Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flagneeti

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 2 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

PowerVaulting

Let there be no mistake. There can be no justification for stopping an Indian citizen from unfurling the country’s flag, a fundamental right, wherever he or she chooses. Even if one understands J&K CM Omar Abdullah’s valid concern about disturbance of a fragile peace, pleading inability to protect rights of Indians is dereliction of duty. The central government – by its inaction, ambivalence and spinelessness – has made matters worse. If the only people offended are the separatists, why should the rest of India back down? A very valid question. I ended up reading a bit on this “issue” in the last few days, and found these blogs/articles as reasonably representing several sides of the debate.

A must-read series of tweets from @retributions where he says

If the message is that Indian nation needs to tip-toe around its own flag, it is not a particularly assuring message.

plus much more.

@pragmatic_d (who examines various aspects of the debate and argues for patience)

Not allowing the flag to be hoisted can at best be a temporary tactic; it can not be a long-term strategy or used as an example in the future

INI Blogger Harsh Gupta (who makes a blistering case for hoisting the flag)

What makes us think that things could improve in a decade or so in a region where the youth are against the hoisting of the national flag?

@bdutt (who points out that hoisting the tricolour in Kashmir is not a rare occurrence)

The sudden determination to hoist the tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Republic Day also creates a false impression that the Indian flag is not unfurled in the Valley, as it is everywhere else in the country

and @greatbong who asks in his post

”Do you think the Dandi March was an undesirable act of provocation—-after all it too was a political move, of purely symbolic value (like the flag-hoisting), one that everyone knew would cause trouble, whose express intent was to aggressively mobilize public opinion?

The J&K State Government/Congress-led Central Government and the BJP have adopted hard stances from which they cannot back down any more - the Government(s), because of a shakily rational and defeaningly spineless fear of a potential separatist backlash (which it is duty-bound to protect India and Indians from)  and the BJP, hitting upon another emotive issue, a win-win situation irrespective of the outcome. One may call this a political self-goal by the Congress and a master-stroke by the BJP (in a smaller context) or the perfect partnership of dumb (BJP) and dumber (Congress/Omar Abdullah) in a larger context – the simple fact is that one group is obstinate about going ahead with its plans, and the other group has decided to abdicate its duty towards its citizens and the constitution. And it was entirely avoidable if reasonable positions had been adopted.

One cannot predict how this is going to play out but let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking that this is about patriotism, because when politicians get involved, patriotism becomes a sideshow and the Indian flag merely a rag.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cabinet Reshuffle

Thursday, January 20, 2011 14 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

Cabinet Reshuffle

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stampede-free

Monday, January 17, 2011 2 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

Stampede-Free

It’s never easy to express ourselves in times of tragic events, and a cartoon may seem like an insensitive medium. But the simple fact is that every year, there are many tragedies like the one at Sabarimala. Sometimes there is a stampede for free clothes at an ashram somewhere, or the collapse of a rain shelter causes people to run for their lives. People die. And (ir)responsible people get away. I don’t know who is responsible for the tragedy at Sabarimala but what I know is there are more accidents waiting to happen as long as we depend on “jugaad” to make things work.

And life will continue to cost less than a sack of onions.

 
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