The Hangover of Demonetisation

Much to my delight, I was able to catch up with my old friend Neha Natalya Pandey last week. To my even greater delight, in this reunion, I was also able to meet Neha Natalya’s brother, Prof. Dr. Dr. Boris Bhartriraj Pandey, who over the course of dinner, explained to me the hidden significance of Yo Yo Honey Singh’s recent song, This Party is Over Now. Prof. Dr. Dr. Pandey insisted that his insight was trivial and not worth putting out to an academic audience. However, in view of the fact that nobody among the lay public has had the same insight, this represents a perhaps excessive level of modesty on his part. I was able to prevail upon him to quickly write up his observations on this song for a popular audience, and he agreed to let me carry it on my blog. I am, of course, indebted to Prof. Dr. Dr. Pandey for so raising the intellectual tone of this blog, and I trust that my readers will also be thrilled and enlightened after reading the below monograph.

Continue reading “The Hangover of Demonetisation”

Mahishamati as Radical Soil: The Maoism of Baahubali

My old friend Neha Natalya Pandey, currently engaged in postdoctoral work in the United States, was kind enough to forward me her mother Dr. (Mrs.) Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey (M.A., M. Litt., Ph. D.) ‘s monograph on the Baahubali movies, with a request to share it. The recent turmoil in American – Russian relationships, with both the associated financial sanctions, and, tragically, the vilification of anything Russian among American academe, has made it impossible for Neha Natalya to maintain the Pandey family’s blog; and so she has been forced to forward their works for the popular masses to her friends to ensure that we common people continue to benefit from the erudite family’s research and advocacy. I reproduce Dr. (Mrs.) Pandey’s monograph below, unaltered and unedited. – AK


I have been dismayed at the vilification of Baahubali 2 in the counter-revolutionary press of India. Late capitalist media, sustained like fungi by the rotting advertising dollars of corporate houses, seeks to suppress or mischievously misrepresent truly revolutionary works of art. To serve their corporate masters, media houses have attacked the Baahubali films as racist, casteist, feudal, and antifeminist. As we shall see, nothing could be further from the truth. Baahubali 2, especially, is a pioneering work of cinema that speaks for the proletariat, the downtrodden, and the coming revolution.

That Baahubali 2 is revolutionary could have been anticipated from the creators alone. Like artistic stalwarts David Dhawan and Manmohan Desai, SS Rajamouli has spent his career on cinema that conveys the rage of the forgotten man in an unforgiving system of brutalisation. Yet even I was unprepared for just how far the Baahubali saga was willing to go in its championing of the subaltern. Rajamouli’s earlier body of work – for nobody is perfect – still privileged the individual vengeance over the dismantling of structural inequity. Baahubali goes a step further, and issues a call to arms for revolution.

We see in Baahubali that the land of Mahishamati is ruled by the wise regent Sivagami, and exists as a peasant utopia, untainted by industrialisation. The scholar Dominique Legrand-Metternich, in her work Mutter, Boden, Mensch, has pointed out that in (ab)original societies, the mother (who is not-male by virtue of her role, even though she may be male when observed through the lens of crass empiricism (see: Idle, 1979)) is identified with the land; whereas the father (who is always male, and thus anti-feminine) is identified with the fire. Thus, the preindustrial societies are inherently feminist, while post-industrialist societies are anti-feminist. Sivagami is able to maintain the idyllic conditions of Mahishamati, until Bhallaladeva takes the throne. It is then that industrialisation raises its ugly head.

The senior Baahubali is exiled, and works his revenge by introducing the technology of the gear-drive to Mahishamati. But this is only the spark that lights the fire. Once Sivagami is murdered by Bhallaladeva, the true end of the pastoral Mahishamati is brought about. For the next twenty five years, Bhallaladeva brings about so-called ‘development’ and industrialisation – but all this ‘progress’ is restricted to military technology, like automated chariots; or giant waterworks. Rajamouli’s film is therefore a searing indictment of Greco-capitalism; as the military-industrial complex, created by the American imperialists; and large dam projects, funded by the same imperialists; are both placed in the person of the villainous Bhallaladeva.

Fortunately, the end of ‘development’ is at hand, as Mahendra Baahubali and Avantika lead a peasant guerrilla army. As a Telugu speaker, Rajamouli is well aware of his culture’s glorious history of peasant revolutions. The pairing of the peasant Avantika, and the bourgeois Baahubali; coming together in a glorious synthesis of a proletarian revolution, is an obvious hat-tip to both the Chinese people’s revolution, and the ongoing Naxalite revolution in India. In an atmosphere of increasing suppression of people’s movements, and of their supporters, Rajamouli is as courageous as Baahubali himself in creating a film that so unabashedly propagandises the Naxalite movement.

In conclusion, the Baahubali films represent a pro-people, anti-feudal, anti-Greco-capitalist, and pro-revolutionary message. It remains to be seen, whether the bourgeoisie of India shall recognise the writing on the wall – but the people have awoken. Lal salaam!

– Dr. (Mrs.) Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey
MA (lit.) MPhil (illit.) PhD (corres.) M.A.S. University, Darjeeling

(The writer is the Randal Zakuroff Chair of Gender Studies at the Department of Social Sciences, at the University of St Petersburg, Russia. She lives with her husband Acharya Somuchidononanda Pandey in the Malyeshi suburb of St. Petersburg, where their twenty-two children frequently visit them.)

An Important Announcement

Dr. Dr. Mikhail Murugavel Somuchidonandovich Pandey (the son of the eminent Dr. Mr. Acharya Somuchidonanda Pandey and Dr. Mrs. Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey of St. Petersburg) has published extracts of his groundbreaking paper on the shared Tamil past for humanity on the Pandey family blog. These extracts deal with the defeat of Vercingetorix the Gaul – or rather, Veerasinga Thevar the Kallar. Please do read the blogpost as it is about revolutionary and shocking new discoveries.

Pandey on Punjab

Last week, as a son of the Punjabi soil claimed a Gold medal at the Olympics, all the credit went to India. Shortly after that, Independence Day was celebrated, cruelly ignoring the fact that there is no Azaadi for Punjab. Our destiny is in the hands of power brokers from UP and Bengal.

Why are we oppressed so much? What is the sinister conspiracy that has kept the inheritors of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s legacy suppressed? Why is it that when Punjab accomplishes something, India gets the credit; but when India screws up, Punjab bears the brunt?

According to the erudite Dr. (Mrs.) Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey, it is because of Greco-capitalism. Please read her post on how the dominant Gujews are conspiring against us.

The Raja-mandala Re-centred

There has recently been a controversy in the Indian blogosphere about what the projection of power means. In the interests of enlightening lay readers, I asked my good friend and international relations expert Dr. Boris Bhartriraj Pandey to prepare a guide to power projection. Boris is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Parma, and his family background is even more impressive – his parents are the distinguished academics Dr. Acharya Somuchidononanda Pandey and Dr. Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey. He has written a short monograph on the subject at the Pandey family blog. It is also reproduced in it’s entirety here, with his permission:

Continue reading “The Raja-mandala Re-centred”

xkcd and नवरस

While Wired magazine has commented on the huge popularity of xkcd, it has not been able to provide a reason for this:

This mix of brains and fun, as well as underlying sweetness helped propel xkcd from a hobby to a full-time job for the 23-year-old former NASA roboticist. Since its 2005 launch, xkcd has grown from doodles in the margins of a graphing notebook to T-shirts, radio talks and lectures on humor at MIT, where students batted inflatable raptors around the auditorium. The website drew between 60 million and 70 million pageviews in October, Munroe says, and xkcd’s growing fan base has taken to re-enacting events that take place in the comic.

However, even I don’t have a clue just why it is that xkcd seems to appeal to people so much. So I asked my good friend Neha Natalya Pandey to put fundaes on this. Since she’s majoring in Algorithm Analysis and Design (and minoring in Sanskrit Poetics) at U. Mich., and she has an amazing intellectual pedigree (her parents are Dr. Acharya Somuchidononanda Pandey and Dr. Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey), she’s ideally suited to explain this. I reproduce her correspondence on this subject below, with her permission.

Continue reading “xkcd and नवरस”