December 17, 2008

After six months in Mumbai, working in an office which is equal parts legacy Maharashtrian staff and fresh new Bong and TamBrahm deputees (it’s a banking subsidiary, there have to be Bongs and TamBrahms around), I have come to an important realisation: Maharashtrian laziness is very different from other races’ laziness.

At one end of the laziness spectrum is the sort of laziness that Terry Pratchett describes in Moving Pictures:

Ordinary laziness was merely the absence of effort. Victor had passed through there a long time ago, had gone straight through commonplace idleness and out on the far side. He put more effort into avoiding work than most people put into hard labor.

People who didn’t apply themselves to the facts in hand might have thought that Victor Tugelbend would be fat and unhealthy. In fact, he was undoubtedly the most athletically inclined student in the University. Having to haul around extra poundage was far too much effort, so he saw to it that he never put it on and he kept himself in trim because doing things with decent muscles was far less effort than trying to achieve things with bags of flab.

Another form of dynamic laziness is structured procrastination:

Structured procrastination is the art of making this bad trait work for you. The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it. Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.

So these are the forms of laziness which actually get things done. It’s this sort of laziness which Larry Wall was talking about when he said that the three virtues of a programmer are laziness, impatience and hubris:

  1. Laziness – The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful, and document what you wrote so you don’t have to answer so many questions about it. Hence, the first great virtue of a programmer. Also hence, this book. See also impatience and hubris.
  2. Impatience – The anger you feel when the computer is being lazy. This makes you write programs that don’t just react to your needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to. Hence, the second great virtue of a programmer. See also laziness and hubris.
  3. Hubris – Excessive pride, the sort of thing Zeus zaps you for. Also the quality that makes you write (and maintain) programs that other people won’t want to say bad things about. Hence, the third great virtue of a programmer. See also laziness and impatience.

Alas, few people are virtuous enough to use their laziness for good rather than evil. Instead, many people are French or Bong. In that case their laziness expresses itself in refusing to show up for work earlier than very late, and refusing to stay for work later than very early. On the other hand, this is well understood, and people can work around it. And maybe the French and the Bongs are enjoying themselves when they’re off work, in which case the laziness at least is benefitting somebody.

KT laziness, according to Monkee, consists of passing the buck to other people. While this is not as desirable as coming up with shortcuts and hacks yourself, at least it ensures that the buck will eventually land up with someone who believes that the buck stops with him or her. And so things get done.

Maharashtrian laziness is different altogether. Maharashtrians don’t arrive late and leave early the way the French and Bongs do. Nor do they pass the buck. Nor do they come up with easier and faster ways of doing things. They just ignore everything. Asking a lazy Maharashtrian to do something – whether in person, over phone, or over email – is futile. It won’t get done. They won’t claim to be busy with something else. They won’t ask you to get the work done by someone else who is supposedly responsible. They won’t tell you to do something else instead. They won’t even acknowledge that you’ve requested something.  Your request just vanishes. Pooft. Like into a black hole.

This habit can actually be lived with. The other Maharashtrian habit – cellphone ring volumes turned up to maximum, coupled with polyphonic ringtones – can’t.

Solving the Kashmir Crisis

September 17, 2008

A loyal reader who is a recovering Bong and therefore wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals from family members has solved the Kashmir crisis. This has been done through some brilliant out-of-the-box thinking.

Key to his/ her solution is that what the Kashmiris want is azaadi, and not specifically Azad Kashmir. Geelani-type junta would also like said azaadi to be come with Islamic foundations, or at least with Islamic neighbours. The only problem is that by itself, Azad Kashmir isn’t sustainable. It’s landlocked, vulnerable to interference from Pakistan, India, and China, and has too few people. And it could so easily descend into being a Central Asian banana republic.

But the Kashmiris still want Azaadi. And considering India is a democracy I think we should give it to them good and hard. So here is where my reader’s solution comes in, towards making the idea of an independent Kashmiri republic (or independent Kashmiri theocracy for that matter) feasible – set it up not in Kashmir, but in Bengal.

This would work as follows: whichever Kashmiris wanted azaadi would migrate to Bengal. Then you’d integrate West Bengal and Bangladesh, thus creating a unified Bongland with lots of territory, lots of people, and Islamic parties already established. Then the Kashmiris take over, and turn the whole thing into Azad Kashmir.

This is a brilliant plan. Everyone wins. Let’s look at the benefits for all involved.


  1. Gets azaadi
  2. Gets a quarter of a billion Bongs to lord over and exploit as menial labour
  3. Gets warm water ports


  1. No longer has to worry about financing counterinsurgency operations in Kashmir and was fencing the Bangladesh border anyway
  2. Doesn’t have to worry about the effect of Pakistani or Chinese influence on an independent Kashmir valley
  3. Gets rid of Mamata Banerjee, 60% of the CPI(M) MPs, and 30% of the CPI MPs
  4. Gets rid of Bongs in general, for that matter


Honestly, who cares what the benefits are for Bongs? But still, for the sake of completeness:

  1. An integrated Bongland means the jute and the jute mills are finally in the same country
  2. Kashmiri carpet making technology means that there could finally be an actual use for jute
  3. Kashmiri houseboat technology can be a mitigant to global warming inundating Bongland
  4. Bong rice + Kashmiri cuisine = score!

Now nitpickers and pessimists will no doubt complain that moving Kashmiris to Bengal will come with a huge refugee problem and the pain of migration and large scale rioting and violence. Likewise, integrating Bengal. Likewise, emigration of Bongs and Cal-maadoos who don’t want to live under the Kashmiri jackboot. And I gaze at them scornfully and say: ‘Some people look at things and say why, I look at them and say why not.’ Or some platitude along those lines involving can-do attitudes. Really, we can’t squander this opportunity.

The Anandpur Sahib Resolutions

September 12, 2008
SVG version.Image via Wikipedia

Now that the snark is out of the way, let’s look at one of the most interesting documents in the history of Punjabi nationalism or secession: the Anandpur Sahib Resolutions.

The Anandpur Sahib resolutions were the Akali Dal‘s response to being wiped out electorally in 1971 and 1972. They decided to recoup by:

  1. Getting the borders of Punjab redrawn to bring in more Punjabi speakers and Sikhs
  2. Ramp up federalism in general so that the national parties would have less influence in Punjab, which would mean the Akali Dal would have a free run

The end result of this came in 1978, with a document called the Anandpur Sahib Resolution (ASR, for the rest of the post). It’s a fascinating mix of naked gerrymandering, federalism, religious fundamentalism, sound economic policy and terrible economic policy. You can read the whole thing by clicking through, but let’s look at the more interesting highlights.

First, the gerrymandering. There was this:

(a) Chandigarh originally raised as a Capital for Punjab should be handed over to Punjab.
(b) The long-standing demand of the Shiromani Akali Dal for the merger in Punjab of the Punjabi-speaking areas, to be identified by linguistic experts with village as a unit, should be conceded.

in the resolution itself. But the political resolutions preceding the ASR have this stunning stuff:

The fundamental policy of the Shiromani Akali Dal is to seek the realization of this birthright of the Khalsa through the creating of a geographical entity and a constitutional set-up of its own.

For the attainment of this aim:

1. The Shiromani Akali Dal is determined to strive by all possible means to:
(a) Have all those speaking areas, deliberately kept out of Punjab, such as Dalhousie in Gurdaspur district, Chandigarh, Pinjore, Kalka and Ambala Sada, etc. in Ambala district, the entire Ina tahsil of Hoshiarpur district, Shahabad and Guhia blocks of Karnal district, Tohana sub-tahsil, Ratia block and Sirsa tahsil of Hissar district and six tahsils of Ganganagar district in Rajasthan, merged with Punjab to constitute a single administrative unit wherein the interests of Sikhs and Sikhism are specifically protected.

But the political resolution also has a very strong and unambiguous call for federalism, which is practically revolutionary considering the Indian Constitution:

(b) In this new Punjab (as in all other stated) the Center’s interference would be restricted to Defense, Foreign Relations, Currency and Communications, all other departments being in the jurisdiction of Punjab (and other states) which would be fully entitled to frame their own Constitution. For the aforesaid departments of the Center, Punjab (and other states) would contribute in proportion to their respective representation in Parliament.

2. The Shiromani Akali Dal would also endeavor to have the Indian Constitution recast on real Federal principles with equal representation at the Centre for all the States.
3. The Shiromani Akali Dal strongly denounces the Foreign policy of India as framed by the Congress Party. It is worthless and highly detrimental to the interest of the country, its people and mankind at large. Shiromani Akali Dal shall extend its support only to such policies as are based upon the principles of peace and national interest. It strongly advocates a policy of peace with all neighboring countries, particularly those which have within their borders Sikh population and Sikh shrines. The Akali Dal is of the firm view that the foreign policy of India should in no case be one of playing second fiddle to any other country.

and look, gun rights!

6. The Shiromani Akali Dal is of the firm opinion that all those persons, including women, who have not been convicted of any criminal offence by a court of law should have the right to possess any type of small arm like revolvers, guns, pistols, rifles, carbines, etc., without any license, the only obligation being their registration.

Now the trouble with advocating federalism which is revolutionary in the Indian context is that if you have a ruthless dictator at the helm of things, she thinks you’re advocating secession. And the clampdown after that was so strong that secession actually became the nature of things. But I digress. The federal bits of the ASR itself are:

The Shiromani Akali Dal realizes that India is a federal and republican geographical entity of different languages, religions and cultures. To safeguard the fundamental rights of the religious and linguistic minorities, to fulfill the demands of the democratic traditions and to pave the way for economic progress, it has become imperative that the Indian constitutional infrastructure should be given a real federal shape by redefining the Central and State relation and rights on the lines of the aforesaid principles and objectives.
The concept of total revolution given by Lok Naik Jaya Parkash Narain is also based upon the progressive decentralization of powers. The climax of the process of centralization of powers of the states through repeated amendments of the Constitution during the Congress regime came before the countrymen in the form of the Emergency (1975), when all fundamental rights of all citizens was usurped. It was then that the programme of decentralization of powers ever advocated by Shiromani Akali Dal was openly accepted and adopted by other political parties including Janata Party, C.P.I. (M), D.M.K., etc.

As such, the Shiromani Akali Dal emphatically urges upon the Janata Government to take cognizance of the different linguistic and cultural sections, religious minorities as also the voice of millions of people and recast the constitutional structure of the country on real and meaningful federal principles to obviate the possibility of any danger to the unity and integrity of the country and, further, to enable the states to play a useful role for the progress and prosperity of the Indian people in their respective areas by a meaningful exercise of their powers.

Now all this sounds brilliant and federalistic. But that’s just resolution 1. The Akali Dal then issued 11 more resolutions which demanded that the Central government do a bunch of stuff, which sort of makes the whole demanding that it stay out of everything except Defense, Foreign Relations, Currency and Communications sort of worthless. But such is life. Some of the interesting demands were:

The Shiromani Akali Dal calls upon the Central government to make an international airport at Amritsar which should also enjoy the facilities of a dry port. Similarly, a Stock Exchange should be opened at Ludhiana to accelerate the process of industrialization and economic growth in the State. The Shiromani Akali Dal also desires that suitable amendments should be made in the Foreign Exchange rules for free exchange of foreign currencies and thereby removing the difficulties being faced by the Indian emigrants.

Capital and Current Account Liberalisation, in the early 1970s. Heh.

The Shiromani Akali Dal also calls for the rapid diversification of farming. The shortcomings in the Land Reforms Laws should be removed, rapid industrialization of the State ensured, credit facilities for the medium industries expanded and unemployment allowance given to those who are unemployed. For remunerative farming, perceptible reduction should be made in the prices of farm machinery like tractors, tubewells, as also of the inputs.

This was long before farmers were dying in Vidarbha.

This session seeks permission from the Government of India to install a broadcasting station at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, for the relay of Gurbani Kirtan for the spiritual satisfaction of those Sikh who are living in foreign lands.
The session wishes to make it clear that the entire cost of the proposed broadcasting project would be borne by the Khalsa Panth and its over all control shall vest with the Indian Government. It is hoped that the Government would have no hesitation in conceding this demand after due consideration.

I find this one particularly fascinating. It’s a mix of public goods financing, overwhelming licensing, and the inadequacies of technologies then – now, of course, this could be accomplished by just having a satellite uplink from the Golden Temple. Or even a webcast. The fact that technology, government control of broadcasting, and the particular politics of the period made this impossible is particularly poignant.

This mammoth gathering of the Shiromani Akali Dal strongly urges upon the Government of India to make necessary amendments in the following enactment for the benefit of the agricultural classes who have toiled hard for the sake of larger national interests:
1. Hindu Succession Act be suitably amended to enable a woman to get rights of inheritance in the properties of her father-in-law instead of the father’s.
2. The agricultural lands of the farmers should be completely exempted from the Wealth Tax and the Estate Tax.

Honestly, not sure how this would impact on the ground – I’m unaware of the debates surrounding inheritance law. But again – fascinating.

They had demands that make me cringe too:

The 18th session of the All India Akali Conference take strong exception to the discrimination to which the minorities in other states are being subjected and the way in which their interests are being ignored.
As such, it demands that injustice against the Sikhs in other states should be vacated and proper representation should be given them in government service, local bodies and state legislatures, through nominations, if need be.

The Congress government is called upon to vacate the gross injustice, discrimination done to Punjab in the distribution of Ravi-Beas waters. The Central government must also give approval for the immediate establishment of six sugar and four textile mills in Punjab so that the State may be able to implement its agro-industrial policy.

The Shiromani Akali Dal emphatically urges upon the Indian government to bring about parity between the prices of the agricultural produce and that of the industrial raw materials so that the discrimination against such states that lack these materials may be removed.

The Shiromani Akali Dal strongly feels that the most pressing national problem is the need to ameliorate the lot of millions of exploited persons belonging to the scheduled classes. For such a purpose the Shiromani Akali Dal calls upon the Central and State governments to earmark special funds. Besides, the state governments should allot sufficient funds in their respective budgets for giving free residential plots both in the urban and rural areas to the Scheduled Castes.

So the ASR as a whole is utterly fascinating. It starts out as a call for federalism – something I sympathise with hugely – but then reverses direction and starts demanding that the Central government do something. The two aren’t necessarily incompatible if you’re transitioning to federalism and still want to get Central support until you achieve ‘true federalism’ – but the ASR is a reminder of one of the biggest obstacles to federalism.

This is that states aren’t just competing with the Central/ Federal government for resources and power. They’re also competing against each other – for investment, for taxpayers, and for resources which the other states might have a hold on.  Which means that states are always going to have an interest in maintaining a federal government which they can milk. It’s comparable to the Prisoner’s Dilemma problem – everyone would be better off with no federal government interference whatsoever, but each state would be even better off if it manipulated the federal government into favouring it over the other states. This will play out in Tamil Nadu  – Karnataka disputes over the Cauvery, Punjab – Haryana disputes over Chandigarh, and Maharashtra – Karnataka disputes over Belgaum.

So states coming together and demanding power from the Centre will always be hijacked by one state which would rather have a powerful Centre to fall back on. And of course the Centre could cut quid-pro-quos; so that even something where there was no inter-state conflict like law-and-order could be bargained against infrastructure or tax sharing. Or plain old horse trading. So even if Narendra Modi is serious about making himself the saviour of the states and getting more power from the centre (can’t find the link anywhere, sorry), it’s not going to happen until a whole bunch of things get sorted out between the states first.

The gradual decline of the national parties will mean things will become even more complicated. Either things will be as they are now, even more so, with each regional party determined to prop up the centre in order to extract concessions from it, or a bunch of regional parties will get together and decide to emasculate the centre altogether and start transferring power to the states. I’m not sure how many regional politicians there are today in India who would actually think long-term enough to go after federalism – but it might just arise.

What about Azadi for Punjab?

September 11, 2008

The brouhaha about independence for Kashmir, with arguments about whether it’s liberal, or sensible strategy, or whatnot has obscured the far more important question of when Punjab will gain independence from the rest of India.

I mean, look at the situation. Greater Punjab (encompassing Indian Punjab, Pakistani Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Delhi, and Western UP) does all the work. It gets India gold medals at the Olympics. It produces food, Maruti cars, and thermal undergarmaments for the rest of the country. It doesn’t suffer floods, have Mamata Banerjee, or slaughter VHP swamis or Christians. Neither does it have politicans who go about smashing shops and theatres or calling for bandhs. Basically, Greater Punjab does all the heavy lifting while the rest of India freerides. Our manifest destiny is being hijacked by a bunch of wankers from East of Kanpur and south of Bathinda. And frankly I am sick of it.

So it’s time to call for Punjew self-determination. I am sure I will be supported in this by Swami Aiyar, Vir Sanghvi and Arundhati Roy. If not – well, we have the martial races.

Pandey on Punjab

August 19, 2008

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.

Karva Chauth and Kansa

July 8, 2008

Over the past few years, Punjew men (axshully also Kayastha boyfriends of Punjew woomaans) have been fasting on Karva Chauth along with their wives and girlfriends. For some reason this is hailed as a triumph of women’s liberation and feminism.

This is bollocks. An equal sharing of foodlessness, dizziness and abstinence can hardly be considered a triumph of feminism. Wasn’t the whole point of feminism to make things better? All this does is spread the pain around more. If I was a paranoid maniac, I would suspect it was a sinister Allahabadi plot to make Punjew men week and feeble and incapable of rising up in glorious resistance. Wait, I am a paranoid maniac. Anyway.

The point is that true women’s liberation would involve nobody fasting and putting themselves through all that torture at all. If this was really a festival of louw, it would involve the couple going out and feeding each other rare delicacies. The idea would be to maximise pleasure, not pain.

Therefore, when the glorious Punjabi nation rises again, and throws off the cultural imperialism of the hated Allahbadis, Karva Chauth will be celebrated by the happy couple going out and feasting on a delicious infant platter for lunch. Instead of starving all day waiting for the moon to show up, Punjew couples will be eating babies through the day. Thus furthering three excellent causes: Saivite neo-Edwardianism, women’s liberation, and the continued growth of the Kansa Society.

Good Fences Aren’t Enough

May 10, 2008

According to an IIT-Madras prof, the impact of global warming raising temperatures by 4-5 degrees will be:

The scale of migration would be equivalent to the Partition ten times over. It would displace 375 times the number of people needing rehabilitation from the Sardar Sarovar project.About 75 million people from Bangladesh would migrate to India as climate change, rise in sea levels, drought, shrinking water supplies and monsoon variability takes a toll on coastal states and regions.

(Hindustan Times)

75 million extra Bongs! The horror! They will vote for the CPI-M, go on Bangla bandhs, and swamp quizzes with unworkoutable questions. This must be prevented. The problem is:

One study estimated the minimum cost of protection against one metre sea level rise would be about $500,000 per km but even that wouldn’t be able to protect 20-50% of the vulnerable population.

$500,000 per Km of coastline is an obscene amount. And with 580 Km of Bangladeshi coastline, the total cost works out to Rs. 1160 crore, and there’s still no guarantee it’ll work.

Fencing the border, on the other hand, takes only 440 crore rupees. The trouble is that fences are notorious for not working. They can be cut. Fence guards can be bribed. People can tunnel under them. For the fence to work, you need to reinforce it.

The ideal way to reinforce it would be with motion-sensor-equipped rocket launchers that would fire rockets with HE warheads every time someone came near the fence. Unfortunately this is expensive. It would also require uninterrupted power supply to the fence, something the eastern states of India are notorious for not having. No, reinforcing the fence will require something more low-tech and more low-cost.

Landmines suggest themselves. After all, NGOs are always going on about how the terrible thing about landmines is that they’re so cheap that laying a minefield costs practically nothing. This sounds excellent and most promising. Unfortunately, it turns out that landmines aren’t that cheap. Each landmine costs $3.

Three dollars doesn’t sound like a lot. But consider the calculations. Suppose you lay minefields along the entire border. And the minefield is at least 250 metres deep. And you keep a mine in every square metre. That means, protecting a kilometre worth of border works out to $3 x 250 m x 1000 m, or $750,000 a Kilometre, much more than the cost of protecting the coastline. To make things worse, there’s much more border than coastline. The cost just doesn’t work out. And knowing the Bangladeshis, they’d just send cows or donkeys or babies across the minefields until all the mines exploded and then they’d stroll across. No, mines aren’t worth it.

The inescapable conclusion is that it just works out cheaper to fortify the Bangladeshi coastline. Much as my racist nature delights in the thought that one day it will be possible to go to the Bangladeshi border, and point and laugh while Bangladeshis on the other side of the fence go ‘glub glub glub’, my free market fundamentalist instinct forces me to realise that it’s a waste of money. It’s tragic that racism and free market fundamentalism have to come into conflict, but such is life.

But honestly, you can’t get away from the fact that the Bangladeshis will invade no matter what if global warming happens, and we will then be stuck with all the Bongs without the Bongland. This is the exact opposite of the ideal situation – Bongland without the Bongs.

I have a plan to achieve this. It runs like this:

  1. Marwaris buy plantations in Africa with their substantial capital
  2. Marwaris also use their substantial capital to invest in building dikes all across the West Bengal and Bangladesh coastline, turning Bongland into a twenty-first century Netherlands
  3. Marwaris send all Bengalis (East or West) to Africa to work as indentured labour on plantations
  4. Banga is turned into the Marwari homeland, and becomes a paradise

Global Warming is not a disaster. It is an opportunity for the Maadoos to abandon their dry and barren ancestral home, and move to a new homeland which is rich and fertile. The Marwari nation shall triumph, and South Asia will finally gain an international financial centre.

Reaving and Slaying

March 24, 2008

While in Calcutta, I went for a litquiz with Aishwarya and Pradipta. Despite four self-overrules in the prelims, we qualified; and despite a Bong-funda heavy first half, we ended up winning the quiz. I think the margin of victory was at least three questions, and probably four or more. Apparently, it’ll be reported in the Telegraph’s equivalent of Bangalore Times and stuff.

Pradipta informs me that this is the first time in years that anyone has ever beaten the runners-up (a team called the Inmaniacs), and that this will therefore cause ripples of shock and awe across the Calcutta quizzing circuit (such as it is). This was of course prophesied long ago by davenchit:

The Jin in the time of Genghis Khan were noted for their many defensive walls- rotting, all but useless against true foes, these were symptoms of inner decay. The infrastructure of Calcutta resembles that of the Jin- reflections of past glory. Reckless drinkers, weakened by the Irish influence, they are ripe for conquest. Securing this key littoral will complete the preparation for the final assault: Bangalore.

Indeed, the shock that is currently reverberating through the cul-de-sacs of the City of Dretful Night is comparable to the
wounds North India suffered after the initial Turkic and Persian invasions, the crippling blows to society faced by Great Britain after the Viking raids, and the sack of Rome by Attila the Hun. A mere raid has exposed the society’s decay and corruption; annihilation and conquest cannot be long away. Soon, Bombay and Bangalore’s quizzers will overrun Calcutta, grabbing pole positions in every quiz that takes place, crushing the locals, and hearing the lamentations of their women and children. The old order of sleazy pubs and Ambassadors shall be shattered, as new watering holes and real taxis spring up to serve the needs of Calcutta’s new masters. The Pax Quizzica shall return Kolkata (faugh!) to the state which it was always meant to be: Calcutta for the Marwaris!

Political Incorrectness Gone Wild

February 19, 2008

Apparently, Bombay colleges are appealing to their students to refrain from making ethnic jokes, what with the inflamed situation:

Several colleges — probably the city’s most multicultural hubs — have informally cautioned students to go easy on community remarks, which would otherwise mean nothing more than harmless jokes and jibes. 

“The students are very young and have no malice. Since we have a huge mix of students, it is important to be careful,” said MB Madlani, principal of Raheja College, Santacruz. “Teachers have informally talked about the issue and our students have responded maturely.” 

(Hindustan Times)

This is all well and good. Especially because this appears to be a sensible discussion of risks rather than a blanket ban, which is quite surprising for Indian education. But what to make of this quote?

Sociologist Nandini Sardesai said the caution is demographically defined. “Colleges in areas like Parel, Shivaji Park and Dadar should be more cautious. India, including Mumbai, has a tendency to be communal at every level, be it religious or regional.”

I am enraged. How dare this so-called sociologist draw these invidious distinctions between the various regions of Mumbai? Where does this Colaba-prancing, Marine Drive-promenading, Cathedral-types socialite get off claiming that Goregaon types1 are more prone to violence than she is? This is regionalism of the worst sort. Someone should advise her to avoid unnecessary remarks.

1:For the benefit of new readers, IIM-B racism splits Maharashtrians into Cathedral Types (those who live in Bombay south of Mumbai Central), and Goregaon types (everyone else).

Fanboys in Mourning

February 15, 2008

RJ Malavika is getting married as I type this.

If it’s a KT wedding and not a Tam one, I suppose it’s not too late to pull a Benjamin Braddock. Except that I’m happily committed to the perfect girlfriend, and Hari the Kid is in Seattle. So it goes.