Badminton, Animal welfare and other hypocrisies


Dear Jwala & Ashwini,

I have no intention to take the shine away from the beautiful medals and trophies you earned. I congratulate even to those which you did not win but tried your best. You certainly deserve all the accolades and applauses showed on you. You have inspired thousands of girls pan-India to take up this game and excel in it. Kudos. Well done.

While that, I see you both are brand ambassadors of Peta. That is cool, another feather on your cap. [See what I did there? Feathers? and you play Badminton. No? Okay]. Anyways, I wrote this post with a single intention of calling out your hypocrisy, which you obviously did not sense while joining the Peta.

Before I forget, let me bring this image up. I can see you Jwala ‘bleeding’ as part of your Campaign against Cockfighting! Just Wow! Thanks to you, those villagers (all seven of them) can now have a melodramatic moral epiphany and stop betting on those poor birds. They will eat Daal-fry tonight, instead of those chicken kababs.

Also, personally, Badminton is probably the only sport I managed to play reasonably well. Now that I learned more about it, I must give it up. In m defense, I had no clue how the Shuttlecock is manufactured all this while. However, you should have known this. You had chosen Badminton as your bread and butter. It is expected of you to be a little more curious about your props than me.

For documentation purpose, let them list all the issues for you.

  1. The Shuttlecock is made from plucked feathers of live ducks and geese. While this process the birds are not killed, not stunned, they remain alive. The poachers and farmers hold the bird down by the neck and pluck a fistful of feathers by force.
  2. They are live birds, and obviously, they will bleed, but not to death. They survive bleeding through the day, only to make next Shuttlecock by growing replacement feathers.
  3. There is science behind the selection of feathers. Only the ones with the right weight and correct angles make the cut (pun?). This also means the most feathers plucked are going to be discarded.

There are few other non-animal-torture related aspects which also begs for your attention.

  1. India cannot supply the feathers to all the 50k+ shuttlecocks it produces annually. So obviously it comes from Bangladesh as smuggled. They escape tax obligation from either of countries.
  2. Also, these plucking factories are known to misuse children. There are reports on how they are being used to pluck or cut the feathers for 10-12 hours earning not more than 50 Rs.
  3. Reports say one-fifth of children in Rajapur, Uluberia, Howrah in West Bengal are employed to manufacture these. They are under the age of 10, do not go to school, undergo frequent industrial accidents. Read through the report.

Did you get it now ? The hypocrisy in it ? When can I see your Campaign against these, please ? When can we expect you shout for ethical treatment animals of your own game?

Thanks, Not a fan. – The Bach

Reviving a thousand year old song


I could not help but share this fantastic rendition of one of the oldest songs in the Kannada language. The ‘old’ part is an understatement. It’s written somewhere around 900 C.E in an older version of Kannada. Credits of this poem go to Pampa, who generally, is referred to as Adikavi – an honorary title (Translation: first poet).

What is heartwarming is the attempt to revive a song written more than a millennium ago. 

Okay, Here you go. 

Lyrics, 

ಚಾಗದ ಭೋಗದಕ್ಕರದ ಗೇಯದ ಗೊಟ್ಟಿಯಲಂಪಿ ನಿಂಪುಗ ಳ್ಗಾರವಾದ ಮಾನಿಸರೆ ಮಾನಿಸರಂತವರಾಗಿ ಪುಟ್ಟಲೇ |
ನಾಗಿಯುಮೇನೊ ತೀರ್ದಪುದೇ ತೀರದೊಡಂ ಮರಿದುಂಬಿಯಾಗಿ ಮೇಣ್‌ ಕೋಗಿಲೆಯಾಗಿ ಪುಟ್ಟುವುದು ನಂದನದೊಳ್‌ ಬನವಾಸಿ ದೇಶದೊಳ್‌ ||

Chagada bhogadakkarada geyada gottiyalam pinimppuga Lgagaramada manasare manasarantavaragi puttale | Nagiyumeno tirdapude tiradodam maridumbiyagi men Kogileyagi puttuvudu nandanadol Vanavasi deshadol ||

Although the language used in this song is Kannada, not many can comprehend it because it is an old Kannada version. The language has moved on from here and evolved into a different version by gathering influences from various languages of neighbors, traders and invaders.

Anyways, while you are here, and if you are interested, please take some time to read through a fantastic post on same topic.

Mandala Art of socio-political alignment


There are many quiz based computers which assess your social and political alignments. and let you know your results. For obvious reasons, the results vary depending on the number of questions, types of questions, and answers you can choose from. Among them, I found this one provides reasonably good coverage and good rendering 🙂

Please give it a go.

You appear to be a Centrist.

You straddle a prickly fence and dislike extreme views on anything. A centrist’s perennial quest is to ensure a balance between contrasting positions. You are concerned by the possibility of society shifting towards any one particular end of the political spectrum. You are often criticised for being too moderate and not taking clear positions. It’s never easy being in the middle of it all.

Chane ke Khet mein – chickpea field chronicles


Dear Madhuri Dixit Ma’am,

How are you? Long time.

While I was glancing through your Wikipedia profile, I gathered all the great stuff you’ve been part of. I read that you have been actively involved in promoting children’s education and the safety of women. You also worked towards the social causes such as finding homes for Orphan kids, child trafficking, saving & empowering the Girl Child, etc. There was even a slogan you had popularised – Girl Rising: Woh Padhegi, Woh Udegi. Well done there. If all these were true, which I have no reason to doubt, you might find this post very interesting for weekend reading.

In short, I have a bone to pick with you on the exact topic. This is about a song, one of your most famous one. I hope you remember “Chane ke Khet mein” from the movie Anjaam (1994). Of course, you do. It was a super-duper massive blockbuster song. I remember it was played perpetually by every Autorikshah-wallas, wedding bands, school events and most importantly, middle-class kitchens and living rooms. Kids of our generation used to recite this song by-heart and housewives hummed this while they cooked daal. The Legacy continues to this date, you can see YouTube is filled with its cover performances, including the dance classes. Little girls in their pre-teens perform to this in tictok.

The regrettable part of whole Chickpea field song is, Mrs Madhuri Ji, none of your fans ever tried to understand the lyrics! If they did, it would not be so famous as much as it was or is. I believe you know what I am talking about. The lyrics of this summarizes a few of our society’s most prominent evils, in a celebratory tune!Let me know if you want me to list it down.

  1. It reinforces our obsession with the fair complexion of the skin.
  2. background of the premise is a teen going out into the fields for open defecation!
  3. The most problematic part is that the core concept is unfortunate roughing up of a teenage girl.
  4. And somehow, this song has is a celebratory context and expressed in a for a marriage/wedding event?
  5. How is this a bridal shower song?

Does it even make any sense to you? I can see you dance with your whole heart invested in this song, it’s one of your best dance performances. This indicates what happened to that girl was something to be amazed about, and she is privileged to have gone through it? How appropriate is this?

I believe you were fully aware that these questions will we asked you at some point in your career. And you must’ve been prepared with justification. Why don’t you go ahead and explain yourself? If you get a chance, can you ask Poornima how she felt singing it?

Thanks, Not a fan. – The Bach

P.S.. For the benefit of the readers who do not understand Hindi, here is a translation of the song only for the first few lines.

(I ) was eighteen, innocent and unmarried
(I ) had gone out with (my) face veiled
But (I) got caught and trapped in the chickpea field.
It was a straight-up robbery of (of modesty) in the chickpea field.

First, that evil (guy) caught me by the wrist.
Then he slowly pressed down the finger.
Roughing up and fighting followed in the chickpea field
It was a straight-up robbery (of modesty) in the chickpea field.

I was surrounded by a group of hunters.
Sitting there, were, of known to loot the youth.
I gave up after calling out.

And so on….

The great fall of American Liberalism


American liberalism is now officially dead. It was not euthanization, there was no resistance; in fact, it was mauled to a dogs’ death. The more unfortunate news is that the so-called torchbearers and custodians of modern liberalism did not even put up a decent fight, instead chose to sleepwalk into whatever replaced it. While we rest it in peace, we should remember all the good stuff it achieved. It lifted billions of humans from dire poverty, gave voices to the downtrodden and conclusively defeated the theocracies and socialism. Also, let’s take a minute to remember three great wars it won in the previous century. WW1 against imperialism, WW2 against fascist/racist forces and the cold war against communist socialism.

To be honest, we all saw this coming. There were signs written all over the walls – the stories of the decline of true liberalism. For instance, do you remember once-popular bumper sticker we all flaunted? “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it ” – (attributed to Voltaire). We, the liberals, used to sing this hymn in the shower, in the gym and even in birthday parties. Now, try to recall this, when was the last time read it? It’s been a while, isn’t it? That’s because we no longer believe in it. Now, we are, kind of, okay to suppress freedom of expression as long as it is now ours. Voltaire must be turning in his grave.

I am a supermassive fan of few of the greatest humanist, atheistic and liberals of our generation. We should not forget, they all found their voices in the USA. George Carlin, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and so on. For a good part of the last two decades, I had spent hours reading their books, watching their shows and evangelizing their prophecy. I passionately agreed with everything they said, including burps. Then ‘time’ happened, it got to everyone. Carlin and Kitchens are longer serving liberal America. And today, Sam throws a white towel!

Look at his one of his recent tweets! What a degradation of liberal values! Sam is cheering for an action that fundamentally stands against core principles of liberal democracy – the liberty.

Let me provide a little background to those who chose not to follow what is happening in the USA. A Few tech giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, who rose to power selling the freedom of expression, chose to close the accounts of sitting precedent the USA – the leader of a sovereign nation. In other words, America and civilized world, still trust this gentleman with nuclear codes of a stockpile which can evaporate the earth tomorrow. Yet, he cannot be trusted with typing a few tweets? It’s immaterial what happened during past week or year; freedom of expression is a bare minimum prerequisite of a functional democracy. If you have doubts with that, just scroll up and see what Voltaire said, again.

We should remember Social media is ala carte meal. You subscribe only with your free will. If you no longer agree with a view of someone, you are free to unsubscribe, unfollow, you mute. You can even block an account. Now, Sam could have appealed his followers to do that. Even the bosses of Tech Giants, Mark and Jack, could have done the same in their personal capacity. Instead, they chose to deprive the freedom of expression of a section of users and their leader. This happens, even when many of the supremacist bigots worldwide can still freely express their dangerous views such as calling for harm to a section of our society.

Anyways, I wish good luck for Jack, Mark, Sam and other ex-liberals with their new membership in moral accountability council, which apparently going to take over our thought process. They will be our custodians to have the right thoughts and rights of expression and protect us from wrong ideas.