place. ūüėõ¬†There is nothing like a good conversation to open up your senses or put you into deep thinking. The¬†individual¬†perspectives on relevant or irrelevant matters help broaden your understanding of people around you. In this article, I will be sharing a few of the random conversations I had while I was on a vacation in India.

On my way to Jaipur, I met two adorable girls, a 10 year old and a 12 year old accompanied by their mother. The girls were equally¬†mischievous¬†and intelligent. So, I strike up a conversation with both of them and start asking them about the latest release- Dabangg 2. The girls were quick to say that they thoroughly enjoyed the film and wished we had more cops like Chulbul Pandey in Delhi Police. At first instance, I had a hearty laugh but when I asked them why do they think this way, both of them quoted the Delhi Rape Case. (It was definitely the last thing I wanted to hear)¬†The girls also pointed at an article published in the Times of India which described the failure of¬†Delhi¬†police to judge the molestation of a 12 year old in a moving DTC bus. I was surprised to see how quickly the kids these days can understand such situations. I shared with them an incident that happened with me four and a half years ago. It was a small case of my mobile phone being picked from my trouser’s pocket but it left a lasting impression. It was not the crime which offended me as a citizen but the attitude of the police which came as a shocker. I caught the thief the moment he stole my phone and saw him pass it on to his partner. Though I grabbed one of them by the collar, I could not get hold of the second one as he ran away too quickly. I shouted, created a scene, gathered the crowd and dragged the thief to Uttam Nagar Police station. (Honestly, I have never been so proud of my loud voice and the ability to create a mountain of a molehill. But in this incident, it was my flaws that helped me.) I handed over the culprit to the police and he was taken in custody. A police personnel then took me to the crime site and was quick to throw the case off to Janakpuri jurisdiction as the crime site was 20 centimeters away from Uttam Nagar jurisdiction. I found it absolutely ridiculous but little did I know that the worst was yet to come. When I came back to the police station, I demanded a full body search of the thief though I knew he passed over the phone to his partner. It was at this moment when I got to know that the thief had escaped from the custody. This was more than enough to make me lose my temper and forget that I have a family to worry about and its the police I am raising my voice against. I wrote an FIR report myself as the police was not ready to file one and courageously mentioned ‘The thief was handed over to the police but the police helped him escape and were negligent the whole time. I did my duty as a law abiding citizen but the policemen failed to perform their’s.’ None of the things I did changed anything about the situation. However, when I used ‘approach’, not only did I get a brand new phone, I was also dropped off to my destination in a police jeep in no time. I was asked to withdraw my FIR for obvious reasons. It was after this that I understood that one should stop hoping for protection and justice from them and be their own bodyguards without abusing the law.

As I got to know the girls better, I asked them about their school. They were absolutely elated at the question. It was quite apparent that they loved going to school. Turns out the school in Rohini, Delhi is a public school named after the first Indian religious, education and social reformer- Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Any amount of¬†honour¬†for this man shall be less. I was disappointed when I came to know that neither of the two girls knew about him. The younger one excused herself by saying that she has never seen his photograph or statue in her school, so she has no idea who he was. The only pictures or statues in her school are those of Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Shiela Dixit. (Do I need to say anything more? I am pretty sure you would’ve guessed my reaction. Since these were kids, I¬†preferred¬†to shut my mouth.)¬†I then gave them a fifteen minute talk to educate them about one of the greatest reformers India ever produced and his reforms which paved way for new and liberated India. However, amidst everything I realised, we put him on pedestal by naming him as ” The Father of Modern India” but we do not give him his due respect. That is exactly what we have been doing with everything. We have been worshipping and considering things to be sacred whereas we should be applying them in our daily life. ¬†Late Sri Raja Ram Mohan Roy had been fighting against the rotten ideologies that hold no value in present time for decades. He questioned the popular beliefs of Hindus for years and tried his best to establish gender equality in the country. If only we had followed his teachings and not considered them sacred, we would have progressed much before.

The second¬†incident¬†happened in the metro when I was on my way to New Delhi Railway Station. I was travelling in the normal coach in Delhi metro not in the one that is reserved for women when I overheard a conversation between two middle aged men. And of course the topic of the day was, “Delhi Rape Case”. No surprises there! Both the men condemned the crime and were displeased with the government’s attitude. Everything was going in their¬†favour¬†until one of them started to brag about how he has taught his daughter to stay in “her limits” and he is confident that such a thing will never happen with her. Clearly, this man had failed to understand that the plethora of angry men and women at various hotspots of¬†Delhi¬†have been fighting against the idea of keeping women in bounds. Not only that, he indirectly justified the act and stigmatised the rape survivors. If I were a boy being raised with a sister, I would be ashamed of myself if my sister was taught to guard herself because men have no self-control.

One fine evening, I was having a conversation with my mother about how suffocating Delhi has proven to be since December 16. I did not understand why one unfortunate incident was hyped so much? I understand the aggression of the¬†protesters¬†and appreciate their efforts, but I fail to understand, why are all rapes not highlighted as much. There is no question that this case was horrific, but then which rape case isn’t? I was amazed to see the uprising of people and it gave me a ray of hope too. I could see that there exists a section of the society which recognises the need for a change in the mentality of people, while there is another which demands stricter laws. The former demanded a long term solution while the latter saw short term gains. Also, what’s with the names ‘Nirbhaya’, ‘Desh ki Beti’, ‘Amanat’, ‘Damini’? Why did we suddenly feel the need to give the rape survivor a name? Have we again discriminated or have we been biased in a subtle way? These questions left me perplexed for a very long time and I still do not have concrete answers or may be I am purposely not trying to find the answers.

I was constantly following the international reports about the mishap and the coverage was particularly ironic to the recent media controversy over a rape in Ohio. I am 100% sure, more than half of those reading this article would not even be aware of the Ohio controversy. What saddened me more was that my fellow countrymen did not hesitate in sharing these reports on social media platforms. Some even included them in their blogs with additional graphical details. Ethical and unbiased journalism clearly vanished when it came to this particular case. Some websites tried to generate more hits while juvenile writers and organisations saw it as their claim to fame.

Today, I see three different kinds of people in the society.

1. Who are willing to help and be the agents of change.

2. Who shout along with the former but chicken out when it comes to implementation

3. Who laugh at the situation or try to benefit from the situation. This also includes those who are indifferent.

I don’t know who is worse, the second category or the third? ¬†But there is one thing which is very evident in the Indian middle class and that is the desire to change. I hope it does not fade quickly.

Those interested in knowing more about the ohio rape case the following link summarises a few facts http://prinniefied.com/wp/

The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : Why I can‚Äôt pay tribute to Thackeray

The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : Why I can’t pay tribute to Thackeray.

There are some people that you absolutely love as they are the revolutionaries in present time. I adore his ‘free-thinking’ capability and ‘don’t give a damn’ attitude. Here’s what Justice Katju had to say on Late Sri Bal Thakery.:

His bhumiputra theory flies in the face of our Constitution and works against the unity needed to ensure development

Muppadhu kodi mugamudayal

Enil maipuram ondrudayal

Ival Seppumozhi padhinetudayal

Enil Sindhanai ondrudayal

(This Bharatmata has 30 crore faces

But her body is one

She speaks 18 languages

But her thought is one)

Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi

Bhedad gana vinauyanti bhinnah supajapah paraih

Tasmat samghatayogesu prayateran ganah sada

(Republics have been destroyed because of internal divisions among the people;

Hence a republic should always strive to achieve unity and good relations among the people)

Mahabharat, Shanti Parva, chapter 108, shloka 14

Tesam anyonyabhinnanam svauaktim anutisthatam

Nigrahah panditaih karyah ksipram eva pradhanatah

(Therefore the wise authorities should crush the separatist forces trying to assert their strength)

Mahabharat, Shanti Parva, 108:26

Political leaders, film stars, cricketers, etc. are all falling over one another to pay tribute to the late Bal Thackeray. Amidst this plethora of accolades and plaudits pouring in from the high and mighty, I humbly wish to register my vote of dissent.

I know of the maxim De mortuis nil nisi bonum (of the dead speak only good), but I regret I cannot, since I regard the interest of my country above observance of civil proprieties.

What is Bal Thackeray’s legacy?

It is the anti-national ‚Äėsons of the soil‚Äô (bhumiputra) theory.

Article 1(1) of the Indian Constitution states: ‚ÄúIndia, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.‚ÄĚ

Thus, India is not a confederation but a union.

Article 19 (1) (e) states: ‚ÄúAll citizens shall have the right ‚ÄĒ to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.‚ÄĚ

Thus, it is a fundamental right of a Gujarati, south Indian, Bihari, U.P.ite, or person from any other part of India to migrate to Maharashtra and settle down there, just as it is of Maharashtrians to settle down in any part of India (though there are some restrictions in J&K, and some North-East States, due to historical reasons).

The bhumiputra theory states that Maharashtra essentially belongs to Marathi people, while Gujaratis, south Indians, north Indians, etc. are outsiders. This is in the teeth of Articles 1(1) and 19(1)(e) of the Constitution. India is one nation, and hence non-Maharashtrians cannot be treated as outsiders in Maharashtra.

The Shiv Sena created by Thackeray attacked south Indians in the 1960s and 70s, and vandalised their restaurants and homes. In 2008, Biharis and U.P.ites living in Mumbai (the bhaiyyas who eke out a livelihood as milk and newspaper vendors, taxi drivers etc.) were described as infiltrators and attacked, their taxis smashed, and several beaten up. Muslims were also vilified

This, of course, created a vote bank for Thackeray based on hatred (as had Hitler, of whom Thackeray was an admirer), and how does it matter if the country breaks up and is Balkanised?

Apart from the objection to the ‚Äėsons of the soil‚Äô theory for being anti-national and unconstitutional, there is an even more basic objection, which may rebound on Thackeray‚Äôs own people.

India is broadly a country of immigrants (like North America) and 92-93 per cent of the people living in India today are not the original inhabitants but descendants of immigrants who came mainly from the north-west seeking a comfortable life in the sub-continent (see the article ‚ÄėWhat is India?‚Äô on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in and the video on the website kgfindia.com ).

The original inhabitants (the real bhumiputra) of India are the pre-Dravidian tribals, known as Adivasis (the Bhils, Gonds, Santhals, Todas, etc.) who are only 7-8 per cent of our population today.

Hence if the bhumiputra theory is seriously implemented, 92-93 per cent of Maharashtrians (including, perhaps, the Thackeray family) may have to be regarded as outsiders and treated accordingly. The only real bhumiputra in Maharashtra are the Bhils and other tribals, who are only 7-8 per cent of the population of Maharashtra.

Several separatist and fissiparous forces are at work in India today (including the bhumiputra theory). All patriotic people must combat these forces.

Why must we remain united? We must remain united because only a massive modern industry can generate the huge wealth we require for the welfare of our people ‚ÄĒ agriculture alone cannot do this ‚ÄĒ and modern industry requires a huge market. Only a united India can provide the huge market for the modern industry we must create to abolish poverty, unemployment and other social evils, and to provide for the huge health care and modern education systems we must set up if we wish to come to the front ranks of the most advanced countries.

Hence I regret I cannot pay any tribute to Mr. Bal Thackeray.

(Markandey Katju is Chairman, Press Council of India.)

The article was published in The Hindu.

What is wrong with RAPE?

Everything… ¬†It should be an obvious answer but not everyone is of the same opinion. In past few weeks, I have witnessed multiple uncanny statements doing rounds in the media. These statements have been rather offensive and insensitive to women and to the rape victims. The post describes my viewpoint on rape and the outrageous comments.

Defining ‘rape’.

Rape is defined as sexual contact or penetration achieved: without consent, or with use of physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and/or when the victim is: mentally incapacitated or impaired, physically impaired (due to voluntary or involuntary alcohol or drug consumption), asleep or unconscious.

For some people who can read and write but cannot comprehend the above definition, it becomes mandatory to state that:

  1. Silence doesn’t mean consent
  2. Consent under coercion (physical or emotional) is not given willingly and sex with a person under threat is still RAPE
  3. Consensual sex with a person, under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is also classified as RAPE since judgment is impaired in such individuals.

There is no such thing as ‘legitimate rape’.

The Republican representative of Missouri, Todd Akin got my blood boiling with his comments on pregnancies due to rape in an interview given to St. Louis television station as a part of the election campaign. Mr. Akin was dumb enough to say, “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare.¬†If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
Mr. Akin’s appalling statements were subjected to massive criticism on twitter within minutes of telecast.

I personally would like to ask Mr. Akin, what is LEGITIMATE RAPE? I am confused about the interpretation of this phrase. Being a female biologist, I find it quite fascinating to know that female body is capable of ‘shutting the whole process down’. I may only be familiar with books on Human Physiology authored by Vander and Guyton, none of them ever mentioned something as supernatural as that. If female body was blessed with such capabilities, why would they depend on oral contraceptives and hysterectomy for birth control? Moreover, why would even condom be a standard requirement for safe sex? After all, we can voluntarily ‘shut the whole thing down’.

‘Abortion’ of unwanted pregnancy is an individual’s decision.

I do not understand the hypocrisy and double standards of the society when it comes to aborting the unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape. Many people will hate me for saying that I am in favour of abortion. Trust me, I couldn’t care less. A woman, who is raped, undergoes a lot of pain and trauma. In this situation, a child who reminds her of the traumatic experience time and again is the last thing she desires. Pushing women for unwanted birth is unfair to both the child and the mother as the mother can never love the child enough nor will the child be able to develop adequately. Both unintended and unwanted childbearing can have negative health, social, and psychological consequences. Put yourselves in the shoes of rape victims and try understanding their miseries. Be human, just for once and let it be the victim’s decision alone.

If Todd Akin’s insensitivity wasn’t enough, days later, Richard Mourdock, a geologist by trade made a bizarre statement that stamped unwanted pregnancies to be ‘the will of god’. The Republican candidate for the US Senate in Indiana said, “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something God intended to happen“. If republicans are so pro-life, then why did they not oppose George W. Bush’s decision to go on war with Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan? Wars were never something god intended to happen as they deprive the people of their right to live. So what is it that you support, the idea of life or the nonsensical belief? (It’s all a matter of convenience. No? )

Mr. Mitt Romney and Mr. Barack Obama earned my respect by thoroughly condemning the statements made by Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. It’s sad that Romney being a republican spent half of his time in election campaign apologising to the people on behalf of his fellow senators.

In Obama’s words,” I don’t know how these guys come up with this idea. Let me make a very simple proposition: Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me — don’t make any sense to me.”

Forcing a rape victim to ‘marry’ the guilty is not the solution.

When I was a teenager, my mother often used to narrate to me the incidents of rapes, assaults and thefts that were published in the newspapers. No, she wasn’t a lunatic and I wasn’t dyslexic either, I detested newspapers for their depressing content and she was only trying her best to educate me about the world from early on. I found it very irritating when I was little, but now I thoroughly appreciate her efforts. We both resented the practice of marrying a rape victim to the attacker. When I questioned her about the origins of the practice, she coyly said, “I am unaware of its exact origins, though I do know the thought. The punishment for the guilty is to pay the victim’s father in cash or kind. If he chooses to return in kind, he must marry the daughter he raped”. I can guarantee that both of us were equally angry and I was in particular astonished. Later, I tried searching for the source and I did find the answer(now I know why she was hesitant), but what surprised me more was that even the judiciary in many countries use the same practice as punishment for the guilty.

So, how does this work then? A man rapes a woman and his punishment is to get married to the victim. Is it actually a punishment for the man or are you punishing the woman again? Indeed you killed her twice in my eyes.

And for heaven’s sake ‘Chowmein’ and ‘Age’ have nothing to do with rape.

People like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are not the only ones in the world who love to make offensive statements. The ‘Khap Panchayats’ and former chief minister of Haryana, Mr. Om Prakash Chautala are not behind. The only difference being, they both blame ‘the western influence’ including food, clothes and the ‘marriageable age’ as causes of increase in rape cases in Haryana and not God. The ‘Khap’ strongly believes that spicy Chinese food can cause hormonal imbalance which upsets the brain circuitry and compels the brave haryanvi men to rape the women. *Claps!* (Why do we even listen to them?) To make matters worse, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala backed the view of khaps, that the marriageable age for girl be lowered to 16 to prevent the rising number of rapes in the state. Justifying his stand, Chautala said even in the Mughal era people would marry off their daughters early to save them from atrocities of the Mughals. However Mr. Chautala certainly doesn’t understand that we are out of the Mughal era and Chinese food is actually quite bland. It is the ‘Indian Chinese’ which is spicy.

Since sociology is not my major, I cannot give a detailed analysis or a report on the factors responsible for rape and the possible solutions. As a woman, based on my observation and reading, I can definitely say that RAPE is independent of caste, sex, creed, religion, age or food. It is one thing that can happen anywhere, to anyone and in any circumstance. What causes rape is debateable, what can prevent it is not. If we start respecting each other as individuals and become more sensitive to the needs of others, world would be a better place. Get rid of the beliefs which stop you from progressing and think freely.

And as for the woman in the picture above, she definitely would have abused ginormously and even kicked you in the balls if she was able to.

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When I first met Mr. Rahul Gandhi!

He is dynamic, young,energetic, full of enthusiasm and optimism, a star. That is how All India Congress Committee describes this young¬†leader, speculated to be the next prime minister of the country. (Note: He hasn’t taken any prominent position of power in the cabinet but still congress bets on him for the prime¬†minister-ship¬†in General Elections of 2014.)

Born on June 19, 1970, this 39 year old is on a mission to¬†fulfil¬†his father’s dream about the nation. This half Indian claims to love this country unconditionally. Although new in politics, he managed to live up to the expectations, well¬†at-least¬†claimed to, until he recently made a few mistakes by making¬†politically¬†incorrect and ¬†ignorant statements in public meetings rendering him unpopular among the masses. What he implied and what was made out of it, people stand divided on the thought.

Educated at Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi,he attained Bachelor’s in Economics from St. Stephen’s College,¬†Delhi¬†University ¬†and then moved on to¬†Harvard jumped to Rolings and finally completed M. Phil from Trinity College, Cambridge. Some of these details are made known to the Indian public and can easily be found on the internet. However, claims have been made that the man in question can very well be lying about the same. Upon independent investigation done by¬†Dr. Subramanian Swami, there was no record of any M.Phil thesis submitted by Rahul Vinci and/or Gandhi in University of Cambridge libraries. His Harvard stint is also regarded as a failure by Dr. Swamy. One may never know the truth, but one is free to chose what and whom to believe.

On his shoulders, this man carries the burden of being born in Nehru-Gandhi family, one of the most influential and most successful political families of India. After all this, he still manages to remain modest. Not even a single hint of attitude, extremely down to earth, humble and open, this man is all praises when you meet him in person.What makes him more appealing is the power of persuasion. He is a leader,without any doubts, but he is blessed with the ability to be able to connect with people. No wonder he has such a huge fan following. Whether its a façade or not, only time will tell.

It was on September 9, 2009 when I got a chance to see the man himself. I was charmed by the simplicity of this man. In spotless white kurta pyjama he sat there carefully observing the audience. All eyes were stuck on him, hundreds were gazing at him but nothing made him conscious. After the welcome address, finally, the moment came when Rahul was given the charge of the microphone. Gladly, he moved towards the podium and uttered his first words.¬†” I would like to start this as an interactive session, would want to know your opinion on matters and would try to answer all your questions to the best of my ability. You are free to ask me whatever you want.Towards the end of the session, I would like to have 5 minutes to myself where I will share some thoughts of mine with you and will leave you with certain issues to ponder over.”¬†The voice was full of confidence, he was exuberant.

The session begins, first question “Sir..!!”.. “Don’t call me Sir, I’m Rahul, call me by my name”.. ” As you say. So Rahul, What is your leadership style?” with a broad smile on his face he replied, “My Leadership style? Well I don’t have any¬†leadership¬†style as such. Everyone is a leader in our country and we should be proud of this fact.(That is true, everyone is a leader in India and I feel that is a huge problem with us.) We just need to work together.¬†I respect this country for its democracy. I just want to share my vision about this country with you and if you approve of it and work with me towards it we can achieve what we want”.

Next one was¬†hilarious, “Rahul, do you have any slogan for the young like Obama had? the one that stated YES WE CAN!! ????” He again smiled and said, no I do not have a slogan for the youth but I believe in the youth of this country. Such slogans may be able to motivate you temporarily but real motivation comes from within. We all are capable of¬†achieving¬†the impossible, all what we need to do is to break open our shells, express ourselves and be perceptive.”

Now focus shifts from leadership to education. A girl in the front gets up and asks him “Why is there brain drain in India?” To this question Rahul had no clear answer. What all he could reply was,” We can not stop them who wish to pursue higher education abroad. Our constitution doesn’t permit us as it gives us the freedom of movement. We can not even pressurize people to return back as amenities offered there are much more than what we have in our country. But that doesn’t mean our country is less than any other superpower. The cost of educating a child in our country is much less than that in US, UK or Europe. We impart world class education at¬†much lower¬†costs. The west is always hunting for Indians. All what we need is respect for this nation. Once we start respecting our country, situation will not be the same.”

One of the most interesting comments made by him was on the¬†population¬†of this country for which he said “Don’t ever think the population of this country is its minus point. Ours is a young country as majority of the population falls in the age group of 12-45 which is productive and contributes majorly to the economy as compared to countries like France where it’s the elderly that dominate and hence forms the old country.” (Dude, you may be right about the age group, but seriously…we have too many mouths to feed. Its next to impossible to be able to provide for such a huge population. The already existing competition, basic principle of speciation and natural selection is the reason for majority of our problems.)

Next was involvement of political parties in educational institutions in the form of college elections. He strongly favoured this and tried to justify himself, which to an extent he was able to. Apart from this, issue of nuclear deal, sustainable development as well as lack of funds in science and technology also came up. He concluded by quoting his father. He did stop talking but his objective was still not fulfilled. He came down the stage, into the public and gave his email Id . He interacted with a few front rowers and even with a few foreigners. Before leaving he shared a few of his thoughts with us.

He said “World seems to be smaller now, it is connected.. thanks to the technological advancements. We are closer now and this closeness, this sharing of ideas and openness would pave way for a better future.

Be perceptive, be receptive, open up, break your shell, take the lead, think independently. This country needs all of us, it wants all of us to work together. Out of 6 billion people in the world we contribute 1 billion that makes 1/6th of the world’s population. We have a much larger responsibility to fulfill. Don’t just think, put your thoughts into action as well.” ( Hola! We were 6 billion in 2009.. and we are 7 billion in 2012.. OMFG!! Vasectomy .. we need vasectomy.. NOW!!)

And the man walks away..accompanied by his body guards. Room becomes dull again but he manages to leave us with a question. Something to think about.. are we all contributing any thing to our country? Do we even respect it?? He did make an impact, like every other politician in India does. The only thing which gives him an edge over the others is his pro-youth and youth targeted propaganda.

He does manage to win over the youth by motivating them to be the agents of much required change but his lack of tact in his public dealings and inconsistency are the evils that will haunt him for a long time. ¬†The ‘Gandhi’ family name which he carries is a boon and bane at the same time. We can only come to know of his limtis and capabilities when his abilities are put to test in future. So, lets wait and watch if he is only words or there is some substance too.

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