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Monday, August 5, 2013

Top five stupid people of the year

This is not new year. Nor is it any other special occasion. But sheer stupidity of some people has prompted me to write this. This write-up is dedicated to all those who are victimized by this sort of stupidity of people whose deeds and attitudes affect if not dictate the lives of thousands if not millions. To be honest, some people in the list deserve more obnoxious adjectives and I am not sure if that amounts to criminality but for uniformity's sake I'll label them simply as 'stupid'. That leaves a lot of scope for reading between the lines. 

Rank 5: Chandan Mitra, India

Politics often thrives in demagoguery. But sometimes the words come back to haunt the speaker. When Amartya Sen, renowned economist, said that he does not want to see Narendra Modi, BJP's likely choice, as the PM of India, this BJP MP came up with the knee-jerk reaction: how dare a person who received the coveted Bharat Ratna from a BJP Prime Minister utter those words? Naturally a furore followed and even the BJP had to distance itself from the remarks even as Sen decently rebuked Mitra like this: if indeed AB Vajpayee asks me to return what he gave me, I am ready to return it.  

Rank 4: Akhilesh Yadav, India 

The Outlook magazine had the cover story "Young MP's: Betrayal of hope" last week where they explored the disappointing under-performance of the young elected people. Yadav is the young Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India with more than 200 million inhabitants. He has been in news of late for allegedly suspending Durga Shakti Nagpal, an administrative officer for clamping down on the mining mafia in the state. The real pretext was, of course, duly fabricated but the truth could not hide for long as one SP leader gloated to have 'transferred Nagpal in 41 minutes' by 'speaking to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav'. Moral of the story: the trust placed by the state electorate on this young man has been misplaced as he has also followed the duly established mode of governance in one of the most backward states in India: patronize the powerful and wealthy, be they crooks or criminals and penalize anyone who dares speak against them. 

On a parallel note, the complicity of Yadav government on helping a Hindu religious zealot to subvert the entire judicial system was exposed by a sting investigation of a weekly. 

Rank 3: Toru Hashimoto, Japan:

'No rape, No base', says a statement inscribed in a play card held by the people demonstrating against the sexual violence by the American army servicemen in Okinawa, Japan. Indeed making provisions by which the American servicemen can freely indulge in rape and other sexual violence with immunity has been a major sticking point whenever the US tries to finalize the so called 'SOFA' agreements in countries after invasion and devastation have to be followed by military bases. But the outspoken Osaka Mayor Hashimoto meant something else when he passed a damning verdict on the hundreds of thousands of Asian women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese before and during the WWII: that they were not the victims of a crime, rather than the necessary objects to provide 'respite for a groups of high-strung, rough and tumble crowd of men braving their lives under a storm of bullets'. 

While the relentless rightward swing of Japan, with current Prime Mnister Shinzo Abe on the lead, may or may not restore its pre-WWII military glory and/or decades old economic glory, it will definitely alienate its neighbors who have the sour memory from the past. The remarks of the fanatical nationalists like Hashimoto have been, on the other hand, helping Japan to depict itself as the land of utterly self-serving  people devoid of ordinary sense of decency and moral aptitude. If a Chinese group of high-strung, rough and tumble crowd of men braving their lives under a storm of bullets somehow overruns Japan in a conflict and needs a respite, would Hashimoto find it OK to let the Japanese women into sexual slavery to bring them a respite

Rank 2: Kevin Rudd, Australia

The western governments are duly upset by the election results in Zimbabwe even though other African nations are not at all upset. But as John Pilger writes in his illuminating column in The Guardian, there is more to be upset about the imminent polls in Australia: 
The policy in Canberra, known as "stop the boats", evokes the hysteria and cynicism of more than a century ago when the "yellow peril" was said to be about to fall down on Australia as if by the force of gravity. Last week the prime minister, Kevin Rudd, reached back to this era when he declared that no refugees in boats would be permitted to land in Australia. Instead, they are to be sent to concentration camps in impoverished Papua New Guinea, whose government has been suitably bribed. 
Here is why the damning sentence passed by Rudd on the 'boat people' matters, again a para from Pilger's article: 
Among them are people fleeing wars and their aftermath, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, for which Australia and its US mentor bear responsibility. Those who survive are made prisoners in a harsh gulag on the most isolated islands on earth. Women and children sent to equatorial Manus Island have had to be evacuated because of mosquito-infested conditions. Now Manus is to receive 3,000 more refugees who, denied legal rights, may spend years there. A former security guard on the island said: "[It's] worse than a prison actually … Words can't really describe … I have never seen human beings so destitute, so helpless and so hopeless … In Australia, the facility couldn't serve as a dog kennel. Its owners would be jailed."
It appears, the burden of Rudd placating his voters through the populist measures is forcing people displaced by wars and strife into the 'concentration camps' contravening the international refugee conventions.

Rank 1: Mohamed ElBaradei, Egypt

When a person falls from grace, the more his/her persona, the more spectacular the fall. ElBaradei may feel himself elevated in the post of vice president in the tumultuous country of Egypt. But the cost?

Well, ElBaradei may be one of the very few 'accomplished' people in the world who have chosen to kill the infant they have helped create in the first place. While the Brothers might not have been the best and efficient rulers as such, the alternative ElBaradei et al are providing is dreadful, to say the least. By colluding with the military in their drive to oust the Brothers, ElBaradei and other so called 'liberals' and 'secular's have taken help of the wolf to get rid of the fellow lamb. What will happen when the wolf says 'it's your turn now'? This is the question that will seek answer sooner or later even though they are reluctant to answer it now.

For now, the Saudis dole out money and the acute crisis subsides. America and Israel find in the military a much more acceptable ally than the Brothers and embrace it. But is that all the Egyptian revolution was for: a strong and intimidating military, an unashamedly complicit government and brutally repressed people? Did not they dream of freedom and liberty for themselves as well as their brethren in Palestine?

If ElBaradei had anything remotely resembling dignity, he would have politely said the generals: 'No thanks', (of course if they had requested him to avail his shoulder through which they could shoot the MB sympathizers in hundreds and it was not other way round). Now that he did not say that, there is little that can salvage anything from his former image of a 'democracy-seeker'.

(Not included in the list are innumerable people who are blindly supporting/following these very people and many more others like these. The other frankly stupid people with whom I have grudge are the ordinary-looking people with no common sense who end up tormenting their friends in social media sites by endlessly requesting them to play games. Please take note.)

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जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !

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