The Sanguinarian

The Sanguinarian

Thursday, 23 April 2015

T for Truth- and how it has become a joke

One can't but watch in surprise as a joke of colossal proportions opens on the world stage.
As the new PM of India gives sensationalist speeches abroad, telling NRI audiences- drunk on the false euphoria and image of efficiency around the PM created by the media- about how the new government is doing this and doing that and is treating all religions equally (seriously?), presenting a rosy picture
While, in the country a different scenario is emerging.
Churches and Muslims and people belonging to particular communities are being attacked daily- the culprits are never brought to book.
AIIMS doctor Priya Vedi commits suicide because of her husband's constant physical and mental torture- symbolizing what lakhs of women around the country stuck in unhappy marriages go through- some of them finding only death as the escape. Does anyone care about these women except, maybe, feminists?

In a horrifying incident, farmer kills himself at a public rally, visibly upset at the Land Bill.
See the irony? The big joke?
This is called Good Marketing, nothing else.
Because everyone wants to buy a nicely packaged lie.
But no one wants to buy the truth.

This post is part of A to Z Challenge

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

R for Reading- Why it's most important for writers

Reading is the most important part of the process of becoming a writer.
Obvious thing, right?
You need to read like hell to write like hell. You need to read as many books in as many genres as possible- how many in each genre is your own prerogative.
You need to read poetry, novels, short stories, articles.
You need to read other stuff- like magazines, newspapers, journals, literary magazines, book and movie reviews.
You need to read widely to develop the neural wiring required to become a writer.
Obvious, right?
Well, not so obvious for some people who call themselves 'writers'.
And yet, declare very proudly that they 'don't read'.
Now I don't deny that there are exceptions to every rule.
But reading for writers is as important as is a beating heart to life in a body.
It's not a rule- it's a universal truth.
But there are some specimens who come in the 'I-am-a-writer-but-I-don't-read' category.
One such specimen, on the so called 'literary scene' in India (why India doesn't have a literary scene is a topic of debate for another time), is the illustrious Ravinder Singh.
Calling himself the 'Nicholas Sparks' of India, he claims to 'write for the youth' 'connect to the youth' and blah blah blah.
In my opinion, his books are a total waste of paper- containing only annoying cliches, a story which moves at snail pace and has no head or tail, mushy, pointless romance, needless jingoism and other such undesirable stuff which makes his 'books' nothing but toxic waste.
In my opinion, his 'non-reader' status also explains the poor quality of his prose, and the asinine content of his 'novels'.
It explains the jarring, stunted quality of his prose and the sloppy editing.
I don't understand.
How can one not read and still manage to write a book which is a bestseller?
Singh's books are selling millions of copies and he is making waves among the young people who are loyal to his brand of literature.
I don't know if I will ever find the answer to the question- Can you be a good writer without being a voracious reader? If you are, how will be the quality of your books?
Meanwhile, I'm a consummate bookworm and a writer.

This blog post is part of the A to Z challenge

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

L for Lecher

So today, we will see in brief what a lecher is.
A lecher is a parasite in human form.
A lecher is that parasite, which lurks on street corners, by the road side, at tea stalls and pan shops, buses and local trains, and every other public place- they are an ubiquitous sight in India's cities, towns and even villages.
A lecher is known by other names, like Lout or Roadside Romeo.
A lecher is often found in groups.
A lecher is that creature which sees women as sex objects- to be desired, used for sex and exploited.
Any woman walking on the road/driving a vehicle or doing anything else in public is fair game for the lecher.
A lecher makes his presence known by hooting, wolf-whistling, catcalls, sexist comments,cheap songs and other such offensive actions.
A lecher's main job is to sit around and do nothing all day- their category is usually unemployed so their favorite pastime is being anti-socials and troubling the common people- the working people with actual things to do.
A lecher's only work worth noticing is eve-teasing, groping stalking, molestation and in extreme cases, rape.
A lecher basically exists to make life a living hell for women who step outside the house.
A lecher is that filth that no Swacch Bharat Abhiyan can clean up, unless society takes a broom and wipes them away.
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge

Monday, 13 April 2015

Killer controversies

No, I don't mean literally killer controversies, or controversies about killers.
I mean controversies that kill the mood. Controversies that kill all interest in news of the day, or keeping up with current affairs. Controversies that kill all interest in going out and experiencing the world.
So called novelist Shobha De, who is better at being a SoBo socialite, passing judgement on everyone else around her and giving half-baked, useless advice  in shitty newspapers, is at loggerheads with the Shiv Sena, Maharashtra's most powerful political party.
The State government, a BJP-Shiv Sena coalition, passed some law saying that multiplexes should screen Marathi movies from 11 am to 9 pm. De tweeted- she doesn't seem to have a job other than tweeting about anything and everything- that this is Dadagiri and mentioned the Chief Minister. The party accused her of hurting Maharashtrian sentiments (really?) because she opposed the law. De retorted in her elitist style even more. The party held a dharna in front of her house.
Killer controversy, where the only people benefiting are the novelist and the party. We sensible people are getting killed- our brains and moods.
There are more. Politicians and religious demagogues think that, in this age of increased media glare, making misogynist and communal statements will create controversies that will get them 15 minutes of fame.
Whether it is asking followers to have sex with corpses of Muslim women, commenting on bodies of women or saying Sonia Gandhi wouldn't have been accepted in the Indian political circles if she was African.
Killer controversy. The media doesn't get anything else to report. News worth reporting is over now.
Now the beef ban, taking communal tones, is snowballing into a controversy about mutton being banned in Maharashtra.
Anushka Sharma's needless harassment over her boyfriend Virat's World cup failure.
Arnab Goswami's non-stop babbling on Times Now about whatever catches his fancy, and catching eyeballs.
Chetan Bhagat indulging in shenanigans to get controversy for his books.
Killer controversy.
My brain is dead now. Officially. There is nothing like news now. I must go back to only reading and writing.
This blog post is part of the A to Z Challenge

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

G for Gender Equality

Yeah yeah, I know.
Some of you're probably gonna roll your eyes till you pass out, at my choice of topic for a blog post.
Gender Equality. The most beaten, done-to-death, repeatedly used and rampantly abused topic of discussion ever.
So today, instead of brandishing my feminist credentials, let me ask some questions I feel are pertinent to the current scene of debate on equality between the sexes.
Gender Equality.
What is Gender Equality?
Is it only for women, because our gender happens to be the historically mistreated ones?
Or is it also for transgenders and transsexuals and other genders/sexual identity- the also historically mistreated ones.
Should the debate on gender equality be confined to women? Or they should include the above mentioned genders too?
Should the dialogue on rape and other sex crimes be confined to women? Or should they include the less publicized, but equally rampant instances of rape against transgenders? Especially in a country like India, which continues to victimize the LGBT community and doesn't recognize a third gender. And where the police itself is guilty, in a lot of circumstances, of custodial rape of transgenders who have no voice in society.
Should we feminists start taking other genders into account too while lobbying for equal rights?
Gender equality should be about people from any gender being able to live life in independence and with dignity; where no one gender can dominate other the other. Just like feminism is about proclaiming the autonomy of women over their own lives, and NOT about hating men. Where misogyny and patriarchy are kept at bay?
Is such a society possible?

Monday, 6 April 2015

E for Egomania

What is ego?

Now, I will resist the psychological definition here.

So, let's just say that ego is that monster residing within us- that inflated monster which defines itself in our obsession to be better than others and our being adamant to not accept our flaws and our faults, our mistakes and our very humanness.

What is egomania? Egomania is that hyper-inflated ego which allows us all to behave like douche-bags who consider ourselves superior than others, whether in looks, color, race, money, status or achievements.

Ego should never be confused with dignity or self-esteem. Dignity or self-esteem is when we respect who we are, we feel good about it and we are strong and confident enough in our skin to face life's problems.

Ego is when we refuse to take criticism, to look at ourselves as flawed, to accept our shortcomings and to improve ourselves. Ego is when we refuse to take responsibility for our actions. Ego is when we can't stop comparing ourselves with other. Ego is when we needlessly compete with others for petty things. Ego is when we cannot take NO for an answer, or make a sacrifice, or accept that we cannot have everything we want. Ego is when we try to pull others down to get to the top. Ego is when we make others feel inferior to make ourselves feel better.

Egomania is when people take their egotistical issues to a whole new level. We also know these people as douche-bags, narcissists, arrogant, pompous, officious and other such adjectives.

This blog is part of the

Thursday, 2 April 2015

B for...Ban-ophilia

Ban-ophilia. The latest fetish of the Indian political class.
Basically, the mantra seems to be: If anything doesn't go according to the status quo, LET'S BAN IT.

Because a documentary on the sloppy way sexual violence in India is dealt with threatens to expose the political and administrative apathy towards survivors of sex crimes, let's ban it. Excuse? It threatens to 'tarnish' India's image in the world. Who will question us? Not the Indian public anyway. Leslie is white, let's trouble her and accuse her of racism. Who cares if women continue to face sex crimes...or if Jyoti Singh's rapists continue to live when they were supposed to die, or if India's image is already tarnished...not just abroad but also in its own eyes?

Beef. A bone of contention between religions for years. Which is ironic, because Hindus, Muslims and Christians in India eat beef. But they gotta make a religious statement and assert their dominance over the religious 'minorities'. Because at the Center is a government who came into power because of religion and caste dominance. And now is becoming 'majoritarian'. Who cares if citizens' right to eat what they like is being impinged upon? Who cares if thousands of beef sellers in Maharashtra go hungry and die of starvation because of loss of livelihood? Who cares if they snatch a major source of protein from a majority of the population? They have to make a political statement. Since they can't do anything substantial...something as asinine as banning beef is bound to be solid.

And books. What to say of books, eh? Wendy Doniger's book about Hindu history is politically incorrect, so let's ban it. The person who lobbied for banning the book is the same who gave the public gems of wisdom  like: stem cells were preserved in 'ghee' in pre-historic times. Stem cells in ghee, really? Stem cell technology is of the last few decades, and we're still studying and making progress in this field. This same man is the one who's writing such inanities in school textbooks mandated for school kids in Gujarat- in 42,000 schools. So kids in these 42,000 schools will learn pseudo-science paraded as ancient knowledge and grow up to shudders when one thinks of the implications.

Ban Perumal Murugan's One Part Woman just because it tackles a lesser know facet of Tamil culture- an ancient practice where infertile couples could go to this festival worshiping a half man-half woman deity, and the woman could copulate with a strange man to possibly conceive. This writer, who's been chronicling the history of his city for years, wrote this novel to highlight the issue of how infertile women are treated in Indian society. But because it didn't go with the version of Hinduism that politico-religious outfits want to impose on citizens, Murugan was threatened with death, copies of his books were burnt, he even offered to modify offending sections of the book but was not even given a chance to reach a compromise with those outfits. He was so humiliated that he quit writing, and he had to move out of his native city with his wife for safety reasons. Even his extended family was threatened.

Many more things have been banned in the last two by the illustrious politicians too, much I can't seem to remember what. There is now talk by a fringe religious outfit to ban 'western clothes' and 'mobile phones' for women as it leads to rape...there is talk of banning jeans and phones for women in Haryana by the khap panchayats, which seem to be more powerful than the real politicians in that state. Of course this won't happen, but the moronic attitudes are here to stay.

Tomorrow they will want to ban living, breathing and eating because it interferes with their political agenda.

That is what 'banning'  has become for the Indian political class.

This post is part of the A-Z blogging challenge:  A-Z challenge

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A for Anything goes!

Okay, so I am starting the month of April and the A-Z challenge with a rant.
Ranting is all I like to do nowadays.
Why do I rant so much?
Because of the bullshit I see happening around me nowadays.
Anything...anything can happen...anything goes. That anything doesn't have to be necessarily correct, and in this case, it's not. It's like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle have readjusted make a new puzzle which doesn't make any sense anymore. It's like everything is out of place, in a constant state of chaos.
Documentaries on rape crises get banned, but politicians who make sexist comments on women don't get banned, or even arrested.
One religious nut asked his followers to dig up graves of Muslim women and have sex with them. Openly, on video, he said this, to loud applause from those followers. Nobody said anything.
Another nut made an offensive comment about women's bodies in Parliament, and refused to apologize. Another state minister said women shouldn't sit outside in the sun for protests because their skin will become dark and they won't be able to 'find a suitable groom'.
While another said every Hindu woman should have 4 kids so she can counter 'Muslim' overpopulation. He didn't get banned.
Passing a law on banning beef for religious reasons is done without much ado, but enacting a law to build the proposed 660 rape crisis centers in the country to help rape survivors is being dragged on.
Calling India's Daughter a conspiracy to shame India is okay.
Understanding that the filmmaker herself is a rape survivor trying to tell stories of others like her is not.
A successful Bollywood actress got called names just because she went to Sydney to see her boyfriend playing in a cricket match- that India lost. People go overboard, mixing their love of cricket with jingoism and made offensive comments about the actress and her boyfriend's personal lives.
While on TV, Kapil Sharma gets away with making offensive jokes on women who are either white or fat. Nobody says a word or bans him.
The Prime Minister conveniently stays quiet when his ministers make all those moronic comments- when, before he was elected PM, he had an opinion on near about EVERYTHING. Now he can't open his mouth...just like he accused his predecessor of doing. Except the predecessor was an actually decent man, if not necessarily a good politician.
Pseudo-science is being spread in the name of scientific discovery. Education is being hijacked by politico-religious elements. But nobody bans these morons who defile science in the name of...what I really don't know.
Mahatma Gandhi's killer is being celebrated as a martyr. Nobody bans these people.

So basically, as you can see, Anything goes. Just about anything.

This post is a part of the A-Z blogging challenge...