Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Narendra Modi is Not Superman. Please!

He is at best an administrator significantly better than his peers. He may have shown promise, but let us not burden him with Superman('s)hood as that will only raise our expectations to such levels that they will be impossible for anyone to fulfill.

What afflicts Modi is that he is not looked at as a normal man with attendant limitations of inefficient, opaque and lethargic bureaucracy, local governments and their agencies like the police force. This polarizes us into "lovers" and "haters" - making us prone to exaggerating whatever he does, be it purportedly "good" or allegedly "bad". There is only so much he can do working with limited material and human resources. Not to forget, challenges faced by any sincere administrator are numerous and grave - high population density; resulting apparent and disguised unemployment; illiteracy; struggle for basic resources that makes common man take recourse to 'socially accepted taboos' like bribery, nepotism and "cutting of each others' throats" in any kind of competition; ignorance and gullibility of citizens that are exploited by misguiding mass media; corrupt subordinates/peers/superiors; and obligation to compensate those financing election campaigns.

Somehow Modi has started working on basics by: promoting education (specially of girls); raising public office-bearers' accountability; efficient use of available resources; clearly separating religion and tradition from state policies (demolition of numerous temples for road works and making teaching English compulsory from class 1) and countering strife by encouraging investment in industries. He has rightly realized that it is not agriculture (largely, disguised unemployment) but other industries that should and will be major sources of employment as reflected in gradual urbanization promoted by him.

What we need is not one Modi whose power and efficiency would spread thin by becoming the Prime Minister, but many such administrators at all levels who could sincerely and with foresight try to solve India's problems.

My admiration for him lies not so much in the results he has shown which can anyway be undone by a single year of 'regular' leadership, but a crack of hope he has been able to create in my hardened cynicism that "yes, it can be done".

In response to a few comments, here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

S.I.T. Back and Enjoy Pop-Corny NewsXXX

Indian English media gives new expansion to the acronym - S.I.T.:

Sunday Inquisition and Torture

Click, S.I.T. back and enjoy the Indian Mass Media in its naked glory - where fact and fiction blend seamlessly, as if made for each other, for the benefit of the voyeuristic viewer.

"The purveyors of untruth failed even to think that March 21, 2010 happens to be a Sunday and a public holiday.

These purveyors of lies even did not once bother to check whether the key SIT officers, who are appointed by the Supreme Court, were present in Gujarat on March 21, 2010."

- Narendra Modi in his open letter.

For those click-unhappy (on lines of "trigger-happy"), pleasure yourself with the finest act of self-despicatory stand up comedy (click):

The Hindu broke the (false) story (that Modi was summoned by the SIT on March 21) on its web site,, at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday. The exclusive was immediately picked up by television channels, news agencies, and other websites without crediting the original source.

Cute clowns, I say. Coochi coochi coo :)

Elsewhere, NudeX(XX) asked their viewers "if questioning of Narendra Modi is a democratic process". A vast majority of democracy-bots - 75 %, felt "yes". I was heartened that at least rest of 25 % were still humans, and had retained their natural sanity not supplanted by "artificial intelligence" borne out of meticulous news programming. Which means justice has become democratic. Who should be questioned, who should be punished would depend not on evidence available, but whims of button pushing bots wielding the power of TV remote and cell phone. And this is the highest form of democracy and justice Indian media has envisaged for its citizens! Reinforcing this vigilantism and lyrical lynching, little enthusiasm was shown in reporting that SPS Rathore had offered to undergo narcoanalysis, a fact that would disturb the systematically constructed tyrannical, cabalist image of the retired police officer.

Known to few, Bareilly has attained sovereignty independent of India, a fact, respecting which major news channels determined that 13 day-curfew in face of communal violence there was not news-worthy, but garlands and honey bees were.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spinning Yarns to Make Undies on TV


The author asserts that all the incidents described in what follows are completely true. There is no question of any incidental resemblance with any person alive, moribund or dead as the author himself had witnessed the events described this Sunday (February 28, 2010) on the eve of Holi (click) after consuming bhang (click), which he could not dilute sufficiently with thandai (click).

Reader discretion is strictly optional, and when exercised, in fact would be deemed by the author as an affront to his truthfulness and ability to maintain lucidity in face of information overload.

8:00 PM, 28 February, 2010
nOObs' Channel: Undie TV XXX 24x7
Program: Weed People
Debate: Which political party is best for We, the People?

Hello and welcome, friends, to yet another episode of your favorite propagandram - Weed* People! It is Holi tonight, and I, Charkha Thug, take yet another opportunity to remind you, the people, of Undie TV's undying endeavor to provide the best opinions in the news-market to choose from.

India is the largest democracy in the World, and staying true to our democratic spirit, we keep on voting. There are all kinds of opportunities to vote - Lok Sabha elections, assembly elections, municipality elections, best TV vamp elections. No wonder, it is imperative that we all stay informed as to who to vote for.

We have noticed that despite our best efforts, the citizenry of India has not been proactive enough to assimilate the message Undie TV wants them to. Our research analysts have concluded that this sloth is an outcome of Indians' inability to follow hints. And it is even understandable - when all other channels bombard the viewers with in-your-face news, our subtle messages are lost upon the viewers' numbed sensibilities.

So today we have decided to set the record straight once and for all. We're here to tell you discuss which political party is the best to vote for. And to aid your decision making we have some eminent spitters speakers with us.

Let's kick off this debate with the eloquent spokesperson of the Con's Dress Party - Manhus Bimari.

Charkha: Mr. Manhus, could you please tell We, the People, why we must vote for you, and not for the SafeRun alliance, who is your chief political opponent?

Manhus: Charkha, I must begin with saying that our party traces its origin in wannOOby bureaucrats, who were desirous of greater role in governance. So as you could see, to govern people is the unshakable wish all our party members have always shared. Now you must juxtapose this wish with the fact that where there is a will, there is a way! We have willed that we rule, and we have had our way, more often than not. But of course, sometimes merely willing is not sufficient, and hence we are exploring new ways (click). The strongest reason I could offer to dear citizens to vote for the Con's Dress is the sense of accomplishment they will experience in voting for the party that is to win. I know, despite or alternatively, because of - both of which are debatable but acceptable views, our ruling the nation for around 50 years now, people have to struggle day in and day out. Whatever they wish for never happens. Like, people had wished that food prices come down, but they have maintained their upward trend! People had wished that there be no surprises thrown by terrorists (click), but that did not happen! People had foolishly wished that Rahul and Rakhi marry each other and STFU, but see, that too did not happen! These disappointments leave in wake a defeatist attitude. We totally understand the situation. We have over these five decades, developed an unparalleled expertise at understanding the common man's problems. And this should not come as a surprise, after all, antivirus companies know how the end user feels when his PC gets infected by the viruses they create.

The problem, as you can clearly see, is in people's wishing for things that are extremely unlikely to happen. So what we suggest to people is that they align their wishes with events keeping in view their probability of happening! There is nothing that comes closer to playing God as voting for the Con's Dress and wishing for its victory!

Charkha: Thank you Mr. Bimari. I'm sure all our viewers who are sensible must have understood by now that they must vote for you. But being the responsible mouthorganpiece of media, I must give fair chance to our guest from the SafeRun alliance. So I would like to ask Mr. SingeJoy Rout of the Shy Sena to tell us why we must vote for them. I must remind our viewers that the Shy Sena is the prototypical alliance partner of the SafeRun. Their history includes breaking glasses of cinema halls, showing their concern for the depopulation afflicting Pakistan owing to Talibani activity thereby requesting select Indians to emigrate, and not to forget [sniff, sniff] not letting people watch My Name is Con. Let's see if Mr. SingeJoy is able to tell us why we must vote for the TeleBunny party that he represents and not for their rival, the Con's Dress Party, which clinched us freedom from the Britishers, is pro-poor, pro-development, pro-friendship, pro-stitu... I mean, secular...

SingeJoy: I object. How do you call us TeleBunny and call the Con's Dress secular? Don't you remember what these people had done in 1984...

Charkha: I'm afraid Mr. SingeJoy, you're raking up a very sensitive issue for which our viewers are not fully prepared. So we take a very short break at this point. See you back after some time. mouth fart[smile] :).

Charkha: Welcome back! So we were discussing how the Shy Sena is the prototypical alliance partner of the SafeRun. Their history includes breaking glasses of cinema halls, showing their concern for the depopulation afflicting Pakistan owing to Talibani activity thereby requesting select Indians to emigrate, and not to forget [sniff, sniff] not letting people watch My Name is Con.

SingeJoy: This is ridiculous! How many times will you repeat the same rubbish? Anyway, I was telling that the Con's Dress Party is not as secular as you are making them out to be. In 1984...

Charkha: Mr. SingeJoy, I'm afraid your time is up! We have to let all our participants speak. I'll return to you later. So well, people as you could see the Shy Sena has no defense for its abominable actions. Because, they are the prototypical alliance partner of the SafeRun. Their history includes breaking glasses of cinema halls, showing their concern for the depopulation afflicting Pakistan owing to Talibani activity thereby requesting select Indians to emigrate, and not to forget [sniff, sniff] not letting people watch My Name is Con. Whereas, Con's Dress is the party, which clinched us freedom from the Britishers, is pro-poor, pro-development, pro-friendship, pro-stitu... I mean, secular. Well, no debate on any subject under the Sun, and especially beyond it, can remain complete without the involvement of the Left Out. Let's take some views of the very illuminating Prakash Current as to whether we must vote for the SafeRun alliance or the Con's Dress.

Prakash: Charkha, being media's responsible mouth organ, you must not sing paeans to the Con's Dress. You should give us a chance, too. We have been pro-poor since our inception. Saffron is just a form of adulterate red, but we are the pure red!

Charkha: Mr. Prakash, I thought being the Third-Front, you can only go back and FourthForth between the treasury and the opposition benches. Anyway, We, the People, will try to take you people more seriously. But what seems to concern the whole nation is the impression that you are tacit supporters of the Meowists. Would you like to clarify anything on this issue?

Prakash: There is nothing to clarify on this. Our stance is very clear. We support the Meowists because they are the Jungle cats! What is difficult to understand in this? What is wrong? Aren't the jungle-dwellers the poorest and closest to the mother nature. Aren't jungle cats indigenous animals? Don't you know our love for everything indigenous, especially, that originating and thriving in jungles? We are pro-poor. And we are pro-Meowists. We will never let any of the two get extinct.

Charkha: Viewers, this is unbelievable! I just can't believe I'm so awesome! I made Mr. Prakash confess that the Left Out sides with the Meowists - something that TheRuin TechPal of had been attempting to do since their alliance with the Con's Dress. What hidden camera could not achieve, I achieved with my pure awesomeness. Here to celebrate, let me take another break. [Giggle].

Charkha: So we are back. I must remind the viewers the subject of our discussion is which party to vote for. Of course, very early in today's show, we had reached this unanimous conclusion that it has to be The Con's Dress. Because Shy Sena is the prototypical alliance partner of the SafeRun. Their history includes breaking glasses of cinema halls, showing their concern for the depopulation afflicting Pakistan owing to Talibani activity thereby requesting select Indians to emigrate, and not to forget [sniff, sniff] not letting people watch My Name is Con. Whereas, it's Con's Dress Party, which clinched us freedom from the Britishers, is pro-poor, pro-development, pro-friendship, pro-stitu... I mean, secular. And also because I don't like Mr. Prakash's deo.

Now we will take the opinions of our studio audience. Umm... yes, that sweet lady in the third row. The one in the saffron burqa! I must tell you in my 35 years of journalistic career, I have never seen such a spectacle! Yippeeee!

SingeJoy: Charkha, you are misguiding the citizens of our country. How come 35 years? You mean...

Charkha: Yes of course, I've been making up stories since I was three! Winners begin early, don't you agree? Anyway, Mr. SingeJoy, your time is up. I was telling the viewers how I have never seen such a spectacle! This, the saffron burqa is the epitome of Hindu-Muslim sister*hood* and customizable feminism and love for one's religion. What is your name sweet lady?

Lady: Ahem, ahem! [Squeaky manly voice] Well, you see, I am not exactly a lady. You see, my name is Bubbly Duhling.

Charkha: Oh, then I must add, apart from espousing the causes of Hindu-Muslim sisterhood, customizable feminism, religionophilia, you are also the champion of transgender rights! You're one hell of an activist. By the way, did you do your bit for Save the tiger? There are only 1411 left! And are you running for Grin-at-thorn? But I must repeat, you're one hell of an activist. If I deserve the Padmachhee, you definitely deserve Bharat Rant. Could you tell our viewers who you will vote for, and why?

Bubbly: Of course, I will vote for the Con's Dress Party! That's what I had rehearsed before the sho...

Charkha (stomping her feet and snatching away the mic): Shh... Due to some technical difficulties, we'll have to take a not-so-short break. We'll return next Sunday. Till then, goodbye and wish you a happy Holi! :)

8:00 PM, 7 March, 2010
nOObs' Channel: Undie TV XXX 24x7
Program: Weed People
Debate: Which political party is best for We, the People?

Charkha: Welcome friends. As you must remember last week we had to cut short our propagandram because of technical difficulties. We have replaced the defective equipment, so tonight we have with us Bubbly Duhling's, umm... how to explain... we have with us Bubbly's brister - Babely Duhling! You were telling us last week why would you like to vote for the Con's Dress.

Babely: Of course, I will vote for the Con's Dress Party! That's what I had rehea...

Charkha: Take this mouth gag! Huh! Okay, now take a deeeeep breath. Now are you feeling alright? Don't you remember, Con's Dress Party is the one which had clinched us freedom from the Britishers, is pro-poor, pro-development, pro-friendship, pro-stitu... I mean, secular?

Babely: Of course, of course! I will vote for the Con's Dress Party because I just looooooove Rahowl! He's cho chweet, he's cho cuuutee! He's the man, you see. I juss feel like smearing his bare chest with my li...

Charkha: Uh, oh! We understand your sentiments. I guess, Rahowl is a portmanteau of either Ra+howl or Rah+owl. But isn't "Rahowl" a strange way to pronounce the name of our future Prime Emperor, Rahullu?

Babely: Whatevah! Emperor or not, he's the Quing of my heart! Don't you know how like a true tiger from among the cubs of the soil he had entered the Tyrannosaurus' (click) den and withdrawn money? How like a true tiger he had walked bare-footedpawed and made a grown up Baagh to carry his footpaw wear? More Pawarpower to him!

Charkha: I'm not sure if his party would want any more pawar, but what I am sure is, by now not just the intelligent among We, the people, but even those utterly dumb must have understood that they must vote for the Con's Dress. We have left little time on our hands, and let me make one final attempt to see if Mr. SingeJoy speaks what we wanted him to speak. Mr. SingeJoy, what do you say about the recognition bestowed upon Shy Sena of "Paper tigers"?

SingeJoy: Our party has never felt more delighted than when the media understood the true motto of our party and started calling us by pay per tiger! You see, each and ever member of our party is a tiger. And we don't do our job for free. Each tiger comes for a price. Now that only 1411 are left, and moreover, with rising kerosene prices, it has become difficult to indulge in arson. Plus, our party apart from being saffron also takes on shades of green.

Charkha: What! Is this history in making, again? Shy Sena and green?

SingeJoy: No, you're misunderstanding. I meant, Mother Nature's green. Just like how paper bags are eco-friendly, so are paper tigers! Anyway, as I was telling you with ever-rising inflation rates, it is no longer possible for us to take bulk orders. We now have a strict policy of pay-per-tiger in place! If you want to market any movie, or any event, you know who to approach... [wink, wink].

Charkha: Not here before the camera, Mr. SingeJoy! Before we wrap up, I would like to take the views of Mr. Rage from Bombay, oops, Mumbai. Mr. Rage, welcome to the show! Could you please advise our viewers on why they should vote for the Con's Dress Party?

Rage: Why do you people always quote us incompletely? We do talk about sons of the soil, but that is because Mumbai's infrastructure is severely strained, and any further influx of immigrants cannot be sustained. If the governments of north Indian states would support adequate urbanization, this problem can be solved sensibly...

Charkha: [God, why's he sounding so sensible all of a sudden! This is not good for our TRPs. The sound editor must've slept off; the bugger didn't delete the inappropriate words!] We're extremely sorry, friends. We've lost our link with Mr. Rage. But as you could hear, Mr. Rage was telling emphatically that Mumbai was gifted to him on his b'day by his dad, and that they will allow only tiger cubs to play in their nursery.

Well, this brings us to the end of our show. As must be amply clear to you all, we had reached a consensus here for the first time, that We, the people must vote for the Con's Dress Party. See, you next week; same time, same channel. B'bye.

Charkha (click) was the brain (legitimate) child of Mahatma Gandhi (click) and The Quirky Indian (click).


In an occurrence more than a year old, which had got nothing to do with any of the characters described above, the Padma Shri (click) award winner, journalist, Barkha Dutt (click) had threatened a blogger with a law suit (click), for largely writing the truth. Needless to say, this is not becoming of someone who is supposedly very bothered of freedom of speech, for instance, of Maqbool Fida Hussain (click).


Again, totally unrelated to anything described in the first part, two days back I was watching NDTV 24x7 (click), and I was appalled by the sequence of news flash in their headlines. Here is the sequence that I vaguely remember:

1. M. F. Hussain says, he loves India, but India does not love him.
Immediate consequence: Hardly any.
Remotest possible consequence: Might set a tone for how much freedom could artists enjoy in the future.

2. A fighter jet crashes in Hyderabad, killing two pilots.
Immediate consequence: Two pilots died. A few onlookers killed.
Remotest possible consequence: Might serve as an indicator of the security that the Indian Navy is capable of providing to our country.

3. Government firm on Oil price.
Immediate consequence: Every single Indian would have to buy every single thing at a higher price.
Remotest possible consequence: More farmer suicides. Civil unrest.

4. Hollbroke says, blasts in Kabul not specifically targeting Indians.
Immediate consequence: Taliban would be taken less seriously by the US.
Remotest possible consequence: More Indians might die in Afghanistan as a part of India's attempts at continued presence there. Continuity of oil supply from Iran might be affected furthering India's oil shortage related problems. Taliban would gain stronger foothold and launch offensives against India.

5. "Dipak" - Maoist chief's Kishenji's right hand man arrested. Kishenji requests his release.
Immediate consequence: Might result in kidnappings/threats of violence by Maoists to coerce the government into releasing Dipak.
Remotest possible consequence: Might serve as a precedent as to whether the state machinery can tackle high pressure situations and escape out of arm-twisting tactics of Maoists and Naxals without loss of civilian lives, or will our republic just go even more "bananas".

Related posts:

1. Media Campaign for My Name is Khan: Free Speech or Free Market? (click)

2. The Hindu: Advertising, Bollywood, Corporate power (click) by P. Sainath (click).

Updates from my new Blog

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