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Category Archives: Politics

“Rape”. That’s The Word You’re Looking For

The cover story of this week’s Outlook (King Leer) is all kinds of gross. Where do I even begin?

The fact that this kind of rampant exploitation takes place and nobody even thinks it merits a look-see until somebody in the media feels a need to boost their ratings or increase their circulation or whatever?

The fact that it all sounds so sordid and smutty that it reads like a really badly written internet rape fantasy (or maybe the plots of several no-budget porn movies shot in somebody’s garage in Kerala – or wherever the fuck the desi porn industry is situated these days)?

The fact that all the stories are peppered with “expert” testimonies that repeatedly hold to the POV that a woman’s best chance to succeed in India is on her back – to an extent that it begins to take on shades of an universal truism?

The fact that politicians are actually giving each other props on how best they handle being sexual harassing, adultering, raping, pussy-hounds? “OMG, ji! Your skills as a sociopath are amazing!”

Interestingly, most political observers agree—and this includes those from the BJP—that Congressmen tend to conduct such relationships with greater finesse than those from their main rival political party. A civil servant from UP, who worked both with Kalyan Singh and the currently headline-hitting N.D. Tiwari, had this to say: “Congressmen are better at compartmentalising their lives, allotting time for work and play. Kalyan Singh’s biggest mistake was that he allowed his relationship to consume him and his political career. N.D. Tiwari, on the other hand, juggled many female interests and administration deftly.” Of course, Tiwari has finally been outed, but only after living a rather full 86 years, and surviving tales of his successor in UP, Veer Bhadra Singh, washing the Lucknow secretariat with “gangajal” before taking office, to remove the “Tiwari taint”. Indeed, a senior BJP leader speaks almost enviously of two senior, married cabinet ministers in the current UPA government for their deftness in pursuing sexual relationships without attracting the ugly odour of scandal: “What champs they are—X and Y.”

The fact that I’m pretty sure I just solved one of their blind items and it’s freaking me the fuck out to think I might actually know one of these scumbags?

It is to barf.

But even worse is their follow up article that focuses on how sleeping your way into power is an ancient Indian tradition. It reads as an extended profile of some lady from the CPI(M) called Ramnika Gupta, apparently the only one with the balls to give damn-the-consequences no-holds-barred quotes.

I don’t know what the fuck kind of tone the article’s author Sheela Reddy was going for, but I’ve seldom been more disturbed. Ms. Gupta’s relentless efforts to couch her reminisces in Free Love Hippie terms fails rather spectacularly as soon as she starts going into details and within a matter of seconds just turns bone-jarringly creepy. After “cuddling” with the Chief Minister of Bihar to get her job done, apparently

she agreed to visit the state Congress chief, Raju Mishra, in his home to put forward Sahay’s recommendation. This time, she says, she had to pay a higher price. She let him have his way and did not complain. “The only choice for a woman starting in politics is to either quit or accept the fact that she has to sleep with some of them at least,” she says. “You have to compromise until you are in a position to reject them.” What she could do, however, was to try and avoid being anywhere alone with the BPCC chief. For her compliance, he nominated her as Bihar’s representative at the Jaipur AICC meet in 1966.

This pleasant interlude of business-as-usual is followed by another in which she is confronted by a stark naked Neelam Sanjiva Reddy who proceeds to rape her in his hotel room, after which she switches parties to one in which she is still expected to sleep with people if she wants to get results but actually gets to choose the men she must please in the sack.

Of course, this only lasted as long as she didn’t dump one of those men. The resulting nastiness sent her to another Chief Minister whose primary attraction was that he wouldn’t allow anyone to rape her. Please keep in mind that this is a woman who, while all this was going on, could apparently muster up “a hundred truckloads of people for political rallies”.

Which brings me to two things:

One, what the fuck is wrong with these men? If you’re making appointments to meet strange women in your office at 4 a.m. (!!!) for a bit of a cuddle and a kiss… dude, you’ve got problems. And the kind of society that turned you into a furtive 4 a.m. cuddler has even greater problems. The kind that can’t be washed away with any amount of freakin’ gangajal.

What really strikes me about all these men, apart from their rampant rapeyness, is their completely off-the-charts servitude to the power-sex equation. Not only do these men apparently feel sex, consensual or nonconsensual, is one of the perks of the job but their complete and utter ineptitude at it is staggering.

I always thought the movie villains who ask for sex in return for favors given were hilariously cartoonish. Real life villains of that sort must have at least a little bit of polish, yes? The answer is apparently: no. They really are the kind of bozos who take off their clothes and swagger out of their bedroom to pounce on their latest victim.

I have to wonder if these men think this is the only way they’ll ever get women to have sex with them. “Bone me and I’ll give you stuff. All sorts of stuff. Stuff that you haven’t even asked for. Just bone me! Somebody! Anybody! No? Well, then, I order you to!” And it sounds as though everyone’s rationalized it to the point where they don’t even see it as rape.

Q: In what universe is being a midwife – a midwife! WTF?! –  code for “fair game for sexual harrassment”?

A: The universe controlled by our politicians and civil servants.

Two, “rape”. They probably left it out for legal reasons in which case let me just say – when a person is forced to have sex with another person? The technical term for the act is “rape”.

Ramnika Gupta has clearly been through a lot of shitty things in her life and she doesn’t need me to pile on or tell her what’s what at this late date, but sweetheart, it’s pretty damn clear what happened to you and it wasn’t sleeping to the top: it was rape. Yes, you were assaulted and the degree of that assault was rape.

If you’ve actually chosen to achieve success on your back, then that’s one thing. I think it’s a crappy way to do it and it hurts others of your gender along the line but what do I know? I have a non-traditional life and I enjoy vast amounts of privilege. Ignore me. But it seems to me that if achieving success or job security on your back is simply a matter of you working the “system”, then it’s a whole another thing from you making a choice.

It’s this little thing called rape. Use the goddamned word. It’s real, it’s ugly, it’s important.

“Either do it without guilt or don’t,” is apparently Ms. Gupta’s mantra when it comes to trading sex for favors. It seems to me that she has precious little to feel guilty about. And the people who actually did stuff they should have felt guilty about, didn’t feel any.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 12, 2010 in Life, News, Newsmakers, Politics, Video

 

Turnabout is Fair Play

Suhel Seth was Outlook‘s cat of the week in its “Beta Male” issue – you know, the one they like to let loose among the right wing pigeons who like to roost on their publication? It’s an entertaining tradition of which I heartily approve. And Seth seems to have delivered in spades with his Ten Ladies to Tremble By column that introduces us to the “[p]urveyors of hypocrisy, self-preservation and godawful stupidity—[the] women who set my teeth on edge”.

Said femmes terribles are Sushma Swaraj, Renuka Chowdhary, Meira Kumar, Jayalalitha, Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Mayawati, Rakhee Swant, Ekta Kapoor and Suneeta Narain – a little sugar for everybody. Of course Outlook‘s commentarati took it up a notch shortly thereafter by taking him to task for A) impugning the honor of the flower of Indian womanhood and B) not impugning the honor of the flowers they wanted (Sonia Gandhi x 10. Because the flower of Italian womanhood is always fair game).

[You know, I’ve thought it over and I’ve decided my all-time favorite internet complaint is: “But why didn’t you write what I wanted you to write? I hate you! Your mother is a leprechaun and your father is a spore!” Or words to that effect.]

Now I’ve just spent a month following different top-rated Hindi soaps for an article (I’ll link when it’s up) so this one about IQ favorite Ekta Mata really leaped off the page:

Ektaa Kapoor: No matter how well she does, I will always detest what she has done to the psyche of the Indian woman and more importantly to Indian family evenings. Each one of her serials is riddled with social taboos but then how would Ektaa ever know? If you are the daughter of India’s legendary white-shoes, grace and style are but an aberration!

Well, that’s his opinion. But can I just say I’d take a month of watching Jeetendra “dancing” on the beach, twinkling his white toesies in the middle of an epileptic fit, over the trash his daughter and her contemporaries put out on television any day? At the most I’d end up mildly annoyed or bored if forced to watch him in Southern remakes for a solid month. After watching multiple Indian soaps for the same period of time, on the other hand, I was violently angry.

Violently!

For example, have you ever worn something sleeve-less? Do you like to put on make-up? Line your eyes, maybe? Wear high heels? Do you wear something other than a saree?

You SLUT!

A proper Indian woman dresses like Pratibha Patil, with her pallu modestly covering not just her head but her entire body like a bed sheet. If she wants to be especially daring or modern, she can keep the pallu off her head, but a saree is the only appropriate dress for an Indian woman. Fine, if she’s a virginal unmarried child, she can wear a salwar kameez.

Even if you’re an evil trollop, you will wear a saree. However, you can signal your trollop-hood by wearing off- the-shoulder blouses, halter necks, backless cholis, etc. This means you have passions. Terrible ones. You probably have – gasp! – sex. With your clothes – shriek! – off.

A good woman on the other hand is one who gets up at four in the morning to shower and dress so she can sing chapters from the Ramayana on an empty stomach to the patriarch of the household before she does pooja and serves breakfast (which she will prepare and maybe serve, not eat. That comes much, much later). This, according to the top-rated show that I was watching, was in the manner of a treat for the new bride who got unjustly yelled at for the god-awful crime of sleeping in on the morning after her wedding. An event that went on for a solid month, with many a twist in the tale, from what I gather.

All the top rated shows, in fact, seem to be ones in which nothing happens. Or maybe one thing happens in a month and then we discover that there are five hundred rituals associated with it that require the entire cast to get together and sing, dance, and pray. Every. Single. Time. To the same bloody songs, with the same bloody expressions and you simply can’t understand why they go to all the bother because it always ends badly. Haven’t they ever seen a soap on Indian TV?

Even worse are the ones in which something does happen. There is the historical Jhansi ki Rani, for example. Its production values make Ekta Mata’s Mahabharat look good in comparison. After a great many questionable Robin Hood-like adventures, its child protagonist is currently getting married to the much older Raja of Jhansi – presented as an arrogant womanizer with a taste for alcohol, dancing girls and satin capes. I kid you not. He also walks around with a giant cardboard plaque sheathed in red plastic around his neck. I didn’t even know there were levels of set design where it was futile to ask “what the fuck” because your mind has already been blown to smithereens and can no longer process thought.

But that’s not even the scummy part of it. The truly creepy part of it is that the little kid is now being counseled on the virtues of a good bride, which apparently involves her not being a child and losing that independence that first got her noticed.

Who is the audience for this show? From what I first saw of it, I presumed it was a children’s show because it was about this little kid giving it back to the (most hilariously bad) British by dressing up as a revolutionary leader and talking back to those who seek to put her down. And then all of a sudden, towards the end of the month, the focus shifted to how best a tweener could partner a man in his thirties (or twenties, my tummy was too queasy to let me find out).

Yes, the real Rani of Jhansi was a child bride. She married her husband at the age of 14. It was definitely the norm back then. But for a country where child marriage is still a serious problem, what is the message being sent out when a primetime show on a major Indian network is asking its family audience to not just witness but celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a child and a grown man as not just a political event of the distant past but a possible love story?

And even if you do want to show it as a love story (and the uncomfortable truth about child marriages is that at some point the children do consummate the marriage), must you really paint it with the same mix of hocus-pocus and intrigue that color all the other dramas on TV?

Anyway, I just wanted to let all you ladies know that if you’re reading this blog instead of cooking yummy, traditional food for the five hundred people in your joint family or praying and fasting for the well-being of those same people, then you’re a whore. A strapless-bra-wearing immoral make-up assassin. And if you’re reading this blog at work or after coming home from work (argh! “work”! quick! gargle and spit!), then there aren’t words enough to describe you. Just tell me one thing: why do you want to destroy your family? WHY?!

 
29 Comments

Posted by on December 15, 2009 in Celebrity, Life, Newsmakers, Politics

 

She Like a Song Played Again

Did Gursharan Kaur wear the same saree to her two State Dinners at the White House? And is it wrong that this makes me love her a tiny bit? :mrgreen:

I can’t see the pallu properly so I can’t make a definitive call but it looks amazingly alike.

The more I look at them, the more hilarious I find it. There you have Michelle Obama, towering over the two of them like a goddess, in a Naeem Khan hand-made (in India! the exoticism comes gratis!) original that’d probably retail anywhere between $5000 and $15,000 and there you have the adorable Ms. Kaur in her basic black Kancheepuram saree that I’d be shocked to purchase for more than two thousand rupees. Fine, I might pay an extra thousand if it’s an especially tony shop and yell “Thief!” while I’m at it, but don’t tell me it sells for more than that.

Yin and yang at the White House.

But for reals, Dr. S – buy your wife a nice saree or two. Ladies like that sort of thing. You’re the Prime Minister, I’m sure someone in your office can figure out where to get ‘em.

Source: The fabulous Mrs. O

 
20 Comments

Posted by on November 26, 2009 in Celebrity, News, Newsmakers, Politics

 

Bhaji at Buckingham

“I walk in the door you start screaming
Come on everybody what chu here for?”

“I want to see you all on your knees, knees
You either want to be with me, or be me!”

Our President either finds England unbearably cold or she thinks the English are uncontrollable granny rapists.

PS – lyrics

 
7 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2009 in Celebrity, News, Newsmakers, Politics

 

Fight the Love Jihad!

The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming!

Jihadis around the world are plotting to blow up people, take over governments and generally unleash holy hell – but in South India, they have a much more sinister plan. Powerfully affected by its balmy weather and spicy food, evil jihadis have concocted a devious plan to destroy society as we know it.

Romeo Jihadis (actual term) will love up Hindu and Christian girls! After which they will elope with them! And marry them! And convert them to Islam! And then…and then…er, and then bad things will happen! So bad, nobody but the evil Love Jihadis can imagine what they are! (WARNING: might include sex!)

That’s right! Marriage is a holy war against infidels for Muslims! What’s next – children? How low can you get, Muslims?

The Sri Ram Sene will agitate against this! The SNDP Yogam will “unleash propaganda“! The VHP and Bajrang Dal want special squads to check (read: hunt and destroy) this nascent attack on our society! The Kerala and Karnataka High Courts want some answers!

[Well, according to The Hindu, some answers were provided, but we want different answers! Preferably ones that agree that there is a Love Jihad!]

 
41 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2009 in Life, News, Politics, Video

 

BwaHAHAhaha!

Q. How much did Europe hate George W. Bush?

A. They just gave Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for not being him.

Snerk. So now we know a few things:

  1. Those Norwegian grandpas look adorable! That one in the background is totally snickering about everybody’s reaction.
  2. The West Wing was not really a TV show, it was prophecy (one, two).
  3. If you want to be a prophet, break out the good shit.
  4. Now Bill Clinton’s Vice President and his Democratic successor both have a Nobel Peace Prize… and Obama hasn’t even been in office for a year. Why do the Europeans hate Bill Clinton?! WHY? Bill Clinton haz a sad.
  5. Obama’s now laboring under the expectations of the world, so he better get himself that bigger plate if he wants to accomplish even a fraction of what his fanbase expects out of him.
  6. I’d hate to be in Obama’s shoes.

In related news, that giant boom you heard in the middle of the night was not a thunderclap – it was the sound of rightwing heads exploding across America.

 
15 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2009 in Celebrity, News, Newsmakers, Politics

 

Twat For Twit

I’m a few days late with this story – mainly because I can’t believe it is a story. Something about Shashi Tharoor using metaphors while tweeting. Yup, it’s as stupid as it sounds.

Twitter: bringing down governments in Iran, playing havoc with the box office in America and making politicians sweat in India. 140 characters at a time.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2009 in News, Newsmakers, Politics, Video

 
 
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