Saturday, January 3, 2009

come on guys.... wake up.... it's showtime!!

Paki-Bashing – Why are we wasting our time??

I have stopped watching television. I cannot. I find it unbearable – especially the sight of some of our smarty pants news anchors wearing their prejudices so blatantly on their respective sleeves . Night after tiresome night, we are subjected to these talkathons during which we get our retired military analysts, our social scientists, badmaash politicians, over- talkative former editors, smug current editors, official party spokespersons, legal eagles, supercilious and shrill opinion makers…. in other words – the usual suspects – banging on about the latest crisis. The debate rages – from jung to jung, especially if the anchor has also managed to ‘pakdo’ a Pakistani politician,but at the end of an hour of gassing, nobody remembers nor cares what the original topic was. Sadly, however, everybody can invariably tell who scored most of the brownie points through the tedious proceedings – our chatur-chalaak neighbours, of course. Most of them are far better looking, for starters. And better dressed, too. Our guys (especially the senior journos from Delhi) show up in ancient tweeds, peculiar caps, or mufflers and World War - style overcoats , which they refuse to remove even inside temperature-controlled studios. Pakistani commentators, on the other hand, are nattily outfitted ( sooooo Savile Row!!), do their homework, are armed with convincing arguments, supported by authentic-sounding facts and figures. Their accents and presentation are way more polished, and somehow they always end up making our lot look like turkeys. Underdressed turkeys, at that. Howcome the neighbours , who are perpetually on the offensive, are rarely challenged or silenced by Team India?? Howcome, our aggressive, gelled hair anchors who think nothing of letting locals have it, turn into purring pussycats while throwing questions at the official ‘dushman’?? Is it to show how ‘fair’ we are…. how objective, non-partisan and rational?? If that is the thinking behind all the hot air, then it is a complete waste of viewers’ time. Which is why I no longer watch…. not after what Mumbai endured . Not after the obvious and blatant lies we were fed on television.
It is time to grow up. 2009 is already here. Going eyeball-to-eyeball with Pakistan (on television debates), is not helping the situation. If anything, we are looking wimpish and apologetic, as minister after minister makes the same meaningless noises, while those guys get away with quotable quotes about non-state actors , reactions to actions and other boasts , which frankly, sound terrific when delivered with such aplomb from across the border on apna channels. Viewers feel like yelling, “ Shut up , you guys. Kuch kar ke dikhao. Doomb mat hilao,” to our dheela chaps. Sometimes, we do manage to get an intelligent perspective, generally from an academic or defence strategist. But since that person is not a media ‘celeb’, nobody pays attention – except the very people who should not be in the loop about the chinks in our armour or even our future plans, in quite such an upfront manner. Nothing is a secret these days… there are eyes and ears everywhere. Even so, when panelists are discussing war – WAR, for Chrissake – a modicum of discretion isn’t such a bad idea. One of the main media flaws while covering the Mumbai terror attacks was the absence of discretion, which in retrospect certainly seems to point towards lives lost because tv reporters blabbed away, revealing more than was needed. Even after that horrific experience, we continue to use those mikes as weapons of mass destruction, with a shocking absence of sensitivity in grim situations.
In the first week of a brand new year, every columnist wishes to write an upbeat, cheerful column, highlighting the more positive aspects of the twelve months ahead. This was my desire as well. Come on, De, I said to myself – stop being such a party pooper. Unlike Suketu Mehta, who claimed he was ready to put on his dancing shoes and jetlite it to Mumbai to drink a beer at Café Leopold right after it was partially destroyed by the terrorists, I am still in shock ( but not in awe). I can’t stop sulking. I can’t control my seething rage. It can’t get any worse than it already is – I mean, look at it this way. It is election time… of course, there will be maar peet, looting, cheating, murders, kidnapping, lynching, extortions, horse trading, poll rigging – the works. The fun has already started. Everyone knows how it plays out. This election will be about caste and nothing else. So, be prepared. Criminals are already in the fray… there will be several more by the time the last ticket is handed out. Big Brother ( do I need to spell out which one I am referring to?), will be watching, advising and monitoring this one closely. Really, really closely. The neighbours will also be there, tongues hanging out to see the farce as it unfolds. There will be violence and deaths . Mayhem and manipulation. It may turn out to be the bloodiest election in India’s history. But so what?? We are still a democracy,darling! We can criticize our netas and report all this - LIVE – the ultimate reality show. Wow! Imagine. Rahul Mahajan and Sanjay Dutt campaigning – that’s how open a society we are – even they, with their records have their constituencies. There are more scoundrels waiting in the wings. Isn’t that something?? Meanwhile… bechara Kasab. Uski haalat to dekho! Let’s hope he gets a fair trial, so we can show the world our great judicial system and how it works in our great democracy. Our enemies are just trying to demoralize and malign us. Ignore them, yaar! We know the truth – Hum sab chor hai. Jai Hind. Have a great year. And don’t forget to vote !


hitch writer said...

News channels are taken too seriously at times... remember they just have to fill their 24 hours and will do anything for that.... ( who needs a Paki view point in these stupid debates that resolve nothing but just enrage us more, plus the paki will just not reply to the questions he is asked but completely come up with an irrevelant argument or a completely different event and deflect the attention. )


Mud slinging is always easy ...!!

Do you have any solution to the situation we find ourselves in ??

Does a solution exist ???

Things are changing... they are becoming better... nothing is going to happen overnight !!

India is awakening... the citizens rage has ensured the politicians now fear, they apologise even resign. They are starting to feel accountable....

Once more and more people will vote the ministers will have to perform to be elected or stay in their jobs...

Also at times we try and expect a near ideal nation for ourselves which I am sorry doesnt exist any where and each country has its own set of problems !!!

Crows are black every where ...

Regarding Pakistan they are being exposed slowly but surely.... They themselves now feel they are being isolated internationally. That is the first step in the diplomatic war we find ourselves in....

Harness the rage citizens and keep the pressure.... things will change... they have started to change for the better ...

Baba Tiratzo said...

I agree with you Shobhaa. I think we are loosing at every front now. If Israel can do it ... why can't India?

Anonymous said...

hi shobhaa ...i like your to the point content and writing style...though its a pain reading in the layout you have...all messed up in one paragraph.

breaking it up into different paragraphs will make it so easy to read.


Rashida said...

Ms. De, your points are very apt, and its true that media as anything but responsible. Lets face it news channels are 24X7 reality shows.
Nonetheless, the youth has become quite aggressive. if this aggression is not channeled appropriately we will see much more destruction and mayhem leading to even more disastrous ripple effects thanks to the recession.
We need to ignore the debates and actually follow democracy in its true meaning. A Group of people, called Citizens Alive, had organised the Global Peace Rally in Pune. And Pune saw better response than Mumbai. The people are more aware now. I hope that people vote right and we see better times (politically) in 2009!!!

Happy New Year!!


Arjun said...

saucy as ever.
all we do is talk talk talk.
only lets out the steam.. no real solution.

Time we decide to VOTE... yes I just kinda enrolled to vote.. not the perfect Indian am I.
But then the question arises - whom to vote for. It's an age old question and we all understand politicians and their corrupt ideas.

Sadly there ain't even a single party with a national level executable agenda which will work beyond words - at this time

Milind Kher said...

Your point about the Pakis being better dressed than us is well taken. The downside to it is that they talk a lot of nonsense.

Anyway, there is only a limit to which you can be affected by all this. We all have lives of our own to lead too!

Ramesh Patel said...

You are amusing as usual. You have an infatuation towards glib talking well dressed liars (I mean Pak.Foreign Minister and others). You have described them as 'chatur & chalak' which is misleading. I have a feeling that you would even appreciate good looking well dressed terrorists.

Anonymous said...

err... what is the point but?

I mean, we all can crib and crib and revel on our intelligence showing in the smart taunts that we've hurled and crib some more...

But haven't we had enough of this? I was really expecting celebrated writers like you to focus on solutions coz. the problems are there for all of us to see and live through.

Has even Shobhaa De has got nothing better than cribbing (and that too in style)?

Meenakshi said...

I think i am going to puke @ celebrated writer. UGH!

Navin said...

Solution dahlings solution!!!...stop cribbing..and why dont we focus on what should be the solution!!...NSG in every prominent city??...High security checks at railway stations, airports, malls??..Wont this make Mumbai a Fortress??...Talk about all these points dear, than talking about the polished dressing sense of Pakistanis, smug editors, Big Brother and what not!!!..Once the solution is drafted, can we form a civic body to administer its implementation...why is nobody talking about all these things!!!!..Come on Shobhaa, being a fiery journo & one with high contacts, why dont u contribute to society in a positive than cribbing on blogs??...Come on..isnt it about time to give back to the society??

Pritesh Patel said...

Guys, experience 'Australia', i was completely overwhelmed by it. Great cinema!

Anonymous said...

the point is not if pakis are better looking or well dressed, the fact is that they speak lot of bull shit these days. in the first week after 26/11 they were talking about a mossad -RSS conspiracy JUST BECAUSE hemant karkare 9who was investigating 'hindu terrorists' role in malegaon blasts) was killed! and when india asked pakis to hand over mazhood azhar and co, the 'better looking, well dressed' intellectuals said pak can ask for advani and LT. col purohit in return!!! what crap! and your point of pak bashing by the indian media is confusing!! even the FBI and the british agencies have agreed to the same

Anonymous said...

Okay, so why not a panel composed of Shobhaa De, Tavleen Singh, Arundhati Roy, Teesta Setalvad, Varsha Bhosle (bring her out of retirement!!!), Asma Jehangir and Begum Nawazish Ali? (And some others from uss paar - I am not familiar enough to name names.) Barkha Dutt, are you reading this?

Balvinder Singh said...

Shobhaa, i think the point that you wanted to make somewhat drowned a bit in your English. So the commentators here have conecentrated more on categories of the debaters and their dresses taht you were talking about.

Yes i was following news hour debates like that of Arnab Goswami and others. These debates are becoming a drab and meaningless affair now. The very fact that same speakers on both sides are seen day in and day out repeating same accusations and defence every time, one is bound to have doubts that whether or not these debates are stage managed to earn TRPs ???

Anonymous said...

Contest 2009 election. Possible ?

Rashida said...

If only few of the people who are here cribbing, complaining and contradicting would actually have the guts to enter the system!!!

The candidates may just be among us Ms De, if we stop cribbing, we might find them.

Power is a vicious drink, it gives an instant kick, we need leaders who can sustain it and hold their drink!!!!

Dewdrop said...

Agree Shobha... we need to rise strong and march shoulder to shoulder against this... enough is just enough!

Anonymous said...

Some dumb people who commented earlier think that if Israel can do it, why can't india?

Are they so stupid to know what sort of political and economical situation India is right now? We cannot afford a war, nor can we get the political support to back it. Its that simple yaar... grow up and do a little more research before turning into uneducated and ignorant war mongers. Pakistan bashers are simply kids who want to throw a tantrum which quite frankly is possibly the easiest task in the world.

All i have to say is GROW UP fellow indians. You are as half assed as our politicians (especially BJP) are.

- Anonymous returns ;)

Anonymous said...

Its simple. Nuke the Muslim savages next door and gas the muslim savages in our country. It may take a while but its well worth it.

Anonymous said...

And who the hell cares what those dirty Pakis are dressed like ? The SS dressed well too, were you impressed by them too ?
But you're absolutely right about the unprofessionalism of the Indian reporters that I think they should all be executed, starting with Barkha Dutt.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms De,

Your blog is difficult to read.

Its poorly formatted and doesnt have good enough pragraph-ing - which would facilitate easy reading and help to focus on the point you are making.

Too many "...", etc!

You are a fantastic writer - Loved your "Superstar India".

And to then have a blog that is so tacky in presentation is surprising!

Please help out!

sanjuayyar said...

Agree. Agree. Agree.

Have a point to add De.

The anger is still simmering, particularly after looking at our national leaders who are making condradictory comments on alternate days.

One day, they speak of surgical strikes. The other day, good old Manmohan says that war is not the solution.

This post can easily be added as a page anywhere in Aravind Adiga's 'The White Tiger'.

Loved that book. Have you read it yet?

Kiran said...

Hi Shobha,

India need people who can stand up to the challenges. We are just full of politically correct people who cant even make honest statements, forget any action whatsoever!
I stopped watching desi news channels after waiting for a month to see if our dear govt can do something but they cant just do anything( except for filling their pockets). Sadly our govt is reflection of our society, no matter how much I feel for our country but the truth is we are a bunch of manipulative politically correct arses who just want to make sure our children score 90% and we earn more than our neighbors!

Its only when 26/11 happens we shout few slogans, make comparisons with Israel and then go on with our lives, because we just dont have it in us! Most of us would not even want to send our children to compulsory military training, we love to do just one thing- talk!!!!......blah blah blah, it should be this way, should , should and more shoulds....

I too keep a blog( ) and love reading your views, I might not endorse everything you write but I just admire the fact that you have it in you to write opinions and not politically correct statements....

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Anonymous on Jan 4 10.03 AM :

Loved your guest list for the round table discussion. Oh can we add that foaming at the mouth Natrajan woman and Renuka Chowdhary of silk saris and lipstick on teeth fame to the list? What about the very articulate and bright Vasundhara Raje, though she has too many undemocratic "royal" nakhras and "adaas". Perhaps HIB (Hamari Italian Bahu)too! But that will mean that HIB will actually have to say something of note and make sense and not just sulk to get her way and look sour. Hmmmmm... perhaps HIB better not be there.

Varsha Bhonsle we need you to liven up the discussion. That woman is bright and not afraid to speak her mind. Havent seen her write for a while, but loved how she wrote even if I did not agree with all of it. She should be enough on the other side of the table to take on the Teestas and Arundhatis of the world. She is "teekhat and meeth" (chilli and salt) enough to make the mental masala taste good!

Shobhaa if you know Varsha please tell her a fan awaits!

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if the talking heads were only women. Would perspectives change?

Anonymous said...

Kiran, HIB is actually an extremely smart woman, like it or not.


Another Kiran In NYC said...

Ah yes, I must concede that HIB is extremely machevellian in pushing a personal or familial agenda , but her skills are nary used to lead people in good governance. The scuttle butt in Sadi Dilli is that unless you have promised her much, much more than your first born you will not be granted a hearing even to conduct day to day business and to get more than an extremely sour look or be treated to her famous sulks. An inaccessible (and dependent only on loyalty) administrator or leader is neither.... Administrator or Leader. That is not smart at all.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous you sound like a typical Congress supporting liberal, leftist secular faggot. Sonia Gandhi definitely has a bigger dick than you, you stupid cocksucker.

Anonymous said...

what do u think of urself??
u want to c srk in ur saree?? give it ur husband.. giv bangles and ear rings too..God knows.. he maybe wearing them always.. and u think deepika is ugly?? then who's beautiful?? ur daughter?? i'd seen her wedding photos.. she's not half as beautiful as rakhi sawant.. what to say abt ur daughter.. look at u.. ha ha.. look who's commenting on deepika's beauty.. zaraa aaina isthamal karo..

Dr K PrabhakarRao said...

Hello readers and Mrs Shobha De

Kindly visit my blog
There are eight full fledged research articles relating to Bombay attack and Indian inability to strongly react. Ours is a nation devoid of competent guys who can lead the country well. After Indira Gandhi, the country has drifted away to inaction and pseudo secularism. Governmnet reaction towards Pakistan after the attack is a great shame to our country. The whole world is laughing and mocking at us as an incompetent and impotent nation where some most inefficient men on the earth are leading the nation. IT IS A DISGRACE TO ALL OF US. Yor post in Dc, Hyderabad was good and tallys with what I wrote in my articles. These artcles are also posted on Progressive . You may reply at these posts too.


Prof Dr Colonel ( Retired) K Prabhakar Rao

@lankr1ta said...

The one thing that surprises me after the Mumbai attacks is how everyone is taking them seriously. Because in India we do not take any of these things seriously. I think it is a fad, another passing idea. Because there was not much flak at the Assam bomb blasts. But Mumbai is on everyone's list. Concern, you say? Where was this concern since 1992? Pakistan may be involved- ( terrorists being Pakistanis does not make the country involved, just as Ramalinga Raju being an Indian does not Make ALL Indian software firms corrupt).But the non-serious way in which we deal with ANY law and order issue in the country is signal enough all over the world. Everyone just makes the right kind of noises. The pity is, this time even the common masses are chiming in- adding to the noise. No one cares. Not the public, not the politicians. Because we would have cared a long while ago and not been such a deeply fragmented "hota hai" kind of people.

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