Friday, April 22, 2011

Airtel The Pimp & Broker

If you accuse me not having any experience with Vodafone, BSNL, MTNL, Reliance or Tata you would probably be right. I don’t ! But my life just changed when I came across a company called AIRTEL. Yeah I am one of those miserable assholes who got myself an AIRTEL mobile connection and my life has been exciting since then.  Guess what? I didn’t just get a simple SIM card, I got myself a pimp and a broker for free.

For all those who value their privacy and the comfort of being connected AIRTEL is the son you never wanted.  All through the day you are likely to get messages of properties in Noida, Gurgaon and anywhere in India. I never knew Airtel was an estate broker. This comes free. Hahahahahha! Wait, that is not all.

Having got myself an AIRTEL SIM card I decided I was tired of these stupid smses all day and went ahead to register on their DND thing. Isn’t that nice? A phone company that even has this service? So, after you key in your phone number AIRTEL will send you a 4 digit pin code which you key in and you’re registered for a DND. Or so I thought. But before you can proceed to the next screen you will be offered some 7 options to select from. Options are Real Estate, Health, Tourism and so on. And here‘s the deal – Unless you select one of these options you can’t register for DND. So AIRTEL has options to invade your ass whether you like it or not. Do you feel lucky?

If you were walking down Kamati bazaar in Bombay you would probably come across those special characters who would give you a guided tour. You touch, don’t touch, you see or don’t see but you pay! You look, you pay! You touch, you pay! You screw, you pay! You get wet, you pay! Hahahahha you can do all this for free with AIRTEL! The free pimp! Keep it zipped or don’t get wet, else you will pay!

I finally realised with my experience that DND in case of AIRTEL is not Do Not Disturb. It means Dumb N Dumber. You buy a SIM card and you get a pimp and estate broker for free! Isn’t that what we always wanted?

I wonder how much the pimp makes for selling your identity and number! Make a wild guess!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Outsourcing Dirty Tricks

The Congress is still licking its wounds from the Anna Hazare episode. All reasonable people would have expected that the Congress will now start discrediting the civilians on the panel of the Lokpal draft committee. Wait, you haven’t seen everything yet! There will now be that special department that pokes into everyone’s privacy that will spy on the panellists and dig for juicy tidbits.

If ever Digvijay Singh opens his mouth you can smell the gutter from a particular Janpath street. So suddenly the jobless DS starts bandying charges of excessive spending or corporate sponsoring of the Hazare campaign. So figures like 80 lakhs from corporates or 50 lakhs spent on the fast will be frequently heard. Eighty lakhs and fifty lakhs? That is like petty cash for the party of the corrupt. That could well be less than the amount some of our politicians spend on their bathrooms. Never mind that.

Now we have an audio CD containing exchanges between Shanti Bhushan and guess who? Yes, that man for all seasons of trouble, Amar Singh. When was the last time the Congress was in serious trouble? Hmmmm, let’s see that would be around the cash for votes scam of July 2008 when MPs were bought. Well, who saved the UPA government then? Amar Singh and the Samajwadi Party.  I think the Cricket match fixing and spot fixing may have sprouted a new breed of specialist fixers in politics. It’s not a BPO but you could call it the DTO (Dirty Tricks Outsourcing).

One has to wonder how and why this CD suddenly turned up from nowhere and then Amar Singh is once again all over the TV channels defending this and defending that. Nice try, I believe everything he says hahahhahahaa! Do you? It will take an altogether different campaign to get rid of people like Amar Singh from politics.

As for the Bhushans, one of them should have voluntarily stepped out of the Lokpal Bill draft committee. They may be good lawyers but the current politicians and their DTOs are sure to taint everyone that questions or defies them.  Watch out for some shit to come out against Santosh Hegde or more on Anna Hazare.  And if the Congress ever needs a helping hand, guess who’s ready! Guess who’s willing?

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Idiot's Guide To Killing Our Cricketers

Strange are the ways a government works around election time. You never know who they are really trying to appease. And anyone is fair game, including cricketers. The public is often accused of having a short memory. In this case, over and over again, it seems that our government and parts of the media are the ones with a short memory. The Kandahar hijack, the 26/11 attacks and many other terrorist attacks do seem to be distant episodes of Pakistan’s hatred for India as far as our politicians go. It is one thing to invite the Pak PM for a cricket match but a totally outrageous idea to send our cricketers to play in Pakistan again. It’s a place where no other nation wants to play cricket right now. I doubt any nation wants to play any game in Pakistan right now. No one, except our foolish government. Let’s also remember how the Times Group told us during the 26/11 attacks that “we will never forget this” and a few months later were peddling something called ‘Aman Ki Asha’.

To all the morons who repeatedly suggest that cricket and politics should not be linked I simply want to say that when it comes to Pakistan, don’t mix anything. They do not deserve our sympathy or friendship. If Pakistan truly desires peace and friendship with India then it should be up to them to make the first moves now. The attack on the Sri Lankan players in Pakistan in early 2009 is the worst attack on sportspersons since the attack on Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972. The Lankans were fortunate to survive that attack. Who would want to risk such an attack on our own players, which is a very tempting prospect for the Paki terrorists. Importantly, no matter what fortresses and security you build around players that is not the frame of mind in which any sportsperson would like to play a game.

One is tempted to recall the very kind words that Shahid Afridi used to describe India and Indians, after the world cup semi-final match recently. While he may sound like a juvenile jerk his sentiments are quite similar to what most Pakistanis share about India. All this crap about people to people contact is limited to a few elites in politics and media. Ordinary Indians want nothing to do with Pakistan. A failed state which has nothing to offer to any country in the world and survives on misdirected aid is not exactly a friend anyone wants.

If Pakistan is in the miserable position of being unable to play any major international sport on its own soil that is of its own making. It is Pakistanis themselves who have put themselves in that situation and India neither has the need nor the responsibility to play agony aunt to this terrorist state. We have been generous enough to allow some Pakistani assholes to come and dance and sing and strut around in Big boss and such programmes or Bollywood. Let them respond in kind to that first. And then you have Paki singers who come here and smuggle illegal cash and funds and the government lets them off lightly.

Our cricketers have a lot going for them in our own country. The IPL has clearly shown the door to Paki players and if that doesn’t tell the government something then both S.M. Krishna and Manmohan Singh have to be political bimbos.Stop thinking about Pakistan and think for Indian cricketers and people. Our cricketers are not lambs to be sent for a slaughter. The PM should send his own family and members of the ruling party to go and provide entertainment for Pakis and win friendship.

I have a suggestion though. Our cricketers have not aired any willingness to play in Pakistan. But there are some who are deeply in love with Pakistan and consider that terrorist state a friendly neighbour. I suggest we send the likes of Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan and maybe even Barkha Dutt to entertain Pakis. There can be no better ambassadors than these and who knows Pakistan might even keep them forever and I for one would be delighted if they do.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sense & Senility

If a poor child does not have any means for education, then how will Lokpal bill help? If a poor man needs help for medical services then he will call up a politician. How will the Lokpal bill help”? That is a statement attributed to Kapil Sibal (TOI April 12). That is profound wisdom for you! I cannot fathom how the Lokpal bill is in any way connected to education or medical services. More, what stops the government from ensuring education for the poor is free and medical services are made available too. The real Gandhi would rot in hell if he sees the state of affairs of the present Congress. And there cannot be any further doubt that Sibal and some more Congressmen have not only lost their senses but are now bordering senility.

Anna Hazare’s campaign has been called a comic revolution (Manu Joseph of Open magazine) and ‘rule of the unelected’ by many media persons. Nothing wrong with the first statement. Every revolution has a comic side to it. How else does one explain the presence of Swami Agnivesh in this campaign?  Hazare had made it clear that no politician will share the stage with him. Agnivesh was, is and will be a politician. There’s the irony. And then like most stupid politicians even after his victory Hazare goes around giving interviews to the media. The man hasn’t learnt in all of his 71 years that the media exists to destroy and poke holes into every action and word of any leader. So the question the media now happily raises: ‘Is this rule by the unelected’.

The answer to the question of ‘rule by the unelected’ can partly be answered by another constitution, one of the USA. The second amendment of the US constitution allows people to bear arms. The words in that amendment have been interpreted in many forms but here is a very common interpretation: “The Constitution aside, bearing arms is a fundamental human right. It is the only means the American people have to reclaim control of their government, should it one day become irredeemably corrupt”. Arms aside, it is the duty of the unelected to reclaim their government should it become irredeemably corrupt. Is our government irredeemably corrupt? Make a wild guess!

Now, there is this lot in the Maharashtra Assembly which has moved a privilege motion against actor Anupam Kher for supposedly stating “throw out the constitution”. Kher, of course, has denied making that statement and there is no evidence that he has. But what even if he did make that statement. What is so damn wrong about that? Why don’t these same people move a posthumous privilege motion against Babasaheb Ambedkar? He is known as the architect of the constitution and he himself is on record stating he would be the first one to burn it.(Read the post Ambedkar wanted to burnthe constitution.. And he should have ! ) Again a case of the Congress+NCP losing its senses. After all, Sharad Pawar was accused by Hazare as the most corrupt in the Lokpal bill draft committee. And the NCP is the protector of the constitution. If anything, politicians have subverted the constitution many times over. Does that make sense?

Senility is now spreading across the Congress. Just the other day Sonia Gandhi was reported to seek votes for the LDF in Kerala. That’s the alliance the Congress is fighting the elections against. Well, it might just be a slip of tongue, but she sought votes for the LDF more than once. And who do they blame? The speech writers. That’s a good one. Even a badly written speech is always dealt with skilfully by a speaker with presence of mind. That says a lot for Sonia Gandhi’s general awareness levels. I wonder who will hang for her silly mistake now.

Finally, I couldn’t resist responding to my favourite politician – Rahul ‘The Duh’ Gandhi! Whenever he opens his mouth there is bound to be at least one great gem of wisdom. He finally seems to have got basic arithmetic right and learnt to count. Achutanandan, the CM of Kerala, would be 93 he said if he finishes another term in power. Hmmmm! He is 87, so plus 5 makes it 93 according to Rahul Gandhi. And then Abhishek Manu Singhvi cries and complains at Rahul being called an ‘Amul baby’ by Achutanandan. That’s more comedy for you. The Congress’ TN alliance chief, Karunanidhi, is almost 90. Manmohan Singh will be into his eighties and Rahul Gandhi, the sage, will be 400 before he becomes PM. The ghost who walks! That’s Congress sense and senility for everyone.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lokpal Bill: Why The Congress Blinked..

For five days the drama of Anna Hazare’s fast unto death gripped the nation and even NRIs beyond our borders. In my previous post I had written that if the Manu Singhvis and the Manish Tiwaris and the Congress don’t wake up and act the people’s army and artillery will be right there at their doorstep. And sure enough, they were there. And how! A few Congressmen and some in the media tried to dismiss the Hazare campaign as arm-twisting and blackmail but little did they realise how well organised and planned the campaign was. The Congress didn’t get a sniff into Anna’s strategy.

First, let’s give credit where it’s due. Hahahhahaha! I am laughing at the silly media channels trying to take the credit for what was essentially a people’s campaign. Sample these slogans and lines : From Headlines Today: ‘People Against Corruption-Headlines Today Campaign’. Yes indeed, after all HT was the champion. Not to be left behind CNN-IBN slogan was ‘Citizens Against Corruption – A CNN-IBN Campaign’. Now you know who really ran the whole campaign against corruption! Don’t you? That’s not all there was your own channel TimesNow reminding us how it was the only channel to cover Hazare’s fast and campaign live right through. Hmmm! If not for TimesNow we would have never heard of all this. So now that the back-scratching by the news media has been dealt with, we can move on.

Kapil Sibal has once again proved to the nation what an ass he is. From the zero loss in 2G Scam to this campaign his utterances have over and over again proved only one thing – That Sibal doesn’t think much before speaking. Well, the otherwise articulate Sibal seems to have picked up these habits from the unbearable Singhvis and Tiwaris of the Congress. Forget Hazare holding a gun to the government’s head, the Congress shot itself in the foot once again. They didn’t really believe that Anna Hazare had it all well thought out and planned carefully.

First, corruption is a sore wound that hurts all citizens. Anna got it right. Then, it was important to get some honest and credible people into his campaign. So there was Anil Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi (I am not sure I want to put Swami Agnivesh in that league). Anna got it right. Catch the Congress at a time when elections are around in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and some more states. The timing was important. Anna got it right. The world cup fever had died and people had the mood for another public display of solidarity for something. Anna got it right. Then he had rightly expected that the people’s army would be out in great numbers all across the country. Anna got it right. Even a nobody like me got that one right. Most people did, all except the Congress. In the end, the Congress had only one option - 'Blink'!

Anna Hazare may not have expected his fast to wind up so quickly within about 4 days. He even had his next move planned – ‘jail bharo’. Caught up between a population growing increasingly angry and scared it might hurt their election alliances and results in key states did the Congress really have an option? The only option was to cave in and that’s the power of people. I am sure somewhere deep in their minds the Congress had images of Egypt and Libya playing out over and over again in their nightmares.

The campaign was a great victory and done in the right spirit. There was no rail-roko, no road-roko, no calls for bandh. This is how people can and should protest and agitate. Time the politicians and crooks learned who the real boss is! And no matter how the Congress paints the closure it’s been a resounding kick on the Congress ass and deservedly so. And it was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

MPs Have The Responsibility To Make Laws, Not The Right!

The fast unto death by Anna Hazare has been in the news on all the channels. Corruption has reached such dizzying heights in the nation that it now needs a war to be waged against it. Particularly against the very people who are supposed to make laws. Against the very people who have institutionalised corruption.

In particular, the response to this issue by Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi merits some response. First, he refers to Hazare’s actions as pressuring the government and second, calls it ‘holding a gun to the government’s head’. I am sorry Mr. Singhvi, the time to just hold a gun has passed, it is time to shoot! Over 4 decades of inaction doesn’t call for a gun, it really calls for the whole army at your doorstep. And the people’s army will arrive finally at the Congress’ doorstep.

The stupid arguments put forth by Singhvi once again expose the shamelessness of the government and instead of holding his feet to fire, the discussion in the media is whether the tactics of Hazare & Co. are depriving the right of the MPs to make laws.

It is important in a democracy not just to reject unfair and improper laws but to also force our MPs to pass appropriate laws that are necessary. Lobbyists have time and again have had laws passed by these very people to suit their own ends. Lobbying may not be legal in India but it is definitely practiced and our MPs and ministers are often slaves to these vested interests. So what exactly is wrong in Anna Hazare demanding a law and changes in the draft to the Lokpal bill? Manu Singhvi’s argument is that it’s the exclusive right of MPs and Parliament to pass laws and that this cannot be forced by people. Utter nonsense! MPs and parliament have the responsibility to pass laws not the right!

The laws that do need to be passed by parliament are definitely meant to reflect not just the will of the people but also serve justice. The current draft of the Lokpal bill, as reflected in the discussions on news channels is nothing but another rotten egg. It is therefore the right of Anna Hazare and every citizen to reject the draft and demand necessary alterations that will satisfy the will of the people and also justice.

Anil Kejriwal rightly showed indignation and anger at Singhvi (on CNN-IBN’s Face the nation on April 5) and reminded Singhvi who his masters are. Let MPs, the Prime Minister and the parliament never forget that in a democracy the rulers shall rule with the consent of those who are ruled and not the other way around.  If the current draft of the Lokpal bill does not have the consent of the people, they have the right to protest and demand changes in the draft. Mr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, despite being an eminent lawyer, needs to read the idiot’s guide to the democratic process. Power to the people does mean power to the people and not a bunch of ministers who can decide such laws. Especially, when the group of ministers consist of some very tainted persons.

MPs have the responsibility to enact laws. However, this is not their BIRTHRIGHT. This birthright is that of the people. The rulers shall rule only with the consent of the ruled. Our freedom was achieved by rejecting, disobeying and breaking laws that were unjust, unfair and anti-people. Therefore, the war against corruption is essentially another freedom struggle. It not only means unjust and wrong laws should be rejected and disobeyed, the right laws must be demanded by people and MPs must be forced to pass those laws. So the Manu Singhvis and Manish Tiwaris and the Congress better start acting and not wait for the tanks and heavy artillery to arrive.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Fake Cup Runneth Over...

On Times Now last night and even in the newspapers today there’s been much discussion on the Cricket World Cup given to the Indian team. Apparently, they were given a replica which they would have got to retain in the country. The TOI even has a headline today that states “…breathe easy, Team India got the right cup”. Absolutely wrong!

In most of the discussions on TimesNow the panelists talked about customs duty, goof up by either the ICC or the BCCI and so on. All of them, I repeat all of them, missed out on the most important aspect of a Trophy. That is, it passes on from one champion to another, or a champion gets to retain it by winning it. This cricket cup is not that old and does not have a long history. But in years to come the gross injustice and the stupidity of both the ICC and the BCCI will be painful.

Imagine you won Wimbledon this year. What cup would you like to hold and kiss? The replica that you can retain? Absolutely not. There is a sense of history. You want to hold and kiss the same cup that a Borg or a McEnroe or a Federer once held up. You want to belong to that league of champions who have held that cup with pride. You want to touch the same cup that a Zidane or Ronaldo had once held in their hands. This is the most important aspect and reason why the winners deserve the original trophy after a win and for the ceremony. Post event the replica is handed over.

The Indian team deserved to hold the same trophy that Ricky Ponting held up in 2003. The cricket cup has changed often. Else, Tendulkar and Dhoni would have liked to hold and kiss the same cup that Kapil Dev once held in his hands, as Clive Lloyd did. Sporting events have a touch of history and the emotional feeling of holding something that once belonged to a great champion or team is a spiritual high. There is surely a reason why boots, shirts or equipment belonging to champions fetch high prices in auctions or are preserved in museums. These simple facts seem to be lost on both the ICC and the BCCI.

It is typical of both the ICC and BCCI, full of non-playing idiots that run those bodies, that they are incapable of understanding sporting events and what a trophy really means. You would be happy if your kid were to ever be part of a world cup winning team. Ask yourself what cup would your kid like to hold? He would surely like to hold a cup that Tendulkar and Dhoni once held in their hands. You want to belong to that league of champions. No, but your kid will hold some stupid replica which you can buy any day on the streets of Jaipur.

The twisted logic used to explain the mishap, by both the ICC and the BCCI is simply shameful. But even more surprising is that the media harps on silly issues like customs duty and goof ups and overlooks real the sense of history that a cup has attached to it. Without getting a hand on the original after winning the event, the replica will only have the value of a fake

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fanfare For The Common Man

Finally! Something to cheer about for the common man. After months and months of muck, scams by politicians, businessmen and the media the Indian victory in the Cricket world cup is a bright and spectacular achievement. One can anticipate the media will drool over this for days to come but what a relief not to see filthy politicians from different ends of the spectrum trading blows on your screen for at least a week or so.

There is a great change from the scenes on June 25, 1983. People were out all night then too in celebration. I particularly remember a shirtless spectator escorting Andy Roberts from the middle to the pavilion when he was out. This was played out on the streets by many fans celebrating through the night where I was. Back then the celebrating crowd was mostly made up of teenagers and above. In 2011 the crowd included juniors as young as 5 or 6. Such is the tremendous impact the exposure to cricket has had. In comparison there were also more cars honking this time.

Should there be changes in the future? Yes! We surely don’t need a world cup lasting 42 days. That is absolute nonsense. For a tournament comprising 14 teams (at least 6 of which are not really regular teams) this could be done within three weeks, or even less,  instead. The greatest things come in short bursts. For one, even the real world cup, the football world cup, used to be done in 15 days till the early 1990s till the full commercialisation started. The number of teams in the FIFA world cup went up from 24 to 32. Still for a game that is played across the globe the FIFA cup still finishes in a month or less. There is no sense in 42 days of cricket world cup.

The only thing I do feel bad about is our Indian team receiving the cup from someone like Sharad Pawar. I cannot speak for the team but surely they deserved to receive it from someone really great instead of a petty politician whose integrity has always been in question. Maybe even Clive Lloyd, who was present there, would have been a better presenter.

The flowers from the celebration have not yet withered. And today we are already back to the 2G hearings by the PAC. CBI being accused of a bad job and, of course, elections. And most of all there is some controversy on the Cup received by the Indian team being a replica. We are back in business already.

Life goes on!