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Draft Arun Shourie

Gaurav has started an effort to Draft Arun Shourie to be BJP’s candidate for prime minister.

I own few of Arun Shourie’s books and have learned a great deal from his meticulous research. His Eminent Historians prompted me to find the truth behind various blue pills I swallowed in school and Missionaries in India provided the references for the Macaulay series.

He would make a fine prime minister, but I doubt it will happen since he is not an Octogenarian. One possibility is him being a compromise candidate, a la Manmohan Singh, but then it depends on too many random variables.

There are debates going on about this topic, like if Shourie can win votes for the party or if he is too much of an intellectual to govern successfully. This debate is one of the side effects of Gaurav’s campaign.

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Calabashes or Plastic Pots?

(Photograph by author)

Many winter solstices back, a study compared certain parameters like life expectancy, infant mortality etc. of Kerala and United States and found they were equal. Thus it was concluded that Kerala is equal to United States. So the state assembly stopped debating mundane roti, kapda, hartaal issues and engaged in discussions of historical importance like if the final destruction of the library of Alexandria happened during the Muslim invasion in 642 CE.

A new study, done exclusively based on news reports, suggests that Kerala is not United States, but Nigeria. Few years back helmets were made mandatory in Kerala and as usual we Malayalees protested. No words can express what high literacy combined with anger can do to a society than this picture or this.

Recently Nigeria enforced helmet laws on motorcyclists and they protested in a way which would have made every Malayalee proud.

Motorcyclists in Nigeria have been wearing dried pumpkin shells on their heads to dodge a new law forcing them to wear helmets, authorities say. Road safety officials said calabash-wearers would be prosecuted. Calabashes are dried pumpkin shells more commonly used to carry liquid. [Nigeria bikers’ vegetable helmets]

In Kerala, everything is attributed to “western conspiracy”; in Nigeria, fear of voodoo.

Stories have also appeared in the local papers highlighting passengers’ fears that the helmets could be used by motorcyclists to cast spells on their clients, making it easy for them to be robbed. “Some people can put juju inside the helmets and when they are worn the victim can either lose consciousness or be struck dumb,” passenger Kolawole Aremu told the Daily Trust newspaper. [Nigeria bikers’ vegetable helmets]

The similarities do not seem to end. Prof. Amartya Sen should factor this into his studies of “Kerala’s experience of development.”

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Hey Ram! Hey Sitaram!

After blaming (a) the country for creating disgruntled Muslims and (b) Hindu right, for the Mumbai terrorist attack, we have a new theory – this time from the folks who worship Joseph Stalin.

“What brought the terrorist outfits to our shores? With the Indo-US nuclear deal you are seen as an ally of the US, a strategic partner. There seems to be a total lack of appreciation of this thought from the government’s side,” CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. [CPM links Mumbai attacks to Indo-US nuke deal-India-The Times of India]

In the interview with the media the terrorists never mentioned the Indo-US nuclear deal. In the letter sent to the media too they never mentioned it. Going by Mr. Yechuri’s theory, if the Indo-US nuclear deal was not signed, the terrorists would be sitting in Muridke watching re-runs of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

Maybe it had nothing to do with Indo-US nuclear deal and those misguided boys just came to eat some chaat and have a darshan of Shah Rukh Khan.

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Nov 26: Terrorist Attack in Mumbai

  1. The letter sent by Deccan Mujahideen (Updated on Dec 1)
  2. DesiPundit latest updates
  3. CNN-IBN Live Feed
  4. Twitter feeds from people in Mumbai
  5. Who are the Deccan Mujahideen?
  6. Vinu’s photographs from the ground
  7. DesiPundit has updates and sites from where you can get more news
  8. TweetGrid collects all twitter feeds related to Mumbai.
  9. Google Trends
  10. Wikipedia page on the terrorist attack
  11. Google Maps showing the sites
  12. Maharashtra Times has pictures of two terrorists coming out of CST.

I hope no one writes blog posts about the “Spirit of Mumbai” where everything is forgotten and people wait for the next terrorist attack.

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Bye Bye Somini

Who thought that Aravind Adiga winning the Booker Prize would have such serious after shocks.? Our beloved New York Times Delhi bureau chief Somini Sengupta is leaving her position. The news of the transition of this South Asian reporter was published on the SAJA forum, a site covering “South Asians”, an imaginary species.

For almost four years Ms. Sengupta worked tirelessly to prove to fellow “South Asians” that “India” was not shining. Her propensity to cover the downtrodden and the ones who were stomped on by upper class members of the Hindu caste system was unparalleled. Sadly that nectar is insufficient for winning awards these days. 

The new man in town is Pulitzer Prize-winner Jim Yardley who comes from the Beijing bureau. A person from any other bureau would have been highly insulting. We hope Mr. Yardley realizes that the cheat sheet has limitations – it cannot even win you a Nehru-Gandhi peace award.

Ms. Sengupta spawned a cottage industry of satirists and social scientists who won’t have, to paraphrase an American President, “Somini to kick around anymore.” The revival of our cottage industry depends on Mr. Yardley’s ingenuity; we will be watching with bated eyelids. Ms. Sengupta meanwhile is moving to Amsterdam, an arcadia, where countless people have found salvation thinking about “social” issues.

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