Author of *Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration—and How to Achieve Real Reform* talks about why ending the drug war isn't enough.
Showing posts with label Kerala. Show all posts
Few Americans know that there still is a Connecticut law in force in Hartford, which states It is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday. At least one American couple couldn't believe itself when the pair were hurled in to a police vehicle for kissing in public on a Sunday!
This bewildered couple was not in Hartford but was visiting Kerala, an Indian State which takes great pride in calling itself God’s Own Country, where laws written by Gods are still Gospel truth.
In fact the local police chief, who happened to be a lady, was simply enforcing an Indian law which makes it illegal for anyone to kiss in public on any day, when the couple, unaware of the local law, kissed before a camera at the request of a journalist who was covering an unusual event.
Anti Kiss of Life protesters being chased by police.
The unusual media coverage the event received in India and the way the whole episode sort of fissile out show the double standard on morality most Indians can’t shed despite the progress the country has achieved.
Though initiated by a group of people with progressive views on liberty and freedom of speech and expression active on social media, the movement soon gained political overtones inevitable in one of the politically conscious states of India.
The puritanical moral policing was an act of the BJP, backed by India’s Hindu religious fundamentalists, who aim to grab the power from the Congress party who currently govern Kerala.
On the other hand, Kerala’s communists who are constantly fighting off the BJP has seen a political opportunity.
The result was that the Kiss of love event which was organised to be held peacefully was opposed and disturbed by various organisations under all of these political set ups, forcing the police to remove the handful of the participants even though the government did not intent to enforce the law.
The disruption by the political parties were organised with an eye on the coming election so as to position themselves on the right side of the kissing divide. But it clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy of a society which wants to align itself with the free and liberal outside world.
Though this was an isolated incident which occurred in Kerala, a state politically and socially ahead of rest of the country, the approach of the BJP which has succeeded in grabbing power at the national level by unifying and concentrating the votes of the Hindus who form the majority, in holding on to the archaic social set up of India is what worries the progressive minded in India.
Incidentally this was reflected in a cartoon by the New York times on the occasion of the success of India’s Mars mission, which lead to widespread protests and eventual apology from the paper.
Meanwhile, the Kiss of Love brigade of Kerala has actually claimed success of their movement and promised to regroup and continue their efforts to change the social attitude of their countrymen regarding freedom to love and expression of love.
Though it is a gross exaggeration to call the recent visit of twelve Russians to Sabarimala the ultimate capitulation of Marxism Leninism to the Indian Mythology, the event has opened a rare and unique travel experience to people from all over the world who seeks exotic adventure of a different kind.
If you are not a woman under menopausal age and if you are willing to do a spiritual penance for 41 days, abstain from eating meat and enjoying sex in your thoughts and life, let your hair and beard grow uncut and lead a Spartan existence, then you can venture in to this life changing trip to Sabarimala which more than 50 million Indians of all religions already make every year!
For the team of Russians from Moscow led by Induchoodan, who has made this trip more than fifteen times and who practices Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, this unique pilgrimage to Sabarimala has probably come to mean what it does for millions of Indians:
DAM 999, a movie released today about a 110 year old dam, built to last for a meagre 50 years using mud and mortar, which bursts during an earthquake, is itself in the middle of a political storm and has caught the world’s attention. The flick is about the Mullapperiyar Dam in Kerala, an idyllic state in the union of
and the last place on earth where people still believe in communism. India
At the heart of the political storm is a water sharing agreement for 999 years, irrelevant in any civilised part of the world, which put the life of three million people. at great risk, as it doesn’t take in to account the aging of the dam built to harness the
Entered in to before the Indian independence by the British who occupied the
neighbouring state of Tamilnad and the princely state of Kerala, the ridiculous
agreement does not provide for the construction of a new dam to replace the old
one. The problem really is while Tamilnad receives the collected water for
irrigation and power the river actually flows to the opposite side to the
thickly populated Kerala and will engulf and sweep three million people if and
when the dam burst in a catastrophic earth quake as depicted in the movie. Periyar River
The UAE-Indian film has become controversial as the state of Tamilnad has prohibited its release and exhibition in its cinemas, accusing the producers of scare mongering among the vast population and the state of Kerala for secretly funding the movie. The producers on the other hand are approaching the supreme court of
for the obstruction of civil liberty rights and losses. India
has remained shrouded in mystery. Indian rope trick magician to Anna
Hazare, the mystical, philosophical and religious Gurus of India have
attracted inquisitive minds. From the ancient Chinese traveller Faxian
to the Beetles and even Apple’s Steve Jobs found their inspiration from their
Indian Gurus. Now, there is a Politician Saint from India, the world leaders
confronted with the Occupy Wall Street, can learn something from. India
Mr Oommen Chandy, who installed a webcam in his office for transparency of his administration, will no doubt abhor being called Oommen Swamy or Chandi Baba like an Indian saint, because he is only an elected Chief Minister of the tiny state of Kerala in
equivalent to the Governor of a State in the India .
However, for a large section of the population who is ready to patiently wait till
the wee hours of the night for speaking to the Chief Minister, Mr Chandy
is fast becoming something of a saint people line up in endless queue for an
audience with! US
The reason is Mr Candy is determined to take his power as a Chief Minister, bestowed upon him by ordinary people through a democratic election, to the very people, cutting through the red tapes, to order immediate and on the spot resolutions to their problems.
In fact Mr Chandy and his Government with its efforts to run a transparent and corruption free administration is already a role model for other Indian States and his own office fitted with a round the clock webcam has attracted world attention.
Why Mr Chandy may be fast acquiring the status of a Indian Guru of modern politics is his unique approach to solving people’s problems. Unlike the world leaders who struggle to somehow disperse the masses of a generation, brought by their individual problems and hardship to the
Wall Street venues, the CM actually invites them
to assemble with their long pending and unsolved issues to specially
organised venues he calls Chief Minister’s Mass Contact programmes!
The entire administration is moved to the spot, ready to process and dispense fiscal and legal succour allowed by government rules and existing law, but denied to the applicant by the web of red tape and corruption. People are invited and encouraged to register with their complaints and paperwork which are processed ahead of the programme, ready for an on the spot decision by the CM. Those who can’t can present on the day and still get answers.
However what makes Mr Chandy endearing to masses is his true desire to be amongst the masses, his patience to hear them out and his genuine concern to solve their issues. It is really amazing to see how he stands and moves around a milling crowd of all kinds of people listening, making his notes on the petitions, giving orders of urgent medical help and issuing cheques till the wee hours, without food or rest. His promise is to meet the last applicant and he keeps it no matter how late in to the night!
All leaders are popular but some are more popular because of their saintly nature!
Article already published in Technorati.com
Meet Oommen Chandy, the politician 'saint' from India, who may have something to teach world leaders confronted with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
If you believe in God and love him truly, sometimes, you are bestowed with the good fortune of being able to sing his praise, even if it is about his hidden wealth!
As if to atone for the ignorance of its Comptroller and Auditor General and make up for the loss he claimed the country has suffered, India has recently discovered a treasure in one of its ancient temples in the idyllic southern state, fondly called God’s Own Country.
These idiotic claims made by a stupid CAG of India, outside the constitutional limits of his office, has caused unprecedented loss to the Indian market capitalization, pulling India’s growth by several points down and creating a huge deficit in the trust of foreign investors in the Indian economy.