The PMO on Twitter

It’s been rather relieving ever since the Prime Minister’s Office decided to improve upon its work so far, and finally decided to step up on delivering effective governance to a yearning country by doing something so unforeseen, so unique, so pathbreaking, so example-setting, so sewage-pipe-auto-clearing-of-disease-carrying-rats in nature.

They opened a Twitter account.

Naturally, I found myself browsing Twitter Search (How-To guide) looking to monitor interaction between the aam aadmi (who exists on Twitter, yes!) and the PMO. I was keenly interested in finding out how the aam aadmi conveyed his grievances to the Prime Minister, and also wanted to know if the Prime Minister actually replied and took action upon those grievances.

Unexpectedly, I was overtaken by the flood of requests directed towards the @PMOIndia handle. Clearly, India had taken this new initiative quite seriously. Most expressed genuine concerns like asking him the direction to good drinking water. To which, the PM replied “Dude, I can only take you to the pond but I cannot make you drink water from there..”

Others merely asked him how his vacation was in Goa, hoping they would get a Twitpic in return of the Prime Minister by a pool with two women in bikinis nearby, like Shahid Kapoor’s #ShahidGoanCrazy birthday bash that involved such a humungous amount of puking which saw Goa sullied to such an extent that desperate teenagers in their final college years, ND Tiwari and his troupe and Amar Singh and Bipasha Basu bombarded Shahid’s Twitter account asking him to clean up the mess immediately or they will unleash Ranbir Kapoor’s attempts at stand-up comedy on him. Or Pappu Yadav.

Meanwhile, a mysterious Swamy Army – which at first I thought is a support group of some sort for Subramanian Swamy and features anybody who has ‘ANTI-CONgi, Flying Sickularist, Underwear-outside-wearing Nationalist, #PaidMedia Creetik’ or something like that in their Twitter bio – decided to go threadbare and launched a out-and-out-attack on the PMO Twitter account by declaring it to be the most boring Twitter handle in the country. Clearly, the Swamy Army has never opened a tab on Google Chrome and visited Shah Rukh Khan’s Twitter account. Moving on to some positives, others decided to congratulate the Prime Minister on coming up with stringent traffic fines. But the way the message was conveyed to the PMO makes you wonder if you’ll have to bribe the guy to explain in proper English what the message meant.

Several others decided to take up national causes with the Prime Minister. Like this guy. Clearly, his commitment to pursuing a Padma Vibhushan award for Sridevi is on par with a Chennai rickshawallah’s commitment to extracting maximum auto fare from you. He is warning the Government to WAKE UP, just like esteemed scholars have warned the Government to wake up and deliver infrastructure and good roads to those areas of our country that border with China. More importantly, I don’t think he understands that the value of the Padma is so poor currently in Indian society, that Padma should be applying to win a Sridevi award.

It is heartening to see the Prime Minister on Twitter, tweeting away like the rest of us and attempting to solve the problems that refuse to leave our country. Continue tweeting your problems, hopes, aspirations, needs, requirements, blood donation requests, house hunting without brokers, discounts on wholesale condoms, restraining order on Vilasrao Deshmukh’s requests at hosting any more lavish weddings for his sons etc etc.

There are only so many ways he can help you.

<This is me, on Twitter>

I Got Married

–Impromptu Post Warning–

–Uncalled-for-Drama Warning–

I got married. Yeah, I did.

Thankfully, it was only a dream nightmare. But never before have I spring-jumped from my bed like a jack-out-of-the-box and scurried across the confines of my little apartment in the hope that I don’t stumble into that deadly creature popularly known as THE WIFE.

As it so happens, it turned out to be an arranged marriage. The wife-to-be’s deranged relatives kept pouring in to my home in an area mildly similar to Antarctican extremes. They ripped off my tee-shirt and started applying some sort of powder on my body that resembled very closely in color to liquid excreta entering a Level II Treatment Section in a remote sanitation facility. Very soon, the sound of music took up the air. And by ‘sound of music’, I meant aunty cheerleaders (without the cheerleader outfits, of course) screaming their lungs out at the prospect of seeing me go under the knife.

Despite all the chaos, I attempted to take aside of a few of my I-think-they’re-sane-enough family members and desperately tried to convince them that I do NOT want to marry. This girl. Any girl. Don’t. Want. To. Marry. I attempted to fake-puke my way out of the marriage, but to nothing. Relatives kept pouring in, however. Apart from the free food, I failed to understand what motivated them so strongly. Oh wait, my death.

Saner are those people who live unmarried lives, even if they’re usually demented and search for stuff like ‘mangal pandey sex’ or ‘dog toilets’ on this blog. Less paranoid are those people who shun marriage but are crazy enough to take kids to a room and offer them a ‘lollypop’. Marriage is, by heaps and bounds and miles and kilometers and Chetan Bhagat book pages, the scariest invention ever.

Scariest. Ever.

All it took was a dream nightmare for me to realize that.

Of Course, They Knew!

Following the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist, I blogged a few thoughts [Read] about why the Al-Qaeda threat still looms large simply because of the time taken by the United States of America to hunt down Osama Bin Laden.

Moving the stream of thoughts towards Pakistan, one has to say that it is unimaginable that the country’s leadership was unaware of a hiding Bin Laden in Abbottabad, the home of Pakistan’s very own military academy and several retired Army officers (according to news reports). Clearly, it makes sense to believe that the Pakistani Army and the country’s intelligence bureau, ISI, were somewhat aware and indirectly aided the survival of Bin Laden. Even the Americans must have realized this – which could be the reason why they kept the Pakistanis out of the operation they undertook to kill him.

Abbottabad, as a simple query for directions on Google Maps proves, is approximately 88 miles away from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad by road. This indicates that Pakistan may be a safe abode for several other terrorists. The likes of Hafiz Saeed roam around freely in the country giving hate speeches in favour of the Kashmiri ‘freedom movement’, anyway. [See video]

The Pakistani military and the ISI are the two (single-most?) most powerful entities in the country that the whole world will now suspect to be the root of terrorism (not Afghanistan, not anymore). It is very likely that they offered covert protection to Bin Laden and waited in the hope that the Americans would take some time to locate him. And the Americans did take time. They took so much time that the death may not have much significance, except on the streets of New York and other American cities where people are rejoicing. All along, Pakistan has stocked up ‘aid’ in terms of arms, ammunition and other military hardware. For a decade, and counting.

There is so much uncertainty that one is compelled to believe that a clear double game is being played and has been played all along. Pakistan claims to be helping the Americans clean up the terror trail, while we remain unsure about how much of a bonhomie there exists between the Pakistani military/ISI and the Al-Qaeda/Taliban. It is up to the world’s foremost superpower, now that they got rid of a man they so desperately sought, to grind Pakistan regarding Bin Laden’s resort-like mansion in Abbottabad. How he survived for so long? How did he manage to live in the middle of a township, when word all along had been about caves and mountains? More importantly, how did nobody know?

Or maybe, somebody did.

Blood Terror

Associating religion with terrorism is an act that is generally considered to be politically incorrect and insensitive, but even the most influential politicians tend to bring up direct references to religion when discussing increasing terror concerns. Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram, recently spoke of the rising threat of ‘saffron’ terror in India.

Members of India’s various saffron factions are alleged to be behind at least five terror attacks the country has suffered over the last decade. Saffron terror, which B Raman terms as ‘Hindu reprisal terrorism’, is currently not as big a threat as Islamist terrorism in terms of the count of loss of lives. But that does not mean there should be no check on it’s rise in India. Or that the threat should be dismissed.

Through out the last few decades, organizations like the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal have been involved in training extremist Hindus and giving provocative hate speeches in various parts of the country. The political wing of thes RSS is the BJP, which alongwith Shiv Sena responded disappointingly to Chidambaram’s remarks on saffron terror with negative behaviour that led to the Rajya Sabha being adjourned not once, but twice.

Any threatening phenomenon that causes innocent lives to be lost, according to me, is terrorism. It does not help if we calculate how threatening one form is in comparison to other forms. This may eventually impact our actions on the threats, which are of utmost importance.

Defenders and apologists of any form of terrorism turn a blind eye to the fact that innocent lives are lost, and that is never an acceptable thing. Not in the worst of cases. So the question is – if the spills of terrorism come out in the form of blood of innocent Indians, then why take sides? Let’s deal with all forms of terror, let’s eliminate all forms of terror.

Only this will ensure all forms of peace. And that, is the need of the hour.