Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Experiment with some Symbols

Recently, I participated in an event where you are supposed to draw a wallpaper on a given topic on spot. You can give a small description or presentation on your poster too.  

This was my submission…

Aim : Draw a wallpaper on the topic Corruption.
Given :  A Celeron desktop with basic graphics, MS-Paint (Windows XP version), No Text support.
Time : 60 minutes.
Description :

Look at the poster with ‘corruption’ in your mind and think what I want to say. Think for at least 2 minutes and then read the following. This is a test to the thought process which you have almost lost.

As symbols are most effective to induce thoughts, here I used different symbols and put them in the RGB (three basic colors) color mixing model to reveal my idea.

What are the basic components of a country?

Money, Government & Population. If you have this three you are a country.
As I was asked to make a poster on corruption (a word which advocates negativity), I chose two world famous symbols to represent the government and the money. We all are familiar with the ‘Swastika’ symbol of the Nazi Germany, which is the most notorious government till date. Similarly, the US economy is alleged to be the most notorious economy, so I used the US dollar sign to denote money as a basic component of a nation. Thirdly, the common man or as I like to call it the ‘mango man’ is neither good nor bad, he just flows with the time.

When does corruption arise?

Obviously, when the balance between the three basic components are not maintained. You can see, when there is a strong government with a popular support, a country hosts parasites whom we call terrorists(represented by the Gun). For example, the various insurgent groups in the North-Eastern region of India who believe in the philosophy that “Violence is the solution of every problem” which is a form of corruption as most of the cadres are generally unemployed youths.

Secondly, if a country has enough resources for public exploitation but a government which has no public support, there is a birth of communism. Communism in Soviet Union came when the Bolshevik party under Vladimir Lenin over threw the Russian empire, which again is an extreme form of corruption.

The reason I put monarchy at the top because it exists everywhere even today and is a deadly tool for killing the voice of the masses. Monarchy is NOT a form of government which continues in a bloodline, but it is that form of a system where the next ruler is selected by a person or group which has no direct link to the general population, the king may choose his best friend too! And, it is being practiced by capitalist MNCs & political parties even now. It is an extreme form of corruption as the person who knows he will rule next is vulnerable to get corrupted.

How to get rid of evils like corruption?

India is a conceptual nation. During 1946-1950, when Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and his team were drafting the constitution, they had only one thing in mind; that India should be a nation to idolize. The wheel that we have in our national flag is called the ‘wheel of dharma’. And dharma is restored when the basic components of a nation are in balance.

Which is actually the dream nation Gandhiji fought for?
Today leading national newspapers are headlined with 2G scam & CWG stories only. Is it dharma??

That’s why I took out our wheel of progess from the national flag and put it in between all the chaos resulting because of corruption. And, that’s why I made the mighty mango man below all, because everything depends on us.
We hold together the whole system on our shoulders.
If every man fights corruption in all forms, the wheel will again be restored in its place as the glory of our nation in our Tiranga.

PS : The wallpaper got me the 1st prize...a creative 2.1 woofer :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Pure Bones : An era of Counter-Striking.

Indian gaming scene saw a revolution with the arrival of Counter-Sstrike as a LAN play. CS is one of the most popular games in the college hostels. NERIST, as well, was first exposed to the game via its high graphics version, COUNTER STRIKE SOURCE. If one really digs it, there are many legends made out of them. I have been watching a team since my first year in this hostel. 

And, this is a brief profile of legendary CSS team THE PURE BONES.

"The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.
I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man. 
I don't care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting."
-Che Guevara 

The team started just like any other team. In the fall of 2007, when people got bored of playing Quake 3 and Call of Duty, Counter Strike Source had just hit the LAN. The new gameplay (team vs team) and improved graphics impressed one and all. The then 3rd year guys, ||Wolverine|| & ||Illusionist||, who were in a same team earlier, approached ||Inspiration|| & ||Bad Machine|| (team-mates) & ||CV-MAN|| for an exclusive team from the batch. By then they were well-established players in the general LAN servers.

They launched themselves as The Pure Bones in Sonabyss 2008(cultural fest of NERIST). In the first match, a senior and reigning champions' team The Pandavas gave them a tough chase, but they somehow managed a win. After tha, it was a straight run to finals. This was the first time they had made the campus news headlines. The Pure Bones became a sensation in the LAN even though they became the runners up in Shristi 2009(tech fest of NERIST).

The next season was a jet airliner for the team. They begged the title of
being the first unbeaten champs in the University. ||CV-MAN|| was at his top form when he had to leave the team after the season of 2009-10 due to some academic problems. He was replaced by Lima in the next season. But, the real Pure Bones team got fractured forever.

In Sonabyss 2010, ||Inspiration|| & ||Bad Machine|| could not play because of some other college responsibilities and were replaced by the current player ||Castle Pride|| & Lima.

They went on to win undisputed from 2009 to 2011 until they were beaten by a fellow batch-mate team, the NGOs, in the semi-finals in Sonabyss 2011.

Now, Shristi 2012 is their final tournament in this institute, if all goes well, this could be a real showstopper to their gaming career. I am a boner fan & I wish them all the best.
Hail ||The Pure Bones|| \m/

The File

Champions: Sonabyss 2008, Sonabyss 2009, Shristi 2010, Sonabyss 2010, Shristi 2011, Shristi 2012.
Runners-Up: Shristi 2009, Sonabyss 2011.
Undisputed Champions: Season 2009-2010 & 2010-2011.
Hat-Trick : Shristi 2010 - Shristi 2011 - Shristi 2012

Boner#1 ||Wolverine|| - Class A Bomber, Patient, Sharpshooter.
#Wolverine AKA Sk Shady
His game is simple yet effective. He can use any gun and score a headshot with it easily. His main strength is his terrific bombing skills. If he has spotted you, expect a grenade coming your way. He is equally good in snipers, rifles & pistols. A sharpshooter in his own right, he never leaves his spotted enemy if he’s well reinforced.

Boner#2 ||Illusionist|| - Class A Rifleman, Strategist, “Surprise Package”
#Illusionist AKA Shantanu Nath
Popular as the “surprise package” or “Chaku-man” he can make his enemy dance in his tunes. He is a master strategist and designs all the plans. Be it attack in terrorists or counter attack in counter-terrorists, he’s the man on whom everyone depends for the commands. An expert in ninja diffusion and team splitting, at times 4 others go in one sector and he creates the ‘illusions’ for the enemies.

Boner#3 ||Inspiration|| - Class A Sniper, Striker, Sharpshooter
#Inspiration AKA Pranoy Dutta
||Inspiration|| is the true inspiration & backbone of the Pure Bones team. He simply follows the rule of shoot at sight. A sharpshooter, once he gets a Magnum Sniper rifle, the boners start attacking head-on. His sniper accuracy is 15 deaths per 100 kills when in his top form.

Boner#4 ||Bad Machine|| - Class A Defender, Patient, Sharpshooter
#Bad Machine AKA Sumit Das
He leads the defense line along with ||Wolverine|| when in CT. He plays both sniper as well as SMGs, so it’s an added bonus to the bones. A founder member of the pure bones team and well experienced too. His patience makes him a lethal tool for the bones.

Boner#5 ||Castle Pride|| - Class A Rifleman, Striker, Sharpshooter
#Castle Pride AKA Nabin Kar
After the departure of ||CV-MAN||, ||Castle Pride|| replaced him as a permanent member. He is an assault player and plays well with rifles as well as SMGs.

Boner#0 ||CV-MAN|| - Class A Rifleman, Striker, Sharpshooter.
#CV-MAN AKA Victor Das
He was one of the founder members of the team. A cool minded assault player. He rose in the ranks from a pro SMG player to a target Rifleman. There was a time when he could kill all five of them alone with his CV-47.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Blade, The Vagina, The Painful Secret : Female Genital Mutilation in India

“I am 60 years old (Indian woman) now, but will remember that fateful day for the rest of my life. I must have been around 7 years old when my mother told me we were going to my grandma's house to spend the day with her. When we reached my grandma's house, my cousin (my mom's sister's daughter), who was a year younger than me, was also there. We were happy to meet each other.

Then, we were both led to a small room, which had a bed and asked to lie down. We kept asking "Why?" Suddenly, a lady dressed in black came into the room. By now, my cousin and I were terrified, not aware of what was to follow. 

Our dresses were pulled up and our panties pulled off, and we were asked to keep our legs apart. There were our mothers and our aunts holding our legs apart and then I felt something cold being applied to my clitoris, and then to my horror, the lady in black, actually held a scissor-like instrument and cut me there – I screamed and screamed but no one seemed to care. Then this same thing was done to my cousin, who was right next to me on the same bed.”

I came across this blog & found the above story on their home page. At first, I thought it was just another blog protesting against rapes & female feticides. But to my horror, this was something much more terrible. I searched the Google and did find pages related to the topic and then I was forced to write this post on one of the worst practice in human history.

Female genital mutilation/circumcision is a traditional custom practiced by many religious sects of the world. The World Health Organization defines it as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for non-medicinal reasons.

It is probably one of the best kept open secrets of modern India. In India, it is widely practiced by the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sect of the Shia-Muslims, who are led by the Syedna. Locally termed as ‘Khatna’, this practice has no medical justification at all. Some of the reasons include family honor, increasing sexual pleasure for the male, enhancing fertility, social acceptance (especially for marriage) & preservation of virginity/chastity.

Until the 1950s FGM was used in England and the US as a "treatment" for lesbianism, masturbation, hysteria, epilepsy and other "female deviances". Later, The UK Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 makes it an offense to carry out FGM or to aid, abet or procure the service of another person. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, makes it against the law for FGM to be performed anywhere in the world on UK permanent residents of any age and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. But, to date, no prosecutions have been made under UK legislation.

In India, the Bohra community is a very small one compared to the billion strength country, added to that, the girls are generally being circumcised just after/before they attain their puberty. So, the matter even though unjust, gets buried inside the girls’ mind like any normal process like menstruation. Many women believe that FGM is necessary to ensure acceptance by their community; they are unaware that FGM is not practiced in most of the world. A letter to Molly Melching, Chairperson of an NGO named Tostan working against FGM by an anonymous Indian lady exposes how this custom has been practiced for centuries; people are either too afraid or too embarrassed to raise their voice against such oppression.

A young girl undergoing the procedure by force experiences not just immense physical pain and risk of contracting infections due to the unhygienic manner in which FGM may be carried out but also extreme humiliation, and the realization that she must be subject to such torture because of her gender. Further, the basic aim behind FGM is to curb sexual desire in order to ensure that the women are not “unfaithful.” Such suppression is a blatant attack on the right to a dignified life and personal freedom.

Depending on the degree of mutilation, FGM can cause, severe pain & shock, uterus, vaginal and pelvic infections, complications in pregnancy and childbirth, sexual dysfunction, difficulties in menstruation & psychological damages among many consequences. In addition to these health consequences, there are considerable psycho-sexual, psychological and social consequences of FGM.

A typical profile of a woman who undertakes the job of female circumcision in India (covered by is a 75 year old uneducated but literate Bohra woman. She says that she has inherited this work from her family. Her grandmother used to perform ‘Khatna’ but her mother never learned the trade as she was married in an economically well-to-do family. She had done it for 35 years until her eyes stopped supporting her.

She has a rusted box containing five items: a barber’s razor (which she claims has been sterilized), with a broken handle (about 8 to 9 inches long); a small stone on which to sharpen her razor; a pile of 1" by 1" pieces of paper—this is used to wrap up the foreskin which is thrown away; a small box of indigenous medicine called abeer or kapurkanchi powder mixed with silk thread ash (pure silk threads are burnt, grounded and put through a sieve), this mixture is put over the cut over the clitoris, the powder for its cooling effect and the silk ash for its adhesive value; and lastly, a pile of 1" by 1" pieces of cloth to put on the cut in case of bleeding. According to her, the entire procedure takes a few seconds and if the girl is agitated it takes several minutes.

Today, all her three daughters-in-law do female circumcision and supplement their husband’s meager income. She considers that this is honorable work and a perfectly legitimate way for a woman to earn an income. According to her, no other Muslim group in India other than the Bohras practices it. One of her acquaintances in the mohalla (locality) tells her to stop doing this work and asks her, “Why do you make little girls cry?” She says in her reply that as long as the Shariat sanctions it and the clergy support it, she will do it but the decision is really that of the women themselves.

An activist, who prefers to be named Tasleem, has launched a campaign on Facebook and making sincere efforts to collect signatures to petition the Bohra High Priest His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin ordering a ban on this ritual and stop this cruelty being foisted on Bohra females. Tasleem states: “Some Maulla (Bohri priest) brought it to India and they think it is an Islamic mandatory. The funny thing is that most Bohri men do not even know about this. In most of the cases, it is only after their marriage they are informed about this by their respective wives. I also spoke to some Bohri fathers who didn’t know that it had happened to their wives and daughters. A lot of bullshit reasons like it 'prevents cancer', ‘prevents white discharge’ etc is given. However, the bottomline is to keep the girl in control. And like they say a slave falls in love with his chains, the mother forgets the ordeal she went through and gets it done to her little girl. And so the tradition continues. If you can help me raise awareness and get signatures, I'd be extremely grateful to you on behalf of all Bohri girls.”

And we cannot just blame the women for it as men are also silently supporting it by paying for it.

Mike Ghouse, a US-based speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, Peace and Civil Societies, writes in his blog “Even if one woman, Muslim or otherwise, is deprived of her God-given pleasures of life, it must be stopped. Standing up against oppression is one big aspect of being a Muslim. Injustice to anyone and particularly women will eat away the morality of the society from within. Oppression cannot go on for long. Every religion has been a medium to restore righteousness in the society”.

The issue of Female Genital Mutilation amongst Bohra Muslims raised by Tasleem is surely an important one, particularly when it is being practiced in the name of Islam. This also brings into sharp focus the unholy and absurd role being played by the Bohra clergy, as well as by the clergy of other Muslim sects on most occasions. This important issue has also highlighted the vulnerability of Muslim masses and the stranglehold that the Muslim clergy seeks to further tighten on the community. And, this sad spectacle by the Muslim clergy is being displayed at a time when Muslims in large numbers are gaining modern education and seeking to empower themselves.

An edited version of this article featured in YouthkiAwaaz. 
Link :

Monday, March 19, 2012

Will Akhilesh Yadav change the scene of UP Politics ?

[This post was a comment in the Youth ki Awaz discussion forum titled as the post title]

He looks genuine, but this wrong way of publicity viz. twitter and facebook might ruin his and UP's future. The modern media is a free flow type of thing. The day he was selected as the new CM of UP, he was trending in the twitter like a hero.

In a democracy, a new leader is just like any other man who is in-charge of a new office and has to prove himself in his 5 years tenure. Lets not influence peoples' perspective with this twitter syndrome. Give him time & space to prove himself. No-one knows him personally, he can be either a Sibu Soren or a Gandhi. And, about 'Raja Bhaiyya', i just want to say is hate the crime, not the criminal. If Akhilesh trusts him, let us trust Akhilesh. If the worst happens, we have the power to vote and overthrow them after 5 years.

Still, a visionary that he is added to that the confidence of being the youngest chief minister of the largest state of the country, he can make a difference. India is going through a generation shift, everywhere, from politics to business. Akhilesh Yadav may be a milestone in the history of the great Indian democracy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Agartala Airport issue : A facebook comment

Well, I have been following this post since it started on the popular Facebook group TNT-The Northeast Today (which is the Facebook organ of the popular news & youth magazine The Northeast Today). It created a lot of racist comments and feuds. I followed silently and finally, this is what I commented there :

If you go around in the streets of Agartala, you will find Netaji Subash Bridge at Nagerjala area, 2 statues of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi in front of Bharat Pharmacy (battala), a Gandhi statue at the Assam Rifles base, and countless other statues and memorials including IGM, GB Pant & Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Hospital, dedicated to the National politicians in the heart of the city.

The first thing that strikes me whenever I am out in the city is do we not have any man/woman from our own state who could be immortalized through such sculptures?? Why do we need to pay tribute to people who have visited Tripura only due to election purpose??

The second thought that comes to my mind is why all the statues are of people who are directly or indirectly related to politics?? Is it not the land of Sachin Debbarman too??

Now they have proposed to rename the Agartala Airport, no doubt a good decision, we need a name for our only Airport. But, why again glorifying Radindranath Tagore who was never associated with the port??

To me this naming of Airport issue is a lame one, as it has nothing to do with the affairs of state and people, but then again, I ask the Govt. of Tripura, if we don’t glorify our golden past, then who will?? Will Delhi ever name even a street after any King or Poet from Tripura??