Sunday, December 27, 2009

Trapped in Wonderland

The Book (Le Senat, Paris)

Dawn of the Night (Town Square, Pontoise)

A Cry for Freedom (A street corner, Amsterdam)

Their Prophet (Another street corner, Amsterdam)

Open Space (Axe Majeure, Cergy St. Christophe)

The Road to Heaven (Path by the river, Neuville Sur Oise)

The Raven (Shakespeare and Co., Paris)

Their Patron Saint (Shakespeare and Co., Paris)

Melody in Motion (Quartier Latin, Paris)

The Middle Finger (Eiffel Tower, Paris)

Fodder for the Bookworm (Le Senat, Paris)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adventure 50

Lok Paritran Revisited - Maybe I am a Clairvoyant After All

I celebrate my fiftieth post in a foul mood. Over two years ago I had made this feeble attempt at satirical humor:

However, that post had been inspired by the brouhaha over "educated" professionals, especially IITians joining politics. People were writing feel-good blog posts and news articles about the new wave of political reforms that would be brought about by two parties, Lok Paritran and Bharat Punarnirman Dal. I didn't feel too good though. Their websites and mission statements reeked of something fishy, and I couldn't quite tell what it was. Was it the radical and revivalist Hindutva in their mission statements? Their websites seemed to be full of the type of pseudo-patriotism that typifies their better-known Hindutva redneck siblings . That feeling of discomfort was heightened by the photographs of the members of these organizations. Somehow, they did not seem to be the erudite and idealistic scholars they claimed to be. Rather, they seemed to be, and certainly dressed like, the upper-caste Brahmins and landlords portrayed by B-Grade Bollywood movies. The kind that brought about the complex racism typical of India, millenia ago.The fact that there was a public outpouring of support for these political novices made me even more uncomfortable; the very fact that they could actually be the ones in power some day did not go down well with me. Thankfully the Indian electorate does not comprise of solely of IT professionals and engineering hopefuls at Kota. They rejected these pretenders who promised reform.

The Lok Paritran is now a party that has disintegrated into a morass of hatred. And sleaze. Take a look at their website.

Read each post fully and carefully. Savor the feeling of disgust that envelopes you. You might have believed in these guys, and they could have been in power. Be thankful that we had statesmen like Nehru and Ambedkar to put us on the track of some stability sixty years ago. Whatever their faults may have been (and I concede they had plenty), they prevented us from being another Honduras, Rwanda or even Pakistan. Be thankful that we have a person who is erudite, honest and pragmatic in the form of Dr. Manmohan Singh at the helm rather than a peddler of hatred and revivalism, as some of our states do. And be afraid. Very afraid. One wrong move at the hustings could precipitate India towards doom faster than you think.

If you are not yet convinced, here is the kind of hatred that's fostered among the brightest of India's brain pool.

Think twice about electing people who have spent their formative years in such cesspools of intellectual filth. Think twice before you embrace a change that might ruin you. Irreversibly.

Jai Hind.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Adventure 49

The CSIR Comedy

Read this post and the comments at this blog to realize why the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research will never be responsible for that next great breakthrough.

I plead guilty for a few of the last comments. However, do my comments seem more retarded than the comments made by what is considered to be a nation's premier science brain pool?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Adventure 48

Open letter to Richard Dawkins

Here is an email I wrote to Richard Dawkins (to the email addresses available on his website), especially as he has provided a separate contact email address for reporting design issues.
Website URL:
dateThu, Dec 3, 2009 at 9:01 PM
subject Please change your website design: Resembles a televangelist's website

Dear Mr. Dawkins

I have been very impressed by your talks and have read a little bit of your works. However, when I visited your website, I was grossly disappointed by its design. As an atheist and opponent of religion, especially religious fanaticism and chicanery of any kind, I would like to point out that your website has a very "American-Televangelist-Biblical" look and feel. It has your picture with an ocean and blue skies as a background, similar to a lot of fraudulent televangelists out there. Even the sidelines advertise your books in a way typical of several religious cults. For the world's best-known living atheist, that's not a very good thing.
For example, here is the site of Benny Hinn (whose name you must have no doubt heard).
I hope you take my comments in the right spirit.

Hoping for a new-look website advertising your ideas,
Yours Sincerely
Prithwiraj Mukherjee