Category Archives: Bad ideas

Yeh To Bada Toing Hai!

It seems the I & B ministry doesn’t like chocolate. Specifically it doesn’t like women nibbling the posterior of a chocolate covered man. The new ‘Dark Temptations’ Axe deodorant ad has been recently banned by the ministry for being  indecent, vulgar and suggestive and thus violating Rule 7 (8) of the Advertising Code prescribed under the Cable Television Act, which says, ” Indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or  treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements.”

Personally I can take chocolate or leave it….

“Indecent”, “vulgar”, “repulsive” and “offensive” I understand as ideas, at least notionally. It’s the “suggestive” I don’t get.

Continue reading Yeh To Bada Toing Hai!

Update from Kerala: Blockade continues at Chengara

Despite the talks held by Ministers with the leaders of the Chengara land struggle, the situation continues to be tense,and the blockade continues for all practical purposes. The workers’ unions are hell-bent on not allowing anyone with a ‘partisan attitude’ about the issue to visit the site of the struggle.On 26 August, P.V. Rajagopal, Member of the National Land Reforms Committee, was prevented from proceeding to Chengara by workers. Just the other day, K.R.Meera, one of Kerala’s leading fiction writers, was stopped from visiting the protest.

Continue reading Update from Kerala: Blockade continues at Chengara

Freedom from each other

Arundhati Roy on the freedom struggle in Kashmir:

To expect matters to end there was of course absurd. Hadn’t anybody noticed that in Kashmir even minor protests about civic issues like water and electricity inevitably turned into demands for azadi? To threaten them with mass starvation amounted to committing political suicide.

Not surprisingly, the voice that the Government of India has tried so hard to silence in Kashmir has massed into a deafening roar. Hundreds of thousands of unarmed people have come out to reclaim their cities, their streets and mohallas. They have simply overwhelmed the heavily armed security forces by their sheer numbers, and with a remarkable display of raw courage.

Raised in a playground of army camps, checkposts and bunkers, with screams from torture chambers for a soundtrack, the young generation has suddenly discovered the power of mass protest, and above all, the dignity of being able to straighten their shoulders and speak for themselves, represent themselves. For them it is nothing short of an epiphany. They’re in full flow, not even the fear of death seems to hold them back.

And once that fear has gone, of what use is the largest or second-largest army in the world? What threat does it hold? Who should know that better than the people of India who won their independence in the way that they did? [Outlook]

Will the Left’s’Negative Hallucination’End in Kerala?

Today, perhaps for the first time after early August, the Chengara land struggle attained some front-page space in the newspapers. It was front-page news in the Thiruvananthapuram edition of The Hindu, which reported the ongoing efforts for negotiated settlement. The Revenue Minister, K.P.Rajendran, and the Minister for the Welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, A.K. Balan, held talks with Laha Gopalan, and other solidarity council members, and “promised them that the government would do everything within its power to meet their demand for provision of land to the landless among the Scheduled Castes and other similarly placed sections and assured them that there was no question of the government resorting to repressive measures against the agitators”. However, the Ministers revealed that” the government could promise to give them only land that is already with it or that which could be taken over without the possibility of further litigations.”

 So far so good, and obviously we are in here for a long haul. The leaders of the agitation apparently made it cleared that they were not demanding the immediate assignment of the estate land but a more comprehensive package. The government has also announced that medical camps will be conducted in the struggle point and that the road bloackade will end. Relief, indeed, after so many tense days.It is clear that the real hard work begins now. Pressure will have to be kept up until the package is announced; it will have to debated, and adequate monitoring of its implementation will have to be assured through, perhaps, a national monitoring committee.

 But as a historian, I’d say that that this is indeed an opportunity to attain greater clarity on the political relevance of political decentralisation and local planning. In the mid-1990s, it was projected as a panacea to all possible ills — from Kerala’s fiscal crisis, to non-sovereign forms of power. The People’s Planning Campaign shifted the focus to local-level development, promising to transform welfare recipients into small producers. In itself this was an interesting proposition in some ways: one that focused on small capitalism rather than neoliberal extractive growth, and promised to make poor citizens independent of state welfare. Continue reading Will the Left’s’Negative Hallucination’End in Kerala?

Breaking News – Shiv Sena’s secretly Maoist!

Narcoanalysis, it has been scientifically proved by Indian law enforcement agencies, is the final frontier of truth. What comes out of narcoanalysis is solid stuff, the real thing. Confessions and self-implications account for almost all the crimes the cops “crack” – when was the last time you heard of a revelation of who dunnit coming out of careful deductive reasoning based on evidence? Terrorists send emails that can be tracked to physical addresses (“the IP address led the police to B ek batta chaar, gali number 2, Balli Maran”), or they are caught bearing in their pockets, maps of sensitive border areas, scribbled over with little reminders like “death to hindus” in Urdu; or murderers confess under narcoanalysis, like Krishna the compounder in the Arushi murder case, that he and four other “servants” were responsible, thus freeing, thangod, all middle-class people so far involved, from the taint of suspicion. Without confessions no crimes would ever be solved, and narcoanalysis is the scientific, sophisticated, twenty-first century alternative to the “Abey bol, kaise nahin bolega, tera baap bhi bolega” school of confession extraction which has been the mainstay of coppery so far.

So narcoanalysis reveals the truth. And the truth is apparently, that the Shiv Sena and Bal Thackeray have funded Maoist activities. “Suspected naxalite” Arun Ferreira confirmed our deepest suspicions in his narcoanalysis test – while other political parties, bless their souls, will never fund maoist activities, he blurted out, Shiv Sena and the ABVP have always helped out the comrades with money.

Shiv Sena has issued a strong denial. It has in fact, “rubbished” these allegations, making the bizarre claim that “Naxalism is born out of a communist agenda” (oh come on!), and since the Shiv Sena is well known to be anti-communist, why would they pour money into naxal coffers? I don’t know, it all sounds very plausible to me, and anyway, it’s not up to us to decide whether the claim is false or not. This fact came out of narcoanalysis, let me remind you, and we HAVE TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

To add to their cavalier disregard for truth, the Sena spokesperson further added, “a drugged person might talk any rubbish“.

I propose the Shiv Sena be immediately banned for its anti-national contempt for narcoanalysis, the unimpeachable symbol of the nation’s commitment to truth.