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Army called in to control protests over insult to Indian Idol

September 28, 2007

An RJ of a FM (Red FM 93.5) radio channel from Delhi apparently referred to Prashant Tamang, this year’s Indian Idol, as a ‘gurkha’ and this news site reports that Prashant’s success was referred to as “Chowkidar to Indian Idol” a day after Prashant was crowned Indian Idol. Fans and supporters have been protesting for some time now….but now the protests have resulted in a serious law and order situation in Siliguri, even though the radio channel has apologized for the comments.

The insensitivity by the RJ is not surprising. Racist remarks about people from the hills are not uncommon…but this particular instance was worse because it was aired over a radio channel. I heard on television that the West Bengal Chief Minister has decided to sue the channel…

Prashant himself has appealed for calm. I am sure that he never imagined that the RJ’s remark, which he has admitted was “unfortunate” was going to result in so much mayhem! Its become so bad that the clash is not just between the police and the protesting fans, but between the locals and the fans as well. Apparently it all started when a procession of about 2000 fans blocked the road and refused to let an ambulance pass through, which infuriated the local people. Well, when there are 2000 people, all very upset about something marching to the courts to demand action, anything can happen! Well, now, curfew has been imposed and the Army has been called in!

But why so much anger?
This anger over an insult to Prashant might seem an overreaction for some, but I think people have underestimated Prashant’s popularity. It is clear that Prashant has become a youth icon in the north-east. In fact even earlier, during the actual voting, there was some disturbance when Prashant’s fans found it difficult to send SMS votes. But even if Prashant is popular why so much rage? Well, I think Prashant isn’t just another popular celebrity. For one thing he has been on national television constantly in recent weeks, and his fame has been quick and giddying, not just for him, but for his fans as well.

Another reason for the strong response to the racist comment by the veejay could be that there already exists a deep resentment amongst the hill people about the racism they encounter everyday. Now that a radio channel has insulted one of their own, and that too a man who has become the Indian Idol by the dint of his own merit is too much for them to take. It is almost as if it is the last straw!

I think it’s disgusting that in India we have to refer to people’s imagined background (Prashant is a cop, not a chowkidar!!) while talking about them…it’s about time we became more mature and saw an individual for what he actually is, without the stereotypical attitudes we associate with each community.

(Pictures of Siliguri and Prashant linked to the originals)

Related Reading: Indian Idol finalists are from the north-East
Racism faced by north-easterners

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63 Comments leave one →
  1. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 28, 2007 10:26 pm

    For Delhi and the North, so full of their own importance, racist remarks about not only the hill people and the North-East, but about everything outside of North India is quite the norm.

    I hope the people of Siliguri in particular and North Bengal in general will not be as forgiving as the “madrasis”, the “mallus”, the “ghatis”, the “gujjus” etc. have been. The concerned RJ and the channel must be made to tender an unconditional apology, and made to crawl on all fours from Delhi to Siliguri.

  2. September 28, 2007 10:35 pm

    Thanks Vivek for responding to this so quickly!! :)
    And ha ha i like your punishment!!! ofcourse i also hope they pay a heavy legal penalty like a fine or something.

  3. Nil permalink
    September 28, 2007 10:58 pm

    About this story, yes it’s completely disgusting and uncalled for. Apparently Anu Malik was showing obvious resentment towards Prashant, because he is Nepali. If him or this radio DJ made these kinds of racist remarks in Britain and America, they’d be fired from their show. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of average ‘mainstream’ Indians (especially North Indians) are bitter about Prashant winning, and are probably the first ones to call it ‘pandering to minorities’ and India going PC or something :roll:

    And Vivek Khadpekar, the term “gujjus” isn’t nearly as offensive as the racist garbage faced by hill people and North-Easteners. Gujaratis are well respected in India, and I’d probably expect some of them to join in with this resentment.

    Secondly, and a bit off the topic, but I do feel that these singing contests aren’t doing a lot to promote “Indianess” as such, rather people are voting based on regionalism, which will just divide people even more. It was widely speculated during 2005/06 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa when the guy from Assam won–he got like 80% of his vote from the North-East. My mum, though Assamese, preferred that Himani girl and wanted her to win, and even acknowledged that there was a regional bias.

    Here in Europe, we have an annual song contest called Eurovision–a major voting regulation is that public cannot vote for their own country, but for the others for giving points. You can find out about it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_at_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest

    However, I will admit that in recent years, Nothern and Western European countries have been coming bottom of the contests, as there’s been some alleged voting bias from former Eastern Bloc and Baltic states, so I guess those in Europe have been biased, as well ;)

    That said, I believe opportunities like this can raise awareness about different faces of India who aren’t well publicised in the media and ordinary people can have certain misconceptions dispelled. Clearly what that veejay said was a result of ignorance which breeds resentment.

  4. September 28, 2007 11:00 pm

    I see that things I really detest in western world have made it to India and have sprouted their weeds: Just like sex sells — so does being obnoxious. As long, as you claim that you are being honest (which somehow people mistake for being fair) – you can say, trash anyone.

    So you have Simon Cowell spewing his “wisdom” and becoming the “torchbearer” of “I am honest, frank, I am usually obnoxious but you will like me for it” syndrome. While the American idol does have very good singing, a lot of fuel for the show is Simon – people who love him for his obnoxiousness, or people who hate him for it (so either way hate sells :) ). Now I see all talent shows having guests being obnoxious as a rating gimmick making contrived attempts at it just to get a few people to laugh and talk about it.. Ah – what principled aspirations some people have!

    Of course the Simon approach was just new to TV. The original was already in radio as in “shock jocks” whose claim to fandom/stardoom – just say anything that is shocking, controversial.

    In both cases, cannot blame the personalities themselves. You can only wonder – how come they are so popular? Perhaps most of us really have “repressed tendencies” to be obnoxious and point out other faults cuttingly. So when someone does it openly, brazenly — suddenly many people can relate to it like a guilty pleasure, and thus elevate that someone to stardom. And as mentioned others want to see them cut down and so they watch/listen and thus feed the monster/troll.

    Quite a world indeed!

  5. September 29, 2007 1:23 am

    Some North Indians often act like Americans. Just because Hindi happens to be national language? a fact highlighted in the movie Chak De.. Whats worse, I even read North-South argument over the recent T20 victory. Is it gonna be the United States of India?

    Actually I burst out laughing after reading your blog…. atee zala ani hasu aala

    PS: If I’m right, its RJ for a radio, VJ for a TV, DJ for a pub :)

  6. Phantom permalink
    September 29, 2007 5:39 am

    Not at all surprissed by the attitude of the VJ from delhi….such a typical chauvanistic, arrogant, ignorant and prejudicial attitude. Really an indictment on indian society that we allow such internal prejudice to foster.

  7. September 29, 2007 7:42 am

    Nil, I think you are right, regional or race based voting is a human condition and I am sure it happens everywhere in the world. In a way I think it is a reaction to attitudes from so-called ‘mainstream’ people. I remember during American Idol this time some 16 year old Indian American was winning initially because of Indian American votes. So much so that people suspected that people from India were voting! At the same time I think this time it was great to see a guy from the north-east win…the north-east suddenly came into focus! And I have heard Prashant sing, he is an excellent singer.
    A pity that we don’t have strong laws to counter racist remarks though.

    Arunk, a lot of people don’t like these ‘reality’ shows but the fact is that people are lapping it all up!

    Priyank, Hindi is not the national language. But yes many people think it is because it is compulsory in schools. I don’t know how it can be made compulory inspite of it not being the national language, but thats how it is.
    You are right about the RJ thing so I made the correction. Thanks. Though I wasn’t sure what was funny about the post, but I can be obtuse about these things!

    Phantom, typically chauvanistic and arrogant is right. I am sure right now the guy who made the statement is thinking: What did I say that was so wrong?

  8. September 29, 2007 10:27 am

    This incident is another example of how insufferably righteous, irritable, over-sensitive, and humorless many Asians are, if one can be forgiven for this generalisation.
    Indians, especially, seem to be horrible people to mock. They have absolutely no sense of respect for someone’s right to speech, and will pillage, destroy, burn or bash for any real or imagined slight.
    It just goes to prove that the concept of democracy in India is a ludicrously crude one where one can do anything if in the majority.
    If one Nepali had burnt a few shops in Mumbai or Delhi in protest, the cops would have roasted his butt in jail. When 2000 people do it, the administration supports their cause.
    I am sorry, Nita, that you, too, feel that calling someone a chowkidar is grounds for people to take umbrage.
    Being politically incorrect, it seems, is a major risk for one’s security in India, it seems!

  9. September 29, 2007 10:34 am

    One more thing to support my point:
    if you see how mercilessly the West pillories, mocks and insults their leaders, like George Bush, for example, you will see the civilisational differences with us.
    Can you imagine people in India writing in mainstream papers or talking on TV and calling their PM horrible names?
    If you read Western political humor, it is breathtakingly free, uncluttered, and proud. In India, one has to look over one’s shoulder to speak on ‘sensitive’ issues, which covers EVERYTHING EXCEPT US!

    Rambodoc, I wish I knew which remark against George Bush is racially insulting. Maybe Americans do use racial insults against white people on tv or radio, but as I don’t live there, I have no idea and am willing to be corrected.

  10. September 29, 2007 10:35 am

    Rambodoc, where have I said that violence is justified??? I am surprised at your assumption as you have been reading my posts on this issue about violence.
    I am totally against violence in any form. But yes, they have a right to peacefully protest…because this is a democracy!!!
    This post is about racial discrimination…my complete post focusses on that. I do feel that remark is a racial insult.

  11. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 29, 2007 11:36 am

    Rambodoc,

    There is a vast difference between exchanging ethnic jokes with friends (including those at the butt end of the joke) who know you well, and disseminating them in the media. The latter, whether you like it or not, becomes an inxecusable racial slur.

    There is also a difference between making a joke about your own kind of people (race, gender, caste, religion, whatever) and about others. There can be absolutely no comparison between the West pillorying its own leaders (just as we do ours) and someone picking crudely and tastelessly on an unfairly stereotyped and relatively defenceless minority.

  12. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 29, 2007 11:47 am

    Priyank,

    A United States of India would not be such a bad idea. Let us have a Federation of South Asian States, forming a strong economic union but out of each other’s hair for all other purposes. A major benefit of this would be that India will no longer be seen as a regional bully, and the SAARC idea would become more viable. And the defence budgets of India and Pakistan can be reappropriated for more developmentaal initiatives.

  13. September 29, 2007 11:51 am

    well that shows it…..we still need to grow up….and well what can the government do??i mean it can’t change people’s mind can it??

  14. September 29, 2007 12:30 pm

    Nita, Good to see this post! It attacks both Racism & violence.. Keep it up.

    Racism is worse in west too especially in UK n USA n Germany.. My innoscent friends suffered a lot when 9/11& related attack happened. and It was horrible to see few indians suffering in recent attack by mass in germany too.. This is serious global issue.. and it is been observed usually people respond to Racism with voilence.

    I see no better place on this planet which is safe from racial discrimination.

  15. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 29, 2007 12:33 pm

    Nil,

    // the term “gujjus” isn’t nearly as offensive as the racist garbage faced by hill people and North-Easteners. Gujaratis are well respected in India, and I’d probably expect some of them to join in with this resentment //.

    If an offensive term is used often enough, and the victim is made to feel petty, churlish or narrow-minded for taking offence (i.e. is browbeaten into submission) it does not take long for the term to become acceptable. That is the case with “Gujju”, “Ghati”, “Mallu” etc… all people in awe of the perpetrators of the abuse (admired for their condescending superiority, their ability to get away with unilaterally laying down the rules of the game called India, and a number of other things).

    // Here in Europe, we have an annual song contest called Eurovision–a major voting regulation is that public cannot vote for their own country, but for the others for giving points.//

    Apart from the fact that such voting is on an absolutely inconsequential matter (how many would remember the “best” song or its singer two years down the line?) I don’t see how a Eurovision-type regulation would work in India. It would mean that if I am a Bengali living in Bengal, I could not vote for a Bengali singer, but if I am a Bengali living in and voting from Rajasthan, I could.

    // … in recent years, Nothern and Western European countries have been coming bottom of the contests, as there’s been some alleged voting bias from former Eastern Bloc and Baltic states, so I guess those in Europe have been biased, as well.//

    Even in things that matter in the long run (such as, say, classical music, which endures for centuries) Europe is known to be quite partisan. You must be familiar with how the Poles are shrill in asserting the Polish identity of Chopin (Szopen in Polish) even though in most music-lovers’ minds he is closely associated with France. Recently the Alliance Francaise organised an India tour for a quartet performing “French Classical Music”. As one who is into the genre, I strongly feel it should have been “Western Classical Music by French Composers.” What the Alliance did was as ridiculous as it would be to label Mozart’s music as “Austrian Classical”, or Tchaikovsy’s as “Russian Classical.”

    I am not singling out Europe in giving this example. Even in Hindustani classical music you have partisan fans (Maharashtrians rooting for Maharashtrian musicians, Bengalis for Bengali musicians), but you have the whole wider country where serious music lovers admire the music for its own quality, not for the regional identity of the musician.

    // Clearly what that veejay said was a result of ignorance which breeds resentment.//

    It was not just ignorance; it was a combination of arrogance and ignorance, which is typical of most racist Indians’ attitudes towards the “lesser” Indians.

  16. September 29, 2007 12:46 pm

    Vishesh, you’re right, the society’s attitudes have to change, thats the main thing.

    Bharath, thanks.

    Vivek, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment. One thing I agree with you, while everyone is partisan to some degree, a true music lover will never be. but also where music is concerned I think familiarity matters too. For example I enjoy western music which I find is not very popular here in India nowadays. This is because when we were growing up most of the only pop and dance music we heard was western. today there is indipop too. this is a bit off-topic, but the indian music scene has now changed and gone beyond film and classical music.

  17. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 29, 2007 1:29 pm

    Nita,

    Your point is well taken but, as you yourself indicate, it is off-topic — considerably. My point was purely by way of illustration, taking off from Nil’s Eurovision example.

    I have a problem (a purely personal one, I’ll admit) with using the term “Western Music” for anything other than Art Music (more popularly known as Classical Music). In the realm of pop, rock etc. there has been so much internationalisation in the last 40-50 years that the term “Western” has lost significance.

  18. September 29, 2007 5:05 pm

    @ Rambodoc:

    “if you see how mercilessly the West pillories, mocks and insults their leaders, like George Bush, for example, you will see the civilisational differences with us. Can you imagine people in India writing in mainstream papers or talking on TV and calling their PM horrible names? If you read Western political humor, it is breathtakingly free, uncluttered, and proud. In India, one has to look over one’s shoulder to speak on ’sensitive’ issues, which covers EVERYTHING EXCEPT US!”

    I have to agree with you there. HOWEVER I should also point out that with the exception of Jon Stewart, and late night shows making jokes – not making direct remarks, just jokes – US media is remarkably mousy in their criticism of politicians.

    If you want to see politicians being pilloried, Britain is your man, er, country to consider.

    From ‘No job for a lady’ to a highly accurate ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes Prime Minister’ as torch-bearing political satire, to almost daily headlines, cartoons, caricatures in not just the broad-sheets and tabloids, but also papers like the Economist – and before you point out, yes it is a weekly but the website and blogs ARE updated daily – are common in the UK. Hardly anyone takes umbrage, as it is considered rite of passage. Any PR is better than no PR, is the principle.

    But I have to add that this incident is not about politicians. So it is a fallacious point to use in support of your argument. 8-)

    If you wanted to comment on the general SOH bypass in the Indian population, I am with you. A SOH requires amongst many things, quick wit, close engagement, timely articulation and a thick skin. I am not going to say any more than this for fear of inflaming the sentiments any further…

    @ Vivek: If you have followed Eurovision, or even read in the media about it, you will know that the erstwhile eastern bloc has been hijacking the show with tactical voting for some years now. With no chance of winning, the UK wonders if it is worth participating at all, except for its Punch and Judy value and its kitsch humour served up by Terry Wogan year on year.

    I do further doubt if the classical music example is suitable. I have not seen this Idol show but going by the Idol shows in the UK, I have to say it is like comparing pearls and pig’s ears.. Popular music is a product of marketing; the longevity alone of the many classical composers’ work is an example that their quality supercedes any need to market them actively..

    Additionally arguing that one is somehow free to make jokes about one’s own kind but not others is a bit beyond the pale. It is one step away from censorship as the new racial hatred incitement curbing laws in the UK are beginning to illustrate. Apparently now one can make jokes abotu anyone except the Jews and the Muslims. The easy fodder? The irish, the scots, the welsh, indian gujaratis, indian sikhs, indians in general, polish people and so on (note nobody dares makes fun on blacks either..). Where does this stop?

    Sense of humour is a great social lubricant and its advantages can be recounted better by those who suffer from its absence, because they find themselves repeatedly in socially awkward situations and slowly drop out of circulation and suffer isolation both in social and professional terms. Sadly that is how it works, fair or not..

    @ Nita: I think overall I have to say Indians do display a high propensity to being inflamed easily (I do not know if you followed the furore surrounding IHT’s Daniel Altman calling India a ‘client state’ of Japan) and then resorting to act and worse, argue emotively. That precludes any possibility of dialogue and debate..

    There has to be a sense of proportion about things. It is missing both in reporting and in the events being reported…

  19. September 29, 2007 6:32 pm

    Shefaly, thanks for your very balanced comment!
    I agree that a sense of humour is a wonderful thing to have for any society and also there is no denying that Indians have a thin skin…! But I must mention to you that in India also people make a lot of jokes on Sikhs.
    However I also think minorities in general have a thinner skin in India or anywhere in the world and I think thats natural.
    However, coming to the most important point, the RJ in question was not participating in a humour show or a comedy show!!!
    Also we have a lot of programmes on tv making fun of our politicians, and cyrus is one of them. but there are others too, in fact almsot every channel in India has a comedy show making fun of personalities. So I am a little confused…perhaps the westerners have better quality of progammes?
    But yes, Indians are an emotional people who get inflamed…hot blooded. Whether that is wrong or right, well its difficult for me to say. Thats how Indians are and perhaps they should become calmer and not get excited..!

  20. Nil permalink
    September 29, 2007 6:40 pm

    I dont think mocking and insulting George W Bush is quite the same as this, rambodoc. Bush is criticised for many things and has really nothing to do with his race.

    Try being in India when you don’t have the typical “Desi” look, if you’re from Nepal, Bhutan or a tribal from the North-East. They face racism everyday in every walk-of-life. Read Nita’s article about how NE Indians are treated–those ordinary, law abiding students are living in a horror movie the way many of them are treated in Delhi and elsewhere. All they came to do was get an education and uplift themselves yet their ethnicity is used against them, because of ignorance and stereotypes by mainlanders.

  21. September 29, 2007 7:40 pm

    @ Nita:

    Thanks. On politicians, I was only responding to Rambodoc’s comment. All western countries do not have the same level of tolerance; they have different no-go zones, different boundaries and so on. I did say that politics is different, ordinary people are different. As such the argument was not applicable really…

    For the rest of the comment, I must agree with @ Nil. Differences is what everyone tends to focus on…

    As a child and a teenager in Uttar Pradesh, I suffered for having coloured eyes and a very fair skin where this combination was an unusual thing. Of course as I attended schools in cantts, I knew many others have this combo – Nairs were fair skinned, Ko-Bra girls had coloured eyes and very fair skins, Konkani girls were often very fair too. But the general awareness amongst civil populations was much less. Oh man the staring!!

    Later a Zimbabwean Gujarati friend told me that in Zim, black people would often come and touch her skin to see how it was different. Now in that backdrop, staring seems almost welcome as an alternative…

    May be I frame prejudice in a kaleidoscopic perspective. I have lived in a total of 20 cities around 3 continents and I know it exists everywhere. Thick skin is usually a good idea. If one cannot develop this at home, where else would we have the chance? In countries where we are minorities? Fat chance of that happening, I can tell you :-)

    Thanks

  22. September 29, 2007 7:55 pm

    Playing a bit of devil’s advocate:

    If we deem that people who have a thin skin are flawed because they are “humorless”, and its really their fault, then we do have wierd view definition for humor – don’t we? So we cant be funny unless we make fun of somebody? And we want them to always “take it in the right spirit” and not get offended? Maybe we should try harder at this humor thing :) ?

    BTW, “political correctness” (a misnomer IMO) is indeed a good thing as it did root out offensive behavior that was “the norm” before. It is just that like many things it also got overplayed. But again the fundamental issue could be that most humans cannot laugh unless they laugh at others. And we play dumb and get puzzled when our jokes offend someone. We then compensate by continuing to find faults at them by concluding “they are thin skinned, they need to get a life, they are being gosh – politically correct”. Gives us a sense of satisfaction but we are still only stroking our ego as we continue to protect our turf. It is of course never our fault ;) .

    That is pretty much our extent of human evolution so far.

    PS: I said devil’s advocate because I do realize that most humor in the world is indeed at the expense of someone/something – and I myself enjoy a lot of it ;) (but not all)

  23. September 29, 2007 9:16 pm

    Arunk, what you said found resonance with me. I know people who make a lot of jokes at the expense of others, and generally are very humourless when jokes are made on them!
    Also, it is possible to have a fantastic sense of humour inspite of being thin-skinned! I personally know some…they are only thin-skinned about a certain aspect of their life or themselves…for example I know someone who has absolutely no sense of humour when it comes to driving but can usually laugh at other things…and so on. Some people are sensitive to race (if I was a minority I would be too!), some to some skill they have…
    I believe in do unto others as they would like you to do unto them….that is if you want any sort of relationship…because even the philosophy of do unto others as you would like others to do unto you is a selfish one.

  24. September 29, 2007 9:37 pm

    I had to look up the word ‘chowdikar’. How disparaging for a policeman to be lowered in estimation like that. I’m sure there are other connotations of the word in Indian society that I’m unaware of.

    This kind of racism used to be rampant in the US. Now it has beome more insidious. You have to look at the number of people from a certain ethnic background who are arrested, addicted to drugs, on welfare, or lacking proper healthcare.

    Here most people are too politically correct to say what they really think, so the racism goes underground. But it’s still there.

  25. September 29, 2007 9:39 pm

    Nita:

    I think a thin skin is a ‘flaw’ (note that ArunK used the word “flaw”, and nobody else had done before that) only to the extent that it hampers somebody’s social, professional, cognitive and emotional functioning.

    Those who seek public recognition – whether in politics or in music/ films/ modelling/ writing/ modelling – especially need to cultivate a thick skin not just a sense of humour, if they are to withstand – without going crazy – the constant dissection of all they do or say in the media. It makes all the difference between becoming a legend or remaining a one-hit wonder…

    As for jokes, I think the vector points the other way: if you cannot take jokes made about you, then do not make jokes about others.

    Jokes can be turned to one’s advantage too. In many situations.

    My navigational skills are often the source of great mirth in my family. I start watching the scenery and forget to watch the signs. Next thing, I find we are in Wales instead of Oxford!

    So now when we embark on a journey, I ask everyone if they wish to get lost. If the chorus is ‘no’, I say ‘oh well then one of you has to navigate and if we still get lost and you want to blame someone, you know I am your girl, very reliable, always here to be blamed!’ I am also motion-sick so I get an anti-emetic and go to sleep instead.

    Now I could jump up and down and be very ill-tempered about it, but I choose a way that makes everyone laugh out aloud and lose the stress instead.

    As I said in an earlier note, SOH requires simultaneous deployment of a quick wit, close engagement with the matter at hand, timely – and snappy – articulation and a thick skin. Not all easily learnt skills, but in the interest of sanity and peace, it is worth a try.

    Don’t you agree?

  26. September 29, 2007 10:00 pm

    Shefaly, a most apt reply and I cannot help but agree! But I am sure there’s something you are sensitive about! Isn’t everybody? But you don’t have to tell me about it… ;)
    But yes ofcourse one can learn to manage this too….

  27. September 29, 2007 10:08 pm

    Hi Mariacristina, nice to have you back. :)
    Yes you are right the word has an undertone, particularly the word ‘gurkha’ (which is used synonmously with chowkidar) and it is used to refer to people of a particular community and its the way it is used that can be very insulting.

  28. September 29, 2007 11:03 pm

    “Rambodoc, I wish I knew which remark against George Bush is racially insulting. Maybe Americans do use racial insults against white people on tv …”

    Nita,
    What is so special about a racial insult?
    A person should have the right to say anything offensive. It is up to the recepient to decide whether he wants to hear it, and how to respond, and indeed, whether to respond at all.
    What about religious jokes? We hear about them all the time (the 72 virgins of the Muslim terrorist is one example). Ethnic jokes are common all over the world, too.
    Now, to the point that this was NOT a humor program, I will say “so what?”.
    The racial or ethnic stereotype was not very insulting, in my book. However, I am prepared to admit that I am congenitally thick-skinned, and the whole world considers it intolerable. Fine, just don’t tune into the program then. Don’t burn private and public property like mindless animals …..
    But this politically correct mentality is (are you reading this, Arunk?) still a major stumbling block to free thinking and free speech. An example would be not being able to call a black man a black man. It is ludicrous. ‘Colored’, ‘African-American’, and soon, something else…rubbish! A black man is a black man…can’t they see that??

  29. September 30, 2007 12:31 am

    Rambodoc, Political correctness often draws lines…what happens is that without those lines there is no limit to what goes and what doesn’t. The word ‘black’ may not be offensive but the next word is and can be… a line has to be drawn somewhere. Usually its drawn in such a way as to be safe…sure there are disadvantages to that…but if society feel comfortable with it and it create less tension in society and communities which don’t generally mix too well manage to keep that distance, hypocritical though it may be, at least daggers are not drawn. Because we are talking about strangers after all, not good friends, if someone is a good friend, he can say anything and get away with it. With strangers, lines have to be drawn for the sake of the larger good. We have to live together, even though all of us cannot respect the other.
    but anyway, I realise that we will never agree even though we argue forever…I am sure you will agree with that too. Our thinking is poles apart.
    But let me repeat, I am against all violence, including verbal violence. And I guess I am repeating this, but have to as you brought up the point again, nowhere have I condoned violence, not in this post and nor anywhere on this blog.

  30. September 30, 2007 1:26 am

    “Political correctness often draws lines…”

    Nita: Yes it does, usually at the expense of growth and progress. You probably know that eugenics was a full fledged area of research prior to WW II. After years of pussy-footing around, we have lost the chance to understand why certain ethnic groups are pre-disposed to certain diseases (Jews to Tay Sachs, Africans to small sickle cell anemia, Asians known for lactose intolerance/ metabolic syndrome/ cardiac problems).

    Too much political correctness also inhibits discussion. It makes thoughts and questions simmer and seethe, not get an outing and an answer.

    PC-ness also divides people. How is it that blacks can call themselves Nigger but guns come out if someone else mutters it (J Lo sang in a song, and people were upset but appeased by the fact that she had dated P Diddy at a time)? Words like nitty-gritty first used on slave ships gets knickers in a twist in the UK. Where does this stop?

    I am tempted to quote an Eagles song: Get Over It

    (Part of the words: It’s got to stop sometime, so you might as well quit, get over it… :-)

    But my favourite bit is this: I want to find your inner child and kick its little a**, get over it…)

    Sometimes we need songs to air what we feel, no? :-)

  31. September 30, 2007 7:43 am

    Shefaly, too much of anything is bad! The right thing is to find a balance, but to dismiss is not the answer! To say that political correctness isn’t correct is far too general and polarized a statement for me to swallow.
    I understand perfectly why blacks can call themselves nigger but do not like it if others do.
    Let me repeat something I have said before and other commentators have also said. Its the tone!! Its the lack of respect with which the term is used…such words are usually used to insult and humilate, not to have an intellectual discussion! Sure, at time a free thought might get squashed, but in my opinion, lets leave such words out of the public domain. Lets leave racial insults out of the public domain, which means tv and radio which reach masses of people!! Who is going to sit and analyze whether a certain word like black or nigger is used in a friendly manner or in an insulting way? Frankly I think such words stink, because the African Americans find them insulting. And because most people who use them do not respect African Americans, thats for sure. People who use them may also not respect African Americans but they are not stating their hostility straight off. And we live in a civilized society, thats why we do that.
    Every society has to have certain rules of civilized behavior, and the right thing to do is to find a balance! If a racial insult on tv can cause such a furore, if more people did it, can you imagine what will happen? To say that people should develop a sense of humour, get a life, change their very nature to becoming calm is fine in theory…but what happens on the ground??
    I have always been a very practical person, and in fact most of my opinions reflect that. Ideals are fine in theory…but don’t work in practice. My post on Ram Setu too was on similar lines.
    People get hurt!!!
    Thats the fact of life. Why not do a complete change in human genes, their social conditioning and upbringing, study peoples who manage to live perfectly peaceful lives without political correctness and get our people to behave like that first? Just to say hey you are idiots with no sense of humour and you have no right to get hurt doesn’t work to quell their anger!

  32. amit permalink
    September 30, 2007 10:14 am

    Another factor to consider is whether the airwaves being used for any such comments are public or private. If public, then people have a right to discuss, debate and decide what is appropriate/acceptable and what’s not.

    Agree with you there Amit, good to discuss what is appropriate and what is not, and as you rightly said in the public domain so it creates awareness of the issues, and removes ignorance – Nita.

  33. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 30, 2007 1:53 pm

    Shefaly,

    //… eugenics was a full fledged area of research prior to WW II. After years of pussy-footing around, we have lost the chance to understand why certain ethnic groups are pre-disposed to certain diseases …//

    Eugenics got a bad name because of its horrifying applications in Nazi Germany by Josef Mengele, with the full blessings of Hitler and his coterie, to carry out some of the most inhuman experiments in the modern history of the life sciences.

    And yet, despite the discipline having gone into disrepute by the end of the 1930s, the Cambridge journal, “Annals of Eugenics” enjoyed very high prestige until the late 1940s. In 1944 it carried DD Kosambi’s one-off paper “The Estimation of Map Distance from Recombination Values”, which is still cited more than 60 years after its publication. In 1947, by which time the last nail on the coffin of Nazi Germany had been driven home, the journal carried another Kosambi paper, “An Extension of the Last-squares Method of Statistical Estimation”. These two associations with the journal did not in any way compromise Kosambi’s prestige, because his ideological leanings and integrity were well-known.

    But the journal itself, under pressure to conform with notions of political correctness, and is now published by Blackwell as “Annals of Human Genetics”.

    Your concern about the demise of Eugenics is ill-founded. It continues under a new name, and shorn of the Nazi association, it enjoys renewed prestige.

  34. Pradeep permalink
    September 30, 2007 1:54 pm

    I believe Nita knows how many times we have talked about racism in India. Heres a link http://nitawriter.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/how-does-india-treat-the-north-easterners/#comment-34360

    In one of her comments Nita says that even the people from the North East must reach out to the “main land Indians”..i believe Nita got her answer now. Lets me quote spiderman, ” with great power comes great responsibilities”, the RJ perhaps did not know that. But what he said on air, comes from his heart and the hearts of million of main land Indians.
    I am a Nepalese from Darjeeling, living in Kathmandu, and i respect Prashant Tamang because he is proud of being a Nepali and an Indian. He dared to dream and brought together Nepalis all over the world and raised our heads high.
    But incidents like these are so common in India. Remember the “Hritik Roshan” incident and the “Gharwali Baharwali” movie.
    You see..we have fundamental rights..freedom of speech, expression..but with that we also have our fundamental duties. the RJ and the station must be sued and punished..I’m gonna collect all my journalist friends out here and make sure, this thing does not settle down until the man is penalised.

  35. September 30, 2007 2:07 pm

    @ Nita:

    Balance is that elusive goal we all have. At a population level, it takes laws which in India and elsewhere are toothless. At an individual level, it takes conviction to stand up to things, to other people, to one’s ‘community’.

    To see an example of how political correctness can slowly destroy a society, do please read this story fully. Blackburn is an Asian majority constituency and their MP is now the Chancellor of the Exchequer. See what minorities can get away with too, if PC-ness prevents action in law enforcement:

    timesonline.co.uk

    Society can die a slow death in the pall of PC-ness. It is most evident in race differences of course, but as they say a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. I think few in India are keen to learn without committing their own mistakes.

    Thanks.

  36. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 30, 2007 4:51 pm

    Shefaly,

    After my previous post, I looked up “Eugenics” on the net. It seems to have raised eyebrows long before the Nazis patronised it. See the very interesting essay by G K Chesterton (1922), “Eugenics and Other Evils”. It is in the public domain and available on the net.

  37. September 30, 2007 4:51 pm

    Pradeep,
    You see..we have fundamental rights..freedom of speech, expression..but with that we also have our fundamental duties. the RJ and the station must be sued and punished..I’m gonna collect all my journalist friends out here and make sure, this thing does not settle down until the man is penalised.”

    Well, wonderful!
    What, pray, are the fundamental duties the RJ has not fulfilled? The duty to keep you happy and unruffled?
    If he actually thinks all Patels are shopkeepers or cabbies, or all Nepalis are Gurkhas or sherpas, is he not supposed to have the right to speak out?
    If your culture is so great that you are proud of it, why are you so vulnerable to getting upset by a casual and unintentional remark?
    Nita,
    I did not misunderstand you. I only remarked that you shouldn’t block a person’s right to speech, even if it is not politically correct.
    Sorry for the incomplete reply. Lost a whole comment just now after typing, and am on a public computer not in India.
    Sorry to all of you who responded to my initial comment for not being able to respond individually.

  38. Nil permalink
    September 30, 2007 5:25 pm

    Rambdoc, I must ask you, where are you from? Surely you’d feel offended if someone denigrated and stereotyped your people. What that guy said is more than a “casual and unintentional remark” if you consider the crap Nepalis and North Easteners are subjected to in particularly northern India. Freedom of expression is all well and good, but when the interests of equality and potential hate speech outweigh free speech, the latter is more vital to protect. That isn’t being politically correct if it’s done within reason! Politically correct madness is the Indian government’s recent inefficiency to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks like in Hyderabad.

    The Gujju Patel “shopkeeper” or “stingy” stereotype is one used as a joke, which doesn’t hurt anyone. Like I said in my earlier post, Gujaratis, as with other “mainstream” groups in India have jokes about each other, but it’s NEVER used to actively discriminate against each other. This is what people of the North-East have to put up with everyday in the big metros of India, as they’re seen as “outsiders” and are mocked for their Oriental looks and their women are stereotyped as sexually promiscuous. A similar sentiment is felt by Nepalis. Read Nita’s article about racism faced by North-Easterners.

    How ironic that Indians in India protested about the treatment of Shilpa Shetty in Britain, yet they’re just as, if not more guilty of racism within their own country. That’s hypocrisy on their part!

  39. September 30, 2007 7:26 pm

    Shefaly, that article was certainly interesting, but I could not connect it to the situation at hand…
    Also, I really do not think we have any kind of PC ness in India. That is the problem!!! That is what I am trying to address! People here say just about anything. Racial and religious insults are common and people are not punished. Seeing it from a place where pc’sness has already reached a particular level is something I fail to understand.
    Even if we achieved 25% percent of the pc’s ness out there in western countries I would be very very happy! It would be victory of sorts in India!
    pc’ness carried to an extreme is bad, not pc’nsess itself..but I guess I am repeating myself!
    Also, thanks to all of you who are commenting here! Pradeep and Nil thanks very much from speaking from the point of view of the community which is discriminated against. I can empathize with your views completely…

  40. September 30, 2007 10:01 pm

    I guess Rambo-doc is Punjabi…

    Nita, You shouldn’t block people’s remarks here too.. he he…

    Bharath, thankfully, people on this thread have been pretty civlized…unlike the north india south india thread. I don’t know why but i am relieved that I do not have to block comments which abuse other commentators! I think that perhaps there are more mature people on this thread. :) Good, so we can actually discuss something in an intelligent manner! – Nita.

  41. September 30, 2007 11:27 pm

    Nil,
    Like Bharath said, I am a Punjabi, though not your typical tubanned one! You said: “Surely you’d feel offended if someone denigrated and stereotyped your people.”

    I certainly don’t identify with any collectivist sterotypes of race, religion, skin color, etc.
    I believe each individual is part of one collective: humanity, and one religion: integrity and adherence to rational values. So, no Nepalis or Gujjus or Jews count for me….these are all entities that are used to submerge individual identity. No ‘Us’ or ‘Them’ syndromes affect me. :-)

  42. September 30, 2007 11:44 pm

    At a personal level, I do agree with what Voltaire said about freedom of speech: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    So that’s one point – something all societies should strive towards, because freedom of speech is a very valuable right for all. Think of a dictatorship where any critical voice is silenced, or people killed for raising dissent.

    The second point is: how I say what I say. While it is well and good to have freedom of speech, words are powerful and can hurt as well as heal. So, it is important to consider them. Personally, I wouldn’t want to live in a society where everyone uses abusive and disrespectful language towards others citing freedom of speech. But I don’t want to live in a society where political correctness makes people not discuss an issue because it will hurt someone – but clearly, that’s not the case here – insulting someone on radio. So a balance between the two is desirable.

    Third point: who owns the airwaves and the media where a remark is made. If it is tax-payer’s money that funded it, then the public has a right to decide what is appropriate. If it is a private radio, they can say anything, but they still have certain rules that limit what can be said – it’s not a free-for-all situation.

    While the scientists tell me that my (non-existent) wife is made of quarks and electrons and protons etc., so if someone says anything disrespectful towards her or insults her, I should be fine because hey, she’s just a bunch of sub-atomic particles. So why should I care what others say about her? But you can do a similar thought experiment yourself and see how you will feel if someone insults your wife or husband. So, that’s another point to keep in mind.

    Anyone who argues the case only using one point while disregarding rest of them is not looking at the complete picture.

  43. October 1, 2007 1:07 am

    Doc, but isn’t “integrity and adherence to rational values” already a collective that you identify with, and that is your “Us” with the rest “Them”? :)

    And who gets to define what is “rational”? From what I’ve read, there’s hardly a consensus or agreement among the intelligentsia and philosophers over Ayn Rand’s theories, and there is plenty of criticism too. I also don’t think that ignoring/dismissing the emotional part of us humans is very rational.

  44. Pradeep permalink
    October 1, 2007 11:16 am

    Rambodoc must know that the persecution of the Jews began after the Nazis labeled them as misers with big noses and a no good race. See all problems start with racism issues. You cannot hurt people’s sentiments and that is our “fundamental duty”. Secondly you should know that more Nepalis are in the Army..the “gorkha regiment”..than chowkidars. So why does the RJ does not speak of prashant and the Nepalese as soldiers in the Gorkha regiment. It was because then..it would not be derogatory or funny.
    Hell, the gorkha regiment has won Victoria Crosses and Bravery honors for their gallantry in war. They were the ones who saved the day for the British at Falkland, against Japan at Burma and Kohima in WW II and against the Chinese in the 1962 war. Even in Kargil. I’ve seen Nepalese soldiers die in Kashmir and brought back home to Darjeeling amidst honor and shouts of anti terrorism.
    So why are we considered just chowkidars and inflicted by racial slurs. Kanchas, bahadurs, chinkis..and our women trafficked..teased and considered easy. We are proud of who we are, not as Chowkidars, Gurkhas, but as the braves trusted by the Indian Army and the British Governance. So when you drink your cup of tea in the morning or in the evening, remember that it was not a Kancha or a Gurkha or some easy/fast woman who plucked those tea leaves for you..it was done by the proud hardworking hands of a Nepalese in Darjeeling.

  45. October 1, 2007 12:00 pm

    Pradeep, your comment moved me greatly.
    Today thankfully there was an article in the TOI written by someone called Santosh Desai, about how the rest of India marginalizes the north-easterners, and I was glad that such an article appeared in a mainstream newspaper. It also said that the remark by the RJ was moronic, stupid and racist and uncalled for, all of which I agree with.
    Nothing disgusts me more than racial comments. I agree with you that people who make such comments should be punished.
    Also you made a good point about cultural stereotypes not being true. That is exactly what I am trying to say! To stereotype people on the basis of occupations is an unacceptable thing to do and it reminds me of our sick and disgusting caste system.
    I think its time India woke up and laid out punishments for those who use racial stereotypes based on ignorance and prejuduce, particularly stereotypes based on occupation. Such things are usually used to demean people of particular races.

  46. October 1, 2007 12:39 pm

    Amit, thanks for that balanced comment.
    That point you made about what is rationality is interesting. I have pondered over that after the Ram Setu issue. I always believed myself to be a rational human being but the arguments of the rationalists did not cut ice with me.
    So my conclusion was that being down to earth and seeing reality is the rational thing to do, whether that reality is desirable or not. One can try and change the reality…thats a different issue. But to sneer at it or roughshod it will not change the reality…because if changing the undesirable reality is the objective of the rationalists, then roughshodding or turning up their noses at it will not take them nearer to their goal.

  47. Pradeep permalink
    October 1, 2007 2:34 pm

    Thanks to Nita and all those people who want to see India become civilized first and modern afterwards. You all rock !!! Long live the vision of an unbiased Indian society..

  48. October 1, 2007 7:12 pm

    Slight correction to my post where I quoted Voltaire, though the statement still gets my support, no matter who said it. According to wiki:

    The most oft-cited Voltaire quotation is apocryphal. He is incorrectly credited with the quote “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” These were not his words but instead were written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall (under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre), in her 1906 biographical book The Friends of Voltaire. Hall intended to summarize in her own words Voltaire’s attitude towards Claude Adrien Helvétius and his controversial book De l’esprit, but her first-person expression was mistaken for an actual quotation from Voltaire.

  49. October 2, 2007 3:51 pm

    Nita,
    If you permit me, I will offer an argument one final time, considering that one should not pick up virtual fights in blogs, especially with the owners…:-)

    Pradeep,
    The issue was never the contribution of the Nepalis. Everyone must know it, surely.
    The issue is, whether someone has the right to offend you, or a million other Nepalis or not. As Amit said, if you aren’t paying for his salary (one way or the other), it is his right to speak his mind, however unsavory it may be.
    Freedoms like speech have to be, in context, absolute. Otherwise, someone or the other will decide what is permissible to speak and what is not. That is the essence of a totalitarian system.
    Changing the parameters of an argument by pitching an emotionally charged ball will not help you, my friend. Nita has fallen for it, but not I ! (sorry, Nita! :-))

    Amit, your question is a relativist one, like:
    What is reason?
    What is reality
    How do you know anything?
    This forum would be inappropriate to discuss the philosophy of Objectivism. There are many Objectivist blogs where this would be better achieved.
    However, in short, reason is the verifiable means of using your mind (with all its sense organs giving it feedback) to live and act in response to reality. The ultimate arbiter of any rationale being true or false would be reality, and the proven facts and premises in life. For example, you could attach a pair of wings and say that you can fly out of the tenth floor, giving a hundred mathematical formulas and claiming to be completely rationale and scientific. Only when you land with a thud will your claim be demolished. Or else, you would have to rely on existing knowledge of such claims, and then accept it.
    Disclaimer: I am not speaking for the Objectivist school of thought. These are merely my own views and quasi-definitions.

  50. October 2, 2007 4:44 pm

    well Rambodoc don’t worry you aren’t picking a fight. you always write politely, so there is no question of it.
    Answering just one section of your comment…I certainly agree with your defintion of reality but I have realised (from reading some blogs, coz I have certainly never read a book on it) many people who think they are being objective are to my mind denying reality.
    Reality is not absolute, like a principle …it is to be applied to situations. I am but an ordinary woman but I pride myself on seeing reality…and for me emotion too is a reality. it may not be desirable as our great hindu philosophies keep trying to tell us, but it exists and we have to work with it. I am not saying I am perfect and at times do get carried away by emotion, but I try to achieve the balance, I try to see the reality. I try to correct myself. I am sure you have seen the evidence in my posts… :) Raving and ranting is not my style, not in real life and not on my blog.
    Are you sure you see reality? You get carried away by concepts….thats going in the opposite direction of reality.

  51. October 2, 2007 6:28 pm

    Rambodoc:

    Inherent and unquestioned in pure rationality and reason are the individual’s motives. They are taken as given and not questioned. That does not however mean that they should or can not be questioned. ‘Reality’ as perceived by a rationalist is thus subject to his motives and biases, and as such that is only phenomenological.

    Rationality and reason assume a priori knowledge. So in your example of flying with wings attached, a priori knowledge would show a ‘reasonable’ man that it is not going to work. The person is probably working in a realm different from reality – which could be either (a) possibility which is a legitimate motive and endeavour or (b) non-existence/ denial of physical laws which makes others wonder which of his senses (or rather which bit of his brain!) is not working properly.

    You are arguing for the definition of reality from an objectivist point of view whereas I think Amit’s question was broader and ontological.

    Sorry, Nita. I won’t make any more comments on this thread, promise. :-)

    I don’t know why you have to promise that! – Nita

  52. October 2, 2007 11:18 pm

    Doc, by the same token, if some people do take offense at someone’s words, they also have a freedom-of-speech right to protest peacefully and make their views known – that they felt insulted by a particular remark. What no one has a right is to resort to violence and destroy property or life in the process. To insult people and then tell them that they should develop a thick skin is unreasonable and goes against the knowledge of human behavior, IMO.

    Also, I am not going to read any books on objectivism, any more than I’d tell you to go read the books that shaped my thinking and outlook on the world and life. It’s not much different than someone saying “go read Quran/Gita/Bible to see the Truth that I’m talking about” – condescending. I have read “The Fountainhead” which I liked, and I have read about the personal life of Ayn Rand and other essays (one by MIchael Shermer), including criticisms of her theories, and that is enough for me to not read any more of her works or blindly accept her theories as the only truth. Even her followers have difficulty agreeing on the “objective” truth, which is a bit ironic. ;)

    I do believe in personal freedom and less government, but I do not agree that corporations should have a 100% free hand (facts – lying, bad track-record when it comes to safety issues, and causing harm which have little or nothing to do with regulations), so we are always going to have a different take on issues, which is fine. :)

    No matter what ideology or beliefs we are coming from (and no ideology ever gives the complete picture – it’s simply one point-of-view). Ultimately, the rational thing is the facts on the ground, and the emotional behavior of people is a fact that cannot be ignored – different from justifying or agreeing to it. Besides, social changes in general take a few generations to come about.

    And no, you are not picking fights, and I enjoy reading your view-point. But it is just one among many view-points out there, just like mine is, or Arun’s or Nita’s or Shefaly’s, or Prax’s. Sometimes I agree with you, and at other times, I don’t. :)

  53. Pradeep permalink
    October 3, 2007 10:52 am

    The only reality is see is what happens everyday on the streets of Delhi or elsewhere in the metros to the Nepalese or the NE people. Only this time, it was on air. One should understand, that the protest march in Siliguri was never meant to be violent.
    Secondly, you will never understand problems like these unless you are a Nepali or a person from NE. We have this thing called “Identity crisis”..a result of which was the “Gorkhaland movement” between 1986 to 88. If the RJ had a right to slanders, we surely do have a right to protest. Because honestly, people like the RJ will never restrain their racist minds and we will never stop protesting. And yeah, we do talk about Ayn Rand, objectivism or the voice of reason, but when our identities are attacked, we come out of our libraries and our pedantic illusions.
    We as Nepalese have contributed a lot to this great country, yet somehow we do not get the respect we deserve. It is not about just the comment of the RJ, it is about a greater truth, a truth that we live in a society of racists.
    Now i dont say that the Nepalese dont work as chowkidars..they do. But prashant isn’t one. He is a Policeman and the Indian Idol. Just like some Muslims are terrorists and some aren’t. But if the RJ says that Salman Khan is the terrorist of Bollywood, would it be the same thing? Some of you will be horrified with this comment. If you are..then you understand what i am talking about.

  54. October 3, 2007 12:48 pm

    Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, but it is not absolute, and cannot be used to justify violence, slander, libel, subversion, or obscenity. Consolidated democracies generally require a high degree of threat in order to justify banning speech which may incite violence, untruthfully harm the reputation of others, overthrow a constitutional government, or promote lewd behavior. Most democracies also forbid speech that incites racial or ethnic violence.

    Taken from P r i n c i p l e s o f D e m o c r a c y

  55. October 3, 2007 1:00 pm

    Pradeep, thanks for your response. Yes, its time that we acknowledged prejudices and tried to nip them in the bud. Unfortunately some people are not exposed to racism at all and therefore cannot understand it.

    Bharath, agree with you wholeheartedly. A free society has to protects the rights of all. No one should be allowed to insult another in the name of ‘free’ speech. Not in a civilized democratic society. True, as Rambodoc pointed out, someone will have to decide what is correct and incorrect and sometimes they may err, but this does not mean that there should be no regulations at all. As long as its a democracy the makers of the rules are answerable to the public and they have to justify what they have laid down. I think in developed democratic countries they have already arrived at some kind of consensus on this issue and we should learn from their experience. Take what is relevant and apply it to our situation.
    btw, thanks for the link. :)

    Like you said Amit, “To insult people and then tell them that they should develop a thick skin is unreasonable…’

  56. October 3, 2007 5:04 pm

    “To insult people and then tell them that they should develop a thick skin is unreasonable and goes against the knowledge of human behavior, IMO.”

    Nita, Amit…
    Which humans are you talking about?If you are talking about the Asian communities that react so violently, yes, I agree. Otherwise, I find nothing inherently offensive, and even if I did, I wouldn’t think it my birthright to burn vehicles and ban the radio station.
    Anyhow, I submit this disagreement, and don’t mean to prolong this debate.

  57. October 3, 2007 6:14 pm

    Hey RamboDoc,

    Lol.. :)) We are talking about present situation in India.. I guess you have hangover of west!!

  58. October 3, 2007 8:14 pm

    I wouldn’t think it my birthright to burn vehicles and ban the radio station.

    And that’s exactly what I said : “What no one has a right is to resort to violence and destroy property or life in the process.”

  59. October 3, 2007 8:49 pm

    If he actually thinks all Patels are shopkeepers or cabbies, or all Nepalis are Gurkhas or sherpas, is he not supposed to have the right to speak out?

    Sure he has the right to speak his mind all he wants, including all his prejudiced and ignorant views – in the privacy of his living room, or on his private property. I could care less. :)
    But if he is using tax-funded airwaves and speaking in public, then certain restrictions apply.

  60. October 4, 2007 10:13 am

    hahahaha am from darjeeling ….. but one thing for sure – if the rj comes to any of the hill-stations like darjeeling kalimpong kurseong mirik , Gangtok jorethang or even his family members , then god bless them and him

  61. Pradeep permalink
    October 4, 2007 3:18 pm

    See what Rambodoc writes,
    “Which humans are you talking about?If you are talking about the Asian communities that react so violently, yes, I agree ”
    He uses the words “Asian Communities. Sir, dont forget the problems of racism in Zimbabwe, South Africa other parts of Africa, the KKK, Nazis, the Rodney King Riots, football world cup 2006, when an Indian, Cuban and a Turk were beaten up by Germans. I can give you thousands of instances where this has happened in the west. When you used words like Asian communities, for once i thought you yourself are a Racist. Because the west get violent too, if you just take your eyes off the blondes and hollywood. Racism is a big issue everywhere and people get violent leading to mass hysteria sometimes. So inorder to keep thousands quiet, wouldn’t it have been better if the RJ had shut up. We understand that in Delhi or elsewhere people discriminate us, just dont make it apparant to us on air. Believe me..most Nepalis are oblivious to how people in the rest of India discriminate us. And its better they not know. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

  62. joel suantak permalink
    November 30, 2007 2:10 pm

    no bond is stronger than blood in the soil of india….
    you cannot look away from where you begin but it happen and now the truth is being revealed gradually.look yourself in the mirror see if you ve got a chinky eyes then remember every time an indian(vast plain) sees you he is reminded of the 1962 humilliating defeat and would try to do anything to avenge.but if you have a big round eyes with a not so plesant odour then be happy you re indian.tiz is words of wisdom.

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