The life, thoughts and teachings of Beau Peep

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Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The killer sisters will swing; we are animals after all

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the death sentence on the two sisters who brutally killed toddlers they kidnapped from across Maharashtra for over several years. Renuka and Seema Gavit along with their mother, in their greed to make money, kidnapped over a dozen small children and sadistically killed them after when they began becoming nuisances.

What turned the case was the turning of state witness by the husband of one of the sisters. He apparently sang like a canary after assured of acquittal of the crimes that he was a collaborator in.

This is what the division bench of Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice GP Mathur said;

“We do not think that these appellants (convicts) are likely to be reformed… and they are a menace to the society.”

One victim’s mother in TV said that she was very unhappy that they were doing to die hanging. She wanted the sisters to burn at the stake! I can understand you feelings madam, I really do.

Well, well, well, retribution is what the society wants, isn’t it? You are most likely to have your pound of flesh in this case. Then why only hang them and not burn them at the stake as the mother wanted? That would definitely pacify the fire, sorrow and anger in many hearts.

How about something like this in front of the public? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful sight for the society?

Death penalty still in India is a shame. No matter how hideous the crime is, we just can’t carry out murder in the name of lawful justice.

The Guru thinks that it only shows that we are animals after all, no matter however hoarse we may cry claiming to be civilized. No, we are not, and I have told you so before, haven’t I?

Now if your argument is that we should behave with animals like animals, then next time a dog bites you, catch hold of it, tie it up and bite it back.

Student Unions: Ban them first and then skin them

India is going to the dogs (if it hasn’t already). The murder of the 61-year old Professor H.S. Sabbarwal (of Madhav College, Ujjain) by student activists is reminiscent of the fact that we are now trapped in a quagmire that we might never be able to come out of.

Political parties directly patronize student unions in India. In fact, the mainstream political parties directly fund these parties and almost all of them are affiliated to one political party or other.

What have these unions done for the students? In fact, these unions have turned into organized gangs of hoodlums, hooligans, criminals and terrorists.

Things have come to such a point that the only remedy is that the government should first ban all student unions immediately now following the parliament passing a law that will:

a) Ban all funding to these unions by political parties.
b) Make affiliations to mainstream political parties illegal.
c) Restrict the activities of these unions to only the local campuses.
d) Make it illegal for the unions to be national in nature and declare names such as Akhil Bharatiya or All India, India, Bharat etc as anti-national.
e) The activities of these unions should not be beyond cultural, sports and academic nature, though they may take up genuine grievances of students to the concerned authorities.
f) Make campaigning beyond the campus boundaries during student elections illegal.
g) Enforce an upper limit in age of the candidates contesting the elections. (There are thousands of student leaders who, to stay in power, stick to the campuses for decades and well into their 40s). My recommendation is that the upper age limit of students contesting elections should not be more than 25 (that’s the lowest age for becoming a Lok Sabha MP). Only then, the unions would have a ‘student flavour’.
h) Lay down stringent punishment for the violators of this law with up to life imprisonment.

I have been a student myself and all that I have seen during my university days is bullying, blackmailing and thuggery by these unions and their activists and nothing else. It is not without any reason I am so critical about these student federations. If we don’t take this matter seriously, it won’t be long we would go the Bangladesh way where student bodies create civil war-like situations every now and then.

As far as the latest crime is concerned, the culprits must be brought to justice. The manner they carried out the murder of the professor is atrocious to say the least. Since I am not in favour of the death penalty, I would definitely like to see them flogged in public (students do need an occasional whacking, don’t they?) and sent behind bars for a life of hard labour.

The political parties need these unions and the unions’ henchmen need these parties. So will this really happen? It is time for the real students to stand up now and demand that since it concerns them, they should have the final say. Only a miniscule minority of the student population in India is involved in active student politics or are active student union members. Those criminals should immediately be uprooted from the campuses.

The advice of the Guru is to start afresh and a bit differently this time. After all, the students are the future of our country.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

We need not be Hitler's apologists if we can’t be…

This month’s flavour was certainly Hitler owing to the furor caused by the restaurant named Hitler’s Cross in Mumbai. I wrote a post on why it wasn’t such a big issue. I wasn’t surprised to see people labeling me as a Holocaust denier or a revisionist.

Let me clear the air here. I am NOT a Holocaust denier neither I am a Holocaust revisionist. My position on this is ambiguous at best. I am not saying that the Holocaust really took place, and I neither deny it. If I may put it this way, I would rather take the 5th Amendment. But hold on! It doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. I have very strong opinions on this and in due course of time through my writings here, I would let you know what I really believe in and why.

As of now, my question to you all is this – Is it proper to be only Hitler’s apologists and not be the apologists of Mussolini, Hirohito, Stalin and Mao? We can’t be partial in our approach; or can we?

The commies in India and all over pride themselves by associating themselves with mass killers like Stalin and Mao. Their portraits are displayed all over their offices, rallies, political banners etc. They even salute each other in the commie way. Why symbols of Stalin and Mao are not banned? The crimes Stalin and Mao committed against humanity are far worse than what Hitler did prior to and during the World War II.

When Hirohito died on January 7, 1989 India declared a day of National Mourning the next day. I still remember as a school kid, I was looking forward to watch the Hrishi Kapoor flick Karz in Doordarshan. It wasn’t often that you saw a relatively successful movie in the only channel that was available for us Indians. The only time a Hindi movie was broadcasted was on Sunday evenings and the Friday late night ‘adult’ movies. They dropped broadcasting the movie and instead they played the boring flop Ratna Deep. Does anyone of you remember that? [I am impressed I still remember that!]. Anyway, one can argue that Hirohito never actively encouraged many of Japan’s Wartime crimes like Japan’s Manchuria invasion and the genocide that followed, and most were carried out without his knowledge. I just can’t help but laugh at such suggestions. In fact, he was the mastermind behind the outrageous atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Forces.

I know if ifs and buts were pots and pans, there would have been no tinkers. However, what if Hitler had won the Second World War? We would most certainly have had diplomatic ties with Germany and perhaps many nations would have declared national mournings on the death of Hitler!

If we need to give ourselves some kind of credibility, we must stand up for what is right and must be able to call a spade a spade, come whatever the consequences be. We simply can’t be the apologists of one monster and followers and well-wishers of other and perhaps greater and hideous monsters.

We simply can’t!

The evil joker will teach management now

Now, of all the people Laloo Prasad Yadav will don the role of lecturer at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in September. Maybe he will have something to say about how to avoid failure. After all, he failed Bihar as a state in every respect, pick whatever you would like – from law and order to development.

How he managed to bring a whole state into such a situation in his 15 years of misrule is a miracle by itself. As the Union Railway Minister, Laloo has managed to do ‘something’, but then it was just by ‘adjusting’ a few things here and there and nothing much.

I remember during my days as a management student, there was a mention of a Nazi (I don’t remember the name) with a picture in one of my textbooks where he was giving some kind of a note to Hitler citing 6 million Jews were exterminated. The question was whether the guy was a great manager having achieved the Herculean task of exterminating 6 million people systematically.

I am not suggesting Laloo is a Nazi or something like them. However, given what he did to Bihar, I couldn’t help but put the above as an analogy.

Stupidity unlimited: India ‘concerned’ about Balochistan

I was shocked to hear the press briefing by the MEA guy Navtej Sarna expressing India’s ‘deep concerns’ into the recent trouble in Pakistan’s Balochistan province following the killing of Baloch tribal chief Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. Well, the world knows the brutal campaign the military junta is carrying out in Pakistan and the province has been historically a hotbed of secessionist movements is also not unknown to the international community.

Is it tit-for-tat for Pakistan’s interference in India’s affairs (read Kashmir)? Well, the world knows how Pakistan is actively supporting and sponsoring terror campaigns against India and has been doing so for over two decades now. By adopting the current stance, India has lost out significantly on being on the moral high ground when it came to India-Pakistan trouble in front of the world community. The Indian government’s act was like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Indian agencies like the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) might be involved in fermenting trouble there, but remaining silent on Pakistani internal affairs would have been golden. Now, the world community will be inclined to believe that India is behind the current crisis in Balochistan. Already, Pakistan had been accusing India of involvement in terror activities against Pakistan. Not surprisingly now, Pakistani authorities have latched on this stupid act.

It is highly embarrassing to be an Indian now under the present government that has an IQ of a squirrel when it comes to foreign affairs. It has put over a billion Indians into shame. Does the government realize this?

Shame, shame!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Top 5 Hrishikesh Mukherjee moments

The doyen of Hindi Cinema, Hrishikesh Mukherjee is no more. His final rites will be performed today. He has left such a legacy that it would be next to impossible for any other filmmaker to contest. There is no one today who even comes close to the genius of Hrishida.

Although it is not possible to pick up the best moments of some of his most famous and highly acclaimed films, the following scenes from the movies come back to my mind repeatedly. Here they are and mind you, they are not necessarily in the same order of my choice.

* Aashirwad (1969) : The song Ashok Kumar sang - Rail Gaadi. It was the first song sung by the actor himself that sounded like the actor after KL Sehgal. Though many other actors sang their own songs in the movies especially Ashok Kumar’s famous younger brother Kishore Kumar, somehow I don’t find them as sung by the actor himself.

* Anand (1971) : When Rajesh Khanna meets Johnny Walker for the first time.

* Guddi (1971) : The moment when the impressionable Jaya Bhaduri meets her hero Dharmendra and gets awestruck

* Abhimaan (1973) : When Amitabh Bachchan comes to bring back Jaya Bhaduri and the way she lowers her eyes and rubs her feet against each other.

* Golmaal (1979) : The way Dina Pathak runs back home as Mrs. Vimla Srivastava, enters the house through the window to become Amol Palekar’s ‘mother’ again as Mrs. Sharma.

I’m sure to regret going ahead with this post because I know very well that the moment I publish it, I would ‘remember’ several other moments. Nonetheless, I am going ahead. Do let me know if you have similar Hrishida moments to share with us.

Finally, I salute Hrishikesh Mukherjee for his contribution towards Indian Cinema. Bollywood would never be the same again, ever.

Also read full2faltu's excellent article on Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Darrell Hair, ICC and Cricket Australia: The mask has fallen; I stand vindicated

A few days back, I wrote a post on how Cricket Australia has an active agenda to dominate the cricket world. With Darrell Hair’s offer of resignation in lieu of $500,000, Malcolm Speed’s comments and ICC’s serious thoughts on ‘compensating’ Hair (that it has since denied) vindicates whatever I said.

To strengthen my stand further, now Cricket Australia is suggesting that the umpires for the Ashes series should be from Australia and England only. In other words, they are now insinuating that non-whites would be unfair to them (or they don’t want their matches to be officiated by non-whites?).

You know the real story now, right? My ‘Conspiracy Theory’ is hence proved.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hitler’s Cross: Nothing much to be crossed about

A few days back there had been quite a furor over a new Mumbai restaurant for its name – Hitler’s Cross. The restaurateur Punit Shablok claimed that the motive choosing a name like that was to differentiate itself. Nothing in the food menu suggested of Hitler or his Nazi Party. Only the name of the restaurant was such with a big picture of Hitler and the Nazi Swastika inside. Of course, the Swastika was all over – in the cutlery, signs, menu card etc.

As expected, the Jews were the most hurt. They believe that Punit Sablok by naming his restaurant as such was promoting Hitler. Sagarika Ghosh in CNN IBN questioned Punit if he had any idea about what the Nazi ideology or Nazism was, and as expected, Punit fumbled with words. It is a different story altogether, whether Sagarika himself knew much about Nazism.

Solomon, the King of Indian Jews (Jewish Society of India chairman Jonathon Solomon) was saying how misinformation (or no information on historical facts) has made today’s youth so insensitive, blah, blah, blah…

The Japanese killings of prisoners during the World War II were much worse than what happened to the Jews in Nazi occupied Europe. We tend to forget the Rape of Nanking, the Ambon torture and killings of Australian troops (especially the airmen), the tens of thousands of prisoners and forced labourers who perished working in horrific sub-human conditions building the railway lines in Thailand for the Imperial Japanese Army. The movies The Bridge on the River Kwai and Blood Oath are small depictions as to what the Japs did during World War II. Then don’t forget the Korean Comfort Women and the horrors they faced every moment.

The Nazi persecution of Jews pale in comparison with the horrors the Japs subjected to their prisoner of wars and the inhabitants of their occupied land. The plight of Asians under the Japanese was far greater than one can imagine; many folds of what the Jews faced at the hands of the Nazis.

Yet, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito not only managed to escape prosecution and execution but also stayed as the Emperor of Japan albeit without powers. Japanese politicians show little or no remorse of what their Wartime predecessors did and routinely visit places like this to pay obeisance to war criminals.

The Holocaust itself is a subject matter of debate. I firmly believe that in order to justify a land for the Jews (creation of Israel out of nothing but biblical references), the West had to create a story so horrific that humankind is moved enough to accept and support Israel. The West had to save themselves from the embarrassment because it was the European nations who were mainly responsible for whatever happened to the Jews at the hands of the Nazis. It is a historic fact that the Christian world always hated the Jews and have always persecuted them. Remember Shakespeare's Shylock in The Merchant of Venice? However, we all know now what a wrong move it was.

Where are we? Was Auschwitz any different from Trnopolje? Did you ever see the pictures of those held in the Bosnian detention camps as recently as in the 90s during the civil war Yugoslavia? Are they any different from those held in the Nazi concentration camps?

The Jews are no more precious than the others who suffered during the World War. Yet, why is this hypersensitivity and hyper-activity when it comes to anything that is vaguely anti-Semitic or goes against the interest of the Jews? Today this has resulted in anti-Islam wave across nations. The Muslims are systematically persecuted all over; racial profiling, discrimination and what not.

Hitler’s Cross is just a sign. There cannot be a single school of thought in a democracy. If Hitler was a monster, Hirohito was a greater monster and in the post-War era, Mao Zedong was an even greater killer.

Who will ban all signs of the commies, who will severe all ties with the Japanese politicians. The question is who will bell the cat?

Punit Sablok, I am very sorry that my beloved democratic country will never get your point.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

India: Overwhelmingly a nation of the shameless, heartless and sadists; well on the road to be the next America

On August 14, 2004, Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged in Kolkata for the rape and murder of Hetal Parekh, a teenaged schoolgirl. The way the guy was hanged brought about a sense of revulsion in me. It was almost choreographed like the lynching of blacks in America that went on well into the 20th Century. There was a great debate on whether the guy should have been executed at all and I followed the lively debate in the Sify Discussions and you can see how it went. I was particularly impressed by the post of goldenarcher and was amused by the replies it got.

That was two years back. This is 2006 and we see the same old sadistic mentality, this time not by the 'System' but by vigilante justice. The lynching of four youths in Bihar’s Ara district in the presence of police is testimony to the fact that somewhere deep down our hearts, we are sadists. The bloodcurdling scenes of the youths being beaten and then choked to death in front of hundreds of people, media and the police have left me with deep doubts on whether I am a member of a civilized society. If I go by the definition of 'being civilized', I can see no reason why I shouldn’t categorize myself with the savage. And, we criticize the Taliban, the Iranians for barbarism!

Then comes the tragic death of five people who drowned waiting for help for eleven hours (!) in the River Khari in Pali Rajasthan. Eleven hours and a distance of just over 100 meters to cover, yet nothing done to save the ill-fated guys. If you put yourself for a couple of minutes in their positions mentally when they were waiting to be rescued, crying and waving for help for eleven long hours, you can imagine the horror they went through. District administration officials, police, firefighters, soldiers and the hundreds of onlookers were not enough. There was no aerial attempt to rescue them, no full-hearted effort at all. Eleven hours, just imagine it didn’t happen in a flash before anyone could understand! Then came the classic from Vasundhara Raje – 'Should the on looking minister have jumped on the rampaging river to save them?' Thick-skinned people have no shame, no remorse, and no emotions at all. Khulla Panga has an emotive article on this.

A few weeks back, the rescue of Prince captivated the national imagination. Tears were followed by prayers all over the nation by all the faiths, which was followed by overwhelming good wishes to the rescuers followed again by tears – this time of joy when the boy was eventually dug out. Similarly, a few months back, when a certain TV channel showed how an old woman was treated by her daughter-in-law, it invoked some strong emotions across the nation.

What does this show? We are same (or maybe even worse) than what Americans were until it suddenly metamorphosed itself to a great country championing freedom and human rights (at least on the surface level). However, if you scrap the surface a little you would find that the criminal justice system in America is one of the harshest in the entire world. But then, it is reminiscent of the barbarians they once were (not so long ago). The more evolved than the rest were able to convince the lesser evolved into doing things covertly and thus we see America the way we see it now. Guantanamo Bay, secret prisons, Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan is the hidden face of the monster.

Great Britain became the superpower that it was after a history of disemboweling prisoners, torturing and swinging them from the docks of Greenwich and all over the world. It became successful but then America succeeded Great Britain as the next superpower following a campaign of public lynchings, racial discrimination, juvenile executions (that the Supreme Court banned recently in 2005).

Does that mean India is next on the line to be the next superpower? Well, the signs tell all and we indeed are on the path to become one in the next 50 years or so. Nah! It won’t be China for all the nations that became true superpowers were democratic from the start and with a thriving intelligentsia with the freedom to change thoughts. China can become the next superpower, but it is destined to be doomed like the Soviet Union, unless of course it goes for a full and true democracy. So India it will be!

The Guru will be back soon with his thoughts and view. Au revoir.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ustad Bismillah Khan: The legend who got everything but what matters most

The shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan is no more. It gives me immense pride to say that I had the opportunity to see him in one of the lanes dotted with zardawallahs (scented chewing tobacco vendors) that lead to the Dashashwamedha Ghat in Varanasi way back in 1994 just the month after I appeared for my higher secondary exams. I had heard so many things about the great Indian musician that I stood in absolute awe when I saw him coming from the opposite side accompanied by an elderly man and a few youngsters whom I thought was his relatives. One of the zardawallahs told me that it was indeed Bismillah Saheb and I suddenly felt like I was seeing a rock star, something like my father facing John Lennon in the 60s. He was wearing cotton kameez and pyjamas and had finely trimmed white beard (which always fascinated me) and the trademark Gandhi topi-like cap that we saw so him in many times. I guess he was coming from attending a formal occasion then.

Anyway, that was 12 years back and I was just 17. I know it would be very hard to believe, but I loved his shehnai and even as a child I remember when one of my maternal uncles asked me to guess who was playing it on the radio, I promptly replied – Ustad Bismillah Khan!

It gives me a lot of grief really to know that though he might have been bestowed the highest civilian award – Bharat Ratna, he died literally in penury. Bismillah Khan himself had this grievance against the government. A man who prided himself to be an Indian, who took Indian classical music to dizzying heights across the world, who mesmerized the entire world with the haunting, electrifying and emotional tunes of his shehnai, a man who had been an epitome of communal harmony in this world deserved much more than what he got.

At least the nation showed the kind of respect the he truly deserved by declaring a day of national mourning and bid him the final farewell with full State honours complete with a 36-gun salute.

Alas! Bismillah Khan got everything life – fame, respect, honours but not what he needed most – a life of relative well-being. Hope he forgives us all.

Bismillah Khan’s legend will live on as long as the shehnai continues to sing.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Darrell Hair: Part of larger Aussie conspiracy

Darrell Hair: The Aussie umpire planted as a saboteur to selected matches.
The Australian Cricket Board or Cricket Australia as it is known now has elaborate plans for world domination in cricket. So far, it has been fairly successful. Well, right from scheduling their test matches to use saboteurs (by infiltrating them into successful teams) to planting umpires like Darrell Hair.

Let me explain each one of them briefly.

1. Clever scheduling of fixes: The Aussies play cricket when it's Summer there and tour places like the Indian Sub-continent when the cricket playing season is the worst, that's early Summer or late Summer but never in late Autumn or Winter when it's the best time there. This has improved their ratings and wins more than their playing skills ever had. Except for the Ashes, it has always been advantage Australia whenever Australia tours abroad. However, that's advantage only half lost as England plays in Australia when it is burning like hell there.

The Aussie Board must be patted on their backs for thinking so deep and schedule their cricket playing season at home during November - January so to carry out what I would term as -- Daylight Robbery. Has anyone thought of this before? Maybe, here is one reason why most of the Ashes contests went to Australia notwithstanding some of the very fine players they have produced.

So that way, it takes over twice the effort for Test playing Nations to beat Australia Down Under. Perhaps that's the reason why it was West Indies that beat Australia there last in 91. Cricket in West Indies is played for the first half of the season with the second half going down the drain literally due to the rains.

2. Using saboteurs: Greg Chappell is a prime example of how he used Saurav Ganguly during India’s last tour Down Under in 2003-2004. I won’t be surprised if Cricket Australia has used him through Ian to infiltrate into the Indian dressing room and start the rut. What did we see then? India under the aggressive Ganguly dominated the Test series. It was under Ganguly the team developed aggression and the right kind of players were picked up. Greg Chappell ‘helped’ Ganguly on his technique to play on fast and bouncy pitches. Now it seems he was just using Ganguly as means to get into the Indian dressing room as a coach so that he can destroy the team and get the mentor of the team, Ganguly out. It serves Australia’s motive right - Come what may, we don’t want to have any competition.

Now as a reward for his service to the cause of Cricket Australia, Greg is invited to coach the Australian team. Also, the ICC might have a few motives to see Indian Cricket divided. A little investigation would unearth the truth.

3. Planting umpires to instigate teams into wrongdoings: What Darrell Hair did was all according to the Great Aussie Gameplan. It was well thought of, planned and executed. It started with saving Shane Warne from being overshadowed by not only the greatest spinner, but the greatest ever bowler Muttiah Muralitharan. He called him for chucking and the hell broke loose. However, the coward Darrell Hair is, he couldn’t call him for chucking every ball Muralitharan bowled. If he did ‘chuck’, then he didn’t chuck only the three balls that Hair called!

This time around, Pakistan was on the verge of winning the Test. Pakistanis are infamous for their ball-tampering exploits. Darrell Hair didn’t like the Pakistanis much. Cricket Australia had a long-term agenda in place. Darrell Hair got his moment, the opportunity he was looking for as he was already at crosshairs with the Pakistan Cricket Board and the team. What he did at the oval will go down as one of the worst acts in the inventory of the blackest deeds in the annals of the glorious game. Then, did anyone follow what Malcolm Speed had to say about Inzy and co? Speed is an Aussie too!

England (read ECB) meanwhile is playing innocent in the whole affair. After all, Hair was not their appointed umpire. However, in my opinion ECB should have come out and spoke against the ‘forced forfeiture’ standing beside their guests. Why did not they protest against his appointment in the series against Pakistan given Hair’s penchant to stir controversy against Asian teams?

If the Pakistanis tampered the ball, they deserved penalty, however not in the fashion that happened at Oval.

Darrell Hair not only mishandled the matter, but in his enthusiasm to award England the game against Pakistan, he unwittingly dropped his mask that exposed his racist face.

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