Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

–DC Holocaust Museum

There are few things that horrify us nowadays, inured as we are to the pain and suffering of others. Exposed to movies like SAW where people are shown having their arms pulled out of their sockets and to television images of men with half their brains blown off, a whole generation of violence zombies have been created for whom cruelty to human beings leaves as much effect as that of watching the blood of aliens being splattered in video games.

Of course there are times when people are able to rise above their apathy and ennui as in the case of the Priyadarshini Mattoo case and force the hand of justice despite the attempts of the high-and-the-mighty to twist it for their advantage. Those are indeed, empowering moments—-when we as a people realize that we are not as powerless as we like to believe and that the sons of politicians and policemen are not as above the law as they like to think.

Of course these moments come few. And far in between.

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The Greatbong Fashion Line


Inspired by Frans Johansson’s “The Medici Effect” with its theme of how innovation can be made to happen by mixing disparate cultural influences in unusual ways, I have decided to unleash the Greatbong signature line of clothing, a heady cocktail of Mithunism, voodoo art, intellectual bankruptcy and the desire to make a buck.

Frankly the need to get into the garment design industry is something I have felt for long—the world desperately craves for a line of fashion that appeals to an alternate aesthetic, apparel that pokes you in the eye with a statement, a collection of garments that cry out “This IS me”, a force of nature that does to the “Gandhi” penstroke and the Che-Bob Marley T-shirt design what Attila the Hun did to the Roman Empre.

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The Urbane Murderer


The HBO documentary “The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl”, that premièred this Tueday is the story of two people: very similar to each other in terms of having had a privileged upbringing, having being high achievers in school and having achieved success in their respective professions at a very early age.

One of them is Daniel Pearl, a “rising star” journalist with the Wall Street Journal— a musician, a humanist and a true “liberal”.

And the other: Omar Sheikh, an urbane British-public-school educated Muslim fundamentalist who had made a name for himself in the world of Jihad with his masterfully executed kidnappings. [Yes the same Omar Sheikh who was released by India (along with his spiritual guru Azhar Masood, the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed) during the IC814 crisis.]

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Bad Bad Orkut. No Donut For You


In a landmark legal strike, the Aurangabad bench of the Mumbai High Court has “directed the Maharashtra government to issue notice to Google for the alleged spread of hatred about India by its social network service ‘Orkut’. [Times of India]

Laying aside useless litigation on issues like murders, rapes, property disputes (which some say take decades to resolve due to court backlog), the wise men in black coats seem to have at last gotten their priorities right by spending their time taking action on an issue of the greatest national importance: the “Down with India” communities that flourish on Orkut like flies on cowdung.

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Copy CAT


I have often wondered as to what compels the likes of Baapi-da, Anu-sahab and their ilk to blatantly pilfer tunes from other sources.

Well I think I know. They were all “compelled to STEAL”, presumably by voices in their heads.

A few days ago, Sugata sent me a mail about a certain blogger who had copy-pasted the Desicritics crosspost of this article of mine in toto (of course claiming to have written it himself). When Sugata pointed it out to the blogger, this is what he wrote in reply. [all capitalizations are of the letter-writer]

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Gandhi Reloaded


Boyfriend become boring? Well now you can dump him and feel good by invoking the Mahatma. Just like Shweta Polanki who cited “Gandhigiri” as the reason she broke off with her boyfriend after he made “hissing sounds to get the attention of the waiter”. Murderer and extortionist on the way to trial, looking to get some media attention? No problemo. Hand out roses in a Lucknow courthouse ala Babloo Srivastava. [More here]

If it was the Rang-de-Basanti-inspired “be the change” in early 2006 that captured the imagination of the nation, the last quarter has seen the the Return of Bapu—courtesy “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, a predictable yet pleasant movie about a Don who reforms himself after being visited by the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi.

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