Friday, April 28, 2006


Poor actor Vijaykanth, founder of the fledgling DMDK, is taking on two Dravidian juggernauts who are adept at the art of sabotage. Take for example the fact that in backward Virudhachalam, from where he is contesting, there are three other 'independent' candidates also called Vijaykanth! These candidates have been propped up allegedly by the DMK and PMK. Remember that on an electronic voting machine there are only party symbols not the party names. Vijaykanth (the real one) has only recently received his, which is a drum. But as he goes around Virudhachalam asking people to vote for the drum, three other Vijaykanths will be at work asking people to vote for a 'Banana', 'Ring' and 'Television respectively. Put yourself in the place of an illiterate voter..... all pretty confusing. It might be a muffled drum beat indeed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Drunken mobs attacking helpless policemen, burning police jeeps and buses, pelting stones and attacking the media ... but actor Raj Kumar's passing away had little to do with it. It was just the occasion and a great opportunity. The establishment's tenuous grip on law and order is exposed everytime a mob comes face to face with authority. Girish Karnad, one of Bangalore's more famous citizens placed the blame entirely at the doorstep of the Kumaraswamy government. No doubt they did botch it up. Directing and re-directing thousands of people to different venues is like sending a bunch of elephants in heat down a labyrinth. But isn't it unfair to blame it all on the government? Where, oh where, is responsible citizenship? I spluttered with rage when I saw Bangalore youth attacking everything in sight and then grinning like madmen into the camera, stripping the funeral of any dignity. But then again, such occassions are perhaps the only time when the vast majority of the lower middle class and the poor can hit back at the system. The occasion becomes the excuse to attack the same system that on an ordinary day in Bangalore denies the numerical majority of their dignity. Its the rare moment when they are on top.

PS: Another perspective - sometimes busting things up is plain good fun!