Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The heat is on!

The heat is on, literally and metaphorically. The Moaists are in attack mode, and Chidds is in the witness box. The case is up for hearing, the case is on. Undoubtedly, this is the Indie Taliban, and has the ability to be brutal and barbaric in ways that we can’t even imagine. Guess these days, insanity seems to be the flavour season, and insaniyaat be damned. These fanatics have killed more people than Kasab. And in more barbaric ways. I feel, they have gone beyond the “let’s sit and talk” phase. Talk what, and why? Are we planning to reason with them? Can there be any reason to justify their attitude? Chidds acts tough; it’s the need of the hour. Matter not, if there is a circus at parliament over accusations about Chidambaram’s carelessness. The session will get adjourned.  But then again, what’s new in that. Anyways, Chidds is known to take criticism on his stride from both Gharwale and Baharwale. He is a big boy, so no silly grunts and no public vents from him. My concerns are different, more than anything else, I am bothered his mundu and  kanji dipped white shirt,  id be shattered if I spot some daag or crease in those. Till then brand “chidds” – Jiyooh!

Aiyyo. This is too much of silliness to handle. Khaap ka Shaap  is Khuda-ki-Awaaz or what?  Sure, the science of  Gotra could be justified by genetic maps. And it is school boy knowledge that more the variety of genes, the better is the progeny. But wonder if over generations, there has been a complete bhelpuri of genes anyway. I am born to same gotra parents. I am well and unwell, like any other friend of mine. Thank god my parents dint hail from Haryana. Else I wouldn’t be here  writing this article. Nothing can justify Manoj- Babli’s murder. Nothing at all.  Thought the act is beyond debate, until Navin Jindal offered to take their voice to the Honorable house. How a well educated man can be the Khaap’s voice, I thought. But then it struck me, yeh politics hai yaar.  First become god sent messenger, massage egos and win confidence, then come back saying – I understand, I tried, I failed. We call it the Vote-Bank politics.

Also, today is a reason to rejoice that Rathore, the guy behind Ruchika's molestation, is convicted. Really? he has been giving a sentence of 18 months. It makes me wonder if he has molested a girl or chorried a watch. 


Crazy kiyaa re. Cannes has a lot of Indian flavor to it this time. The Ravan crew - Bahu and Baby Bachchan were at their enigmatic best. But the show stealer was the gorgeous wife of Mani Ratnam. (She doesn’t need to be referred by her husband’s name. She is quite a celebrity herself with a national award in her kitty and Kamal Hasan in her genes) She is graceful, poised, simple and elegant. Wonderful to note that our aaj ka Devdas maker – Anurag Kashyap was also there and so was “anything for the camera” – Mallika Sherawat. She landed with a real saap around her neck. “Tuff” job! What she thinks? She will create hissssstory? Well sweets, love your confidence…  try try and try, but  Sridevi of Nagina can never  be replaced. Never Ever!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Kasab : The Martyr?

Have been going in out studios since the past few days regarding the Kasab verdict. The soulless sole survivor captured. I had a stimulating radio interview with BBC. I was pushed into a spiced up discussion about terrorists' hero Kasab. The anchor was very spirited and well informed, and more importantly – not opinionated. I loved the format of the show- with callers patched in the discussion… making it truly real-time.

The main viewpoint of discussion was "Execution or Life Sentence". In my response I said –
"I personally am not for death penalty unless it is the only option. If there was even an iota of hope that such hardened criminals could be "reformed". I would stand for their rehab. But in this case, given the alarming Thoughts of people world over asking for nothing less than the harshest penalty, I am sure no one has the patience or the intent to show any leniency towards him. And also, Kasab has shown signs of remorse and regret. What he regrets is that he was a wee bit late at CST, he was really upset that because of his late coming he lost the opportunity to gun a few more. So now the question is… could we explore a Gandhian stance and be patient with him, despite his wild nature" .

This foreword by me kick started a spirited debate and discussion. There were many views; here are some of the thoughts that I found worth mentioning, within and beyond this radio chat.

Thought: "if Kasab would be hanged he would be seen as a martyr by his tribe. So let him live for life".
Reaction: Yes. He would be seen as a martyr by his tribe. Now, do their thoughts matter to us so much. That just to prove that he is not a martyr we spend a colossal amount in keeping him alive. Anyways, tax payers wouldn't want their money to be used for securing a terrorist. And when I say this I echo the sentiments of the many in my hugely and variedly populous country.

Thought: "Everything is mediated from the Pakistan Soil. Let's wage a war against Pakistan"
Reaction: Yes, the nation should take steps. But sometimes we need to look beyond empathetically. Pakistan is a nation still reeling from terror. Whilst we demand real answers from Pakistan, we should not forget that there are some lovely human beings in Pakistan too. We can condemn policies, we can persistently insist on answers and action against terrorists. But it isn't civilized that we think of waging a war against Pakistan. War is no solution. No matter who is right, war will ensure that nothing is left… in humanity.

Thought: "For Kasab this is jihad"
Reaction: It is very easy to take religion and validate your viewpoint no matter what it is. There are always two ways of looking at things, and one would look at it only the way he is comfortable the most.
Not only jihad, people could sit here and argue and counter the argument about issues like any issue by quoting religious texts and proving it is right to be wrong… and inversely. According to me "Religion is not prescribed; it is open for interpretation and is interpreted in a way that suits us best".

Thought: "India is a very humane nation. They wouldn't execute people"
Reaction: "Rubbish." We might have a culture of being compassionate but that doesn't deter us from taking a tough stand if need be. Yes we wouldn't execute people like we chop onions and tomatoes or lash up criminals… inhumanely, but our judicial system does give every criminal a fair trial. And post the trial if the accused is found guilty, and if the law of the land says "execution" so will it be. Irrespective of what we think.

Thought: "For his handlers Kasab was just a pawn, a small solider"
Reaction: "of course". Kasab is a pawn, so do we let him spawn terror or set him loose, or have an sympathetic Thought to him as he is just a small fish in a big pond?.

Thought: "Killing is never the answer"
Reaction: Yes, it is never justified to kill somebody in an ideal world. How I wish we lived in an Ideal world though.
And yes, just in case of a war, no matter who wins, humanity loses.

Thought: "Life imprisonment for Kasab because killing is uncivilized. We should let him live the rest of his life in a jail for that's the only "punishment" "
Reaction: Define Punishment to hardened cold-blooded criminals like Kasab? Would "punishment" to him be civilized in any way? In fact, it would be humane to not have him.

Thought: "We should hang Kasab in public view or stone him to death"
Reaction: Viewing and participating gory acts of killing, be it killing a goat or a chicken or a human leaves a dent in our memories. It shakes the conscience, and makes us numb. I am not saying this, human psychology says. Read up before suggesting such stupid recommendations. Kill the "Kasab like thought" that dwells in your mind first.

Thought: "we are a gandhian nation"
Reaction: Wow! So all Indians are vegetarian? Wear just khadi?
Well… I don't know about Kasab… but Brand Gandhi is a pawn. Definitely.


Thought: The victims will find reprieve and a sense of closure if Kasab is hanged.
Reaction: Well, may be! But temporary.


And to sum it all… this quirky reaction …

Q) Let's say "execution" is not an option. Your punishment to Kasab then will be…?

Reaction: He should be given the job of an underpaid motorman in a Mumbai local. And should be asked to say "STRIKE" at peak hour openly that all commuters can hear.
UPDATE On May 06 : Kasab gets death sentence. 

I dont feel happy that a 20 something guy is dying, dont mistake it for sympathy. Just that it is not a nice feeling. Though it is not safe to keep him living. And it is cruel and inhumane to him too. 

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