My two cents

The post is titled so since it deals with the hottest topic/ phenomenon of the Indian diaspora in the recent past, Anna Hazare. The upshot of this entire thing is that NDTV & CNN- IBN have gotten so much more interesting and the debates are excellent to watch. Its nice to hear really articulate and educated elite of our country discuss something. Wait, I think I am still hung over the God-level debate on CNN-IBN with Rajdeep Sardesai. I suddenly wished I had majored in political science! So I am not qualified enough to give a nice and beautiful opinion like a seasoned political analyst but I am not a supporter of Anna’s desired outcomes. He is a catalyst that has woken the country from slumber and shown that mass movements are possible and brought to life the meaning of participatory democracy, but I think he should stop with that and just ensure the Govt. works on passing a lokpal bill. To force the government to accept ‘his’ version, well does not augur well with me at all.
Do not get me wrong. I detest corruption and salute Anna Hazare for waking up a nation fed-up with this disease. What he has achieved is no mean feat but his capabilities on policy making or thinking through cannot be compared to the stalwarts in the government. Yes, I mean it. This government has been the most corrupt so far what with all the scams and arrests but one has to note that it is also the first time a government has sacked ministers and jailed them. It is also the first time a goverment has spoken to Anna Hazare and the elite representatives of the ‘civil society’ and opened their doors to reforms. Manmohan Singh might not be a great leader, but he is a great thinker and his contributions to the country must not be brushed aside. My other main point is, what is the other alternative? BJP, where all are aged 90 and above? Who want to push forward the VSS and other religion based differences ? This government also has some truly seasoned people like Kapil Sibal, Chidambaram who are capable, articulate and intelligent. I am of the opinion the BJP is not having clean hands in the scam score sheet either, just that they got lucky. No one does actually, so far. Even the common man had to sneak in those fifty and hundred rupee notes at government offices to get his/her work done. According to the Lokpal today, everyone born before 1985 is guilty. Then why not make the most of what we have now and look at new beginnings?
Some clauses of the bill that is under the scanner which differ in the bills are all in favor of the government. I wont list them all but for one, how can the PM be brought under the Lokpal? If his every move in office will be under the scanner, no major decisions will ever be made! The government has also added the clause that he can be put under the scanner once he has quit office which sounds so reasonable. As is the top order of our country makes policy decisions so slowly. This would just jam the whole system. The thought of a referendum scares me. The country has not just one but so many big issues plaguing it like Naxalites, Telengana, Kashmir , Maoists etc who are just next in line. If governance was to fall solely in hands of people threatening of blackmail unless their exact demands are met, I fear the country would fall apart. So it would be really nice for Team Anna to just force the goverment to pass the bill asap but the version could be debatable. I only hope people understand that their fight should be for a bill to be passed but not a specific version. The actual outcome of the Lokpal and if it is a cure of corruption at all, well thats a totally different issue.
So that was my two cents. I know most people will scurry off reading Anna Hazare, being bombarded with entire newspapers and round the clock coverages on all channels. Still, its cathartic to have written all this. Oh and on another note, I enter my third academic year in PhD! It is scary to have the “three” attached now. I guess my fun days are truly over. Classes begin tuesday and the real good thing is that another hot, humid and horrible summer draws to a close. On the brighter side, one more semester till I see Whisky! yaay! Can’t wait!
PS: Kindle crashed and sent me into a four day depression. I wonder why it had to happen during my last “free” weekend.
PPS: The link to the awesome debate is here.

Sexualization of the female

I am aware of being one of the umpteen people who are blogging over the controversial images of a 10 year old vogue model!This whole incident has redefined monstrosity!. But my perspective has a good mix of coming from a society that is slowly morphing into this, to living in a place where freshmen girls flaunt the bodies previously possessed by lingerie models. But getting a 10 year old to act like a 20 something is not just outrageous, it is something our generation should slow down and feel ashamed about. Why are girls being looked as sexual objects right from when they are kids? What plans does a society have today for the little girls?
In India, being born in the pre-Miss World/Miss Universe era, I remember being part of a society totally ignorant to this version of beauty and glamour. Our heroines sported extremely wearable trends and bodies and some beautifully draped sarees. Women were sexy in their own right, downtrodden but had an air of old-fashioned beauty powered by natural recipes. It was okay to have wrinkles at 40. It was perfectly fine not to have a bikini body at 50 and it was okay to have breasts that looked normal. The big cosmetic brands noticed the huge potential market that India was with half a billion women and instantly crowned two girls Miss Universe and Miss World in 1994. The era of looking good had begun. While I do appreciate the glamour quotient’s contribution to independence and confidence in the modern woman, I am appalled that today’s 8th graders are well versed in Dukan diets and pilates.
Thanks to the new-found access to the western world, this pressure has just increased. Today’s bollywood (from where our style quotients are usually based) is no different from hollywood in terms of beauty and dressing. Big brands and labels, gowns on the red-carpet (something that was so rare before now is normal, infact people are surprised if someone wears sarees these days!), botox (Pooja Bedi the perpetual ambassador who wants to look 20 at 40), revealing clothes, brazen scenes are all just so hollywoodish. It is okay for a society to mature and come to terms with the openly sexual and foul-mouthed youth, but is it okay to keep increasing pressure on the girls to look good at all times?
The girls are under pressure to look more mature than they really are; wax their arms and legs at an age when you would be afraid that their skin is still supple from all that baby fat. The girls need to be slim and trim, perfectly figured, well turned out at every occasion and should be worth hitting on in a bar or restaurant. Its not the boys alone but the girls themselves feel so inadequate and continue hating their bodies for want of being perfect and call the result “confidence”. I know people who openly “hate” girls who carry a few extra kilos on their bodies. Honestly, I havent been to any restaurant with a bunch of girls who haven’t starved themselves and sworn themselves off sweets, cakes or anything fatty. Infact they jeer anyone who even wants to eat one. Birthday cakes became only for smearing on each other’s faces and dinners were just meant to meet people up with a “my stomach isnt too well” excuse. When they sell bras named “barely there” for 13-14 year olds, you know we have gone too far!
Now, its another thing to be perfectly healthy. Health consciousness is the upshot of this trend. It is important to eat right, work out and lead a healthier lifestyle. This information is needed for the late teenagers who are set to live a life on their own. You cannot expect a 12 year old to want to diet! Their body hasn’t even developed fully yet. I know 12 year olds who started dieting to maintain their 24 inch waist. Now that, is what I call crazy. Being aware of the need to eat right is another thing but crash dieting is another. Also, I dont understand when these celebrities boast about their “healthy” living to flaunt those bodies. Shilpa Shetty has bulimia and sells yoga DVD’s. People buy them in hordes imagining her body at the end of it. While yoga is healthy, people get jilted when they dont end up looking like her at the end of it! Most of the “hot” girls live on a diet of black coffee and cigarettes. But since men drool after them, the girl next door wants to ape them. Little do they realize that the men worth changing yourself for dont really want you to change. Peer pressure kills, more than even alcoholism.
Its wrong to sexualize girls from a tender age. As glamour enters the family living rooms with the news these days, it is important to save the girls and instill healthy facts into them before they aspire to resemble one of the Pussycat dolls. When Playmates, Pussycat dolls, Beyonce, Demi Moore or the Victoria Secret Models become the wallpaper of society, you know we have gone wrong somewhere.