Posts Tagged ‘india’

Chemical castration is a weak deterrent to rape

In Social on January 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm


a tribute by Julie McCarthy of NPR a BBC interview with Damini’s father

India saw a tragic conclusion to an intensely watched incident.  The 23-year old victim of gang-rape passed away.  The protests that gathered steam at India Gate, broke down with grief and demanded severe forms of punishments including death by hanging.  One such popular form of punishment being toyed around was chemical castration (ChemCast) of the rapists.  The Congress party quickly picked up chemical castration as a viable deterrent to rape.

In my opinion, they are trying to appease a seething mass of protesters into believing they are tough on this violence against women.

To understand the confusion, let us first lay to rest some popular misconceptions regarding ChemCast:

  • No, they do not pour acid over erring organ
  • No, the erring organ does not fall off
  • No, it is not all that painful. an injection’s needle prick is all the pain
  • No, the loss in libido is not permanent, it lasts for three months only

Interestingly, due to some strong myths being busted above, I would have disappointed many Indians that are demanding a severe punishment to convicted rapists.

Chemical castration in a way is a cure for hypersexuality which often pushed a person to sexual crimes, so I would classify it as a curative rather than punitive option.

– Dr Rommel Tikkoo, Max Super Speciality Hospital Saket.


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Amidst the heat and dust, a 100% desi-margarita

In Drinks on December 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm


I came across a fascinating story recently.  The famed Tequila and Margarita of the West being processed and manufactured, right here in India.  The guy behind this was Desmond Nazareth.  This being an India first, I had to participate in the toast first and a blog next!

Tequila is a refinement over a native drink of Mexico, by the Spanish Conquistadors more than 500 years ago.  They took the sweet syrup of the agave plant and fermented and distilled it further.  It has come to become the national identity of Mexico’s proud heritage.  From Jalisco, Tierra del Tequila, published by Artes Mexico, 1995:

Tequila reminds us of a particular world, a world that was born of shared imagination – a wild, rural landscape of robust men on horseback, accustomed to difficult tasks.  A powerful shadow, that of the mountain also called Tequila, falls over this great region. That terrain of hard beauty is as hypnotizing to contemporary travellers as it was in centuries past. 

Almost all of the Tequila is manufactured in Tequila, a small town in a valley west of Guadalajara, in Jalisco state, Mexico.  The largest consumer of tequila is the US and then Mexico.  Two of the largest and well known tequila brands being Cuervo and Sauza.  It takes a minimum of 8 years to make a bottle of tequila.  It is distilled from the roasted center (piña) of the blue agave plant.  Tequila is a Geographical Indication (GI) belonging to the Mexican Government.

Panning the camera back to India, we see a man in search of bringing this Mexican buzz to India.  In the process, he went the whole 9 yards:

From growing the blue agave Indian equivalent to also manufacturing the liqueurs essential for a great margarita.  

While doing some spirit and soul searching in India, Desmond appears to have had an ‘aha’ moment.  In his own words:

A random question was triggered off in my mind, for no apparent reason: why is Tequila®, a globally known alcoholic beverage, made in only one country (Mexico), whereas almost any other equally well known alcoholic beverage (whisky, vodka, rum, gin, champagne, wine, beer) has multiple producers in multiple countries?
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The Saffron Swastika – Fascism’s India moment

In Political on November 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

Bal Thackeray, the leader of Shiv Sena died due to illness on the 17th November, 2012.  He was 86.  The political leaders of the country, along with the corporate honchos, filmdom’s Bollywood super stars and a large swath of urban Mumbai population paid rich tribute to this man.  State honors were provided as he was laid to rest in Shivaji Park.  He was wrapped in the Indian national flag, as a tearful Mumbai was artfully covered by a media that blared obsequious peans of it’s own.

In a quickly staged media event, a deferential following paying last rites to the elder Thackeray  was concocted as lending legitimacy to a leader’s factious legacy.

Most calling him Hindu Hriday Samrat or the emperor of Hindu hearts.  In a compelling The Hindu op-ed titled An Authentic Indian Fascism, Praveen Swami wrote about the abundance of tributes flowing in:

It is tempting to attribute this nauseous chorus to fear or obsequiousness. Yet, there is a deeper pathology at work. In 1967, Thackeray told the newspaper Navakal: “It is a Hitler that is needed in India today”. This is the legacy India’s reliably anti-republican elite has joined in mourning.

Swami goes on to argue that the Shiv Sena represents an authentic Indian fascism, created by the accommodations that India’s liberal democracy sought with communalism.  His litmus test of fascism has been Gramsci’s understanding that fascism is the excrement of a dysfunctional polity. He is correct in his observation that it was a dysfunctional polity that gave rise to the Shiv Sena.  But, was it fascism?

I apply a different definition and test this authentic Indian fascism.  Swami is right in his opinion that there are many fundamental building blocks within Shiv Sena that approached a classic fascism model.  I take Michael Mann’s construction instead, of classic fascism and apply it here to the Shiv Sena model.  Same subject, different angle.  According to Mann:

The pursuit of a transcendent and cleansing Nation-Statism through para-militarism. 

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Wanton soup for the Indian Rapist

In Social on October 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm

That was not a typo.  I did not mean the Chinese wonton soup, I meant wanton, as in a cruel or violent action.  As in a wanton behavior leading to rape.  The reason I chose it is because a socio-political administrative system called the Khap Panchayat in Haryana has blamed the consumption of the Chinese fast food chow-mein for the sharp spike in rape incidents in the state.

Chow-mein according to them leads to hormonal imbalance that makes an otherwise normal man, pounce unexpectedly onto an innocent woman.  The other bizarre solution, other than banning such libido inducing fast food, was to reducing the marriageable age for girls, so they are “no longer in circulation” and instantly removed from harms way.  Harm that is, from cavemen neanderthals who until now were hidden from view under large rocks.  They claimed this was done during Mughal rule to save the honor of women.  

How does India deal with rape?

If you are beaten, you’re said to have incited it, if you’re raped you’re said to have invited it. We all know that these things run very deep in the culture  – Gloria Steinem, feminist author

Rape is the only crime where the victim becomes the accused in India

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