Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Karmic Retribution...

Somewhere down there my right-wing heart is smiling. From what I have read, much of the Indian blogosphere is solidly left-wing, other than a couple of people who try to hide their right-wing sympathies behind 'liberal' thoughts and get offended if you call them 'right-wing'. Guys there is no harm in being liberal and voting for the BJP. All that Sushma Swaraj tried to do was to take over as the 'Nipple Police' and the media went all nuts on her, right now many bloggers are a confused lot - how could their own government do this to them?
And I still laugh. Karmic retribution I say, you get the government you voted for and see what they're doing! Serve us right for voting an Italian into power.
I've always felt that this government is possibly the worst government we have had in a long time, full of incompetent idiots, and that includes the Surdie. Sonia Gandhi runs the country and the reason she isn't PM is not because of 'humility' but because she is scared she'll be killed. They've taken bad decision after bad decision, the economy is booming because of what the previous government did and the government before that, not because of Chiddu's economic policies.
So when they blocked access to Blogs, I wasn't really surprised. It falls quite welll under the agenda of the Italian and her sycophants. I figure some blog had called Rahul-baba 'bisexual' or a 'cokehead' and some sycophatic politician or bureaucrat with little idea of what blogs are decides to block them. To make sure, he sells some bullcrap to some media houses whose main job are suck up to the Congress.
At least Indira Gandhi won a war before she declared the Emergency.
Not surprising at all. Of course, if Google offers to move Blogger HQ to Tamil Nadu, maybe the DMK will ask the Minister for Sun TV to change the directive a bit.
Here is the Desipundit Sticky.
And how the international media is reporting this - NYT, WP, BBC
But honestly, it is a bit scary, not only is this government bad, but also vindictive and brainless. Somehow seeing Gujarat on top of the state rankings time after time must indicate something about governance?
PS : Check your blogs with!
Technorati Tags : India Indian Media Politics Internet Blog Blogs Blogging Banned Blocked Government Congress BJP Sonia Gandhi Indira Gandhi Emergency


thalassa_mikra said...

K, what state rankings are you talking about? In terms of social indicators (literacy, gender equity, education etc.), Gujarat is nowhere near the top. It's perhaps near the top in terms of investment, but Andhra Pradesh isn't doing too shabbily on that score. It does have a high GDP, but so do Punjab and Maharashtra.

And speaking of bans, I didn't hear the righ-wingers protest much when Aamir's "Fanaa" was banned in Gujarat. What's sauce for the goose, etc., etc. eh?

I think banning either websites or films is despicable and has no place in a democracy. However, you make it seem as if the BJP fares better on this score, whereas the BJP is capable of just as much repression, manipulation and vindictiveness as the Congress. So nothing much to choose between the two on that score.

Speaking of Sushma Swaraj, I'd vote for any party that takes that annoying woman off TV. For real. When she was minister, she once came on TV on Karwa Chauth, dressed in her gaudiest finery talking about how it was her wifely duty to serve her husband. Ugh! Double ugh!

Anonymous said...

Thalassa- I agree with most of what you said. Choosing between the BJP and Congress is like choosing between bad and worse... now who is bad and who is worse is left to your discretion.

However, I honestly think that Sushma Swaraj is a 'good politician' eventhough that term is a bit of an oxymoron. She is a staunch Hindu who is firmly in touch with her roots and really, theres nothing wrong with that. And anyhow, what is wrong with a traditional hindu practice like Karwa Chauth?. I'm sure a lot of 'modern' Indian women find this practice perfectly acceptable. At the end of the day, you practice it out of your own volition. I think it's great that Sushma Swaraj is so openly enthusiastic about practising certain Hindu traditions however cringe-making they might appear on TV. I think people who watch too much tv tend to over-react too much to what they see.
Now if your idea of a good politician is some kind of intellectually liberated pseudo-secular modern 'dude' who doesnt give a f#@&* about religion then youre just deluded.. with all due respect.
Religion and Politics are not mutually exclusive and thats a fact. Nothing will ever dilute the importance of either. And Sushma Swaraj knows that better any housewife in India.

thalassa_mikra said...

Anonymous, there really is no one way to be a Hindu. A lot of fairly bonafide Hindu women (including my deeply religious mother) are completely repulsed by the deeply sexist ideology behind a practice like Karwa Chauth.

Tradition=good is a very simplistic notion. There are many parts of the world where cannibalism used to be tradition, or indeed closer home, the practice of Sati.

A lot of people practice sex selection of their foetuses out of their own volition. Still doesn't make it right. For a politically empowered woman like Sushma to go out and behave like a tradition-bound wimp on TV is a terrible role model. I'd pick Uma Bharati any day over her, a genuine grassroots politician who is truly dynamic.

K said...

Thalassa - Let me clarify - in recent rankings by a host of agencies the three states that topped rankings in terms of Human Development were the three large BJP ruled states. Even if you discount MP from the mix because the BJP just took over, Gujarat and Rajasthan are examples of what good governance can do. OK, so in Rajasthan, the lady allows her bureaucrats to do the job. Going on, Karwa Chauth is fact of life in North Indian communities, and many Bengalis find it rather distasteful, but many of my Punjabi/Rajput friends have their wives perform it for them (at least in the first two-three years of marriage before they get sick of it) because some of them weirdly think that its 'cool'. I'm not saying that 'culture' and 'heritage' should be defended at any cost - we'll still have Sati around then, but Karwa Chauth while patently sexist is not 'harmful'.
I never called Sushma Swaraj a good politician, but just pointed out how the 'liberal' media (I was working in EchTee then) climbed all over her when she wanted to control FTV. Vir Sanghvi called her the 'Nipple Policewoman' and suceeded in making her her rather pissed at EchTee for the rest of her time as I&B Minister.
The crazy thing is that this government is making bad decision after bad decision, but the media is still 'Fida' over them, and I find this very hipocritical. The BJP isn't great, but one should appriciate good governance when one sees it.
PS : Unlike the Congress the BJP is not only a democratic party and once Arun Jaitley told me that sometimes he fears they were too democratic - there was no 'A Buck Stops Here' sign in the BJP but because of this, the BJP is also the only socially progressive party in India. Ironic?
I vote for the BJP, and I might even join them someday, and I'm not ashamed of saying that. That said, politics in India is in need of an urgent overhaul - as long as characters like Mulayam think they can get away with the politics of violence and appeasement - this country will always need help.
You're right that the straw of secularism gets attacked all the time - there has to be a distinction made between secularism and vote-bank politics in the name of secularism.
Good Idea for a post actually.

terah745 said...

The emergency.

It hasn't left.

It continues.

Just like the malaria.

When it is raining.

And when the water stinks.

The epidemic starts.

Just like that.

The form may have changed.

But mutations continue.

To have newer forms.

Let's not talk about Democracy.

For some days.

thalassa_mikra said...

Some agencies ranked Rajasthan as one of the top three states for Human Development? I mean, parts of Rajasthan and Western UP have some of the most deeply entrenched gender discrimination practices. Literacy rates are not encouraging, and the infant mortality situation isn't too pretty either. Sure Rajasthan is making good progress, but how does it deserve the tag of leader in Human Development?

The only reason a large section of the population accept a woman ruling over them is because they are even more beholden to royalty and rank, ghani khamma and all that.

Just the fact that Gujarat shares the august company of Rajasthan and MP should tell you how unreliable such a survey is.

K, all of my Punjabi friends, including guys find Karwa Chauth distatasteful, and have no desire to continue with the practice. Sure it's not directly harmful, but symbolically speaking, it's a pity we persist with such a blatantly sexist practice and have even aggressively marketed it in recent years.

Anonymous said...

I will just add a comment to the vaak yudh going here. Whether BJP or UPA, license of such kind is bad. But while the state outburst against Fana was ridculous, the blog thing pertains to a very serious matter. U r taking away the right of ppl to speak out and express views in face of a calamity. Truth and reconciliation will not happen ever here, G-8 will never b able to put a stop to blasts. Such censorship is just not acceptable. Wr r going too far in taking lessons frm Britain and even U.S.

About the karwa chauth thing, I think if who practises what and what is acceptable and what is not in name of inverted equality is an issue then it begins much earlier from putting sindoor, to wearing jewellery, to waxing, to wearing a dupatta and even taking up the husband's name though not dropping ur own. These are personal choices and cant be debated. Why shud they be. Have u seen punju women (since they r mentioned)in jeans and t-shirt n still sporting loads of red bangles. They dont appeal to my aesthetic sense atleast.

K may hv his reasons to hv a right winged heart but he is right. The ground on which UPA came to power has completely been negated. Its sort of Tamilnadu politics at the centre level.

K said...

Thalassa - I don't know if you saw the General Motors advert here which promoted the Optra with imagery of Karwa Chauth - the problem is that KC has been marketed as a 'sign of love' in both advertising and movies. I'm not denying it is distasteful, I find the entire concept weird.
As for Rajasthan being fairly low on HD ratings - yes parts of the border districts - Bikaner and Jaisalmer are extremely backward and MP's eastern regions are as bad as eastern UP. I got a fact wrong, this survey was on the implementation of schemes lauched by the UPA at the centre including the RGNEGP - which has been implemented successfully by these three state governments in the districts they had too. Ironically, they use the visages of the respective CM's instead of the Italian, the states worst in implementating the scheme for which we in the salaried classes pay massive amounts are states like Maharashtra and Andhra which are ruled by Madam's acolytes. Well, in Maharashtra one wonders who rules because I don't see much governance, but anyway.
Talking about Punju women and bangles - I remember a scene at Turquiose Cottage - some girl in fancy dress gear wearing the shaadi bangles - it was a sort of advertising - 'Don't Hit on me, I'm married, recently' (even though one would have to have been very smashered to hit on her). To each her own I guess, not that it stops me from laughing.

Anonymous said...

it's shameful really, i mean we're going on and on publicizing how democratic we are.. and look even blogger got banned.. and then we ask why the rest of the world laughs at us.

Vikas said...

the problem with good education with most of us gettin educated in convent schools and lookin upto west for ideas and implementing them blindly in our society - feminism being one of them. just coz its not in da west, some women hate KC as sexist coz they prolly recently read simone de beauveare or germain greer or da likes. any kind of culture is not bad. if you don't like it, nobody stops u from going elswher. or create ur own culture. hatin wat u left prolly means u're not happy in da new place too. dont talk abt rajasthan mp as backward or sexist or entrenched with sexual discrimination. urban india has most of da problems. there is prolly more law and order in a village in mp than in mumbai. and prolly a girl is more safe in a village street in mp or even maharashtra than she'z in karol bagh or in a mumbai local.

ppl who hate their culture as old or sexist are lik dhobi ka kutta na ghar ka na ghat ka. just go thru our history. its glorious and its our culture which has survived and evolved.

thalassa_mikra said...

Vaak yuddh Anonymous, just to clarify. I may have my disagreements with what K has written, but I fully respect his right to his political beliefs. I hope I'm not coming across as a screechy liberal with an axe to grind.

K, I didn't see the GM ad, but if that's what they did, shame on them. I was told by friends that now you can buy Karwa Chauth cards in Archies!

Vikas said...

India must provide proof.

Being a self-respecting indian, I feel, India should provide proof before blaming pakistan for blasts. What do you think?

thepractice said...

Errr... the grass is greener on the other side. I think we've forgotten why we, as a nation, were fed up with comminalist BJP, and threw them out. Congress has several faults but I am releived that they don't incite people communally,they dont encourage religion-based riots. In a BJP state, there would have been bloody riots after 11/7 blasts,but things are peaceful because no one would dare to do so in a Congress government. what do u have to say to that??

K said...

Thepractice - this is the myth of secularism. The Congress and its allies are as communal as the BJP, the problem is that the BJP is a Hindu-based party and that offends many 'intelligent' Hindu's. Yet, when the DMK drops cases against riot accused, the NCP-Congress don't go after people who lynched policemen (because of their religion) and the LJP uses a Osama Bin Laden lookalike to get votes, we let it past.
Double standards. If the BJP is communal so is the Congress, this is the worst government India has had since 1977. If we are secular, then treat everybody equally, seeing people get away with crime because of religion and caste stinks, and that is what the UPA is allowing to take place.