Bharat Mata and Britannia - Embodiment of Nation

Why Every Feminist Should Refuse to Say Bharat Mata Ki Jai

Street level bullying by fringe elements have now entered our legislative assemblies. In the Maharashtra Assembly a Muslim MLA was suspended because he refused to chant ‘bharat mata ki jai’. This is a typical re-enactment of a college ragging scene – A bunch of rogue senior students would gang up against a junior and force him to perform a routine of some sort, dance, sing, do somersault or kiss somebody’s ass, seeing which performance the bunch of rogue elements would a) get voyeuristic pleasure b) establish their power over the person c) make the minority a subject of ridicule. Continue reading “Why Every Feminist Should Refuse to Say Bharat Mata Ki Jai”

My feeling of patriotism in a BJP ruled India

“Patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter; my refuge is humanity. I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds, and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. ” ~Rabindranath Tagore

doug stanhope on nationalism 2Every Independence Day and Republic Day I grapple with the concept of patriotism and nationalism. Am I a patriot? What does it mean to be one? Does it encourage me to hate people I have never met and take pride in accomplishments I had no role in? Does it teach me to put nation before humanity? It certainly does not. There are two major flaws in patriotism and nationalism as we know it today. Continue reading “My feeling of patriotism in a BJP ruled India”

Live blog: Creating High Impact and Digital Initiatives in India (Day 2)

Sanjukta Basu Live Blogging: the best in India

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Mention in Sunday Guardian and TED Fellows Friday

Social Media Baithak coverage by Sunday Guardian

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Amnesty International asks countries to follow India’s example in Gay Rights

This may be a bit old but I have somehow missed it by far. Soon after the historic judgment of Delhi High Court last year which decriminalized homosexual realtionship amongst consenting adults, the international human rights organisation Amnesty International issued this statement asking remaining remaining countries to follow India’s example and de-criminalize homosexuality. To quote from the statement, The court’s ruling rejected every argument put forward by the government in defence of the law. It found that section 377, the law criminalizing homosexuality, reflected an understanding of sexual orientation that is “at odds with the current scientific and professional understanding”. … Continue reading Amnesty International asks countries to follow India’s example in Gay Rights

Survey by TCS shows urban school children in India are well versed in New Media

This particular survey done by Tata Consultancy Services shows that  “The Web 2.0 Generation are digital natives, with high technology savvy, global in terms of aspirations and outlook as well as being increasingly optimistic about India’s economic future.” The survey is one of the largest conducted amongst youth in India covering 14000 students from schools across 12 Urban cities. Some of the highlights of the survey: 63% of urban students spend over an hour online daily 93% are aware of social networking Orkut and Facebook are most popular online destinations 46% use online sources to access news; TV, Newspaper users at … Continue reading Survey by TCS shows urban school children in India are well versed in New Media

Prof Sabharwal’s attackers set free, women made to go through virginity test and more news

Pause for a while, take a moment, spend it in mourning for all that is dead, dying and will die. Death of the faith in justice system, of women’s rights, of the many helpless innocents killed at work or leisure…So many death and so many killers walking free.

All 6 accused in the Prof Sabharwal murder case were set free by a Nagpur Court today. The accused who were ABVP (students wing of BJP) activists had allegedly attacked and beaten Prof Sabharwal outside the Madhav College in Ujjain 3 years ago. [Source] The entire nation had watched the disturbing brutality, a wounded unconscious Prof, the “guru brahma guru vishnu guru devo maheshwara” being carried inside an ambulance. Broad day light 100s of on lookers. Yet they couldn’t find one witness to make a strong prosecution.

Today the Court noted the prosecution has failed to prove the charges and aquitted all the accused. So did no body kill him? Did Prof Sabharwal die a natural death? How will it feel if tomorrow the Court says “the prosecution has failed to prove the charges” and sets free Ajmal Kasab.

BJP is now seeing this as a moral victory. They were seen shouting slogans outside the Court today. On CNN IBN a BJP spokesperson said, “We always had faith in judiciary and that faith has been restored. Truth has won.”

Continue reading “Prof Sabharwal’s attackers set free, women made to go through virginity test and more news”

History is created today, Delhi High Court rules being Gay is no longer a crime in India

Writing this in hurry, couldn’t have waited. History have been created today in India, this morning Delhi High Court gave its judgment on the petition filed by Naz Foundation challenging the constitutionality of Section 377 of IPC which criminalizes all acts of oral and anal sex between individuals irrespective of age and consent. High Court ruled in favour of the petition and said, We declare that Section 377 IPC, insofar it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution. The provisions of Section 377 IPC will continue to govern … Continue reading History is created today, Delhi High Court rules being Gay is no longer a crime in India

Bangalore Queer Pride March’09: A Report

Did anybody see a rainbow today on Bangalore sky? I did as we drove back from Town Hall, the place where the Bangalore Queer Pride Parade concluded and I thought how very symbolic.
Bangalore Queer Pride Parade 09. Photo Vinayak Das
Bangalore Queer Pride Parade, 09. Photo: Vinayak Das

Queer people in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Bhubaneswar today celebrated their ‘being’ under a rainbow colored flag. Gays, lesbians, kothis, hijras, intersexs, transsexuals and straight people walked the streets in large numbers amidst busy traffic dancing, laughing giggling, posing for the numerous photographers…and mostly, being proud of whoever they were in their ‘weirdest’ state of being.

Continue reading “Bangalore Queer Pride March’09: A Report”

Queer Pride India 2009: Celebrations in all major cities

Greetings from the land of the Sinful Kamasutra’ said Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil while opening the Euro pride 2008 at Stockholm. (Video) But who is he?

He was one of the few Indians to be invited to the Oprah Winfrey show, was one of the candidates for Time Magazine’s World Top 100 Most influential People list in 2007, have been quoted and interviewed by respected magazines and news dailies from all over the world; he is one of the most prominent face in LGBT rights activism and HIV awareness activity; he hosts an annual cultural festival at his palace for homosexual artists to celebrate their talent and their being, yet he is someone who is hardly talked about on Indian mainstream media. A convenient silence, deafness and blindness prevail on us when it comes to homosexuality – but not any more.

I wrote about Prince Manvendra Singh on this space exactly a year ago on my post ‘Its time to stand up and stand tall’ where I said “only when the number of people identifying themselves as queer is large enough and the faces known enough will the society realize it is not something so unnatural after all. And this responsibility lies with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people themselves to come out of their closet and be confident of their sexuality. It’s time to stand up and stand tall.”

And they did. In just one year the queer movement in India has grown by leaps and bounds. There are more popular culture celebrities who now openly support homosexuality, most vocal of them being Celina Jaitly who have called out for gay rights in India in her blog on Times of India. The last year or so saw movies like ‘Partner’, ‘Dostana’ which had both explicit and implicit homo-eroticism and gay rights advocacy. While our cinema and advertisement have always had depiction of male homosexuality albeit in a funny and derogatory manner, we have been terribly silent over female homosexuality. This also changed (very insignificantly) in the recent past, a certain Virgin Mobile TV commercial is the case in point, where a girl tells her father that she is not interested in going out with this boy from her class. The father gets all worried thinking she might turn out to be a lesbian and insisted she goes out with boys more.

  Continue reading “Queer Pride India 2009: Celebrations in all major cities”

User Instructions and Cautionary statements

So the other day Snigdha and I was killing time on Twitter when she came up with some of these really hilarious user instructions and cautionary statements. Here are some of the best ones:

  • User instruction on a pack of tampons, “Not to be used for diarrhea
  • On an iron carton, “Do not iron the clothes which is on your body
  • On a pack of noodles, “Edible content inside, not to be used for knitting
  • And this one is my favorite, on a pack of laxatives, “Please apply for casual leave before consumption.”

It all started when I picked up a pack of eggs from Spencer’s. Not just some ordinary eggs, they were ‘tan shell cage free near organic fresh’ eggs by Keggfarms Pvt. Ltd.

I found the pack very amusing so I read every bit of information that was there on it. On the front side were the words,

tan shell cage free near organic fresh’ and ‘safe delicious bright yolks.’

On the back of the carton they had mentioned the diet of the hens that laid those eggs which basically contained “high quality maze, rice, derivatives, soya, sunflower, limestone, vitamins and other organic plant materials.”

Continue reading “User Instructions and Cautionary statements”

Justice Katju’s remark equating bearded muslim with Talibans

So most of you already know the news. This high school kid Salim kept a beard in a convent school, school authorities didn’t appreciate. The kid sued the school. I don’t know if it was his own idea to go as far as Supreme Court for this mere cause of keeping beard or was it his parents or some religious leader in his neighborhood. It surprises me a bit that a school going kid would fight it all the way to have a beard of all the things. I mean beard, french beard, go-tee, clean shave, short hair, long hair, spiked hair, mohawk cut, hairy chest, waxed chest, hair on your eyebrows and upper lips are all parts of grooming and glamorising yourself I thought. Continue reading “Justice Katju’s remark equating bearded muslim with Talibans”

My family had a narrow escape at the Delhi Blasts

It was 6.30 pm I had just decided to shut down my laptop and read some books instead, I had also moved from my drawing room to bed room in order to lie down bit. Yet at the last min I thought let me still carry the laptop I would read some of the PDF files lying unread for so long, I won’t be online though. Just when I had looked at the screen to sign out of Gtalk and Twitter I found a tweet saying “blasts in Delhi, Karol Bagh” From that time till the time they all took … Continue reading My family had a narrow escape at the Delhi Blasts

RK Anand: A personal shame

The Delhi High Court on Thursday convicted two senior lawyers R.K. Anand and I.U. Khan of criminal contempt for trying to “persuade” key witness Sunil Kulkarni in the BMW hit-and-run case to turn hostile. The court held the two guilty of “… obstructing the administration of justice”. The court has debarred the duo from appearing in high court and lower courts for four months. It has recommended that they be stripped of their designation of senior advocate. [Source Hindustan Times] This is as much a matter of national shame as well as a personal shame for me. I was awarded … Continue reading RK Anand: A personal shame

Response to comments on previous post

The previous post on Hajra and her community attracted a lot of adverse comments. At the moment there are a total of 57 comments on Mutiny.IN and some more on this blog. It is sad to note that when a clear case of victimization of innocent people is reported most readers are more interested in commenting upon the finer nitty-gritties of my reporting style, my journalistic ethics, the larger issue of the country’s reputation and all other shit. None of these big talkers are even interested in offering a note of sympathy for Hajra let alone a solution or help. … Continue reading Response to comments on previous post

Independence day for a Bengali Muslim Indian

Writing this with an attempt to report a case of human rights violation and bring some media and administrative attention. Once again a group of harmless poor people trying to make ends meet in the big bad city by washing people’s cars, pulling cycle rickshaws, working as maid servants etc. have been verbally abused, threatened, beaten up uprooted and forced to run away to save their lives by the local goons of Vishwas Sarak, Raja Puri, Dwarka, New Delhi. Their crime? They speak Bengali and have suggestive names like Zakir, Fasal, Jalal, Hajra – yes they are all Bengali Muslim … Continue reading Independence day for a Bengali Muslim Indian

The Crusader and the Cynic

Based upon a real conversation between a Crusader and a Cynic. What makes this conversation interesting is how in the beginning every line manifestation of the two strong willed characters both sounding confident and convincing in their respective point of views and by the end you see a reversal of roles which contradicts the earlier manifestation. One wonders what these people really are and what are they trying to achieve in life. Cynic: You read Aamir’s new post, on his decision to run with the Olympic torch? I heard Kiran Bedi also saying the exact things Aamir wrote in his … Continue reading The Crusader and the Cynic

New Year

Time just flies by…first 15 days of the year already past and am yet to write about the new year trip I made. I took mom for a 3 day conducted tour arranged by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation to Mysore, Ooty and Coonoor. I never thought of very highly for state conducted tours but when it’s just two people traveling, it’s not very economical to hire a cab. Surprisingly, the whole trip went great and I was pretty impressed by KSTDC services and arrangements. The Delux Non AC bus tickets costs you INR 1930 approx and covers 3 … Continue reading New Year