Contemporary Artists and Their Unquestionable Freedoms

by Guneet

Dear Russell Peters,

You think that a roast is just being honest about someone, in front of that someone, and that the AIB knockout was great comedy. To an extent, I agree with the first part of this, sure, and I don’t care what you think of Aamir Khan.

But please, by all means, tell us how this means that a comedian (a real artist according to you) can ‘speak the truth’ about a person’s dark skin by joking about an entire race, about how they were – and are – treated like shit on the basis of their skin colour, about how an epidemic is taking their lives and goes unnoticeable until white people get affected by it. Does it also mean that a comedian can make fun of the sexuality of so many people who are shamed and humiliated by society, because one person on their stage happens to be okay with it? I could go on and on with references.

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5 Saal Kejriwal: Great Expectation from the Aam Aadmi Party

by Guneet

The sweeping victory for Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi elections is a reaffirmation of hope for many. The saffron Modi Wave has been pulled down, it has hit the rocks and dispersed into Delhi’s chaotic order. And now comes the real challenge.

Delhi is the capital of this country. It is where the hopes and aspirations of millions of people collide. The culture of Delhi is a complex mix of innumerable cultures from not only neighbouring states and cities, but many distant places as well. To name a few – Bengalis, Malayalis, Tamilians, Nagas, Assamese, Nigerians, Burmese Rohingyas, Kashmiris, Marathis, Andhras, Arunachalis, Nepalese, Somalis, Afghans; all of us are Delhiites. We are Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, None of The Above; all of us are Delhiites. All of us are the Aam Aadmi that AAP claims to represent.

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on the bloggability of thoughts.

by slowsho

it’s funny how often i get news about my neighbourhood from a newspaper hundreds of miles away. funny how, no matter how hard i try to be up to date, to be keyed in, to allow myself the space and depth to think about as many things as possible, usually i get most of my ‘information’ from my facebook newsfeed, unfortunately the one intangible …(what to call it? it isn’t one screen, it isn’t one piece of paper, it’s a ‘feed’, a word that has now lost its most basic tangible meaning. tangibility, if you couldn’t tell, is really important to me) source my eyeballs are witness to the most in a 24-hour span.

so, beyonce sampled chimamanda ngoze adiche, and hauz khas socialities wondered aloud “so cool!… how do you pronounce that again?” six feminist blogs talk about beyonce and nicki minaj, adoration and mixed responses, respectively. some shade thrown on nicki, and six more thinkpieces on racism within feminist movements. one reasonably argued piece (personal opinion, hashtag hashtag) about how something can be problematic in a capitalist cultural context even if put forth by an independent strong black woman (Hi, Oprah).

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Hello world!

by Guneet

Sixteenth of May, 2014 will most probably be considered a historic day for India. The politics of this country has taken a sharp turn today. For the better or worse, time will tell, but I do know that today is not the best day to begin writing this blog. The Hindu nationalist right wing has taken control of the parliament after a very eventful election campaigning season and an equally eventful voting period. It is historic because the Bharatiya Janta Party has won with a clear majority, leaving behind the phenomenon of coalition governments that the people of this country got used to in the last two decades. Except the Indian National Congress, another hugely problematic political organization lead by the Gandhi family, no other party has ever achieved such a feat. And this time the Congress has not even gathered 10 percent of the total seats of Lok Sabha.

The next five years are going to be significant. That may be an understatement actually.

While the corporate news channels are entertaining us as if a ‘block buster’ movie has just been released, it remains to be seen how they will observe, report and criticize this new government. It remains to be seen how the lives of people in this country will be affected. How many will benefit from this – or rather who will benefit, who will not and who will not even feature in the demographics.

Businesses will grow, the GDP will rise, the consumer economy will flourish, the stock exchange will gain points and economists will be happy. Except that these economists are not really economists. They are just capitalists, measuring a country’s development with standards other capitalists came up with. The trickle down effect is their answer to most criticisms.

And if the criticism gets sharper and louder, then watch out for the whip. It may seem as if I am describing United States of America, but hey, that is the foremost nation of the world. First of the first world. They have an elaborate whip with a reach that is so widespread and covert, that would probably make the likes of George Orwell squirm in their grave. It seems to me that that is where we are headed now. Now that progress is here, and inflation and corruption are going away for good, it would be a sin to criticize the new government and its governance.

And that is why today may not be the best day for this website to say hello world!

Or maybe it is.

I wasn’t supposed to write this today, I hadn’t planned it in any way, but I was compelled to when I read Narendra Modi’s most retweeted tweet: “India has won, bharat ki vijay, achhe din aane waale hain.” Good days are upon us he says. As if the election result alone will serve food on the plates of the poor, and provide social justice to millions suffering in the world’s largest democracy.