AIB Roast Controversy

The recent controversy regarding the AIB roast is baffling. The issue is one about freedom of speech and expression and the hypocrisy and double standards of moral policing. The show was dragged to court alleging an attack on India’s cultural and traditional values.

Yes, the jokes at the AIB Roast were filthy and excessively obscene. But the organisers and the people who willingly choose to buy tickets should be entitled to express their sense of humour in the way they creatively choose to, which in this case was roasting. The show was closed and limited to public. Not to forget the intention behind was charity. Those who wanted to watch it had to buy passes. So no one was forced to go and watch it. Viewers’ discretion was advised by AIB through a disclaimer at the start of the video. It was made for a niche audience and the participants were warned about the content already! We did have the option to either watch or entirely ignore the content.

The show was not violent as the people who were insulted were willing to let that happen to them! Further, viewers discretion was advised for the video and the people present their willingly bought ticket to have some fun. So what is the harm if few celebrities decided to be a participant of a stand up comedy show in a closed audience and that too they themselves being roasted in the show?The futility of objection by some people also known as ‘samaj ke thekedar’(in my view) can be understood by the famous Urdu adage, “Jab miyan biwi razi, to kya karega kazi“.

In a country where rapes are rampant, people are murdered on caste and religious issues and politicians bicker(in real they ‘bakar’) all the time, it is ironical that a harmless comedy show gets in trouble for being offensive. Violent vows of organisations like Hindu Mahasabha which announces publicly to marry couples on valentine days are allowed to propagate their agendas. Regressive ‘saas bahu’ serials and offensive Honey singh songs which objectify women are enjoyed on every entertainment medium. India is a land of dualities. On one hand, we are so volatile we take offence at the slightest of insults. On the other hand, we remain silent where offence should actually be taken like rapes and social issues.

I think all such vulgar stuff is already flourishing in our society much before AIB came out with it. It is just that now it is more of public then private. Movies like ‘Grand Masti’, ‘Delhi Belly’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ etc are few examples which are part of our life and we readily have accepted it. We are used to hearing such languages on every nook and corner. We are used to spilling Ma#@#!, B@!#@!#!@, and similar phonetic words in the company of friends. We barely spare a second to shout ‘beep’ words in a roadside rages. Then why is this AIB knockout show issue overblown?

I think that ‘at most’, this public portrayal of the everyday ‘way of life’ by celebrities and eminent media personalities can be seen as irresponsible on their part as they ‘inspire’ a complete generation of people. But that does not mean that lunatic elements should spring into action demanding actions like ban on books, articles, comedy shows; filing an FIR; sending a legal notice; targeting individuals by physical attacks and vandalising their homes, etc. when they don’t agree with something. These typical reactions of moral policing that endangers creative expression.

It’s done. And nothing can be done about it now! So stop fussing and fretting about it and just sit back and enjoy it, even if you do so behind closed doors! I am yet to meet a person who does not cuss or has not even once used a cuss word in his entire life. So stop being prejudiced about it.

The mindless provocation about Indian tradition and values to censure creative content and suppress freedom, erodes the same Indian values which preaches, tolerance, acceptance, diversity and promotes various art forms. Even Indian customs has practices which allows for letting the steam out, like through folk songs e.g.’Saas gali deve‘!

I have great faith in the judiciary and the Constitution of my land. I do not endorse AIB Roast, but I do endorse freedom of speech that must be safeguarded and upheld at all times. I don’t feel that this AIB show has spread any harm to our society. Well, there are so many other important issues which need immediate attention instead of making a mountain out of a molehill.

PS – Lets take offence for the right things!

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DDesyners – Blending Beauty With Function!

www.ddesyners.com

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This new endeavour is the efforts of my brother Vinay Gupta, who as a civil engineer has ample experience in wide arrays of Residential and Commercial construction projects and known for his unique, sturdy and innovative building concepts and designing process.  His creative instincts has driven him to venture into the world of interior designing along with his construction projects. I wish him success in his efforts and hope that he innovates to create design masterpieces!

Action paralysis and control through comments !!!

Paralysis of policy is something which has become an integral part of UPA -II, owing to coalition pressures, lack of popular leadership, pulling of strings by civil society, or may be due to excessive showcase by Didi-Mamtaji that nothing moves in this government without her will! This phenomenon is now certified even by president Obama, who seems to forget the condition of American economy! And the protectionist approach which is used by him, similar to what India is doing now, but for some reason he isn’t but we are at fault, this is what happens when you are head of the most powerful state in the world!

But a new environment is slowly emerging overshadowing the policy paralysis, which is doing much greater harm than lack of policies, and this new development is the phenomenon of ‘paralysis in action.’ New laws will keep on coming with changing times and according to the dynamic socio-politico and economical environments, but the problem isn’t solved merely by bringing out a law for an existing problem, in fact the law may not be needed in some cases if the executive executes the existing laws, utilize its resources to make dynamic decisions, evolve out of the box solutions according to geo-political situations and involving society through meaningful dialogues with ‘social partners’ of the government, namely the farmers, trade unions, business groups, civil society and better integration of these social groups with the institutions of ‘panchayati raj’. Making them the intrinsic part of the decisions and planning to bring about an inclusive approach in development and grievance redressal. 

Executive actions are very much visible in activities of demeaning democracy, where dissenting against the will of state are deemed as of Maoist’s and are landed in jails, even expressing opinions in form of cartoons can land you in jail, maybe for saying this, I too may be put behind bars! Growing intolerance in our multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-sectoral diversity does no good in our democracy and it is the cause of growing acts of violence and separatism  tendencies. While our ‘opposition’ has taken its role too literally in meaning opposing everything rather than utilizing the platform provided by the parliament to grill and expose the government on its failings, the party take pleasure in obstructionist theatrics, leading to the unfortunate impression that the principle opposition is dodging the debate either because it is not well-armed with facts, or worse because it has something to hide. 

The executive branch rather than working just on orders and prescriptions, should survey the problem on the field, involving society in this task, and than through discussions and debate, find out the problem rather than heeding to the advice of the seniors or working without feeling the problems of the people. In the time of ‘leviathan media’ as the fourth pillar of our democracy, leaders are happily commenting on camera’s about policies, problems, initiatives and it also serve as a ground to make hysterical comments about opposition and its the same people who leave no stone unturned on the ground to criticize, fight and interrupt, while they are given a chance to speak, discuss, deliberate and function inside the house of People or the house of elders (Parliament), thus it seems that country is ‘running on comments’! 

What’s the solution to this? Well, Well, rather than be happy with this state of affairs, or relying on yet to come electoral reforms(if Lokpal isn’t a reality after decades of efforts and a revolution, I am not sure that needed reforms are very near unless ‘many’ right minded people replace the current ‘morons’ in the political system), I therefore, will favor, some radical, non-violent, democratic, participative approach, like trying to gather support for introducing a very strict and punishable discipline bill, regarding the behavior of parliamentarians in the house, strict code of conduct for media groups, and total awareness of political initiatives and reforms in society.

Discovering Democracy

Rarely any day passes in the current political scenario without reading or hearing about great ideologies, movements, protests and struggles all of which are contributing there bit to achieve their rights, privileges, dues and demands in the democracy. This brings us to the an inquisitive, controversial and necessary question that why do we call our polity a democratic one?

After all what is democracy? Does a written constitution means democracy, or does giving human rights means democracy, or adopting universal adult suffrage means democracy (every adult can vote), or does elected government means democracy, or does constitutional safeguards means democracy, does rule of law ensures democracy, does doctrine of separation of power ensures democracy, does freedom to protest means democracy and if all of these ideas and practices doesn’t mean democracy, what exactly is the meaning of this popular word, what exactly is needed to achieve and fulfill the idea of democracy?

From what I perceive, above methods, safeguards, ideologies, methods, and provisions are merely a part of what democracy really is. They in itself doesn’t means that democracy is achieved but they are nevertheless indistinguishable part of democracy, for all these things are mere mediums to achieve democracy, democracy in real terms is an environment of liberty, equality, justice and fraternity (words duly mentioned in our preamble). From what it sounds like the definition seems utopian, but democracy isn’t just about grating and adopting certain ideas, provisions, philosophies, and practices, for these merely ensure that one has a medium do achieve democracy, for democracy in real sense is a situation, a condition, an environment which ideally is never achieved but from right minded people to democratic governments or its organizations all are committed to achieve democracy by first ensuring that the required means are in place and then thriving to reach the enshrined targets, goals, ideas and aspirations set in these means to provide with such a an ecosphere of polity and governance which values and guarantee the aspirations and ideas of its people.

Book Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad

 “What the Rich teach their kids about money, that the poor and middle class do not!

Written by Robert T. Kiyosaki, he talks about all those things which the rich teaches their kids about money that the poor and middle class do not! He stresses on the need of financial literacy as according to him the world has changed but the education has not, thus current system is preparing students for a world that no longer exists. Robert emphasized that this system is pretty good at producing employees but not the employers, which exactly is also the difference between controlling your own destiny and giving up that control to someone else! Robert emphasizes the importance of paying yourself first. In his opinion, it’s more important to systematically invest a portion of your income than to pay your bills or to pay your taxes.

Robert’s biological father, was the former Superintendent of Education for the state of Hawaii. A highly educated man with a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is referred to as “Poor Dad” in the book. The man referred to as “Rich Dad” is his friends dad who had never finished eight grade yet owned warehouses, a construction company, a chain of stores and three restaurants. While “Poor Dad” urged Robert to study hard so that he could earn money, the “Rich Dad” taught Robert how to invest money so that he would not be bound within the constraints of a nine-to-five job. Rich dad taught him that he don’t work for money instead have money work for us!  The rich goes on to say that ‘its fear that keeps most people working at a job’ as its easier to learn to work for money, if fear is the primary emotion when money is discussed!’ The book is very well written and, surprisingly for a book on the subject of finance, not at all tortuous.

The best thing I like in the book is the concept of ‘Rat Race‘. He explains it by saying that most people have a price because of two emotions of fear and greed. First, the fear of being without money motivates us to work hard, and then once we get that paycheck, greed or desire sets in, which makes us think of all the wonderful things money can buy. The pattern is then set. The pattern of get up, go to work, pay bills, get up, go to work and pay bills…..  Offer them more money, and they continue the cycle.’ This is what he calls the rat race! I am in agreement with him when he says that A job is only a short-term solution for a long-term problem and An intelligent person hires people who are more intelligent than they are’.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad will help you reshape the way you think about what you do with your money. By the time you finish the book, you will be able to evaluate your own thoughts and habits surrounding money, and determine what you will need to do differently to accumulate wealth. Robert Kiyosaki does a great job of helping you understand that rich people are rich because they buy assets that produce income. Poor people are poor because they accumulate liabilities and expenses. In order to become wealthy, you must spend money accumulating income producing assets such as real estate, businesses, stocks and bonds. He teaches you to plant seeds in your asset column! An important distinction he makes between rich and the poor is that the rich buys the luxuries last while the poor buys them first!

Some Secrets of Rich from the book:

  • Learn the business where you do your job so that you can start your own business later.
  • Mind your own business- Along with your day job, start some business side by side. Don’t spend all your salary. Save some amount on a monthly basis and think about an idea which can be turned to profitable business later. Business of Mc Donald’s owner is not selling ham burgers but to have real estate!
  • Salaried people earn their salary, pay taxes and then spend from whatever amount is left. Rich people earn, their companies pay all their expenses including taxes and then they have enough amounts to spend, as all their expenses are paid before paying any tax. how rich people protect themselves from heavy taxes? Their secret: Corporations!
  • Instead of working for money have money work for you!

For those who can understand he says that: “If you are the kind of person who is waiting for the ‘right’ thing to happen, you might wait for a long time. It’s like waiting for all the traffic lights to be green for five miles before starting the trip.” 

Allaying Kudankulam fears: spreading the word…

These articles will put to rest all your doubts regarding the safety concerns of the nuclear power plants, lets make awareness about it for other alternatives are just alternatives..

The Hindu : Opinion / Open Page : Safety is at the core of Kudankulam nuclear reactors.

The Hindu : Opinion / Open Page : Let’s face it… the alternatives are attractive, but not feasible.

The Hindu : Opinion / Open Page : Is nuclear power the demon it’s made out to be?.

Spread the word, ‘For the growth of a nation depends on its people’