ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM, A WESTERN VIEW

The following is from a speech by Geert Wilders, Chairman, Party for Freedom, the Netherlands, at the Four Seasons, New York, introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem. I have received it as an email forward. It is reproduced here without any alterations other than changing American spelling to English. Though I do not fully endorse Mr. Wilder’s views, they could do with some serious pondering.

AMERICA AS THE LAST MAN STANDING

Geert Wilders

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for inviting me.

I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, might soon be facing an Islamic Europe.

First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe. Then, I will say a few things about Islam. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem.

The Europe you know is changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration.

All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It’s the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead, with Mosques on many street corners. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city.

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe, with larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam, Marseille and Malmo in Sweden. In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighbourhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities.

In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims.

Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear ‘whore, whore’. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin.

In France, school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin. The history of the Holocaust can no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity.

In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighbourhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, because he was drinking during the Ramadan.

Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel. I could go on forever with stories like this, stories about Islamization.

A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe. San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.

Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Centre reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favour of a worldwide Caliphate. Muslims demand what they call ‘respect’. And this is how we give them respect. We have Muslim official state holidays.

The Christian-Democratic attorney general is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey.

Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behaviour, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieues*. I call the perpetrators ‘settlers’, because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies; they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.

Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighbourhoods, their cities, their countries. Moreover, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.

The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Gandhi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a paedophile, and had several marriages – at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.

Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a God, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means ‘submission’. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.

Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam ‘the most retrograde force in the world’, and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Koran. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel. First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz; second because it is a democracy and third because Israel is our first line of defence.

This tiny country is situated on the fault line of Jihad, frustrating Islam’s territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of Jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is Jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lie awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favour of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behaviour and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as ‘right-wing extremists’ or ‘racists’. In my country, the Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II and another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat. Yet there is a greater danger than the danger of terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America – as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem.

Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe, American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe‘s children in the same state in which it was offered to us.

We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so. We have to take the necessary action now to stop this Islamic stupidity from destroying the free world that we know it. Thank you. (Speech concluded..)

*Banlieue: French, roughly translated as ‘suburbs with low income apartments and social housing’

Note: The visual media in India was heavily censored while reporting the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, mainly to arrest anti-Islamic sentiments. Dan Reed has produced a 30 minute documentary ‘Terror in Mumbai’, telling the true story through the surviving victims, policemen, the captured terrorist and the Holy Islamic Crime Commanders themselves. After watching this clip, the exact mindset of the men behind holy jihads becomes crystal clear. This applies to the whole world, not just India.

http://europenews.dk/en/node/24746

Please pass this link on to every Indian, every human being you know. Watch it when you have time to spare and time to think. It is also highly recommended for all advocates of ‘Innocence of Pakistan’. No other nation or people in the world has fallen to such low levels.

Now what do we drink on a hot summer day? :)

Now what do we drink on a hot summer day? 🙂

An update: Geert Wilders appeared in a Dutch court on 20/01/2010. He was charged with inciting racial discrimination and hatred. These were partly related to his much talked about film “Fitna” about Islam. Hauling this man up before court was made possible by a mechanism called ‘Democracy’, which majority of his critics are not familiar with or want to do away with. If found guilty, Wilders faces up to two years in prison and a fine of about $27,000 for each charge. “Fitna” can be viewed on line. More details can be had at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitna_(film)

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THE BEAR, THE PANDA AND THE TIGER TALK BULL

Sergei Lavrov, S.M. Krishna and Yang Jiechi (left to right)

The RIC Triumvirate

On Tuesday the 27th of October 2009, S.M. Krishna, Yang Jiechi and Sergei Lavrov had a tripartite meeting at Bangalore, India. The gentlemen mentioned are Foreign Affairs ministers, respectively of India, China and Russia. The meeting itself was given the fancy name ‘RIC’ for Russia, India and China. ‘RIC’ represents 20% of our earth’s land mass and 39% of global population. (If you remove Russia from that group, it might be something like 10% of land mass and 35% of global population. Would have sounded more impressive, eh?)
 
Soon after the meeting, not satisfied with all the constructive and positive matters they had agreed on, an elaborate press conference was called. This exercise was to illuminate the nobility of their joint exercise to the dumb voting masses in India and their counterparts in Russia and China. Here, with a great measure of certainty, please let it be added that my Sino and Russian brothers haven’t had a good look at the ballot box in an awfully long time. 

The key points agreed upon at the meeting were-

  • A joint effort to act firmly against international terrorism, adhering  to UN protocol
  • Cooperation in the fields of chemicals, energy, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, curbing of global warming and international trade
  • Evaluating recent international developments
  • Holding further talks on catastrophe management, agriculture and health
  • Welcoming the outcome of the G20 Nations’ at Pittsburgh
  • Expressing a desire to hold future G20 meetings alternatively in developed and developing nations
  • Ensuring an equal partnership for developed and developing nations while voting for international banking affairs
  • Deciding to hold the next ‘RIC’ meeting in China and so on 

Phew! These three gentlemen, between them, have sorted out every burning issue that plagues the world today. I hope they got each other right, because Krishna speaks Hindi, Yang speaks Chinese (Cantonese, Manchurian or another?) and Sergie speaks Russian. English should have been the ideal common language and I am sure Krishna speaks its Delhi version, thanks to the free educational system in India. Russia and China have considered English to be a corruptive element that poisons its youth and have for decades banned it from schools and colleges. So the army of translators must have had a tough time and most probably may not have been on good terms with each other after the summit. 

Coming back to the meeting itself, the triumvirate has collectively discussed eight major topics, as listed above, may be more. Let us leave out the last seven and take a good look at the first issue, “collectively rooting out terrorism”. Here are a few points for your consideration. 

  • China has accepted a tract of Pak occupied Kashmir as a gift for supplying arms and allowing free thoroughfare to Pak Jihadis along the disputed borders.
  • China covertly funds and arms Maoist militants in Assam, Nepal, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Misoram, Nepal, Burma etc. The Chinese politburo continues to have dreams of Universal Communism and mass suppression.
  • China continues to covertly support totalitarian regimes in North Korea and Burma. Poor Nepal is being worked on.
  • Chinese military and secret police are indulging in acts of absolute Terrorism when it comes to democracy in Tibet and the inside the Chinese Republic itself. Remember Tiananmen Square on 4th June 1989?
  • China would be greatly pleased if some Maoist or Jihadi would assassinate the great Dalai Lama in India. They might already have handed out contracts.
  • China has traditionally used Islamic and Maoist terrorists to gather intelligence in India, Pakistan and the Middle East.
  • Russia still considers democracy as forbidden and as an act of terrorism within its borders. Remember the Russian bear mauling Georgia in 2008? Also Russia can not forget its bitter experence with Islamic fundamentalists from Uzbekistan during salad days of the Communist ‘Empire’. Most of these hardcore, heavily armed Jihadis are now in North West Pakistan.
  • Though both are Communist countries, Russia has always mistrusted China and its brand of revolution. Russia’s friendship with India greatly stems from having a strategic partner on the southern Chinese border.
  • Along with Israel, India is the first country to recognise and tackle Islamic terrorism right from 1948. But despite all its military might and infrastructure, India continues to shuffle its feet for fear of antagonising its 19% Muslim voters. 

With so many conflicting interests RIC members can not cooperate on fighting terrorism. Thus, dear reader, what happened in Bangalore is a first class sham. The Bear, the Panda and the Tiger do not and can not order their fare from the same menu. In the process, they ended up serving us all a lot of bull. Most probably the only worrying issue they might have discussed could have been the Pak army going on war against their first cousins, viz. Al Qaeda, Taliban and Lashkar-E-Taiba. The terrorists, suddenly facing the prospects of turning homeless, are having a go at everything in range. The icing on the cake was the explosion and murders in Iran itself, considered to be the modern spiritual homeland of Islamic fundamentalism. Consequently, the triumvirate in Bangalore would have deeply considered a spill over of fleeing terrorists from Afghanistan, Waziristan and Pakistan in general. All parties at RIC do have common borders with this terrorist belt. Of course, none of it would have been mentioned at the press conference, again for fear of rubbing India’s Moslem voters the wrong way. 

Coming back to Pakistan, they had it coming anyway. It is just an example for a riffraff pack of specially bred, illiterate extra vicious, home grown maniacs turning against their own masters. 

It would be nice to know what the Russian and Chinese media have to say about this ‘RIC’ garden party. They may not even be obliged to say anything at all to their long suffering public. The two Communist representatives themselves need not have been provided with a full picture by Moscow and Peking. Too busy to comment, Comrade Vladimir Putin is busy controlling the Russian Mafia and the Kremlin even as he leads the life of a semi retired prime minister cum macho man, fishing, hunting and generally having a great time, exactly as Chairman Mao did during his last years. Chinese politburo is known to even have supplied teenage virgins to the senile, toothless Chairman, three a day. 

If Democracy does indeed come to China one day, non-violent Buddhism will indeed play a pivotal role; all the more reason for Peking’s official terrorists to see off the magnificent Dalai Lama. 

It is all too much of a morbid joke.  I can’t stop crying and my keyboard is swamped.

Crowning Glory: If you look at the picture given above, it can be seen that the two Communists are crowned with toupees made of gold zari, clear symbols of erstwhile Indian aristocracy and feudalism. Clearly S M Krishna must have refused one for himself, because it may not fit his outrageous wig. Cheers.

Picture Credit: Kerala Kaumudi Daily, Online Edition

INS ARIHANT, INDIAN NAVY FIRES A BROADSIDE

Hmmm… Whether you like it or not, India today launched her first indigenously built nuclear submarine, INS Arihant. For those who sneer at the Indians, the good news is that it will not be operational for another two years while it undergoes extensive tests in the Bay of Bengal off the port of Visakhapatnam, where the vessel was built. On the bleak side, there will be four more built in the near future, with no privileges received from the superpowers, thank you. With this achievement, India joins the ranks of USA, Russia, UK, France and China.

For the technically minded, it is reported that INS Arihant (meaning ‘Destroyer of Enemies’) displaces 6,000 tonnes, is 126m long and has an underwater cruise speed of 24 knots. Powered by an 85 megawatt nuclear reactor, it will have a crew of 95 men and will carry an array of torpedoes and missiles including a dozen nuclear warheads. The nukes are likely to be India’s own 350 km range Saagarika and the 5200 km Agni-III. A 700 km K-15 missile with a nuclear warhead is also getting ready. Arihant also incorporates the VLF (Very Low Frequency) Technology for communication.

Arihant was built at a cost of $2.9 billion at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam. Code named Advance Technology Vessel (AVT), work on the project began in the 1980s. With India’s well publicised and sincere policy of “no first use of nuclear weapons”, there is little need for any raised eyebrows, except from Pakistan’s own secret police ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) and their Taliban blood brothers. May be, it is not a coincidence that INS Arihant was launched today, on the tenth anniversary of India’s victory at Kargil over Pakistani army and their Jihadi allies.

As I surfed through some international news channels, it was seen that news portals have chosen given credit to the Russians for the launch of INS Arihant. It is true that India has leased Russian nuclear subs in the past, but INS Arihant is India’s own baby. Not a single Russian scientist, admiral or politician was present at the launch in Visakhapatnam.

I now recall a joke, too near the truth for comfort. A few years ago India set off a peaceful nuclear explosion somewhere in the Rajasthan desert. Two days later, Pakistan retaliated by exploding its own device. President Musharaf was furious. He called his best General back to Islamabad from Kabul, where he was overseeing an Opium harvest with the Taliban and demanded why it took two days to set off the Islamic crackers. The General, glass eyed with too much sampling, replied that it was ready to go off in minutes, but sadly, the instructions were in Korean. Cheers.

Notes:

1. About thirty years ago, my friend Michael Moraes accepted a commission with the Indian Navy and chose to work with the submarines wing, which must have been in the formative stages during those times. I have not seen him since, but my other pals tell me that he is top brass now. He must indeed be proud. Congrats, Mike.

2. The technical figures in this piece are taken from various news sources on the net and I found some significant discrepancies. Please write in with corrections if I am seriously wrong.

Asianet Kerala’s Broadcasting Embarrassment

In full cry

In full cry

Non-resident Keralites, at least in UK, do not have much of a choice when watching Malayalam TV channels. They are usually at the mercy of local dish TV operators that do their own scheduling and editing, showing scant respect for the subscribers. They even truncate serious interviews and documentaries to show old Prem Nazir-Jayabharathi film songs. It seems that the channel bosses back home have little control over their agents here. Asianet and Asianet News are two locally available Malayalam channels and subscription for both together costs about £160 a year. It was the insensitive local editing and programme scheduling that prompted me to look up Asianet.

Asianet is reputed to be the biggest Malayalam TV broadcasting house, which airs multiple channels. Yet, if you Google for Asianet, the results can be quite confusing. A search for Asianet landed me Asianet Communications, Asianet Global, Asianet Satellite Communications, Asianet Data Line and Asianet Digital TV among other things. Finally I had to call my journalist friend back in Trivandrum to solve the mystery.

I am told that, now Asianet is more than one company. A big chunk of the original firm has been acquired by none other than media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The remaining three of its channels, Asianet, Asianet News and Asianet Plus, are controlled by Rajiv Chandrasekhar, technocrat and former CEO of BPL Mobile. He holds majority shares, through Jupiter Entertainment Ventures, his Bangalore based company. Other prominent share holders are Reji Menon, the original promoter of Asianet, T V Madhavan and K Madhavan, the current Asianet MD. Two brothers of Reji Menon and K P Mohanan, the current Chief News Editor also hold a few shares.

Besides owning FM Radio ‘Indigo’, Rajiv Chandrasekhar’s future media ambitions include Asianet channels and FM Radio channels in Kannada, Tamil and Telungu, the other three major south Indian languages. He is also a Rajya Sabha MP representing Bangalore. The sitting Director of Karnataka Power Corporation and also a former advisor to Government of India on Information Technology, Chandra Sekhar indeed is an admirably smart cookie with many more colourful feathers in his cap. Currently Asianet is reputed to have a 35% share in the 250 Crore Kerala advertisement market.

The write-up about Chandrasekhar was just to impress upon the reader that Asianet is controlled by a very capable chap. Now let us come to the real subject of this little piece here.

Every Saturday, K P Mohanan, the News Editor of Asianet, presents a programme called ‘Kanvettom’, in which he is the star-in-chief. He usually analyses and comments on political or social issues that are of recent media interest. The Asianet website claims that ‘Kanvettom’ is a very unique editorial programme, ‘the first of its kind in the history of Indian news television’. Being the news editor, it seems that Mohanan has created his own war medals and is wearing them in public like some quaint general from a banana republic. The site also introduces Mr Mohanan as a veteran journalist and editor, who has worked with major media organizations in different parts of the world and also as a permanent member of the World Press Institute, Minneapolis, USA. He also claims to have interviewed a dozen Prime Ministers and Presidents, including Margaret Thatcher and Jimmy Carter.

Now, about World Press Institute, any journalist can apply for a membership if they have the following.

1) At least five years of full-time news experience 2) Fluency in all aspects of English 3) Several written essays 4) Three letters of recommendation 5) At least three work samples.

There must be at least a thousand south Indian journalists who meet those requirements. WPI seems to be some sort of a charity school that instils American values of journalism in budding journalists from third world countries. They also arrange tours across America and hold interviews with available celebrities and politicians. Most probably, Mr Mohan must have interviewed his celebrities as part of his internship at the said World Press Institute. To know more, please do visit: http://www.worldpressinstitute.org

It is common knowledge that being a print media journalist and an electronic media man are poles apart. The traditional journalist most probably did his work the previous night in his pyjamas with a bottle of rum as witness. Whatever one came across the next morning was an erudite one man show, with no supporting crew. The electronic media man, unless someone else scripts his show, needs all that a bit more. He requires an unobtrusive presence that sets aside the centre stage for the subject that he discusses or the person he interviews.

Here, I am not belittling the unseen print media professional. I have personally known some of the greatest, like K Balakrishanan and P C Sukumaran Nair. (Strangely, both of them would have made fantastic electronic media personalities, just because they knew what they were writing about and never deviated from their subjects). Two modern equivalents (almost) would be Gouridasan Nair and T N Gopakumar, who by virtue of being alive in the present times have the good fortune to prove themselves more than adequate in both the versions.

Now let me come back to the news editor at Asianet. First of all, Mr Mohan dresses up and grooms himself too much for the part. (Do we have a male Oprah Winfrey doing a soliloquy?) Secondly, in every episode, HE IS THE SUBJECT. His voice modulation, emphasis, gestures, facial expression and everything else is a NO-NO lesson for any aspiring TV/Radio journalist. Finally whatever he says comes out as a biased personal opinion and a not as an impartial evaluation. The rather disturbing on-screen presence of the News Editor goes on to highlight the brilliance of other very professional Asianet newscasters and anchors like T N Gopakumar, Prasanth Raghuvamsom, Manjush Gopal and a dozen others. All of them set a great example for Kerla’s electronic media journalism, prudently stepping aside to leave the centre stage solely for the subject at hand.

Here I have a couple of questions for the brilliant Rajiv Chandrasekhar. Despite you being a very smart businessman, why is the news editor at Asianet allowed to blatantly project himself, hogging the centre stage and paying scant respect to journalistic sensibilities? Has anyone bothered to rate ‘Kanvettom’ for its journalistic values? Why is Mr Mohan let loose, throwing to wind the concepts of a sane and sober media presence? Why do we, the paying viewers deserve him? I am sure that the issue of minor shareholding has nothing to do with it. Rajivji, it is time for some quick cut and paste at your desk.

However, Kanvettom is the not the most tasteless programme we have seen on Asianet. That trophy goes to supporting actor Jagadeesh, who with his appalling English and brassy costumes, talent searched future comedians and mimicry artists. When he cold-heartedly murdered those haunting Mukesh melodies, the spirit of the great man was seen restlessly pacing the Royal Albert Hall, where he did one of his greatest performances.

As always, at all times, may better sense prevail.

NOTES: (1) The visual used in this article is courtesy, Asianet website. (2) If there are any errors, please do correct me. (3) This piece is authored by my right as a paying Asianet subscriber. (4) It is not the blogger’s aim to personally offend or insult anyone.

THE NOSTALGIA MERCHANTS FROM KERALA

KNOW THE KERALITES

Kathakali Artist

Kathakali Artist

 

Keralites, the Malayalam speaking natives of Kerala, India, are unique as expatriates go. You can find one almost anywhere in the world where skilled or unskilled manpower is hired. Coming from the best educated state in India, Malayalis, as known to their countrymen, are trained to work as doctors, nurses, engineers, accountants, teachers, bankers, clerks, cooks, plumbers, electricians; the list is virtually endless. Kerala being a very secular state, a Mallu, as he is known to netizens, can be a Hindu, Christian or Moslem. Christianity and Islam reached Kerala and were well rooted long before they became prevalent in many current strongholds.

 

One will find thousands of Keralites working as doctors or nurses in UK, Ireland, US, Australia or Canada. If all of them, from any imaginable trade, went home one fine morning from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman or any states in the UAE, these countries would grind to an administrative and functional standstill. You find Malayalis sailing the seven seas as captains, engineers, first mates and able bodied seamen. Third or fourth generation Keralites can be found well established in Malaysia and Singapore. The top scientists who recently landed India’s unmanned vehicle on Moon were almost entirely from Kerala.

 

Unlike the regular immigrant or the transplanted asylum seeker, a Keralite never really loses his roots. He sticks on to his language and customs many generations down the line. His heart is ever close to his festivals, harvests and monsoons back home. Seldom cutting his ties with old pals and relatives, if possible, he will always retain a small home somewhere in his homeland and visit often.

 

To have an idea of the expatriate Keralite’s contribution to his state’s economy, do note that 1.85 million non-resident Keralites sent home remittances to the tune of over 6150 million US dollars during 2007.

 

ENTERTAINING THE EXPATRIATE KERALITE

 

While he is living and working away from home, a Keralite yearns for his home, food, songs, dances and festivals. So if there are half a dozen Keralite families living abroad within fifty square miles, there is sure to be a Malayali Association with its get-togethers and cultural functions.

 

When quicker travel and information technology made the world smaller, the tour companies and the entertainment industry in India saw the opportunities in catering to the great Malayali nostalgia, by taking the Keralite culture abroad. It began with reputed artists and organisers staging high quality events at decent venues. Almost always these programmes were held to keen audiences, thanks to the Malayali’s homesickness.

 

I have personally known some honest, genuine organisers of Keralite cultural events. Whenever a purely aesthetic evening is held, with classical dancers and musicians, they just about break even or run at a loss. These losses are often covered at a later stage by subscriptions from generous members. The high cost of venues, payments for top artists, stage equipments, transport, food and boarding leave little towards profits.

 

Now comes the entertainment circus that makes a neat pile of money. The worst case scenario involves shipping a hastily assembled assortment of available singers, dancers, comedians and out of work movie stars to a stage in Dubai, California, Melbourne, Vancouver or any of the dozens of similar venues. A programme chief, (back home, he may be a third assistant to a B grade movie director) will knock together about three hours of skits, stand-up comedy, mimicry, light music and the modern obscenity called cinematic dance. Impressive venues will be booked and high priced tickets will be sold well in advance. The programmes presented subsequently on stage would have had no more than a couple of quick rehearsals to back them. The skits and jokes would be stale. The same out of work actresses will feature in classical dance, burlesque and folkdance. To add to the misery, these ‘Grand Gala Events’ are digitally recorded to be shown later on TV channels as fillers and to be sold cheap to the lower end market back home.

 

A large entourage of hangers-on usually accompany such teams. Many will have little to do with the show itself. Political henchmen, wheeler-dealers and movie extras attach themselves to these monkey troops. You can expect to find specialists for fixing export-import licences, arranging education abroad, visa trading and discreet prostitution. Hustle is the name of the game. Most clips of the Paris Hilton variety featuring both budding and washed out female Malloo artists that are currently doing their rounds on the internet owe their origins to these freak shows. The exploits of these camp following hookers have earned hard working and respectable Kerala girls a bad name abroad, giving out the idea that Malayali women are ‘easy’.

 

On the plus side, if you were ever trapped into sitting through one such show, you have seen them all. On the minus side, the Great Malayali Nostalgia ensures that these charlatans will put up their tents year after year around the world, degrading true Keralite culture and traditions. The average expatriate Malayali will pay a week’s wages to have anything that even vaguely resembles home, however unfortunate the results may be.

 

FOR A CLUE

 

If it is features the likes of K J Yesudas, K S Chithra and a troupe from Kerala Kalamandalam with Mohiniyattom, Kathakali and Panchavadyam it would be a memorable evening. Stay clear, if it is a mimicry team from Kochi with half a dozen slapstick comedians, cinematic dancers and B Grade movie artists ready for ‘anything’.

 

Notes: (1) I apologise to the genuine organisations and artists from Kerala who sometimes succeed in staging an authentic cultural event abroad without the help of the barely legal hustlers. None of the comments here concern the dedicated artists. (2) A Keralite and a Malayali are one and the same. Kerala is the name of the small, green, south Indian state and Malayalam is the region’s spoken language. There is a new trend set by non-Indian writers and tourists to term a Malayali or anything from Kerala as ‘Keralan’, which is resented by the native. It would be as improper and offensive as calling an Englishman ‘Englandian’ or an Italian ‘Italish’. I hope you get the point. (3) Kathakali Artist- Picture courtesy rediff.com

WHITE POWDERY STUFF BEATS BRITAIN

 

STUMPED BY A MERE 10 INCHES OF SNOW!

STUMPED BY A MERE 10 INCHES OF SNOW!

During the last week of January, the media extensively covered the newly built British Destroyer HMS Daring as it docked in at Portsmouth, its home port. Set to join active service later this year, the Royal Navy’s Type 45 vessel was hailed as the most advanced battleship ever and British Glory was flying at high mast again. With the latest radar, missiles, air defence system, propulsion plant and ultra modern shape, HMS Daring would be extremely fast, accelerating quicker and turning faster. Revolutionary naval architecture ensures that on enemy radar, it would appear no bigger than a modest fishing boat. It was indeed a very proud moment for entire Britain.

Yet just four days later, on the morning of February the second, a mere ten inches of snow in the southwest forced Britain to grind to a standstill. Such is the power of nature, which constantly puts human pride at its humble lowest, appearing out of nowhere, as a puff of wind, a plume of fire or a sheet of water. For a Canadian, Austrian or Siberian* citizen, ten inches of snow would be no more formidable that the layer of butter on his toast. For nature, surprise is the x-factor, like dropping a cube of ice down a Bedouin’s collar in the middle of the Sahara.

Though the weather stations had sounded the warning well in advance, no one took the forecast seriously, foolishly judging it to be no more than a possible minor irritant to everyday life. The nation was indeed caught short and experienced chaos of Titanic proportions. To be fair, though the snow was only ten inches deep, it was the heaviest fall in eighteen years. Airports, roads and hospitals were forced to close. Flights, train and bus services were cancelled. The old Croydon tram service did not run. Eurostar, the cross channel train service from St Pancras International to Europe was disrupted. There were delays and suspensions on the London underground.

About 4500 schools were closed by authorities in Wales, Birmingham, Hampshire, Essex, Leicester, Rutland, East Sussex, West Sussex, Somerset, East Staffordshire, Dudley and Kent. Drivers in southern England had a tough time as snow turned to ice later in the day. Severe shortage of resources meant that gritting was done only on the major roads.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has since admitted that the city could not deal with the situation on hand. “This is the kind of snow we haven’t seen in London in decades. We don’t have the snow-ploughs that we would otherwise need to be sure of getting the roads free,” he said. However, experts are of the opinion that an investment in snow-ploughs and other road clearing equipment is not justified since snowfalls of such magnitudes happen only once in two decades or so.

Side roads had thick snow that trapped parked cars, ensuring that owners could not drive to work. Families did not have snow shovels to clear driveways or to dig the cars free. Many were seen using bin covers or pieces of cardboard to scoop away the snow. Almost all city buses were cancelled and the same had not happened even during the blitzkrieg. Major airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton were closed. Military rescue helicopters were called in to assist ambulance services.

The Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao who was visiting UK would have been amused to see a solitary man shovelling snow in front of Number 10 Downing Street, his counterpart’s official residence.

For this single day of disruption, business losses were calculated at £1.2 billion. An estimated 6.5 million people were kept away from work. Forced to run on a skeleton crew, many restaurants and takeaways had scaled their menus down to basics. Even the ever-faithful Black cabs stayed away in most areas.

Finally, to end on a merry note, children set free from schools made snowmen on pavements and stray snowballs slammed into shop windows and trapped cars. The only regret seemed to be that it did not happen on Christmas Eve. Thanks to global warming and an errant weather, we may still have a White Easter. Cheers.

Notes:

1. 36 hours later, while I am posting this, things have not improved much.

*2. Siberia is not a free state yet. But the way Communism is ‘progressing’ we should soon have Siberian and Tibetan citizens. I also propose the name of Aung San Suu Kyi as the next Prime Minister of Myanmar.

3. The photograph that appears above is clicked outside my flat.

-Your special correspondent, reporting from The George, George Street, Croydon, Surrey ;p

PADUKONES- OF FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS

Prakash Padukone

Prakash Padukone

I have mentioned somewhere in this blog that the Metro Newspaper, distributed free every morning in London and other major cities, is a firm favourite of mine. Belonging to the Daily Mail group, it is well laid out and professionally edited. Though printed only on weekdays, the paper’s area of interest is fairly wide and covers international news reasonably. The sickening puns seen on captions, used widely by popular working man’s dailies, are conspicuously absent, making it a pleasant and no nonsense read. For its substance and neat looks, I generously overlook the odd page or so dedicated to the Hiltons, Allens, Winehouses and other social curiosities.

 

The cover of Metro dated 13/01/09 carried a picture of Deepika Padukone, the Indian actress, pin-up girl and model, not necessarily in that order. Along with Akshay Kumar, the Indian actor, martial arts expert and self confessed Punjabi cook, the lady had graced Leicester Square to promote the Hollywood-Bollywood production ‘Chandni Chowk to China’.

 

 

 

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone

What was missed in the accompanying report was that Deepika is the daughter of Prakash Padukone, the charming and handsome badminton player who won the All England Championship in 1980. He defeated Liem Swie King of Indonesia in that memorable final game. Born in 1955, Prakash was the Indian national champion for seven consecutive years from 1972. At the age of 16, in 1971, he won both the Indian juniors’ and the seniors’ titles. His other wins include London Master’s Open, the Danish Open, a Commonwealth Games Gold in 1978 and the Swedish Open. By his own admission, Prakash learnt his game in a wedding hall, which afforded little light to see the shuttle properly. A dignified gentleman, he has never lobbied for awards or solicited fame. His favourite pastime is listening to music and his favourite sports hero is Bjorn Borg.

 

I do not know if the catwalk queen daughter forgot to mention her father, an all-time hero, to the media. May be, the newspapers, Metro and others, decided that a sweat and blood man had no glamour value on a front page feature. In Sanskrit, Prakash means light, radiance, luminosity etc. Deepika, in turn means ‘that which is of light ’. The father indeed had vision when he named his daughter. I hope she lives up to it. Till she does, Prakash continues to be my hero.