Chinmaya’s Wish

From my new comrade at the OrissaGroup.

Dear Saswat,

This shiny bright new year I wish you Faith ~
Faith that this world cannot dampen or cool,
Faith in your dreams when the facts overrule,

This shiny bright new year I wish you Joy ~
Joy that is untouched by earth’s trials and fears,
Joy that is constant when sorrow appears,

Wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.
Its a special occasion to remember special people.

Love, and Regards !

Chinmaya ..

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The Other War Photography

Four years back I ran into a public debate (click here to read the first scenario) with a Border Security Force officer who was the guest speaker at a university in India. Amidst other views, one of his arguments was that we needed to see the war photographs. The students went ahead and did some paintings on the black and white boards depicting the huge tanks and the brave fighters.
Such portrayals of course did not include the human costs of war. Nor did it arouse any sentiment for sanity. More the tanks, more the aggression. Psychological Warfare by other names.
The argument was in favor of an abstract patriotism and a holistic battlefield resulting in a war even though founded on fake grounds. And over the years, thanks to the journalists or the embeded ones, we were refused to see what all horrible things used to happen to people after the war, no matter their sides.
The apprehension that graphics of post-war blues would send wrong signals was right in its place. What if people rebel and refuse to join the war. After all who wants such damage to the body and mind in a no-return investment of time and resources.

Well, if a picture paints a thousand words, these ones speak millions. Click here for the updated pictures.
The words are Millions which decry the wars and indeed encourage us all to realize that we do not need to let the future generations go through this torture in the name of our f**ed up convictions aka historical blunders.

Case of Bajaj and his friends at the Times of India

The arrest of Avnish Bajaj, CEO of US-based auction portal eBay’s Indian subsidiary has caused concerns among high level government officials on India and the US including from US state department spokesman Richard Boucher. I am sure he should be sure of how to treat offenders who could be accused of child pornography in the US. But what I hear is that quite the contrary, he is ‘concerned’ too!
What however, surprises is that it has also caused concern among the largest media operation in India, Times of India network.
In an article –, Rohit Wadhwaney says how “Bajaj gets just about enough space in his cell to curl up and sleep, if at all he manages to get some xxxxx He has to wake up every morning as early as 5.30 am and walk out of the cell, which is more like a dormitory (though extremely unclean and stinky), for head-count of prisoners. xxxxx For lunch, he gets four rotis , one subzi and a little bit of dal. Even if he is still hungry, he can’t get another helping xxxxx At 6.30 pm he is served dinner, as mercilessly as the previous meal. And at 8 pm the lights are switched off. But whether Bajaj manages to get some sleep or not only he knows. xxxxx”
Such use of language clearly denotes an irresponsible form of journalistic tradition that Times of India may now on be identified with. But I am sure that will not be the case. Since, had it been someone else than Bajaj, a US citizen and high profile Harvard graduate with power and influence in high circles, Times’ stance would have been very different.
And whose battle is TOI fighting? Someone who was making money out of auctioning MMS clips of 17 yr old kids having oral sex? I would not even venture into the legal age controversy which anyway needs to be challenged. It really does not make sense at least to me how being 18 makes one qualified to do something which being 17 does not. And no saying why child pornography question can be brought up here, because it is clearly not one of that kind. The same issue persists among teens in campus all over in US who wants relaxation on legal age. Not 18, but 17, they say. Now instead of drinking and pornography being the questions, its a matter of numbers now. 17 or 18. Very stupid indulgences..
But what matters here is the blatant absence of any attempts to dig background investigation before auctioning an item. As an online marketplace Bazee dot com has the responsibility to verify the claims of ownership and background of such ownership indeed before flashing anything for auction. In the present case, clearly the sale of the clip was against the wishes of the girl in video.
This may herald a new beginning of the need to investigate the products being auctioned, especially with rise in fraudulence within eBay.com recently.
As for Bajaj, he needs to be treated with equal dignity as being conferred to any other inmates. I do not see why the Press has to suddenly wake up to see the prison conditions just because bajaj is served dinner “mercilessly”.

Almost Half of Americans Favor Restrictions on Muslims’ Rights

We live in not only uncertain times but also dangerous ones. And the democracy is full of, as Chomsky would say, “necessary illusions”.
Reinforcing one sustained illusion, almost half of all Americans think the federal government should limit the civil rights of Muslims as part of the nation’s fight against terrorism, according to a survey released by Cornell University today.
Shocking? read more by clicking here

The Question on People of Color

Following yesterday’s mail, here is the response of the student. I am sure the discussion on the topic will not cease, although I do not think it is a debate, considering that I am not myself so fond of the term. Alright, here is the reply:

I obviously understand that the term is politically correct, but that doesn’t make it right necessarily. Clearly, you didn’t do anything wrong except go against your own personal beliefs/values because you said yourself in your e-mail back to me that you were not exactly a fan of the term because it is referring to you as well. Well I guess I just don’t understand why you would promote that term, by using it in that survey, if you yourself don’t agree with it.

My take on the issue is simple: If the word “color” or “negro” is used to connect with the minds of the oppressed people, the historical differences with the Whites, the words are most welcome. At the same time, any attempt at celebrating the color in the umbrella of multicultural ethos aimed at nullifying confrontational differences through normalization, is dangerous. Its in the same vein as the political component which reminds the colonial people that they are colonial (which I think is needed), as opposed to the social attempt at building a commonwealth of colonies which would cherish their colors (thats awwwww…).