Category: Random Toons and Thoughts

random cartoons and personal opinions

Salman Rushdie And The Jaipur Literature Festival 2012 Controversy!

It all started way back in 1988 when Salman Rushdie’s published book “The Satanic Verses ” became objectionable to the Islamic hardliners Worldwide and turned controversial for “alleged blasphemy” against Prophet Mohammed. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime minister of India, sensed the fury of minorities in India and the book was banned in the country. In fact India was the first country to impose a ban on “Satanic Verses”

Since then Rushdie paid two visits to India,once in 2000 and  in 2007  for the  Jaipur Literature Festival despite of the protests from some Muslim groups. When news of his 2012 Festival visit spread, the protesting Muslim group raised their eyebrows and  Rushdie decided he would cancel his visit to Jaipur sensing life-threat as some of his Intelligence people informed him of an assassination plot arranged by Mumbai Underworld. He doubted the news but did not wish to risk things . It was then decided Rushdie would attend the festival via video conference on Tuesday at 3:45 pm January 24th 2012. Rumours are spreading that State Police may deny permission for the conference  whereas Festival producer Sanjoy Roy declared he had no information about such denial hence they will go ahead with the video-conference as scheduled, till  any written confirmation is produced by the police.

Today,24th January2012, it has been cleared that the video-conference has been given the clean-chit on grounds that Rushdie should not be speaking anything on ‘Satanic Verses,

Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has been quite active against Rushdie’s visit to India and forthcoming elections seem to be a major reason why the present Government does not wish to take any risk of hurting Muslim sentiments which might affect their performance in the elections. However , it is very important to realize that lawfully Rushdie who is a British citizen of Indian origin cannot be banned to come to India.

Some facts regarding the hype created over Rushdie’s 2012 visit was purely due to elections and except for few groups who actively wanted Rushdie not to attend the Festival , I doubt if the common Muslim community even bothers about him being here or not. Of course , had the Media not sensationalized the issue , none would have bothered his visit.

We commoners have enough issues to deal with rather than coming out on streets every single day , leaving our duties. Probably the Media-Claimed failure of Anna’s Mumbai Fast was the biggest example.

How many of us have (even in Urban India)  read the controversial book which is anyways banned ? How do we know if it is really hurting religious sentiments when the major population of India (including the minorities) lives in Rural India which does not know English beyond some common words ? And has our Governments left us with any free time to go about reading books , leaving our source of earnings ?

“Tonight Show With Jay Leno”-Leno’s controversial remark on Golden Temple.

On January 19’2012,the NBC Channel Chat Show, ‘ Tonight Show with Jay Leno’  again made the Indians,perticularly the Sikhs raise eyebrows not only in America and India but Worldwide as well. 

Jay Leno, the popular host showed an illuminated picture of Golden Temple of Amritsar as the summer home of Mitt Romney,  a rich businessman and politician  who making news these days for amassing wealth and evading rightful taxes.

This is not for the first time Jay Leno has crossed limits of humour while addressing the Sikh community. In 2007 in the same show he was criticized after he called Sikhs  ‘Diaper Heads’. But it does not seem to have any effect on him.

The American Sikh Community has protested against this but the point here is that Humour has its limits which American and British popular TV Show Hosts should realize. India always seems to be a soft-target for such humour where our religious and national sentiments are repeatedly hurt  and in return neither the concerned person seeks apology nor does he stop from repeating it.

Raj explains attack on cbfc and Rahul Gandhi

Raj Thackerey in the news again ?

1.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief – Raj Thackeray supported MNS members attacking  the offices of the Central Board of Film Censors on 14th November 2011 at around 4pm in opposition to the demand they made, months back, to the board, to include at least one Marathi Manus in the board to censor Marathi movies.

Is it not enough to know the guidelines and follow the same while judging movies ? Is it that important to include atleast one “Maharashtrian” from theatre or Marathi cinema ?

Well, supporting the move of his party members ransacking some offices just because they do not agree to their party’s request cannot be appreciated. Are there no other ways the MNS finds suitable other than voilent attacks , be it on the North Indian rickshaw  and taxi drivers or destroying  office properties ? 

Is Anna Hazare’s non-voilent methods of fasting and raising support not an example of better way of keeping one’s point ?

2.

Also speaking on Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Phulpur, Utter Pradesh, he claimed Rahul Gandhi was ill-informed about U.P.  after Rahul made a comment that for how long youths from the state need to go and beg for work in Maharashtra ,pointing at  the lack of employment opportunities in the state .

Thackeray viewed that the people of Utter Pradesh must ask Rahul what his party had done for the state in the past so many years for the state as every member of the Gandhi family, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and even Rahul himself  have been elected from UP and Congress party had got opportunities to rule the state for decades in the past. The question raised on Rahul Gandhi and Congress is worth giving a thought !

Is it right to claim the present government of Mayawati as the sole reason of sufferings in Utter Pradesh?  What about the governments prior to this ? Did the political parties prior to Mayawati’s BSP do their share of  work ?

Amidst Controversies Team Anna And IAC

With Anna rising  strong against Corruption Issue , in India, even the most hopeless Indian  was forced to believe revolution ought to take place. Loud was the roar of  Anna’s hunger-strike to pass the IAC recommended LokPal Bill and louder comes allegations against the Core Team Anna  Members, one after the other !

From Left to Right - Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare,Kiran Bedi And Swami Agnivesh

It all started with Swami Agnivesh’s controversial tape where he was found back-biting his own Team , believed to be having a word with the Union Minister, over the phone. He tried getting away, giving excuses , which were baseless. The Media uncovered his reality.

Prashant Bhushan,one of the core team members of IAC(India Against Corruption) movement,  faced serious criticisms, after he spoke his heart out about Kashmir. He was attacked by three people, at his office on the Supreme Court compound. Later it was learnt , one of the guy caught by the cops , was Indra Verma, leading Delhi unit of Sri Ram Sene. He was attacked because of his statement on Kashmir issue. Bhushan had, last month said in Varanasi that security forces should be withdrawn from Kashmir and a referendum be held to address the opinion of the Kashmiris.

Anna’s reactions to Prashant Bhushan’s statment were clearly indicating his discomfort. With the bold old man stating clearly, if need be , he would again dress-up as an Army, to fight for Kashmir , remaining intact with India.

Arvind Kejriwal , one of the most important members of Team Anna has been gheraod by controversies :

He was attacked by Jitendra Pathak , who threw a slipper at Kejriwal during a programme organised in Lucknow at the Jhulelal Park. Pathak explained, he has been following , Team Anna in their movement, so far and he noticed the diversification from core topics of the team and got furious and lost his temper. He ended up getting terminated from his job, after this incident. It is only him , who knows why he actually did so. Big deal, if the “Anti-Anna Team” has been behind this.

It is learnt, that Pathak, a former Congress Sewa Dal worker, has also wrote a letter addressing Anna, asking three questions and requesting satisfactory answers , to avoid himself going for undefinite, hunger-strike :

  1. Why Anna remained silent when the Shiv Sena and MNS workers attacked and even killed north Indians, living in Mumbai ?
  2. What he thinks of the violent attack on him(Pathak) by his (Anna’s)supporters when Pathak was trying to grab Kejriwal’s attention to ask him why the team members had failed to come out with convincing proof against the corruption charges levelled against them ?
  3. Why Anna is not demanding action against Prashant Bhushan who wants yet another partition of India ?

Coming back to Kejriwal,on September 2, Kejriwal was served a notice by the I-T department, accusing him of violating bond conditions as his resignation from government service was still pending.As per the government, Kejriwal is still an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer as the department has not accepted his resignation submitted in 2006.

The Income Tax Department, has issued a fresh notice asking Kejriwal to clear his dues of Rs 9 Lakhs, latest by the 27th of Oct’11, rejecting the reply of non-compliance from Kejriwal, in response to the first notice.

Again, it is no big deal, if this is pushed by the Government itself , which is the prime Anti- Anna Team, at present, after the loss at Hissar.

In between, two core members of the Team Anna, resigned. The first being, P.B. Rajagopal, the vice chairman of Gandhi Peace Foundation and the founding member of Ekta Parishad, which focuses on issues relating to right to livelihood of displaced people and the second Rajendra Singh, famous as the “waterman of India” and Magsaysay Award winner, known for his water-conservation efforts, in Rajasthan.

They found, Arvind Kejriwal sounded autocratic, in Hissar and Team Anna was going political and also declared they were forced to answer about decisions of Anna and the other team members, inspite of  not being included while such decisions were taken. They marked lack of co-ordination and unclear dimensions of  Team Anna, as the cause of their discomfort , to continue.

With latest proof of  Kiran Bedi’s NGO presenting inflated bills for air ticket for a function she attended in Mumbai in 2009, it puts to question , if  anyone is really worth trusting, in our country.

It was found by Headlines Today that, The Guild, an Air India employees’ union, organised a function on the International Women’s Day in Mumbai, in March 2009 and had invited Bedi. Headlines Today assessed an invoice for Rs. 31,000 sent by Flywell Travels for return ticket from Delhi to Mumbai. Bedi arrived in Mumbai from Pune and attended another function in Mumbai before leaving for Delhi.

Quite astonishing, the owner of the travel agency, Mr Anil Bal,  also happens to be  a co-trustee in Kiran Bedi’s NGO. Who knows, if the organisers of the other function, in Mumbai also paid for Bedi’s travel ?

All this has been revealed after Kiran Bedi’s explanation that the money(cheques), for her travel expenses were issued in the name of her NGO “India Vision Foundation ” and she would always let the organisers know , if she was traveling by economy class and also that the left-over money would always remain in the NGO fund, used for traveling to places , where organisers were unable to finance her travel. She also insisted, paying all left-over money, back to organisers, after the incident came into limelight.

Swami Agnivesh, who is no more the part of the Team Anna, has questioned , why the donations were going to Public Cause Research Foundation, led by Arvind Kejriwal(this foundation does not have names of major core team members including Anna) and there was yet no bank account for IAC(India Against Corruption), which is Arvind’s responsibility. He also claimed, that the Team is yet to show the balance-sheet of the 80lakhs collected, so far , by the IAC, which was promised to be on their website, for the public to have a look at.

 Senior Congress Leader, Digvijay Singh  has always been of the view that Anna is motivated by BJP and there has to be some connections, Anna or his team members, have with the RSS or BJP.

We , the commoners found all that a great leader should have , after the Media showed us, Anna sitting for hours , in front of Gandhi Samadhi and crying and wiping his tears. What do we conclude now ? Are we not left making guesses, as to who may be right ?

  • Is Anna wrong or his selections are (the Corruption topic he chose to raise or the Core Team Members) ?
  • Are these allegations worth closing eyes and considering that it is cooked-up by the Government ? While some surely sound cooked-up but are all of the issues unreal ?
  • Is Anna totally correct, in his views, if  he  disregards Prashant Bhushan’s statement on Kashmir ?  Is Kashmir all about the dignity and integrity of our country and we have nothing to do with the people living there , who are under Army Rule, since ages ?
  • Who do we trust , if people like Kiran Bedi, accept charges of presenting inflated bills to organisers, just for another “cause” ? Is she the Robinhood of India, taking money from the rich (raising inflated bills on organisers, who can afford it) and claiming to use it for the poor(affording her travel, where organisers cannot afford so) ? is this right, even if the money would be refunded ? Is this ethical when someone like her, a Magsaysay award winner who gets 75% off on her air travel by Air India , raises inflated bill for a “right cause” ?
  • It is a fact that Swami Agnivesh is taking out his agitation on Team Anna after he got exposed and expelled from the Team but is it not right that  Anna and Arvind Kejriwal were leading IAC, should have done their homework of opening an Account and maintaining financial update, on the website , long before, as promised ?  
  • Ofcourse , Digvijay Singh’s criticisms do not carry weight , as he is from the Government but are his acquisitions totally baseless?
  • Was Anna  selective about his Core Team  or he too is a commoner who did not recognize the “masked-foxes”,  joining hands ?

The Ship of  “India Against Corruption” got its share of  media-hype and was sailing well. It gave food , enough in quantity, to the Media Houses , so much that they are busy finding out flaws, everywhere(with the same Ship, which they were praising, before) to keep the “Breaking News ” sessions rocking! The question is – Will it sink and so will the Captain Anna Hazare or will the Captain rather throw the unwanted baggage of controversial people including Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi and may be  more(Media knows it better) , who may drown not only the Ship of INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION but also cease commoners, like us to trust anyone for the next two decades, to come and enlighten the intentions and confidence of Corrupts in our country.