Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Postmodern Film

Only for the very daring, I recommend Gerry (Gus van Sant, 2002), and The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch, 2009).

The postmodern film is completely dependent your viewing of it, and its plot is what you make of it. There are many such films, but the above two films are at least extremely well made, so even if you are unable to make head or tail of them, you will at least enjoy the visuals and the sound design.

Tribute to ME, Dad

If you want to know what a silver spoon tastes like, what narcissism looks like, and how institutionalized patronage can be described in action, I urge you to read the Tribute to my dad blog by a daughter of Capt Kanwaljit Singh. The Captain died in a road accident last year. I am guessing the daughter is at least 30 years of age (since her father was 67 in 2009, when he passed away). I earlier thought, giving the writer the benefit of doubt, that the blog was by his granddaughter, but I have had to, unfortunately, correct my initial impression.

The first entry is Can anyone interpret my dream? The single comment is interesting too.

The second entry is a harangue coming from the notion that her father was unjustly treated after his accident.
If a VIP Person is not cared then what about a common man?Where should they go!!
Who will raise their voice against injustice?
JAAGO people get together to fight injustice
cause this can with anybody
The third (and currently the latest) entry is a tribute to her father, containing gems such as:
The most downtrodden could boast of his close connection with Capt. Sahib and bully his way in any government office.


He had so many qualities which cannot be enumerated but some major ones which stand out were: Honesty- not restricted to just corruption but honesty in thought and action. (couple this comment with the passport anecdote below -harmanjit)


I’ll tell you , since my father passed away I’ve been exposed to certain amount of politics & what I understand from my experience is that it is a task in itself to get through to the administration & leaders, if a person like me is unable to reach them, think about a common man?


One instance that I can’t forget is when my dad was going to UK for a conference. Everyone wanted to go and as usual I was told to make him agree. He agreed & we all got very happy. We were to leave in 2 days time and guess what my passport had expired; I was so sad that the person who made the entire plan was only not going!! I went to him and started crying that I did not want to be left behind. He told me ‘chalo dekhda Haan, ‘go home and get your things ready as our flight was to leave the next day at 9 pm. Then the impossible happened, My Passport was made by 1pm the next day and I started for Delhi at 2pm, the UK embassy closes by 4 PM again I got tensed as there was no way I could reach by 4 pm. My dad told me in his usual way ‘ CHALO DEKHDE HAI WHAT CAN BE DONE .’

you will not believe this- I reached DELHI at 6 pm and guess what the chief consulate of the embassy had kept the embassy open specially for me!! tears started flowing out of my eyes & i told him what i would do without him infact what will the whole family do without him!!!

Indeed! Indeed!


Want more enlightenment about her brother and how he has been planning to give tribute to his father?
Though he made it clear that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was a father-figure to him, he said he would contest as an Independent from Patiala to give a “befitting” tribute to his late father.
The son is miffed that in his efforts to honor his father, he was not allowed to contest as the party candidate from the constituency that his father hailed from, but had only been given the chairmanship of a bank.

From The Indian Express:
A few days back, SAD president and Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal was quoted saying that there was no need to adjust Bunny since he was already chairman of Punjab Cooperative Bank. This statement by Sukhbir Badal is learnt to have triggered this reaction.
In case you want to know how such chairmanships are awarded, may I direct your kind attention here.

End of the story? The son was finally allowed to give tribute to his father, by contesting as the party candidate from his father's constituency. And since it is India, my dear, obviously he won by a wide margin.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Quality of Journalism

Whereas in the US erudite concerns are being raised about an already high standard of journalism, in India it is going from bad to worse.

I can only shake my head at the colossal stupidity of a newspaper editor who would allow the publishing of a major political leader's personal mobile number, and that too right in the headlines.

Well yes, the US has its tabloids, but when a long-standing, reputed newspaper in India (and one which I think has the largest circulation in English broadsheets) starts peddling trash and worse, it is time to be concerned.

The reason why most young people don't like The Hindu, the best Indian newspaper in my opinion, is precisely why we are seeing a grave decline in the quality of Indian journalism. That is, the desire to be entertained and titillated instead of being informed, and to be treated as infants, with colors and toys.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On Perversity

Came across this rather unfortunate news item.

I am disappointed that I live in a country that has a perverse notion of perversity. It seems trespassing is not a crime, invasion of privacy is not a crime, photographing/videographing someone's intimate moments without his/her consent is not a crime, distributing intimate clips of another human being is not a crime, suspending someone without a reason is not a crime, pejoratively identifying another human being as a "rickshaw-puller" as if that has any bearing on the matter is not considered reprehensible, a so-called newspaper not trying to anonymize the identity of a gay person who is sure to be ostracized and worse is considered acceptable, that an institute of "repute" does not know the difference between a crime, "gross misconduct", a scandal, and a consensual act is fine, a teachers' union not commenting upon the victimization of a colleague is not a shocking act, and so on and so forth.

However, an adult human being enjoying himself with with another adult human being with his/her consent is considered perverse, reprehensible, scandalous, worthy of punitive action, and so on and so forth.

Shame on you, AMU. And shame on you, ToI. And shame on you, the fucking "local TV channel" which had the criminal audacity to barge into someone's home because "the door was open" and videograph him. May you all realize the nature of your perversity, and leave normal human beings alone.