October 13, 2007

You think

Some snippets from here and there.

Conversation between two people, P1 and P2, started with discussing a bomb in Ajmer and went downhill from there. Here's the tail end.
    P1: Sonia is not an Indian! She was born in another country!

    P2: Well, so was LK Advani. Are you saying he is not Indian?

    P1: That's quite different. Go back 60 years, and where he was born was not in a different country.

    P2: So?

    P1: So it's not the same thing.

    P2: OK, so go back thousands of years then, and where Sonia was born was not in a different country either. In fact, there were no countries then.

    P1: You know what, you just don't know the meaning of being Indian.
What do you think?


A Hindustan Times (Oct 13) article about the scarcity of parking space in Bombay ends with this quote from realty consultant Ramesh Naik:
    "Getting a parking spot is such an issue for many residents [of Bombay] that they prefer keeping their cars parked at home and use public transport to commute."
Which is, actually, the point. What do you think?


Two items from the sports pages of the HT (Oct 13). This one first:
    Both police and the Baroda Cricket Association have vehemently denied that Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds was racially abused during the fifth one-day international against India here.

    Vadodara Police Commissioner PC Thakur said that the crowd occasionally chanted "Ganapati-bappa Moriya", which might have led to the confusion.

    Earlier, Australian newspapers claimed Symonds was subjected to monkey chants while fielding on the boundary.

    "... [N]one [in the crowd] uttered a single word against any Australian player," Thakur said.
And this one second:
    South African all-rounder Vernon Philander and assistant coach Vincent Barnes were racially abused with monkey chants during the second Test against Pakistan on Friday, officials said. Police removed about a dozen spectators, mostly school students, from the stadium during the match in Lahore after complaints from the South African team, officials said.
Various thoughts float in the air. The same spectators in Baroda and Lahore? The Lahore police unable to offer an excuse involving "Ganpati-bappa Moriya"? The Lahore police willing, where their Baroda counterparts instead deny wrong, to act swiftly against stupidity and abuse? What do you think?

Whatever you do think, I'm reminded of Viv Richards. Five years ago, after crowds ruined three India-WI matches in a row, that swaggering West Indian hero of the game wrote in a Times of India column:
    During my playing days, Indian crowds had the reputation of loving their cricket and applauding even visiting players. I have scored a few runs in these parts, and I remember crowds applauding me whenever I reached a personal milestone.

    Sadly, the current spectators don't seem to love cricket, only Indian cricketers. I am saddened to note that no one claps when a West Indian reaches a 50 or takes a wicket.
What do you think?


Anonymous said...

It is a reflection of the times, isn't it? Why pick on cricket, Dilip? After all for many of the watchers in the stands (a majority of whom were probably "VIPs" or relatives & friends of "VIPs", with next to zero knowledge of the game's intricacies), the taunting of Symonds was probably nothing more than entertainment.

Cricket spectators and followers of both Sonia and Advani are after all not distinct from the milieu surrounding them. We live in a period where:

- entertainment means (insanely popular) reality TV contests where participants and judges peck at each other shamelessly, and where winners are decided by SMS votes from uncritical and ignorant audiences

- political leadership means stressing how "we" are different from, or superior than, or more discriminated against, than "them"

- law and order, for both police and public, means taking the law in their own hands and indulging in vigilantism of the most brutal kind

- even news reporting means peddling unverified sensationalism, or, better still, manufacturing sensation through fabricated stings

In the face of a poor show from the home team the spectators taunting Symonds were probably only entertaining themselves and the crowd. And the crasser the entertainment the better, I suppose.

As for the inactivity of the law enforcers in the stadium, could it be that they might also have been enjoying the "entertainment" provided by the taunts?

wise donkey said...

we are not racists.
the fairness creams ads, well just a coincidence

Anonymous said...

A desperate attempt at resuscitating your blog's dwindling readership!

Anonymous said...

> A desperate attempt at resuscitating your
> blog's dwindling readership!

As long as you're reading it, I believe DD cares a hoot for dwindling readership.

Anonymous said...

1. Sonia: Dont care much for this issue but a victory secured by going back 1000s of years is the defn of pyrrhic.

2. Traffic: No comment.

Like many others I discussed this with, I didnt find anything 'racist' though the taunting itself was offensive. Have no doubt whatsoever that we are in general racist or 'skin-colorist'.

I have read abt whites receving reverse racism here- better treatment than they get back home, and better than the natives.

Now I have come to know that Symonds is of West Indies descent. I still dont know or care much if he is dark-complexioned but if so, there is an implicit racism there, a 'macaca' moment that was acted out.


Anonymous said...

a victory secured by going back 1000s of years is the defn of pyrrhic.

wot about a victory secured by going back 60 years? when does a victory become pryhhic?

Anonymous said...

A small comment only on the Sonia- Advani issue.

To P2: If thousands of years ago, there were no countries, then there would have been no Britain as well. Then why did we Indians drive those poor British sods out of the Country and gain Independence? We could have welcomed them with open arms just like we are doing for Sonia!

Or is the fact that there were no Britishers who assumed the last name as Gandhi which did not endear them to us?