Conflict Resolution: Some Radically New Directions

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As the impasse in the Middle East continues with Israel responding to acts of terror committed by Islamic Jihadists with unimaginably brutal force setting into a motion a swirling vortex of punch and counterpunch that has shocked the world with its virulence, the question that is uppermost in our minds is ‘How do we stop the madmen, how do we bring about a resolution’?

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Inner Chambers of Ritu-Porno

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As the opening credits of “Antarmahal” (Views of the Inner Chamber) fade away and the sound of a creaking bed assails the ears, the viewer discerns, in the semi-darkness, Jaggu-dada (Jackie Shroff not Jagmohan Dalmiya), the Bengali zamindar, motoring away romantically like an oil drill while below the supine figure of Soha Ali Khan (playing the Bengali zamindar’s second wife) lies still, impervious to his copulatory charms.

And then the zamindar burps. And seeks to excuse himself by saying that the “papad” he had for dinner must have been fried in bad oil. And keeps on sawing away.

Oh what a wonderful sex life Bengalis had. The operative word is “had”—things are obviously quite different now in the Bong bedroom.

Namely that there is no second wife.

Whether 19th century Bengal had the best of times or the worst of times we know not, but if we are to trust Rituporno Ghosh’s “Antarmahal” (a sex-ed up adaptation of Tarashankar’s “Protima” ) it surely was the most debauched of times.

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Censorship Done Wrong

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If there is anything worse than censorship, it is censorship done incompetently.

Like those DD2 movies they showed late at night where a random mammary would occasionally pop out of the scratched-out (yes sometimes not even pixellated) areas sending frustrated teenagers like me into paroxysms of forbidden joy, in the process rupturing my moral fabric forever.

The government’s list of hate-sites is another such example.

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Lessons Learnt From the Ban on Blogger

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A few things I did not know before Government Of India ‘s blanket-ban on Blogger/Typepad. — a ban whose supposed purpose we learn is to keep SIMI terrorists from passing love-notes between themselves.

1. SIMI-ians exclusively use Blogger and Typepad to communicate. Which is why these are the only blogging platforms that are blocked. SIMI stays clear of WordPress (too dynamic for static fundamentalists), Rediff blogs (because they don’t like the template), O3 Indiatimes (because even they disapprove of a paper that sells editorial space), and Yahoo 360 (yes even SIMI activists have some sense). And like everyone else, they have never heard of MSN Spaces.

2. SIMI activists may handle RDX and gelatin with dexterity but have trouble understanding the concept of proxies by which website-blocking can easily be circumvented. As a result, a ban on blogger totally brings them down to their knees—especially when they don’t get their daily fix of desihotties.blogspot.com

3. SIMI terrorists do not know the use of bulletin boards —the gazillions of them that are on the Net. Hence cutting off blogger/typepad will reduce them to headless chickendom.

4. Enforcing a ban on Blogger/Typepad/Geocities will fool the SIMI people into thinking that India has officially become Pakistan (where access to many blogs are blocked) and now that their mission has been accomplished, they may let their guard down.

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Look Who Is Coming to Dinner

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Apple may have packed their bags and left. Some other companies may have realized that the relative cost-benefits of outsourcing to India may not be as great as originally thought.

Bad times for Bharatvarsh?

Not really.

Because Al Qaeda, the world’s one-stop terror shop, has arrived in India.

Al Qaeda is no stranger to our country. However, in the past, it operated in India through local franchisees like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed while itself pulling strings from Terrorist Park —an ultra-modern business incubation facility maintained by ISI and President General P (Prick) Musharaff in the land of Pakistan.

However with recent events making the company bullish about its future in India, Al Qaeda has decided to cut out the middleman and jump right in. Relying on its universal brand-name recognition, this league of distinguished gentlemen hope to carve out a large share of the terror, decapitation and dismemberment market.

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Man Has Created Death

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Man has created death—- William Butler Yeats.

——————————————————————————-

I see secret violence under cover of darkness
Slaughtering the helpless,
I see the just weeping in solitary silence,
No power to protest the oppression of the mighty,
I see tender youths hitting out blindly
Cracking their heads against stones in their agony.

Today my voice is choked, my flute is without note,
The prison of the no-moon night
Has extinguished my world, given me nightmares;
And this is why I ask, through my tears:
Those who poison your air and blot out the sun;
Do You truly forgive them, do You truly love them?

-Rabindranath Tagore ( from The Question: original Bengali poem “Proshno”)

Me, Myself and All the Bengalis In the World

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Dear Ms. Romila Saha,

This blog post is with reference to your article in the Indian Express July 1, 2006 edition where you refer to my blog thusly:

But for most Indians, the blog functions as a forum to connect with others. Take, for instance, blogs like greatbong.blogspot.com where Bengalis from around the world write in.

Now there is a little bit of confusion as to what you mean by “writing in”.

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Giving Head

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What was Zizou thinking?

[If the animation on the left is threatening to send you into a Zidane-state with its repetitiveness, just press "escape" on your keyboard]

That on World Cup night, with the eyes of a billion on him, he could get away with an off-the-ball headbutt? [At the very least, Figo's headbutt was way more subtle]

Was he high on Getafix’s magic potion that he thought that as a Gaul he would lay low a Roman with a lethal blow?

Did his years at the top of the soccer world not teach him to not take banter from opponents, no matter how abusive, “personally” ?

[My guess is that it was something about his baldness---- a touchy topic among people who lose all hair before 35. Just like the issue of his weight is for some people like Inzamam]

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Krrish Me Not

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Hoooo hoooo, hoooo hoooo, hoooo hoooo
Aao sunao pyar ki ek kahani,
Ek tha ladka ek thi ladki deewani,
-Lyrics of a song from Krrish

The moment I read that Taran Adarsh had given Krrish his whole-hearted endorsement, my spidey sense started tingling. After all, this is Taran Adarsh we are talking about —the diabolical reviewer whose taste in movies is only rivalled by Monica Bedi’s taste in men.

But then against my better judgement, I sat through Krrish.

A few hours later as the end credits rolled, I felt as miserable and drained as Superman would feel after he has just been submerged in a vat of liquid kryptonite.

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Cry Freedom

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“Dr Venugopal gathered faculty, students and outsiders in the AIIMS auditorium and spoke openly, criticising the Government for allegedly interfering in the affairs of AIIMS. It led to considerable tension in the institute. It has brought indiscipline and a bad name to the institute. In view of Dr Venugopal’s conduct, it is proposed that his continuance will vitiate the discipline in AIIMS further. It is, therefore, proposed for the institute body to consider that it would be in public interest to terminate the term of Dr Venugopal as Director of AIIMS with immediate effect and give him three month salary and allowance in lieu of the notice period as per Regulation 31.”

This above is the official press statement of the government justifying the firing of Dr. Venugopal from AIIMS. All I have to say is : could they not have gotten someone to better spin this, so that we could at least keep on pretending that we live in a democratic society?

When it announces that it is punishing someone for “speaking openly” and for “criticizing the government” and that dissent is “an act of indiscipline“, the government, in a way that cannot be any clearer, is poking us in the eye with a fact that we like to pretend not to realize.

And that fact is that we are fast becoming like China with respect to the protection of individual rights and freedom of speech.

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