19 November 2005

SEX in Democracy - I

The premise of premarital sex is not a just a substantiation of the west mindedness. It’s not something that has epitomized the 21st century. In fact it’s a conjunct of mind over matter, the libidos that drive a species called Homo sapiens. So, when one gushes through the issue of premarital sex, I look in disdain.

While checking with the dates we forget the most obvious part of it, checking the year. In a democracy the voice of opposition is the fundamental pillar. As Mahatma once said, “ Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err”. We live every day with our values and beliefs, and if we are challenged we cry out. We take cover of society, cover of caste, cover of religion of the things that we find hard to digest. At the end of the day the moral stick is based on the norm of bully ness. We all live in an imperfect system, just that it is imperfect it is still running. So what if an actress or may be a star tennis player talks about what we call taboo. We have the answer, they should not have expressed their views and we are shocked and outraged. Going by Freud’s term every person is unique in his or her own respect. Are we too week as an individual? Are we too scared to be swayed with what some celebrities say? Rather the issue should be based on what we believe in. Its always is easy to shout at the neighbor rather than keeping ones own house in order. I’m not going to the merit of the discussion, what I intend to say is we obviously have every rite to show our disapproval on what we perceive offensive. But we must understand that in a democracy everyone has a view. Even a guy who scuffs at the Chief minister and leaves the portfolio is made the CM after 9 years that too in a state where since 25 years communism has survived. Its truly amazing to be in a country called India.

Wilfred Owen's Contempt for War

Torture and Misery in the Name of Freedom


The following remarks were adapted during Mr. Pinter's acceptance speech on winning the Wilfred Owen Award earlier this year.

The great poet Wilfred Owen articulated the tragedy, the horror--and indeed the pity--of war in a way no other poet has. Yet we have learnt nothing. Nearly 100 years after his death the world has become more savage, more brutal, more pitiless.

But the "free world" we are told, as embodied in the United States and Great Britain, is different to the rest of the world since our actions are dictated and sanctioned by a moral authority and a moral passion condoned by someone called God. Some people may find this difficult to comprehend but Osama Bin Laden finds it easy.

What would Wilfred Owen make of the invasion of Iraq? A bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of International Law. An arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public. An act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading--as a last resort (all other justifications having failed to justify themselves)--as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands upon thousands of innocent people.

An independent and totally objective account of the Iraqi civilian dead in the medical magazine The Lancet estimates that the figure approaches 100,000. But neither the US or the UK bother to count the Iraqi dead. As General Tommy Franks of US Central Command memorably said: "We don't do body counts".

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery and degradation to the Iraqi people and call it " bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East". But, as we all know, we have not been welcomed with the predicted flowers. What we have unleashed is a ferocious and unremitting resistance, mayhem and chaos.

You may say at this point: what about the Iraqi elections? Well, President Bush himself answered this question when he said: "We cannot accept that there can be free democratic elections in a country under foreign military occupation". I had to read that statement twice before I realised that he was talking about Lebanon and Syria.

What do Bush and Blair actually see when they look at themselves in the mirror?

I believe Wilfred Owen would share our contempt, our revulsion, our nausea and our shame at both the language and the actions of the American and British governments.

Harold Pinter recently won the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.