Monday, July 19, 2010

My Dear friends,
The other day Headlines Today's (as high headed as most other TV Channels) office was ransacked by a mob of Sangh loyalists. At least this is what most of us have been led to believe. I have few points to share in this regard.
1. Regardless of the political overtones which this incident no doubt has, it is abundantly apparent that the "TRP" war is at the root of it.
2. The channel simply had it coming. The people manning the editorial dept. either simply or conveniently forgot that the power of the media is dependent on responsible and careful use of its independence. Sadly, media houses are acting like any other business organization and rarely are independent, in fact mostly they are partisan.
3. All of us who watch BBC or CNN must have noticed that in a month of regular viewing there are hardly four or five "Breaking News". Indian TV news channels, on the contrary, live from one breaking news to another- and the process is never ending.
I wonder, given the intense no holds barred "TRP" war, some day we'll be subjected to a screaming breaking news on some odd TV News Channel-"Third fart in a day by the Agriculture Minister" or worse still "Bollywood No 1 is not a Khan but a Khansama"
Ponder my dear friends.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My dear friends,
The following piece is in fact the comment I posted to an article from Mr. Nicholas D. Kristof in the NYT, published on 13th May, 2010.
"You, on the one hand, seem to understand the real problem both USA and Pakistan are facing in Pakistan, but the remedial measures suggested by you will not succeed.The reasons are not far to seek. Pakistani ruling elite (read Pakistani military) will never allow this treatment to cure the disease, because it will rob them of the charm and authority, they command in Pakistan. More importantly, the US administrations in the last 40-50 years have always managed to find justifications (howsoever flimsy or unbelievable) to support military dictatorships, though every US President and his officials always announce their support for democracy in Pakistan.Can't we all see that USA will never like democracy to flourish in Pakistan as it would be dicey and the White House/Pentagon bureaucrats always find it easier to deal with military rulers.In the light of yawning gap between the words and deeds of both American as well as Pakistani rulers, your Gandhian remedies are destined to fail."

Thursday, April 1, 2010


China and Google

China's government feels much more fragile than it lets on. And that's one reason for its crackdown on Google.

Share your thoughts.

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Thank you for your submission. Submissions are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Muzaffarpur, Bihar (India)
April 1st, 2010
10:11 am
Though you have a right to have a opinion, yet in this case, I am afraid, people who matter in the Capitol Hill may not like it.
While it is true that China and its giant strides in becoming a economic-military power house, can't be ignored or wished away, it is also true that China will have to take the first steps to ensure it is regarded as a welcome guest and not as a gate crasher. China would be foolish if it thinks that it can bulldoze its way to the party in the park.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dear Friends,
Just on the eve of "HOLI", I was pleased to receive a gift from my younger sister "Nani Didi". Knowing my fascination for photography (though my younger brother "Pappu" is much more accomplished and is an old practitioner of the art), she bought me a SONY Cyber-shot with 12.1 mega pixel feature. You can understand my surprise and pleasure at her grand gesture. She has always been kind to everybody particularly me. I must thank her.
With the Sony camera began my daily ritual of catching any thing or moment which I find interesting. I must admit, though photography is a very demanding passion which requires great amount of dedication and sincerity, the modern digital cameras have removed the hassles to a great extent. You can always shoot and delete the poor shots at will. It doesn't cost you anything.
Now, I guess, it's about time I shared some of the snaps (all flowers except one street cat) with you all.
Disclaimer: I must be excused, keeping in view my inexperience and limited ability, if these photographs fail to impress you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dear Friends,
It has been a long time since my last post appeared on this blog. More about it, later. Today, I received a mail from my brother which had an attachment-a blog piece from Mr. Tarun Vijay (as far as I know, he is the editor of "Organiser"). I need not elaborate it as it is so very topical and beautifully written. Not to say, it is eminently readable.Just read it!
. timesofindia. indiatimes. com/indus- calling/entry/ my-name-is- not-khan

My name is not Khan, I am Mr Kaul

Tarun Vijay, 22 December 2009, 08:55 AM IST

I am not Khan. My name bears a different set of four letters: K A U L. Kaul. As those who know Indian names would understand I happened to be born in a family which was called Hindu by others. Hence, we were sure, we would never get a friend like KJ to make a movie on our humiliations, and the contemptuous and forced exile from our homeland. It's not fashionable. It's fashionable to get a Khan as a friend and portray his agony and pains and sufferings when he is asked by a US private to take off his shoes and show his socks. Natural and quite justifiable that Khan must feel insulted and enraged. Enough Masala to make a movie.
But unfortunately I am a Kaul. I am not a Khan.

Hence when my sisters and mothers were raped and killed, when six-year-old Seema was witness to the brutal slaughtering of her brother, mother and father with a butcher's knife by a Khan, nobody ever came to make a movie on my agony, pain and anguish, and tears.
No KJ would make a movie on Kashmiri Hindus. Because we are not Khans.

We are Kauls.
When we look at our own selves as Kauls, we also see a macabre dance of leaders who people Parliament. Some of them were really concerned about us. They got the bungalows and acres of greenery and had their portraits were worshipped by the gullible devotees of patriotism.
They made reservations in schools and colleges for us. In many many other states. But never did they try that we go back to our homes. They have other priorities and 'love your jihadi neighborhood' programmes. They get flabbier and flabbier with the passing of each year, sit on sacks of sermons; issue instructions to live simply and follow moral principles delivered by ancestors and kept in documents treated with time-tested preservatives.

ey could play with me because my name is Kaul. And not Mr Khan. I saw the trailer to this fabulous movie, which must do good business at the box office.
There was not even a hint that terror is bad and it is worse if it is perpetuated in the name of a religion that means Peace. Peace be upon all its followers and all other the creatures too.
So you make a movie on the humiliation of taking off shoes to a foreign police force which has decided not to allow another 9/11.
The humiliation of taking off the shoes and the urge to show that you are innocent is really too deep. But what about the humiliation of leaving your home and hearth and the world and the relatives and wife and mother and father? And being forced to live in shabby tents, at the mercy of nincompoop leaders encashing your misery and bribe-seeking babus? And seeing your daughters growing up too sudden and finding no place to hide your shame?
No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie, a telling, spine-chilling narration on the celluloid, of five-year-old Seema, who saw her parents and brother being slaughtered by a butcher's knife in Doda. Because her dad was not Mr Khan. He was one Mr Kaul.
Sorry, Mr Kaul and your entire ilk. I can't help you.
It's not fashionable to side with those who are Kauls. And Rainas. And Bhatts. Dismissively called KPs. KPs means
Kashmiri Pandits. They are a bunch of communalists. They were the agents of one Mr Jagmohan who planned their exodus so that Khans can be blamed falsely. In fact, a movie can be made on how these KPs conspired their own exile to give a bad name to the loving and affectionate Khan brothers of the valley.
To voice the woes of Kauls is sinful. The right course to get counted in the lists of the Prime Minister's banquets and the President's parties is to announce from the roof top: hey, men and ladies, I am Mr Khan.
The biggest apartheid the state observes is to exclude those who cry for Kauls, wear the colours of Ayodhya, love the wisdom of the civilisational heritage, dare to assert as Hindus in a land which is known as Hindustan too and struggle to live with dignity as Kauls. They are out and exiled. You can see any list of honours and invites to summits and late-evening gala parties to toast a new brand. All that the Kauls are allowed is a space at Jantar Mantar: shout, weep and go back to your tents after a tiring demonstration.

Mr Kaul, you have got a wrong name.
A dozen KJs would fly to take you atop the glory - posts and gardens of sympathies if you accept to wear a Khan name and love a Sunita, Pranita, Komal or a Kamini. Well, here you have a sweetheart in Mandira. That goes well with the story.
And you pegged the movie plot on autism.
I wept. It was too much. I wept as a father of a son who needed a story as an Indian. Who cares for his autistic son, his relationship with the western world, his love affair with a young sweet something as a human, as someone whose heart goes beyond being a Hindu, a Muslim or a proselytizing Vatican-centric aggressive soul. Not the one who would declare in newspaper interviews: "I think I am an ambassador for Islam". Shah Rukh is Shah Rukh, not because he is an ambassador for Islam. If that was true, he could have found a room in Deoband. Fine enough. But he became a heartthrob and a famousl star because he is a great actor. He owes everything he has to Indians and not just to Muslims. We love him not because he is some Mr Khan. We love him because he has portrayed the dreams, aspirations, pains, anguish and ups and downs of our daily life. As an Indian. As one of us.

If he wants to use our goodwill and love for strengthening his image as an ambassador for Islam, will we have to think to put up an ambassador for Hindus? That, at least to me, would be unacceptable because I trust everyone: a Khan or a Kaul or a Singh or a Victor. Who represents India represents us all too, including Hindus. My best ambassadorship would be an

ambassadorship for the tricolour and not for anything else because I see my Ram and Dharma in that. I don't think even an Amitabh or a Hritik would ever think in terms Shah Rukh has chosen for himself. But shouldn't these big, tall, successful Indians who wear Hindu names make a movie on why Kauls were ousted? Why Godhra occurred in the first place? Why nobody, yes, not a single Muslim, comes forward to take up the cause of the exiled and killed and contemptuously marginalized Kauls whereas every Muslim complainant would have essentially a Hindu advocate to take on Hindus as fiercely as he can?
If you are Mr Khan and found dead on the railway tracks, the entire nation would be shaken. And he was also a Rizwan. May be just a coincidence that our Mr Khan in the movie is also a Rizwan.
Rizwan's death saw the police commissioner punished and cover stories written by missionary writers. But if you are a Sharma or a Kaul and happened to love an Ameena Yusuf in Srinagar, you would soon find your corpse inside the police thana and NONE, not even a small-time local paper would find it worthwhile to waste a column on you. No police constable would be asked to explain how a wrongly detained person was found dead in police custody?
Because the lover found dead inside a police thana was not Mr Khan. No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie on 'My name is Kaul. And I am terror-struck by Khans'.
Give me back my identity as an Indian, Mr Khan and I would have no problem even wearing your name and appreciating the tender love of an autistic son.

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