India: Shifting Perceptions

Posted in India, Media, politics, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on May 7, 2013

Pakistanis want to pass of as Indians; Brown Americans want to save India and the British want to be born as Indians. What’s on with India, these days?

This probably is the start of complete loss of respect for immi-grunts. | Cartoon by Subhani on Monday, December 7, 2009; source & courtesy – subhanistrokes.blogspot.in

This probably is the start of complete loss of respect for immi-grunts. | Cartoon by Subhani on Monday, December 7, 2009; source & courtesy – subhanistrokes.blogspot.in

It evoked a smile, when the market leader (arguably, a thought leader also) of the Pakistani satire industry, Majorly Profound wrote how ‘Indians are Indians and Pakistanis when caught in tight situations (like in Airports) are Indians too.’

When Things Get Tough

But, on a more serious note – and a more recent case, a Pakistani health worker in the US, in an intensive care unit, caught in the Boston Marathon bombings, recounted his thoughts and reactions.

As a 20-something Pakistani male with dark stubble (an ode more to my hectic schedule as a resident in the intensive-care unit than to any aesthetic or ideology), would I not fit the bill? I know I look like Hollywood’s favorite post-cold-war movie villain. I’ve had plenty of experience getting intimately frisked at airports. Was it advisable to go back to pick up my friend’s camera that he had forgotten in his child’s stroller in the mall? I remember feeling grateful that I wasn’t wearing a backpack, which I imagined might look suspicious. My mind wandered to when I would be working in the intensive care unit the next day, possibly taking care of victims of the blast. What would I tell them when they asked where I was from (a question I am often posed)? Wouldn’t it be easier to just tell people I was from India or Bangladesh?

via Living Through Terror, in Rawalpindi and Boston – NYTimes.com.

Can Western Islamophobia be calmed if you are from India?

Something, somewhere, someone must have done the right things, to be in this situation.

R K Laxman, The Times of India, Jan 10 2003

R K Laxman, The Times of India, Jan 10 2003

Come Home To London

Not many remember how in the late 70s, British immigration authorities subjected Indian women to virginity tests – to prove what, I could never understand.

If you thought that only Tories, Right-Whingers and Conservations were racists, the Prime Minister of UK at that time was a Labour leader, Jim Callaghan.

But London is a strange place.

As Vir Sanghvi found out a few years ago, dealing with rather rude and surly staff at Heathrow – seemingly, only to Indians. Turns out that Vir Sanghvi was talking of rude and surly British-Indians manning the counters at London Heathrow.

More recently, a Brown American blogger, was found in the blogosphere, nonchalantly referring to Indians as dogs. In writing, openly and publicly. When challenged, obstinately, he chose to defend his uncivil attitude.

Just shows that culture is nothing to do with genes. It is all about satsang.

Keep bad company …

Big Stories From Vague Questions

But rather indicative was a recent poll by a British advertising agency.

One of those vague polls that PEW Centre specializes in. Do Hindus Hate Muslims more than Muslims Hate Hindus type of polls. Where people at PEW judge a nation by asking 2000 people out of 20 crore (200 million), very broad questions – and seem to get rather precise answers.

But all said, these polls can be indicative. Sometimes at least. OK. Rarely, if you must insist.

In this case, turns out rather to the dislike of British media who has been rather quiet about this poll in the last one month. A tweet message to the ‘Insight Director’ got no response – seemingly because he accesses his Twitter account

After a year-long study, a British media agency, OMD revealed that 32% of Britons in the 16-24 age group think that India is probably the country they would prefer to be born in as India afforded more opportunities. Younger Britons who think that India would be best, is higher at 36%.

Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; on bamulahija on January 09, 2010

Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; on bamulahija on January 09, 2010

India beat off not only the other major emerging economies, but the US too. Cool Brazil was the choice of 29% of those polled, followed by Russia (28%), China (27%) and the US (26%), according to the study conducted by the communications agency OMD UK.

“It’s not that people are rushing to exit England, but there is a sense of people being aware that Britain is no longer the power that it was economically, and that growth will be driven by new economies.”

via Brits would rather have been born Indian – Hindustan Times.

A man should know his limits.

Now Britishers are a tough act. After 200 years in India, it made no difference.

They are still in the same game. Of war, killing, loot, fraud, murder, etc.

Christian Madarasas: Making A Comeback?

Posted in America, India, Media, politics, Propaganda, Religion, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on March 16, 2013

Just like the Taliban, modern Christian West can be paranoid about people who eat differently, dress differently. Remember the dot-busters. Or the anti-yoga wave.

If Islamic madarsas taught Koran and gave rise to Taliban, will we see Christian madarsas and Christian Taliban when Western schools re-start teaching Bible?

Republican Democracies

By the time Napoleon started secular education in France, Christian Taliban reared in Christian madarsas, had already wiped out entire populations in North America and Australia, ravaged the South American and African continents – and killed tens of millions in India and Asia.

Talibanic Roots

The word Taliban comes from talib – that is one who has received taalim – education. Usually at a madarsa. Designed to give competence in Arabic, build knowledge in Quran and Muslim theology, madarsas have long been the backbone of Islāmic education.

Why is post-Napoleonic, secular, State-controlled education system so afraid of religion? Why is the Bible not taught in schools? The Western experience with the Church, Christianity – the persecution and oppression that came along with it, has deeply scarred the people in the West. Knowing the method of religion, Western liberals resist the idea of religion in public life and State support for religion.

But is there a chance of Christian madarsas making a comeback?

Thirty Days and Thirty Nights

The last one month alone has given a strong indication that Christian madarsas may not be a far-fetched idea.

To start with we have a respected business publication the Wall Street Journal giving prominence, through their Op-Ed page, to the idea that Bible must be taught in American schools.

of the many things we say and do every day that have their origins in the most read, most influential book of all time. The Bible has affected the world for centuries in innumerable ways, including art, literature, philosophy, government, philanthropy, education, social justice and humanitarianism. One would think that a text of such significance would be taught regularly in schools. Not so. That is because of the “stumbling block” (the Bible again) that is posed by the powers that be in America.

It’s time to change that, for the sake of the nation’s children. It’s time to encourage, perhaps even mandate, the teaching of the Bible in public schools as a primary document of Western civilization.

We know firsthand of its educational value, having grown up in Europe—Mark in England, Roma in Ireland—where Bible teaching was viewed as foundational to a well-rounded education. Now that we are naturalized U.S. citizens, we want to encourage public schools in America to give young people the same opportunity.

This is one of the reasons we created “The Bible,” a 10-part miniseries premiering March 3 on the History Channel that dramatizes key stories from Scriptures. It will encourage audiences around the world to open or reopen Bibles to understand and enjoy these stories.

Teaching the Bible is of course a touchy subject. One can’t broach it without someone barking “separation of church and state” and “forcing religion down my throat.”

Yet the Supreme Court has said it’s perfectly OK for schools to do so, ruling in 1963 (Abington School District v. Schempp) that “the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as a part of a secular (public school) program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

The Supreme Court understood that we’re not talking about religion here, and certainly not about politics. We’re talking about knowledge. The foundations of knowledge of the ancient world—which informs the understanding of the modern world—are biblical in origin. Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president known more as a cigar-chomping Rough Rider than a hymn-signing Bible-thumper, once said: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

Interestingly enough, the common desktop reference guide “The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy” best sums up the Bible’s value as a tool of cultural literacy. Its first page declares: “No one in the English speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible.”

via Roma Downey and Mark Burnett: Why Public Schools Should Teach the Bible – WSJ.com.

More Important Than The Bible

There are more important parts of Western civilization that probably need studying – which are now hidden. To start with, how about the pagan past – before Christian misrule, oppression and persecution killed all alternatives – except the One Book. Tired of Church oppression and persecution, Western liberals are wary of a Bible comeback.

700 years ago, Cristian authorities governing Europe resisted the idea of using the decimal system – invented in India, adopted by the Arabs and spread across the world by Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire. To see how important this was for Europe, try multiplying using Roman numbers DCLXXVIII (678) with DCCLXXXIX (789).

Could Europe’s 500 year leap of technology have happened without Indian decimal system?

Yoga teacher Jackie Bergenon at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Encinitas, California, USA - conducting a yoga class. Credit: Eduardo Contreras / U-T San Diego; source & courtesy - latimes.com

Yoga teacher Jackie Bergenon at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Encinitas, California, USA – conducting a yoga class. Credit: Eduardo Contreras / U-T San Diego; source & courtesy – latimes.com

Yoga & Islam

A few years ago, in November 2008, Islāmic clerics in Malaysia declared that yoga was un-Islāmic. A few weeks later, Indonesian clerics added their voice to Malay’s Islāmic voices against yoga – and to be shunned by Muslims. Indians (especially the Right Wing types) nodded their heads, with an expression that said, “I told you so!”

Western media has been quick to pounce on this anti-yoga attitude as Islāmic fundamentalism. Curiously, Islāmic attitudes against yoga were probably inspired by Christian tirade against yoga since the 80s. When Playboy releases a nude yoga tutorial, you can be sure that yoga has truly arrived in the US. Estimated at more than US$3 billion (Rs.15000 crores), a few years ago, with 15-20 million (1.5 crore) users, yoga is no passing fad in the US.

If Not Ban, License It

Conservative, Christian America is doing everything possible to stop yoga.

Starting with licenses and regulation, going to stories planted in New York Times on the ‘harm’ that yoga can cause, to a conspiracy theory that yoga is a plot by Hindu ‘missionaries’ to convert Christian Americans. Canada is not far behind in this anti-yoga activism by the Church.

A few parents are resisting yoga in American schools. Their suit filed in California courts seeks to stop yoga from schools.

Reason: Yoga is religious indoctrination, ‘inherently and pervasively religious, having its roots firmly planted in Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and western metaphysical religious beliefs and practices.

Christian yoga teachers, like Tara Guber, have tried to handle theological objections from Christians by stripping all ‘Hindu’ elements from yoga.

Assertions like these from Christians that seek to strip yoga from its Hindu roots drive Hindu yoga experts up the wall. Subhas R. Tiwari, a professor at the Hindu University of America who holds a master’s degree in yoga philosophy, states: “Such efforts [to Christianize yoga] point to a concerted, long-term plan to deny yoga its origin. This effort . . . is far from innocent. It is reminiscent of the pattern evident throughout the long history and dynamics of colonizing powers” (“Yoga Renamed is Still Hindu,” Hinduism Today, January-February-March 2006). Tiwari believes efforts to Christianize yoga are unjust “encroachment” and thinly veiled Christian proselytism of Hindus.

via The Trouble with Yoga | Catholic Answers.

Rajiv Malhotra of the Infinity Foundation, joins this issue with conservative Christians – confirming that yoga does have a philosophy which goes deeper than simple body positions and physical exercises – which undercut the savior-approach of Christianity.

Prejudice and paranoia. Like in the case of the Russian ‘Barbie Doll!

'Barbie' Valeria on the beach  |  Image source & courtesy - thesun.co.uk

‘Barbie’ Valeria on the beach | Image source & courtesy – thesun.co.uk

From Russia, With Love

Known for her Barbie-doll like looks, apart from her native Ukraine, media attention from the British media has been widespread. Her videos have been a YouTube sensation, with more than ten million hits. And a million followers on Facebook.

Reportedly, a meditation practitioner, Valeria Lukyanova sports a bindi, teaches at a spirituality school. Known to her students as Amatue – from the Atlantean language, meaning “Goddess of the Sun.”

After becoming a vegetarian, she is practicing how to use prana in yogic way, to sustain her life. For long a heavy alcohol user, she now lives on fruit juices and chutney-like vegetable purées.

For some time, her very existence was in question. Her appearance seemed photo-perfect – apart from one breast-augmentation surgery, she is supposedly ‘real’, without plastic surgery.

There is nothing in her background that is known, which can lead the media to be critical of her. Without a criminal record, with no known underworld links, there is no reason for media to be critical of her. Not even drugs. Not hungry for media attention, British newspaper The Independent reported “after much persuasion, Ms Lukyanova agreed to meet The Independent for lunch”.

Valeria Lukyanova with mother Irina  |  Image source & courtesy - thesun.co.uk

Valeria Lukyanova with mother Irina | Image source & courtesy – thesun.co.uk

So why is this British journo so dismissive about Valeria ‘Barbie’ Lukyanova? Is it because she does not eat beef, steak – but instead ‘a glass of freshly squeezed celery and carrot juice, mixed together with a trio of gloopy Indian chutneys into a devilish cocktail.’ Explaining herself, to this prejudiced journo, while ‘taking small sips of the slimy drink.’

Is Shaun Walker worried about ‘Lukyanova’s spirituality, which she propagates online and teaches in a series of lectures and seminars, is based on vegetarianism and meditation.’ while ‘not linked to any religion, though she admits it draws much from Buddhism.’ Is Shaun Walker negative because, ‘Lukyanova remains the best known of the dolls and her “spiritual teachings” and as  ‘found a receptive audience among many young women’. The entire post is dripping with paranoia and innuendo – against a harmless, pretty 23-year old girl from Ukraine.

Why. Just Why? WHY?

Satjayit Ray, Peter Sellers and aliens

Posted in Media, politics, Propaganda, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on September 19, 2012

A post that appeared in UltraBrown. The site seems to have expired.Following content accessed from webcache

Tuesday, July 17

Satjayit Ray, Peter Sellers and aliens

Satyajit Ray accused Steven Spielberg of ripping off his ‘67 script The Alien for the hit E.T. The Alien was to star Peter Sellers and Marlon Brando:

In 1967 Ray wrote the script to a science fiction film he wanted to make called The Alien. Peter Sellers was interested in the lead role, and Marlon Brando in the second lead… Ray was alarmed to discover that producer Mike Wilson had copyrighted the script Ray had written in both their names… He returned to Calcutta and abandoned The Alien project…

In 1982, when Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster E.T. was released, the plot bore a striking similarity to Ray’s script for The Alien, and was produced by the same company that had contracted with Ray in 1967. The similarity was considered by some, including Ray, to be more than mere coincidence. He told the Indian press that E.T. “Would not have been possible without my script of The Alien being available throughout America in mimeographed copies…”

… Spielberg has denied plagiarizing Ray’s script. “I was a kid in high school when his script was circulating in Hollywood…” [Link]

The script was written by Ray in 1967, based on Bankubabur Bandhu (Banku Babu’s Friend), a Bengali story he had written in 1962 for Sandesh, the Ray family magazine.

What differentiated The Alien from previous science fiction was the portrayal of an alien from outer space as a kind and playful being, invested with magical powers and capable of interacting with children, in contrast to earlier science fiction works which portrayed aliens as dangerous creatures.

The plot revolved around a spaceship that landed in a pond in rural Bengal. The villagers began worshipping it as a temple risen from the depths of the earth. The alien established contact with a young village boy named Haba (Moron) through dreams and also played a number of pranks on the village community in course of its short stay on planet Earth. [Link]

Sellers turned the Bengali character into bad ethnic joke:

Second-rate brownface

When Ray went to see Sellers, on the set of The Party… a coarsening was evident: the detail and imponderability of Kabir had gone, to be replaced with a brittle slapstick charm. The Indian sensibility was now an opportunity for gags

[Ray:] ‘Later I saw The Millionairess where I found his Indian English very amusing, though not authentic… Sellers was shooting (The Party)… [and] was again playing an Indian with the unlikely first name of Hrundi, using brown makeup and the same accent he had used in The Millionairess...

‘There was a scene in The Party where Hrundi was shown playing the sitar. Ravi Shankar, a good friend of mine, was then living in Los Angeles. Sellers wondered if there would be an opportunity to observe Ravi playing the sitar… After a gorgeous North Indian meal, RS gave a splendid recital with Sellers sitting cross-legged on the floor, his eyes glued on RS’s fingers for well over an hour…

‘A few months later I saw The Party. I recall regretting that even a first rate comedian could get enthused over a shoddy script. But there was one thing in the film that tickled me. Towards the end, the following exchange takes place between Hrundi and the American girl who has befriended him in spite of his gaucherie:

‘H: I must get home to my pet monkey.
Girl (surprised): Your pet monkey?
H: Yes. Apu…

‘To this day I haven’t been able to fathom why Sellers wrote what he did the way he did. It was as cold and brief as an editor’s rejection slip. It said there was no question of Sellers’ participation in The Alien unless his part was rewritten and expanded… ‘

[Sellers:] ‘Kubrick… reckons that Satyajit Ray is number two or number one, and I think so too… But for some reason he can’t get distribution. Nobody’s interested, so he has an art house showing…’

That last sequence [of Sellers’ later movie The Magic Christian had] the businessmen going into the shit to grab the free pound notes… City gents doing the breast stroke and dodging turds… ‘You’ve really got to hate people to love this film.’ [Link via Another Subcontinent]

Sellers and Ray fell out so badly, there are several versions of a story where Sellers likens arthouse icon Apu to a monkey:

Sellers had a fight with Ray, and to spite him, kept a pet monkey which he named Apu. [Link]

When Ray was insisting [that] Peter Sellers… play the lead role in The Alien, he saw [at a] party Sellers mimicking Apu as a monkey… Now people can say that this was just petty humor and, well, Sellers was a small guy while Ray was 6 feet 5…. but Ray himself found that debasing… It reflects an acute lack of sensitivity on this great actor’s part. [Link]

Sadly, Sellers’ interpretation of Apu is what Hank Azaria seems to have imitated in voicing the Apu character in The Simpsons.

Related posts: The Apu travesty, White guys in turbans, Peter Sellers still outsells actual desis, Giants, dwarves and lemurs, Goodness gracious, Peter Sellers is alive, Mr. Birdie Num-Num gets a biopic, Sick of spices, ”The Party” remake

manish vij on Tuesday, July 17th, 2007, 1:04 am in Film, Profiles, SimpsonsEmail this Email this
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  1. 1prakruti

vow Manish, this is news..how did u end up digging this 2001 article..

spielberg of all people in this ..cant believe..I admire both satyajiy ray and spielberg as worlds best directors..

u know thats why copy-righting is important…once u write something just make sure u send it to copy right office in washington DC for registration..

look at how many hindi movies are copies of english movies..plagiarism is a big thing these days.. look at kaavyas scandal…

  • 2Pravin I think Mike Wilson , not Spielberg should have been the target of Ray’s ire. Besides Melissa Matheson(ex Mrs Harrison Ford) is credited with the script. Whether she did the story or not, I am not sure. Or did Spielberg come up with the broad story and commissioned Melissa to write a screenplay?Regardless, Ray should have hired a lawyer. Unfortunately, that’s the only way to do business in the u.s.
  • 3aseem chhabra (Full disclosure — I broke the Ray/Spielberg story — 24 yrs ago as a student at Columbia Univ. J. School. The story was carried by major US papers — LA Times, Philly Inq, etc., in March 1983, just weeks before E.T. and Gandhi were entering the final Oscar race.)There are so many facets to this story. Ray learnt about E.T. from his friend Arthur C. Clarke, who called him from London and told him about the similarities between the E.T. and The Alien script. Clarke’s advice to Ray was “Don’t take it lying down. At least write to Spielberg and tell him so” (Quotes from my memory, as told to me by Clarke in 1983 from his home in Colombo).Incidentally, Ray traveled to Hollywood with Clarke, taking the script studio to studio. At one point Steve McQueen was also being considered for a role in the film (For more details about the Ray’s journey to Hollywood, checkout Marie Seton’s “Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray” and Andrew Robinson’s “Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye.”).There were indeed a lot of similarities (I managed to get hold of a copy of The Alien’s script, which btw is now available in a book published by Faber & Faber). E.T. had the power to heal wounds; so did Ray’s Alien. E.T. could make dead flowers blossom; Ray’s Alien could bring alive a dying paddy field. The first time we are introduced to E.T. we notice his fingers — same with Ray’s Alien. And there were more.When I spoke to Ray for the article, he had one major regret — that he would never be able to make The Alien, because then people would say that he had taken the idea from Spielberg’s E.T.
  • 4Shashwati What a great post Manish! thanks! I had known about the Ray and E.T. connection, but all the details were murky. As for Aseem, where were you July 4th?
  • 5Ryan Spielberg is known for muscling in on book and scripts. It is likely he read the script in the 70s and commissioned his own writer to make an Americanzed treatment of it.

And forgive us for our ignorant protests

Posted in British Raj, India, Media, politics, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on December 12, 2011
Markandey Katju is a reall bull in real china-shop - breaking down valuable stuff based on his imagined nightmares. | Artist: Sudhir Tailang, The Asian Age, November 2 2011; courtesy - http://searchingforlaugh.blogspot.com | Click for source image.

Markandey Katju is a reall bull in real china-shop - breaking down valuable stuff based on his imagined nightmares. | Artist: Sudhir Tailang, The Asian Age, November 2 2011; courtesy - http://searchingforlaugh.blogspot.com | Click for source image.

Dim wits like us

All those who disagree or doubt with Markandey Katju and his wisdom are backward people with dim understanding of Katju-saheb’s vision.

For instance, Katju-saheb wisely informs us that modern societies are the only ‘scientific’ societies. All traditional or ancient societies were either superstitious, backward – or lucky.

Like India.

One of Mr.Katju’s pearls of wisdom starts with ‘for industrialization, science is necessary’. And India does not have either any science nor industry! But my deficient understanding could not fathom, Shri Katju-saheb, how traditional India became the largest producer of gunpowder ingredients (till 1900), without science or industry?

Must have been luck.

Is there a God Of Luck?

Of course, Indians were plain lucky to build the best ships that British Navy could buy? Katju-saheb reminds us that we must be grateful to God(s) with whose kindness to Indians made cupro-nickel alloys at Mohenjodaro and Lothal – plus cupre-nickel coins later in the Takshashila region. Plus refined Zinc.

Thousands of years before the Western science and industry could. Gods have been kind to us Indians.

In modern times, instead of God, we must be grateful to the British (and the West) for civilizing, enlightening and improving the lot of us backward Indians.

There is an age-old advice, that applies in this case, “If people think you are a fool, don’t open your mouth and prove it.’ We backward Indians instead of learning science, that Mr.Katju-saheb suggests, waste time in protests.

The automotive engineering world is plain silly talking of India’s ‘frugal engineering’.

Why can we not appreciate ‘royal’ children?

Katju-saheb’s ideas of what I must read or write are right for me – and us backward Indians.

It is more important for us backward Indians to know more about Rajiv Nehru-Gandhi children than about Bachchan’s children. Katju-saheb has decided that it is ‘modern’ and ‘scientific’.

Katju-Saheb’s contempt for the those who are not State-schooled or educated is very topical – breath taking. Shri Katju-saheb seems to think that he (or some nominee of the State) has a right to force the media into joining the State in educating Indians – which backward people like Indians is brainwashing.

The State does not want have anyone outside the reach of its ideological regimentation.

In my small little mind

Though I must admit, a difficult question comes into my mind. If India is not a facing the problem of an aging population, that the West and Japan has no solution for, it is because of unschooled and unlettered Indians. India is not a demographic disaster zone, due to the healthy contempt that these unschooled and unlettered Indians have, for such anti-family population control policies of the Indian State.

I wonder what the august Shri Katju-saheb has to say to this thought from my backward mind.

Katju is in the vanguard of this ‘progress’.

But then I am not surprised

Mr.Katju is from the sort that wants ‘respect in world community’. So, Mr.Katju wants to impose all such ideas and policies and ideas on Indians that will get him ‘respect in world community’. Since, when has it become a part of State agenda that India’s policies will be dictated by the objective of ‘respect in world community’.

But can Mr.Katju be wrong about ‘pluralism, tolerance, individual freedom, and free flow of information’.

On pluralism and democracy, maybe Shri-Katju-saheb should talk to Catholics in USA, the world’s oldest Republican democracy – suggested another small Indian mind. Why has there been only one Catholic President in US history – who was assassinated before completing his term? We will not talk of impossible ideas like a woman President of the US.

But surely Muslim women banned from wearing hijab, in France can talk to Shri Katju-saheb about tolerance and democracy. On individual freedom, Katju-Saheb can check out in the citadel of individual freedom and democracy, Europe. All the Roma Gypsies in Europe will surely give a ringing endorsement of individual freedom and democracy in Europe. On ‘free flow of information’ who better to talk than Julian Assange.

I must admit

People like me, who know very little about ‘progress’, ‘development’ are the problem in this country of India – unlike Shri.Katju-saheb.

Backward people like me, cannot appreciate that Shri Katju-saheb has a noble idea of ‘spreading scientific ideas amongst the vast masses and raising their cultural level’ – and therefore wants to control media.

Can any one doubt Mr.Katju?

Is he not a ‘strong votary of liberty and have been misunderstood.’ He is against astrology. After all, who can deny that complex mathematical calculations of 27 nakshatras, 9 planets, sun and moon, multiple constellations are all superstition? How can we equate statistics with science?

I am now convinced

Mr.Katju is not the problem. Anyway, media cannot be the problem. Both Shri Katju-saheb and media are right.

We the backward people of this under-developed country are the problem. Lead us, O Great Shri Katju, the kicking and screaming backward masses to ‘progress’ and ‘development’.

And deliver us from our actors and actresses.

BP Chairman called sherpa

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, History, India, Media, politics, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on February 22, 2011
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay photograph (Courtesy - http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com). Click to go to source.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay photograph (Courtesy - http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com). Click to go to source.

“These guys are the best (in exploration). If you want to climb Mount Everest, make sure you have the best Sherpa with you.” ( via BP, Reliance in $7.2bn deal).

Me … sherpa …

This statement by Mukesh Ambani will surely raise British hackles. Especially racist British hackles. Would BP chairman like to be known as a sherpa. In British perception, sherpa is only a Himalayan ‘coolie’, I would expect. A ‘load-bearer’. Not surprisingly, The Economic Times replaced sherpa with ‘team’.

Western inversions

The brave adventurer was Edmund Hillary – not Tenzing Norgay, the West would claim. Although Tenzing Norgay’s achievement, skills, knowledge was greater. And necessary for Edmund Hillary. Norgay’s knowledge of the Himalayan terrain and his skills made Hillary’s climb possible.

Stolen credit. Then the myths and fables grow! (Cartoon courtesy - garynorthfield.co.uk).

Stolen credit. Then the myths and fables grow! (Cartoon courtesy - garynorthfield.co.uk).

The ‘special-element’ is the human-spirit, the courage, the skills and knowledge. One must not minimize the contribution of technology for the climb – which could have been sourced, like any commodity. Like many did after Tenzing Norgay. To reach the Sagarmatha – what the West calls Everest. But the spirit and courage is special. Something, many Indians would value.

Like Mukesh Ambani does.

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