Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Justice for the Not-so-Ordinary ?

Just when I thought it is done and done to death, here we go again - Breaking News in all news channels on a Monday afternoon that Sanjay Dutt has been granted interim bail by the Supreme Court.

His conviction by a TADA Court in Mumbai last month has been the subject matter of so much media attention, I wonder if the journalists themselves did not get bored of it all. (By the way, they faced stiff competition from movie channels which played popular hits of the movie star for days and nights together).

The hero in reel life is immensely likeable, his deadpan humour, his swagger, his comic buffoonery – all very endearing to most of us, the aam junta.

But should that be the yardstick for the media to go over the top in reporting the nitty-gritties of the judgement produced by a TADA court and then some sections of the society – from and outside the film industry – to get started on a “Save Sanjay” campaign? Polls on whether the 6 years rigorous imprisonment was fair or not to this “innocent” man? “Good Character” certificates by eminent and noted citizens that he cared a lot for the poor ? And the convicted himself pleading with the court not to send him to jail as he is yet to settle family matters. Incredible logic, of course!

Alas, the blindfolded maiden of Justice finally caught up with him. Now, this is one maiden he would n’t want to be close to, for sure :).

And the juicy – actually dry - tidbits keep pouring in… we are fed with a continuous dose of how our poor hero (oops, what happened to the Crores he has earned?) is roughing it out in the jail, the coarse clothes, common bathrooms, no fans, dry roti et al.

Surely one does not need extra intelligence to figure out that life in a prison is not like holidaying in a plush, exclusive resort overlooking the mountains, with the beautiful view of a lake in the distance.

At a deeper level, is n't the purpose of criminal justice precisely that : punishment for the act done ?

And is this not a ‘debt’ which the law-breaker, be it an aging superstar or the ordinary guy on the street, pays to the society for disregarding and flouting the law of the land?

Friday, August 17, 2007

on the Cultural Politics of Copyright & Piracy

"No account of the contemporary moment would be complete without an examination of the dominance of the copyright sign or the small print of the trademark on our lives."

"In many ways, the mere act of looking at, reading, listening to, making, understanding, or communicating any objects that embody thought, knowledge or feeling are as fraught with danger and anxiety today, as the appropriation of material wealth, or, the trespassing into private property, were through much of human history."

How Rambo lost to the Green Papaya

With every passing day, we need to grapple with this reality!
in the silence of the dead,
thoughts hum loud like words
to ask a little gravely;
"what have i come for,
here......this far?"


Saturday, August 04, 2007

sitting by the beach,
biting into a peach,
pondering over a leech,
So out of reach!

One of the most fascinating creatures of the Annelids family (like the earthworms) - the leech.

Its glossy black skin allures me, its squirming and wriggling mesmerises me and its blood sucking tendency scares me.

A leech hunting expedition to Madagascar and Seychelles - Indulging in leech-feeding!?

Its simple - You don't find the leeches, they find you! :)