Monday, January 28, 2013

The Hypersensitive Bharatiya

Last week Kamal Hassan’s 100 crore mega project Vishwaroopam was banned from theatres in Tamil Nadu and subsequently in Karnataka. It was cleared by the censor board, but then the government decided to ban it because it thought it insulted the Muslim community by portraying it in a manner unacceptable to some unknown Muslim organization.

Its woes does stop here, earlier Kamal Hassan was criticized for the name Vishwaroopam. The reason? it’s a Sanskrit word and it’s a Tamil movie. So Kamal Hassan has not shown respect to the Tamil culture by using a Sanskrit word to name his Tamil movie.

A friend on Facebook had recently put on a status about how rude and unpatriotic a guy was as he refused to stand during the national anthem played before screening a movie. He didn’t stop here, he also mentioned that he gave the guy a verbal thrashing about how he should be grateful to be born in India and is indebted forever to the motherland.

Recently Amitabh Bachchan was in trouble because he used the word ‘racha gaya’ for Quran, while someone claimed it was revealed by God himself and not composed.

These are just some instances that I saw or read about in the recent time. We are so insecure about our religion, motherland, and language or so called culture that we b urst into anger even at the slightest remark. Or we are just looking for an opportunity to get angry over anybody saying anything. It’s like we have just lost it. There is no tolerance for art and no tolerance for humor at all. Anyways the only humor we like is cheap takes at our women or perverted jokes.

Mindless things are imposed upon us and then an organization comes up to uphold them and we still call ourselves a democracy. Take for example the national anthem before a movie screening. Do I need to prove my allegiance to my country by standing up every time before a movie? By this viewpoint every day before going to work couples should read their marriage vows to each other.

We have become so occupied with such small things that it literally made up puppets in the hands of political parties. It is so easy for a political outfit to disrupt something and call itself the messiah of a particular religion, state or even the whole country. They know they never need to talk about development, better healthcare or law and order because our sensibilities have been killed by our hypersensitive nature to these mindless and irrational things. And to keep us occupied with that, let the drama of banning things, protesting against art continue.

It’s a shame that we a developing nation, a democracy are so easily swayed by such behavior. Just the reason I couldn’t help using the word Bhartiya and not Indian, in case I too might land myself a PIL.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Our obsession with quick fixes

I remember the time Fevi Quick first came out. It was such an exciting product that most of us would just want to play with it. We would usually get our fingers stuck together in an instant because if that. I grew up a little and I saw pain killers were the next quick fixers. Got a headache take a painkiller and get on with life.

But the last couple of weeks I've observed that quick fix has gotten into our attitude where we just want to quick fix things rather than fixing them right.

A girl gets gang raped in Delhi. Everywhere people discuss it and give opinions. Even on Facebook everybody gets busy putting status updates. But things that came out pretty strongly and hit me was what people suggested should be done. It mostly circled around chemical castration for the rapists or capital punishment. Someone even suggested send them to Saudi for better punishment. And let's not talk about our brain dead political class.

And I sitting here thinking how would this reduce rape cases? How will this deter rapists? How would this make my beloved Delhi safer for all my friends?

All these questions were left unanswered. But it told me most just wanted a quick fix and get on with life. Nobody bothered to think of making places safer (obviously which would require more thinking).

Take for instance bank robberies. Did making a harder punishment reduce bank robberies or making them hard to rob did? CCTV cameras, security guards, electronically guarded vaults made them a difficult target. I'm not denying bank robberies can't happen, but its difficult to rob a bank nowadays and it happens rarely.

So shouldn't we focus on making places safer for women. Like for instance making sure places like that munerika bus stand are less in number. Or deserted places are watched by CCTV cameras or frequently patrolled by police. Reducing police response time, making sure there is safe transport possible for women at night.

Why don't rapists choose a place metro station. Because of the fear of getting caught easily or not enough deserted a place to carry out the crime.

Coming back to punishment. It's purely my opinion that a society's role is to reform and not to discard. Throwing away a dirty shirt is an easy job than to clean it. They might have committed the most heinous crime possible, but can we use this as an opportunity? Can we reform them and perhaps use them to give messages to people. I still do agree a long sentence like a life sentence is a must.

If our parents, teachers, society discarded us every time we did something bad, this world be a very difficult place to live.

We really need to get rid of our obsession with quick fixes and start thinking of real solutions.