Category Archives: India

Give us our God back!

It disturbs me when someone tells me what to do and what not to. It might be because of my very understanding parents – the way they gave all the freedom I ever wanted – teaching me how to utilize that freedom and not get carried away!
It disturbed me last week when I read about some heinous acts committed – by people – under the name of God, religion, caste.
It made me remember the incident happened last month – when I was asked to wrap a Dhoti around my waist since I was wearing shorts to be ‘BLESSED’ with the Deity’s Darshan (visit the God). Aren’t my legs a part of my body which is GIFTED by that god? Why would this God (or people who TRUST in him) feel uncomfortable with what I was wearing? (I agree to expect the existence of a civilized society where you can’t move around naked but this was so Talibanisque)
Taliban is not alone – we have many Talibans all around us. Women are beaten to death for infidelity, loving someone from another religion. It’s not just Pakistan or Afghanistan – it’s all over India – North India kills people for marrying outside the caste while South India beats girls for visiting pubs, wearing short clothes.
It’s not just the Muslims who suffer. Many Temples in India still disallow pregnant women, women going through their periods, people from so-called ‘Lower’ castes. Why do we take this crap? What type of GOD and what type of Religion denies people?
Why are these people lowering the stature of OUR gods?
Is Allah so small that he’s affected by a cartoon on him in a Danish newspaper? Is Ambedkar shallow to be dishonored by some idiot puts cow dung on his statue? Or is Krishna a petite existence that’s insulted by someone marrying out of caste/religion?
How are we belittling our Gods? Why in the world these fanatics can’t think that they are the ones who’re RESTRICTING something as big as GOD!!
Is it forgotten that God is above everything else? No human action can ever affect it.
Why is it that only fraction of crazy people dominate our societies, our religions? It’s because WE bow down to them, it’s we who surrender. It’s us who get suffocated in narrow-minded limits!
For that matter – all the revolutions have happened when WE fought for our rights, when majority fought & won against minority. Isn’t it time we fight to get our God/Religion back?

Cricket to drive India’s future?

Believe it or not: The two new IPL teams have been sold for more money than many of the smaller nations’ economies could turn over in an entire year.
As a Punekar, let me first welcome the biggest Cricket brand to Aamche Pune! It will be heartening to see Pune’s team get on ground next year … Cheers!
On a broader level though, IPL’s increase in brand value & overall market capture has been nothing less than Astonishing – I mean we all knew that cricket was always gonna earn a lot in India, a major world economy but This fast? and SOOOOO Much?
US $370 M & $333 M for Pune & Kochi respectively is humongous & something we should take notice and interest in. 
Just wondering if Cricket could be next driver of Indian economy – we already have software & outsourcing industries but the way Lalit Modi has brought about a change in Indian Cricket as a Product is fabulous & could well prove historic for India.
With deals like Sony TV & youtube making IPL cash rich, it’s set for only bigger leaps! Matches being shown in multiplex & improved ground-spectator experience – it is time for much more … Much more money & much more growth!
Of course, cynics have already made their cases against the money & some crap with ‘purity of cricket’ – but let me tell these historically-British-ruled people that it’s no more an English game. Cricket is going global & India is taking it to the world! (I still maintain it’s a sport & the essence needs to be alive forever.)
This is new India, rich India. This is new cricket with player auctions, cheer leaders.
Looking forward to many more of such milestone dates with India & my favorite sport, cricket!
Disclaimer: I am not the only one who’s been shaken by these developments, here are a few more (some of the views are bound to match)-
IPL franchise valued more than EPL teams:
[Update on 4/13/2010 – 12:50 PM ET]
Ayaz Memon seems to agree with me in his article on cricinfo about IPL &India

One voice in a Billion

What a fabulous day was 24th Feb 2010. I, just like every other Indian was ecstatic to see the first ever double hundred in ODI Cricket. Not that Sachin needed it prove himself but this was SPECIAL, just like so many other moments the little master has gifted cricket fans with.
I bet millions for any cricket fan that did not get Goosebumps after watching the 200th run taken! Everyone’s common regret: not being in Gwalior on that historic day!
It’s very easy for him to unite the nation, unite the cricket world – such an amazing chemical! Well, there isn’t any adjective left in the dictionary to describe the God!
One after another, he has displayed those masterpieces of batsmanship, he is the only sporting icon of India, the best batsman Cricket has ever seen.  
Yeah, Sachin Tendulkar is a phenomenon – calling him a human would burden the definition of a human being.
Enough, I’d not wanna repeat anything that’s been said already – I just had to let out this sheer joy!
Here’s something to treasure forever: Video – first ever 200
I so wanna attend 2011 World Cup Final in Mumbai with India playing – too early but it’ll be like a fairytale to see Sachin live at Wankhede pursuing something he has always wished for! (Never too soon to dream ;-))
Before I wind up – I support all appeals for Bharat Ratna for Sachin! (Thanks to Amit Paranjape for bringing the issue up) There haven’t been many Indians who have brought so many happy tears in more than 2 billion eyes!
His modesty, dedication (and all other personal & professional values) are something we are inspired from, something we want our next generations to be inspired from – conferring him Bharat Ratna NOW would only represent the nation’s feelings through a memento & a tag!
I think I spoke for more than a Billion people!

Weak & unsafe, do we deserve this?

Just heard about players’ probable pullout from IPL-2010 atop reading news of Cricket WC-2011 to be moved out of India and countries not to send players for Commonwealth Games-2010 to be held in India! How unsafe has India become!
Aren’t we like Pakistan now? (With probably a difference that Indian land is not OPENLY used for terror planning). Blasts every month, terror scares on every event, however small. Why is India falling apart? Do we really have control over Kashmir? Have we lost substantial part of Arunachal Pradesh?
I know there are many aspects to India’s weak outlook – ‘experts’ might dig most of the reasons behind it. I don’t wanna go into strategic or political aspects of it. But I wonder every now & then – why are we ‘tolerating’ all this crap?
Perhaps a tiny part of the reason lies in India’s people – yes, the same ones that are supposed to be India’s strength.
1.       Do we forgive & forget too quickly? One of the media houses starts some crap – Aman ki Asha – people follow it blindly (just one example, there’s a whole lot similar). No other country is as friendly to its trouble-land (not blaming Pakistan, the nation; but its land has been used against India).
2.       Do we really care about what we support? Mainstream India media supported SRK recently & indirectly promoted his movie which was supposedly based on humanity. (P.S. I haven’t seen that movie).
Just an innocent question to MNIK team or people who supported it – if 911 hurt you so much, why didn’t you make a movie about 2700 innocent Americans (+ around 330 foreign nationals to USA) who died?
Is it justified to over-dramatize fake sympathy with people from certain religion just because they had to go through a little more security checks?
3.       Why aren’t people thankful for the land? Be thankful, respect the locals! Why do people wanna come to Mumbai for a living and shout “We’re from UP”? Why do these people ‘create’ own flavors of history & proclaim that Maharashtra economy is built by migrants? Isn’t that kind of bad culture?
4.       Why always be minority-friendly? Almost all of the countries with good human, economic & cultural indices are OPENLY majority-friendly (E.g. France, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Australia require migrants to cope with locals). India, on the other hand, expects its biggest religion to accommodate everyone.
5.       Are we still under ‘inferiority’ notion the colonial rulers forced on us? It’s only 4th generation since India became independent & it might be a psychological probability that India doesn’t have enough ‘patriotic’ people.
Probably, we are no different than Pakistan: we can’t protect ourselves, the world is withdrawing it’s confidence from ‘Brand India’ & we also do not have ANY solution!

May not be correct, just my thoughts for being weak, staying weak as ‘A nation’!

Khan, Sena & yet another Indian city

Just like every other Saturday morning, I woke up on 2/13 to connect with my dear ones – and how, this time?

Hearing about the blasts at German Bakery, Pune! Not that blasts in other Indian cities angered me any less (in fact, I should be used to bomb blasts being a proud Indian) but this was a personal attack that left me shattered. A place close to my heart, I can’t myself recollect how many times I have visited this place. A host of many of my mundane moments and not just mine, the GB was witness to my parents’ romance too. Oh the place – how could someone be ever so cruel with you?

Well, does that matter? Every place is connected to someone or the other, every person (especially if you’re an Indian) experiences such traumas. In fact our home minister, PC Chidambaram pointed out (in fact he declared gleefully) that this was the first terror attack on India in past 15 months. Point everything to the government, don’t we?

Some bollywood superstar SRK uses his stardom to promote & create ruckus in entire Maharashtra and we stupidly think his on-screen image is what he’s for real!

Where is Khan now, the one who always sticks up for a particular religion or good/great neighbors? He’s the Khan who gets into such cheap controversies

Heathrow or spreads ire in a movie-crazy nation with

Newark incident

This person (who never shows any gratitude for his homeland, be it Maharashtra or India) is known to utilize Indian media & chalk out plans to publicize his movies – and we blindly, repeatedly follow this person! Some of this does make a lot of sense:

Open letter to SRK

Then we have Shiv-Sena (Sene, VHP, RSS are their siblings) – you people rock! You protect our ‘CULTURE’ by violence, vandalizing properties, attacking innocents, ensuring V-day bans & helping reel heroes look like real heroes!

We have just had enough of these goons now – let’s not just mute protest. Let’s come out, visit Pubs/discs! Let’s come out & celebrate ANY damn day we wish! Let’s watch ANY movie we want! Let’s not give in to these people to decide what we should drink, what we should wear or what day we should celebrate!

Mr Chavan (our CM) has failed to stand up every time – be it against Shiv Sena or Marathi-must-for-cabbies (which actually was a state cabinet decision). Of course with such a feeble leader, we’re bound to be attacked.

All these see their best friend in another phenomenon called ‘Indian media’ – these are the people who make SRK & SS what they are! Repeatedly using coverage as a weapon for controversies & TRPs, Indian media has stooped to extraordinary low levels (e.g. a leading Marathi newspaper exposed by P Sainath:



Yes & if you remember this is the same media that has spoiled India’s relationship with China & Australia.

It’s shameful to see people like Barkha Dutt (less said the better for this lady) who went all out to support a movie & Rajdeep Sardesai who doesn’t care dragging Thackeray children into whatever controversy.

One stupid issue after another, Indian media needs an overhaul soon (wish independent journalism takes over soon)!

And then there are we, taking every defeat, every death in our strides & proudly calling ourselves ‘India’. We are made to live with terror, slums, garbage because we SEEM okay with it!

Are we insensitive or blind followers or cowards or selfish losers?
Huh, another outlet of anguish, anger & loss … I am sick of seeing deaths every day, in every city, on every street!

So, Young & innocent Pune bleeds on the eve of Valentine’s Day! What do you think? Which city next?

There’s nothing like ‘War on terror’, ‘City’s never-say-die spirit’: all we have is the remains of what used to be German Bakery & a distraught place – all I can do is help rebuild GB.

Let’s get together pool in all our efforts & emotions in getting this beautiful place back on its feet; we might see some dead souls smiling at us!