Season's First Post

Some quick observations about this Lok Sabha elections-

1. No secular-non secular difference on party-lines

2. Ideologies have very fewer role to play

3. Lines between regional and national parties blurred like never before

4. BJP has realized, its no longer an institution but a party like any other

5. Political punditry will be at its best

6. EC is unnecessarily? acting tough

7. Sharad Pawar has managed to obfuscate Marathi voters on regional asmita and credit goes to Shiv sena, which in turn emerges a loser, at least at this hour.

8. If Supriya Sule manages to win by record margin, she will consolidate her base in the party. And that’s what her dad wants

9. At the end, as a political analyst suggest, there is little room for drastic change in democracy. We will remember this while being decent with our leaders.

Through the eyes of beholder

I must be in 8th standard then, when I read Yayati, the first Dnyanpeeth award-winning novel in Marathi.

Stupid me then read and enjoyed the novel like anything.

I admired writer V S Khandekar for his illustrious fictional work; the way he narrated story of a king from Mahabharat eon- Yayati, who in his insatiable lust for carnal pleasure begs his son Puru to swap youth with infirmity.

It was Yayati, which brought me closer to Marathi literature. I then read other fictional work including Radhyey.

The creativity and freedom enabled these writers to produce some remarkably classic literature in Marathi. Great was the absence of any opposition to such novels, terming it ‘slanderous’. The charge of course would have been dismissed saying the “obscenity lies in the eyes of beholder”.

But now…

A controversy surrounds another great author Anand Yadav for his book SantSurya Tukaram.

Warakari sect leaders, unhappy over the alleged “casting aspersions on the character of Saint Tukaram” by author in his novel, heckled Yadav and demanded his resignation as president of Marathi literary meet.

Yadav withdrew his novel and tendered apology. But warakaris refused to budge. A threat to spoil the literary meet now lingers.

They have also issued a decree - whosoever wants to write on Saints should get their permission first.

Listening to the controversy annoyed me initially. Soon, the annoyance turned into amusement. Now it seeks to rebuild perception.

For the sake of opposing, Yayati is contemptuous since it portrays certain characters negative. But readers did not mind it. In fact the portrayal of certain persona woven with events in such way that character actually conquer at the end despite loosing everything. That makes the novel great.

In SantSurya Tukaram case the focus is excessively on those few paragraphs allegedly depict Tukaram in negative. This way a lager picture of Tukaram's character is completely being ignored. Also is the fact is its not the reference book but a novel where writer does enjoy some freedom.

Tukaram, the 17th century author throughout his life faced wrath from orthodox Brahmins for taking pen into hand.

That way Tukaram stood modern in thought.

Shall we too ?

UPDATES- Sadly, minutes before Yadav has tendered his resignation. The decision on his resignation will be taken by March 19.

Politics And Bollywood

Bollywood’s tryst with politics is never ending. We have many bollywood personalities in politics and politics as a theme in movies.

The bollywood replicate social changes in its movies, while politics actually mean transformation.

Yet, looking their rise since 70s, a realization comes through that our film industry has grown up but politics hasn’t.

The masala movies of 70s and 80s, their unforgettable dialogues, the acting - often seen as self-mocking – we have gone through it. Many holdover stars from the last two decades of last century play parental roles now. These stars along with the new breed exemplify that they are with the time.

Mere pass maa hai aur tumhare pass… the famous dialogue and many such are a grim reminder of those times.

And perhaps for the same reasons, we in 2009 can’t sit three hours watching those movies again. Except for the ever-melodious songs, watching movies from 70s and 80 is actually a pain.

Contrary in Politics, the triviality is yet to be bottomed out. We are currently through elections and what better time than this to check this.

Two weeks back I was at Uddhav’s (mind you, I consider Uddhav the only sane personality among Thackerays) rally. “Congress mhanaje hiarave daat, te kadhihi jawal gheu naka” (congress means the green teeth, never allow them near you), Uaddhav made this horrible comment, forcing me wink at my colleague. The worst- it drew huge clap in the crowd.

These politicians speak same language as they act in. Their success lies in their frivolousness. And this triviality disallows them from moving ahead.

In the case of movies, people accept only contemporary ones.

And that is why we have films changing with the time while politics continue to hold same masala as it did in 70s and 80s.

Symposium on Blogging

Conceived at Ramesh’ canteen, this idea was initially like a dream for us to come together and discuss it over numerous cups of tea. Later, it turned into a reality. Attended by journalism students, enthu-bloggers and techno savvies, the much-debated Symposium on blogging held in Pune this evening amidst a cheering response.

Event on blogging isn’t new anywhere anymore. But then today’s was arguably the first of its kind because of its unique nature- not just it was organised by University’s department but the participation of non-bloggers with equal fervor made it a unique.

Honestly at the beginning I had reservations about its success. But then, Madhyamites, a group comprising myself, Nitin, Prasann and Ganesh along with journalism department head Dr Ujjwala Barve organised each thing so well that the event finally turned a grand success.

Initial concerns about audience, panelists and other issues vanished soon when two guests- Pradyuman Maheshwari and Debashish Chakrabarti reached before time while listeners followed them anon to fill the Garaware college audio-visual hall.

Maheshwari, a seasoned journalist, discussed various nuances of this new medium. Debashish, a known name in the blogoshere, covered various aspects leaving no issue on blogging untouched. A big thank to both of them.

These sessions were followed by the other equally interesting sessions. There was however a quick tea break in between to help us remain non-sleepy.

After break Symposium resumed. Ravi Amale, a friend and blogger, talked about simple precautions to be taken while blogging. He delivered some quick tips on how blogging in Marathi will help us break barriers to set new standards. Till evening I used to take pride of being privy about some secrets that I and Ravi shared. I sounded fool when Amrita- Prasann’s friend- discussed that secret with an ease. It appear tobe a well-known thing to many in the field. A moment to realize that I am no longer privileged.

Fourth session was my favorite. Blogging isn’t new for me, but recent developments including Kunte-Barkha Dutt saga and a landmark judgment by apex court on commentary on blogs through comments was all we were looking to discuss with adv. Vaishali Bhagwat, who counsels police on cyber laws. It was a recollection of old memories when adv Bhagwat taught us copyright and defamation. Only difference this time was I remained more cautious and eager to listen to her since the issues she discussed were directly pertinent to my professional and extra-professional activities.

The bloggers and others who participated in the last session actually came as icing on the cake. Their eagerness to converse with each helped us re-ensconced our belief that future event will be even bigger and sure to say a grand success. And yes, how can I forget twits- Amit Paranjpe and Navin Kabra- their participation made the event even more exciting.

Here, I specially thank Prasann, Nitin, Ganesh, Dr Barve and many other participants who helped this event an exciting affair.