Saturday, 21 June 2008

God is a prisoner of the Theists

If God were to speak, he would appreciate the atheist rather than his believers (theist). Atheists have a single point agenda i.e. to say that God does not exist. It is the theists who do maximum damage to the reputation of God.

I am a sworn atheist from the past 10 years. Now when I look back, I feel more than being a believer in God, I was looking upto him only for fulfillment of desires, which I was not confident of satisfying on my own merit. This is true of most theists across the world.

To pass your exams, you require God; to get a groom, you require God; to get a good job, you require God; to build a house, you require God. Hardly there would be anybody, who wakes up in the morning, thanks God for all his blessings and ends his prayer without mentioning a material desire.

Everybody who prays before God is doing some sort of negotiations for satisfaction of his/her desire. If you fulfill this desire of mine, I will do this for your temple; offer my dandruff hairs to you, etc. etc. Do these theists really believe in God or are they using him, as a service provider who on post-payment of a nominal fee can satisfy their desires?

God is supposedly almighty of the universe. If the theists truly believe in his omni-presence, why do they build exclusive places of worship? Fine, a simple place of worship is acceptable but grand new places of worship  in the days of starvation deaths and farmers suicide? Is the visual delight of a grand looking place of worship more important than satisfied mouths? Would the Goddess have punished them, if they had used such a colossal amount of money for a poverty alleviation scheme?

I am yet to decipher the concept of VIP and paid darshan in places of worship. The theists themselves say everyone is equal before God and how can they create such discrimination? It is humiliating to note that even in this cyber age, some section of people cannot enter temples because they belong to a particular caste. Similar sort of discrimination exists across religions based on race and sex.

God is no longer the object of worship for the theists, it is encashing his aura which matters. Worship has become the prisoner of the diktats of the theists. The meeker ones just pray for satisfaction of their desires and make offerings. The powerful ones control the places of worship and satisfy their desires. God’s least harmful sons are the atheists because they don’t suffocate his legacy nor torture him with their wish list in the name of worship.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Creative freedom should not be curbed

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Every country adores its legends. However, that does not mean nobody should explore their darker side. I am not arguing for a free for all arena, when legends are defamed based on sleazy hearsays without any evidence to back the claims. Unfortunately, in our country writing anything against a legendary leader means protests, ransacking of offices, burning of effigies, etc.

These type of violent protests reflects immature mindset of the followers or the urge for instant publicity amongst self-claiming followers or acknowledgment that the dark facts presented on their leader are in fact true. If a leader’s popularity will dwindle just because one dark fact about him is presented in public, so be it. It only means that the leader involved was never worthy of the respect he has got in the first place.

I fail to understand why disclosure of a certain affair that a leader had or his different sexual orientation should affect his popularity, demean his achievements and degrade the society he belongs to. This creative freedom is essential for the younger generation to understand that leaders were ordinary people who excelled in their chosen field despite their shady antecedents, unnatural urges and mysterious habits.

More often than not such protests are held by busy bodies craving for publicity and try to piggy back on the legacy of a leader. Creative freedom should not be curbed and the Government should crack down on such forces at any cost. After all, Right to Freedom of Speech is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Triple murder in Noida; Aarushi, Hemraj and News Reporting

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The tabloidisation of the 24x7 news channels is complete with the intensive coverage of the Aarushi murder case. Everybody wants the murderer of this angel to be apprehended at the earliest but she is not the only one in India who has been murdered in the past one month. The manner in which this murder has dominated headlines has exposed the ethical vacuum amongst our visual media journalists. It is really sad to know that TV channels devoted half of their prime time news coverage to this case. In fact this issue got more TRP than IPL matches at the beginning and this only reflects the voyeurism among viewers.

India is a country where there is no shortage of issues to cover. Inflation, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, growing naxalism, disappearing forest cover, etc are some of the burning issues one can think of. Unfortunately, these issues cannot be sensationalized. A crusade on corruption for the media means having a secret camera and trapping a cop or a RTO official. There are bigger avatars of corruption in our society but these forces know how to keep the media in good humor.

One does understand that most news channels are public limited companies committed to deliver a certain level of earnings. This can be achieved only through higher TRPs and a certain amount of sensational news reporting, sponsored promotions, Page 3 news cannot be ruled out. That does not mean news channels should have a half an hour programme for astrology alert or devote prime news for an actress making up with her boyfriend or an actor tattooing his girlfriend’s name on his arm.

Even serious issues like inflation can be presented in an effective way and high TRPs achieved. I recently saw a film by Al Gore on global warming. It was very interesting, though it was just a compilation of a serious of lectures. Unfortunately, making a serious issue presentable requires a lot of time and effort as against posting a just-out-of college TV journo outside Aarushi house and dish out a stream of sensational news in the name of “sources said”. After all, low cost means attractive bottom lines.

Media has a social responsibility towards the society and just not report scrap. Those in the media should realize that they have as much responsibility towards the society as they have to their shareholders. News Channels have to provide leadership of awakening the consciousness of a nation not arousing its basic instincts.

Indian Crickets most heartbreaking moment

This maybe the most inappropriate blog to be writing at a time when cricket lovers across the country are celebrating 25 years of India’s victory in the Prudential World Cup. But ask any die-hard Indian Cricket fan of the 80’s, which was the most heartbreaking moment in Indian Cricket? Pat the reply will come, Javeed Miandad last ball six in Sharjah.

I don’t want to get into the scores of the match but woefully recall that India had won 80% of the match. The only redemptions for Pakistan on that day were the death over spell of one young upcoming Pakistani fast bowler by name Wasim Akram but the man who changed it all was the “Street Fighter”, “Wily Old Fox” Javeed Miandad. Many will acknowledge that Javeed Miandad was the pioneer of soft hands in one day cricket. Just dab awkwardly and take a quick single was Miandad’s invention.

For the T20 cricket fans, running for a bye with the ball in the wicket keeper’s glows may seem an innovation. But Javeed Miandad did it on that dreadful day off the penultimate ball. If the keeper had hit the stumps, India would have won the match but history had other ideas.

Last ball, four runs to get, Chetan Sharma with the ball in his hand. Chetan possibly attempted a Yorker but it turned out to be a juicy full toss and Javeed who was waiting in his hunches, deposited the ball into the midwicket fence. Kapil Dev had erred in calculation. He should have been bowling the last over.

Until that match, India had won most of its one day matches against Pakistan in Sharjah. Javeed Miandad rewrote history; after that day, India hardly won any match against Pakistan in Sharjah. To me from that day till date, the name Javeed Miandad only evokes the image of him hitting that last ball six. Even in the famous quarter final match in Bangalore during the 1996 WC, until he was out, I was dreading that Pakistan would get the runs.

Chetan Sharma is one of the greatest enigmas of Indian Cricket. He had a lot of potential as an all rounder but never played consistently well. He won a crucial one day match against England with his bat. To his credit, he took the first hat trick in a World cup match against New Zealand. Unfortunately, most cricket fans of 80’s recall him as Javeed Miandad’s bunny. This match was more than what the score board reflects. For months, cricket fans could not stop cribbing about that one ball. For me, it will always remain Indian Cricket’s most heart-breaking moment.

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Banglaore, Karnataka, India