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In the last couple of days, I've read reports of Venkiah Naidu (BJP chief) and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (the Art of Living foundation chap) exhorting Muslims to give away the disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus as a mark of brotherhood and friendship so that the squabbles and disputes (obviously they wouldn't add words like rioting, killings, terror etc.) over the temple/mosque. This really baffles me. Why cant they ask Hindus to give up ownership claims to the disputed area? Why can't they ask the Hindus (mind you, they claim that all real Hindus want the temple to be built there. I don't qualify, I'm an agnostic) to relinquish attempts to take control of the land? Surely brotherhood/friendship etc. cannot be one-way, can it? What is really painful is the way we're forced to use words like disputed area/territory etc. We use this in the context of say Aksai Chin or Pakistan occupied Kashmir etc. But applying those words to a place which is very much in India, whose accession to India can never be disputed, now that is really ridiculous, isn't it?
Yesterday was one year since the massacre at Godhra. I was stupefied when during a discussion on a news channel, one of the speakers (from the BJP, obviously), said "Why can't we forget what happened at Godhra and afterwards? We should move on. The Gujarat government is giving incentives for villages which don't see riots by providing a Rs. 1 lakh prize on an annual basis.". No self-respecting individual with the least sense would subscribe to this. While it is true that sometimes we're too taken in by what happened in the past and don't focus on the current and on the future, this isn't one of those situations. Why can't the same argument be applied when the Babri masjid was destroyed? Surely it was done (planned or part of mob fury) because those who were responsible for fanning the flames of hate kept harping on the fact that nearly 400 odd years ago, the Mughal emperor Babar demolished Lord Rama's birthplace and built a mosque over it. So the BJP wants us to forget what happened one year ago, but was guilty of asking their followers to not forget what happened 400 odd years ago? Double standards, me thinks.
Labels: gujarat violence 2002
A portrait of Veer Savarkar is to be unveiled in Parliament today. This is the same person who was among those accused of being part of the conspiracy to assasinate Mahatma Gandhi. This is the same chap who pleaded with the British that he'd give up his seditious ways if they were lenient on his sentence when he was despatched off to Andaman & Nicobar. The Congress has made it worse by the revelation that none of its members in the Parliamentary Committee which decided on Savarkar's portrait getting a pride of place alongside Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Jayaprakash Narayan and Sardar Patel objected! They sure have a lot to answer for. Could this be related to the way the Congress has of late positioned itself as being an alternative Hindu motley crew? Given that general elections (and not the General's election as we saw last year in Pakistan) are due next year, it isn't a far-fetched thought.
Warne has admitted that he had taken a diuretic prior to the one which showed up in his last drug test. He'd taken the diuretic first time around to mask the effects of too many bottles of wine during wine promotions. And the second one was to mask what, Warnie? He also said that his only crimes were vanity and being silly. Of course, it isn't the first time he has been vain or silly or naive or displayed other such behaviour.
I'm not ranting and raving here about Warnie because I hate him. This isn't the first time he's fallen into trouble and tried to bail himself out of it by acting sorry and claiming he was just a naive 2 year old who didn't know what he was doing. He has been quite successful at getting away with it so far. About time the long hands of the establishment/law caught up with him. I'm angry with Warne because he has let all of his fans down.
If it was just some absolutely untalented cricketer like say Ronnie Irani then I wouldn't give a damn. But this is Warne we're talking about. There's a buzz around, as if he's going to do something special, in much the same way as when Gilchrist or Wasim Akram or Tendulkar are playing. I enjoy watching him bowl, when it is against Indians (for obvious reasons!) and even when he is not ! Every time he does something stupid, naive, silly and tries to do damage control by conjuring up a new adjective to describe his actions, he loses more of his fans.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." -- Julius Caesar - 1599 - Act I - Scene 2 - Rows: 140-141
Is the NAM relevant any more? Among the members of the NAM (Non-Aligned movement) are a whole lot of TPLACs (Tin-Pot Little African Country, see Yes Minister - The Official Visit) like Angola, Burkina Faso, Congo etc. In fact have a look at the NAM membership list.
I challenge you to produce an alphabet which does not list a TPLAC. Does the world really care about what members of the NAM say or feel? I know there are important (or so we're made to believe) countries in the NAM like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa etc. But there're also countries like North Korea, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran and Libya which'd be in any terrorism factbook. Interestingly enough Palestine is listed as a member, is Palestine an independent country? What on earth is Arafat fighting for now?!
Actually I don't have a problem with Warne getting a 1 year ban. It makes for great timing. If he wants to stay in the game, just after his ban is over, there is an Aussie tour of India. He is very much welcome to return and get his butt kicked again. He'll then wonder if it was worth the 1 year itch after all.
The rabid Hindutva folks are upping the ante. Pravin Togadia talks about a second Mahabharat which will be fought in which Hindus will be pitted against communists, socialists and "beggars of Muslim votes". I suppose he implies that those who are found among that bunch are not Hindus. Why can't people like him be hauled up under the Prevention Of Terrorism Act? Surely incendiary statements of these nature are meant to provoke communal rioting.
I'm confused with the Non Aligned Movement summit in Kuala Lumpur. How on earth is Pakistan part of the NAM? I thought they were very much part of the US bloc, during the Cold War for sure at least.
Getting tired of the government's repeated attempts to force a decision on Ayodhya. Surely it lacks a spine. Just arrest these so-called guardians of Hinduism. Can't we just have a cricket ground in the entire disputed and non-disputed area, given that everyone knows that cricket is our religion?
Shane Warne has been given a 1 year ban by the ACB for his doping offence. He's got away with it once again. The ACB's policy explicitly mentions a 2 year ban and apparently there was no mention of extra-ordinary circumstances too! Another good cover-up job by the board. Interesting to see if the ICC allows a replacement for Warnie, given the rules say that replacements can happen only when an injury rules a player out of the complete tournament.
Steve Waugh has talked about being surprised and shocked at the decision to ban Warne for a year. David Hookes and a lot of other ex-cricketers feel that he should have got at most a 6 month ban. One rule for Aussies, one for others, eh? Cast your mind back to late 2001, Sachin Tendulkar held guilty of ball tampering. Huge row in India against the decision. World cricket on the verge of splitting up. These same cricketers said 'No one is above the law. If Sachin has done something wrong, he should be punished for it.'
They're so quick to come to a mate's rescue now!
Devdas gets 11 Filmfare awards. There must be something seriously wrong with Bollywood if films like these get awards. I suppose the only award it deserved was for art direction because the sets were awesome. Also amazing to see Rahman getting an award for best music for Saathiya. Bizarre, the music wasn't original in the sense Alai Payuthey came out nearly three years ago and all but a couple of tunes were from the original.
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