A Waste of talent and opportunity – Maybe Shobhaa De was right about the Olympics

Rio slums favelas Olympics
The slums of Rio, in sharp contrast to the excesses of the Olympics.
Source : adventuresofjk.com

Jackie Collins (1937-2015) was an author popularly known as the “queen of trash literature”.

After initially acting in British B-movies, she went on to write thirty-two novels about sex, infidelity and gold digging socialite adulteresses who usually fell for gangsters. Her writings were called “nasty, filthy and disgusting” and she was charged with “creating every pervert in Britain”.

Moving on to a certain Shobhaa De’s Wikipedia profile:

Shobha Rajadhyaksha also known as Shobhaa De (born 7 January 1948), is an Indian columnist and novelist. De is best known for her depiction of socialites and sex in her works of fiction, for which she has come to be known as the “Jackie Collins of India”.

Now here’s what India’s own habitué of rich people’s literature-viagra had to say about the 2016 Rio Olympics:

Okay, Ms.De’s elevator doesn’t quite go up to the top floor, it’s probably dust and cobwebs up there. 

But still, she might be right about the Olympics being a waste of money and opportunity. Her statement would have been more dangerous and on-point if it weren’t accompanied by her room temperature level IQ.

The Olympics have always left a trail of bankruptcy, abandoned venues, and cost overruns. Be it London, Athens, Rio or even Tokyo.

London

General societal message: “Good evening Mr.Bond” said Queen Elizabeth, as the London Olympics painted a success story which will stay in the minds of people across generations.

Reality: Organizers of the 2012 London Olympics made a £53m loss in the 18 month period to the end of September last year, official accounts show. There were unsold tickets of a quarter of a million and a drop in the number of visitors, along with the slowest sales growth numbers in all of that year.

Athens

General societal opinion: The Olympics went back to its birthplace. A tradition was revived, sanctity was restored. Something along these lines.

Reality: A well-cooked goose moussaka amounting to $356 billion. 

Rio

General societal opinion: The mayor of Rio called the recently completed Olympics “a success”. He also did some sort of victory lap while the announcement. I hope he had ample water and energy drinks.

Reality: Between 70,000 and 90,000 evacuated. Charges of rampant corruption and fear of water pollution and Zika attacks. 

Tokyo

General societal opinion: Super Mario, shocking Shinzo Abe cameo and LED box like things. Obrigado Arigato.

Reality: Cost overrun by more than 100%, from eight to fifteen billion dollars.Plagiarism allegations over the official Tokyo Olympics logo, and abandoning of a two billion dollar stadium investment. Oopsie already.

More than two million people have been forcibly evicted or displaced as a part of the Olympics between 1988 and 2008. The event has never been conducted within budgeted cost, since 1960.

The Olympics have always been a mess. The glamorous medals and the awe-inspiring closing ceremonies will never justify all the foolish decisions that were made along the way.

The mountains of cash that could have been used for other practical pursuits, instead of this:

The Olympics, what a waste of money and opportunity.

People’s Opinion on Terrorism

Merin is a school teacher who worked in a school for disadvantaged in a state in southern India. A soft-hearted woman of not so bold characteristics. One of her close associates happens to be a potential recruiter for terrorist outfits particularly the ISIS. Radicalization happens. Merin along with the other radicalized mates vanish, travel to Colombo from where they fly to Iran where ISIS operates in camps. They would join the ISIS forces at Syria. Now the world has one more extremist to bother about.

Boko Haram of Nigeria, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al-Qaeda and more and more. Human life to these terrorist outfits is a torn chocolate wrapper. They can’t go about their life without tearing it and they do it without a second thought. In 1945, post the end of second world war, about 50 nations united to establish United Nations Organization. Since then world wars are forgotten reminders of uncontrollable extremism. Just when world nations thought they are free of civil wars, extremist outfits like these have risen to authority.

Beyond the control of world nations, world leaders, defence forces, these organizations operate with sufficient funding, radicalizing people. Since 2013 more than half a million people have been killed and 2.1 million people have fled Syria. European countries are facing severe refugee crisis. People who once were of dignified cadre in Syria now wash dishes in Belgium. The crisis is looming too large to be controlled. News that the Iraqi army busted ISIS from the province of Fallujah was a relief medicine. Retrieval of just that one province has been a tough task. Such is the enormity of ISIS.

While so much atrocity is being committed by these outfits, majority of the world nations are joining hands to tackle terrorist and extremist groups and some day there is going to be an end.

We at The Opinion spoke to a few wonderful opinionators asking their thoughts on Terrorism. Read what others like you had to say.

Ganesh R

GANESH R

I would like to start with a small snippet of how an infamous terrorist organization got into existence.

“In 1979, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to fight against a rebel group who called themselves as Mujahideens. These insurgent groups inturn gets funded by United States and few Arab monarchies. Few started to see this war as a religious struggle. Many young men both the educated and the uneducated flock towards Afghanistan to join this holy struggle. This sows the seeds of extremism in them. Among them two notable persons were a well educated rich man named Osama Bin Laden and a petty criminal named Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. After 10 years Soviet troops withdrew. Now Bin Laden grew his troops successfully called as Al Qaeda, unlike Zarqawi. Now both return to Afghanistan, Al Qaeda lauches the most gruesome attack on September 2001. This sparks the US to invade Afghanistan. Bin Laden flees to Pakistan and Zarqawi flees to Iraq. In 2003 US invades Iraq putting an end to Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.Many unemployed Iraqi soldiers join the Insurgency. Many Jihadists across the middle east join this insurgency thinking that yet another Holy war has begun. Zarqawi deliberately attacks Shia sparking a Civil War between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Now in 2004 a weakend AL Qaeda forms an alliance Zarqawi which led to the formation of a militant group called Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Soon US executes Zarqawi in an air strike and withdrew its troops.

Now when all looks safe and stable in Iraq, an Arab Spring spreads across the Middle East. The dictator of Syria Bashar Al-Assad releases Jihadists from prison to tackle both the rebels and the foreign governments that will supposedly fund them. Now the remains of AQI in Iraq reforms themselves into a more severe militant group called Islamic State in Iraq. They start a new Al Qaeda branch in Syria to support rebels and meanwhile recruits other Jihadists from Iraq prisons and also new ones. ISI gets bigger and bigger and spreading into Syria eventually becoming ISIS. Their goals and gruesome activities are needles to say.”

Thanks for reading the most cloddish story ever told. Well that’s what terrorism is. Well I do not mean to say ISIS is the only terrorist group in the whole world. There are many other insurgent groups voicing their claims in the most extremist ways. Terrorsim wouldn’t stop unless you stop participating in it. The snippet elucidated it to finest of perfection, and I leave it utterly to the reader’s perception on who should be held responsible for the rise of this most infamous Terrorist group. According to me, Terrorism is a highly cumbersome method of meeting the needs of one part of a community at the cost of the rest.

Going back to the Organic way of lifestyle is good, giving back to the society is welcoming, but rolling back to the barbaric way of making a living is completely unaccecptable.
And never dare to take a life for granted.

Bhargavi Ramesh

BHARGAVI RAMESH

Terrorism has been the one phenomenon that has held this world in a tight grip time and again. Right from the occasional shoot outs that appear on the news to the well planned terror attacks on cities, everything has instilled a fear in us. Countless super powers, with the notion to conquer and to grow in power, have bombed and invaded several cities and countries that they feel would help them strategically. Many of the countries in the world, especially the developing and the under-developed countries are still under serious threat.

Everything said and done, one question has arisen at this moment. Why the sudden increase in these types of incidences? Why is the media filled with so many of these incidences than it was there before? Is it because the number of attacks have increased over the years or is it because the media has finally got the “freedom of speech and expression”, like it is put? So many questions have been left unanswered and the search for the reason still continues.

Nations have become vigilant about the rising situation and are trying ways by which they can curb this at the roots. Few of these incidences seem to have a political vendetta behind it and few seem to rise out of personal interests of an individual. The sudden burst in the number of news articles that have been doing the rounds about terrorism and shoot outs are, just an opinion from my side, a result of the cry for people from people who are weak to take the actions on their own. In the end, all the efforts to build a better world by those who consider themselves to be higher in power would be to no use, if they cannot tackle the unrest that is stirring up. It is high time that the “super powers” wake up and attend to the calls of those who need help or sadly watch as the world goes to the dumps.

IMG-20160728-WA0008

PREET

When I was asked to write this piece on the surge in terrorism, the first thought I had was “Is there even a surge in terrorism or just in the conversation about it?”
And so I checked. Statistics, and charts, and graphs. And I found the strangest thing. We are actually at the lowest point in the graph of terror attacks since the ’40s, them having peaked in the late ’70s and the early ’90s. The graph reads the same way the world over.

The reason, I believe, we feel terrorism has risen is plainly because terror is peaking. While there are fewer attacks, they often catch us underprepared at best and the death toll rockets. The sophistication of terror attacks is worrisome but what is scarier is that today, an average terrorist could have had an ivy league education.

When the world’s image or who is attacking them goes from being that of a cattle herder with strong religious beliefs and a gun in his hand with little or no education, to a regular corporate slave riding the bus alongside them and bitching about the government, living a life seeming just as mundane as theirs, it scares the living daylights out of them.

The deaths have rocketed and the attacks have surpassed in more ways than one whatever strategies the governments had once devised to deal with terrorists but never evolved. Terrorism is growing into an industry of the elite, albeit without a trace of morality and the people in charge of the world must take stock of where we stand and evolve. Fast.

Anirudh

ANIRUDH M

Terrorism must be uprooted at all costs, has been the motto of the world from the beginning of this millennium. Hunting down and killing prominent heads of terrorist organisations has been nothing but miniscule victories in our “war on terror”. I consider these moves, as acts of revenge and not an inch in the direction to eradicate terrorism. ‘Elimination by destruction’ may be found true in the case of weeds and not people. As long as their ideology lives, there is always a cause for people to take up arms and fight for it. Though not always, but more often isolation, boredom, loneliness, absence of healthy social interaction and the urge to do something useful and ‘heroic’ in their life has pushed teens and pre-teens to join these organisations, by accepting the cause they represent. A sample of interviews of ISIS extremists by Quantum Communication says there were ‘thrill and status seekers’ among others fighting the Assad regime.

So what could possibly help us keep a tab on their growth? I think any sort of offensive attempt would only wash off the surface and does not aim to resolve their cause. And asking the countries to stop using ‘gun for a gun’ would be superficial.

In my opinion, lack of awareness of their history is the primary cause. When we get to read history which is not politically polarized, which is rare to find, we know what gave rise to terrorist organisations.

Anyone whose reasoning ability is clouded becomes an easy victim.So, as long as stories from each side arise to justify their causes, the fight will continue.

May the true story win!

MONICA MADAN PAUL

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” That is only a subtle way of putting it. “Terrorism.” What we commoners visualize as brutality is the survival ethics for terrorists. There comes the rift between us. I just mentioned it again, them and us. We have been stuck this way for more than ‘a while,’ if we could call it that. It’s the fury of ‘them’ unleashed upon ‘us’. It’s not about pointing the accused or the victim because it differs from eye to eye. ‘Them’ trying to bring in a change by wrecking colossal havoc on ‘us’ is exactly the opposite of their cause.

How do you aim to voice out your cries by evoking more cries from the other side?

The balance is crippled here, so is their cause. Centuries may pass but the balance wouldn’t be achieved if this persists. It’s a pity that ‘their’ belief will be their doom.

What do you think of terrorism? Comment below to get the world into opinionated discussion.

Nothing is Breaching The Constitutional Code of Conduct

right to free speech

A major chunk of Indian citizens are unaware of the Fundamental Rights that they are entitled to. Most don’t even know the existence of Fundamental Rights. I doubt even if 999 people of 1000 have gone through The Preamble to the Constitution, let alone The Constitution of India. What’s ironical is that an extensive collection of only those of 999 go on protests and least foolishly put up Facebook statuses that are never going to be heard. And ironically only those 999 people talk about politics being “dirty-man’s-den”. There is so much cliche about politics in India. Some day I would like to talk about the common notion about Indian politics. This introductory passage is nothing much in sync with what this article is about, however it is healthy rant against those 999. The little sync is in my reference to The Constitution of India.

It takes much pain, pressure, support, diplomatic power and unending support from people to change the law. It takes more of the above said to amend a constitutional right. The Jan Lokpal Bill’s failure to be passed in parliament is a perfect example of it. We believe we have a strong Constitution framed. I don’t doubt it.

“Udta Punjab” and Anurag Kashyap have been under scanner for a while now, so is “Iraivi” and Karthik Subburaj. The Mumbai High Court cleared the former with just 1 cut and “A” certificate. When I tried to research if what Anurag is undergoing is constitutionally fair, I extensively had to scratch my hair to baldness to completely understand the ever charming, ever controversial and never ending idea of “Right to Freedom of Speech & Expression”. I am no voice of people. Any thing I say can spark controversies. I am now not going to conclude anything about this fundamental right. But I still hold the “Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression”. So let me continue.

“Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression” has been the most intricate of Fundamental Rights that an Indian can hold according to the Constitution of India. You seem to understand it for a minute but it ditches you the next minute and takes a different stand. It is distinctly exercised among the world nations. A glance through the “Article 19” of the Constitution of India would tell you this. ↓

Article 19

All Indians are free to express anything of their interest unless it doesn’t affect an existing or to be made law, unless it is a threat to the state in some form of the other, public order or unless it is against decency and morality and of course the most important of it unless it doesn’t defame someone. Udta Punjab probably does nothing. Iraivi is out of question.

While we talk of cinema it pains to talk about people like M.M.Kalburgi and Govind Pansare who were brutally murdered while they were only exercising their fundamental constitutional right. They did not affect law, did not agitate public order, did not defame anyone nor did they go against morality. “Right to Freedom of Expression” also gives “Right to Protest”, which is indeed right to talk, write and go against something. All of this is Fundamental Constitutional Right.

But take the case of Aseem Trivedi, he was arrested for drawing a cartoon that depicts the parliament building as a western style washroom closet and a toilet paper rolling besides it. What does it do? It defames the parliament. At least that was what the reason he was arrested. On one side it is of course an act of sedition. Parliament is a common entity. Common to any Indian, so are the national emblem, national flag and entities of that sort. Poking fun of this common entity that is supposed to be the pride of India can of course be charged with sedition. A lot of people argue that it quashes the “Freedom of Speech and Expression”. We cannot deny. However going by Constitution of India, it is an offence.

If you can’t talk what is supposed to be right, then talk what is written as right. If you can’t talk what is written as right, try to make it right. When you can’t make it right, live by what is written as right.

Eventually what is common matters. The law is common. The Constitution is common. It matters. Change it or live by it.

 

Populism and Anti-Incumbency: The Bread and Butter of Tamil Nadu Politics

Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.

– Mark Twain

We have been fed enough by the socially aware memologists with their ‘Admit It’ memes, lateral thinkers who blog / brag, really attentive citizens who sincerely care about the country’s future, about the need to vote, the right to vote and the significance of each and every single vote which can seal the fate of a state for the next five years. This is probably the only time, you feel proud and accomplished for dirtying your finger and never want it to fade away soon before clicking a selfie. With that proud feeling in the heart let us cut deep into stuffs that is binding the TN politics over a few decades. The 2 factors which are inseparable from the TN politics are Populism and Anti-Incumbency.

“An anti-incumbent vote is one exercised against elected officials currently in power. It allows the voters to register their discontent with sitting government officials, particularly when protesting against certain actions taken by the government or the elected officials in question”, tells our wiki. Anti-Incumbency would be only meaningful and fruitful if voters are exposed to sensible and logical alternative parties to the ruling party. The Anti-Incumbent situation in our state is more or like, a cricket match where the umpire tosses a coin and ask the winning (winner of the toss) captain to choose between Bowling and Fielding. Though Anti-Incumbency had been put on a rough patch by the humongous money launderings, whooping scams of the alternative party in house, Populism is one evil that has spread its tentacles wide on an exponential rate.

So what is this Populism?

“Populism is a political outlook or disposition that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the general population, especially when contrasting any new collective consciousness push against the prevailing status quo interests of any predominant political sector”, confuses wiki. Though Populism has a bunch of meanings and definitions, the one which we refer to here is the Catch- all politics or the demagogy policy adopted by various parties to win the election.

Populism

So you go to USA (for instance) and pick out a guy and ask him to differentiate between their two major contemporary political parties. “We have Democrats who strongly believes in Modern Liberalism which supports ideas of civil liberty and equality with support for social justice and a mixed economy and on the other hand we have Republicans who believe strongly in American Conservatism which involves support for free market capitalism, deregulation, restrictions on labor unions, social-conservative policies.”, answers a guy in a trumpified voice.

Ask the same question to a guy from our state, his obvious reply would be, “One party promised us to give TV and other party promised us to give Refrigerator, I already got a Color TV from previous government so I am going to vote for the party which gives me free refrigerator.” Well this is how Populism has infected our vote banks.

Though am NOTA supporter of both the major contemporary parties, but they too had ideologies when they were first founded. One party was founded with one single notion of winning a separate independent state for the Dravidians, while the other party was completely against the ethnic exclusion and inducted policies targeting the upbringing of poorer segments of Tamil society. Both, though not completely have miserably failed in its ideology over the time.

Looking forward for a Real Ideology Based Politics where people won’t require a 350 pages’ manifesto to elect a party in the near future.