Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ram and Rich

Ram Leelas...

If you thought, it was only Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi who is a (lord) Ram baiter. you are mistaken. MK, who excercises control over the state press, clearly had no clue about satellite channels breaking news all the time. or else, the veteran dravidian leader was shrewed enough to have used them for the purpose of propaganda of his old-world dravidian ideals.

Reading William Darlymple, I was rediscovering my fondness for the printed pages. `At the age of kali', he quotes Laloo: ``Ram should punish these murderous fundamentalists - if he exists, that is. But he is nowhere. If he was there, so many poor people would not have died, there would not have been such poverty, such fights...''

In a country obsessed with religion, both MK and Laloo have demonstrated their ability to attack the saintliest of the hindu god, or his avatar, and continue to win elections. If it was dravidianism for the former, it was casteist pride and criminal power that helped the later.

But both, inspite of the personalities they are, can take pride in plunging the polity of the nation towards new lows. Of corruption and criminalisation of politics. While Laloo wears these two traits on his sleeves, MK prefers it to be an open secret.

Rich Ragas ...

Consider these two numbers. 358 and 2,500,000,000.

First, the audience at a preview cinema theater and the second almost half-the-population of the world.

The World's Rich and The World's Poor. UN 1996 Development Report: the riches 358 people in the world have the same aggregate wealth as the poorest two-and-a-half billion.

In other words, as Ambanis get richer, it is likely that millions of poor will get poorer.

This is a fact. Infact, it is globalisation. The modest, but neverthless historic, reductions in wealth and income gaps during the most of twnetieth century are being reversed under gloalisation.

Interestingly, it is intriguing to note that the two binding forces, both exploitative to the core in nature, religion and feudalism, continue to thrive even in the era of globalisation. Studying the political systems and predicting the State responses to these all powerful and all pervading forces could be an exciting profession for future social scientists.

Wither socialism and the welfare state? A friend said yesterday that the world is no more innocent. May be, the world is no more just as well. The planet is already paying the price for rampant industrialisation with its, and our, survival at stake. Still, the rich want to be richer. The poor will always be poorer.

Let us hail stock-markets but don't mistake brand and equity with brotherhood and equality.

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Stories From The Soul Town

There lies a magical land. Surrounded by the green ghats to the west, gurgling great rivers on the east, the valley with the very blue sky. A temple town of the tamils. Sitting on the dancing rock on the highland overlooking the valley, the writer procreates the lives of the people of this lesser known south west. Full of strange yet simple souls.