Thursday, November 1, 2012

Think 2022 Goa.

2000 thinkers..75 speakers, 25 performances, 10 artists..a forum for thought, provocation and hopefully some solutions at the end of three days.

Goa, in the beginning of November, an overcast day, with the prospect of rains, and a flood of ideas in multiple fields of inquiry.A proud legacy and an uncertain future.

Into the second year now, the festival to celebrate thought and ideas, in Goa, got off to a subdued start, in the sense, that the Afghanistan issue is hardly THE issue on top of the mind of the assembled thinkers. But the whole idea is to keep an open mind and see if we can learn from afganistans mistakes..

Fauzia Koofi talked about the other Afghanistan where people live, learn, love and learn to love..the war left scars, but emerging out of the ashes is the possibility of a lasting peace. Where women like fauzia show the way to what is possible.

On American involvement in afghanistan , she says that they came without being invited, and left without being asked to leave, and all they left behind was a mess. According to her the situation there is not exclusively an afghan issue, but a regional and global conflict being fought in her backyard.

Jason Burke is the journalistic incarnation of Jason Bourne. He has been in some of the toughest spots in the world. He has been close to the action, sometimes in the thick of it, a way with words to describe it, but most importantly he has a perspective that lays bare the futility of this war.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The ascent of Robert Vadra

There are many ways to accumulate wealth and riches, none easier than marrying into it. Robert, of average looks and even averager IQ, did much better than that. He won the fastest race to billionairedom, without even having to ask his in-laws for help.

According to him, he just sent his kids to the rights schools, where they made the right friends, who had the right parents, who had the right need for his considerable talents as an average Joe. 50% ownership of international hotel chains, non redeembale, non convertible, non repayable, zero coupon loans, a few 5000 sq ft apartments in prime buildings, and many more non average kind of goodies, soon followed, all for nothing. A true case of money for nothing and Priyanka for free. His benefactors just liked the fact that Roberts kids were best friends with their kids in schools, and the fact that Robert was such a likeable average guy.

Hey, these are private transactions between private entities, and our good average Robert is not an elected officer ( who are entitled to all these goodies anyways). And DLF would have done the same for any average citizen married to the Gandhi family. Cant  see why the Congress party is jumping to  Roberts' defence...a case of the party protesting too much...they should instead be auctioning this national and natural resource to the highest bidder, in keeping with the latest supreme court rulings on such assets. He is a money making machine.

The other alternative is to elect him into an office of power, so the nation can benefit from his considerable talents. The national deficit may be completely solved in a matter of months if we leave Robert to do his job and give him  carte blanche, to seek and expand his childrens  circle of friends. Maybe they can change schools every term so they can make new friends.

And can we request honorable members of parliament and ministers like Salman Kurshid, Chidmabaram, and Manish Tiwari, to stop wasting their time, and insulting the public's intelligence by trying to defend the good Robert. He needs no defence, and even if he did, is perfectly capable of defending himself. They should instead all bow to his superior skills in winning friends and influencing people, while still maintaining a low profile and his average Joe image.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

child protection issues

When our learned legislators tear their eyes away from watching porn on their mobile phones, they can act with alacrity on inane issues such as how old you have to be to fall in love. They can let important issues like the Lok Satta Bill or the Microfinance Bill or many other important pieces of legislation get caught  in political procastination, yet are pretty prompt in deciding that teenage hormones need to be legislated against in the interest of the Republic.

Of course the already overburdened police force has a lot of time on their hands to implement this new law, while looking the other way as far as minor crimes like murder, rape and the general loot of our nation takes place in full public view. The only other priority that our police force has is the security cover that they need to provide to these very legislators, so that they can be protected from each other,  and the general public.

To assume that legislation is the only way to address all social problems is like using machine guns to shoot butterflies. To assume that our learned legislators are competent and learned enough to consider all relevant issues before throwing the book  at it, is an insult to our intelligence.

So suffer in silence, at your children's peril..or let our legislators watch porn in the legislature..that is harmless fun which will cause very little damage.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Money and the police state

Was at a friends house over the weekend. Nice party, with a lot of interesting people, and great conversation.This was no teenagers head banging music party, but more like good wine and conversation flowing on issues like how South Mumbai residents would assemble in throngs for a candle light march, but would not take the time to vote.
My friends home is across the road from a very posh building in which senior police officers stay, at the tax payers expense. At 11:20 pm, one of the residents decided the decibel level was too much for him, and instead of calling my friend to lodge a neighbourly complaint, decided to send a posse of uniformed policemen to break up the party. Remember there was not even music playing, just a few freinds over for some wine and conversation, and it was not even so late at night.
Anybody who lives in Bombay city knows, that this is a noisy city..from the mullah at unearthly hours calling his flock to prayers, to Hindu devotees invoking their deaf Gods through amplified sound systems, to blaring horns, to processions to celebrate everything ranging from political events, to religious to sporting, all.highly amplified, and in general the police sleep through most of it..but when it intrudes on their personal space they react with alacrity, and have no qualms about misusing their authority and powers.
It is not only the politicians who we must blame all the time, it is also the so called guardians of law, and senior ones at that, who think they are above the law. We can either be apathetic as usual, or in the normal course let this too drown in the cacophony of noise and corruption that is our city.