Showing posts from January, 2007

I Go Watch Big Brother then!

Britain is abuzz with Big Brother, and the treatment Shilpa Shetty is receiving from some of country's gossip-column celebrities. It is an ungainly, nasty affair. But it is not unusual. The word 'bitching' was not coined for nothing, and bullying and bad behaviour is the order of the day. The things took a nasty turn as this became the fight of Shilpa versus the ladies of the house. And, yes, they were not nice at all. They could not pronounce Shilpa's name. This is commonplace though. It is usual for someone local not to be able to pronounce another person's alien name, though a reciprocal behaviour is considered to be offensive. It went to such extent Shilpa started getting called 'the Indian', and slowly this led to comments about Indians in general. Not surprisingly, a huge international row about racism ensued. To me, racism is a non-issue. Well, unlike what people may be led to believe and say, it is there. And, let it be there. It allows some individu

Bangladesh : Keep watching!

The world is watching Bangladesh. Well, not true. The world has other things to watch. Celebrity Big Brother, for example. Or, something else. There is always a show on, aint it? Why would anyone bother about Bangladesh, a country of no significance? I would say, we better watch. It is a country of 130 million people, poor, with a majority following islam, but democratic – so far! Not an usual thing. And, also, unlike other Islamic democracies, the Prime Ministership is not granted for life [or till retirement]. There is lively elections, free and fair by most counts, and the party in power has been thrown out in last two elections. Some achievement! It is poor. It is corrupt. But don’t snigger! Think of another poor, corrupt country which is democratic, and you will realise what Bangladesh brings to table. The true test of democracy – how to make the system work at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ – is being played out here. I am not suggesting that it is perfect. There is a lot of vote bu

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