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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Intolerant India Narrative : A False Dichotomy

Courtesy : Indianexpress.com 
Now as the dust over AwardWapsi controversy seemed to be settling down, Aamir Khan appears to have opened up another can of worms with his statement on rising intolerance in India. Of course before that one of the most eminent Indian English poet and littérateurs (one of my favourites) , Jayanta Mahaptra had returned his Padma Shri award, citing his unhappiness over increasing "moral asymmetry" in society. Of course, it didn't make it to the 9 O'clock show, after all the Odia octogenarian may have accomplished a lot in the world of literature, his statement is unlikely to attract as many eyeballs as any statement made by Aamir Khan would. However, it is really irresponsible of the mainstream media to report that Aamir Khan wanted to leave India for whatsoever reason. In fact he was replying to a query by the interviewer (who himself was expanding the debate based on the finance minister Arun Jaitley's question to Aamir Khan).

When asked about AwardWapsi, Aamir was candid enough to admit that he supported the campaign which he saw as a peaceful form of protest. But while replying to the question if the level of intolerance was rising in India he agreed that over the past few months he did feel so and said his wife once even asked if they should leave India which according to him was a disastrous thing. He was merely presenting the worst case scenario or rather a situation which under no circumstances should be allowed to develop and was not expressing something he himself was thinking about or his wife may seriously be considering. But as the part about "contemplating to move out" seemed more sensationalist proposition, the media latched on to it, repeating ad nauseum until it did seem that Aamir had indeed said he wanted to leave India.

Posted By danish Ahmed 2:14 AM

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paris Attacks: A Wake Up Call For International Community

The dastardly terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November hours after a similar attack in Beirut should wake up all actors in the Middle East theatre of proxy wars as well as the global Muslim community to the danger that ISIS now poses to the whole world. As of now, ISIS was seen as a region specific entity,  a quasi-state disconnected and autonomous but with a large number of fighters and more than adequate resources to continue expanding the size of its territory as well as attract more jihadis from across the world. What separated it from Al Qada both figuratively and literally is the fact that the latter believes in carrying on a long duration global jihad or prolonged war of attrition with Western powers and their allies in the region through decentralized network of terrorists or sleeper cells in key geographical centres around the world. It seeks to weaken and overthrow the global order through terror attacks like 9/11 believing the time was not ripe for establishment of the caliphate (read: gaining allegiance of majority of global Muslims community ). The ISIS on the other hand chose to declare itself as the caliphate on the basis of the territorial gains it had already made and with the ambition to conquer a sizeable territory in a short span. However, the attacks in Paris and the manner in which they were planned and executed indicate that ISIS may be adopting and improvising the modus operandi of Al Qaeda which is indeed scary given the number of recruits the terrorist group attracts from many parts of the world including Europe.

Posted By danish Ahmed 12:50 AM

Saturday, October 17, 2015

On AwardWapsi, Selective Outrage And Whataboutery

With more than 40 Sahitya Akademi awardees returning their awards, council members of the Akademi resigning and similar forms of protests by artists and intellectuals has been dominating public discourse since a week now. The most shrill arguments that can be heard in the din take the concept of whataboutery to a new high. The divide in the public opinion is indeed sharp but the acrimonious debates on television and rants on Twitter ignore some very basic facts which I believe is necessary to really understand why intellectuals (or pseudo-intellectuals if it suits you)  are so vociferous in their protests. Those criticizing the writers started with the argument that these writers were hardly popular as such and by making such a move they were only attempting to get bit into the spot light. When the numbers of rebel writers grew the argument was changed to them being beneficiaries of previous regimes' nepotism and were paying their dues to their original benefactor by turning this into a political campaign. This counter-charge has been aggressively made against them by some of the celebrities from the entertainment industry as well as the media though curiously enough, no questions are asked if they themselves are indulging in petty politics or not. Here are some of the charges made by the rebelling writers and intellectuals.

Posted By danish Ahmed 7:00 PM

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What Russia's Entry In Syrian Crisis Really Means

Image Courtesy: Yahoo Maktoob News 
Entry of Russia into the Syrian theatre of bloodshed and chaos could well change the dynamics of the conflict in the region, making it difficult to foresee the immediate future. In an already chaotic situation, among the very first things Russia did was carry air strikes against what US and its allies claim to being their coalition partners and civilian dissidents and not the ISIS which provided Russia with a justification to enter the war zone. Just few weeks  before Russian air strikes, Turkey carried out air strikes, apparently targeting ISIS terrorists but after the dust settled it came to light that the attack had killed several militants belonging to Kurdish groups, who apart from fighting against ISIS, are also considered hostile by the Turkish state since decades . Unfortunately, these are only reminders of the varying and sometimes diametrically opposite agendas of the  various actors participating in the  middle-east conflict and one of the reasons why ISIS continues to remain undefeated.

Posted By danish Ahmed 7:33 PM

Sunday, August 30, 2015

From Aarushi To Sheena : Trial Or Lynching By Media?

Image Courtesy: Youtube 
So the Indian media has latched on to the ghastly and extremely tragic tale of the murder of Sheena Bora with a zeal that falls somewhere between responsible journalism and savagery of a lynch mob screaming for punishment at a medieval trial. The latter part is of course disguised in more civil and self-righteous statements and opinions but criticism by various eminent and less eminent members of citizenry now and then rip off parts of this disguise.  But then there always two sides to a story. It is true that without media coverage, it is highly unlikely that investigation into this crime would been as prompt but the way it has been handled by the media can be described in milder terms as cheap and immature. However some television channels, especially (but not exclusively), vernacular news channels have indeed removed all stops and gone all facetious, dishing out murky details on an hourly basis. After all, this sordid story has more ingredients than a typical Bollywood potboiler and prime time soap operas combined. A mysterious murder in a rich and influential family, a web of lies and deceit and purported evidence of sleazy activities are things these news channels would give anything for and in Sheena Bora murder case, they only have to sacrifice a little journalistic ethics.

Posted By danish Ahmed 4:00 PM