Posts Tagged ‘George Orwell’

Who’s to say filter coffee OK, Starbucks yaake?

15 January 2011

Last time, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, was caught sipping coffee in public was in September 2009, he was 112 years old. Now, in January 2011, which makes him a neat 113 years and nine months, the vedic scholar (born 20 April 1897) puts his lips to his magic potion at the world youth day celebrations, at the Sri Kanteerava stadium in Bangalore on Saturday.

Despite the advertised ill-effects of caffeine, Pandit Chaturvedi has lived through the invention of the aeroplane and the motor car, television, countless skirmishes including the two World Wars, the independence movement of a few dozen countries, satellite television, Yana Gupta‘s wardrobe malfunction, and is all set to welcome Starbucks.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: If it works for the young man, it sure works for us

How a chief minister should drink tea. (Or not?)

External reading: Christopher Hitchens on a perfect cup of tea

CHURUMURI POLL: Blackberry, Google, Skype?

1 September 2010

After extending the deadline to Blackberry™ to open up its servers to security agencies to monitor data flowing through it (or else), the Indian government is now threatening Google™ and Skype™. Orwellian home ministry officials have demanded “access to everything” from “any company with a telecoms network”.

Such insecurity passes in the name of security. Having access to “encrypted data”, the mandarins believe, will thwart terrorism through the telephone and internet, as if the terror-mongers cannot find newer ways. That fear is being happily used to write off privacy and personal liberty, as if they no longer matter in a democracy.

Although the moves will affect millions, there has been little opposition or aggression from the people’s representatives, media or industry bodies, even as Blackberry’s competitors like Nokia™ have used the Chidambaram-sent opportunity to tout their new security-compliant systems.

Questions: Should Blackberry, Google and Skype open up? Are you willing to open up every facet of life in the name of security? Will these measures stop terrorism? Just because other countries have allowed similar monitoring, should we too? Or is this just another figleaf that the Union home ministry is using to pry into out lives?

“Indecent? Vulgar? Repulsive? Suggestive?”

23 August 2008

The Shirdi Sai Baba may miraculously open his left eye and left eye only, mind you, just as the Neilsen meters start whirring. The mullahs may spew out hate 24×7 with spit and polish. The 9 pm women may all be vampish shrews with Botox vials in their hip pockets. And aging heroes may fish out live pomfrets from the bras of teenaged actresses who have barely started missing their school periods.

The Orwellian ministry of information and broadcasting can somehow live with the stench of obscurantism, superstition, hatred, sexist stereotype, etc, dished out to the masses on television and in the movies. What they can’t stand is sex—or anything that may make it seem like a remotely pleasurable experience.

“We have found that the advertisement of Axe ‘Dark Temptation’ deodorant is indecent, vulgar and repulsive,” the I&B ministry has stated a communique to Advertising Standards Council of India.

Admittedly the Axe commercials are designed to be deliberately provocative, much as the old Benetton ads used to be. But who are we kidding about their impact on impressionable young minds when they are exposed to far worse and far more objectionable?

For the record, Priyaranjan Dasmunsi‘s ministry has banned AXN channel for airing a show called ‘World’s Sexiest Advertisements‘ and FTV for a show called ‘Midnight Hot‘. More specifically, the (official) moral police have had their eyes transfixed on underwear advertisements proscribing the television commercials of at least three brands in recent times.

Whoever it was who said “Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun“, never typed “banned commercials” in the search window on YouTube.

Read the full story: Government brands Axe ad ‘indecent’

Also view: If sanitary pads are OK, why not…

Desh ke police kaise ho? Moral police jaise ho!

Are we becoming a nation of blithering idiots?

Just how is this dress an affront to Hindu culture?