A sudden interest in Politics

I have always been interested in Politics. I remember reading Hindu editorials with my grandfather even back at the age of 10 or 11 and for people who haven’t read their editorials before, reading an editorial in Hindu is like listening to a lecture in Political Science class. It is all substance but you have to be intuitive to make your own inferences and conclusions. 

After coming to the US, my interest in Politics faded. And in the four years that I have been here, there has been a big boom of “liberal” news media in India. All that liberal crap means is the news delivered by them is a hogwash of pseudo-secular, government pampering trash infused with so called western ideals. I had been totally turned off from Indian politics as Congress seemed to me to be in its second vice grip of the country with seemingly no viable alternative in the horizon. 

I was content with that and I had far better ways of spending my leisure rather than wasting my time in a hopeless endeavor of trying to know how my home country is faring. But the dozens of scams unearthed horrified me. I did not understand which was worse – the sheer brazenness of the politicians who refused to resign and continued to be in power or the indifferent apathy of the public who practically didn’t seem to care. Trying to find out more about the 2G scam as most politicians involved in it were from my state, I came across this video of Subramanian Swamy. He gave a lecture to a packed audience of Non-resident Indians who seemed to devour his speech and asked him for ways to help in his anti corruption crusade. Frankly I was overwhelmed by the facts he presented in his speech. It was simply too much information and more than half of his speech seemed to be merely libel to me. 

Like all Indian unmarried girls, I asked my father the next day about Subramanian Swamy. My father described Swamy as a comedian in the political circles who merely spouts off baseless rumors, none of them have ever been proven. I digged around online and indeed my father was proven right. He had been involved in plenty of lawsuits – the most famous ones being the Jayalalitha corruption suit. Also, he had made many fanciful claims like Sonia Gandhi being responsible for the assassination of Rajiv and so on. All of this seemed to me to be plot lines out of a fancy political novel. 

But as fate would have it, I listened to a lecture by Swamy about Hinduism and its greatness and I was genuinely moved. I have never been a very religious person but there was something in his speech that made me feel proud of my Hindu identity despite all the flaws of Hinduism. But despite all that glorification of Hinduism, I did not for a moment feel a bitterness towards Islam or Muslims. All I could hear was caution at the fact that Muslims are like young children. Once you start appeasing them, they will start making bigger demands and that it is bound to lead to religious intolerance and so to retain the secular nature of our country, we must retain a Hindu majority. Well that seemed like sensible advice to me, as I have not heard of one Muslim majority secular nation so far. 

I started becoming news hungry. NDTV, TimesNow, CNN-IBN, India Today and all the usual news channels simply bored me because in the name of analytical discussions, they showed a one-sided conversation, dominantly in favor of the Congress. The show hosts Rajdeep, Arnab, Karan and Sagarika shamed me at the fact that they were not behaving like journalists in search of truth but rather as actors trying to shine the spotlight on themselves. I dont even have to talk about Barkha as we all know how openly she wears her favouritism. I have heard that during emergency days, Doordarshan was bashed by the public for providing news in favor of the Government and pushing all the emergency horror under the rug. Well, frankly atleast Doordarshan had its staff paid by the Government and were probably loyal. Well, who knows where they are getting their money from. 

So, I have decided to create posts where I merely reproduce good articles and critiques I rarely come across online and I hope to be able to read them back again someday and feel terribly good about myself. Don’t ask me why. 

The following is a comment by Shyam on FirstPost:

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/if-congress-is-a-private-company-bjp-is-a-shell-company-512225.html

There you go. Rajdeep and the so-called liberal media at it again – creating false equivalencies.

When Congress gets caught with a big scam, they try to find some allegation against BJP and debate ‘Are all political parties corrupt today? or ‘Are all Indians corrupt?’ not differentiating that one is in power and the other is in opposition. The charge is about looting and misuse of public money that only people in power can do! Corruption is always top-down.

When someone points out Congress is a dynasty with servants and its laughable to see RG talk about meritocracy in youth congress, they debate ‘ Isn’t Sangh parivar another dynasty? Aren’t both BJP and Congress both dynastic in different ways?’

When Robert Vadra is caught looting because of his family connections. they try to dig up some dirt on BJP to make it all ‘fair and equal’. Will they now dig up the ownership details of Young Indian as they did with Purti group? Of course not, they will go back to SRK new hair style, Amitabh Bacchan’s cough, Yuvraj singh’s mom and what not

When polls show Muslims are also trying to move on in Gujarat and are even supporting for Modi, they debate ‘Are muslims in Guj so scared of modi that they are supporting him now?’ And he has the bigotry to call him communal! You see, for him to be secular (being a ‘liberal’ and all), the people he bashes will have to be communal (and by insinuation ‘medieval’ and ‘uncouth’).

When Rahul Gandhi fails miserably in UP, the topic of debate is ‘Is the UP electorate too casteist?’. So if cong fails, its because of casteist and communal narrow minded electorate?

Sagarika Ghose wants to debate ‘Is Modi PM material’. Rightly Swapan asked ‘shouldn’t we have a neutral anchor instead of a Modi Hater?’. Fellow IBN propagandist Mr. Chaubey tweets, ‘are there any?’. Our Indian media has become so embedded in the govt that they forget they are actually supposed to moderate and not be a lawyer for one party. if that is their passion, they should just be a spokesman or be a participant in the debate instead of pretensions of moderating.

Modi says ‘people close to the Congress party are all making crores of rupees. Even a girl friend of an MP made 50 cr. Think how much others are making!’ and the debate is ‘ does Modi hate women?’ instead of asking her about the sweat equity and a simple question like ‘Sonia gandhi earlier removed Shashi because of the corruption allegations, has he been cleared? what the source of that money that you had?’ I can give you some ideas Rajdeep. why don’t you debate ‘Does Modi hate rich women?’ Is Modi bitter because he didn’t get to open an IPL team?’

This same Sunanda was bashed in 2010. Now she is kosher because they can use her to bash Modi. Wow!

One of my old bosses asked me in a moment of frank conversation,’tell me, what do you think ails our company, be very honest’. I told him ‘its you, you lack leadership, risk taking and communication’. My boss didn’t like it but he probably wanted to just hear ‘what other than me is the problem with this company?’.

That’s the language of the celeb media today. They don’t get it that its their bigotry, biases, and acting like govt PR, false binary debates (as we saw during FDI ‘are you for FDI or are you against progress?’) the reason for their criticism. They keep looking outside for what ails English media today.

Dr. Swamy asked a good question in the interview last night on CNN IBN ‘why is it that Kejriwal gets so much air time but not him (Swamy) when he made the same allegations about Vadra?’. So it proves again that its the person and the not the subject matter.

They reluctantly gave voice to Swamy probably because of the pressure from Social media.

Don’t get me started on their self-serving moniker ‘liberal media’. They are hardly liberal. They somehow think as they speak in English, they are somehow more progressive, modern and the ‘live and let live’ kind of liberal minded. Ironically the ‘liberal media’ lives in a tiny bubble of self-serving delusions and is the least open minded. The traditional Right in the West was associated with dogmatic traditional values and the Left evolved as an alternative. That paradigm when applied to a country like India looks ridiculous since the Right in india is actually more liberal, open minded, understanding, and pluralistic because of the uniqueness of Hindu thought where ‘experience is central, skepticism integral, text subservient, and belief voluntary’.

As Left in the West is associated with the word liberal (contrasting with the anti-science, pro-church Right), our English media would like to think they too being Left by inference ‘liberal minded’. The Indian right is more accurately described as the ‘Liberal right’ though I would probably prefer to avoid the whole left/right paradigm as it evolved in a different context. its again ironical since I hear there is some church ownership of many English media channels!

Do you see the irony here? The false equivalency trap you fell into – in order to establish your position as the ‘real liberal’ you had to bash everyone else? You find the ‘liberal right’ as funny and you call the Indian left lib as the ‘fake liberals’ (partly correct) since you think you are the ‘real liberal’.

Agree some Hindu outfits can be annoying but how can you equate V day disruption to rioters? You again seem to insinuate that Hindus start riots when you say ‘riot in the name of religion’. Show me one riot which the Hindus started. its always a response to their tolerance being pushed to an extreme when it starts look cowardly to keep quiet anymore. Your assertion will be correct if Hindus in the US or the UK, for example, start converting the non-Hindus by fraud, inducements or threat.

We often forget that India is secular BECAUSE of its Hindu majority. India is the only country which never imposed its religion on its neighbors EVEN when it was powerful, exactly for the same reason – there is no religious decree to prosletyze or commandments on how to ‘treat’ non believers.

Forget respect, if the other party doesn’t bother, defile or intrude, Hindus will mind their own business. is that so hard to see?

The left liberals (especially those with Hindu names) condone or play down muslim terror (Azad maidan, assam, lucknow) in the name of secularism (which you have highlighted, so that’s good, you are halfway there…)

Appeasing the intolerant is not secularism. Unfortunately that’s the definition of secularism for these self-styled liberals pontificating to unwashed masses like me. Again because the Left is referred to as the ‘Secular Left’ and the other side is the ‘Conservative Right’ in the West, these Indian left lib guys think they are ‘secular’ too as they are the inheritors of the Left values in India. But even if the ‘Indian left libs’ are secular by the Western Left definition (equally tolerate all religions), that’s a welcome first step.

India is unique in that the conservative right is actually much more than secular, it actually welcomes plurality, not just tolerates it, as a Western secular Left does. And the Indian left lib (ILL) has the gall to call anyone outside their pretentious circle as ‘communal, narrow minded, medieval, outdated’ so that it can call itself the ‘broad minded, secular, intellectual, modern, progressive’!

 

 

 

 

My First Post – My Girl!

It has been a long ambition of mine to write a blog exclusively to record my passion for Korean dramas and movies. Of course that is not the only thing I am passionate about. I also love Music(all kinds – pop,rock and ballads), all Movies of the 3 Greats(  Tarantino, Nolan and Ritchie ) and my job(Java developer) and in general anything I can lay my hands on to read. But I wanted to make something out of this obsession that I have towards anything remotely Korean.<br/>

So here goes my attempt to review a few of the dramas that I loved so much that I watched them over and over again. Again, it might appear extremely silly to a few folks especially a few friends of mine(COUGH!!), but I really had fun writing this review. I am definitely planning to write more. Hopefully I should. Here goes:<br/>

My Girl

This was the first Korean drama that I ever watched. I was lucky(or should I say unlucky, as this was the first drug that started my addiction) to have seen a Hong Sisters drama on my first attempt. Yes, for the the first time in my life, I felt like I should write more. The writers of this drama are amazing. Their scripts are not the racy, fast paced and keeps you on the edge kind. But, rather, my heart is about to burst from the overload of cuteness kind. However its not all fluffy either. They keep the plot gripping to make you want to know what happens to the characters.<br/>
Enough of my rambling about the writers, coming back to the drama, it was splendid. Not so awesome that it had no faults kind. But with all its faults, makes you want to watch it over and over again kind. Its negatives were: the over the top histrionics indulged frequently by Lee Da Hae, the bland reactions of Lee Dong Wook, the want to smash her face kind  of look on Park Si Yeon, and whats with your hairstyle and clothes Lee Jun Ki. To be concise, too many. But it more than kind of made up for all this with the amazing hwaiting from Lee Da Hae, the so gorgeous to look at Lee Dong Wook, the know it all and going to get my heart burnt Lee Jun Ki(who I actually liked a whole lot more than the usual second leads in Korean dramas) and the cool but simple twists and turns in the story.<br/>
The plot was quite simple: Ju Yoo Rin is a tour guide in Jeju who gets in to trouble with money lenders because of her father’s gambling debts. Amazed by her wiliness and her ability to get out of tight spots, Seol Gong Chan, a rich Hotel Chairman’s grandson(how convenient!) hires her to act as his fake cousin(sachon), who went missing in an earthquake in Japan, in order to resuscitate his grandfather from his illness and guilt of banishing his daughter for marrying a Japanese dude . What was intended as a one time visit gets extended to a stay as the grandfather recovers and adores her. But things quickly go downhill with the appearance of Kim Seo Hyun, a world famous tennis star(all she knows are a couple of tennis shots, he he), who returns to Seol Gong Chan’s side after having dumped him to deal with his parents death and run off to play tennis. It is Yoo Rin who gets them together but she realizes that she has fallen for Seol Gong Chan despite his surly ways. This, coupled with the fact that she is not the real cousin, is discovered by Seo Jung Woo, who happens to be best friends with Seol Gong Chan and whose family owns half of the hotel’s shares. Yoo Rin knows that Jung Woo knows that she is a fake cousin but he tells her that if she tells this to Seol Gong Chan, then he will blurt out the fact that she likes Seol Gong Chan as well. Since Yoo Rin desperately needs the money, she stays put and tries to act as the dutiful grand daughter to the family. What happens next is how they try so hard to keep up the pretense and how the lies build up and then fall apart. Like Yoo Rin says, lies are all about timing. You need to get out of it pretty quickly. So you can clearly see how that is not going to happen. Lol!<br/>
It is so much fun watching Gong Chan and Yoo Rin together that at odd times, they truly were like siblings. I could not detect any romantic tension or chemistry between them. This was a major flaw in the drama. Not that it deterred me from watching it. It was adorable to watch their interactions. Some of my favourite scenes in the drama were when she adorably tries to fool him in to believing silly stuff like “walking on the white stripes of the zebra crossings will bring good luck”, “count till five and if the person you like appears before you, then you will love them”, “hold your breath in the elevator and make a wish and it will come true”. And when he naively tries them and when she laughs at him for believing it, I laughed along with her. Their scenes together were so cute that I often found myself bubbling up with sweetness. I also especially liked the fact that any misunderstanding they have(for instance, the fact that she pawns the gifts that she receives to get her dad out of jail) gets quickly resolved and does not drag on for episodes. And also he makes a clean break with Seo Hyun, the minute he confronts his feelings for Yoo Rin. And he holds on desperately to her even when she wants to leave and does not put on any noble idiocy act of letting her go.<br/>
Seo Jung Woo was an interesting character too. The opening he gets, waking up in bed with an Italian girl and getting chased by her husband was actually strangely cool and he is actually the first to fight for and protect Yoo Rin, when she gets attacked by money lenders. He is fascinated by Yoo Rin as he sees her in different situations and places that it is tough for him to actually figure out who she is. What starts out as curiosity makes him fall head over heels in love with her as he discovers her secret, the fact that she fights her feelings for Seol Gong Chan so hard(as he has a girlfriend and she cannot like him)and also tries his best to protect her in his own way. Yoo Rin initially thinks of him as a good friend and whenever he acts troubled, goes out to cheer him up. But the minute he confesses his feelings for her, she makes a clean break with him and tries to avoid him at all costs. I loved this because unlike most leads in dramas who tag the second leads along and dump them at the end cruelly, she always makes it plain and clear that she does not like him. Of course, that does not stop him from trying hard to get her. There is this one scene when the Seol family tries to set her up with him and he says, ” Why dont we do this for real?” and Yoo Rin replies, “In your personal Olympics, having collected women from every country, you are trying to make me the Korean representative?” sarcastically to hint at his playboy ways and leaves. But when he replies, “In this Olympics, Korea will most definitely be the winner”,it broke my heart a little. And when he officially proposes to her and asks her why she cant be with him, she says, “I cant be with you because then I ll have to face Seol Gong Chan everyday for the rest of my life”, it made me gnash my teeth and exclaim, “girl!, Cant you be a little less cruel?”. However, when Yoo Rin and Gong Chan officially get together,he gets desperate and tries to blackmail her in to coming with him to the US, I hated him for a brief time. But just for a brief time, hehe. Everytime Yoo Rin cries to him, claiming that she cannot bear the pain that she has in her heart of being near Gong Chan and having to pretend to be just his cousin, he says,”Remember this! You can only be this way with me! Because only I know the real you and you do not have to pretend in front of me!”, it was so awesome and sad. There are many others like the scene where Yoo Rin pretends that the chilli that she ate was not very spicy and makes him eat it and then says, “This is how you must pretend. Pretend steadfastly that you don’t like them at all”, it is done with humor and a tinge of sadness.<br/>
However, not all his scenes are not melodramatic. There are a few scenes, where the three of them(Yoo Rin, Gong Chan and Jung Woo) go to a movie and he says he is Gong Chan’s husband and they laugh over it at Gong Chan’s expense. And when Yoo Rin falls asleep watching an action film(thats so me!), he takes her head and rests it on his shoulder, making Gong Chan jealous. All in all, he was an interesting character. Now if only they had not made him look so androgynous, I would have probably loved him more. Yes, had to mention it. What was up with the so obviously weird hairstyle and clothes. Wonder why they did that! Not that I have anything against guys dressing in a feminine manner but I do object to his questionable fashion sense.<br/>
There is however nothing much for me to say about the other second lead. Seo Hyun was not pretty and so annoying that there was hardly anything for me to even remotely respect her. I did not hate her for leaving Seol Gong Chan in the first place nor unashamedly coming back to him, but I did hate her for expecting things to be the same way as they were when she left him. I expected her to break the secret to the grandfather and thats what she did, so no surprise there. But when she hides the fact that Yoo Rin’s father saved the real granddaughter from Gong Chan, that was the last straw for me. Her acting was so mediocre that at times, I felt like I was re-watching the same scene as she had the same kind of expressions on her face. A totally forgetful performance by Park Si Yeon. This dislike forbade me from watching Coffee House with her as the lead.I have not changed my mind and I still am debating on whether to watch it or not.<br/>
There are a few other characters and few funny incidents which are cute. Like the romance between Yoo Rin’s friend’s brother and Gong Chan’s secretary and the over the top but hilarious romantic scenes between Gong Chan’s aunt and the Seol family’s caretaker(he is more like a butler), for example. And who can mention the granddaughter-adoring grandfather, who later turns out to be the scariest and meanest grandfather in the K-Drama landscape. Veteran, no other word.<br/>
This series pulled me in to the Korean Drama world in January 2010. I have still not got bored. Its almost like I discovered this whole new way of living. I have come a long way from January 2010 and I don’t think that I will ever give up watching K-Dramas which has brought me so much fun. What with the oppas and eonnies and ajhummas and ajhussis and harabojis.. I am having so much fun, guys.. Like most people watching Korean drams, I do not understand Korean though I am making an effort at learning Korean. I would like to thank all the subbers out there who have made it possible for me to watch the dramas. Hopefully, I can sub dramas too, couple of years down the lane. In my next post, I will probably start my review of another series that I enjoyed. I would also like to mention Javabeans and Girlfriday and thank them for their posts and their awesome site http://www.dramabeans.com  which motivated me to write about this . I can never be as devoted and good as they are. But this is my way of showing that I love korean dramas. Eonnis, kumawoyo. Aja! Aja! Hwaiting!<br/>
This was a pretty long post. Thanks for reading. Hopefully I should be back with a new post on a new series.

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