Parashurama-The Militant Intellectual

An Angry Young Man's, Politically-Incorrect, Socio-Political Tirades, Philosophical Discourses, And Then Some.

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Location: Georgia, United States

My interests lie in the exploration of issues related to Economics,Society, Development and Politics, especially in the context of India; and last,but not least, Philosophy and Spirituality.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On the Value of Conservatism to the Democratic Process

One is constantly bombarded with indictments of conservatism in general as being of a regressive nature, incompatible with modernity and an obstacle to progress. This argument, however, is as simplistic as the zany arguments leveled against liberals by the far right. The democratic process hinges on the existence of counterbalances which disallow for the implementation of extreme ideas (whether right or left of centre,) while at the same time assuring progress- albeit, in a tempered, tried and tested manner. If liberals were given free reign, the excessive passion for progress and development would inevitably send us down many a blind alley; or even off a cliff. On the other hand, without the impetus of liberal ideas, an inertia-ridden conservative society would lack the spur for mobility. Thus, conservatives remain an integral part of the modern political process, and by providing a critique of new ideas, they help temper and control progress- much like how the raw power of a colt needs to be reigned in for constructive use.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Deplorable Conduct of the Indian Media

My family recently subscribed to South-Asian programming on Direct TV. I was absolutely ecstatic at first- having been away from India for 7 years, it was the closest I could be to "home." The feeling of joy, however, quickly dissipated, and turned to dismay, when I started watching the English language news channels. I was shocked by the way the media has dealt with the Varun Gandhi debacle. I'm going to refrain from commenting on the propriety of the statements. Instead, I wish to focus on the conduct of the media, which really disturbed me. This may sound idealist, and I'm not naive enough to believe it is achievable to any great degree, but I always thought of the media's role as being that of an impartial mediator in socio-political debate. Of course, having been exposed to media bias here in the US, I know that no media outlet is free from bias, as they are mostly targeted at a niche audience. I have, however, never seen American news channels peddling opinions as facts. Sure, Fox is pro-Republican and will always support the Republican agenda; however, one always finds them to be civil when they are interviewing democratic leaders, and I have found the reporting of news to be adequately impartial. When something is opined, it is identifiable as being such. Furthermore, whenever there are members from opposing factions on TV, one finds the mediators always being civil, and only passing their own comments, or making an analysis, after the exchange of ideas has taken place. They never take sides during the debate- at least not blatantly. This is something I find lacking in the Indian English language media. The news readers and mediators will always take a strong stance (mostly pro-congress), and actually assault certain members of the dialogue (mostly members of the BJP or allied parties) with their own views. It is understandable that the media will almost by default have a Left-Liberal bias; however, it is the responsibility of the media to deliver unadulterated news and mediate debates, and let the viewers reach their own conclusions. It's also disturbing to find the newscasters own views and analysis of a situation being plastered as facts all over the screen. For instance, "Varun Gandhi's Scripted Arrest Drama." Now, am I to gather from this that the news outlet had gotten hold of a sheet of paper, complete with dialogue and all? This behavior is utterly despicable. I hope the Indian media matures someday and learns how to conduct impartial debate; and stops peddling their own opinions as news.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Karan Thapar Vs Mani Shankar Aiyar

Mani Shankar Aiyar lost his cool on Devil's Advocate. Karan Thapar took Mr. Aiyar apart piece by piece, and , boy, did I enjoy that! A self-professed "Champion of Secularism," Mr. Aiyar thought it pertinent to burn the Janeo (Sacred Thread) to prove his secular credentials. Does Mr. Aiyar really lack that much confidence in his ability to convince others of his personal beliefs, that he had to resort to an act that would hurt the sensibilities of a sizable proportion of Indian society? With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Mr. Aiyar tried to put the blame on "Hindutva Forces" for the deliberate misinterpretation of the Prime Minister's words. Shouldn't the Congress have hired a competent speech writer, so as to have avoided a scenario where the words of a man of such political consequence as Mr. Singh were "misinterpreted" by all facets of the media, irrespective of their political biases and leanings? As Karan Thapar aptly put it, it would have been much simpler to concede to the fact that it was a sub-standard speech; rather than stoke the fire by making statements that reinforced the very misinterpretations which led to the public outcry.
Sometimes, thanks to statements made by the likes of Mr. Aiyar, I honestly question my identity as an Indian, and thank Divine providence for the fact that soon I will cease to be a citizen of a state that deems me a second class citizen with NO "PRIORITY CLAIM ON THE NATION'S RESOURCES." If I am not Indian enough for India, isn't it logical for me to conclude that modern India isn't home enough for me? or for that matter any "Upper Caste Male," regardless of the fact that 10% of this purportedly elite social group languishes below the poverty line.

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Greetings from the world of Lord Parashurama

Being a neophyte in the world of blogs, this is extremely exciting for me- my very first post! Although I have been aware of web logs for as long as I can remember, I must confess, I have been very slow at adapting this new medium to my life. I doubt it was a “technological aversion” of any sort, for I am a scientifically inclined individual, with a strong background in the physical sciences. It surely was not computer-illiteracy. Then what was it?After much deliberation, It seems my slow imbibition, of this wonderful means of communication, can be attributed to personal misconceptions due to the, apparent, banality and "un-influential" nature of blogs. With so many voices out there, how could my voice be set apart from that of the multitude? How could one separate the meaningful speech from the noise? This condescending attitude I had about the content of most blogs is what seems to have prevented me from entering this world in the past. Well, I am past that now, and I intend to use this blog as the proverbial soapbox to voice my opinions on events, past and present. I can be very politically-incorrect at times, but I am not here to please everyone. My sincere apologies to people who might get offended by the occasional, flagrantly opinionated, rant. But, then again, this is my personal mouthpiece, and I am not here to be everyone’s friend. So, here’s to a new phase in my intellectual life, and for the wonderful things to come. :D