Tuesday, October 26, 2010

India and the notion of freedom of speech

Kashmir is a weak pulse for India.  Anything related to Kashmir evokes dramatic emotions among the politicians and the countrymen alike.  It's natural, for we have been hardwired, through education and propaganda, that Kashmir is a matter of pride and honor for us.  True, it is.  But the forced innateness has caused us to be dogmatic and intolerant towards any opinion voiced in favor of separatism. 
I personally am against a separate Kashmir as it is an integral part of India, but at that same time I want to make the point that any opinion in favor of a separate Kashmir should be dealt with politically, rather than emotionally and provocatively. Right winged nationalists, befitting their nature, threaten violence in such cases. 

Such a case is the recent comments by rights activist Arundhati Roy.  She said that Kashmir was never a part of India historically.  These comments were received very critically by the media and the government.  No harm, as a democratic society gives its citizens freedom to be critical of persons and policies, but the threats that have been hurled at her are against the rudiments of the Indian constitution in specific, and democracy in general. 

Government is gearing up to file sedition charges against her, perhaps under public pressure.  What I have to say here is that in a free democratic society, which has pledged under oath while framing constitution to provide the freedom of speech a cover of law, cannot reproach such actions by activists.  They have the full right to voice their opinions and be free from fear, for a true liberal society is the one where it's safe to be unpopular. Threats will only dilute our strong commitments towards human rights and freedom.  I say file charges against her, but not to seek revenge, but only clarification.  She should not be treated with hostility, neither should be Geelani

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's never too late to learn....Anything

It's never too late to learn anything new, said a great man, not sure who exactly, so let it be me. In past, when it came to cooking something, except fake heroic stories depicting me as THE ONE, I felt an emotion which can at closest be described by the word 'YUK'. Always. It was always like someone cooked and the king gulped. The king would damn if it tasted bad. But times change.

The king had to move out of his home town to far off lands in search of bread. He was told he had grown up and should earn his own broth. He came to Pune and started staying with friends. Slowly as the years passed and he was forced to rely on maids and restaurants and messes to cook for him, a friend came to his life who happened to have a special skill. Cooking. The king at first teased him of possessing a feminine hobby, jokingly of course, as the king was lazy, but not a male chauvinist.

But when the king tasted the hand cooked meal of his friend, he realized what he had been missing since long. It not only tasted goooood, but also satisfied hunger in true sense. So the king questioned himself, 'Was I an ass all this long'? The obvious answer was YES. And hence, in repentance, the king sentenced himself to the drudgery of learning to cook; he did enjoy cooking. Though initially it didn't taste so well, and it still doesn't, there was a gradual improvement.

So here's the king right now writing this blog and thanking his friend who enabled him to be self sufficient in an area where women hold the fort. So if I ever happen to have a scuffle with my wife someday, which I suppose is an eventuality, this skill will come to the rescue, as it is said that the most romantic thing is to help your wife cook, and cook dominantly. No further comments...