Friday, November 23, 2012

Charminar and the Temple

When I was a young boy I used to frequently visit the ‘old city’ of Hyderabad because that’s where my grandparents used to live.  On the way we had to take road next to Charminar.  I have a vague memory of a very small temple next to Charminar.  But, now that temple has grown in size according to the latest pictures.  As we speak, old city is rioting once again after a gap of many years.  The topic of contention is the growing size of the temple next to Charminar which has now become a prominent place for Hindus.  Muslims are objecting to this. 

Here are the pictures from THE HINDU where it shows that there was no temple whatsoever sixty years ago.  A few days ago, a lady showed an old photograph from her family on a Telugu news channel which doesn’t show the temple next to Charminar.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Internal party democracy (Part I)

Though India has embraced democracy as the form of government, it is now frustrated with the current system because it has not produced the desired results, and definitely it has not made the common man feel that the government is ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’. 

Over the last sixty years, India has reduced the scope and definition of democracy to such an extent that it has now become synonymous only with general elections held every five years.  Most Indians, when asked what democracy is, would now quickly respond, ‘elections’.  Elections, held every five years, have therefore become the only event when the common man of India gets to feel that he plays some role in forming the government.  He feels empowered only on that day, and that day alone.  Once that day passes, the common man is forgotten, and he doesn’t figure in the later workings of the government.  The elected leaders become the rulers, who are in turn ruled by their party bosses. 

The common malaise of Indian political system is that the elected leaders are not accountable to the common man.  They shun him.  They refuse to meet him.  They refuse to mingle with them. They refuse to consider his participation.  Many elected leaders in India do not have offices in their constituencies.  Instead they live and reside in the capital city close to the party bosses, showing their true allegiance. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Right to Offend - Poster

Right to Offend

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Facebook message on Bal Thackery

Yesterday, a 21-year old girl Shaheen Dhada, who put a message on her Face book ‘questioning the total shutdown’ of Mumbai city for Bal Thackeray’s funeral, and her friend Renu who ‘liked’ the message were arrested by the Maharashtra police.   The alleged message she posted was:

Everyday thousands of people die but still the world moves on.  Due to one political leader’s death, a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers.  They should know we are resilient by force not by choice.  When was the last time anyone showed some respect for Shahid Bhagat Singh, Azad or Sukhdeo.   Respect is earned, not given and definitely not forced… Today Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not respect.

The police arrested them under IPC Section 505 (2) which reads as:

Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill- will between classes
- shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Of course, a mob of Shiv Sainiks then vandalized the girl’s uncle’s orthopedic hospital. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

‘Meat eaters are bad people’

[In this article, the terms ‘meat-eaters’ and ‘non-vegetarians’ are used synonymously.  They are defined as the ones who eat mutton, chicken, fish, pork, beef, etc, at least once in a week or a month.] 

In India, there has always been long standing prejudice against meat-eaters.  The prejudice against meat-eaters emanates from India’s caste system, which is more deep rooted than any other identity, including, religion, language or region.   The dietary habits of Indians are strictly along the lines of a caste in each region.  Each caste in a region eats certain diet and it is common to everyone in that caste group in that region.  However, the same caste in a different region could have a different diet. 

For hundreds of years, people did not move out of the place they were born, and therefore the dietary habits were strictly honored along with caste system.  However, with the recent rapid urbanization of India, many people tend to live next door to complete strangers.  This trend has diluted this prejudice against meat-eaters to a great extent, but has not completely removed it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Unraveling the ultimate question of ‘Life, Universe and Everything’

In the most imaginative and fantastic works ever created by a sentient being belonging to Homo Sapiens species, living on an ordinary planet, surrounding an average star, which lies on the outer arm of a common galaxy, called The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy, we find the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. 

Rivaling the most profound statement ever made since Big Bang, in another fantastic fiction called The Bible, by an extremely interesting character called God who said ‘Let there be Light’, the Deep Thought computer created by the hyper-intelligent mice, after calculating for 7.5 million years, spells out the answer to the question of Life, Universe and Everything as a whole number ‘42’.