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Posts Tagged ‘India’

Bollywood-ishtyle.

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The Supreme Court judgement on the OBC reservation issue should not surprise anyone. After all, the Supreme Court’s job isn’t to make laws but merely to ascertain whether existing laws were broken. And in the present case, the Supreme Court decided that nothing in the Indian Constitution prevents Arjun Singh from adding a 27% quota in government institutions. Again, I have to agree — the Constitution itself has been weakened to such an extent through laws and precedents that it will be surprising if any law is ever again judged uncontitutional.

For those who are concerned that this will devalue the IIT and IIM brands, slow down development, heighten inter-caste animosity and reduce opportunities for much of the population without really helping the rest — well, of course you are right, but fret not! As Aristotle The Geek points out, the market will do its best to correct the situation.

So much of recent history can be viewed as a case study of the market systematically correcting (at least some of) the ills caused by ill-advised government action. Isn’t that ironic?

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Amit Varma nails the sad truth in his choice of post header.

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The headline of this DNA report reads:

Tamil movies to be banned in Karnataka.

However, the first sentence of the report merely says

To protest against Tamil Nadu going ahead with Hogenakal project on Karnataka border, the Kannada Rakshana Vedike (KRV), a pro-Kannada organisation will be prevent (sic) Tamil movies from being screened in theatres and television channels from today.

My initial reaction after reading the sentence above was puzzlement – how do the protests of an unofficial organisation equate to a ban? On second thoughts, however, I have to agree with the reporter’s choice of headline. It merely reflects the reality in India.

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The Supreme Court of India has once again put its weight behind freedom of expression, overruling the ban on the film “Jodha Akbar” by three state governments.

It is a sad matter that in India people think they have a moral right to ban things they don’t like. And the ludicrous loopholes in our constitution (think “free-speech for everyone, except those who really need it”) do not help either.

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India is introducing a new rule stipulating that unskilled workers planning to take up a job in the Middle East cannot do so unless they are going to be paid a minimum wage (the exact amount is being fixed by the Indian Government for each Gulf country).

DNA reports (emphasis mine):

In a move that will have far reaching impact on the life of over two million Indian blue collar workers in the Gulf, the rule may drastically cut the number of Indians taking up unskilled jobs in the Gulf countries which will be forced to look for cheaper labour from Bangladesh and Nepal while ensuring that the Indian labour in the Gulf will not be exploited, industry watchers said…

In other words, it is better to compel someone to lose his job than allow him to take it up at a low wage.

What do the workers think? DNA does not say, but the ambassador thinks they will not be too happy:

The Indian ambassador to UAE Talmiz Ahmad said in an interview last week that minimum wages was a sensitive issue as the Indian worker believes he is free to negotiate the terms and conditions he is happy with.

It’s a funny world.

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Soumya Bhattacharya in a Cricinfo article says that Indians are racist.

I broadly agree with the contention, however I find his examples rather weak. There are several issues that interplay here and it is disappointing to see them mussed up haphazardly – an aesthetic preference for lighter skin tones cannot, for instance, be equated with a moral belief in white supremacy. 

He also mandates, with the cliched rationale of this being a ‘global village’ , that Indians should modify their speech and idioms so that they align with current Western European and American standards of politically correct expression. Careless choice of words and a truly racist attitude are not the same and the world would be a sorrier place indeed if more nations were to jump onto the political correctness bandwagon.

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