Saturday, December 17, 2011

Is Kapil Sibal really an idiot, don’t think so!

#IdiotKapilSibal, this is how one was supposed to respond on Twitter with respect to the recent act of the current Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
Residents of the virtual world were being called upon in cohorts to flaunt the words in their Facebook statuses, ‘Kapil Sibal is an idiot’.

In midst of the mayhem regarding soaring charges of corruption, Anna’s dreadful proclamations and the FDI fiasco probably this was the last of all the fireballs that the UPA pundits expected of coming up. Newton went on to state famously in his third law of motion, ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’. Definitely there must be some action on part of virtual behemoths that has irked Mr. Minister so much!

Let’s first focus on the litigant’s appeal, the 38 million Facebook users in India most of whom are crying hoarse these days from what they sense is the vicious cycle of emergency ready to cast a spell on their freedom.

Freedom of Speech is endowed on one as a liberty by virtue of Fundamental Rights, but how does one differentiate between the prominently highlighted, F-word (err, that wasn’t an intentional double meaning innuendo), a reference was being made simply to ‘F’reedom and ‘F’oul-Mouthing.

The series of scathing remarks appearing at a regular frequency on Facebook, directed at specifically those representing the Congress was in bad taste indeed. Morphed photographs of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in an embarrassing state, Rahul Gandhi being declared a rapist, and most blasphemous of them all was a post which declared that Sanjay Gandhi was in fact the illegitimate son of Indira Gandhi. Such otherwise encomiums were showered with ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ at a pace never seen before, yeah ‘viral’ is after all the buzz word these days.

Well, if Mr. Sibal is asking for the internet content to be reviewed he might sound archaic for sure but then doesn’t one need to introspect what it is that is being considered for scrutiny! Don’t we belong to the nation that has been into lampooning at the politicians through the graffiti in Newspapers or those illustrations that appeared towards the year’s end or near the festival of Holi to add on to the fervor of the celebration? But humor was never relegated to such stooping low levels when brandishing attempts are directed at the ruling party, the insouciant internet users more than happy to promote it as well without caring to even clarify. Alas! You see no such application is facilitated out there in this regard!

Hilary Clinton is being vociferous these days as she exclaimed at the recently concluded conference on digital freedom in The Hague that countries should not gag the internet voice. Fair enough! Seems a valid conjecture after all it is a flat world reclaiming the glory of the past ever since the Berlin Wall came down.

Those that were quoted as examples in Ms. Clinton’s speech included Russian blogger, Aleksei Navalny who was sentenced to fifteen days prison for labeling the Putin’s party as the ‘party of swindlers and thieves’ in the wake of the entire federal state protesting against the alleged rigging of the Presidential Elections. Then there was mention of the Syrian blogger, Anas al-Marawi who received flak for criticizing the President Bashar al-Assad’s government. 

Where do we go from here?

With the recent London Riots attributing a lot of action on the streets by hoodlums to the online lumpen, appointing a watchdog for the dotcom world seems a practical idea to some extent. For a nation like India that is at the brink of another General Election, the public should be wary of the propagandists. Did anyone pause for a moment to reflect why all the slugfest was launched specifically against the Congress politico?

One can’t deny from the fact that Mr. Sibal might be delivering the duties of being the patriot of one of the oldest parties of India but his contention doesn’t entirely form the crux of bin-liners.

Why does one have to take the route of obscenity and morphed pics to assert a point?
If it is truly about ushering an idea or raising your voice against the State why not follow the footsteps of Rousseau, Voltaire and Emile Zola who brought a revolution through their writings. Perhaps the right-winged middle class that dominates the social networking sites would find it almost impossible to tread on this path! After all ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ in a mere ‘scrolling’ act is way too simpler than causing the grey cells into a state of substantive activity.

Peter Nelson said, “One of the problems the internet has introduced is that in this electronic village, all the village idiots have internet access”. So next time before declaring anyone an idiot, remember the other four fingers are pointing at self only!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Amidst the wham bam of Kolaveri Di

“Have you heard it?” asked my friend hoping that I would chime in with interesting inputs from my end. However my befuddled look signaled her to explain certain factoids thereby apprising me of the recent phenomena that have taken the inhabitants of the 'virtual world’ by a storm.

Surpassing the clich├ęd in every possible way, the peppy number, ‘Kolaveri Di’ is turning out to be an exemplary entity to its counterparts in the glitzy world. Credited with 14,047,173 hits (the last time when I checked out on YouTube) the song is an outpouring of a jilted lover who is lamenting over the musings of his life in Tanglish. Relishing the fruits of viral marketing, Dhanush, the lyricist, singer and actor of the upcoming film ‘3’, son-in-law of the God of Indian Cinema, Rajnikant, can sure grab the backrest of his chair as the popularity of the song is going to work wonders for him  and his better-half, Aishwarya, who has directed the motion picture. Sony-walas must be enjoying the soiree at the moment as the notion so common among the FOSLA (Frustrated one-sided lover’s association) maniacs is delivering fantabulous results.

Make-believe-frothy-world caresses our senses to such an extent that often we choose to close our eyes and refuse to behold the harsh realities. By the way did anyone pay attention to Justice Markandey Katju’s contention lately?  Outspoken as he is and the one who dared to lock horns with the journalistic community, his latest shot includes proclamation that Indians are low on the front of intellectualquotient. What? ‘We the people’ being touted as alecky types? Hang on Mr. Katju, you see we belong to a developing nation that thrives on social networking portals, we are into lending support to Anna Hazare, extending ‘likes’ to morphed and offending photographs of the Congress men & women and then heaving a sigh and humming Kolaveri di for this is what life is all about!

Even if the forces of the State have gunned down Kishen Ji few have the guts to delve into the consequences that McCarthyism has led to. Isn’t it crucial, something that goes in sync with the zeitgeist, after all we are talking about Mallojula Koteswara Rao (nom de guerre, Kishen Ji) a Science graduate who refused to bow and scrape before the government way back in 1975. His credentials included garnering the support of as many as 60,000 farmers in 1977 as he led the peasant movement against the feudal barons. Since the color of moon is still ‘white’ no one gives two hoots for the man who believed that he was the ‘real Desh Bhakt’; Mamta Banerjee is justifying the course of action stating that terrorist activity was being hatched by the Maoists to topple hergovernment. If only the dead could have spoken from their graves, a trap would have been laid easily for the reprobate; the pointer is still dangling in 360-degrees direction you see!

As veteran journalist P. Sainath writes in ‘The Hindu’ in anarticle dated November 24, 2011 that even WEF (World Economic Forum) is nothing but a sham much similar on the lines of televised fights that are intended to delight its niche audience. ‘The Week’ comes with a shocking story how Karnataka is emerging as the capital of malnourished children and the state government being tongue-tied when it is about taking concrete steps to aid the ills. But the clan that hails ‘soup song’ is looking forward to what Aishwarya Rai’s daughter is looking like! You see whether the nation’s bitiya alias baby B has inherited the features of former Ms. World or resembles more to papa is an issue of utmost importance. The buzz of the hour is that Bollywood that doles out several duds a year has pinned its hopes on the toddler, so stakes are really high even if you are not into the game of Poker.

While another gooey number scuttles amidst others into the I-pods, life treads along at its usual pace for the beggar who sits on the steps of the Jhandewalan Metro Station, the only whiff of change is probably the small garland of lilies that is replaced on the tattered photograph of a Hindu deity, and the quint of shillings with every passing day.