Sunday, May 31, 2009

News At Nine

( The post below is a figment of imagination, and is not intended to mock any particular journalist or news channel. Any reporter/journalist/TV news channel producer, who comes across this post, is advised to click here, and enjoy the posts of one of my good friends. Those of you who decide to read this 'informative post', should do so at your own risk. Any one of you , who tries to screw me Barkha Dutt style should know that I am a VERY POOR man and I cannot afford to pay any legal fees. )

In the brightly lit studio of INB news channel, sits the famous bespectacled journalist Pranab Dutta, along with Billo Kumari, flashing a broad smile. The news desk is lit, the mic has been hooked to them, as the producer shouts, "Silence.... Pranab, we are rolling in 3.... 2.... 1.... go!!" The studio thunders with music and as it dies out....

Pranab Dutta- "Hello and welcome to the news at nine, on your favourite news channel... INB, which was also the most viewed news channel during the latest Lok Sabha Elections. Please DO NOT.. and I repeat.. DO NOT believe the other channels when they try and claim to be the number 1 news channel. We, and only WE at INB news have been awarded the recognition of being India's NUMBER ONE news channel.. the numero uno... and we have displayed it on our website with the COA stamp. Lets proceed with the headlines...

(fading music)

Manmohan Singh caught on camera taking orders from someone other than Sonia Gandhi , and that is our INB news EXCLUSIVE...

Lal Krishna Advani admits that Narendra Modi was bullying him during the campaign, and lodges complaint with Rajnath Singh...

In International news that we are tracking... Pakistan PM admits that he has a crush on Mayawati...

and in sports, Force India finally scores a point in the Turkey GP..."

(music dies out completely)

Billo Kumari- "In a surprising incident which your favourite news channel caught on tape, prime minister Manmohan Singh was caught taking orders from a lady, other than Sonia Gandhi. This has infuriated Mrs. Gandhi, and she has been reportedly, sulking in 10 Janpath, along with the other Congress loyalists, with many clamouring for his immediate resignation."

P.D- "What is even more surprising are the reports of Lal Krishna Advani, calling up Mrs. Gandhi, and consoling her. Your beloved news channel has also learnt that Shree Advani has requested Mrs. Gandhi to declare this as a national tragedy. This rather bizarre request has also found resonance in the Congress party. For more on this, lets join our reporter Gurcharan, who has been tracking this news.... Gurcharan, what do you have for us....???"

Gurcharan (over the video phone)- "Yes Pranab... As soon as we had a whiff of this news, we got into our News Channel Van (which has been voted as the sexiest News van in India), and reached the PM's residence. En route, we decided to have lunch at Kakke Da Dhaba. We ordered three plates of Butter Chicken, 30 Butter Naans, 11 Cokes and..."

P.D.- "Gurcharan, .. Gur.. Gurcharan... That is besides the point.. and remember that the channel will not reimburse you for your lunch... What happened when you reached the PM's residence..??"

Gurcharan- "Yes Pranab.. like I was saying.. After a good heavy lunch, we went to the PM's house and saw a woman, in her late 60s, entering the house. Dr. Manmohan came out to greet her, and she told him to fetch her mobile phone from the car. Dr. Manmohan Singh immediately obliged and fetched her mobile from a rather odd looking Maruti 800. Pranab, you can clearly see in the video that we sent you, how Manmohan Singh's facial expression changes when he realises that he has been filmed...."

B.K- "Indeed Gurcharan, he seems to have seen a ghost... His face is all white, and you can clearly see him trying to run away as soon as possible... Gurcharan... You've done the nation proud... Great work... We are joined in our Delhi studio by none other than the spokesperson for the BJP, Shree Priyesh Javlekar... "

B.K(turning to Priyesh Javlekar) - "Javlekar sahab, what is this?? The PM of our country, a country which is looked upon by the world, to be the most moral of the nations... and it is our PM.. a man known for his honesty.. a man renowned for his loyalty... a man known for his faithfullness.. a man loved by many... a man who goes to Saint George Bush and tells him that ALL OF INDIA LOVES HIM...and now, he is caught taking orders from some unknown woman...what do you make of all this?? "

Priyesh Javlekar- "Exactly as you are seeing today. The PM has brought shame shame poppy shame to the nation. I think the PM should own moral responsibility for this rather immoral act, and step down from his post. PM should be ashamed of his act. He is too old to be flirting now. I am sure BJP will provide a better and moral government at the center. When i heard this news on your channel, I was.."

P.D (cutting short Mr. Javlekar)- "yes sir, only OUR CHANNEL has this exclusive news and that's why are NUMBER ONE...."

P.J.- "Egg-jactly.... yeah, like I was saying... When I heard this news on your channel..."

P.D (cutting short Mr. Javlekar again)- "its not just "YOUR" channel sir.. it is the nations channel, and it is the love of the people that makes us the best... please continue.."

P.J.- "Yes Yes... absolutely.. as I was saying.. when I saw the news on the nations favourite channel, i was..."

P.D (cutting short Mr. Javlekar again)- "It is also the number one news channel sir... and we have documentary proof as well..."

P.J.- "Well... As i was saying, when I heard this news on the nations favourite number one channel, I was appalled... My wife fainted on hearing the news, and I had a tough time carrying her back to bed... "

P.D.- "But Mr. Javlekar, I want to know the truth, and nothing but the truth.. the truth as true as colour of your beard... what guarantee can you give the nation, this great nation of great people... that .... (Loud Music) .. ladies and gentlemen, we have BREAKING NEWS COMING IN... BREAKING NEWS... Yes, it is a breaking news... over to you Niharika..."

Niharika- "Well.. thank you Pranab and Billo... In breaking news that is just coming in, we have learnt that Katrina Kaif has rejected Salman Khan's marriage proposal... Salman Khan had proposed to Katrina, on his 43rd birthday, and Katrina said she needed time to think. Today, on her 20th birthday, Katrina Kaif has finally rejected his proposal citing the age difference as the major issue. It is ,reportedly , learnt that Katrina told Salman that she looked up to him, as a father like figure and that she had no daddy issues, thus isn't stupid enough to get married to someone twice her age. Salman Khan has been reported to be sulking and has gone to get drunk with his friends. Going by Salman Khan's past driving record, public is warned against sleeping on the streets tonight. We'll continue to monitor this rather important national news....Important to all the girls you see.. who knows, maybe he'll marry me.. My sapnon ka rajkumar... (blush .. blush)..Over to you Pranab...."

Pranab Dutta - "Well... All the best with your dreams Niharika, and I'll hope Katrina Kaif marries me....(turning to Mr. Javlekar) Anyway, Mr. Javlekar, it was nice having you in our studio... I especially love your new kurta... Kahan se silwayi??? (Mr. Javlekar blushes)...Anyway, its time to slip into a very short commercial break... when we come back, we'll tell you why Advani is pissed off with Modi... don't you dare touch that remote and tune into TIMES NOW or NDTV or CNN... "

(Commercials and loud Music... Mr. Javlekar gives the address of his tailor to Pranab Dutta, and wishes all a good night.... Make Up man rushin to retouch Billo's make up... producer shouts.. "3...2..1... and we are back)

B.K- "Welcome back everyone... Now Advani has registered a complaint with Rajnath Singh, the party president of the BJP, complaing about him being bullied by Narendra Modi, during the LS election campaigning in Gujarat. To discuss this, we are joined now, by the Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Milkshake Manusmriti... Mr. AMM, what do you make of this??"

AMM- "Well, Billo, we always knew that BJP campaign was flawed because during these elections, I heard stories of Advani running around and fetching a glass of water for Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi has for long, been seen as the new PM in waiting, and Advani jee was sad because Atal Bihari jee couldn't campaign this time. Modi took full advantage of Advani's emotional state and bullied Advani everywhere. I suggest, that criminal case should be filed against Modi and Advani be given a packet of paper napkins to dry his tears..Infact, I have decided to sponsor a packet of paper tissue for him."

P.D- "Ah.. Abhishek jee... You have spoken like a true gentleman... Even though you kicked their butts in the last elections, you still are willing to offer advice for the revival of the BJP... Kudos to you.. You are just like our news channel.. Humble.. Polite... Never show off... Atleast you have given some respect to a man, who is no longer wanted in the party... I salute you.. I honour you.. here, I even wanna smooch you... come..."

AMM- "Errr... pranab... you are forgetting that this is a live news channel... you don't want to excite karan Johar, do you??? Maybe later .. haan?"

B.K- "btw, abhishek... who is this new woman whom Manmohan singh is taking orders from?? "

AMM- "Arey, you idiots.. that is Mrs. Manmohan Singh... "

P.D- "Mrs. Singh????? our PM is a married man??"

AMM- "and you bloody losers... Sonia jee is not sulking.. she has fever and that is why she is indoors at 10 janpath Advani jee only called to wish her to get well soon."

P.D- "well... now we have a breaking news... we can confirm to you that Mr. Manmohan singh is a married man!! We are first news channel to tell you that and we shall be applying for a patent as well....Anyway, since Manmohan Singh is a married man, thus he is allowed to take orders from his wife as well... well I take orders from her...with "her", I mean, MY WIFE and not Mrs Manmohan Singh!! I think everyone in this great nation, takes orders from their wives.. because wives make a man... man makes a husband... husband gets a wife... wife gives orders... I don't know what I'm saying.. so lets slip into another short break.... "

(Commercials... Abhishek Manusmriti abusing the news wale.. Producer shouts... 3 ... 2... 1... )

P.D. - "Welcome back once again... In a day, which got more bizarre by the hour, Pakistan Prime Minister confessed to our news channel that he had the hots for Mayawati. Lets listen in to what he said to our correspondent, Noor Jahan in Pakistan"

(excerpts from the interview)

Noor Jahan- "PM Gilani, is it true that you have a secret crush on the Chief Minister of uttar pradesh in India.. Begum Mayawati??"

PM Gilani- "Yes, it is true that I fancy Mayawati ... Not only me... All our previous premiers have fancied her... I first saw her when ISI chief got her picture from his agents in India... I told him then and there , that I want this bombshell... "

Noor Jahan- " But we have reports that after you said that, the ISI chief ordered bombs blasts in India??"

PM Gilani- "Arey that bastard is hard of hearing and has no brains... He obviously misunderstood me, and planted bombs in egg shells across India... Honest mistake!! I confronted him and told him.."arey duffer.. not bomb in an egg shell.. I meant... wo wali bomb... pataka ... maal... samjha???"

Noor Jahan- ".... and ??!!"

PM Gilani- "As usual, he misunderstood me, and told his agents to blow up a pataka factory in India... (sigh).. the relations between India and Pakistan have always been based on misunderstandings... What to do??"

Noor Jahan- "... it is also reported that ISI was behind the attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul??"

PM Gilani- "Well... I called up that jerk... and told him.. Better control yourself... I love Mayawati, but it doesn't mean that you should plant bombs in India... understand?? Learn to control yourself.. KABU!!! CONTROL!!"

Noor Jahan- "Well, its quite clear how Kabu became Kabul... "

(Back to New Delhi Studio... Pranab Dutta and Billo Kumari looking shocked...)

Billo Kumari (in suppressed voice)- "Would you believe it?? Mayawati is supposed to be hot in pakistan, and no one gives me any bhao in this news channel also.. huh!!"

Pranab Dutta- "It is shocking to learn how a country, run by sexually frustrated people, cause such massive problems for their peace loving neighbours... I say, let us give them Mayawati... and send them all those ugly elephant sculptures as a sign of good will too... good riddance for us... Maybe that will cement relationships between India and Pakistan!!"

Billo Kumari- "In sports, on a day which , like we said, and WE ONLY SAID... because we are the number one news channel, giving you the maximum number of breaking news, and as we said.. today was a BIZARRE DAY.. and don't believe the other news channels when they say the same thing because we, your beloved channel, are telling you that it was a BIZARRE day... in a day full of surprises, Force India registered its first Formula One GP points in Turkey. Giancarlo Fishicella finished third behind the two ferraris. A crash in the penultimate lap by Adrian Sutil, triggered a chain reaction, as other 14 cars rammed into each other one by one."

Pranab Dutta- "Well, thats it for the tonight show, at News at Nine, on your favourite news channel, INB news... Your trusted.. beloved and YOUR VERY OWN CHANNEL.. and we salute you for your love, and please stay tuned for our next show on this channel... Saas Ki Murder karke Bahu Kahan Bhaagi... it is also an exclusive... see you tomorrow.. same time.. same place..

(Billo Kumari joins in)

"So this is me, Pranab and ... me, Billo, wishing you all a very good night... We'll see you again tomorrow... till then... Namaskar... yes dear friends, we also propagate our culture through our channel.. sorry.. YOUR channel... so... Pranaam... yes friends, this is another way of taking leave... So, all of you... GOODNIGHT"

(Music again.. Loud Music... as Pranab Dutta and Billo Kumari continue smiling at the camera)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Black, Brown and White...

Finally, the media houses have woken up and decided to give this "Racial Attacks in Australia" some decent amount of airtime. It is indeed nice to see that. Even the blogging community has taken up this issue of 'utmost importance' and expressed its anger in the strongest possible words. Well it is nice to see that too. Tomorrow, if half of India gathers outside the Parliament, and protests with a candle light march, I wouldn't be surprised. I also wouldn't be surprised if we hear reports of Ram Sene or Bajrang Dal, catching hold of a couple of Goras, and beating them black and blue. But what would surprise me is if this issue lingers on for more than a fortnight. I would be SHOCKED... yes sir.. you saw the spelling too.. its all in capital letters!!! I would be that shocked.

Racial discrimination is nothing new to us. What is this crap about "white man's syndrome"?? Why blame the entire white community for a racial assault committed by a few of them. We never look within ourselves, and seek to blame others for all our misfortunes. "To err is human, and to blame it on others, is even more human"!! Yay!! We are more human than anyone else. Nice .. Nice!! "A white man called me a pig".. and we'll scream Racial Discrimination at the top of our voices. But when we call South Indians as Illads, North East Indians as chinkis or chow chows or when the South Indians pass derogatory comments at North Indians, then we don't seem to care. There are many colleges down South, where North Indian students get ragged only cause they are north indians and the vice versa up North. All Nepalis become bahadur... Why don't we take up such issues too?? I think that the reason why it doesn't bother us, is because racism is ingrained in us... so much so that we don't even know when we discriminate on the basis our race, colour, sex etc... But in a pluralistic country like India ,which seems united on the outside, but is fragmented in the inside, it is not surprising to come across such cases.

Problem arises when we go abroad, and become a part of the minority... second class citizen, as they call it. Then all these things suddenly become so obvious. Back home, we were cursing each other with racists remarks, but here abroad, we become the butt of those racist comments. Big deal!! The biggest problem which we have is the lack of respect for each other's culture and background, and also we lack the will to accept the flaws in us. Everything is someone else's fault. We can never be wrong. On a personal note, I feel that the west is more appreciative of our culture than us, ourselves, but along with that, they also continue to be who they are. For quite of few of us, the moment we land on a foreign shore, our accent changes and we blindly try to be 'a gora'. Sighhh!!

But, why blame the whites for our obsessions with the fairer skin tone?? The Britishers occupied India for 250 years... so does that mean that we have been suffering from the 'white man's syndrome' only for the past 310 yrs? It would be foolish to believe so... even before they came to India,we Indians were trying out various herbs and treatment to improve our skin colouration. Now whom do we blame??? Now do we blame the Muslim invaders from central Asia??? They'll say.."Dude, yeah, we invaded India, but most of us belong to the same race man!!" Then whom to blame?? Ultimately we'll end up blaming the Lord himself, for having made us this way! Exactly.. how can we be wrong... blame the Gods!

We are brown because the climatic conditions require us to be brown so that we can live in a hot tropical country like ours. Thus, the Lord made us brown. We can work under the sun for hours without fainting like whites do. Whites are whites because they are native to the cold countries. Whites are not native to Australia anyway... In India we want to be white, while in the west, people see a tan as a sign of affluence, showing that the man has enough money to sit for hours at a tropical beach, tanning himself and doing nothing. Funny how things are in different parts of the world. We human, are never happy or satisfied with anything. Reminds me of a poem "The Human Abstract" by William Blake.

The Gods of the Earth and Sea,
Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree,
But their search was all in vain,
Coz there grows one in the Human Brain!

The 'Tree' here refers to a tree , borne out of seed of evil, thriving in the human mind. The poor Gods searched all of Nature, trying to find that tree, unaware that such a tree doesn't exist in Nature. Nature doesn't offer explanation for a mystery which is nothing, but malice, and that grows and thrives in our minds. How so true! I think this issue gained importance, not because it was a case of racial abuse, but more because it involved assault and now a student is battling for his life. Expecting the Indian government to do anything more than "condemn" the attacks, is like expecting Mayawati to say anything more than "Main Dalit Ki Beti hu..(I'm a dalit's daughter)". The Indian government cannot arm twist the Australians into taking any sort of action. The only option is to prevent students from going to the kangaroo land, for higher studies, but that too would be very foolish. I pray the government does something to improve the quality of education in our country. Atleast that way, many of our bright students won't rush abroad for their degrees, and it should help the Indian economy as well. Instead of spending a crore, gettin a degree abroad, we can spend only a couple of lacs to get the same quality degree here. Hmm.. food for thought.. any netas listening???

I don't say that we Indians are cowards, cause we can't protest. I feel that even if we protest, our government will never back us. (Be it the UPA or the NDA). Why won't they back us?? Simple...
a) most of our netas are disconnected from our problems

b) now that the elections are over, its like.. "public??!! who????"

c) Our leaders have greater things to worry about... like how to please DMK.. TMC.. etc
d) most don't even know what the need for good education is.

The plight of the citizens havs never concerned any government so far. Be it Indians in India, or Indians living abroad. As long as the money keeps coming, no one bothers.

Hmph... I hope things change and we first change ourselves. The pride which our forefathers had in being INDIANS, must be restored. We lack that greatly. We need to broaden our minds and think beyond racial divides, castes, sex, colours, religions and lets the world know that we are Indians, and we are Proud of being one.

PS: As USUAL, maybe I've misunderstood the meaning of "white man's syndrome"... My apologies.. I thought it wasn't just accepting them as a superior race, but also our continual efforts to be like them... Aplogies again.. Thank You KISLAY

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dynasty Politics and Rahul Gandhi

Ever since the LS election,'09 results were announced, the blogosphere has been abuzz with articles on Dynasty Politics and Rahul Gandhi! Though I'm neither as knowledgeable nor as eloquent as Bhai Chandra and His Merry Men when it comes to current affairs, history and the Queen's language, yet I'll try and put my views on the recently concluded elections.

I have a query... What exactly is dynasty politics??? What I can comprehend is that it essentially, is the transfer of leadership from older generation to the younger. If my comprehension be correct, then explain to me this. Why do the debates of so called dynasty politics revolve only around the Gandhis?? There are so many other parties where dynasty politics exists. There is National Conference, Samajwadi party.. NCP... RLD... DMK... Hell,its even there in the BJP. In an ideal world, a world free of sins and wrong doings, where equal opportunities are available to all, dynasty politics would have never found footing. But we don't live in that world, and the notion of idealism exists only in our mind, and thus in our views. Dynasty politics exists because there is an electoral acceptance!! There I said it... and I think I've kept it very simple. Great minds can continue churning out pages after pages, denouncing such a practice, but sadly, I'd rather not waste my time reading all that, and instead accept the truth of our political set up!!

Now, to the issue of Rahul Gandhi! People target him for being a Gandhi. People revere him for being a Gandhi. People despise him for being a Gandhi and people adore him for a being a Gandhi. Sadly, the debate about him revolves only around his name. If he was born a Gandhi, is he to be blamed?? If he inherited his political legacy, then is he to be blamed?? If he decides to be a politician , then should we get our daggers ready?? He is half gora, so what?? Advani is half Pakistani!! So should I jump upon Advani and choke him just coz he was born in what is now Pakistan?? People lament "Why should RG, be made the president of Youth Congress, before those who have toiled for years??? Had his name been Rahul Andhi, instead of a Gandhi, nobody would have even known him!!" Targeting him for being a Gandhi is as good as targeting Ratan Tata for being a Tata. It is a part of their legacy and whether my idealist friends like it or not, they will inherit that legacy. If that gets them additional mileage, in any sphere, then you can't blame them.

Much has been talked about Rahul Gandhi's role in these elections. Many bloggers have been moaning about "RAHUL GANDHI _THE NEXT PM" theory. If you recall, it was made very obvious by the leader of UPA, that Dr. Manmohan Singh was their choice for the post of PM in these elections. After the victory, all poor Manmohan Singh said was that he would like Rahul Gandhi to join the cabinet. The same day, Rahul Gandhi politely said that he has no intentions of joining the cabinet, coz he wanted to work with the youth congress. Here is a man who clearly says that he doesn't want to join the cabinet and insists that he is more needed to reorganise the party. Here is a man who, even though ,could easily be atleast a MoS, and yet he decides to concentrate on working for the party at the grass root levels. Even though DMK has only 19 seats, yet Karunanidhi is pushing for his son Azhagiri and daughter Kanimozhi, to be given cabinet berths!, and both are MPs with little or no experience ! Yet, this guy, RG, gracefully accepts that he lacks the experience to even consider joining the cabinet. In a power mongering democracy like ours, this is something unthought of.. unheard of!!

Now since the media wanted masala, and any news of the Gandhis gets them precisely that, they conveniently started projected Rahul Gandhi as the next PM. Suddenly we had the 24 hr news channels going berserk with debates on Rahul Gandhi as the next PM. Members of the all the parties were called for the discussion, public opinions were asked, Manmohan Singh's comment was played over and over and over AND over again, with each news channel claiming victory in pronouncing RG as the PM-2014!! I'm not sure if we should read too much into what the media has to say. They never get anything right. All their exit polls and entrance polls results went for a spin when the election results were announced. They said it was suposed to be neck and neck , and people like Mayawati and Jayalalitha would play king makers. Ultimately, UPA mauled the NDA, and all the remaining fronts, got a pole shoved up their backside!! What the media fails to realise that the ELECTORATE IS NOT FOOLISH!!! We read too much into what the Tv media has to say. One forgets that these 24 hr news channels, are viewed by around 20% of our population only!! The print media hardly gave much coverage to this "RAHUL GANDHI PM 2014" story.

Rahul Gandhi said, "Terrorism can be done away within 15 minutes, if we empower the people." Many people think that empowering only means handing out AK series assault rifles. Though i do agree that it is impossible to rout terrorism in such a short span of time, but I am a firm believer that empowering people will indeed curb terrorism. Here terrorism should not be understood be the the Pak- sponsored proxy war . We face a greater threat from internal terrorism than external. There are the Naxals, who believe in blowing to pieces anything the government makes.. then we have radical elements like Bajrang Dal, Ram Sene, IM, SIMI... who believe that the only way to gain salvation is by beating up people and planting bombs across India. Empowering people means to empower these people with education, healthcare and employment opportunities. If you observe the background of people joining such organisations, then you'll know that the reason why most of them joined was because they lacked education, had no future and no stable source of income.

I'm not saying that Rahul Gandhi should be made the PM in 2014. But I'm also not saying that he shouldn't be made the PM in the future. Politics is such a dynamic game that one can never predict what lies ahead. The person to be projected as the future PM, is totally prerogative of the party, and not just any one indivisual. Lets judge Rahul Gandhi for what he has done so far in politics, and not what his forefathers have done or said. So far, I think he has matured as a politician and has a long way to go before even he considers himself to be a PM material. He has showed that he has a stable head on his shoulders. We must get over our Gandhi phobia and mania. If the party projects him as the next leader, then so be it, coz ultimately it will be the people who will decide who should warm the PMs' throne... and remember, THE ELECTORATE IS NOT FOOLISH!!!