I am a proud British Indian
I saw a tweet from @TheFarahKhan early this morning, she referenced Shah Rukh Khan’s article in Outlook Turning Point (http://canindia.com/2013/01/heres-what-srk-exactly-wrote-in-the-outlook-turning-points-magazine/). I didn’t get a chance to read the article earlier in the day, have just managed to read it now, and just feel a little bit embarrassed that SRK’s had to justify himself by being forced to write this article.
First and foremost he is an Indian, he gives more to the country than all those people who continuously hound him and feel that they own a piece of him.
SRK has given more back to India then any of his detractors put together. SRK entertains us, he is much loved, he pays his taxes, he gives to charity, and when he feels strongly enough he’ll stand up for a cause, or lend his name to promote a worthy cause. He is a decent human being with ambition, and someone who clearly looks after his family. SRK is an exemplary Indian citizen.
Let the media and the politicians have the guts to challenge the corrupt and the bully, there are plenty of those about, mostly within their own rank. Gang up against the bullies like the Thackeray’s and underworld don like the Dawoods, then of course there is the gutter press, they belong in the gutter.
Why is India being cruel, unfair and unjust in her treatment of one of her most favourite child?
Are we as Indian the world over at all interested in SRK’s views because he is a Muslim? I know that I am not, I know that I respect the religion he follows, but I am not interested in SRK’s views based on his religious background. My only interest in SRK is that he is a great actor, and appears to be very humble and self deprecating, which I think is really endearing. I love the entertainment he offers up.
People, let’s leave him be.
Watching this film for the second time and feeling very sorry for the life that was Silk Smitha’s. Peoples circumstances can shape their destinies and inform the choices we make in life.
What do we do when the choice is between a rock and a hard place?
I remember in the days of the video player going and hiring Sadma to watch at home. I remember thinking Silk Smitha was awful, at least her character. I was more impressed with the characters of Kamala Hassan and Sridevi. I was watching the film in the UK where we were familiar with Bollywood, but less so with Films made in the south. I didn’t know that Silk was some major star in the South.
As someone once said “You can never understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes?” Everyone used Silk, the same lot abused her. Having written all that I wonder how I would react now if someone like Silk was in my life. Would I be accepting or condescending?
I don’t know why I am shocked and surprised when I hear about incidents of racism in this day and age, why do I believe that racism is eradicated in Europe, at least at public places.
Today there was a friendly between AC Milan with Pro Patria which was brought to an abrupt conclusion, as Kevin Prince Boateng and a few of his Milan colleagues walked off the field after the chanting of racist abuse from the opposition. Many are applauding this walk off, I ask why don’t the football association do more to identify and ban the racists, why don’t the police do more to stop this very ugly behaviour.
Do these so called football fans behave like these as individuals in their daily lives? at home, at work, with friends? or does this ugly behaviour only manifest itself when they are in hoardes?
I am angry that Prince Boateng had no option but to walk off. Racists should not be tolerated anywhere, and especially in public places. I am a woman of colour and I find it absolutely and totally offensive and intolerable.
When is football going to get rid of this ugly side of theirs?
I watched a very old episode of Simi Garewal interviewing my all time favourite, Maharani Gayatri Devi (RajMata). She is the only living human being that I have ever looked up to and idolised. Not only was she very beautiful, but she was someone who had changes forced on her, which she had no choice but to embrace and my, how she embraced those changes. In the interview the Maharani said to Simi, that she had learnt that you don’t have to be part of a political party to make a difference, you can make a difference in many other ways, her personal example was of encouraging education for women, and opening schools and colleges for them.
At a time when India is being forced to recognise and face up to her demons we need more people who think like the Maharani, make a difference in your own little way.
Here’s another example of the worth of women in a country obsessed with not having girl children.
Brought back fond memories of the first time I read the story of the Maharani of Jaipur, of looking at her beautiful photographs, and aspiring to be like her, at the time I was very young, and my aspirations were at the superficial physical level, but over time, there was a recognition of the very strong character that she had, the way she handled being imprisoned, being cast aside by her family. She was strong, regal and confident. All women should be like that.
As I’ve got older, I’ve had fewer people to look up to and idolise, hero worship. Watching this episode brought back the days when I wasn’t so ‘wise to the ways of the world’, or cynical.
If you have not read her biography, then I urge you to do so, you’ll fall in love with India. You’ll see the very beautiful India during the days of the Raj, and after independence, you’ll mourn the death of the Raj but rejoice in freedom for the many, you’ll mourn the very deplorable corruption and greed that followed independence, which continues even now. Yes there was corruption and there was greed during the Raj, that was one of the main reasons for the fight for freedom, therefore having the same again in the name of freedom does leave a rather bitter taste.
I read the quote earlier today ‘An eye for an eye makes the world blind’, and the sentiments of the quotes were being expressed as counter arguments against emotional and hurried response to a suitable punishment for the Delhi Gang Rape accused.
Got me thinking, what did Mahatma Gandhi mean by that, in what context was that quote voiced? If the Mahatma was within our midst today, what would he have to say? Most of the Mahatma’s views and fight were against the mass movement of oppression against humanity, Apartheid in South Africa, and Colonial Rule in India. Surely the issue currently facing India now is different, isn’t it? I ask the question because I don’t know.
There is prevention and there is cure. I am all for looking for a cure for the malaise that is now widespread in India. I would like us to look for a cure because it would make me feel better as a human being. I am not sure that the harshest punishment meted out on the accused would dissipate my anger, just as ‘Amanat’ has become the symbol as the victim of the rape culture in India, so too have the accused become the symbol of all things bad about India, including the wider issue of poor governance, policing, corruption, and above all complacency.
Should these men pay the price for all that grieves us? Of course they should pay the price for the crime that they have committed, and if that be capital punishment by hanging then so be it. I am uncertain that them being executed will provide the solution, or act as a deterrent.
Above all what I am scared of is this, what if the accused are executed, we are all pacified like children, and then the whole sorry episode becomes forgotten about, and the only people to carry the burden of the experience are the girls parents and brothers, and it stops there. Nothing is followed through, now for me that would be a travesty.
I also don’t want the whole experience to fester, and eat away at India. I maintain that the answer lies in finding a cure against sexual oppression of women, I’ve mentioned the possible options in previous postings, where I have put forward the suggestion that across India we look at how sexuality is repressed, sex is not openly talked about, and therefore becomes a taboo and almost dirty subject, men and women, girls and boys mixing together is not the done thing. there is segregation of the sexes to the extent that it’s unhealthy. Let’s have women not fear men, let’s look at men respecting women and seeing them as equals, good enough to be their friends, proud to walk side by side with them just as they would their make friends.
Had a great new years eve party last night. Met some lovely people, and one of the women who was sat opposite me mentioned that she has two sons, and one of them is a professional poker player!!! I didn’t even realise that such a profession existed. I asked her if I could meet him so that he could teach me, and she said she’ll teach me because when her son initially got into playing poker she was worried, so being the very wise and wonderful person she is, she bought books and read up about poker, statistics etc. She is now an expert.
I am full of admiration for this woman, her husband died in the earthquake that shook Gujarat, he’d gone there just days earlier to help with some voluntary work (he was a doctor), he left behind his wife, two sons and his father.
I am truly amazed at the wonderful people that I co-habit this earth with. There are more good people than there are bad. We have the opportunity to reduce the number of people who are bad.
Who knows who I’ll meet tomorrow, who’ll delight me in the same way.
I shall keep you all updated with details of when I start my poker lessons, and when I practice at a nearby casino. I don’t intend to lose any money, so I better become very good, as I am sure that the casino’s mission is also not to lose any money.
Many years ago I used to ask this question at work, when I was commuting to the city by train from Southampton. I used to say, ‘I wake up early, get showered, get ready, have breakfast, get to the train station, get to work, do the ‘same old’ and then journey back home, and repeat the same pattern the next day’.
A dear work colleague heard me say this, came into work the next day and gave me this quote:
Much of today has been focused on trying not to hear and know about ‘Amanat’s’ funeral, and further reaction to the whole case. There is a danger of hype and publicity brigade seeking to further their own causes.
I have taken in snippets of information from twitter and other news media including the BBC, which has the ‘Delhi Rape Girl’ news on their home page.
I believe her family now needs to be given some space, space to collect their thoughts, to come to terms with what had happened to their daughter, to come to terms with her death, and more than anything to come to terms with the lenses of the world media on them. They are now center stage, everyone wants a piece of them. Lets let them grieve their daughter, she was theirs, we’ve all just adopted her because through the turmoil and violence she suffered we could use her as an agent to channel our grievances with the working of the country.
We have all realised that this country is not working, collectively the population of the country had many issues and concerns about how the country is being managed and run, but this is only issue the great majority is in agreement about, she gives us voice, she allows us to vocalise how badly the electorate is being let down over and over again.
If India was a being run as a corporate, her stock value would be zero, there would be calls for the management team to be replaced with a view to turning around the company. The shareholders would want to minimise their loss, and recover it’s value.
India and Indians need to reflect on whom they next give a seat to in the powerful Houses of Parliament. Is anyone currently allocated the seat worthy? What should be the priority of the country? I would say the first priority is the protection and safeguard of her people, Men, Women, Children. Not just in Delhi, everywhere in India.
Oh, and one last point, lets bring Aamir Khan back with Satyamev Jayate, that programme was enlightening, and helped bring focus to the issues effecting the everyday lives of Indians.
I wrote the blog last night just as the news of Amanat’s death was coming out. The content was emotional and I wrote from the heart.
I don’t live in India, have never lived in India, but I am of Indian origin. I had a sleepless night, tossing and turning, checking response to my blog and checking Twitter. I don’t know the girl, nor do I know anyone else who knew the girl. My reaction and the reaction of the very many more is the same, shock and anger.
Now, many hours later, my anger hasn’t dissipated, and neither am I any less shocked. Today I have read articles and read tweets and am to some extent discouraged by some tweets that want to lay the blame on the door or Bollywood, I then read a tweet that suggests the answer to the problem may be to ban skirts being worn at school!
Even if the woman is half naked in front of you, if she says no, and you force yourself on her it’s RAPE.
I live in a country where we have true democracy, women wear fashionable clothes, which include some pretty skimpy outfits, but the culture of rape does not prevail. Yes, we do have instances of rape, but certainly not to the same degree that the rape culture persists in India.
Perhaps at times like this it’s easier to not acknowledge the evil in these men, who raped, it’s easier for us not to face the very nasty and evil side of being human, therefore is it easier to put the blame on women who show some flesh? This too, from a country that has very erotic carvings and statues on some of the most famous temples.
India is a country of contrasts and contradictions. Sex is not talked about openly, the majority of the population is sexually repressed, interaction of any kind between men and women is frowned upon, I have never seen kissing in public in India, yet India has a very high rate of HIV and Aids. The porn industry is massive.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that the answer is not to blame bollywood, I do know that the answer is not to stop little girls wearing skirts, the answer is not to shroud women in a tentlike burkha, I do know that the attitude to sex needs to change, men need to share a friendship with women, they’ll then find a respect for their friends, that friendship and respect will give respect to women at large.
You see women in groups, you see groups of men, but it’s not very often that you see men and women together as friends, yes in some big cities and colleges there are groups of men and women who are friends, but this is not the norm.
Let’s change the equation, let’s look at being more liberal, more open minded and less judgmental about boys and girls being friends, about men and women being friends, moreover about girls and boys being free to explore sex and sexuality without believing it’s something dirty. Let’s be open. Let’s be honest and above all let’s be mature.
The Delhi gang rape victim has died. They report that the death was peaceful, how can it be so? how can a girl who was raped a multiple times by numerous men, and only God and Amanat know the atrocities that were carried out, how can that girl have died peacefully?
What is it about India that tolerates and breeds this culture of disrespect of women and why is rape being reported in the papers every day, but nothing appears to be done about it.
India and its main religion reveres and celebrates womanhood in religion and temples everywhere, yet at every opportunity a woman is belittled, vilified, and degraded. Women are a cheap commodity, and are treated even more cheaply.
If the rape of an Indian woman had taken place abroad, then there would have been an outcry and an outrage in India, and the outrage would have been given a voice, it would have been allowed to vent it’s anger, but because this happened in India, the government is appealing for calm, the newspaper editors are appealing for sense to prevail and to allow the judiciary and government time to address the issues facing modern day India, everyone is scared that this may be the equivalent of the Arab Spring.
India needs to have it’s Spring, the masses must be heard. Men and Women are fed up of the corrupt political parties, the corrupt police force, the corrupt government.
Anger is good, why do we have to be sensible and forgiving. If Amanat was your daughter, mother, sister, niece, would you want to be calm? would you want to give the government a second, a third, a fourth chance? I know that I would want to hang on to my anger, anger is not always a bad thing. Anger can help change a number of things for the better.
India - please stay angry, please let not Amanat’s death be in vain. Be angry with those evil men, be angry at what they did to Amanat for over an hour, be angry for the death of Amanat.
Let Amanat’s death be the change that is much needed in an India.