Thursday, August 16, 2007

‘Cos we’re free … free falling

My last piece got me into a spot of trouble. On my writing table the next morning, the mother-in-law had placed a large meat cleaver with a post-it attached to it saying ‘WARNING’. I’m slowly realizing how hazardous and treacherous writing a column for a newspaper can be. So, this one comes with a disclaimer. “Any resemblance to political parties or persons living or dead is purely coincidental”.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve got freedom coming out of my every orifice. Every news channel, every newspaper, every FM station, just hasn’t stopped singing the same tiresome ‘aye mere vatan ke logon’ type drone and it has become almost as unbearable as the other sordid freedom struggle that we had to put up with barely 2 weeks ago, the one now better known as the ‘free Dutt’ saga.

First let me clear the air (‘if only it were that simple’, the environmentalists in Bangalore would say).

It’s not that I’m not patriotic. I too went bare-chested, waved my shirt in the air and danced in the aisles when we ended that 22 year drought and ‘pommie’led them in their own backyard. It’s another thing that I didn’t agree with the way we played the 4th day of that cricket match and I told someone that my next article would titled ‘the day the Wall lost his balls’. But let’s not digress.

I am as proud as our national bird, to be Indian. It’s just that I’m not hypocritical.

If MF (it’s Maqbool Fida, lest idle minds start wandering) Hussain saw his ‘Mother India’ as a curvy woman in the buff, then, so be it. Who gave the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti the right to decide that religious and patriotic sentiments were offended? Why hasn’t this 92 year old icon, who, arguably, has single-handedly put India on the world canvas, been able to return back home, even after a year and a half of self imposed exile and is still subjected to death threats. Freedom of expression indeed!

And if Narayan Murthy decided to play an instrumental version of the national anthem rather than let his foreign guests be subjected to his cacophonous Infoscians on campus, then again, so be it. On what grounds were sticks and stones (and whatever else they use to destroy life and property) cast by that Kannada culture vulture (read Garuda) Ambareesh or the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike.

Yes, the very Vandal Commission / immoral police / shiv insainiks etc. who have decided that people should be home and in bed by 11.30, that rock shows, valentines day, discotheques, miss world competitions, and MNCs in general should be banned on ‘moral grounds’ and ‘pub culture was foreign to India’.

Ironically, the Raja of Bihar, is the best quote I’ve heard on the topic

“yeh moral ground kya hota hai main nahin jaanta. Haan playground hum ne suna hai. Duniya ka sab unmoral aadmi moral ground ka baat karta hai”

I can go on and on with stories from some of our prize freedumb fighters.

What happened to those 20 hooligans from the Mental Institution of Marredpali (aka Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) who hurled everything from bouquets (literally) to brickbats (figuratively) at Taslima Nasrin at her book reading in Hyderabad recently? Apparently they were taken into custody and later given their ‘freedom’.

In yet another incident from the land of ‘Paradise’, a fatwa was issued by Muslim clerics because a spunky tennis star ‘didn’t cover up enough’ and that she ‘set a bad precedent’. Why doesn’t one look at the example she’s set for millions of Indian sportswomen. Yes, she’s the very one who put the word ‘women’ back in sportswomen and of course, ‘the rack’ in racket.

If Mandira Baby (sorry, Bedi) wished to flaunt a Satya Paul with a tri-colour on it then, (to use a very profound statement we used as kids) ‘who’s father, what goes?’. It’s not that it was a thong or anything (though, I shall spend the next 2 minutes dwelling on that happy thought).

If Shilpa-goody-two-shoes-Shetty decided to make out with pretty-boy-Gere in public, then again, so be it. What she does with her ‘business partners’ is entirely her business.

And when a Tamil actress stated the absolute obvious on ‘virginity’, and endorsed safe sex, tomatoes, eggs and the entire chappal shop was hurled at her because she ‘hurt Tamil sentiment’. Wake up and smell the Khushboo, people.

It’s about time people realized that ‘riot’ is not central to patriotism.

1 comment:

TheJamHut said...

Hi Tom Petty. I'm aware and feel the same way of what u've said...

C - scapes ... underwater colours