Saturday, December 16, 2006

The God that is Roger Waters

Well..Some people term it blasphemous to compare people especially Rock stars to God..But aah..who has ever seen God,eh?? So I take the liberty here..
I havent' been such a great fan of Pink Floyd compared to my other friends..just a few songs here and there,whenever in da mood,thts all..I am more of a Metallica fan from the beginning..but recently I did let go of my inhibition to listen to new songs and decided to ventue into a few new songs..And boy!!WAS I HOOKED OR WHAT??!!!
Pink Floyd is one of those bands who can have a profound effect on your psyche..Just Heavy metal and head-banging i have never favored..Tht's why Floyd is so appealing..Some of the lyrics are soo leaves a lasting effect on your subconscious...

The best of all I have liked is of course TIME..which was the first song I heard of Floyd..
Some time back,my friend sent me the story behind 'the Wall'..its superb...and of course..the classic: Another Brick in the Wall..
Some people accuse PF of being depressing and pessimistic..But whatever they have dished out is the hard hitting reality..If truth is harsh and bites you in the be it!!

Here are the lyrics of the timeless song: TIME

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then the one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
And shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desparation in the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...

{Breathe-Reprise addition}

Home, home again
I like to be there when I can
When I come in cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Does Afzal Guru deserve Clemency??

Finally!!Afzal Guru,accused and convicted to be hanged in the Parliament Attack case, has submitted an appeal for getting pardon to the President of India..

And the Indian Government is sitting on it prettily..waiting for another Kandahar to happen it looks like..

Afzal Guru, an ex-militant from the faction JKLF,which has given up arms now and has entered local politics in Kashmir.They don't have the mass following whcih PDP,Congress or National Conference enjoy..But they do carry considerable political clout with the Indian Union Government as one of the prominent groups which have given up arms and are not exactly Pro-Pakistan like the Hurriyat..

The present day lives of most of these ex-militants make for an interesting read..
As far as I have read,the reports suggest that they are under constant supervision of the State intelligence agencies,since there is zero trust level associated with them..and quite naturally too..

There are some interesting questions which come to my mind when I read the various accounts of all parties concerned..

Afzal too, was under constant supervision of the JK Special Task Force until he came to Delhi with the terrorsits who carried out the actual attack.How then, did he manage to cohort with the attackers who came from Pakistan under the watchful survelliance of the STF?

His wife has made some sensatinoal allegations against the STF personnel...Now what we can't be sure of is whether those allegations carry any shred of truth..or are they an attempt to cash in on the widespread discontent and mistrust, the local Kashmiri junta has against the STF and the Army in general..I think this is a strategic die played by them..Muddle the water and raise doubts..Actually,there is enough cause for concern over here..

Afzal's role in the conspiracy in providing logistical support to the terrorsits from across the border has been well documented in the Courts.This is the chief charge on which he's been convicted.
However,one cursory look at his statement in the lower courts is enuf to deduce that Afzal knew much more than he revealed in the court..Some of his answers to questions put forth by the Prrosecution are amusingly trite and laughable..One is actually reminded of the typical court room scenes from a Mithun/Jackie starrer 80s-90s ka Bollywood movie..!!

However the same prosecution failed to get convicted Dr.Geelani, a lecturer from Delhi Univ who was also implicated by the investigating agencies for planning the logistical details.
In fact,his role was considerably greater than Afzal's..

How come then Geelani was sentenced to death by the lower court,But let off scot free later on by high court and SC too?

Why did the police and intelligence agencies fail in getting Geelani convicted?
Was this trial a mere face saving excercise for them and Geelani a scapegoat??

What about Afzal in tht case?Was he a scapegoat too by the same logic?
If that is not the case,then why is Mr.Geelani a free man today and one of the loudest vioces for seeking Afzal Guru's clemency??

The actual masterminds who planned the attack are still safe sitting in their cosy abodes in Pakistan courtesy of the Islamabad govt..wht is the Indian govt doing to bring them to justice?

Some of the Communist parties are at the forefront today in voicing their support to the clemency plea of Guru..
We also have the neo-liberals and pacifists who want to abolish Capital-punishment,extending their support to Afzal..People like Jug Suraiya (Sunday TOI Columnist) is a case in point..
I wont talk abt Ms.Arundhati Roy over here..
(Somebody,told me once she was a writer-activist..but I disagree vehemently..
After all,there is something called as the 'Second Novel',if one claims to be a writer first!!)

This is not the case to debate whether Capital-Punishment shud be abolished in India!!
Terrorists are terrorists..they have no regard for human life at all..How can the rules and regulations of a civil society be applied to them,when they don't want to be part of it but follow the jungle law saying:"My way --the Only way!"???

When we had to release JEM cheif in exchange for the passengers of IA flight during the Kandahar fiasco,where were these pacifists and liberalists?Or for that matter,what shud have been the course of action according to these ppl,if say Indian security guards had failed to stop the attackers in time and they had blowed up the parliament??
If they were caught alive after that,shud we still have given them life imprisonment??Making a martyr out of them,giving more ammunition to the Jehadis??And then what next??Another Plane hijacking or some such method employed by the Jehadis to achieve the release of the prisoners?? What do these activists think??By giving the terrorists a life sentence,we are proudly claiming ourselves to be better than the Jehadis??we are not stooping to their level???
They feel we as a part of the civilised society,shud not exact the right to take away a human life legally.
That is barbaric according to them..
Hello!!What abt the cost incurred by the state in the whole process??Jails are for those who can be reformed(atleast that's the benevolent purpose for which jails exist on paper!!)
Why shud the exchequer like me pay for supporting the State in keeping these convicts hale and hearty in the Indian jails??Why shud we always be under a threat like yesterday's alert at all Airports across South India,where in there was a chance that some plane might be hijacked to rescue Afzal Guru??

If a person has been proven guilty of aiding,abetting or committing a grave terrorist act,by a fair and just trial in the lower courts,the High court and the Supreme court too,I don't find any reason to risk the lives of more Indian citizens by keeping him or her alive ..

The key words here however being the accused getting a fair and just trial!!

We all know how well documented the reports of State atrocities on innocent citizens are in areas like the North-East and for that matter even in Kashmir in the early days..
The Naxal infested parts of Central India too are no strangers to police atrocities..That's why one has to be careful..And in cases like that of Afzal,one must surely be doubly careful that no innocent has been made a scapegoat by the authorities in order to save their face in front of the public.

What I think here is Afzal's past has come back to haunt him now..Its quite unlikely that he did not know of the machinations of Mohammad and other perpetuators of the actual attack..After all he was also present when the Car for the suicide bombing was bought in Delhi...
He might have been forced to do their bidding..But the Benefit of doubt does not go to him over here..

One point raised by the group opposed to his clemency is that why are the Afzal suporters crying foul about an unfair trial now when he was awarded the verdict by the SC..why didn't they raise an alarm when and if there was actually a miscarraige of justice as they say,in the lower courts???Where were these human rights activists back then??

The terrorists who were charged with carrying out the actual attack were killed in encounter by security guards on that fateful day..
But for the timely action of constable Kamlesh Kumari,Ashok Chakra awardee(posthumous) there wud have been a major disaster..

Are we really doing justice to her brilliant sacrifice by making a farce out of this trial??

I don't think so..

P.S :

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Today I saw the grossiest thing ever on TV as far as I can remember....

I was sitting along with some friends in front of the TV while having dinner and there was a show going on,on some channel(I think it was Sony..not sure),based on 'The Fear Factor' which is aired on AXN.

Now,I have seen many a things till today which would make an average person heave,but not me I thought!! I used to think I am immune to such things now..

But no!!How I was proved wrong today! Normally,u see people eating all kinds of worms,ants and many other insects on AXN's Fear Factor all the time..This for the sole purpose of achieving fame and prize money..
So what if it is achieved by such weird ways and means??

This was an Indianised bastard version of the show on AXN..
4 TV actors/models were competing and in the 2nd round,each one of them was shown a glass case full of different organs of the human body like the Heart,Lungs,Liver,Spinal Cord,et all..
where they were being preserved.

I couldn't believe what was the task they were supposed to do!!
Catch hold of each body part from the glass case by your mouth..YES the MOUTH..and transfer it to some other glass vessel!!!!

I was half hoping the host will suddenly crack up and tell those 4 poor souls tht he was joking..
But no..he was every bit serious abt it..
The first guy took the leap ahead and held the heart in his mouth and transferred it to the other vessel..

That's it! I couldn't watch any further..Imagine seeing such a thing while u r having ur dinner!!
Yukkkkssss!!I lost my apetite totally after I had gone and puked in the loo...

And all my friends were laughing and mocking me..I was labeled a big 'ch&%#a' for reacting this way to the show...

Well..! It turns out I am not that immune to such things after all!!
That image is gonna be stuck in my mind for quite a few days to come now..
I really hope I am not reminded of it the next time i am doing my pet puja...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mayhem in Maharashtra

So...some good for nothing guy from Kanpur goes and desecrates Mr.Ambedkar's statue thinking it would be good time pass,and lo!!

Dalits in Maharashtra are so offended,they spill out on the streets and start rasta rokos..pelt stones at vehicles..damage and burn government buses and trains!!

We saw a spontaneous outburst from the community wherein angry protesters called on for bandhs,forcing shops and business establishments to down shutters..Curfew was imposed in so many places ..Its still tense in Aurangabad..That's an entire district..The sheer magnitude of this outburst has confounded many..Articles have been written and editorials have come out trying to delve behind the psyche of this incidence..But seriously,what difference its gonna make anyways??

We the people of India take pride in being citizens of a vibrant economy which is growing at a rate of more than 8% per year..stock markets are soaring and Indian cos are expanding business vigorously..There seems to be a sense of complacency when we start patting our back saying all’s well when its so clearly not..

How is this related to the above violence one may ask…but its quite important to note that the masses who went on a rampage were not just Dalits..but they were impoverished Daits in most cases..Do u really think Dalits who have risen up the economic ladder,those from the Middle and Upper Middle class community, joined ranks with these arsonists and vandals?

These are the people from the typical Zopadpatti areas which are ubiquitous in cities like Mumbai, Pune and else where..The slum pockets where u will always see a board of ‘Jai Bhim’ at the entry point,along with Mr. Ambedkar’s statue or Portrait.

There has been enormous discontent amongst the lower strata all over ,which needed just a spark to kindle the kind of protests we saw.If nothing the Khairlenji killings are testimony to that.

The fruits of economic reforms and progress are not reaching these sections of the society and they are disillusioned with the entire situation.All the benefits available to the lower castes via Reservations and such other means are lapped up by the creamy layer..These are the people who are in real need of such affirmative action..but the govt and the politicians are happily ignoring the ground situation.

That is what we saw this past week where the anger in the minds of the Dalits spilled over the streets..and the mayhem resulted..

I don’t really understand why they have to burn down trains and buses…effectively those who suffer from these bandhs and riots are the people from the lower classes themselves..For many a loss of one day’s work means having to go without a meal or two..But these protesters are never concerned with that..After all,this is their only way of staging protests..If no one is ready to listen to you,take the law in ur own hand..and go on a rampage…

The politicians will have to take notice then..Well,I think that's the mindset anyways..otherwise there was no real purpose behind wht happened in past few days..

Alright,now everyone in Maharashtra has come to know that the feelings of the Dalits were hurt immensely..what next??the situation will be calm again in 2-3 days and life will be back to normal,but isn’t it time already for the govt to introspect and look at the real issues over here??

What these Dalits need is empowerment..not through Voting ..thats the biggest sham in our democracy and we all know it..

Empowerment through economic upbringing of these backward castes and communities..Unless there are Dalits at the lowest strata of the economic ladder,there will be such riots in the future over petty issues like desecration of a it’s Ambedkar..tomm it might be Shivaji Maharaj..

The sensibilities of people are hurt over many things in our nation..from Movies to Cricket to countless other things..I used to think it shameful that people need to riot and take the law in their hand to mark their protests..But one has to look at the people who are participating in such protests..Its very easy to say that India is a Banana Republic pointing to such incidences..But until the economic disparity remains and keeps on widening the way it is right now..Indian citizens can never get the real taste of a true Republic.

I am not advocating or justifying anything over here…

Just my attempt at looking at the rationale and logic behind these irrational and illogical ways of protesting over meaningless matters to you and me..

For them..its a totally different perspective after all..

P.S : Read the speech of Raj Thackerey in TOI today ..He was here in Pune to campaign for the next PMC elections.. It was very difficult no to agree with the points he had made.After all the violence in some of the pockets was seemingly pre-planned,though there is no way to verify that...But even in my office the lady sitting next to me proclaimed these were all ploys for the forthcomnig elections,since these politicians want to divert the attention of the Dalit public from their dismal failures in getting any constuctive work done for their betterment..

Well,when you put it that way..its really hard to argue wth that!!! hehehe..

04/12/2006 10:25 PM IST