Contagion

This is an article I wrote sometime back as a reaction to a mishap in Mumbai on New Year eve. I just finished reading “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. It had few examples of social upheaval and even degeneration which I could relate to with this piece.. particularly with it’s last paragraph.

Contagion

1st of January, 2008
Juhu, Mumbai
01:45 am

Two women were molested by an unruly mob on the New Year’s eve in Mumbai. The women, accompanied by their male friends, had just left a party when the mob attacked them outside a five-star hotel. They tore their clothes and also manhandled their friends, who were trying to save them from the allegedly drunk and out of control crowd.

Post this, media got busy chastising Mumbai Police for the unpleasant incident and the delay in punishing the accused. That was the only noteworthy mishap on the eve throughout the city; evidently the Police was well prepared (or skeptically, unaware!).

A similar incident had happened exactly a year ago, when a girl was molested by New Year revelers at the Gateway of India.

Will the Police be there to guard us everywhere? When will we start targeting the root cause instead of the symptom? That group of 70-80 people belongs to Mumbai. They are amongst us. We, our friends or our friend’s friends or some other people we regularly deal with were there, either doing that crime or committing a bigger crime by being mere spectators.

A society does not jump, it merely creeps. It does not take a certain stand or acquire a particular behavior all of a sudden; the degradation is gradual and contagious. There is a relation between its acceptance, approvals, tendencies and actions. We have encouraged eve teasing in one way or the other in our lives. Either by doing it, or by applauding or meekly accepting it. We are the source, and the harvest, I must say, is pleasant.

Do take care.

The Savior Returns

How dare those jehadis entered our coutry and made us laugh, disguised as stand-up comedians? Even worse, they sung songs and acted in our movies… But don’t you worry, our savior MNS is teaching them all a lesson. They are being beaten up and threatened and thrown out of our land. Pestering bunch of insurgents.

MUMBAI: Pakistani stand-up comedian Shakeel Siddiqui was driven out of a television set at Mohan Studios in Andheri on Wednesday by members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and asked to leave the country immediately… Last week, MNS had burnt CDs of Pakistani performers and had forced stores to withdraw books by Pakistani authors.

After few months of lull our saviors are back. They are saving us from Pakistani Agents who have the impunity of entertaining us in our own country. How dare those jehadis entered our country and made us laugh, disguised as stand-up comedians? Even worse, they sung songs and acted in our movies. Look what they have done, their songs have become hits all over the country. Our people are getting lost in their melody. And then some of them used the weapon of words, published Pakistani text on the Indian soil. But don’t you worry, our saviors are teaching them all a lesson. They are being beaten up and threatened and thrown out of our land. Pestering bunch of insurgents. They forgot we have MNS to save our souls.

So what if Mr. MNS and his hooligans were nowhere to be seen when Pakistani Insurgents entered our Mumbai and kept it captive for a couple of days. Pakistanis hurling hand grenades at us are tolerable but we should not accept Pakistanis giving us smiles. Its OK if they kill our innocent men and women but they should not share their art and culture with us. Our savior let them get away after committing heinous acts of terrorism. So what, these are small things, to be forgiven and forgotten. We should instead focus on the real issues and look only where Mr. MNS wants us to. Lets kill them all!!

Looters and Moochers

The good might happen by itself, but the evil is done, coldly, professionally, thoughtfully. The people who follow his irrational outcries are guilty. Thackeray is just the charmer. It is the lured who must resist their inherent temptations to claim against their needs.

My parents never told me to reject something I didn’t deserve, specifically if it were good. I don’t accuse them; their parents too probably didn’t. What this makes me, an average Indian, is integrally challenged.

I go to any extent to spend one quarter of a penny less and to earn another quarter of a penny more than what is justified. And such halves make me a fraction of a person. The issue does not end at Money. Go out of the way to help me and I’ll chant your name forever. Make some consideration, compromise or a special favour and I’ll place you with the gods. Who knows, I might even profess your holy kindness on my blog.

I am saying all this to prove that Raj Thackeray is not at fault. He is merely using his political skills. I am sure he knows how wrong he is. The good might happen by itself, but the evil is done, coldly, professionally, thoughtfully. The people who follow his irrational outcries are guilty. Thackeray is just the charmer. It is the lured who must resist their inherent temptations to claim against their needs.

Moreover, all the action taken against Mr. MNS will only lead to his glorification amongst the mindless masses that already dietify him. The best way to deal with these hooligans is to leave it all to them. Let them run Mumbai (and the rest of Maharashtra) and tap its potential for their “son’s of the soil”. Cause the actual creators do not need a Mumbai to create a Mumbai. What they need (and what actually burns in the furnaces of this economical giant) they’ll carry away in their skulls.

This is a fairly old post. It was first posted on my previous blog at a time when Maharashtra was seething with its “son of the soil” sentiments. The upsurge caused a lot of damage to Maha’s and specially Mumbai’s cosmopolitan image. What I really love about this post is its relevance to all Indians, Raj Thackeray or not.