Month: May 2008

Gujjars, reservations and violence

Since some days Gujjars have blockaded railway routes to have reservations in ST category. They are in OBC category. They want to move to ST category because Jats were added to OBC category. Meenas are opposed to Gujjars being given ST status. The violent agitation has resulted in many deaths. There are other losses as well. On 29/5/2008 Delhi was blockaded for some time. There is competition to be backward. Many want OBC status and those in OBC status want ST status. This means all people will be SC/ST. Very few have said they don’t want reservations. One of them was a minister in Madhya Pradesh Government. Reservations are wrong. They should be abolished. It is time for all political parties to take a stand against reservations. If the leaders think they can please everyone they are mistaken. There is nothing to be gained by continuing reservations. There is everything to lose by continuing reservations. People stop thinking that they are Indians but think they are Jats, Gujjars, Meenas etc. The country will be break up. Community will be against community. The time has come to untie the Gordian knot.

Long live Bombay and Poona

Some Marathi fundamentalists want the names Bombay and Poona erased. In Bombay some institutes were targetted. In Poona around 100 institutes are asked to change their names. They are threatened that if the names are not changed voluntarily there will be consequences. Threatening in such a way is terrorism and needs to be resisted. There shall be no appeasement of fundamentalists.

Prakash John Mascarenhas has this to say about the name Bombay

The Marathi with their brute majority began to idiomise the name of the city. Their name for it, Mumbai, obviously a corruption of the English Bombay, they justified as being derived from the Mumbadevi temple and they alleged according to this new mythology that this was the original name of the city. However, that is obviously impossible for the simple reason that the English entry predated the erection of this temple and also because there is not a shred of historical evidence of the use of the name of Mumbai prior to the era of English Bombay.

(Fact sheet GOA

Updated link:

It is time for people who own anything with the name Bombay and Poona to stand firm and say they will not succumb to pressure. Law and order is a state subject and Government of Maharashtra has to protect them and punish hooligans and vandals.

Bombay geographically belongs to Konkan. Konkani-speaking people are the original inhabitants of Konkan. Marathi-speaking people later outnumbered Konkani-speaking people.

Bombay was built by the British. It was capital of Bombay Presidency which stretched from North Kanara to Singh and included Aden. In English it was officially Bombay and in other languages had different names. Many institutes came up which had Bombay in their names. One of them is Bombay Scottish School. The children of a leader of a political party were studying in the school. After they shifted to another school the members of that party demonstrated against the school and wanted to change its name. They want to change the names of many other institutes. (One journalist turned politician turned cricket official recently wrote about the leader that the leader is a Konkani and not Marathi.)

The son of a leader of a political party studies in the school. On the day of vandalism the principal tried to contact the leader but the leader was out of station.

Now also most people refer to it as Bombay while speaking in English. Even many Marathi speakers refer to the city as Bombay. One Marathi newspaper had reported that Vilasrao Deshmukh was not in favour of change of name. St. Petersburg became Petrograd, then Leningrad and then again St. Petersburg. It is time for people who like the name Bombay to demand that Bombay be officially Bombay once again.

If Bombay is made the capital of India it can make a difference. It will not cost much. Governors House can be Presidents House. Houses of state ministers, MLAs and MLCs can be houses of union ministers and MPs. Offices can be in Mantralaya. During winter there is fog in Delhi and flight and train schedules are affected. Headquarters of many Central Government institutions are in Bombay. The bungalows and flats of MPs in Delhi can be sold for large sums.

Nagpur can be the capital of Maharashtra. It has Governors House, houses of state ministers, MLAs and MLCs. Winter session of Maharashtra legislature is held there.

Delhi was not always the capital of India. Pataliputra was the capital of Magadha Empire. No dynasty ruled from Delhi for a long time. From 1206 to 1526 Slave, Khilji, Tughlak and Lodhi dynasties ruled from Delhi. Babur founded the Mughal Empire in 1526. Humayun succeeded in 1530. Sher Khan defeated him in 1540. Humayun returned in1555 and died in 1556. Akbar tried Fatehpur Sikri as capital and later made Agra the capital of Mughal Empire. Shah Jahan made Delhi his capital. He was overthrown in 1658 and spent last eight years of his life as a prisoner in Agra Fort. The Muhal Empire disintegrated after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. The British Empire in India began with Calcutta as its capital. Simla was the summer capital. The British shifted the capital to Delhi in 1931 and the decline of British Empire in India began. In 1932 Aden was separated from India. In 1937 Burma was separated from India. In 1947 British rule in India came to an end and Pakistan was separated from India.

Smoking and drinking on screen and in public

There is ban on smoking in public places in India as per Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of advertisements and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act 2003. Roads and Stadia are public places. Anyone smoking on a road or in a stadium needs to be punished as per law.

Some say smoking on screen is creativity and there is freedom of speech and expression. A film on Winston Churchill needs to show him smoking cigar. Ban on smoking on screen is silly and stupid. It is good to know that there are people in Bollywood who want to make a film on Winston Churchill. It seems their knowledge is limited to the fact that he smoked cigar. There are photographs and video clips of Winston Churchill without cigar. He did not have his cigar when he made “iron curtain” speech. The smoke exhaled by speakers affects other people. If a man smoking is close to a pregnant woman the smoke he exhales the foetus in her womb. People who involuntarily have to inhale smoke exhaled by smokers are called passive smokers and their health suffers. There is no freedom to pollute and ruin the health of others.

Drinking on screen has not attracted as much controversy as smoking on screen. As a rule soft drinks are used for drinking scenes. Once on DD I watched a scene about drinking scene. The director tells the actor that his acting is not good. The actor wants alcoholic beverage for realistic portrayal. The director replies that at the end of the film he has to consume poison and die. There are laws that restrict sale and consumption of alcohol. There are dry days.

Sometimes drinking scenes are used for humorous situations.

Reel life impacts real life and vice versa. How much drinking and smoking scenes influence people is debatable. However health of people needs to be protected. Non-smokers have to be protected from smokers. Many crimes and accidents take place under the influence of alcohol. If film stars smoke or drink in moderation in private it does not affect people. However if they break the law the law must take its course.