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Exclusive Varun Tape Forensic Report April 2, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in Bizarre, fun, hate, Humor, india, Indian Elections 2009, Personal, Politics, Polity, Random, Society, Writing.
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7 comments

Technical Committee on Lip Reading

The committee members are all watching the Varun Gandhi speech.

Peon comes with a plateful of samosas from Agrawal Sweets. Piping hot tea is also served. Some sealed and otherwise Bisleri bottles on tables.

Mr. Sharma: badhiya hai

Mr. Khan: KYA?

Sharma: arre samosa bhai

Mr. Khan: O.K

BEAT

Khan: samosa baad main bhi khaya ja sakta hai Sharmaji.

Somebody: shhh!

The screening ends

Ms. Singh: aur ek baar dekhen?

Mr. Mukherjee: what is there to see? It is to HEAR?

Ms. Singh: so do you want to hear, Mr. Mukherjee?

Mr. Khan: NAHIN. Main is tauheen ko ek baar bhi nahin dohrana chahta. Saboot sabke saamne hai.

Mr. Sharma: Kyon Mr. Fernandes kya ye tape sach hai?

Mr. Fernandes: prima facie it looks true but…we will have to investigate further before reaching any conclusion because there is a possibility, however slight, that highly capable techno-savvy tech-terrorists, hell-bent on sowing the seeds of division in this great country of ours, and mind you there are quite a few of them, might have tampered so very subtly with the actual contents of this tape, pardon me CD, that what looks true might actually be way off the mark if not completely untrue, so I request patience from the gentlemen here and not to forget the women, how could I forget them that instead of asking me whether it is true or not they should ask – ‘Is it possible’?

Mr. Khan: Is it possible?

Mr. Fernandes: of course it is possible.

Ms. Singh: so what you are saying is that the evidence presented here – in this CD is false?

Mr. Fernandes: I didn’t say that, No.

Mr. Sharma: to phir aap kya bo rahe hain?

Mr. Mukherjee: tum gol gol ghumata hai humko. English humko bhi aata hai. I studied in the Presidency College before you were even born you…confuse karta hai. Kitna paisa diya tumko Sharma ne?

Sharma: Mujherjee babu, zabaan ko lagaam dijiye…

Ms. Singh: oh please…Sharmaji rehne dijiye na.

Mr. Sharma: hamari asmita ko thes pahuncha rahe hain aur aap hain ki

Mr. Khan: aur ye jo bol rahe hain?

Mr. Sharma: kaun kya bol raha hai?

Mr. Khan: yahi…inka to naam bhi nahin liya jaata…kya laajawaab bhasha hai

Mr. Sharma: dekhiye Khaansaab saabit ho jaane dijiye phir bechare par…

Ms. Barat: saabit…andhe hain aap? Forensic ka bahana aur nahin chalega. 10 saal lag jayenge lekin kuch pata nahin chalega.

Mr. Sharma: dekhiye ye haal to pura des ka hai. Ab jawaan khoon hai ladka bhi hai…ho gayi ghalti…chodiye na

Mr. Mukherjee: hum jaata hai…tum log samosa khao, baat karo, mera meeting hai…

Mr. Khan: to kya hua? Ye masla suljhana zaroori hai

Mukherjee sits down

Ms. Barat: Mr. Fernandes. Briefly – is it tampered or genuine?

Mr. Fernandes: you see Ms. B…

Ms. Barat takes out a gun from her handbag and fires in the air. Everybody is shocked and scared.

Mr. Sharma: arre asli hai Madam…

Ms. Barat: KYA?

Mr. Sharma: bandook!

Ms. Barat: NAHIN. Footage asli hai?

Mr. Khan: aap jaisa chahen mohtarma…hamien koi aitraaz nahin hai…

Ms. Singh: is this happening?

Mr. Mukherjee: aah! she is a true revolutionary!

Ms. Barat: FFOTAAAAAAAGE!

Mr. Fernandes: Madam it is genuine, true but you see in India we cannot punish even 1 innocent man…

Fernandes slumps to the table. Everybody is shocked. Fernandes they realize is dead!

Ms. Singh: now what?

Mr. Khan: agli taarikh kabki rakhein?

Mr. Mukherjee: mujhe kya…I don’t care…

Ms. Barat: bandook nakli thi…really see

Mr. Sharma: aap bhi na…khair phir milte hain. Khansaab aapko chhod doon?

Mr. Khan: bilkul, shukriya.

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India Votes – 2009; Hate Works March 28, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in development, hate, india, Indian Elections 2009, Indian Political parties, People, Policies, Politics, Society.
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10 comments

It’s been a long time since I have keyed words to the screen. Lots has happened. The Indian elections are at hand. A great spectacle of nonsense. Why you might ask is the greatest exercise in democracy summarily being dismissed as nonsense. The aspirations of a billion people, 1/6th of the entire world will be dumped in ballot boxes. Isn’t that a reason to celebrate? Not any more. I am running out of patience.

I made a Facebook group a month or so ago called ‘Reveal the Manifesto’. 1 person a friend has joined it till today. Nobody else was interested in the group the purpose of which was to discuss the strange practice of Indian political parties – leaving old alliances and stitching new ones on perceived gains; to buffer against anti-incumbency; to have a better bargaining power etc and what not. And not releasing the MANIFESTO.

Where was the MANIFESTO I wondered? Nowhere. Some 2 weeks later the Congress released its please – all manifesto. Nobody debated it.

Because we are discussing the hate speech of Varun Gandhi. The entire 2009 elections seems to be about this 1 speech. It is indeed bizarre that no political party wants to change the discourse. The allegations and counter-allegations serve all political parties. One is the secular bandwagon and the other is the right wing. Nobody wants to say, O.K lets discuss policies, plans and vision for the country. Why? Because nobody has a vision and a plan.

Accusation, Spin and Propaganda – these are the 3 pillars of the current electoral process.

BJP: He is a weak prime minister. In fact, he is not.

Congress: He is not capable, hates people

Commies: we hate all.

BSP: make me the Prime Minister

The others, the regional parties are in it to get a better bargain later on. I am of course exaggerating. The state elections some time back were fought on ground realities and didn’t fall prey to any national wave. Even Sheila Dixit, won right after the 26th November 2008 assault on Mumbi after which security became the only talking point.

So what has happened? What has shifted since then? Nothing much.

Hate is a powerful tool. Shiv Sena, MNS, BJP, CPI(M), Congress all have blood on their hands. Old blood, new blood…we all have blood on our hands. So…lets all obfuscate and fool the public. Lets rail against each other. The public blinded will not go and vote. That lag will be covered by bogus voting. We will all win some seats. Oh we are falling short. Lets buy some people like us who are corrupt. There in the expensive resorts funded by rich capitalists we shall all get naked, swim in champagne and cheap liquor, fatten our outstation bank accounts and come back and reclaim our virginity – the media is by our side.

Why can’t we debate about health, education, development, rights, equity, environment, women’s rights, children’s rights, peace…are these invalid. Is growth, safety and equality not saleable? Are we blind as a nation? And it is not an urban – rural divide. There are more right wingers you will meet in a Mumbai local than in the fields of the hinterland.

I will not vote. And if you think by not voting I am not a part of the system you are wrong.

Of course there is no terrorism October 24, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, india, Opinion, Politics, rant, Society, terrorism, World, Writing.
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2 comments

We all sit on our high horses. Because of what we are, where we are coming from and where we are going. Because of our color, education and power. Yesterday Gopinath Munde, said very confidently – “Hindus can never be terrorists”. He went on to say that there is historical evidence to back this. He never heard of 30th January 1948.

This is against the backdrop of the Maharashtra ATS saying that they have evidence of a fringe Hindu group’s involvement in the Malegaon blast. Today’s TOI also has a front page report about the same. And people are aghast. Not all thankfully but politicians and parties who have manipulated the fear of the commoner to create a schism on the basis of religion, in this case Munde’s parent, the BJP, are up in arms.

Hindus are cow – milk drinking pacifists. We don’t kill, we are not affected by partisanship, we are always fair and square and best we don’t subscribe to the human emotion called – revenge.

They are scared that an admission will make them lesser mortals – bring them in line with the other – the other who is reviled and looked down upon; the other who is a terrorist spreading death and destruction.

If there are no differences that means we are all human or rather all too human. That some people are good and some people are bad. Some of us are weak and some are tempted and can be swayed to the other side by stronger individuals. All of in the end are just like the other.

One must say thank the much reviled cops who followed the leads and instead of burying the time bomb came out with the information that these guys and girls are Hindus. Some Hindus are tired of Shivraj Patil’s bandhgallas and pontification and took revenge against Islamic terrorism. One day or the other it is bound to happen. There are enough young impressionable fanatics in all religion who can be brainwashed into doing a stupid act. If Pragya Singh is one of them then she has to bear the consequences just like others criminals.

There are always bad apples Mr Munde. Accept it and punish them. Goa authorities denied that Scarlette was raped and murdered; Gopinath now says that Hindus can’t be terrorists. Muslim intellectuals say that a terrorist cannot be a muslim; the new year molestors a couple of years back were about to be pardoned because they were locals; Shiv Sena earlier and now MNS can get away with murder (in fact they have) because they are locals; after the Bhajji vs Symonds episode the perverse righteousness that Indians cannot be racists – come again you liars who advertise for fair skinned brides and grooms! Is India the capital for apologists of all kinds?

And why is terrorism only when a couple of buildings are blown or an RDX bomb explodes? Who is defining it? Or does a violent act become terror only when an X number of innocent people are dead in a battle with a state and its ideology?

Aren’t we all missing the point here?

It is simple – a crime has been committed. Evidence points in a particular direction. Prove and punish.

How can we be so corrupt?

Time’s Up for God September 17, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in india, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Religion, Society, Writing.
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11 comments

Lets ban religion. All religions. And ban the Gods also. For the sake of peace. That was my first thought after the Delhi bomb blasts last week. This feeling got reinforced after the conversion-reconversion-church vandalism incidents taking place in Orissa and Karnataka. What if there was no religion? What if there was no God? Will we all stop breathing and fall to our deaths? Will the air grow foul? Will the sun disappear? Will there be only light or only darkness? What?

I suggested this to my partner and she tried to dissuade me from writing such a blog. She said that I will be persecuted, people will stalk and then attack me.

So I was silent for some days but what the…I only hope the wordpress guys and girls and bloggers don’t find it offensive and start demanding my head. I love my blog here so am I taking a chance?

So, o.k lets not remove the great, all-powerful him or her completely and immediately. Lets do it slowly, over time, incrementally. Let’s start by removing the presence of the presence for 15 minutes a day. Let us notice what happens? Will it make us love more. Hate less. Doubt. Angry. Upset. Hopeless. That’s all. the hope crutch is what we will miss. We will go on being what we want to and impute it all to divine will, providence or destiny. Easy to blame or pass the buck than to take responsibility.

This god parable/fable…does it have an ending? Oh very soon it will, because we would have killed each other by then, because of the gods we love. Thank god!

After Terror August 4, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, crime, india, Personal, Politics, Society, terror, World, Writing.
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11 comments

After every terror attack in India I and am sure you hear some oft repeated statements remarkably similar in tone, attitude and messaging.

The government, using Mr. Shivraj Patil as their spokesperson, will say that they are doing the very best in tackling it, extending all possible help to the ‘region’ under attack. What does that mean?

That people in power at the ‘centre’ or in Delhi are separate from the regions experiencing these attacks. That the ministers and India is under threat only when Delhi is attacked? Otherwise it is these ‘regions’ that are under attack and the center can only look on helplessly? Beats me.

My apologies to Mr. Shivraj Patil, but he is one of the most fragile and uninspiring home minister’s we have ever had. In this time of unlimited exposure on various media here is one man – the home minister of the country –whose own voice is shaky and rattled.

The ordinary people outside whose security has been outraged because they don’t roam with Z+ security don’t want to hear your homilies. They want to hear somebody reassuring. Somebody who at least with his/her words can make them feel secure. But alas, he himself looks at sea most of the time.

The same with our intelligence agencies. Considering that we are fighting violence in half of India isn’t it time to have a network that is receptive to modern crimes. We have not been able to capture and punish a single perpetrator of any of the major terror attacks in the country. There is utter lack of any order, coherence and direction.

An example. The Aarushi murder case and its horrible bungling. It will not be an extreme statement that more often than not our investigations occupy the pride of place in textbooks of ‘how not to conduct an investigation’. Outdated equipment, de-motivated and untrained personnel, their jurisdiction being perpetually encroached by other wings of the government – in 1 word – it’s a MESS.

How far is Mr. Modi responsible for all of this? Has his pogrom so alienated the ‘muslim’ that all and everybody in the community has become a passive observer to the growing militancy – a Point of View so all-pervasive and condemnable in the just released film Aamir?

The film shows Aamir being led on by various people of the muslim community, entire stretches of Bombay and everybody is in cahoots with the villain. Wonder how this was missed by reviewers because it shows the extent of not just sympathies that a common member of the community has with the terrorist, but also overt participation!

The government also immediately announces a compensation package – it releasing a stink of guilt at having such inefficient intelligence appendages that 20 + bombs are placed in your capital city.

Another familiar sight is the publicized condemnation by various Muslim groups. If they don’t do it then it is assumed that they are supporting it. Extremely stupid.

The most irritating bit is this – ‘terrorists belong to no religion’. A true Hindu or a Muslim cannot be a terrorist etc. He is a criminal first and a criminal last and should be judged irrespective of religion blah blah bhah.

Now all this subjective analysis of crime is good. But can’t cut off the arm and assert that the shoulder is not incapacitated. There was a reason why one got infected in the first place. Only an accident can warrant such an excuse. Terror attacks are not accidents. They are the most organic of crimes. It has an ideology in place, which is reasoned, has historical reasons and sometimes does enjoys religious sanction (no matter how twisted).

We can’t wish the problem away by saying these motivated people (call them terrorists/freedom fighters/rebels etc) don’t belong to us.

It is like a parent saying that the errant child belongs to another unknown species.

By doing this we are conveniently absolving ourselves of all blame. There is Sati, child sacrifice or there was…do we say they are not part of us and everything is hunky dory?

It is an escape and something all rational minds should oppose. We are giving birth to the future; the future which comprises of inventors, entertainers, engineers and also terrorists. It is only our actions, acts of omission and commission that is shaping all the lives around us, our culture and the civilization.

This facile argument is actually a cover up on the part of all religions and societies to shy away from looking hard and fast at what ails them. The monarchy was rotting Nepal. People opposed it rallying around the Maoists. Now they have elected representatives. Follows a logical pattern. The Vatican tried to push child-abuse under the carpet but failed.

Chattisgarh’s economic inequalities and encroachment on forest rights of the aboriginals has led to the current horrible and violent impasse. There is no coherent policy in place for development, resettlement, local indigenous populations and what emerges is a sorry story of exploitation.

Similarly the current lot of extremists; Hindu, Christian, Muslim etc too have an ideology of inspiration. What is it? Where does it come from? Does it come from education, history, a feeling of exploitation, religion, social ills…the list is endless. We have to study and solve it.

Denial is not the solution.

Why Scarlett Why? May 6, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Acting, actors, Blogging, Culture, Family, Films, hollywood, marriage, Media, Movies, Personal, Society, Writing.
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6 comments

It’s an unqualified tragedy. Scarlette Johansson has gotten engaged. To a fellow actor, who else? What does this mean – will she be lost to the fantasies of all the other bachelors? That’s stupid of course. She is just sporting a rock. She is not yet married. And additionally she is still very very young. Miss Johansson is not a 40 something for the amour to die.

But not in India apparently. In Bollywood, any actress (note only actress; the female of the actor) who announces their engagement or worse still, marriage, suddenly loses her market value. By how much is debatable, but a loss is definitely on the cards.

Actresses are known to prolong their careers, dodge the perennial question, loose boyfriends in the process but keep the dreaded rock off their hands.

What about Aishwarya, you might say? She is married into the Big B family. She will get roles one way or the other. But there is a perceptible shift even in her choices. She has just refused a film in which she is supposed to play a woman who is confused between 2 men. She said how can she be, she is married now! Cannot Aishwarya differentiate between her screen roles and her personal life? Does she belong to an acting school that believes in interiorizing roles to such an extent that their reel and real life becomes confused and blurred? Does she walk this thin dangerous line? Rejecting scripts that demand so much of emotional investment that the poor girl just has to say yes to all the banal, ordinary and regular fare that she dances and cries to with so much gusto? Doesn’t seem so, but…

Madhuri, the Dhak Dhak girl who moved and never left the hearts of Indian cine-goers. Look at Mrs. Nene’s fate. All her moves in Aaja Nach Le were washed away. Sridevi is still waiting for her ideal re-launch pad. I don’t think she is ever going to make a com-back. Raveena, Zeenat. Nobody comes back in India. Not as a heroine.

If you are married to somebody else then? Even a superstar doesn’t help much. Look at Namrata Shirodkar who married a Telugu superstar or Amla who married Nagarjuna. Dimple married Rajesh K at the peak and yet.

‘Namak khatam ho gaya’ people say or the sex appeal has disappeared…at least dwindled. Why does marriage result in such a big turnaround? How does a sex goddess become an epitome of motherhood and saintliness overnight just because she has married? Just happens so in India.

Distributors, exhibitors, producers, casting agents and even fellow actors, they flash the know-it-all smile, with a tinge of sympathy which says ‘it is all OVER’. Why did she ever take the plunge?

But Scarlett has done it. Congratulations.

No Victim No Crime March 13, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, crime, England, Goa, india, justice, peace, People, Personal, Places, Society, Tourism, Writing.
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7 comments

 We shall close the beaches because they prompt us to wear swimsuits and swimsuits are provocative. They arouse our manly nature and then what can we do?

 We have to rape. Rape because the other is wearing a revealing costume. The other is drunk. The other is flirting. The other gave a come on signal and then backed out. The other was teasing. The other was winking. The other was showing a bit of leg. A bit of breast. A bit of shoulder. The other was arrogant. The other is a foreigner. The other is white. The other is black. The other is rich. The other is poor. The other speaks a different language. The other is a woman. The other is a boy. The other is a girl. The other is weak. The other deserved it. The other is an other. The other is not from my country. The other is not from my state. The other is not from my family. The other is not my brother. The other is not my sister. The other is a nobody.

 They will slap a case on Fiona also. How can you give your child independence? Didn’t you know that Goa has an underground drug culture. Don’t you also know that we are all in cahoots with the mafia. They can rape and kill people because they pay ‘protection money’ that helps us finance our election expenses. They pay us every day, every week, every month, every week. You will pay us indirectly, probably once in a lifetime. You are useless to us, but these criminals are always so…

 Why can’t they treat it as pure and simple crime? Catch the criminal(s) and then we can play the moral game. What does Mr. Digamabar Kamat think? That Fiona is not drowning in guilt – having left Scarlette in the custody of people she believed were friends and would look after her?

 What is Mr. Kamat saying – DON’T TRUST GOANS? We are not the feni-drinking-chilled-out-tolerant-Indians that you think we are. The victim is, by the concerted effort of police, politicians, administration and other officials, being turned into a monster mother who cared not for the daughter. THEREFORE she deserved whatever happened.

 Mr. Kamat – do you have a daughter or a son. A son or daughter, who likes a beer one hot day and is crossing the road and another drunk, riding a car, runs him over. He or she might meet destiny one day and people will hang you.

 Scarlette, people and police are saying, took drugs. That DOES NOT justify the act of her rape and murder? We are all humans, prone to mistakes and sins. Fiona will introspect and undertake penance.

 It is none of our business. It is between Fiona and her soul. As a civil society, we should catch the perpetrator(s) of this crime. They too shall, hopefully, undertake penance, suffer, and see the love, grace and benediction that saves us all. Let us not be partial. Let us not be blind to the crime that has been committed. We all know the story of the cross.

 No Victim. No Crime.