January 13, 2013

Republic of Animals !


Animals and humans share this universe but humans alone make fun of animals. Scorn, I would say, ridicule too. Have you ever seen any animal laughing at a human? Will that be behaving like us? Humans find it difficult to share things easily with its own species & almost impossible with others depending upon degree of unfamiliarity. Most animal species happily share most of the available bounty with their ilk and others. We humans extensively use animal metaphors to describe our fellow humans. The most common animal metaphor used is perhaps that of dog, cat & lion. Most of us think of themselves as a Lion and others as dogs? Let's see what's popular animal metaphors are there from the animal kingdom. Let me warn you that since its humans who run the show of civilization & creation of languages concepts etc therefore animals are still said to have been living in a kingdom and not in a republic with adult franchise.

Most countries want to become a world power more in military sense than economic. And therefore military has remained a major national asset of the nationalist people. Honey Badger reminds me of the elitist navy seals of USA or other professional killing machines part of military worldwide. Who won’t like the sweet badge of honour for killing in cold blood for enlightened-self-interest? 

Donkey has long been symbol of poor hard working classes who could never get out of the rut of feeding, sleeping, breeding revolving on the axis of relentless back braking hard labor. India is home to world’s largest population of poor people. Large numbers of people are willing to work on assurance of food alone without nay wages. You won’t be surprised that our Hindu nationalist politicians have long discovered that India is shining. The ‘secular’ politicians find India as incredible. Well India surely is an incredible country where vast majority conducts their life according to movement of planets in Sky.

Monkey is generally portrayed as an animal that resemble human race a lot depending upon its various species which is endowed with ability to learn or copy human behavior. You may have herd of folk tale of ‘Monkey & Cap Seller’ in which the trader uses Monkey’s behavior to get back his stolen merchandise from him. Well moral of the story is that those who copy for living would not win the game. A nation that discourages original thinking and promotes conformity by imitating, reengineering, technology, processes and concepts from others cannot become a world leader. It’s illogical to except that a blind follower to become leader, who will he follow?  Regimented society based on group dynamics than individual recognition has no future. It would soon be dead as a dodo.

Dogs are domesticated for their unconditional loyalty. Horse is said to be most loyal among all the animals. Can you recall a famous person who is known as Dog of X-country? Not pejoratively of course. Many people are called Lion of so & so place. Punjab my homeland has a fetish for the sobriquet of Lion of Punjab. CM of Gujarat also is called Lion of Gujarat.  United Kingdom is well known for having cats as pets. Cats are add charm to life by their presence but are not known for their loyalty.

Modern corporate media is like cats, it has no value except to add some color to the business of life & governance in a country. Media no longer resent any editorial control direct or indirect as long as it has healthy bottomline like that of a feline. Gone are the days when a book or story in media could affect amendments to constitution or force parliaments to enact new laws. These days’ cats keep playing around the house without disturbing anyone except those who are looking at them. 

January 1, 2013

2013 would be a better year than the previous!


For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love – John Donne
Well I am no astrologer but New Year has to be better than the previous or India could have its very own Indian Spring. Population growth of India is running far ahead of the GDP numbers. The unprecedented growth phase stretched roughly from 90s to 2010 has ended leaving far more people clueless about their future. The Hindu Right-Wing political groups represented by RSS clones like BJP are fast losing their patience to get another bite into power at Delhi. Never before youthful India fed & brought up on large doses of glamorous dreams through a lifestyle of entertainment want money for acquiring gadgets that it can’t seem to live without. The soup is further spiked by large number of youths from the destitute class struggling to live like their friends in the upper echelons as they too have access to same media as the consuming class.

The Elections in a democracy is like a game season. Politicians would be readying for 2014 which would put the affairs of the country on back burner. Political class disconnected from majority of population seeks to segment people on the basis of caste/religion than economic or regional factors. This results in obfuscation of economic issues and emergence of identity politics to garner the votes.  Political class in India is not media savvy so the fall into trap of Bollywood style image building depicting them as super humans capable of solving ALL problems facing the region and country. Religion in India is very entrenched in everyday life so use of religion in politics is customary in an election year.

Although India has time & again refused to elect leaders who present themselves as strong & powerful but politicians continue to project them as most powerful lords. I am sure no person with basic knowledge of marketing would believe that N. Modi’s victory in Gujarat elections has anything to do with his projection as the only ‘strong & able’ person alive in India. Modi victory is assertion of Hindu pride than his personal appeal. Such phenomena are prevalent in Punjab, J&K & many other states formed on culture identity of the people.

The 2012 could well be called as the year of Media-Manipulations rather than organic civil protests. It’s customary for media to go where the news is but in India media has demonstrated its ugly power of creating news where it wasn’t.  Taking a cue from Cyrus Barocha show 2012 was ‘the- year- that- wasn’t’ from the news media perspective. People would never have known Anna or Ramdev unless media provided them relentless coverage. Media funded by vested interests & need for sensationalism went on to organize many people protests on Dehi roads. The opposition parties also leveraged their right to oppose the govt by distract the ruling coalition from task of economic development. Therefore Indian audience had to face the double whammy of useless news & economic slowdown. The media & politicians played havoc with happiness & economic health of average Indians in 2012. Current year being closer to elections would not be any better though we pray to these monsters to let us leave alone. The UPA government didn’t allow full FDI in Newsmedia and attempted to control it which is not possible due to nature of the beast. So let’s hope that India may have a quieter 2013 so that people could get to live their life away from these monsters.

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