Friday, May 23, 2008

Raj Thackeray's Vision of Paradise

Feneck Mgawa, a 39-year-old mechanic from Malawi, came to South Africa 18 months ago. He owned a box of tools and got work right away, living modestly in a hovel in a squatter’s camp and sending cash home each month to his wife and two children.

He was exactly the kind of foreigner the hateful mob wanted to kill.

Last weekend, the marauders came to his shack and looked him over. Just to be sure they were not misdirecting their rage, they asked, “Are you a foreigner?” He spoke enough Zulu to lie, but what was the use? His accent would have given him away. He escaped with his life only after being beaten with sticks and pelted with rocks, he said.

Mr. Mgawa is now one of 6,000 immigrants displaced in recent days by xenophobic violence here in Reiger Park, just east of Johannesburg. Like many of the others, he is afraid to return to his shack or go to his job. He sleeps on the floor of a church and eats sandwiches and porridge donated by South Africans who are appalled at the murderous behavior of their countrymen. More from NY Times

They could well be talking of Bombay. Ten years of peace since 1992 is causing an annoying itch in some crotches. Unfortunately, we are more than willing to lend our scratching services to such "leaders", deliberately deluded that the growing xenophobia in all parts of India will somehow benefit us....

Welcome to Fool's Paradise. Mr.Thackeray and Mr.Gowda will be your hosts for the evening. Enjoy your Porridge and Bread.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Free Labor > Free Tibet

It was a pity that nations and societies that lend lip service to justice and freedom took ultimate pains to ensure that Tibetan protests were quelled during the Torch Run. Nations that overun sovereign states in the name of "freeing" their people (weren't they happier without the daily bomb blasts?), chose to believe China's assurances on human rights being preserved. Oops, did we just knock that monk over the cliff?

Whether it is the village landlord, galli ka gunda or diplomacy, the bottomline stays the same. Respect is not earned, but bought. Either with fear or with cash. China is extremely important to all global economies at this time. China allows everyone to "cut costs" and "stay competitive"-- and sell to their burgeoning middle class. India could learn this from China, how to take its own "size" seriously-- and refuse to take bu**sh** from kindergarten Presidents about her food habits!

In the calculation of morals and ethics, it appears that Free Labor has greater value than a Free Tibet.

Enjoy your triathlons!