India is merely a geographical expression. It is no more a single country than the equator.
Despite Churchill’s pronouncement, independent India is seventy years old, while her old rulers struggle to hold onto their not so united kingdom. On August 15, 1947, India achieved its independence from the oh so benevolent British rule, whose legacy involved mass death by starvation. One of the worst famines to strike British India was the Bengal famine of 1943. While volunteer army recruits from India were dying by the thousands for Winnie’s King and country, his decisions led to millions of avoidable Indian deaths.
Home to every religion in the world and twenty-two official languages; India’s amazing linguistic and religious diversity is its strength. This diversity is reflected in Indian art, be it Hindustani classical music or popular Hindi cinema. India’s struggles are many and it still has a long way to go before it reaches its full potential, but those are topics for another day.
But today I want to celebrate this milestone by celebrating India’s unity in diversity. First broadcast on 15 August 1988 on Doordarshan,
Mile sur mera tumhara, to sur bane hamara ( when my note (musical) melds with yours, it becomes our note)
Bhimsen Joshi gets its started in Hindi, then we travel the length and breadth of India, from north to south and from east to west, ending in Hindi again. I counted fourteen languages including Hindi.
In the order they appear:
- Bhimsen Joshi (Hindustani Classical music maestro) sings in Hindi
- Boatman in Kashmiri
- People on the tractor in Punjabi
- Shabana Azmi (actor) in Urdu
- Narendra Hirwani (cricketer) in Sindhi
- Cast of Tamas, a Doordarshan miniseries on India’s partition in Hindi/Punjabi
- Balamurali Krishna (Carnatic music maestro) in Tamil (In his audience I could identify Kamal Hassan, Venkatraghavan and Meenakshi Seshadri)
- Prakash Padukone (Badminton player) in Kannada
- Couple in Telugu
- Man on the elephant in Malayalam
- Mrinal Sen (Film director), Arun lal(Cricketer) etc getting out of a train in Bengali
- Assamese singer
- North eastern dancers (with no voiceovers)
- Oriya couple
- Mario Miranda (Cartoonist/illustrator) in Goa (again no voiceovers)
- Mallika Sarabhai (Dancer) in Gujarati
- Tanuja (Actor) in Marathi
Again we end in Hindi
- Waheeda Rehman (Actor)
- Hema Malini (Actor)
- Sharmila Tagore (Actor)
- Lata Mangeshkar (Singer), then the voice behind the women
- Amitabh, Jeetendra and Mithun (all actors)
Ends in refrain of the Indian national anthem
- I could only identify Syed Kirmani (cricketer)
If you can identify anyone else who I have missed, let me know in the comment section.
Congratulations GOP, you have just installed Putin’s puppet as your nominee. Isn’t it curious how Trump’s foreign policy objectives align so completely with what Putin wants. The mainstream media has just woken up to Trump’s soft corner for Russia. While they were obsessing about Hillary Clinton’s email servers, Adam Silverman over at Balloon Juice was on to it even during the primaries.
In the Republican nominee’s New York Times interview he is signaling the end of NATO and that the United States will renege on its treaty obligations. He is willing to throw everything successive administrations since WW II have built,down the toilet, just so that he appears tough.
Mr. Trump wants the United States to run NATO like an extortion racket. His proposals resemble dinner rants of your drunk uncle who everyone in the family goes out of their way to avoid. He wants to destroy the post war world order. He seems to be unaware of his own ignorance and is proud of it. He is evil and stupid, a dangerous combination. The Republican party has placed him on the path to power, to destroy the world as we know it. Hillary Clinton is all that stands between us and Trump induced mayhem.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton, became the first woman to clinch the nomination of a major party for the President of the United States. I was an Obot in 2008 and was not completely taken in by Hillary Clinton when the primary season started even this time around. I was hoping that some one else would emerge on the scene like Barack Obama had 8 years earlier. However, as the primary season went on I slowly drifted into Hillary’s corner, mainly because her competition was pathetic. Maryland governor O’Malley looked good on paper but failed to make any impression, Jim Webb seemed like he had wandered into the wrong primary contest, I just could not see the appeal of his Scots-Irish shtick to the Democratic electorate. I was always skeptical of Bernie Sanders because his record in office did not match his soaring rhetoric. When it came to issues like immigration and gun control Bernie Sanders positions as a Congressman and then a Senator had not been particularly progressive.
As the contest went on it became increasingly obvious that Sanders policy expertise was tissue thin and besides rhetoric he had little to offer. At this stage of the campaign he has proved himself no better than a toddler throwing a tantrum because he did not get his way.
Hillary Clinton is a survivor and a champion fighter. She has had more brickbats than bouquets thrown at her and she still soldiers on. I salute her resilience and spirit. I envy the energy she brings to the fight day in and day out, no matter what.
So to celebrate her historic win after a hard fought and a long battle I offer you, We are the Champions, by Queen for the Queen. The lyrics could have been written by Hillary herself!
I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I’ve come through
I never thought I would type these words but Trump, the insult comic with a distinctive hairstyle, is the Republican nominee after his win in yesterday’s Indiana primary. We all knew this moment was coming but were hoping against hope that sanity would prevail among the insane. No such luck for us. We are stuck with the bastard child of the GOP and the so-called liberal media, at least until November. I believe congratulations are in order to the proud parents.
First of all congratulations to the Republican party. Your party’s descent into hell is now complete. You are now the party of Trump. No longer can you hide behind the fig leaf of plausible deniability. Your eight years of relentless Obama hate has reached its logical conclusion. You built it and now there is no running away from it. He embodies your demonization of the Obama coalition in flesh. Good job!
Also congratulations are in order to the brave defenders of truth in the press, especially the both-sides-do-it Pundit class. After grading Bush II on a curve and giving him a pass on all his fuck-ups till a major American city drowned on his watch, you descended like a pack of hyenas on President Obama, 5 minutes after he was sworn in. You gave Trump a platform for his noxious birther nonsense against the President. You aired his every noxious combustible utterance. You must be as proud as Prof. Frankenstein of your creation, now that he has gone on to win the nomination of the Republican party.
Party of Lincoln now the Party of Trump
Just one week after giving a woman sporting white power tattoos a forum, PBS News Hour gave a platform to the known credentialed bigot and author of the Bell Curve, Charles Murray in its weekly segment on economics, Making Sense. This segment usually makes little sense since it is hosted by the economic illiterate and sneering doofus Paul Solman. Solman introduced Murray, as an economist. Murray’s training is in political science not economics.
The topic at hand was the rise of Trump. According to Murray, people support Trump because elites are mean to them. Examples of elites were people in the media, a conservative boogeyman. The grievances of people who support Trump may be legitimate but supporting Trump is going to do zero to alleviate them. Murray’s analysis is plain wrong, Hollywood or the “liberal” media did not create their problems but the 1% favoring policies of tax cutting, deregulation and union busting favored by most Republicans are the cause of their woes, which Murray was mum about.
By the way where can I find this mythical beast of the liberal media? What passes for liberal media on TV these days is nothing more than conventional wisdom soaked, Republican friendly claptrap and PBS (Pure Bull Shit) News Hour is no exception to this trend.
Happy Holi, the festival of colors, that marks the beginning of spring. Holi is the day to let your hair down and have some fun playing with colors, drinking bhang and eating puranpoli. A day when adults have the social sanction to act like kids again. Holi is also the favorite of Hindi movie makers, there seem to be more Holi songs in Hindi movies than that of any of other holiday. Here are some of my favorites.
Lahu Munh Lag Gaya from the 2013 Ramleela: What’s better than seeing Ranveer Singh in a song? Seeing him dance!
Holi Ke Din Dil Khil Jate Hai : Hearts blossom on Holi, from Sholay (Embers). This star studded mid 70s feature directed by Ramesh Sippy, rewrote the rules about how Hindi movies were made. It’s a Western with a masala twist and holds up pretty well after all these years. The look Amitabh’s character gives Jaya’s characters dressed in widow’s whites, watching the festivities from afar just slays me.
Arre Jare Natkhat Na Chule Mera Gunghat from Navrang (Nine Colors) made in 1959. Sandhya’s performance, playing both the male and female parts, makes me wish that I could dance like her.
There are many more which I haven’t included. If you have any suggestions, or other favorites that I have missed, leave it in the comments.