Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Sensitive Indian

This is intended as a word of caution for all foreigners, creative people, thinkers, believers in freedom of speech about behaving themselves in India. The new vibrant, self confident India is not a nation that will allow itself to be insulted, maligned or trifled with by outsiders or intelligentsia who have no notion of Indian culture, tradition and pride.

However as we are a non-confrontational, non violent, people here is an indicative but by no means comprehensive list of offensive behaviour which shall not be tolerated so that you may all know your limits…

1. Any form of cinema or writing which projects inaccurate facts about historically important figures such as Empress Jodhaa, Mangal Pandey, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (who is definitely alive and in hiding at the ripe old age of 109), Rani Laxmibai, Bhagat Singh, Laila Majnu, Raj Kapoor, Charlie Chaplin (oops cross out that one) etc. We believe that since historical facts about people are debatable certain depictions may be incorrect and hence offensive and hence no movies should be made about such figures.

However as a concession we shall ignore old movies made about Empress Jodhaa like Mughal E Azam as we do not believe in raking up old issues where bans are not possible.

2. Any celebration of Western concepts such as Valentine’s Day involving expression and exhibition of love is not allowed as it does not form part of Indian culture. Love in India is timeless and as pure as the river Ganga, which we revere above all and which is demeaned by exhibitionist behaviour.

3. Indecent dresses worn in public by public figures such as actresses Shreya as they are not allowed as per our tradition where women are equivalent to Goddesses. However they may wear even skimpier clothes in their movies as cinema is after all an escapist form of entertainment.

Similarly any statement stating that Indian women indulge in pre-marital sex or are anything but virgins is the greatest affront to our beliefs.

4. Any speech, writing or interview suggesting that superstars MGR, NTR, Chiranjeevi, Rajanikanth or Rajkumar are anything less than perfect or that they have any human flaws and frailties.

5. As a secular nation we respect our minorities and shall not allow movies such as The Da Vinci Code which sully Jesus Christ. The fact that these movies are allowed in the Christian majority west has no bearing upon our action. However books on which these movies are based may continue to be published as Indians by and large do not read books.

By the way we will also not allow any work of art maligning Hindu Gods and Godesses.

Any person or organization that indulges in the above acts should be ready to be picketed, beaten up, have their faces blackened, houses and shops burned etc.

However we will not be offended by:-

1. Women getting molested on the streets. These women wear skimpy clothes and venture out at unsafe hours and hence not falling within our definition of “good” women or Goddesses do not warrant any outrage.

2. Mass riots such as those in Gujarat in 2002, the Mumbai riots of 1992-93 or the anti Sikh riots of 1984 as in a multi cultural, multi religious society like ours some small incidents of friction are bound to happen from time to time.

3. Encounter killings by the police

4. People defecating on roads and in public places. India has too many people you see and is a poor country.

5. Violence in any state against inhabitants of another state because of course as Free Indians we have the rights to be citizens of our state before being citizens of our country.

From The Indian who is seen and heard and hence who matters……..

We are supposedly the largest most populous democracy in the world, a fact our leaders never forget to mention of Independence Day, Republic Day and at the United Nations. However we seem to have forgotten what democracy means and we do not seem to be in any imminent danger of remembering anytime in the near future.

George Bernard Shaw once said of democracy that, “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” However we Indians do not read Shaw. We would do well to do so as well as another person who said "The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment."