#saritadevi is #boxing for #India

sarita devi declined the bronze medal. she handed it over to the silver-medalist. some exchanges occured after that. all was good, apparently. apparently not.

aiba – the amateur boxing association plans to initiate disciplinary action against her. ok. pretty much everyone seems to agree that the decision was wrong. the appeal was rejected, amongst some news about how the $500 was procured (that’s required) for the appeal. ok.

social media came alive in support. nice. useless. directionless outrage. outrage is understandable. sarita devi’s response to the medal was an extremely personal one. some of us will see a national issue in it, some will not. assuming these reports are right she did it for national pride.

on social networks, there was some mention of raising money for her. huh. why? i have no idea. it’s not like she went through a financial calamity. you think she was wronged? get an independent jury to judge the match. use that result, and if she has won, honour her accordingly, in the country.

this is not about money. it is about respect.

and for some of the others, it is not being about being a woman. she is an Indian athlete. stop the labels of: woman, mother, north-eastern, and whatever narrow-minded-bracketing-ness allows. feel free to highlight how she overcame her struggle to inspire others; don’t issue-ise it.

sarita devi is a good boxer.

sarita devi is a good boxer.

sarita devi is a good boxer.

try and say this in your head and heart without any labels of her nationality, regionality, gender, family status, and such.

what would you like to do for this proud sportswoman who stood up for what she felt was injustice? it is clear she did not rebel because she needed money or she wanted recognition as a woman. she was playing for her country.

we should too.

with great satyagraha comes great responsibility

alok jain writes about satyagraha in today’s hindustan times.

Gandhi’s notion of Satyagraha is a synthesis of ‘method of action’ and ‘method of enquiry’. Both work simultaneously and, in the process, affect the course of action according to this dialectical method. A satyagrahi, by instinct, functions in a dialogic, open mindset. He tries his best to combat the bias of his adversary but also tries to ‘un-bias’ himself from any ill-judgement. In Duragraha, the element of ‘stubborn resistance’ and ‘fixed prejudgment’ is a dominant factor. A duragrahi takes it for granted that what he insists on is the Truth. An element of fanaticism and cynicism is also inherent in his behaviour.

(Via Duragraha, not Satyagraha – Hindustan Times)

the first thing that anna hazare should do, is define his method and approach, rather than adopt an available term that quite does not fit the description of his actions.

after he has been able to define his method, which is not satyagraha (as we see above), in the sense that gandhiji meant it, he should make the effort to distance himself from satyagraha, even if the media calls it that.

that, he owes it his leader, role-model and inspiration.

finally, he should contemplate the the impact of his method on the future of this country. he has captured the imagination of the youth on an issue that is critical and important for the development of this nation. while the issue that he has chosen to tackle is by no means trivial, the implications – especially if the democratic system falls to its knees – will prove to be disastrous. the next generation that will manage and rule this country may take a wrong lesson about the approach to problem-solving.

that, he owes to the country.

why i still don’t believe the climate bullshit

this post, somehow, shouldn’t be in this blog. this blog is all about the small issues. this, however, seems to be a big issue:

“The mistake ought to have been spotted by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which reiterated it in its 2007 assessment report without verification. The section on glaciers was compiled by a team, not a single author, which should have put in place the customary checks, including peer review. It is conceivable that since WWF-India cited it, the IPCC gave it more credence than it deserved. While the credibility of the IPCC has been eroded to an extent, it should not be erased by this slip.” (Via Tragedy of errors- Hindustan Times.)

no, we aren’t going to erase the credibility of the ipcc. at least i will not. i have nothing to erase. wielding the weapon of fear, the business continues.

call for de-austerisation

the recession started about a year ago. and it’s pretty much going out of fashion now. all the romanticism associated with recession is all dying a slow death. people are getting their jobs back, people are thinking of and buying homes, the market indices are crawling their way back on the y-axis. in short, life’s getting back to normal.

the politicians in India however, are however very late in responding to the recession with their current austerity drive. and their response to controlling spending our money is a bit late — whether it’s a response to recession or a long-due enlightenment within, to stop wasteful expenditure.

while the delay is understood — they all take about a year to respond to anything anyways — this small issue is alarming. it has all the characteristics of becoming a big issue; one that will hurt the common man in more ways than one.

if these austerity measures aren’t rolled back very soon — and we allow them politicians to travel by their personal jets and helicopters, the common man’s hard way of life will be severely affected.

politicians using our means of travel and living, means that now there will be a grid-lock in traffic, and increased security risk to you and me. with these folks travelling economy, regular commercial flights will be delayed for politicians never respect the schedule of a commercial flight. with these folks travelling in the same train as you and me the train will come under the scanner of every person who wants to attack the politician and will target the train rather than the politician. with these folks travelling by a vehicle on pre-congested traffic, you and I will be sitting in our cars longer than before.

today’s small issue. all those who are responding with an “about time” in their head, need to think twice. our hard way of life will be ours no more.

taxing times

i read, with great amusement, in ht today (mumbai/metro edition, 30jul2009, p3, top-left, headline: travellers give a thumbs up to fleet taxis at airport, by soubhik mitra) about the scene that is a result of the b&y (black and yellow) taxis “agitating” against the presence of the fleet taxis. this is a good small issue.

in the article, a few passengers relate stories of how they took a walk to get to a fleet taxi. how they prefer the fleet taxi to the b&y or the cc (cool cab). while my name doesn’t figure in the article, it could have well been my testimonial. since the arrival of fleet taxis, three now, i have completely shunned the b&y taxis. i have never taken the cc – it has fraud written all over it – they spell it as – cool cab. there was a time when i travelled a lot by taxis and there were no options. i didn’t own a car then. i was mercy to their wish and whim.

the fleet taxi phenomenon is relatively new to mumbai. it was born out of, probably, the frustration that every person in mumbai faced whenever he or she was in need of transport. the constant refusals, the badly tuned meters, and the very uncouth drivers (most of them).

the b&y’s had enough time to realise that they would need to upgrade – they were the ones who were moving about the city, privy to the smallest change that this city was undergoing. the disposable income, the need for comfort, and the requirement of an honest fare. they were the first ones to pick up the foreigners in their cabs; they must have noticed their numbers swell. there is a limit to how much the government can keep falling at its knees at your every whim. when the consumer has a choice, all that the government can do comes to a nought.

the violent agitation they have caused amuses me because i see this as the tremble before a certain death. there is time before this death occurs, but the disease is so gangrenous, there isn’t a cure, unless they shed the decaying b&y body for a healthy corporate colour.

the days when they could hold a weary traveller hostage, are over.

now i don’t see; now i don’t drink

why am i not surprised? yet another legal product faces discrimination.

“Critics fear next could be a ban on serving alcohol on international flights and turning pubs into salad bars, but Ramadoss is unfazed.”

(Via HT: Ramadoss’ next: No alcohol ads at airports- Hindustan Times.)

this is yet another classic distraction technique that the health minister has initiated. success is addictive; so after a while it quite doesn’t matter what the initiative is, if you know you are riding a wave, you will extract the maximum of it.

in the uk, you can already see the subtle imposition of government agenda through advertising. and the alcohol companies are following suit, there is an obvious alignment to government agenda. almost as if saying, “please don’t ban us, we will ask our customers to drink responsibly.”

the question, as most may misinterpret, isn’t about health issues. it is about creating classes and de-normalisation of certain behaviour. and it is happening slowly, one day to become a big issue.

relent at one place and they will take over the world.

can marry; can fight; can’t drink

in some ways i am sad about this move, in some — am happy. happy only because i am not surprised — it wasn’t long before this was to happen. so it follows now, you can get married, can go to war if you are under 21, but you cannot buy a drink. and it won’t be long before this spreads soon enough. the first battle, against smoking, is won — onwards!

“Proposals to tackle Scotland’s binge-drinking culture have been announced by the Scottish Government.

The plan would see anyone under the age of 21 banned from buying alcohol in off-licences and set a minimum price at which a unit of alcohol can be sold.”: BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Alcohol clampdown plans unveiled

how long, before age restrictions and controls apply to what we can buy appropriate food and clothing?

is there a small issue here? i think there is. instead of creating awareness (which is does exist — by scaring the daylights out of you, through horrific imagery), it’s just the easy way out. it all starts small. to quote william walters:

“The answer’s easy; we just need a historical reference. When the anti-smoking zealots started out, they too went after a relatively small target by demanding non-smoking sections on airplanes. That success emboldened them to demand no smoking on planes at all and in airports as well. Then came laws against smoking in restaurants.” CapMag | Trans Fat Ban | by William Walters

this is, therefore the small issue, the effects of alcohol notwithstanding, it is a foot-in-the-door for controlling alcohol consumption to different levels. this will soon become a big issue and will die its natural death. alcohol companies had taken the cue long time ago and began advising their customers to drink responsibly. hardly useful, i say, we will soon not be required to be responsible — we can’t drink any ways.

also, it seems like an opportunity for the pharmaceutical companies to invent another patch — alcoholette (requires will power)?

no big issue started out big, it was this small and apparently inconsequential allowed change, that made it the big issue.