Jest in the subcontinent…

Each day the TV brings a new news high.

Day before, it was about the ’emergency’ in Pakistan.

Channels in India were full of it, channels in Pakistan were going off the air, CNN and other western channels didnt make much of it. (Often, I wonder if all Americans wake up every day worrying about what happened today in Tel Aviv or Gaza strip…The TV coverage seem to indicate that…).

But back to Pakistan.

I was trying to explain to my daughter what ‘Emergency’ was. I told her about revocation of fundamental rights, the constitution being suspended, Supreme Court judges being dismissed, politicians being arrested…None of this made her feel that anything was amiss…

Then I told her that all TV Channels are off, internet was down, cell phones cut off, and no sms…That got her…She was really shocked….No cell phone? No sms? What kind of government would do that? How utterly cruel!

As she rushed to her orkutting, I surfed newschannels.

Pakistani journalists, lawyers, political activists and others were speaking quite freely to interviewers from Indian TV. They said exactly what they thought of the man of the moment, the President-General Musharraf Saab. Lawyers were organizing vocal protests. Looking at all this one wondered about what kind of emergency this was. Surely, when India was under emergency (only once, and thank God for that), one didnt see any such bluster amongst the dissidents. Quite a difference. The Pak drama looked more like ” ‘Off with her head’ said the Queen” kind of Alice in wonderland…I wondered…

And then I saw Shekar Gupta in a TV interview, I think it was NDTV. In this  interview, he made an interesting comment. He said that ‘India is a democracy, but there isnt that much freedom of expression…whereas Pakistan is not a democracy, but people pretty much speak their mind…’, or words to that effect.

Savor this.

A news item says that Indian ministers were officially told to keep off from a function in Delhi where Dalai Lama was falicitated. No emergency here. But I believe that obedience was total. (see )

Meanwhile, the Pak cricket team on tour to India just goes ahead with the matches – ‘business as usual’…Although, I guess that the matches wont be shown on Pak TVs (for TVs are off the air)…

Welcome to the subcontinent. Smile please! 


4 Responses to “Jest in the subcontinent…”

  1. Srinivasa Says:

    Indeed the children don’t know what the fathers went through.

    Here’s one of the themes of the protesters:

    डाकुआँ-दा जे साथ न देंदा पिंड-दा पहरेदार
    अज पैराँ ज़ंजीर ना होंदी जित न होंदी हार
    पग्गाँ अपने गल विच पा लो टुरो पेट दे भर
    चढ़ जाये ते मुश्किल लह्न्दी बूटाँ दी सरकार

  2. gkamesh Says:


    can u xlate pls…in publik pleyyar…hainji

  3. Srinivasa Says:

    DTEA boys should not be asking for translation of simple Punjabi. Anyway here is a literal translation:

    If only the watchman had not helped the bandit
    Today our feet would not be in chains, we would have tasted victory, not defeat
    Wrap your turbans around your neck, crawl on your bellies
    Once it gets on top of you, it is hard to bring down this jackbooted government.

  4. gkamesh Says:


    The ring of pnjaabi is wonderful. If one but listens, i guess one finds music in every language. A music that is so natural, set in the orchestra of that people, place, climate, flora, fauna….thanks for sharing…i luved the the phrase “बूटाँ दी सरकार…”

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