Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Check out

Some intresting links.

Ramayana around the world.Check it out here.

An excellent post by Akshaya on arundhathi roy here.check out the links he has provided.

Annie's writes beautifully about her train journey here

A healing Family

This book by Kenzaburo Oe's is almost opposite to his A personal matter.A personal matter is written with a darkness and anger that will shock the readers.The protoganist in that book was a creation of the authors very own experiences of fathering a brain damaged child.He vents out his anger in that book on anything and everything and even goes as far as to kill the child.But Healing family is quiet opposite to it.

Healing family is not a story, it is just kenzaburo's personal experiences with his son.This book kind of completes his earlier book 'A personal matter'.His son struggles with his brain malfunction and has problems communicating.He has to be taken care by someone and all his family members including his wife, son and daughter help him a lot.Even though he has problems cimmunication, music comes to his son naturally and he had grown up into a music composer.His son hikari(light) has composed and released two Classical music cd's.

For kenzaburo his son becomes the focus of everything that he writes.He says how he transformed that personal tragedy into something bigger by relating it to the pain that there nation suffered, he is talking about Hiroshima.And how his visit to hiroshima, hiroshima hospitals and the pain endured by others made him look at his pain as a trifle one.
There are only 2 factors I recall clearly that might have answered that question:one was the intense feeling that the problem of my child would end up suffocating me if I couldn't get out into a larger arena, see things from a broader perspective..
Kenzaburo went on to write many books about hiroshima.(Call it conincidence i just watched Alain Resnais's classic "Hiroshima mon amour" before reading the book).

The book is very simple and loosesly knitted around various incidents.The book will make lot of sense and show the change that has come into the author, if someone has already read his 'A personal matter'.But on it's own the book is hardly intresting, as it is not a story, or does not have any emotional writings, it is just a collection of some simple moments, which are very close to oe.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Battle of Algiers

I didn't know anything about this movie and saw this movie without any expectations and was totally blown away by this movie.This movie is a tour de force both visualy and musicaly.There will never be a better movie than this on resistance and counter resistence.

If you like political movies.This movie is a MUST.This movie is about algierian resistance to french occupation. Told through the eyes of one of the FLN(Algerian resistance group) commander La pointe, this movie tells the true story of the resistance movement in a stunning way.

Innovative narration, brilliant background score, awesome editing and photography combined with some nice acting, makes this movie stand apart. The movie is not a straight forward narration of a freedom struggle with one hero but it is about many people and many incidents weaved through some awesome editing. The dialogues are very minimal and also to the point and sharp. This movie is considered as one of the kind and was an international hit.To give you an idea of how important this movie is, it won the golden lion in venice beating movies like Bresson's "Au hasard Balthazar" and François Truffaut's "Farenheit 451".A movie that beat bresson's Au hasard Balthazar,well that should be enough to tell you about this movie.

This movie does not have any big sentimental scenes or patriotic stuff. Its just the events told in a pacy style. The BGMs adds so much to the movie that when you think back the movie you cannot think the visuals without the audio. There is whole rhythm to the movie.

The director has captured a nation's history in a powerful and moving way.It is like reading a Dominique Lapierre, Larry Collins book about the activities of the FLN in algeirs.In the middle of the movie I questioned myself whether all these scenes where taken of rthe movie or was it some documentary clippings that where shot during the resistance movement.But to my amazement i later confirmed that every single shot is taken for the movie.It was so unbelievable.There isn't a single scene that will give you an idea that the actors or for that matter the crowd was acting for the film.

The movie, even though shot 40 years before is still relevant today.Pentagon screened this movie in 2003 to its officers to teach them on what they might expect in iraq.And you know what, in the movie if you replace algeirs by iraq you can get a picture of what is happening in iraq now.

This movie was banned in france for 4 years because it showed the french in bad light.Yes the movie takes the algerian side but it is not completely one sided, the movie actually raises above the french occupation and narrates things more as a general opposition to colonization.

The Director of this movie is Gillo Pontecorvo, an italian director.He has taken very few movies and this one has gone down as a classic.I loved the movie, i ordered the bonus material separately and found out more about this guy, my guess came true, he was a marxist.He is a man who fought with italy's communist resistance against the facist.His resistance experience had definitely helped him in making the movie.The movie have 2 bonus material DVD's one has interviews by mira nair,oliver stone,spike lee,Steven Soderbergh ,Julian Schnabel and the director himself the other one is interview with former counterterrorism officials Richard A. Clarke and Michael A. Sheehan.

Watch it, it is awesome.


Monday, November 28, 2005


Jose Saramago's Blindness is an interesting book. Like stone raft, this is also based on a wild imagination. This time it is "What if an epidemic, which makes everyone blind spreads across the country?".

Saramago has given shape to this question and what follows is an interesting story that creates an imaginary world with many metaphors. He writes it so well that you are totally out of the question of how this epidemic was caused and you are immersed deeply into his imaginary territory.

He creates a different world with the blind peoples.The people who become blind at the start are all put in a separate asylum and power oppression happens, reminding us of george orwell classics.

We live in a refined society which is built over so many rules and regulations, so many Religious and moral rules. In the novel, with the blindness all those imaginary structures are broken and a human is reduced to his primitive self, fighting for his basic needs. With a single stroke the human being's centuries of advancement's are reverted and he is back hunting in groups for food. Saramago exploits these conditions to put forth so many questions to us.

Jose saramago

The book reminded me of two things. One was rajeev anchal's movie GURU which was about a fantasy world of blind peoples. Not sure whether he got the idea from this book. and second was the incidents that took place on the aftermath of hurricane katrina.The situation of system breakdown in the books was kind of similar to that of the Katrina aftermath.

Rajeev anchal's guru.

In this book also Saramago uses his hard to read writing style with page long sentences and paragraphs. But words flow out of this guy like a perennial river.He is just unstoppable with his imagination.

Guru Review at Alternate movies
Jose Saramago's nobel page

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another Satyendra Dubey??

Probably iam a litle late to pick this news.But this is a very bad one and it needs a lot of attention.It is pathetic that these kind of incidents still happen.Check out the post by gaurav sabnis about his IIM friend Manjunath Shanmugham who was killed recently.

The blog


Diksha is based on Jnanapith Dr.U.R.Anantha murthy's story "Ghattashraddha".Like his famous novel samskara, this story also takes a critical look into the upper caste brahmin community in southern karnataka.Similiarly this story like samsakara, center's around an acharya, who is made to decide on the supposed sin committed by his daughter.The time period of the story is 1930's.more

Friday, November 25, 2005

Bush had plans of bombing al-Jazeera

Dont know how true it is.But daily mirror reports that bush had plans of bombing Al_jazeera netwrok and Blair talked him out of it here

Madhuri dixit fan

Check out this guy.Hope he doesn't build a temple for her.

Ardent Madhuri Dixit fan Pappu Sardar celebrated the star's birthday in his own unique way in Jamshedpur on Thursday. This birthday is being celebrated by him for the 10th year and has become the talk of the area.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The secret between me and Arafat's wife

All you guys would have received the con mails, which says that the sender is the wife of the deceased nigerian president ot the treasurer of some south african diamond mine etc who has a big reserve of cash, which that person will give to you free if you give your bank account number and other information’s.

I have received many such mails.But i received one recently which is by far the most outrageous of all. I was laughing like hell, cause this one was not from any unnamed general's wife. This was from the wife of Arafat himself. Check out the way the mail has given a link to arafat's biography in

I thought i will share this secret between me and arafat's wife.If any one wants to talk to her. Her email id is also provided. Right now iam waiting to see a mail from sonia gandhi.

Dear Sir

I am Mrs. SUHU ARAFAT, the wife of YASSER ARAFAT, the Palestinian leader who died recently in Paris. Since his death and even prior to the announcement,I have been thrown into a state of antagonism, confusion, humiliation,frustration and hopelessness by the > present leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the new Prime Minister. I have even been subjected to physical and psychological torture. As a widow that is so traumatized, I have lost confidence with everybody in the country at the moment. You view this website: __javascript:ol(''); You must > have heard over the media reports and the Internet on the discovery of some fund in my husband secret bank account > and companies and the allegations of some huge sums of money deposited by my husband in my name of which I have refused to disclose or give up to the corrupt Palestine Government. In fact the total sum allegedly discovered by the Government so far is in the tune of about $6.5 Billion Dollars. And they are not relenting on their effort to make me poor for life. As you know, the Moslem community has no regards for woman, more importantly when the woman is from a christian background, hence my desire for a foreign assistance. I have deposited the sum of 100 million dollars with a Financial firm in Europe whose name is withheld for now until we open communication. I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your bank account for safe keeping and any Investment opportunity.

This arrangement will be known to you and I alone and all our correspondence should be strictly on email alone because our government has tapped all my lines and are monitoring all my moves. In view of the above, if you are willing to assist for our mutual benefits,we will have to negotiate on your Percentage share of the $4,000,000.00 that will be kept in your position for a while and invested in your name for my trust pending when my Daughter, Zahwa, will come off age and take full responsibility of her Family Estate/inheritance.

Please note that this is a golden opportunity that comes once in life time and more so, if you are honest, I am going to entrust more funds in your care as this is one of the legacy we keep for our children. In case you don't accept please do not let me out to the security and international media as I am giving you this information in total trust and confidence I will greatly appreciate if you accept my proposal in good faith. Please expedite action. Reply this mail via my alternate email addresssincerely, Suhu Arafat

Reply this mail via my alternate email

Yours sincerely,

Suhu Arafat

DVD Rentals in USA

Lot of people ask where i rent my DVD's.Thought i will give some links for getting good DVD's in USA for everyone.

One of the best rental site for USA is business model is same as netflix.From all the sites i have seen they are the best.Very professional.But their collection right now is not that great.
If you want to select from a huge collection then u have to go to erosentertainment(( can rent from them also, but they are just pathetic, when it comes to customer service.

This was the conversation between me and the Customer service(rather one telephone operator who takes care of everything at the office).

Me:I rented a DVD almost a month before,but is still havn't received it.what is happening??

Telephone operator:Sir it is because of postal delay's and bad weather.

Me:Bad weather??(This was before katrina/rita etc).The east coast of USA has been pretty much clear, what bad weather are u talking about?.

Telephone operator:No sir, iam not talking about weather here,Iam talking about weather in india.The DVD has to come from there.

Me:WHAT !!!!!!!!

You can buy bengalimovies from but this is only for sales.Rent a bangla movie( is a rental site run by abdul khan.He is an independent guy who does all by himself.Hand Written address, stamped envelopes etc.You can even pay by check AFTER watching the movie.But make sure that the DVD ur renting has subtitles(if you are not a bengali), as many of his movies does not have subtitles.

what else there is always netflix.They do have some good movies.Apu trilogy, vanaprastham,salaam bombay,party,utsaab and quite a few shyam benegal movies.I wrote to them to include govind nihalani,ghatak's and mrinal sen classic.Let's c.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A good Idea is not enough

Is just a good idea enough to make a good book?.No not for me.I came across two books with very good ideas, but not an interesting narration and plot.

Shashi tharoor's The Great Indian Novel

This is a novel which see's Mahabharatha from a different perspective. This books merges mahabharatha with indian politics. Shashi tharoor's perspective is fascinating, mahatma ghandhi as the grand old bhishma, the man who never wanted anything for himself, but was always with the kauravas(congress) and dhirthrashtra nehru.That perspective was fascinating at the start, but as the novel moves, the story is nothing but mahabharatha, there is no big suspense, you just have to wait to see which character is what and how the indian political incidents are merged into the great novel. Shashi gives lot of interesting incidents that happened in indian politics or about the famous personalities like gandhi etc.Even though those information might be true.NOthing can be taken for sure cause the whole book is a fiction.And as you know that the story is mahabharatha, there is not much to expect in the next chapter as you already know the story. Shashi tharoor's narration style is just boring and for the second time i dropped his book after 100 pages. The first was midnight to millennium which was pathetic.

Jose saramago's Stone Raft

Jose Saramago is a portugese Nobel Lauret, who's books have been translated to many languages.Iam sure some of his books must be available in Malayalam(The regional language to which highest number of books are translated in india).All his books are based on some wild imagination. And this book is also based on one such imagination. The basis for this novel is "what if the Iberian peninsula(spain,portugal) broke away from europe'.Suddenly the land mass gives away and the Iberian peninsula slowly drifts away from europe(metaphorically meaning the relationship of portugal with rest of the europe).The novel starts like a latin magic realism one with so many interesting incidents but it later becomes the journey of a few people and follows them. Then saramago goes to the smaller things and start explaining the minutest of the details of various things.Apart from the knitty gritty way of explaining things, his writing style is very hard to read. Many of the pages will be one single paragraph and some of the pages might be one whole sentence. Yes, he just writes one sentence that comes almost to one page length. I got bored and dropped it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hazaar chaurasi ki Maa(Mother of 1084)

Iam doing a series on Govind nihalani at atlernate movie's.The latest is this movie Hazaar chaurasi ki Maa which is one of his best.

Probably the most sentimental and sensitive of all nihalani movies,this is a gem of a movie.Nihalani who mostly deals with strong male characters this time deals with an old mother.The protagonist sujatha chaterji is not a feminist who wants to fight against the society but an ordinary working woman, who lived in her own small world and never thought anything outside it.Nihalani this time targets the women folk like sujatha to think beyond there homes and have social responsibility. Inspired from Jnanpith award winner maheshwatha devi's story, the main character Sujata Chatterji is such an intresting one that it made jaya bachan come out of her acting career's, 19 year break to do this movie. more


Some fishermen pulled a bottle from the deep. It held a piece of paper, with these words: "Somebody save me! I'm here. The ocean cast me on this desert island. I am standing on the shore waiting for help. Hurry! I'm here!"

"There's no date. I bet it's already too late anyway. It could have been floating for years," the first fisherman said.

"And he doesn't say where. It's not even clear which ocean," the second fisherman said.

"It's not too late, or too far. The island Here is everywhere," the third fisherman said.

They all felt awkward. No one spoke. That's how it goes with universal truths.

-- Wislawa Szymborska

Monday, November 21, 2005

More support for kushboo

Aamir khan has extended his support to kushboo.check outhere

N Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu.
Can you tolerate the intolerant? These are intolerant people. You misuse the criminal administration system and behave thuggishly. Does the public tolerate it?"

Following CPI State Unit Secretary D Pandian's and Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Unit Secretary N Varadarajan support, the willy karunanidhi has given a statement that "DMK Chief M Karunanidhi today ruled out his interference in the Kushboo issue and said, likewise, he did not like others to interfere or comment on the remarks made by the actor".

Former Pondicherry Pradesh Congress Committee President and Rajya Sabha member from Pondicherry V Narayanasamy today said

Her views and the remarks made by actor -director Suhasini should be seen as personal.He said it was not good to organise agitations when in a Democracy with freedom of expression, anyone can express views. It could be accepted or ignored.

He said even though Khushboo's views were not acceptable, she had tendered an apology.He also criticised some political parties for politicising the issue for personal gains and added it was unwarranted

And PMK founder leader Dr S Ramadoss and DPI General Secretary Thol Thirumavalavan are now denying that they instigated the agitation against the actress.

PMK express surprise at left parties stand

Recant Or Else

S.Anand in his usual style has done an article on kushboo incident in outlook.

‘Tamil culture’, as they define it, has been reduced to effigy-burning, a display of chappals and brooms, and the inability to contest an opponent’s personal point of view in a civilised manner—especially if it is a woman. The sensation-hungry Tamil media, led by the tabloid Tamizh Murasu and Sun TV, egg these forces on to take obscurantist stands.

In times such as these, voices that stand up to the ‘street might’ of PMK and DPI—amounting to 200 activists performing for TV cameras—are few. Politicians, celebrities and persons who can influence public opinion stay silent. When Suhasini spoke out, she was made to fall in line.more

Financial Express editorial on the issue

No one section of society has the right to impose its views on the rest. What is shocking is that just one person within the Tamil film industry and few outside have dared raise their voice against it.more

check out this post by pasug on the controversy

Stand Up, Speak Up

The scales are tilting; more people are coming out to speak against the treatment given to kushboo and suhasini. Apart from organization like PUCL(People's Union For Civil Liberties),Women's WORLD etc. Finance minister P.chidambharam has gone on records against the way kushboo was treated for expressing her thoughts.
There is no need for one to react to another's views. I am not going to comment on it. But, in India one has got the right to speech and freedom to express views. Attempts to curtail or take away these cannot be accepted," he said on Saturday night when asked to respond to Kushboo's remarks.
Just perfect. Did his son had any part to play in chidhambharam giving a statement like this??. Not sure.The CPI has also pitched in support for kushbo's right to express her views.
The CPI State secretary, D.Pandian, said, in a statement here, that the agitation and the court cases against Ms. Kushboo had "assumed unpleasant dimensions." " Those who disagreed with her views should not resort to agitations in violation of democratic norms,'' he said.
Some background activity seemed to have happened in the 'Nadigar sangam'(Actor's Association). Sharath the secreatry of the organization, now says these kind of actions against actor's wont be allowed and would be dealt sternly.

Look at what had been happening in TN in the past.

BABA movie , the PMK leader went against rajini for portraying a character like him and unleashed violence in theaters that were showing the movie.

From the title chandiyar to its shooting pudhiya thamizhagam and dalit panthers gave all troubles to kamal

When vijayakanth said some statements against PMK supremo's son the union minister anbumani he was threatened and vijayakanth fans and PMK caders clashed.

now kushboo & suhasini have come under the attack by these fundamental castist parties.

Imagine the 3 big guys of TN had to go through the same kind of treatment against the castist parties. The thing was nobody came in others support, even if one would have spoken up for the other, say kamal for rajini or rajini for kamal against these parties, this small and pathetic parties would have never had the guts to do what they are doing now. The fan base of these 3 big guys will far exceed the vote base of these small parties. All they had to do was raise their voice and speak up to support one another. But nobody cares for the other unless and until it happens to them.After all the history that has gone by, we still haven’t learned out lesson's, we are still the divided lots who were easily conquered by invading armies. The simple truth is no body wants to SPEAK UP and nobody realizes that UNITY IS STRENGTH.

Thanxs to suhasini for bringing up the problem again.Go suhasini...

PUCL upset
who is attacking kushboo
Scales tilting

Friday, November 18, 2005

To Err is Human

One of my blog reader forwarded this letter.Rev.Jegath Gaspar pours his heart out in this mail which he sent to the illyaraja fan's club.Illayaraja or rajini, I hope people will have the maturity to seperate a man and his talents.

Dear Friends,

This mail pertains to a news item that appeared in some web based magazine and sites with regard to Thiruvasagam and UK distribution rights, and the resultant confusion among the fans.

At the outset I wish to underline some important things. Ilaiyaraaja Yahoo Groups for me has been a great and enriching experience of life. In many a respect. I can never forget the passionate and proactive support it gave for the TIS project. What brings this group together and gives relevance to it are the common affection and appreciation you all have for the great musical genius of Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and his stupendous contributions to music. This aspect has to be kept in mind in all our discussions and discerning. Without an inch of hesitation I can state that like you I am proud to live at a time when the Maestro lived and his musical genius is undoubtedly unparalleled. However his musical genius does not make him God and we should ensure to give him the freedom and space to be a human being with the inherent human frailties and failures. Seen from this perspective, I am sure our judgments will be better and charitable even if there are problems with regard to individuals and projects, in our case – Thiruvasagam in Symphony. Even such judgments will be contested from protagonist and antagonist points of view. That is fine. But such a clarity will again ensure that none of these would diminish the musical respect we have for this great genius.

Now about this news on Thiruvasagam and UK rights, I really do not know. I heard people in the film industry talking about it. However I must also admit that no overseas distribution arrangement has been agreed so far (except Malaysia and Singapore) between Tamil Maiyam and Maestro. Reasons, I don’t intend to discuss in public. (Tamil Maiyam and Ilaiyaraaja Trust are holding joint copy rights, that too only for Tamil. Tamil Maiyam doesn’t have rights for tracks or interpolation in to other languages). The agreement was signed under duress as IR had total control and possession of the tracks. The release of the album became our foremost concern and we had to agree to sign a contract prepared by his auditor. The original contract which we had signed at the start of the project had to be given up under such a situation. The only oral agreement we had on overseas distribution was to send 8000 CDs to TIS-USA under Dr.Sankar Kumar to settle the loans they had incurred to complete this magnum opus. It is indeed hurting and a crying shame for me personally and for Tamil Maiyam that these decent people in the USA were first asked by us to help, borrow and then dumped with CDs to sell and save themselves.

Right now what I can tell you is, for a project in which we worked for three years, invested almost 1.5 crores – much of it through loans, and moved heaven and hell to make it a success, - what we have received from the distribution company – Welgate so far is only Rs. 5 lakhs. But for the sponsors we would be in a gravely serious crisis. So friends if you really care help us to sell some more CDs. Again Welgate was not our choice. Our choices were either Sony or Sarigama. Both were willing to release the album and the basics of the agreement had all been negotiated when IR insisted on Welgate.

Personally I may feel betrayed, insulted or humiliated and continue to have sleepless nights about the huge remaining debts. That’s OK. After all Thiruvasagam is a great project. We all made it a success. It has touched the souls of so many. Generations will relish this masterpiece.

Above all, I believe we are all mature human beings and we should respect ourselves by transcending. I have transcended. Truth always has the capacity to speak for itself, in time and for ever.

My only pain is that people like Dr. Sankar Kumar and the TIS-USA team who really put their time and credibility in the project went unrecognized.

My prayers are: Our burden of debts should be minimized quickly. You should all remain positive to the core objectives of Ilaiyaraaja Yahoo Groups – his music, and music alone.

Thank you. God bless us all.

Rev. Jegath Gaspar Raj.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Who is the Hero?

Suhasini has also been tamed. A woman's place is in the kitchen, what has she got to do with talking about society or expressing her opinions?.Above all she is not supposed to say anything against the macho super hero's. Supreme star sarath kumar is the great achiever, he with other hero's showed all their Macho power to make the helpless suhasini, bow. Sarath kumar the General Secretary of the South Indian Artist Association had sent a letter to Suhasini seeking an explanation for her defense of Kushboo.IT seems Suhasini sent an SMS to him through her mobile, in which she stated that if the association took any action against her, it should have to face the consequences. Supreme star sarath kumar's got angry and he showed his anger by making his fan's association burn suhasini's effigies.They put more pressure on suhasini through the various film association's.suhasini has now expressed her regret on her comments and has sent a letter of apology to the Association.Iam getting goose bumps, Sharath kumar, Wow what a HERO.Now suhasini will be sent back to do what a tamil male expects from her, go to kitchen and make sambhar and rasam.What can i say about sharath kumar.Sir, I greatly admire your efforts to preserve the morality of tamilians and the sanctity of womenhood in general.By the way how is Nagma??.

And it seems the other moral police personals of tamil nadu the PMK and Dalit Panther activists chased suhasini with broom sticks and chapels to make her know her place in the society.PMK/DP guys, Do u have any idea what this womens reservation bill is??.They say it will be lot more helpful to women.

I was wondering, usually in tamil movie when the heroine is in trouble there is always a hero, who will appear from no where to rescue her.We have seen it many movies, even in kushboo and suhasini starrer movies.But why is that none of the tamil hero's are voicing there support for these heroines. The hero's seemed to have become audiences here.

Where is vijayakanth?.the film association president seemed to be hiding in a hole, he has become a full time politician , he has made sharath handle everything so that his political image wont be affected.

What is the 'Thalaivar' doing?.Seems rajini is busy giving interview in chapels, torn shirts and veshti so that the reporter will write how a simple guy he is and offcourse he is praying to baba so that all the problems in the society will be alleviated.

what's up with the Intellectual, the guy who suddenly became a communist, when his movie 'anbe sivam' was about to be released.During that time he attended meeting in kerala/TN to talk against USA's iraqi invasion.Psst...Comrade kamal, Talking about oppression that was happening 1000 of miles away from our country is fine.why not talk about the oppression that is happening right here in Tamil Nadu??.That too to your collegue and relative.

Iam pissed off and wanted to vent out my thoughts. hence this hard hitting post. Seriously its a shame that no body has the balls to stand up and talk against this ganging up of some MCP's.How come the artists, the great thinkers who make path breaking movies, can't even talk and convince their own association people.An artist is supposed to be more free thinking and expressive, but in TN it is completely topsy turvy.The actors here are the most fundamentalist people. When it is joining the gang to protest against cauvery issue or something everybody is ready to do it even if they don’t want to.But when it comes to controversial opinions, you wont see anybody even though many feel what is happening is wrong. What is the point when they take powerful movies depicting powerful characters sending messages to the society to change, but they are spineless when it comes to reality?.

These things have made me apreciate Govind nihalani's movie Party more.There is one character in the movie which argues that a creator can have two moral standings. one as an artist and other as a human being.But another character argues that, an artists moral standing and the human being's moral standing should meet at some place otherwise his work is not TRUE.what can you say about the creators/artists of TN.Bunch of hypocrites.

Sania mirza has sent out message on Safe sex in new delhi.But poor kushboo case in Tamil Nadu is different.One silver line in the dark clouds, Karthick Narayin lends his support to kushboo

Karthick Naryain supports kushboo

Suhasini incident

Wah Paji !!!

1-1, 2-4 ,3-5

Wondering what that is?.That is the fall of wickets of today's one day match.

But the best part was the last 5 overs.

End of over 46 (6 runs) India 197/7 (RR: 4.28)
Yuvraj Singh 92* (117b 9x4 2x6) AB Agarkar 21* (26b 2x4)

End of over 47 (14 runs) India 211/8
Harbhajan Singh 1* (1b) Yuvraj Singh 103* (122b 10x4 3x6)

End of over 48 (16 runs) India 227/8 (RR: 4.73)
Harbhajan Singh 16* (7b 1x4 1x6) Yuvraj Singh 103* (122b 10x4 3x6)

End of over 49 (10 runs) India 237/9 (RR: 4.84)
Harbhajan Singh 25*

End of over 50 (12 runs) India 249/9 (RR: 4.98)
Harbhajan Singh 37* (17b 4x4 2x6)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Voltaire Again

Every member of a university community, if he or she wishes to aspire to be worthy of the university, must accept the truth of Voltaire's classic statement. Voltaire proclaimed, I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it. That idea must be the corner-stone of a liberal institution.more

Prime Minister manmohan singh uttered those words yesterday at the JNU(Jawaharlal Nehru university, Delhi).JNU is a place where being politically involved is very much a part of studying there.JNU is a left stronghold and the place where India’s future politicians are trained. All India Students' Association (AISA) which is the students wing of the CPI-ML, protested against manmohan singh's neo liberal policies and india's IAEA vote against iran. The gracious PM took it on his stride and even wanted to meet the protestors, but they didn't turn up it seems.

JNU and Elections

Monday, November 14, 2005

Express your opinion and get arrested

It is back.With suhasini's apology and the new arrest warrent against her, kushboo controversy is back.Kushboo seems to have gone underground to escape the arrest, all because she expressed an opinion that she thought was right.It is a shame.

Recently Suhasini spoke in support of kushboo in a film festival, i wish she had spoken about her support earlier, anyways she has done it now and many women organizations are also expressing support for kushboo.But it has opened the controversy again and all the tamil morality saviours are out with daggers.I hope suhasini will have the will power to with stand the attack that is getting directed towards her now.

A great news amidst all these controversies is the launch of Karuthu.Karuthu is a new non political forum to promote freedom of expression in Tamil Nadu.It is started by kanimozhi and karthick chidambharam daughter and son of karunaidhi and chidhambharam.

It's great to hear that something positive is coming out of all the controversies that has been happening in tamil nadu.Not sure whether karuthu is just going to be an internet forum or something more than that.But none the less, it is a very positive and encouraging move.

Keerthi's post on karuthu

Thanxs guys

bala,Aparna, shyam and jagdish thanxs for linking up the green revolution post

Adhu oru kanna kalam

I was completely disappointed. Shouldn't an artist/creator grow with experience? Balu mahendra seemed to have stopped somewhere 20 years before, he is still taking movies the way he took 20 yrs back. Ok it is his style, but the story that he has dealt is also an old one.It is not an unusual story, it is a story that we have seen in so many movies.Except for the core idea that balu wants to convey, that humanity, kindness, forgiveness still exists in society. He also raises the question of the purpose of what is the right punishment for a crime?.

The whole story seems to have been built on the hope & belief of the existence of a kind and sensitive world, which is very good. But can't this be told on a different story?. why should he convey that on a story that is so common. After the story moved into jail, i thought he is probably doing a different version of his malayalam movie 'YATHRA' and i was hoping that this movie will also do that wonderful climax(one of the most sweetest climax i have ever seen)of yathra.But i was disappointed, it ended in a different way.

Balu mahendra has added so many components with the idea that they will spice up the movie, but it has only made the movie more boring and weird. I dont understand the purpose of many scenes.Like the scene of a jailer with 42 inch biceps beating the s*** out of the stick man, south indian bruce lee, danush. He keeps beating and asks him not to get up, but he gets up every time to get more gifts. It's all ok, but what is the point, what is the director trying to prove here??. what is the purpose of this whole scene.Completely beats me.On the plus side, he has portraied the policemen as decent and sensitive guys rather the usual rowdy characters, also tries to show love between economically low class servant girl and the middle class boy.But none of the good things are stressed and they get lost in the meandering and predictable story.

Raja was another big disappointment. Like the story in which, the subjects who were not ready to tell the king that he is naked, i guess no body is telling this king(Raja) that his voice is horrible. When there are so many fresh talents with so many different voices, why is he torturing himself and us with his voice, what is the need?. The best favor that he could do to his friend 'balu sir' would be to not sing in his movie from now on.

Nowadays when i see a movie in which illayaraja has composed the music the first thing that i want to confirm is whether the hero has a mother. And if yes, i keep praying all through out the movie that she shouldn't die. Cause invariable there will be a song with illayaraja singing a song. That style and lyrics were all great for the first 3 movies but hearing the same stuff for 15 years drives me crazy. Isn't a music director also supposed to be creative and innovative?. Raja's creativity seems to have died and he is just beating the dead horse in these kind of situations. Iam a fan of raja, but no iam not gonna blindly worship him.

Apart from occasional brilliance the BGM's where so predictable. If you have been following the maestro's bgm works, you can easily guess what kind of a music is going to come next and above all this, he keeps playing an easily forgettable theme music over and over again. There is nothing fresh in it except for some brilliant pieces at the climax.

AOKK is simply a product of two great creators who have stagnated and are slowly moving towards anonymity.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Word verification

click the img to englarge

Think there should be some limit on the number of words used for word verification. If i have to leave a comment like 'Good post' or 'Good One' i have to type in more or almost the same number of letters for word verification as my comments.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Amazon fraud

I got a mail asking me to update my account to enlarge the image.

I went to the site and the site was so close to the original one.
Note the ip address.

I logged in as mahatma gandhi

Once i logged in the first page itself was this.

I have seen these kind of frauds with ebay, first time with amazon.guys beware..

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A personal matter

Kenzaburo oe's 'A personal matter' is a novel that has risen out of his personal experience.It is the story of a father coming to terms with his new baby, who is born with a brain herrania/tumor.But it is not an account of what happened in his life.He has just taken that traumatic experience and made a novel out of it.But you would be disappointed if you are looking for a father who wants everybody to pity and cry for him.The novel is neither depressive nor romantic.He actually makes fun of the baby with head bandage as looking like Apollinaire.

The novel is written in a style known as Grotesque Realism.As said before you wont see the usual narration style,for example oe does not describe anybody as beautiful or perfect.His child's imperfection comes out in every character that is in the book.He uses a bitter, dark, pessimistic language to describe the characters and situation.

The language style is not something that one will start liking right from the start and at lot of places the book simply becomes a perversive pornographic one, which also lot of readers might not like.But the writing style is so different that it starts to grow in you.The mind of weak guy with so much hate and anger is narrated in a very different way.

The climax of the book seemed like one written just to end it as the hero does an complete U turn to end the novel positively.

Kenzaburo oe, who writes so many hateful things about the baby in the book is not the same man in real life, he is a good father to his son who was born with the brain tumor.His son grew up to become a classical music composer.

Kenzaburo at berkley

Oe's Nobel page

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Amrita Pritam

Check out the short story wild flower, by the late amrita preetam.

Amrita pritam in outlook

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Green Revolution ??

Globalization has opened up the indian market, we have made great strides in certain industries and have been bringing in lot of forex through IT industries. But there is this other side to globalization, which does not get that much media attention as mentioned in my previous post.

We all read about the papers that read '400 farmers commit suicide in andhra pradesh', '300 farmers commit suicide in karnataka,644 in maharashtra, 100 in kerala' but think that it is due to rain and various other reasons, they might be part of the reasons, but slowly and steadily there is a big change happening in the agriculture sector in india.

The rural anger in Karnataka

Recently there was a huge farmer’s demonstration in bombay where around one-lakh farmers from all over India protested the UPA Government's World Trade Organization (WTO) and anti-farmer policies. The memorandum said
The UPA Government came to power with a mandate from rural India but now it is coming out with anti-farmer and pro-corporation policies ... the Seed Bill 2004, the Food Safety and Standards Bill 2004, the National Agriculture Policy encouraging contract farming, the dismantling of the Public Distribution System, withdrawal of Minimum Support Price for most of the commodities, the reversal of land reforms for MNCs and agro-businesses...more

I read about this protest in a tamil magazine(junior vikatan dated 12/10).The article talked about the protests and the farmers problem.Mr.selamuthu the chief of 'The working farmers party' gave a simple example and explained the problems of farmers.I was compeltely taken back by the example.

10 years before cotton was selling 3000 Rs per quintal and diesel was selling 8 Rs.Over the years cotton price has come down to 1600 Rs per quintal and diesel has gone up to 35 Rs.

How could this happen. When inflation is always going up and every commodity that is associated with producing something is going up, how could a agro product have gone down almost half its value in 10 years??.The answer is simply globalization. My research on the root cause of that decline lead me to some shocking information.Here they are.

Since 1995, when India joined the WTO, there has been a surge in imports of agricultural commodities, which are being dumped by developed countries in the international market below their cost of production. This has led to a deep decline in domestic agriculture prices and has deepened the agrarian crisis in rural India. The bulk of agricultural imports constitute mainly edible oils, pulses (chickpeas, pigeon peas, lentils, dry peas etc.). Other major items imported on a regular basis include dairy products, raw cashew nuts, fruits and raw cotton etc.more

How are the foreign countries able to produce those raw materials in such a low cost??.

He pointed at the difference in subsidy to farmers between the developed countries such as the U.S. and other European countries running up to 60 to 75 per cent whereas that of India barely touching 3 per cent.

He said: "How does the Government expect an average Indian farmer, who has less than two hectares of land, to compete with an average European farmer with around 1,000 hectares? more

Apart from the abundant availability of water and other resources an american farmer is more technology oriented and produces more with less labor force. Inspite of all these savings and the better input to output ratio,they get subsidies from there goverment , which enables them to sell there agro products at a less than production cost value.The result is major dumping of these products all over the world.

According to a report, the 2003 US figures show that the agriculture exports from US were sold much below the cost of production:

* Wheat was exported at an average price of 28 percent below cost of production.
* Cotton was exported at an average price of 47 percent below cost of production.
* Rice was exported at an average price of 26 percent below cost of production.

Despite the now ten-year-old World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement to end market distorting practices in agriculture, commodity dumping by U.S. food companies continues and in greater numbers than when the agreement was made. According to an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) report, all five major U.S. commodities were sold well below the cost of production in 2003.

# Wheat dumping levels increased from an average of 27 percent per year pre-1996 to 37 percent per year post 1996;
# Soybean dumping levels increased from an average of 2 percent per year pre-1996 to 11.8 percent post-1996;
# Maize dumping levels increased for an average of 6.8 percent per year pre-1996 to 19.2 percent post-1996;
# Cotton dumping levels increased from an average of 29.4 percent pre-1996 to an average of 48.4 percent post 1996;
# Rice dumping levels increased from an average of 13.5 percent pre-1996 to an average of 19.2 percent after 1996.more

Moreover, the distortions and imbalances in agriculture trade have also drastically affected the prices, incomes and livelihoods of small farmers in India. Since the inception of the WTO, there is a steep decline in the prices of agricultural commodities internationally. From 1980 to 2000, world prices for 18 major export commodities fell by 25% in real terms. During this period the decline was especially steep for cotton (47%), coffee (64%), rice (61%), cocoa (71%) and sugar (77%). For example international cotton prices came down from 128 cents per pound in 1981 to 38.7 US cents per pound in 2002. Similarly rice prices came down from 565 US$/tonne in 1981 to 160.8 US$/ton in 2002 and sugar prices came down from 18.11 US cents per pound in 1981 to 5.68 US cents per pound in 2002

WTO and Areca nut farmer suicide

Many feel it is not right for the goverment to give subsidies to the farmer.The state governments giving free power for farmers (which was later revoked my many states because of pressure form IMF) was always a big ussue.But actually farmers in foreign countries get alot more subsidies than what farmers in india get.

How can they ask for electricity bill, increase diesel costs and then not buy our produce at a good price? My family grows sugarcane, wheat and corn but still we are running on losses. Something has to be done.more

And one of the important bills to come is the seed bill.Now the farmers have to buy seeds for there crops from multinational corporations.

The New Seed Bill in the offing, they said, runs counter to the Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers' Right Act (PVPFA), 2001. The Government had given the right to farmers to sell and exchange their seeds through the PVPFA. But those rights are now being taken away through the Seed Bill. This clearly demonstrates that the government is being run by the multinational seed companies...

As the hybrid seeds lose their vigor after one crop, the farmers have to buy the seeds every year from the seed companies. Further, neither the farmers can keep the hybrid seeds or produce it, nor the farmers can exert any control over the prices of hybrid seeds and hence they have to completely depend on the companies for these seeds. The Genetically Modified (GM) seeds are more dangerous, since there is every chance of cross-pollination of GM seeds induced crops with similar indigenous seeds based locally grown crops. As a result the local varieties may in the process get genetically modified and become like terminator plants. There is therefore every possibility that the GM seeds will completely render infertile the local crops/seeds and therefore the food security of the state will be put into danger.more

There are lot of theories going on these. If everybody in the world starts using one type of genetically modified seed then a mistake on that hybrid seed may affect every farmer who is using it all around the world. Read this interesting articles on how the multinational companies are trying to spread there hybrid seeds through food aids here

The focus of the cotton failure has been on the excessive use of pesticides or of spurious pesticides. However, pesticide use intimately linked to hybrid seeds. Pesticides become necessary when crop varieties and cropping patterns are vulnerable to pest attack. Hybrid seeds offer a promise of higher yields, but they also have higher risks of crop failure since they are more prone to pest and disease attack as illustrated by the Andhra Pradesh experience. Monocultures further increase the vulnerability to pest attacks since the same crop of the same variety planted over large areas year after year encourages pest build-ups.more

Instead of addressing their distorted trade practices, the developed world is putting pressure on developing countries to lower the agricultural tariff to allow fair market access to the developed world and their agribusiness corporations. The agricultural tariff in developing countries is already very low and there is very little capacity to undertake further significant cuts without disrupting their rural economies. Tariffs are the only instruments available to these countries for protecting their farmers.

In India in 1990-91, the average applied rate of import tariff was 113%, which was drastically lowered to 35% in 1997-98, which increased to 41% in 2001-02, but again it declines and in 2004-2005 the average applied tariff is 37.5%. Hence the average applied tariff rate in 2004-05 is almost 65% lower than the average applied rate in 1990-91. Some of the key agricultural goods have the minimum applied tariff rate in India, which include pulses 10%, Maize 15%, milk powder 15% etc.

With the withdrawal of quantitative restriction and reduction in tariff, there is a surge of cheap subsidized imports in India. The import of pulses have increased from 490.75 thousands tonnes in 1995-96 to 1992.8 thousands tonnes in 2002-2003. Similarly import of spices increased from 24.28 thousands tonnes in 1995-96 to 147.69 thousands tonnes in 2003-2004. Import of sugar increased from 29 thousands tonnes in 1996-97 to 932.3 thousands tonnes in 2004-05. Edible oil imports increased from 1061.99 thousands tonnes in 1995-96 to 5290.2 thousands tonnes in 2003-04. Cotton import increased from 2.92 thousands tonnes in 1996-97 to 387 thousands tonnes in 2001-2002.

In a country where most of the farmers are illiterate how are they going to understand WTO, globalization and foresee the future problems and change accordingly or fight against it??.

Given a conditions where a farmer gets loans for his crops, depends on rains to produce them or pays his electricity bills only to sell them at ever declining cheap price on an increasing cost of producing it, he might not even get a break even on the money spent. When the money lender comes for his money, man handles him OR humiliates him before the public, he might do what other's farmers have done. Commit Suicide.

Maybe this is what happened with the 400 farmers who committed suicide in andhra, the 644 in maharashtra. I thought the people were wrong to vote down a chief minister like chandhra babu naidu who did so much for IT and vote in someone who promised free power for farmers. I was thinking that the farmers didn't reason properly and don’t have a sense of who to vote. I now realize that i was just thinking about what concerned me, but there was a bigger population* which cared about a lot of other things than the IT.I really feel bad for the way i used to think about the farmers issue. These articles have made me change my perception of there problems.

Guys if possible link up this post, i would like peoples like me who didn't know anything about what was happening with the indian farmers to read this and know about there conditions.

India's stand at the WTO
Farmers protest in punjab
Farmers dieing because of pesticides
politics and farmer
Listen to the farmers suicide report in NPR
Farmers suicide in kerala
Farmers suicide in maharashtra
Genocide on the farm

*Nearly 25 per cent of the world's farmers are in India. Two-thirds of India's population of 1.1 billion depend on crop and animal husbandry, forestry and agro-forestry, fisheries (inland and marine) and agro-processing for their livelihood.

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