Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Thoughts on 20/1/2007

If something is offensive TV channels should not show it. Sometimes TV channels give publicity to clips they say are offensive. IBN 7 showed a clip of which it said insulted Gandhi. More people came to know about the clip. The Government of India issued a notice to IBN 7 and the channel had to apologise.

There are demands for ban of various types of films but no demand to ban a film that glorifies tax evasion, bribery and smuggling.

Use of Internet for destroying someone’s reputation should be punished.

Affairs, break-ups, engagements and marriages of actors and actresses are not news that deserve telecast on news channels as headlines. They can be shown in entertainment or film sections.

Advertisements of food items, toilet articles, stationery, jewellery and cosmetics should be banned.

Indians should not attach importance to Oscars. Getting Oscar award does not mean that film is great. Some films that got best foreign film award are not better than some of our Hindi films. It the idea is to get publicity and market the producers should dub or sub-title their films and distribute in other countries. However song and dance sequences do not make sense to many foreigners.

Racism should not be confused with dislike for someone’s food or making fun of accent.

It is ridiculous to ban the wearing of a crucifix in a school as a health and safety issue. This happened in England.

There should be a change in the process of selection of Indian cricket team. First the team should be selected. Then the captain should be selected out of the players selected. Those who are not fit or out of form should not be selected. Captain should be for a series. After every series there should be fresh selection.

There should be no Special Economic Zones. Governments should not be acquiring land for private enterprises. Why should some places have tax concessions? Let the whole country be Special Economic Zone and have tax concessions.

China has tested anti-satellite missile. It is a warning to USA. USA did not want such tests to be banned. Now it is concerned.

Full details of Nithari killings are not available. We may have to wait for the trial to begin to know who all are guilty and of what crimes.

The end of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein was hanged at around 6.00 a.m. (8.30 a.m. IST) on 30/12/2006. He was sentenced to death for killing of 148 people in Dujail in 1982 by lower court on 5/11/2006, two days before American elections. He filed an appeal. His appeal was rejected on 26/12/2006 and he was to be hanged by 25/1/2007. He was hanged within four days, on Id-ul-Adha.

Iraq, under US occupation, did what George Bush wanted. The trial was not fair. It was not telecast live. It was not open. Three defence lawyers were killed. Presiding judge was changed.

When Iran-Iraq was going on Arab countries and USA sided with Iraq. When Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait in 1990 many Arab countries joined USA lead coalition. The decline of USSR as superpower and development of night vision technology caused additional difficulties for Iraq. Iraq was bombarded. Civilian facilities were destroyed.

USA has supported many dictators and toppled democratically elected governments. It tried to topple Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela. It supports Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan.

USA invaded Iraq in 2003. UN and NATO did not approve it. Pope John Paul II, Archbishop of Canterbury and Catholic Bishops of USA opposed it. Many countries were opposed to it. In USA many people opposed the war. The people Saddam Hussein trusted most betrayed him in April 2003 and Baghdad fell.

The Americans were disinformed about reasons for 2003 Iraq war and many got brainwashed. Saddam Hussein was accused of having weapons of mass destruction. He was accused of 11/9/2001 attacks on USA though he was not a friend of Osama Bin Laden. USA had propped up Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan against USSR. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell who made a presentation to UN justifying war later said the details were wrong.

Under Saddam Hussein Iraq was a secular state. After his downfall Muslim fundamentalists became powerful. Life became difficult for Christians and moderate Muslims.

Crimes committed by Saddam Hussein are no match for the crimes committed by Americans in Iraq in 1991 and 2003 onwards. Who will punish them? The Presidents, Generals, pilots, marines and others involved are guilty of many crimes.

The war in Iraq was for getting contracts to American companies like Halliburton. While Iraqis suffered greatly USA is not free from suffering either. The number of US servicemen killed in Iraq is now more than 3000. How many more American soldiers have to die before USA withdraws from Iraq?

After the downfall of Saddam Hussein the situation turned worse in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003. He was humiliated in many ways. Pictures of doctors examining him and while in prison in underwear made it to TV and newspapers. He was charged with many crimes and found guilty in Dujail case.

Civil war is going on in Iraq. Soon it will be split into three or more parts. The Americans wants to divide Iraq and rule it.

What some people call victor’s justice is victor’s vengeance or invader’s injustice. After World War II the Germans and the Japanese were punished. No one from USA, UK, USSR, France and other countries on their side was punished. The crimes committed by Allies were more than that of Axis powers but they were not publicised.

The crimes committed by Americans at Abu Ghraib and other places show the face of the aggressor. A few soldiers were punished. People at the top who knew it and allowed were not punished.

Saddam Hussein was not a saint. His brother-in-law and sons-in-law died in strange circumstances. He was not faithful to his wife. Like other dictators he was ruthless.

The testimony of some witnesses was doubtful. About one witness Saddam Hussein said he could not have been born at that time.

Once Saddam Hussein was overthrown he was not a force to reckon with. After his capture he could not carry on the fight. His sons and a grandson died in a gun battle. He wanted to be shot as he thought himself to be a military man. That wish was not granted.

Caste system is a cancer

Caste system is a cancer. It needs to be got rid of. It has damaged Hindu community. With spread of education and urbanization caste system should have disappeared. Reservations based on caste kept the caste identity going.

It was wrong to have reservations. The constitution of India proposed reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for 10 years. They would have lapsed on 26/10/1960. They have been extended every ten years. Many other castes got reservations as socially and educationally backward classes due to an amendment to the Constitution.

Hinduism is the only religion to have caste system. Reservations to Scheduled Castes should have been confined to Hindus. They were extended to Sikhs and later on to Buddhists. Now there is a demand to include Muslims.

There are attempts to introduce reservations in places, which were so far exempt from reservations like IIMs, IITs, security forces and judiciary. This should be resisted. Some want to introduce reservations in private sector. Private sector people should reject the proposal.

Hindus thought in caste terms rather than as Indians. For people of many castes it did not matter who ruled. This facilitated aggressors who conquered India. Arabs, Turks and Mughals conquered Indian territories. Later British conquered India with the help of Indians. Even during the heyday of British Empire the number of British in India was not more than 2,00,000. This included women and children. British India included Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Penang, Singapore and Aden.

Caste system should be abolished. Otherwise it will fragment all communities in India and destroy the country.

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