Saturday, December 6, 2008
The whole event now has a nicely designed logo, which yes, you CAN download onto your desktop, im sure you can also order t-shirts, and print it onto a mug too. Cool.
Its a word of caution to us, to learn from mistakes that have been HUGELY created in the mother of all mistakes, the US. The ease and speed with which they brand and package and glam-up horrific events is supernatural. Before the 2nd tower fell down, there was already a nice logo in place. The War on terror was sustained by media. It scared the already scared population out of their wits.
There was always SOME alert. Red Alert, Orange Alert, Yellowish-white Alert. The entire nation was on edge, was spooked out of their brains by wonderful proponents of unbiased news such as FOX news. It was mind numbingly scary to just WATCH tv. And the worse part is, its all agenda pushing.
In the USA, under homeland security, YOU can be arrested without warrant, your home searched without you being there, can be held indefinitely without trial, ALL under "suspicion" of being a terrorist. very scary. No privacy, no shit. Very VERY scary. That 'Khuda kay liye' film is scary, cos it seems that can actually happen! Its mostly as bad as watching Jurassic park and then realising your dad just got you a Velociraptor for your birthday.
Those things ONLY should happen in the movies. But then, that's agenda pushing. The Government USED 9/11 to push agendas they'd wanted to for AGES. And the guys there bough it hook line and sinker. While i fully support the media initiatives, it just needs to be seen with a word of caution. When the CEO of JP Morgan India, Kalpana Morparia mentions Homeland security in passing, like its a huge success in the US, i have my ears pricked up in suspicion.
Do NOT debase this event to push agendas.
Attended the rally along with a zillion others. We were talking about it later with a bunch of friends, and i guess most of felt the immense surge of power and potency that a vast gathering of single-minded people generate. Dont think something has happened on this large a scale in most of our active memories, and it was great to just be a part of that.
It kind of sets you thinking about the huge lack of any standard of politician in the city. If ANY one of the corrupt, inept and generally dyslexic bunch had been there that night, they'd have been lynched.
Without respect for badge or label. Irrespective of Z+ security. You cant afford to mess with the entire city and not plan for a whiplash. The city showed itself larger and scarier than their worst nightmare come true.
I think everyone felt the surge. The feeling that something CAN actually change, and hence the desperate attempts to harness and protect the feeling, not let it dilute, keep it going. Its something that can swing a generation into action.
The Catalyst was provided, the action was there. Im sure none of the politicians slept easy that night. They probably kept awake the way we did when the terrorists were rampaging.
The MOST refreshing thing was Bombay's one-liner summaries of events. Precise and super. And cutting and sarcastic across the board.
Equally refreshing were the clarifications of the so called "Marathi Manoos". There were superb marathi signs clearly denouncing Mr.T's divisive brand of politics. This is a point of immense importance. It is SO important for us to NEVER associate the leaders with the public. Just becuase Mr.T is Marathi, he does NOT speak for the population at large. When statements like "Marathas feel that..." are made, they are addressed ONLY for the handful of nutcases employed by him to do his bidding. Its an easy point to miss in a generalisation. And we are the shorthand generation, generalisations save time. Its easy to categorise and label, rather than stop and understand each subtle difference. The rally made that clear in more ways than one. No generalisations, leave us ( the true Mumbaikars ) alone. Do NOT include us in your overall estimations, in your vote calculations.
You guys do NOT represent us. You've lost that privilege. Its time for new faces to step in, and we are going to be critical. No taken-for-granteds. You gotta prove your shit, or get the hell out of there. However, the other side of the fence has to be acknowledged too.
Its also really really important to understand that the politicians do NOT represent a nation. Just the way we cringe when we see Mr.Deshmukh snoozing in an ATS meeting, or our beloved local politicians debasing the memories of slain heroes in just 4 days by rushing madly for the empty chair, Pakistan must surely be having its share of cringing. I cannot believe that we are that diferent. It hasnt been that long, and we're just WAY too similar. We just need to step out of our country, to Boston, to Dubai, to Singapore, and the differences and politics literally evaporate. They are so much like us its not funny. Listen to the same music, see the same movies, abuse the same politicians. The blind warpath is NOT the solution.
It just means more pro-active citizen level initiatives need to happen. If the leaders of the nation cant stand up and unite us, we bloody well get out acts together. It happens everywhere. In Institutions, fed up with the lack of faculty, its just important to write to whomsover is required, and request them ( politely ) to get their butts there irrespective. The system does exist, but it can be bypassed with clear and open motives. Nobody can doubt us if we are secular. No-one can say its a bad thing. So misdirected anger is kinda a spanner in the works, not a solution.
The guys who got their banners up at the Gateway know this.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Guess the whole terrorist attack, so close to home got most things in a tailspin, something we're probably still reeling from. Almost like in an earthquake, where you've happened to see HUGE buildings rocking and reeling, that kinda destroys your faith in structures and basic stability, the whole urban situation has pretty much degraded into a weird, scared, tentative posture. We're not sure if we should go out and have that dinner, or watch that movie, or take that train. We're a little stuck in our own living rooms, desperately watching and waiting. A whole bunch of smses and mails are going around, thankfully most are still shocked and inquiring.
Maybe its early days to take stock, but so many apprehensions take hold already. Different things move people different ways, for some a terrorist action like this is almost a suspension of reality, something like a tsunami, or an earthquake maybe, where u just make the most of it and move on with life. Its one thing to mull over it and feel sad and depressed, its a tribute to the spirit of the city that people are already complaining about how they haven't been able to make it to work! In a most un-9-11-ish way, the city is raring to bounce back. No documentaries on tv about what to tell our children, no major placating placebos, just hard facts. Its a horrible horrible day, something that almost everyones been affected by in some way.
What we've just seen glimpses of till now is what will REALLY burn people up. The advent of the politicians. Theres some letter doing the rounds that its a Hindu-Muslim thing. The entire cliche that "terrorists have no religion" is gonna be pretty much forgotten, while the hungry clamouring for votes begins, by some its gonna be branded as an attack of Muslim invaders, like the Mughals, ransacking and demolishing Mumbai heritage, by others its gonna be some act against the Hindus, the Jews or whatever is most convenient to their mandates at that time.
Its just a matter of time before the entire pack of Hyenas descend. Everyones gonna be claiming this tragedy as their own. Branding and labelling and packaging it, slapping on logos, selling it on t-shirts and all of that. There are ALREADY despicable communications by everyone claiming the slain martyr cops as their own heroes. The BJP has already said its the weak government. If these same parties spend less on extra large digitial prints of our beloved cops n get their act together to structure a concentrated restoration campaign, around the VALUES that these people laid their lives down for, it would make some sense.
This is really where the true nature of shit here shows through.
Not in the act itself, but in our impotent and selfish response. Most acts of this magnitude show us clearly who our heroes are, and who are our villains. The outstation cops, army, NSG and super-efficient squads in whom we trust our lives stood up to the challenge. Their means and ways may be questioned, and puzzled over, but the truth is, they were THERE. Its a luxury on our part to be ABLE to question and comment. And it's a resposibility WE have given them.
I really really hope this brings out the better parts in politicians. Its a really great opportunity to be able to stand up and DO something for this city. Its a responsibility they HAVE. Set up restoration, make us believe the city is in safe hands, that you ACTUALLY give a f**k if we live or die. If u start your petty badgering and blame games, its really worse than the act itself. Enough people have died.
Really hope they have the moral values to respect them.
Just like most other crimes, murder, rape, thuggery and violence, the actions seen in Mumbai are deplorable. Nobody can HOPE to justify a handful of delinquents running around burning buses and taxis, imposing complete anarchy on a city that really just wants to get to work and fight normal life that is tough enough without these vandals going around doing all that we saw.
Nobody in their right senses can EVER, with a straight face, say that murder, violence or public damage is justified.Not even Mr. Raj T.
It really is a problem of myopia.Some communities have it worse than others.
These guys, people in power, REALLY have the opportunity to do SO much good, its not funny.The upliftment of the Marathi Manoos isn’t a bad, strange, or wrong agenda - quite the contrary.But if he REALLY wanted to do something about, he’d have bothered to study the problem in depth and come up with a slightly more constructive way of handling this.
The Marathi Manoos isnt represented in the railway board exams, he says.The answer is really not running around like delinquent 5 yr olds breaking, burning, demolishing tax-payer owned properties to protest. It really is in understanding WHY these guys aren't there in the first place? Is it a problem of basic lethargy? Is it an educational problem? Were they not informed about the tests? are they all busy erecting multi-million rupee statues?
In a country like ours, there are no simplistic answers, and an over-simplification of core issues is purely used to address mind-numbed political rallies, not as national-level solutions.You cant fool us buddy.
We’re on to you.
If he wants them to eat, he can do two things, one is snatch a meal from somebody’s mouth, or spend some time and TEACH them to cook.The second option is tougher, needs more time than a 15 minute incendiary speech, but is SUSTAINABLE. Let everyone compete in a free market, and prove their mettle. Survival of the fittest. And who can know this better than us Mumbai-ites?
It may mainly be a problem of an attention hungry young politician trying to do some good for the state. He’s probably TRYING to do it too. But he’s heavily blinkered. Maybe ego,maybe just Myopia.And mis-fired rockets don’t do any good, they just result in huge losses.
Surprisingly, there ARE answers.
Buddy, if you have an issue with the lack of Marathi signage at the International Airport, you may realise that the “5-year-old” mindset is to go blacken it with paint.What have you achieved? A label as a vandal, you haven’t increased the Marathi signage, and the general disrespect of most intelligent sane people. You have drive and the power to REALLY do something. What an intelligent, forward thinking politician ( in the best interests of everyone) would do is commission a design outfit to design a multi-lingual signage system, well worked out, well designed, an INTERNATIONAL pride. Rather than international shame.
Spare a thought for the Parsi’s. Look at their positions.They constiture 0.006% of the Indian population.Think they’re not represented? Politically? No leaders, no guiding lights, no strength to burn buses? Buddy, they’ve got themselves sorted out.They’re regularly setting up Hospitals, schools, public gardens, housing for their community, educational scholarships, freeships, low interest loans and a MULITITUDE of other Parsi-Manoos development schemes.They’ve got their head on their shoulders. Learn Buddy, learn. Its not happening in another country. Look around you.
Would urge everyone here to just think about things.
We’ve put these guys where they are.Not in places of power, but in places of esteem.Thats the true problem.See for yourselves, that they CAN do good things, they are CHOOSING not to.
This is not really a question of identity, language, colour, caste, Bombay’s really above it all.We’re the best.We love our city.Please DO NOT mess with us.