'Uncorrupt' Clowns

In an interview with Gnani, S.Ve. Shekher told that he believed in spirits and that he communicates with his dad's spirit regularly. Later when Shekar spoke about this political ambitions and how he would run things, Gnani quipped, "how are you going to do things differently? By taking advice from your guides in the spirit world?" It didn't even seem funny because of the things Shekher had said until then. That was then, now this:

Why should they not get reservation? In Tamil Nadu, 69 per cent of the people get reservation and ninety five per cent of people enjoy some kind of reservation except the forward community. Where is social justice? There are over 40 lakh Brahmins in Tamil Nadu. It is the government's duty to give equal opportunities to everyone. Brahmins have been eliminated, insulted and sidelined in so many ways. You cannot punish people for what happened over 50-60 years ago.

Eugenics, Karma and 'Naan Kadavul'

அதிர்ச்சியான செய்திகளை காட்சிப்படுத்துவதன் மூலமே தங்களை வித்தியாசமான படைப்பாளிகளாகக் காட்டிக்கொண்டு வரும் இலக்கியவாதி ஜெயமோகனையும், இயக்குனர் பாலாவையும் பார்த்து நெஞ்சில் ஈரமுள்ளவர் யாரும் ‘அடப் பாவிகளா’ என கத்தாமல் இருக்க முடியாது.

அறுபது லட்சம் யூதர்களைக் கொன்று குவித்த ஜெர்மன் நாஜிகள், அத்துடன் நிற்காமல் ஒரு லட்சம் உடல் ஊனமுற்றவர்களையும், மனநோயாளிகளையும் - அவர்கள் ஜெர்மானியராகவே இருந்த போதும் விஷ வாயுவைச் செலுத்திச் சாகடித்தார்கள் இரண்டாம் உலகப் போரில்!

‘இனத்தூய்மை’ இதற்கு காரணமாகச் சொல்லப்பட்டாலும், வேண்டாத சுமை ஒன்று இறக்கி வைக்கப்பட்டது என்றே அவர்கள் நிம்மதி அடைந்தார்கள்.

‘வலுத்தவன் மட்டுமே வாழ வேண்டும்’ என்ற இந்த ஆரிய வக்கிரத்தைத்தான் ‘நான் கடவுள்’ வழியாக நம்மிடம் இப்போது சுற்றுக்கு விட்டிருக்கிறார்கள.
மேலும் படிக்க

On exclusion, elitism etc.

Since I've decided to delete comments (not moderate) regularly, I might as well make an explanatory post on it instead of stretching the discussion elsewhere. Since the exchange is pretty long, I'll just post them as comments -- as they appeared in the previous post.

A Wednesday: A Terrible Idea

The movie's premise, leaving aside what seems obvious, hinges on the subtextual notion that Muslims in India don't say/do enough to show that they are angered by the terrorist attacks that happen in India. So the director has decided to prove their 'Indianness' through his protagonist -- the 'common man.' But he doesn't want to make it obvious. It's subtle (ok, not so). The 'common man' speaks with a vocabulary quite peculiar to a certain community (mulk being the 'give away' word). So you know that the man behind this holy mission is a Muslim. Oh how unctuous?

The 'common man' who decides to take his anger out in the form of a threat -- another series of bomb blasts -- sends a message to the ruling bureaucracy that he is 'sick and tired.' What exactly is he sick and tired of? The answer to this question and the questions that surround the answer is what makes this movie so problematic.

First, the answer: The 'common man' delivers a sermon in which he describes the afflictions of a middle class man who commutes to work every day. He's troubled by the distant probability of him getting killed by a terrorist attack. Even more so because his fellow commuter -- a youngster with his 'entire life ahead' -- is killed by one that happened 'recently.'

There are about 20 million people living in and around Mumbai. Based on the terrorist attacks that have hit the city in the last decade, the average number of people killed every year would be less than 50. The probability that our 'common man' would be one of that 50 out of the 20 million is quite negligible. Actually, it's like the same guy winning the lottery twice (given that the 'common man' just survived an attack). He's more likely to be one of the 3,500 people who get killed every year on Mumbai's suburban railway lines alone.

Of course, one might say, "terrorism kills some and terrorizes the rest." True. I'll grudgingly admit that the 'common man's anxiety -- that he cannot go to work, and make that day's wage (or more) -- is justified on more practical (and probable) grounds than the improbable death itself. But where does his paranoia and outrage fit?

In a city that is brought to a grinding halt for days, sometimes weeks, every year by the monsoon? In a city where half its population lives in slums? In a city where raging mobs have killed more people than the blasts themselves? In a city where people are mowed down in greater numbers?

No. It fits in his middle class cocoon of a mind, preserved by ignorance and hypocrisy. The same thing that informs the movie's myopic perspective. It's no coincidence that the 'common man' picks four terrorists (three Muslim) to "purify" the country from. (It's quite ironic that he lists Malegaon among the other terrorist attacks.) While he questions why these men weren't convicted (or kept alive?) yet, he doesn't mention why no one is even indicted in many cases involving Hindu mobs.

I wonder if Naseeruddin Shah realized that he has risked becoming the Muslim poster-boy who viciously condemns 'Islamic terrorism.' One that is supposed to love India. Just like Sharukh Khan did in Chak De India. It's quite messed up when you think about it. I have probably been through a lot less than an Indian Muslim has, but even I don't 'love' India. But dare not he/she say that. At least not while in India. As if Naseeruddin Shah wasn't enough, the movie also has a cardboard cutout, Muslim police officer who's ready to get shot in the arm, and perhaps sacrifice his life, for the country. He's one of the many heroes in the infallible body that works day and night to protect the people: the Mumbai police. Need I say more about them?

The truth is, there is no 'common man.' There are those who are not Dalit, not poor, not illiterate, not political, and not silenced. By virtue of not being any of them he's already immune to their social malaise. Their misery doesn't seem to trouble him. The middle class 'common man' has little in common with majority of his fellow humans. 'Common man' is the last thing he should call himself.

Note: If you have not seen the movie yet, this post may not make sense. (This is not a review.)

WTF?

"Smoking kills: Airhostess dies after fight over fag." Really? That's the best you could come up with?

We should probably be happy that they didn't say, "fag-hag dies!"

Slave Labourers

Several documentaries, including those made by the State and Central governments, have 'captured' the lives of those who toil in sweat shops at a young age. It's no secret that child labour and bondage are rampant in India. So you would think that it's not hard for someone from there to believe that forced labour is very common. But Vishnu, who's supposed to be from Kanchipuram, was angry that I said there are slave labourers in Kancipuram, in my last podcast. He wanted me to "stop making stuff up just to increase (my) hits." He also had more to say about my "rants" against Hinduism. I cannot paste his entire mail here, but you can visit any rediff message board and find a close match. I haven't spoken to Vishnu before, but I'm sure he is a you-know-who.

I shouldn't be surprised, though. The district collector himself did not know that it was happening in his town; either that or it's the usual denial we are so used to hearing from our babus. ("150 cases in all of India," adi seruppala.) I was glad to find the BBC report I had mentioned in the podcast -- I had recorded it a long time ago. It's different from the rest in that we almost feel sorry for the government officials. You are touched by how they are cornered, and feel helpless in the face of what they see as futile. You might even want to cry: "Leave them alone, didn't you hear it? The boy cannot study. Stop wasting their valuable their time already. They will definitely take action."
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Reaction

"Two Dalits hacked to death in Tamil Nadu." Even though incidents like these are not uncommon in Tamil Nadu (or other parts of India for that matter), this is probably the first reported incident of this kind since the Law college 'beating'. I'm not sure if as many from the bourgeoisie will react to this as they did for the former. But I reckon this will be talked over for days in Tamil TV channels and written about in all major news papers in length. Editors of these media houses would do that much to save their faces.

Well, who am I kidding?

Defiance

"Sri Lankan players attacked, tour called off." Come on now! You can't let the terrorists win!

 
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