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Hyderabad! August 26, 2007

Posted by sk in Hyderabad, Hyderabad Bomb Blasts, India, Political, religion.
15 comments

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I recently had a conversation with a friend about communal violence in India. He is from Ahmedabad. I told him how Hyderabad, despite the diversity was safe and how all those terror attacks etc. were things of the past. Well, how wrong I was. Within two weeks of my conversation, two bomb blasts shook Hyderabad killing over 40 people. I am not going to blame the entire Muslim community in Hyderabad, but there are definitely people who are sympathetic to Osama and Al Qaeda and they need to be weeded out of the community. Otherwise, sadly, this is not the last of such events. I’m not really sure that the AP Government is interested in tackling this issue, as much as it is in sweeping it under the carpet. Hopefully, I’m wrong on this one too.

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Yet another post on Vande Mataram September 7, 2006

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Miscellaneous, Music, National, Political.
15 comments

Oh God, not another one! Fear not, this time, it’s only a link to the song on YouTube. Or at least, it was supposed to be only that. Obviously I’m not yet tired of this topic and am prepared to milk it dry. Anyway, here’s the song at the center of the controversy:

All right, I lied (does it matter?). This is actually A.R.Rahman‘s version of the song and it’s definitely not as controversial as the original one, so what better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the song? It’s a pity that I couldn’t find my favorite patriotic song – Anu Malik’s “I love India” or something of that sort.  

Update (9/8/06): Here’s an interesting view on the topic:

“Making it mandatory to sing “Vande Mataram” is a gross infringement on individual freedom. No government has the authority to force a word out of my larynx. Or block me from reading a blog. Or prevent me from reading a book (like say for instance ‘Satanic Verses’) . End of story.”

“… symbol of patriotic pride has been misappropriated for sectarian gains. For the BJP/Hindu revivalists, “Vande Mataram”’s Durga-imagery is a vindication of its identification of nationalism with “Hindutva”. For the proponents of a pan-Islamic identity (like the Imam Bukhari) who are dead set on showing to the world that Islam is under attack in India (despite the fact that Muslims enjoy rights and privileges in India they would struggle to have in other non-Muslim countries—paradoxically rights which Muslim countries deny to their own minorities), “Vande Mataram”’s allusion to a non-Allah superior being is proof positive of a sinister Hindu conspiracy to humiliate and oppress their community.”

Which, in general, reflects Mr.tismarkhan’s (yeah, I know, “Mr. tismarkhan”. It sounds cool!!! :p) views on the topic. Incidentally, Mr. Tismarkhan is also the MVP of this blog site (whatever that means). But what about disrespecting the flag? Should the country not force you NOT to do that either? Or disrespecting the national anthem (or even the national song)? Also, what about the Christian prayers we were forced to recite each morning in school? How come no one has protested against that practice yet (or maybe someone has and I am not aware of it)? I agree with Mr.greatbong, though, that the BJP tried to exploit the situation and equate hindutva with nationalism, which pissed off Muslims. Fair enough. As I said earlier, good idea to get school kids to sing the song, if only it had not been guided by their ulterior motives. The whole issue will soon be forgotten (like Sania Mirza???), only to be rekindled 10, 25, or 50 years from now. Until then, we can rest assured in the knowledge that two simple words like “Vande Mataram” will not divide the country.

Update (9/10/06): Another blogger, Balajiworld has this to say about the whole situation:

“… so called ‘leaders’ chose to represent a fringe minority of bigots by not singing the national song instead of the millions of largely tolerant and easy going muslims/christians who happily paid tributes to the song on its 100th anniversary. Manmohan Singh has fallen one more step in my eyes.”

FWIW, he’s a known BJP sympathizer. This is apparent from some of his other articles. However, this does raise an interesting question: Should the PM have sung the song?

RELATED:

To ‘Vande Mataram’ or Not…. August 31, 2006

Posted by PagMax in National, Political.
56 comments

Some politicians have tough time separating religion from state.  Be it American Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who thinks appointing non-Christians is equivalent to ‘sin’ or be it Indian BJP leaders who wants to make singing Vandemataram mandatory in schools and parliament on the songs 100th anniversary on Sept 7th.

On the face of it, one might not find anything religious about Vande Mataram. So just to remind you, the only reason, in spite of being a revolutionary slogan during independence, Vande Mataram did not qualify as  national anthem, was because it literally translates as ‘I bow head in front of you, Mother’.  ‘Mother’ could be thought as Mother-India (not the movie!) but some believe it was actually meant to be Hindu Goddess. Indeed, she looks like one in this image which was posted on net as ‘Bharat Ma’. ! In any case, Islam allows that kind of respect only to Allah (May peace be upon Him) and secular India had to respect that choice. (Note that definition of secularism is quite different in India than what it is in America and LOT different than what it is in European countries like France).

Well surely every Muslim does not take Quran so seriously. I would not if I were a Muslim. Neither did A R Rahman, and surely not Mukhtar Abbas Nakvi, BJP Spokesperson, who is very vocal in supporting his Party’s stand.

But that’s not the point. Point is for good or bad, whether you agree or not, Vande Mataram is not our National Anthem and we have to live with it! Its really ironical that both National song and National Anthem of India have always been in controversy and more ironical is that most (or all) the reasons fueling the controversy were just dumb. Reason Vande Mataram is in controversy now is exactly the same it was 60 years back.Nothing has changed now. So why you just do not accept it and move on?  Singing a song is not going to solve our problems, would it? Unless, your problem was there has been no political-religious controversy  stalling the government for a while. Don’t we have a Nation to run? Oh right, I forget, these politicians don’t.

Yes, Vande Mataram is our ‘ National Song’ but still that does not warrant the idea of forcing everyone to sing it.   What’s next? Making it compulsory for everyone to play India’s national Game’ hockey on Dhyan Chands 103rd Birthday.

UPDATE (-sk-, 9/7/06): Check out: Vande Mataram contd.

Upcoming Posts, BlogDesk and Fidel Castro August 20, 2006

Posted by PagMax in Blogroll, Miscellaneous, National, Political.
6 comments

This post is to serve two purposes. First to give a preview of two of my upcoming posts which I have been working on for a while but could not complete because of my other commitments. (If I still do not sound like a smug bollywood movie-maker with no intellectual capacity beyond such publicity stunts for upcoming piece of junk, I promise I will eventually) Other purpose is to test this BlogDesk blog editor which I just downloaded and configured (And it failed, so this is from WL!).

Upcoming Blogs

Introduction of SPARKS team: Since we launched this team blog called sparksengr on wordpress, I thought it would be a good idea to speak about who’s who in the team. May be some day there would be a bug in the wordpress system and our blog might appear in ‘Blog of Note’  or just might attract lot of search engine traffic and if that ever happens, may be some random Joe, Kate, Raj, Nita on the net, stranger to us and tossed on our blog, could use this introduction.

If you have not guessed so far, I am a very pessimist writer and just enjoy criticizing with passion everyone and everything I write about. (Yes, I know I will make a good politician and do not count me out yet). So without any surprises, even this blog would not flatter anyone on the team and that’s just an understatement. In fact, I am expecting few defamation law suits against me and I am working for back-up even on that.

Highlights of Indian Space Program:  I am not sure if I would title it that but this one would be one of serious blogs. Purpose of this will not be to criticize anyone but just to provide Information. Nothing from top-secret files but just compiling from the net. Unfortunately, Indian Space and Research Organization’s website (www.isro.org) do not provide important details about the past and present missions and has not organized the information it has in a very readable way. (Yes I remember what I said about not criticizing). As a matter of fact, one might get more information about India’s past mission from NASA’s universal catalog and few articles on Wiki. So just out of my own interest, I have been compiling stuff and now I might just convert in a blog. I cannot claim it would be any better but I would give it a shot. Since its a big project, I cannot give an expected launch date (Did I say something about lousy bollywood movie-maker?)  but I promise it would be before China sends a man to moon,i.e. 2017.

That’s about it. Please do not copy my ideas and wait anxiously for these posts. Stay alive until then.

As for blog pic, a completely unrelated image of Fidel Castro in Adidas jersey flaunting an evil smile in hospital on those disappointed Americans who celebrated his ‘imminent’ death. I cropped, paper-tore, flipped freely and turned off colors on this image all in BlogDesk editor itself. So it works but the configuration does not! (not for me!)

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fidel adidas

In conclusion, I  will stick to windows live-editor and no more testing of other editors.