Redefining national shame: India, Pakistan, Israel

This is the season of shame. Everyone is so into this national shame business. Of course, it is all skewed. It is as though feeling ashamed makes you a patriot.

Indian Pachchtava League

For those who have been jumping around about the IPL being shifted outside the country – as though it ever was a national tournament – being a shame to the nation, I only wish they’d stop in their tracks awhile.

Nah, I am not going to do a Chidambaram and say Gujarat riots were a national shame (then one will have to talk about apartheid in South Africa and all that)…all the politicians squawking about what is none of their business is a round-the-year shame.

I wish to draw attention to a report that says:

A South African peace conference of Nobel laureates has been postponed after the government’s decision to deny a visa to Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Several Nobel peace prize winners had threatened to boycott the event over the visa ban, but the government said it was standing by its decision. Local media said the visa was refused after pressure from China, a big investor and trade partner.

So, do we talk about national shame that South Africa has got the IPL contract for our great Indian Premier League when our great generosity of spirit and commitment towards the Tibetan cause is being put to test? Are we going to be great trade partners with that country as China is or will we choose our great ethical position for our refugee with a hill station?

*Pachchtava = regret

Pakistan’s real losers

Zardari figures among the big losers of the world. Pakistanis are feeling chastised that they let him get away with the murder of democracy and all that jazz. How the hell does it matter? And what kind of a loser is he when he has been on a winning streak – money, fun, houses, and the Presidential seat?

They should be more ashamed about the financial state of ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan.

“My family, which has exhausted even its ‘rainy day securities’, is now badly failing to foot the treatment bills,” said his son Arif.

The ‘Shahenshah-i-Ghazal’ will need monetary assistance for the rest of his life if he is to survive, the report said.

Arif said he still has to pay about Rs 5 lakh to the private hospital for accommodation and treatment, in addition to meeting other expenditures incurred on Khan Sahib and his family.

Forget the government, what about the music industry in Pakistan, the artists, the film and television sector, NGOs? What about all those music companies that still play his numbers and don’t bother about royalties?

I hope some of them get up and contribute and do so quietly without fanfare. Show the man respect. If today anyone recognises Pakistan’s ghazal singers, it is entirely due to Mehdi saab’s tremendous contribution. All of us have heard him first before we went on to anyone else.

And no one is ever going to Zardari in a hurry, not even Sherry…medium dry?

Israeli military’s pretence

Israeli soldiers wore T-shirts with a pregnant woman in crosshairs and the slogan “1 Shot 2 Kills,” adding to a growing furore in the country over allegations of misconduct by troops during the Gaza war.

The shirts “are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless,” the military said in a statement. “This type of humour is unbecoming and should be condemned.” The army said it would not tolerate such behaviour and would take disciplinary action against the soldiers involved.

Oho…what a shame…you can go and raze whole Palestinian villages, put a blockade over essential supplies, occupy a land that is not yours, but when it comes to raising a moral bogey, blame the T-shirt.

Are those soldiers doing it as Israelis or as individuals? Are we to believe that there is no schooling in hatred? Has the Israeli army not killed pregnant women? These were enlisted men.

If you want to feel ashamed, then do so for the basic politics and pugnacity you revel in. The T-shirts are only a reflection of this same attitude.

Nano – saving us from shame?

Now that we have Nano, are we to feel less ashamed? I am sick of seeing that car all over the place and Ratan Tata giving the people’s car to the people. All we saw was TV channels covering the press conference, biggies talking about its body and mileage and such stuff…real people will have to shell out the “little over a lakh rupees” and stay away from the public eye. Incidentally, why are there three types with different pricing? Does it not contradict the very purpose of the notion of a cheap car for the common man? Why grade the common man?

This is a nice game being played of people versus people. The World According to Nano was my take on this very idea when the butt-ugly car was being conceived.


  1. Couple of weeks ago, some tv channel set up boards in colleges etc, asked us to write one positive thing about Pakistan. Was surprising how much space Zardari/Musharraf/Army abuse took up...we really do not seem to respect or acknowledge people enough, that is scary.

    Scarier than what Z is upto? Yeshhh..."chastised", though, was funny.

  2. Good points about IPL and Israel.What do you think about Sourav's new role?The nano article was excelent

  3. i like the Israeli T-shirt.They do the right things to the 'peaceful believers'Where can I get one,please??

  4. FV,

    Just so you know, the Hindutva creeps enjoyed the Gaza massacres. They are so ignorant that they do not even know that it is an issue of nationhood, and not religion. Hannan Ashrawi, for instance, is a Christian.

  5. So Farzana wants india to boycott SA because they refused a visa to the DL?

  6. Creeps searching for such T-shirts only stregthens the 'Islamophobia' belief. Why Hindutwa does'nt thrive on its own why it needs a prop in Islam,


  7. I feel sorry for Mehdi Hassan ....while I pay top dollars for his CDs, nbot sure how much of this actually reaches him ..i am assuming none ......where are all the Chowdharies of Punjab ,,,who used to swear by his name ....Sad ,....really sad .....

  8. Mask:

    There is too much negative thinking going on everywhere, so the negation of that is seen as positive.

    Re. 'chastised', yes, it was meant to be funny.


    As a huge supported of Saurav Ganguly, I am really pissed off. There seems to be no logic of having three rotating captains for this one team.


    Why not just make a quick trip to Israel and return with a contract to market those tees here? There will many takers here; you can even set up a plant in Gujarat.


    Well, what do you expect from fascist forces? It is never about religion but power play.


    No. Just asking a relevant question about this Catch-22 situation.


    Islam threatens a lot of people, therefore this kneejerk reaction.


    The Chowdharies are busy calculating how much they can invest in political parties and what returns they can get.

    No one is bothered about culture or the cultured.

  9. "Islam threatens a lot of people, therefore this kneejerk reaction."

    But for it's demented followers,who still believe in fairy tales, and actually blow up people for not sharing their belief of their so called merciful god,i would dismiss Islam as just another cult.But these peaceful followers are never at peace with anybody or among themselves either.

  10. Agree with you there IDF, religions are fairy tales. However, disagree with your characterization of Islam as a cult. Those who believe Hitler to be a Kalki - the avatar of Vishnu is a cult. Sorry to bring Der Fuhrer into this, I'm sure it does evoke horrible memories of holocaust, of Kristallnacht, of crammed ghettos, extreme humiliation, genocide, killings of women and children. My apologies to have touched a nerve there IDF.

  11. I don't remember Farzana getting all worked up over brit pakis carrying signs in London saying "behead those who insult islam" and such. OF course, I'm assuming it was a mere oversight...or, maybe, farzana agrees with the sentiments...

  12. A-non,
    "my apologies to have touched a nerve there IDF."

    No u did not touch anything,forget a nerve!!!!You may think Islam is not a cult but I have every reason to believe so.Who other than followers of a cult would start rioting all over the world for a cartoon published in some newspaper,some teddy bear named after their so called prophet?Think if you can:The islamic God allahs name is the uttered when chopping the heads off of non-believers in Afghanistan to Irag.Care to point out any other God of another religion who is like that?

  13. IDF:

    "But for it's demented followers,who still believe in fairy tales, and actually blow up people for not sharing their belief of their so called merciful god..."

    Shall I therefore assume that I must be deeply indebted to the grateful dead for gracing this blog? Or is it rebirth? What is it as?

    "Who other than followers of a cult would start rioting all over the world for a cartoon published in some newspaper,some teddy bear named after their so called prophet?Think if you can:The islamic God allahs name is the uttered when chopping the heads off of non-believers in Afghanistan to Irag.Care to point out any other God of another religion who is like that?"

    Ho-hum. Who protests when Hindu gods are painted in the nude or not shown in a good light? Who shouts "Jai Siya Ram" as they rush with trishuls to hammer at a religious site or riots in the cities?

    Sure, Muslims are not blameless, and most of their so-called imams are idiots. Which is why, as i have already stated elsewhere, in response to the 1992 riots a don took 'revenge'; but in response to Godhra the state and the common people of Gujarat took vengeance on the local people who had nothing to do with what is still a contested occurrence in the train.

    So, whether it Islam is a cult or not, you take care of your levitating fellows and learn to deal with people around you as people.

    - - -

    No more comments on this particular line of thought on this blog post will be published. You have had your say and so has anon. This is the last word on the subject, and, yes, I can jolly well have it because it is my blog.


  14. Arjun:

    I understand you are terribly interested in my perspective on everything, but of the reasons you mentioned neither applies. I don't comment on everything that happens in the Islamic world.

    Do look up my views on the flushing of the Quran, the Danish cartoons...they do not fit into the mould of what you would like to imagine I am...tough luck...


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