formula one: works in delhi, but not in hyderabad

call yourself whatever fancy name you will: leftist, liberal, socialist, communist, nehruvian liberal, gandhian...but explain this to me: how is formula one ok for delhi but not so for hyderabad? mr.p.sainath?

as dr.rajasekhar reddy points out (in the second story), the track and the necessary infrastructure would've cost the state over 1000 crores over several years. but would've ensured employment for over 20,000 people directly, and over 50,000 indirectly. and let me rub more salt in: dr.reddy has been accused of siphoning away several thousand crores in the last three and a half years by all the parties in the opposition. including all those in the media who had hailed the voting out of naidu in the state and the ushering in of the u.p.a in the centre as a great victory for the poor in the country. so what was saved? and who was served? .

i'll tell you what could've been saved. and who could've been served. the race track would've meant several thousands of those poor migrants from mahbubnagar could've saved on the bus fare to mumbai in the past three years. and many of them could have found employment in the track coming up in their neighbourhood.

but sainath, i think, won't be able to offer his views on the issue in the near future. right now, he probably has to race to the next speaking engagement...and then the next..


india smoking

in the back of an auto-rickshaw moving in jerks in every direction, trying with every jerk to find a 3 ft wide breach in the here and now, i suddenly notice this little advertising sign (of a new magazine/newspaper). it says, in telugu:
tomorrow, outsiders will queue up for work permits in india. you'll be the witness.
that almost jerked me out of my getaway vehicle. i look around and check what's changed: i still see people, cars, autos, buses, bicycles, motorcycles, people- all moving in all directions to get out of this..here and now. and the u.s. consulate will start its operations in hyderabad in a few months.


shuddh cow shit

this is one way of looking at these national awards: if bharat ratna is for individuals who build bharat, the jnanpith award is for those who define it. loosely.

in my last post, i'd pointed out that at least 18 of the 40 bharat ratna recipients until now have been brahmins- which means about half of those who built bharat are brahmins. if you think that's an oversimplification, that one community couldn't have built bharat, please check how bharat is defined. over 26 of around 40 jnanpith awardees until now have been brahmins- a bharat defined by brahmins could only be built by brahmins.

and if you think the relationship between nationbuilders and the writing classes is never so cordial, never so agreeable: do you think all of them received the prize for writing the same thing, or holding the same views?

not just agreement, approval, praise but even angst, dissent, rebellion, disapproval- everything has to smell like cow shit. if any shit isn't processed by some cow's holy entrails, tough shit, it won't be acceptable. if x, or another cow like him, disapproves of something, only y, or another cow like him, can disagree with him. any buffalo that butts in with its own shit is as welcome as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

any questions, that concern india's present, past or future are best debated by the cows- only they've the right to lock horns. and on their elegant shoulders lies the burden of both: making policy and opposing it. of agreement and dissent. and that's holy shit..i mean, writ.


bharat ratna or brahmin ratna?

at least 18 of them have been brahmins. not counting others i'm not sure about. most of the others are from other 'upper castes': vaishyas, kayasths, khatris, baidyas. one parsi, a few muslims, two christians. one dalit and three obcs (if you consider m.s.subbulakshmi, married to a brahmin and upholder of brahminical high culture, an obc).

the most important contenders this year too were mostly from the brahmin and other upper caste communities- vajpayee, jyoti basu, sachin tendulkar. one of them would've got it if some busybodies hadn't dragged in kanshi ram's polluting name. a minor consolation: vinod dua, who has been speaking against caste (i mean, the lower castes) since mandal 1 and barkha dutt, who has been speaking against caste (the lower castes, again) since mandal 2 have both been awarded the padma shri. rajdeep sardesai, whose caste speaks so eloquently, has also been awarded the padma shri, for proposing sachin tendulkar's name and elevating the debate on the bharat ratna (after some narrowminded spoilports, as i had pointed out earlier, had brought in some unsavoury names: like ram manohar lohia, a vaishya who hobnobbed with the lower castes and jagjivan ram, and so on) to a higher plane.

one feels, some people need to understand that a bharat ratna can't be awarded along narrow caste lines: one has to rise above caste and become a brahmin in order to claim that honour.


wear a black badge in your mind, please

JNU to spread wings to SAARC countries
such an evocative headline- conjures up images of an institution of learning so brave, so noble that it refuses to bow down to man-made divides. the news report goes on to say:
'We want to attract students from all over the world to study in our university. Hence we are planning to open our entrance examination centres in Pakistan, and consecutively in all the SAARC countries soon,' H.B. Bahidar, chief proctor of JNU, told IANS.
and, it looks like, jnu does welcome students from all over the world:
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) attracts students from all over the country and abroad, and from diverse strata of society. JNU has come to be deemed the best University in the nation today and is among the better- known Universities of the world. In the academic year 2001-2002, JNU had 186 foreign students from 34 countries from all over the world, a fair chunk of them coming from South- East Asia, Central Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA.
students from 34 countries! jnu has, from the very beginning, reached out to the world. is there a nation or wanna-be nation in the world where jnu hasn't opposed imperialism or neo-imperialism or colonialism or neo-colonialism or fascism or neo-fascism or capitalism or neo-liberalism or apartheid...? a people that jnu hasn't embraced and empathized with or a 'people's struggle' that it hasn't endorsed or taken out marches to 'express solidarity' with?

and it's not just the jnu, many other 'premier' indian institutions have- through their research, students, faculty- scaled borders and oceans and let the world know, they're with them. be it nasa or the world bank or citibank or aereated beverage makers or universities or hospitals or governments or ..human rights organizations.

but the only people students/teachers/researchers etc from jnu and other premier institutions find it very difficult to reach out to, embrace, empathise with are indians themselves. other indians. students, teachers, researchers etc from communities other than those represented in one form or the other at jnu and the other institutions. of the 6000 castes/communities/tribes in india i do not think any aspirant who wasn't from a select group of 100-200 communities had ever stepped into any of these institutions other than by sheer accident. i do not think jnu has students, researchers, teachers from even 34 indian communities, right now.

nations are mostly endogamous, so are these indian communities. next time you take out a march or express solidarity with a nation at the other end of the atlas, you bloody hypocrites, remember that you never ever raised your hand in anything resembling a decent wave to even acknowledge the existence of these nations outside your gates. never ever uttered even a decent squeak of protest whenever they were stopped from entering. tomorrow, when you attend a class, teach a class, write a paper, read, debate, work in a lab, wear a black badge in your mind, at least. because i'd like to retain my humanity, because i'd like to be able to express my solidarity with you, some day.

the illogic of gujarat

a few quotes from a slightly old article on the sachar report by a well-known columnist- who's he?
On Thursday the Lok Sabha approved a bill providing a 27% reservation for "Other Backward Classes" in Central educational institutions by a voice vote, which means that there was such unanimity that there was no need for a vote. These benefits have no economic conditionality: the rich among these castes will be the ones who will of course benefit far more than the poor.
does that sound like arun shourie?
The government, and Parliament, did not need a special commission, and a report with 404 pages of statistics, charts and comments, to tell them to do this. They just went ahead and did it. Other Indian communities get jobs on command. Indian Muslims get commissions. The Rajinder Sachar Committee, appointed soon after Dr Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister, is the latest one.
definitely not arun shourie.
The communities who benefit from job and educational reservations are better off than Muslims, financially, socially and psychologically. There are no riots against Other Backward Classes, for instance, that are aimed at terrorising the community and destroying entrepreneurs who may have set up a means of survival.
pratap bhanu mehta?
The reality is that there isn’t much of a cake left. The major growth of jobs is now in the private sector, not the public sector, which is excellent news for the country. To seek reservations in the private sector, as some backward militants insist on doing, would become a negative burden on growth. In a democracy, economics must occasionally pay a price to politics, but that would be a price too high. There have to be other means through which we can straighten the imbalance of decades.
pratap bhanu mehta. definitely.
Will reserving seats for Muslims as a category help? The instant answer is yes: if this is the way the political game is being played, then why should Muslims and Christians be excluded from the game? Almost everyone else has been allotted a piece of the cake, so why not them? Are they paying the price for being "foreign faiths", that is, religions that originated outside the Indian subcontinent? If that is the truth, then the establishment should change the truth before the people change the establishment. If that is not the truth, then someone should let us know what the truth is.
definitely not pratap bhanu mehta. who then? from an older piece of writing by the same author:
Law and order have two enemies: the Full Truth and the Complete Lie. When people realize the truth, they start revolutions. When they are fed lies they begin meaningless riots. Lies are the staple of every communal disturbance. They are spread by people who have a stake in this stupid violence, who have something to gain out of impoverished Hindus and Muslims fighting each other. Businessmen, traders, politicians, goondas, leaders of ‘cultural organizations’(like the Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh —RSS) feed the people with lies, watch these lies become convictions in people’s hearts, watch the passions build up, and then these leaders actually set up the events which will provoke a conflagration.
who killed muslims in gujarat? impoverished hindus? listen to someone who knows:
Until Godhra happened, the upper castes would never come out… Baniyas… Patels… they would never come out… But we mobilised them… told them that we had prepared teams from the police and amongst advocates… that if they went to jail, we would get them released.
it was the obcs then who did most of the killing, because very few from the castes higher up were involved. are the obcs impoverished? m.j.akbar, author of the first article, doesn't seem to think so. but m.j.akbar, author of the second article, would agree, i guess.

when you're busy sucking upto the brahmins- when all you want is their approval, their endorsement, their patronage and their acceptance...i guess you wouldn't have much time left to understand either the muslims or the obcs. right, mr.akbar?

my earlier posts on gujarat: [ 1 ] & [ 2 ].


the puke that india throws up

ntr used to say: kendramu oka mithya. that was badly translated by the english language press as: the centre is a myth. but the phrase speaks, despite the translation, you'll agree. if imperial london was an ugly idea, an everyday lesson in humiliation, so in many ways is delhi. perhaps, more ways.

he spent most of the last twenty five years in america, but he managed to buy a congress party ticket (for a price of rs.2 crores, the rumour goes) and win (by spending some rs.7 crores, the rumour goes) from the nizamabad lok sabha constituency in 2004. now he is actively engaged in trying to secure the support of sonia gandhi, who (i don't wish to press this point, but it needs to be made) was born and raised in italy, for the dismemberment of the state of andhra pradesh.

i've lived all my life (which is considerably more than twenty five years) in india but i still find it hard to digest some of the puke that it throws up every day.


there's another child..and another

there was this kid next door. i never saw him, but i knew he was there because one could hear his mother yelling at him once in a while. more during what's called the exams season. one day, last year, he hanged himself (i learnt that later, from another neighbour). i still hear the mother, once in a while. she has another child.

the movie taare zameen par has become so popular, i guess more kids would be named ishaan now. and more parents would send their kids to boarding schools that promise to offer special treatment.
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