Sunday, June 26, 2011

The burden of Secularism ?

What exactly is communal violence ?

We all have seen the recent scorn heaped on the “Civil Society” by Kapil Sibal, Digvijaya Singh etc. as to how to unelected folks are dictating terms and even righteous anger displayed and scorn heaped as well. Behind the Scenes, quietly this government and all the intellectuals are licking the feet of Antionio Maino headed NAC and processes are under way to pass several bills from NAC as is in the parliament. The main and the most devious one amongst them is the “Communal Violence Bill”.

This bill is a pure political ploy to play to the minority galleries just in time for UP elections, where congress is still nurturing a dream that “Yuvarajaa” will be able to make an impact at least in one state. On the face of it, who could argue with a bill the compensates victims of communal riots, compensates them better and ensures that justice is done, right ?

Well, the devil is in the details, the bill deals with violence only against a specific group, if you look at the definition of who are this group then it becomes obvious to as to what is the intent behind the bill. OK, what a “group” is defined as follows: A 'group' means a religious or linguistic minority and in a given state may include the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”

Now you understand why I am upset. Why should the government treat some violence as more worthy of attention than others? The excuse given is the existing laws are firm enough to deal with the rest. This is the same twisted logic that has resulted in a commission for every category of individual in India. We have commissions for “Child welfare”, “Women”, Minorities & Soon for “Homosexuals”. All at the same time, we have a “National Human Rights Commission”. What rights are these specific categories entitled to -- which are beyond the rights entitled to every human being, escapes my reasoning. Now we have this communal violence bill. Where in the train burning and killing of Majority is “Secular” but the retaliatory riots (equally heinous) is “Communal” Even in the same riot, violence against majority is “Secular” and against others is “Communal”. This is insanity, there is hardly any debate, every well-meaning news anchor and paper should be screaming against this bill, but the media in India is largely subservient to the white skin of the ruling Maatha.

Oh, Yeah the parliament has proposed another bill that makes denial of apartment rental etc. to minorities -- an offense. Yes, a catholic housing society in Mumbai can still ask all prospective tenants to get a certificate from the local parish, but a Hindu society can’t do the same. Yet, all this is very “progressive”.

I am of the view, that such special privileges, categorization and treatment to various groups will only perpetuate the divisions that exist in the society today.

Why am I alone in this thought ? It seems that the burden of secularism is only on the Hindus, as far as the Congress and their media allies are concerned. Very disappointed, we really need a change of government. This is more dangerous than the monumental corruption that the Italian Maatha has presided over.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"National" news that shakes all of us, yeah right...

Today, an earth shaking event happened in India and the so called national channels are going gaga over it expressing shock and indignation. What happened ?

• Did a terrorist attack happen ?
• Did the government enact a lokpal ?
• Did corrupt cabinet ministers get dismissed ?
• Did we win a nobel prize ?
• At least, did Yuvaraja get married ?

Nope, not even close. Sit down, take a breath. The earth shaking event that impacts all of India is (drum roll please….) that of Delhi University’s college cut-off mark list. Yes, this news of so much “National Importance” is all the rage in the news channels (the Delhi kind). The arrogance and the presumption that somehow all of India cares about this is shocking. It would be interesting to poll in Andhra and TN and find out as to how many of the citizens there can even name even one of the so called “Institutes of national importance in Delhi” like St Stephen’s college or Lady Shriram College of Commerce etc. The first time I came to know about any of these is through NDTV, hell I got to know that there is a festival called Holi only when I went to IISc Bangalore. Even during the time the Central government was showing only the Hindi DD all over the nation sans a few metros… (Thank god that changed with cable and DTH, today you can live anywhere in India and not be kept away from entertainment in your native tongue..)

As hard as it is to believe, I hate to break the news to all the “national” news channels, that rest of India doesn’t care about this. Even NDTV had to shed its arrogance and had to start a Chennai based one called NDTV HINDU to get viewership in TN. So get a clue and stop this obsession that somehow, all of India cares about all the nitty, gritty and sundry in Delhi. Other than our parliament, Supreme Court and Scams nothing else gets paid attention to by rest of India on Delhi.

Now, coming to one specific issue there is huge ruckus that some commerce college in Delhi has announced a cut-off mark of 100% for non-commerce stream students. Even, our pseudo intellectual HRD minister has jumped into the fray -- expressing shock at this insanity which is designed to keep out science stream students from commerce. I for one, say more power to them. In all fairness, if you didn’t take science and took commerce instead you were never allowed to pursue degree in science, why commerce should be thought of as an “second class discipline” that all and sundry who never intended to opt for it should come in ? But then I am being logical here, so will not align with the lot that goes for intelligentsia in the media.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Is it time to give up on Indian Media ?

It is shameful that analytical reports are rarity now-a-days in the media particularly the English electronic media. The correspondents and all the way to the so called “brand name anchors” are either unwilling or unable to ask all the tough questions. The recent Baba Ramdev episode is a case in point here. As a layman who watched the proceedings the following questions immediately come to my mind?

  1. When did the government discover that Baba Ramdev’s movement was a front for RSS, is it midnight of the raid?
  2. If they had known it all along, why did the rush several heavy hitters to meet him and separate him from the rest and negotiate with him in good faith?
  3. If the national interest were not threatened by the summit of separatists with Arundati Roy et al advocating even break up, if the home minister waxed eloquent about how diverse viewpoints are essential for democracy, what made him react with alarm when a movement against corruption had a forum?
  4. If indeed, what Kapil Sibal said is true that Baba Ramdev agreed on some things and then went back, the media singularly failed to highlight what Sibal& Co did to Anna Hazare’s panel during lokpal bill follow-up? If so, why is he himself upset it at now. He was the one that taught that underhandedness to the “civil society”.
  5. Even if indeed, RSS was behind it, what is so anti-national about it?
  6. If constitutional bodies are being circumvented by movements started by individuals, then what is Antonio Maino doing in NAC, why everything proposed by NAC is taken as “gospel” by the government? Abolish that as well….

I want the media and the so called “journalists” to have hands on their hearts and introspect.

I still have my hopes…Do you?

A very upset, secular & law abiding Indian.