Friday, February 7, 2014

An FIR, a tweet and the End of History

By Naseer A Ganai

All of sudden media fraternity woke up to breaking news on a TV that a lady has filed complaint against Minister of State for Health accusing him of molestation. Police have filed FIR and Minister is likely to be arrested. Fine. That is it.

After that no one came to fore to explain, where FIR has been registered, what is the complaint and what are the sections under which FIR has been registered and who is the accused. As if great typhoon had struck police and humbled it.

Information started coming in bits and pieces. It was all wired.

It was like last year’s SHALBHOT (Jackal Hill) area of the Keran sector. You could write anything. It was up to your imagination. More you stretch it more space you had to write. So people wrote. Whatever they wished attributing everything to sources.  And sources are sources. They have authority without responsibility. Sources too are prone to imagination. They started imagining what might have happened.

Some sources said the victim went to a court first. Other sources said she directly went to police station. Others said that the court directed police to register a FIR. Others said police took the lead and filed FIR. Since no official was picking up phone or divulging information, sources had field day. They bombarded journos with source information.

By Friday things started going so hazy that a friend quoting a source said that even FIR has not been registered. It was becoming more and more confusing. Other friend said that cops took a santro car to arrest the Minister. Wow. It was like Bollywood film. FIR hai bi aur nahi bi, aur car bi hai. Only thing missing was background sound. Anything could have happened now.
I started thinking may be everything is farce. Soon Shabir Khan, Minister of State for Health will emerge and say everything is wrong, he did nothing unhealthy and nasty.  

Then I set eyes on the twitter. There was no tweet from the twitter-in-chief of the State. How could he remain silent when there is such a thing going on? If he has not tweeted it means nothing has happened. The mixed signals from sources were creating more confusion. A friend said he was asked by his sources to write whatever he wishes. That means there is something. It also means there is nothing.

All of sudden someone disclosed that the CM is going to tweet. This was the only thing the CM does and strangely he was not doing it. Then after some minutes the CM did tweet. That the Minister of State for Health has resigned. So it means FIR was registered, complaint was there and the Minister was accused.

I still wonder why police left everything to sources to talk about the FIR when the FIR was registered. They could have simply said FIR has been registered against accused person, who happen to be a Minister and case is under investigation. Baat Khatam.

But then common sense is not so common. In this case police felt if it discloses that FIR has been registered and the Minister is accused, then it would mean, what Francis Fukuyama called, the End of History. Everything is going to end. It would be end of civilisation. Hence the mystery!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Our own Nadella Syndrome

By Naseer A Ganai

There is widespread disappointment after initial excitement in India over the elevation of Satya Nadella as Microsoft CEO. Media in India feels let down by Nadella as he made no mention of his Indian background after becoming CEO of the Microsoft. But Nadella is not at fault for hurting delicate and tender feelings of media men and women.

The day he became the CEO he did not go to media in India and asked them that he was born and brought up in India and he become CEO of Microsoft because he is an Indian. He did nothing that sort. Instead media felt excited and started talking about “our own Nadella” and sought interview of his father, who said that his family should not be disturbed in this “private moment.” His response was quite dignified.

Nadella is not an actor. That is why he has no need to say that he likes Mere Desh Ki Dharti song. He has left India some 25-years ago and settled in the USA and pursued his American dream. His is an individual success and a private moment for his family. So there was no need for media to suffer from Nadella syndrome. But they can’t avoid it. They cannot do without it. They started discussing everything about Nadella including his gigantic salary as if he was going to share it with media persons.

Take example of Preet Bharara. Bharara, Manhattan’s top prosecutor when put a strong case against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, a leading Indian television anchor described him more “American than Americans” and accused him of being a racist. The anchor was expecting that Bharara should not initiate prosecution against Khobragade for paying salve wages to her maid and for lying to the US authorities. But Bharara is US citizen though born in India and he was doing duty for his country. Why should someone feel betrayed if Indian born American citizen act like citizen of America? They expect them to be Indians to go slow on cases where top officials are involved. That doesn't happen in other democracies even though they are not largest!

In their zeal to show to the world that they have arrived at the world stage strange things happen in South Asia.

In August 2012 a Pakistani shocked fellow Pakistanis and the world when he claimed he could run a car on water. Agha Waqar Ahmad, the alleged water inventor shot into fame in Pakistan. Pakistan’s federal Minister appeared on television show with him and talk show hosts suggested he should get state financing and protection. And then no one bothered to know what happen to the great water invention.

Instead of waiting to prove  the claim of obscure inventor, Pakistani media went blitzkrieg seeking world attention toward the invention. Nations, which have low self-esteem does it to show to the world that they have achieved something. See somewhere some Nadella has done something. He was once upon a time an Indian. See somewhere in Pakistan some Waqar Ahmad has said he could run a car on water. This is our contribution to the world even though we really doubt whether he could run a paper ship on water.

Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan and India, these things are over done. A Kashmiri Qazi Tauqer sings. He was awarded for being atrocious singer and subsequently disappeared from the scene as no one could tolerate his voice and appearance. Since then there is no looking back for media in Kashmir. Someone if cries in bathroom, a singer is born for media. Now a Kashmiri got NASA award. They say Kashmiris have talent that is not even visible anywhere.

But all said and done Indians have certain standards. Nadella has become something. The CEO of Microsoft is big thing what if he doesn't mention his Indian origin. Pakistan too has certain standard. Agha Waqar Ahmad had claimed that he could run a vehicle on water. That was big claim what if he failed even to make a paper boat to float on water.  Kashmiris have no such standards.

Someone becomes simple clerk in the government after qualifying IAS or IPS or that crap called KAS and we are being asked to go for celebration.

Grow up people.

An estimated 190 Jewish or half-Jewish people have received Nobel Prizes since they were first handed out in 1901. Jews have won more than 20 per cent of the 850-plus prizes awarded, despite making up just 0.2 per cent of world’s population. If Israel starts celebrating individual contribution of their citizens then every day is day of festivity for it.