Friday, May 31, 2013

Ranjini Haridas and the Mallu Male

Most malayali men find the idea of a smart and successful woman (especially if she speaks English) pretty hard to gulp down. They are brought up (by their own parents) in an environment steeped in sexism and misogyny, and most of them grow up to be male chauvinists who think with their penises instead of their brains and who have little respect for women. That explains the derogatory misogystic comments that have been floating around on the social media ever since this alleged episode of Renjini Haridas jumping the queue at Cochin Airport took place. It only goes to show how culturally degraded, and deplorably so, a large section of the Malayali male community is (and their parents are). And the funniest and saddest part is that they genuinely seem to like that status and seem proud to announce to the world that they are such depraved voyeuristic souls and lead such wonderful dissipated lives! 

I am no terrible fan of Renjini’s or of the show she hosts, but the fact remains that her show has been a very successful one and that she has been hosting it for more than eight years now, and that’s no mean achievement.

If you take the recent incident of her allegedly jumping the queue at the Cochin airport, there is a complaint registered with the police and both the parties involved have made allegations against each other and given contradictory statements. And, of course, as far as I know, the police is looking into the matter and it’s being investigated.

What clearly shows the attitude I mentioned earlier is the enormous number of posts that were floating around (and still do) on the social media hurling the choicest abuses at Renjini and replete with lewd, salacious remarks and comments through which some depraved voyeuristic souls vented their frustration. No one, other than the the parties involved in the incident and those who were in close proximity to them on that day, and of course the police, would or could have been in a position to know what exactly happened there and who’s telling the truth and who’s lying. But every discussion on the social media based itself on the default reasoning that Renjini (being bold, smart and outspoken and successful – read “ahankaari” in Malayalam) created the fracas and poor boy, Binoy (who saved mallu manhood the embarrassment of a collective erectile dysfunction), could only have been the victim and never the aggressor. The verdict was out as soon as the matter reached the social media…and who’s bothered to find out what actually transpired there and who was actually at fault… well that’s for the police and the authorities to find out, and who’s bothered anyway!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The land of the "offended"!!!

It is disturbing and extremely annoying to watch yet another drama of hurt-religious-sentiments unfold before you, this time in connection with the release of Kamal Hassan's movie, Viswaroopam.  And it is no surprise that the state, as always, has preferred to be an apathetic audience to the ugly spectacle of its citizens' fundamental rights being trampled upon by some religious fanatics.  They call them fringe organisations, but, I guess, far from being marginal, the influence of such extremism is more deep rooted in every religion (Remember the way M.F. Hussain, arguably one of the greatest painters India has ever seen, was hounded out of the country by rabid Hindu "fringe" groups).  It is indeed a shame that governments do not protect the fundamental rights of their citizens, and instead end up buckling meekly and letting such mongrels have their way, whereas what they really should be doing is treating such movements with the ridicule and contempt they deserve and crushing them if they resort to any sort of violence. But then for that you need leaders with integrity, courage and vision, and sadly, like they say, they don't make them like that anymore!!

We have some archaic draconian laws (like the ones on sedition and blasphemy, AFSPA, etc.) which are used by governments to silence the sane and rational voices that are raised against oppression and injustice and those who stand up for the vulnerable and the poor.  And if you want to unleash hatred and violence and commit atrocities in the name of (any) religion and (any) god, India is simply THE right place to be, however small a group you are; and if you're lucky enough, you might even end up getting some state sponsorship.  With the way our governments make a mockery of democracy and justice, things, sadly, have a reached a point where calling India a free democracy would be tantamount to sarcasm.