Freedom of speech, ants and elephants

November 20, 2012

If the Government really wants to clamp down on freedom of speech, they should have the courage to go after the biggies. Not poor anonymous bloggers and tweeters who are giving vent to their frustration, who merely write, “Everyday thousands of people die. But still the world moves on. Just due to one politician dead. A natural death. Everyone goes crazy.When was the last time did any one show some respect or even two minutes silence for Shahid Bhagat singh, Asad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free living Indians.Respect is earned not given.And definitely not forced.”.

There is an editorial in The Hindu today and another column by Katju, which are more scathing, and rightly so. Then why choose this unknown, harmless young woman?Earlier, why did Karthi Chidambaram choose another unknown activist in Puducherry? Why not Subramanian Swamy? Why not Kejriwal?

Stop smacking the ants. Fight the elephants if you must.

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Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Malala Yousafzai

November 20, 2012

To my mind, amongst all Gandhi’s closest followers, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s feats were the most spectacular; to make one of the most violent people practise non-violence was nothing less. His prison terms under the British rule were the harshest. After independence, he was the one leader who suffered the most, spending another 14 years in Pakistani prisons.

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In one of my training programs, when we were discussing about Ghaffar Khan and his steadfast adherence to what he believed in, a question popped up – ‘What did Ghaffar Khan achieve in return for all his efforts – 27 years of prison? And his homeland is still the most violent place on earth’.I doubt if I answered it satisfactorily then. The answer dawned clearly on me, when I first heard about this girl and after some some research, when I came across this:

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‘Malala identifies Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Badshah Khan, Bacha Khan), the “Muslim Gandhi”, as her source of inspiration.’The seeds that he sowed have taken time to flower. But in what spectacular fashion, they have flowered! Still tragic, but so full of hope.


Karti Chidambaram Vs. Vadra

November 1, 2012

‎’Karthi Chidambaram has amassed more wealth than Vadra’ is the simple tweet that has landed @ravi_the_indian in jail. I have no idea of how much wealth Karti has made – the only first-hand experience is seeing his/his dad’s posters put up all over Coimbatore last week or in Chennai more frequently, but posters don’t cost much nowadays anyway.

But I think, this is the strongest indictment of Vadra that has come from anyone (including Kejriwal) – the son of the Finance Minister conveying the message that it is offensive and defamatory to have one’s wealth compared with Vadra’s. Vadra should get really worried.

[And of course, a clamp-down on dissent is a better way to pay tributes to Indira Gandhi than paying for all those full-page ads.]