Monday, 22 November 2010

Chinese Whispers and the State

Have just returned from a walk with usual, our discussion centered around science, politics, and State - its culpability and accountability.

There are two important observations that Atul made that I would like to share:

1. The whole issue of land re-distribution is reversed since India's independence. Soon after independence, State took responsibility for redistributing land of large owners to the poor. Now the State is involved in systematically divesting the poor of their land, resources, and funneling these upwards towards the wealthy, especially the corporates...and it does all this in name of development.

2. The operational mechanism for sanctioning wrong is via Chinese whispers - small incremental suppression or distortion of facts add up to a substantially different version of truth or reality which is then used to validate wrong policy and or false action by the State. Now some of you might feel this has shades of the recently familiar? Hint: Remember the Bt story?

Friday, 19 November 2010


I am still thinking about the issue of freedoms, and what I would like to be free from. Top freedoms I seek are:

Freedom from Fear,
Freedom from prejudice,
Freedom from constraints
external or self imposed...
Freedom from hate
Freedom from greed for
possessions, experience, knowledge
..well, let me take that back..
I am not really ready to be
free of greed.

and yet, in striving for all these freedoms, I hope I remain anchored within compassion - compassion towards others' fears, others' prejudices, others' constraints. Let me be rooted with grace in such conscious compassion towards all living.
20 minutes later...
Was chatting about this with Atul and he said after a "Freedom from Need...maybe that covers everything" - surely food for more thought.

next day..
Surely freedom from anger
is another important one for me...
also, Freedom from Pride??
Gosh, never realised so many boundaries before!

Breaking Boundaries

Yesterday, I attended ' Love Across Boundaries' organised as part of
Bengaluru Pride 2010. I was then reminded of a friend's perceptive comment a few years back. He had said that we are molded by society's conditioning and shaped by its constraints. The act of growing is, in bits and pieces, breaking these constraints. This takes up rest of one's life - we never become fully free.

'Love across boundaries', addressed issues of loving across gender/transgender, class, caste, religion, and across all those various and imaginary lines of separations that we draw amongst ourselves - needlessly. It deliberately sat with the politics of loving, patriarchal systems of marriage and its implications. I sat in silence amongst those freer-er than me, or at least more engaged with the question of this freedom - to love. I realised then that I was completely out of my depths, but, that was ok too. This discomfort was part of my breaking boundaries - my invisible march towards some unknown freedom.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sometimes I resonate with this song

What Should the Media Do?

It bothered me during the incidence of pub attack in Mangalore...and it is now again in the forefront of my conscious thoughts....I am referring to the assault on Br Philip in Bangalore recently.
"What Should the Media Do?" When a section of uncivil, communal elements get together and stage a show, live, for the media channels, TVs roll, cameras flash, and journalists have a hay day at a field trip, a scoop for their media houses, a story to catch the interest of their disenchanted readership, or apathetic audience. Was the incidence news worthy? Surely, when some girls get beaten up or a brother of Holy Cross...the public is interested and news should be reported. However, in the both these incidences, the question is " What should the Media REALLY have done?" Is there no possibility of thinking outside their hat, and question what and why of right action? Do they realize there were other options open to them - i.e. other than rolling their films, flashing their cameras? A most straight forward option was to help the victims-or atleast try? What should the foremost concern be of a human being? To assist another in dire and helpless need, or further one's own career goals? Did this not occur to any of them? Did they really not realise, that without media's attention, there would be no story, therefore no reason to assault, beat up, commit human rights' violation?So the second option was to just leave the spot, or not report - just be bystanders - but NOT encourage either the hooliganism or the cheap thrills for their audience with "TV Live".

What vultures have we become, to monetise grief? to revel at such tragic-live-entertainment? Have our media people completely abandoned humane-ness, righteousness, and courage to stand up against tide? have they forgotten their dharma? Why? Oh Why?