Friday, July 31, 2009

The Indian Idoiot Box

When the first time I heard someone referring Television as idiot's box, I thought it was titally baseless. I wouldn't have seen great epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha without this wonderful equipment. I would have missed Sachin's straight drives and Amitabh's breath taking performances. Times have changed now. DD gave way to innumerable private channels. Capitalistic greed to maximise profits took center stage while quality and content of the programs took a back seat. Channel owners are ready to even kill each other for their share of viewership. There is no question about the enormous reach and influence of visual media especially television on Indian viewers.

However, after watching some of the shows I realized that the ‘Idiot Box’ comment is not completely baseless. The prime time viewers shifted their attention from ‘Surabhi’ to ‘Roadies’. Roadies was a huge hit and it has become the topic of discussion for youth. A reality show which is completely scripted and fake like a WWF wrestling match. The key learning points from the show is – ‘never trust anyone (even your best buddies)’. God himself runs this show by the nick name - Raghu. His words and actions on the show suggest that he is nothing short of a street rowdy. He and the participants of the show mistook arrogance for attitude. Bitching and backstabbing are the key ingredients for this ridiculous show. The creators of the show would not have realized that a significant population of kids also watch this show and today television also plays a part in shaping up their behaviour. According to the show, the mantra of success is ‘being selfish’. However, no country or society will prosper if the individuals think only about themselves completely forgetting the collective interest of the nation or society which they belong to.

Following the success of roadies, so many other reality shows propped up. The basic ingredients are the same – aggression, arrogance and glamour. However, the tag for most disgusting show has gone to ‘Such Ka Samna’. This one has crossed all the limits and the content is indecent to the core. Star Plus must have got its share of viewership and the participants must have got their share of the profit by virtually striping in front of public. Creative freedom doesn’t mean that you can air even adult movies through national channels. There should be some kind of regulation to prevent such shameful, indecent shows. The curiosity of viewers to look in to other’s personal life and the sadistic joy of watching how his wife and kids react to the dark secrets of his life is absolutely disgusting. The viewers of this show needs psychological help.
The so called “creators” of these western rip offs forgot one key point. The culture and values are different for different audiences. This is a place where family values have utmost importance. The family system in India replaces the Social security system of the western countries. Blindly following westernization is not going to help us. Unfortunate part is most of the good things from the western world are conveniently ignored by us. How much ever educated we are, we still can’t follow lane discipline while driving. We care a damn for public property. Even though we are intelligent and creative, we still lag behind because of lack of discipline, which is one thing we should learn from westerners.

Forgot to mention another show, ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamwar’. I could hardly watch it for ten minutes, because I do not have money to buy another TV! Rakhi visiting her potential ‘In-Laws’ and explaining her demands was totally ridiculous and I don’t think even after 100 years no Indian girl will dare to do this. Seems like she is going to marry some NRI soon. But I dont even have a slightest doubt in my mind that this is yet another show where every single dialogue is carefully scripted. The high profile marriage at the end of the show will be a gimmick just to fool the viewers.People who talk crap (like Rakhi, Mallika) have got good market value nowadays, which indicates the degradation of values in Indian society.

There were nation wide protests following Mangalore Pub incident, however no one is bothered about the below incident where a girl is slapped publically. Is it coz Shambhvi deserves to be slapped in public?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Elections 2009 - Ray of hope from Trivandrum.

We are a nation of 1 billion people. We have some of the richest in the world, on the other hand our country is also home to a significant population who live under poverty line. A booming middle class which is ready to take India to new heights and an emerging economy which has the potential to transform India to a developed country. Some of us have even dared to dream of India becoming a super power as America. I will not blame the dreamers, because we were one of the most developed civilization at one point of time. We can find a lot of sucessful Indians who hold key positions in western world. Indira Nooyi, Vikram Pandit, Lakshmi Mittal are specific examples. The cream of our graduates from IIMs and IITs has been lured away by foreign companies. India would have been a much better place, had we been able to prevent this brain drain. Still there is no lack of talent in India. The Tatas and Ambanis showed us that Indian companies can also dream big and can have Global aspirations.

India's dreams can be achieved only through political will. For that we need politicians with vision, and more than that they should be focused on the development of the nation and above all should adopt a honest and transparent approach of governance. Ethics, morality, honesty and integrity are characteristics which we hardly see in any of our netas. India's dreams will remain dreams unless we elect honest candidates who have real passion for the progress of our country. However, there will only be a handful of candidates in that category.

We have two national parties who claim to have nation wide reach and a bunch of regional parties who have no ideology what so ever and who are ready to change ideology and principles and awaiting the right opportunity to back stab major national parties. Some of them have tried to set up a third front also. There is no doubt that the regional parties are becoming stronger and national parties are losing grounds which is a very worrying fact. Clearly the regional parties do not have a national vision. I can't imagine an India led by lalu or mayawati.

Divisive politics and hate speeches have become very common. Varun Gandhi's speech has attracted serious attention. His speech was particularly disturbing because it came from a person who is educated at the London School of Economics. Varun's grand father was a Muslim and his mother is a Sikh. Still he made such a disgusting hate speech just for votes. He is the new opportunistic face in a party which laid its foundation by spreading hatred towards minorities. Young Netas like varun and Raj has taken clues from their seniors and realised that communal remarks and regionalism fetch votes even in modern era. Campaigns like jaago re have been trying hard to attract voters to polling booths. However, even though there is widespread protest against criminalisation of politics, political parties gave tickets to criminals. How can we expect educated urban classes to come forward and vote for criminals and fraudsters.

The list of candidates from Kerala is really encouraging this time. Shashi Tharoor is contesting from Trivandrum. He is one of the most eligible candidates in election-2009. His global experience and knowledge can easily earn him a cabinet post . Going by his track record, he is more than capable of taking Trivandrum to new heights. Bloggers from trivandrum have started campaigning for him through blogs and for the first time in my life, I am going to vote.

Please visit his website and try to support his campaign in whatever way you can. Can he be the ‘Obama of Anandapuri’ and deliver the change we are looking for? My answer is a definite yes!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baapu returns.....

TV channels celebrated another Indian Victory after Vijay Mallya brought back Baapu's belongings. News channels declared Mallya's win as the show of Indian strength and money power to the world. I always had a feeling that television media has never been able to cover the real issues of the country. They always concentrate on stupid controversies, while real issues went unnoticed.

Gandhiji considered drinking as a social evil which can hinder the progress of our nation. Now Mallya has managed to get his belongings using the money from his liquor business. I can’t see any reason why we should celebrate this; on the other hand we all should be ashamed. Gandhiji's trademark is simplicity, its an irony that his belongings went to someone who is exactly opposite, who lives a luxurious fast paced life.

Otis has approached Government of India to avoid the auction. In return he has asked the government to spend 5% of the GDP for health and sanitation of the poor. I think Gandhiji would have preferred Otis to have his belongings than Mallya. At least he understands what Gandhian principles is all about. Finally Government claimed that they brought the pride possessions through Mallya in order to save their face. However Mallya has rubbished this claim quickly and announced that the government has nothing to do with the auction.

I believe we shouldnt worry too much about his spectacles and other personal belongings. We should pay attention to what he taught us. His ideology of simple life style has great relevance in today's world where people struggle to pay off their credit cards.

The commercial value of Baapu is sky high. Lage Raho Munnabhai, has proved this fact. He still lives in the heart of millions of people around the world. Many think Gandhian principles are difficult to practice now. However, living a simple life has its advantages. It will make us less complex human beings. The mad race behind money is not going to take us anywhere.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nuns - Innocents Sentenced for Life time imprisonment by the Church.

Dr Sister Jesme's autobiography has been a huge embarrassment for the Church in kerala. I have very high regards for this bold lady who challenged the mighty church by revealing bitter truths. In her book she has narrated even the personal trauma and shame she faced during her days as a nun. Church has been under severe criticism, after few priests were accused of murder of sister Abhaya. This one adds on to the numerous allegations against the church, which always managed to ridicule allegations by its political power and its influence over the mainstream media.

The life of a nun is not an easy one especially inside the huge walls of churches. Most nuns in kerala join the church in their early ages. It may not be their personal choice, most of the time it will be their parents and the family who decide that the girl should go to church and become the bride of jesus.

Imagine the mind state of that girl who will be alienated from her family and asked to live a life which is as good as a life term (even murders come out after 15 years). Will they not have normal feelings and emotions associated with girls of their age group? Who is benefiting by wiping colours off their dreams of life.

The church has a meticulous system to brainwash girls from a very young age and motivate them to become nuns, obviously with the full support of the family. The systemic brainwash might work for some, and they live a life without ambitions
for the rest of their life. But mother nature has created all of us with instincts. Even after decades of brainwashing, the normal human instincts may still prevail. Lesbian tendency among nuns is mentioned in her book,which is not a surprise at
all. This is not just about sexual needs, even nuns wish for love,care and support from someone. Deprived of almost every mode of entertainment, nuns are supposed to live like aliens from some other planet. Isn't this human rights violation? Its
like chopping a bird's wings before it could fly around to see the beauty of this world. How can a progressive society like us support church to deny basic human rights for these sisters. Isn't this talibanisation? what is the difference between the taliban in afpak and one of the highest literate society in India? Where are those human rights activists and feminists who shed tears for Muslim girls suffering in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Are they blind to ignore the sexual assault on nuns by the priests Or is it coz they are not powerful enough to raise their voice against the church? It is
coz Gandhi notes have power to block the even the so called, 'secular' voices, and the church has bundles of them.

I do not believe in superpowers. But if there is a god, he has created all of us with almost the same set of basic emotions, feelings and instincts. Denying the instincts is denial of God. Nuns are advised to live isolated from main stream to concentrate on community initiatives to uplift the society. There are people who have showed the world that family life is not a hindrance for community services. Community services is a mask anyways. The hidden agenda of religious conversions is not a secret any more. Churches get foreign funding (They might have targets to achieve as well!!) which is used to bribe tribal leaders for mass conversions. All in the name of
Jesus! Most of the educational institutions run by church are cash cows. A new business model adopted by Mata Amritanandamayi is actually copied from church. Community services is just a marketing initiative to turn the attention of the public and media.

There are similarities between a nun and a Devadasi. They both are wedded to 'Gods'. Both are exploited by established systems, nuns by churches and devadasis by the priests. Both of them are isolated from main stream. The stupid system of devadasis was stopped by law. Christian missionaries have played active part in eradicating the cruel and inhuman system of Devadasis. But ironically they do not notice that the church is also involved in a similar crime.

Last year there was an mms of a nun from aluva circulated by some lunatics in internet. After media reports church expelled the nun. Media covered it extensively and gave importance to the nun's expulsion. But they missed one important point, who is the culprit? Is that the driver who exploited the lady's love or the nun who gave everything to him trusting his love. According to me, the man has to be pelted with stones. She shouldn't be ashamed of herself, instead she should be proud that she followed her instincts. Heaven is for those who follow instincts as instincts are directly from god which has greater sense than the stupid system laid by his 'middle men'. I hope the society will open its eyes to this heinous system and free those sisters from the iron walls of Church.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Muthalik, Ramsena and a few pink chaddis.

Recently media unearthed a 'leader' out of nowhere. His name is Pramod Muthalik, the Karnataka version of Raj Thakere. The man woke up one day and realised that his culture is under attack. He formed a Sena that day itself and recruited some monkeys as Ram did. The monkeys pulled the hair of innocent girls and created nuisance to public. Apparently the government of Karnataka is run by Muthalik's dear friends, who were also worried abut Indian culture, as elections are nearby.

Valentine's day is a day for lovers. Narrow minded people like Muthalik cannot stop people from loving each other. The existence of this world depends on the eternal feeling called love. Bangalore reacted to Muthalik's comments by 'Pink chaddi campaign'. Soon Muthalikwill be seen as a roadside salesman selling chaddis, as he will not have space in house to keep those. The only problem his customers face will be lack of variety in terms of colour.

The economic prosperity of Karanataka and bangalore is greatly attributed to the IT/ITES sector. The westernised youths pay huge taxes to government, which is used to fund developmental programs for the state. Government of Karnataka tried to cover up the atrocities by Muthalik and co with some ridiculous comments. The answer for that came from Home minister Chidambaram who ensured that Muthalik and his monkeys spend their valuable time inside the lock up on Valentine's day.

There is one solution for this problem, which will ensure that no more goons will surface in future to do such shameful acts. All these men should be sent to the army and post them on the front posts of the army. The self proclaimed saviors can channelise their hate to do something which is useful for the country. Rather than showing their temper on girls, they can use it against our enemies.

For Muthalik and his Monkeys, with lots of 'LOVE'.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Slumdog aiming Oscars!

Slumdog Millionaire has sparked off serious debates all over India. One set of people are proud of the movie because a film based on India and acted by Indians and it won prestigious awards and got nominated for Oscars while some feel that the film portrays a wrong image about India.

The film was severely criticized by greats like Amitabh Bachan for showing the slums of India and projecting a wrong image. The film has disturbing visuals of India and its hard to digest for any proud Indian. However, it is unfair to say that Danny Boyle has projected a false image of India to the western audience. Whatever he has showed in his movie, is a reality which still exists. Slums can be seen in almost every Indian city, there is a vast majority of people under poverty line and are deprived of basic amenities. The riots against Muslims is another scene which can damage the secure image of India. The riots, slums and underworld featured in numerous bollywood movies before. Now people are worried about the image of India just because the movie is directed by someone from west. Why do we have to cover up the truth?

The movie is about Jamal's journey of life and love from the slums to the hot seat of TV show, "who wants to be a millionaire". It portrays the survival instincts of a slum
kid and his never-say-die attitude and determination to find his lost love. Fresh faces, brilliant screenplay and amazing direction makes this movie better than typical bollywood stuff. Its a refreshing change after stupid movies like 'Rab Ne Bana di Jodi'. May be our bollywood directors should learn a few things from this movie.The focus of bollywood is on size zero actresses, designer costumes, foreign locations and six pack heroes. They have completely gone offtrack as they forgot that the essence of a cinema is its storyline, screenplay, characters and direction.

I think Amitabh is just annoyed coz his real life role as a TV host was portrayed as an arrogant character in the movie. Kudos to Anil Kapoor for his excellent acting skills.AR Rahman is finally being recognised in International arena. We all know he is a rare talent and a musical genius, however his best works over the years went unnoticed in the west. Dev Patel, Irfan Khan, Freida Pinto and the slum kids put up a good performance. (some of the slum kids are actually from the slums of mumbai). Now the wait is for Oscars, for the first time Indians will be eager to watch it live.

The film has a typical bollywood ending of Boy and Girl getting reunited in a crowded place. It is a masala mix of romance, drama and suspense. It will not be easy for a movie influenced by bollywood, to compete with hollywood movies in Oscars. Anyways lets hope for the best. Jai Ho!

Also read - Real Vs Reel

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 - Few predictions from Attukal Nostradamus!

2009 will see some of the most exciting and weird incidents.

- After recession, unemployed Americans will start BPOs and work will be outsourced from India to US. Training centres to teach Hindi will crop up everywhere in America.

- Sreesanth, after being slapped out of the team due to his 'acute aggression syndrome', will get in to movies. There will not be much of a change in his life as he will be doing the same thing he did on the cricket field like, dancing, abusing everyone and most importantly getting slapped regularly - The only difference will be instead of the hard hands of bhajji, it will be soft hands of heroines.

- Reality shows will go one step further. Whenever there is a dispute between the judges, the stage will be converted to a boxing ring and the dispute will be solved by a knockout.

- Raghu will change the format of roadies, he will ask candidates to sing bhajans, ask them to say Ten commandments and debate on Mahatma Ghandhi's 'My experiences with truth'.

- Raj Thakare will go for an all India trip, he will be spending a lot of time in Bihar with Laloo studying the possibilities of generating power from cattle fodder.

- Rajnikanth will do an Art film with adoor gopalakrishnan. His fans will see him staring at a chair and smiling without a single dialogue throughout the film.

- RSS cadets will do community services in muslim dominated 'mini pakistan'areas all across India.

- ShahRukh Khan will be seen romancing with a new heroine in 2009 - Nia, 12 years old.

- Ghajini will be made in Malayalam and mohan lal will act as hero. He is going to show his 6 packs in that movie.

- Mammooty will leave to USA to learn dance from Michael Jackson. Mammooty's moonwalk will feature in his upcoming films.

- K Karunakaran will finally say yes to 'Yamaraj'. However, he will create groups in his kingdom and Chitragupta will revolt against Yama with the backing of our leader. We all will be lucky because as long as Leader is there, we will not die.

- Achumama will finally decide to stop talking. He will go to Vallikavu to get 'Jadu ki Jhappi' (Magic hug) from Amma to remove all his frustrations.

- Some of the mega serials will end this year because the serial industry is hit by an acute shortage of glycerine.

- Item girls like Mallika sherawat and rakhi sawant will join church as nuns, as some of the nuns have put up a better'show'compared to them in 2008.

- DYFI will change their strategy and embrace non violence. If you slap a DYFI 'child', he will not only show his other cheek but also ensure that he gets a tight one in that also.