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Home > News > Columnists > Arvind Lavakare

Today's India has a new culture

April 25, 2007

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The Ash-Abhishek Wedding
It made one puke -- our media's obsession with that wedding on April 20. For days on end, it was as though that wedding was the only notable event in our land. Some television correspondents on the spot on D-day were so excited it was as though they were reporting on Adam and Eve getting married in Paradise.

Oldies like me were sickened by it but my son, a finance strategist in his early thirties, says it is another case of the media giving what the public wants. TRPs, he says, TRPs. Puke on that said a public opinion poll of The Times of India that found over 70 per cent uninterested in that marriage. So, was it a puke on our media?

It made one puke that a 14-year-old boy playing on a road in Ghaziabad (in Mulayam's and Big B's 'Uttam' Pradesh) should die after falling into a deep open sewer. Worse, no one's been held culpable for that civic monstrosity in this 'emerging world power' status of ours.

It made on puke that a Member of Parliament was caught the other day smuggling a woman and a boy to Canada for a small fortune in return. And to think he was habituated to it. When our lawmakers commit such an act, what is all the crap about the spirituality and culture of ancient civilisation? Just how much money do our modern Indians need to live in our kalyug? Oldies like me believe that enough is enough, but there obviously are MPs and millions around who think that nothing is enough. What's happening in the Ram Rajya envisaged by Rajiv Gandhi and the BJP?

It made one puke that a minister of the Government of India should say on television that he would pull out the tongue of a chief minister if the latter made a public allegation that assistance to the latter's state was being hindered in by the ministers in Delhi of the former's political party. Woe betide this nation that's let democracy and fundamental rights come to this -- though it wouldn't exactly be a loss if our despicable politicians suffer a tongue-lashing as well as a tongue-loss.

It made one puke to learn that Rahul Gandhi believes it was his party which divided Pakistan. After 30-odd years in Nehru's dynastic court, is that the history learnt by him? Woe betide the country that an oldie like Manmohan Singh believes the bumbling brat is 'the future of India.'

It made one puke that the Mumbai police didn't conscientiously pursue an open and shut case against 21-year-old Alistair Pereira, a rich family's spoilt brat who drunkenly drove seven pavement dwellers to their death.

It made one puke to learn that Pune city, once the seat of learning and erudition in Maharashtra, has now become a centre for 'rave parties' of the student community. Drugs on the soil made sacrosanct by the likes of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Lokmanya Tilak and Veer Savarkar is what our youth has made of modernism born of globalisation.

It made one puke that film star Shilpa Shetty should have passed off as a mere act of entertainment that unbelievable 15-odd seconds of kiss-and-hug-and-kiss-and-bend assault on her modesty on a stage at a HIV fund-raising function in New Delhi. Worse, the suddenly-famous actress went on to lecture the media not to over-react and not to teach her about Indian culture. Is she the new czarina of our land's ancient culture that's now reduced to merely lighting a brass lamp at the beginning of a VIP function?

It made one puke that our country lost the race for hosting the Asian Games of 2114 for no other reason than that our sports minister was against the bid spearheaded by the chief of the Indian Olympic Association. Oldies like me will be very embarrassed no end by such international setbacks caused by internal infighting but the 'futures' of India are likely to just shrug it off.

See how we let little Pakistan insult our nation at the slightest opportunity but our young ones and liberal media are so keen to promote Indians eating biryani on Lahore roadsides and play cricket at Rawalpindi. Is national pride withering away or already gone into the crass materialism of global capitalism?

All of the last week of puke was testimony to one truth: Today's India has a new culture: The culture of the Mammon variety. Puke on that.


Arvind Lavakare




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