Friday, September 29, 2006

J&K Flip-Flop

At the time of writing this post, Mr. Pervez Musharraf may have yet again flipped on his own statements and issued vehement denials of his own claims. This flip-flopping is characteristic of the General. So it comes as no surprise that the General wrote down one set of claims and ideas in his 'memoirs' and then refuted his own written claims, even going to the extent of feigning ignorance of what was written in his own book!!

The story thus far is that Musharraf has claimed in his 'memoirs' that the C.I.A. paid the Pakistani Govt millions of dollars in return for the 600 or so suspected 'terrorists' that are now spending their time in the confines of detention centres around the planet (not to speak the *care* with which they are handled). Such a monetary renumeration by any agency of the United States Govt is not permissible as per U.S. law. Not that the current U.S. administration isnt capable of flagrantly violating its own laws! :P .... Anyways, Musharraf then went on to refute his own claims during an appearance on Wolf Blitzer's show on CNN, by saying that such a remark was never made in the book and that he may have to review some changes in the book. He implicitly said that the Pakistan Govt was not a recepient of any monetary rewards given by the C.I.A.

One can see the same pattern of flip-flopping in the J&K issue as well. Musharraf has on several ocassions offered conflicting views on Kashmir and its role vis-a-vis Indo-Pak relations. Today he says, "Pakistan is willing to sit at the table and discuss all possible alternatives for seeking a solution to the J&K and other problems". The next day, he does a flip-around and says, "Pakistan cannot ignore the aspirations of Kashmiris to be independant and hence cannot stop our support to our brothers fighting for that freedom. Kashmir MUST be an independant state" or something to that effect. Its this constant flip-flopping, which by the way is also the Indian Govt's story, that is so frustrating - given that both countries have many other issues such as poverty and globalization to deal with.

In the light of all this, the many other claims and so-called 'facts', which have been 'revealed' in his 'memoirs' have also fallen to suspicion. He has made some very disturbing and rather controversial remarks about the Kargil conflict, its premise, its conduct and its outcome. Some of the claims Mushy has made are:
1. Pakistani Intelligence suggested that India was planning an incursion along the L.O.C., to capture key Pakistani posts - it fails to mention the magnitude of this alleged Indian 'plan'
2. In light of these Intelligence reports, Pakistan had no choice but to pre-empt India, by launching its own incursion along the L.O.C. and this is what happened
3. Pakistan with remarkably less manpower was able to stage a war for such a long duration
4. Pakistan with the help of strategic planning compelled the Indians to deploy a maximum strength force, which included many columns of the Army and Air Force and yet 'persist' for such a long time
5. Official figures regarding Indian casualty of about 600dead is undersated. Musharraf says it is actually double of that. Pakistan, on its part, suffered remarkably less casualties in a war of such duration. Thus, he implicitly indicates that Kargil was a failure for India and success for Pakistan.
6. Much of the progress made on the Kashmir issue (btw, I dont see any) can be attributed to the operation of Kargil

These facts obviously dont seem to have gone well with the Indian polity - the corridors of power in New Delhi have chosen to either vehemently deny or ignore altogether the General's sensational claims. How much of it is truth and how much fiction can perhaps only be revealed by Mushy himself, as he flip-flops his way to hell! :P

On the Flypside, the General does seem to have a good sense of humour and is definitely 'kool' by the standards of a military dictator! Uploaded here is a video of Musharraf appearing on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart(which is a very popular Fake News Show hosted by Jon Stewart, that is an excellent satire on American & International politics):

If the video is anything to go by, Musharraf just got a huge P.R. boost in the U.S. of A. Ofcourse, where he really needs such a positive P.R. is in his own homeland, where by the day, he seems to be making more foes than allies.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pop Vs Rock vs Other Musical Genres and other Nonsensical Stuff

NOTE: Commenting For this post has BEEN CLOSED! .... As the principal characters involved have already commented.

The following post is meant only for my college buddies and may not be understood by my other readers! This is the 1st time I am departing from the tradition to blog about General National and International issues and write something regarding college life and its controversies!

A burning debate seems to have engulfed the entire country, which threatens to divide the people into two groups bitterly opposed to each other, resulting in Political and Musical strife. It may also spill out as a Musical civil war, which could leave thousands of innocent MP3's and 3GP's (read women and children) dead and deleted .... well, ahem, not quite .... mebbe not the nation - to be more precise the entire city of Mumbai .... well, ahem, another over-statement .... Forget a nation of 1 bn people or a city of 10 mn people - It certainly has managed to get a small group of nobodies n wannabes (which includes me:P) within our class all worked up! :P

At the core of the debate lies the important issue of the dominance and superiority of one musical genre over another. Music-Lovers (and those non-living entities who dont listen to any music) are divided broadly into two categories -
1. Those with a agile and nimble neck (for the purpose of the rather energetic and rythmic oscillations of the neck, that could very well give Giraffes a neck-sprain :P) and high on profundity and psychobabble prefer Rock!
2. Those low in the aformentioned criteria prefer listening to 'Pop' :P

So the question is - Is Rock better than Pop? Or is it the other way around? Consequently, the Corollary: Are Rock-Lovers superior to those who prefer their music without all the agression (not to mention the philosophy as well)? This is a question that is so important (or atleast, seems so important to us anyways!:P), that it could well eclipse other existential problems that mankind today faces! :P .... btw here,
'mankind' = a small group of eccentric and insane people in TE Comps :P

Look at the way 'mankind' is divided - the Pop-Lovers (which consisted of a solitary individual, whom I shall now refer to as BoyZone :P) screaming hoarse on the pitfalls of Rock music and its 'superficiality'. And then we had the virulent and often vitriolic catcalls of the Rock-fans, who defended their genre with such fervour and passion as begets a man from the lairs of Osama's jihad factory! :P .... From the Rock-fans, there was one particularly agitated fan(whom I shall now refer to as Manson :P), who took very strong objections to what he claimed were the jaundiced views of an ignorant and imature(in his words 'sissy') followers of a bygone genre.

Boyzone kicked off, what at the time seemed to be a small conflict, which has now turned into full-blown war - which could have both profound and drastic (and disastrous) influences on the way music evolves in the new millenia. :P .... (alrite alrite, I shouldnt be overdoing the hyperbole :P)

Boyzone's objections were that Rock-fans were mainly "wannabes trying to get a blonde's attention" and that Rock-fans must not rubbish other musical genres. He further went on to say that "this is blatantly against those die hard rock fans[u better die :p],who consider any music other than rock as shit." He continues with the diatribe, which it seems is peppered with more such philosophical gems :P .... Manson countered with some arguments of his own, which while holding merit, also didnt fail to deliver sucker-punches to our Pop-Lover, reliving memories rather forgotten. And as it happened, both Boyzone and Manson didnt leave the opportunity to score brownie points and browbeat each other on issues totally personal and which couldnt be farthest from the focal point of the debate!! Human-nature at its best or worst - whichever way u look at it! :P

Now, just picture Boyzone as the sole Musical dictator of the planet! He gets to call the shots on the music being made! Guitar music will be dead, Britney Spears will be shown in "Headbanger's ball", Himeshji's wonderful nasal masterpieces will be played here, there and everywhere(I know thats already happening :P)!! .... If Mr. Boyzone has his way then every Rock mp3 will be deleted from the face of this planet!! No Dance of Death or Fear of the Dark or For Whom the Bell Tolls or Losing My Religion, etc!! :( .... Musical 'compositions' will be churned out by the dozen by the nasal factories of Himesh, Britney & co .... Music will be lame, loud and banal! The sounds of the heavings and farts on Mumbai's locals would seem a much better option to drown the sorrow and misery of thousands of dishevelled Rock-Lovers! :P

Now, contradictorily, picture Mr. Manson having his way! He gets to censor/approve the Music of the planet! What would then happen?? With the zeal of a man possessed by the sensibilities of his genre and quite taken away by it, he will bind the same passion on others! So, gudbye Miss Spears and Mr. Nasal Chammiya!! Hell! This doesnt seem to be a bad proposition after all! :P .... No but seriously, the melodies of ABBA - to whose tunes an entire generation danced and who viewed them with such reverance and many other melodies will be incinerated by this rock-madman in his over-zealous efforts to ensure a totalitarian world of Rock, Rock and ONLY Rock!! Hell! If he has his way, newborns will be listening to Cannibal Corpse! :P

So there u are - my take on it - back of guys, both of u! Mr. Boyzone and Mr. Manson - both ur genres are required and I say 'required' with gr8 reluctance - coz pop sucks 4 me :P .... however grudgingly I may admit, I concede that in the interests of music full of versatility and variance, its important for both genres to exist and evolve - although, I dont think they will ever learn to 'co-exist' peacefully! :P

And as far as which Genre is better! ROCK certainly is! Hands down, Legs up and Heads Banging! :P .... So, corollary : ROCK fans are certainly superior to Pop fans!! :P .... no offense to all the pop-listeners, just one suggestion - grow up! :P

PS: Both 'Boyzone' and 'Manson' happen to be close buddies - I didnt intend to hurt them - merely to laugh at the things people pick and fight on and present it in a humourous and sarcastic way.