Saturday, February 11, 2012

Three Tainted Ministers-- A Worrying Matter For India's Version Of The Republican Party: Porngate in Karnataka


You know, I spent a lot of time in India, wandering around looking for myself in the early '70s and, more recently for business and for vacations. Usually I write about India on my travel blog, especially when it's about something whimsical and utterly useless to anyone not planning a trip to India. But usually when I'm traveling there I get excited about the local politics and do a story or two for DWT. In 2007 I was carrying on about a neo-fascist GOP-like party, the BJP, the right-wing opposition to the more mainstream all-over-the-map Congress Party.
The BJP is a classic right-wing political party, representing the status quo interests of the exploitative/owner class. In a thriving democracy like India, how does a party concerned exclusively with the welfare and prerogatives of .001 percent of the population, and espousing one prepackaged conservative nostrum after another, even hope to win votes? The BJP never needed Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove or the Southern Strategy to succumb to the siren song of the Dark Side's exploitation of social tensions, racism, xenophobia, religionist hatreds and-- it being, even here, a George Bush world-- fear of "Islamofascist terrorism."

Except here in India, that kind of talk can-- and has-- turned very, very deadly. In Gujarat over a thousand Muslims-- men, women and children-- have been brutally murdered, their homes and businesses burned and looted, just five years ago as a step on the ladder to Modi-power. This is called BJP-inspired Hindutva, sometimes called Moditva, in honor of his George Wallace-like encouragement for the mayhem.

Just last week Chief Minister Modi bragged about having suspected Muslim "terrorists" dealt with extra-judicially-- by having them killed. Sobrabuddin Sheik's wife was also hunted down and murdered after Modi disposed of the husband.

Last week, a day after Modi's outrageous justification of the murder of Sobrabuddin, I spent an afternoon at the home, now a revered national shrine, where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. He spent his last years, days and hours trying to tamp down communal violence between Muslims and Hindus as the British were forced, primarily through his own nonviolent leadership, to give up their colonial crown jewel. He watched in profound sadness as his beloved India was split apart. Meditating at the spot where the greatest man of peace the contemporary world has had was gunned down by a Hindu religionist fanatic, it was difficult not to realize that symbolically Narendra Modi is assassinating Mahatma Gandhi all over again as he spits on the universal ideals he promoted and on his life's work.

The video above is about the latest BJP scandal, one American Republican politicians would surely sympathize with-- at least in secret. Hoist on their own petard, the party of fake morals, wound up with the Minister of Women And Child Development and two other cabinet ministers in Bangalore (think Silicon Valley) watching porn on their cell phones... during a legislative session in the Assembly. Many Indians are either very prudish or pretend to be in public. Outrage has broken out all over now. And it doesn't help that one of them had suggested a buttoned-up dress code for women just last month.
Footage of Laxman Savadi, Karnataka state’s Minister for Cooperation, and C.C. Patil, minister for women and child development, watching porn on the cell phone of state Minister for Ports, Science and Technology Krishna Palemar has been shown on all national news channels.

The trio claim they were not engaging in “deliberate” porn viewing, but decided to tender their resignation in order to save BJP from further embarrassment.

“We live in a country where there already is this social mind-set that women are disposable commodities,” said former women’s development minister Renuka Chowdhary. “It really is troubling that the people who are in positions of power and have the responsibility to change things actually have the same mindset and are busy watching porn.”

The opposition is now demanding the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly resign because he's refused to recommend the filing of charges against these three bozos, despite the fact that a cyber law expert terms the incident "a grave offence."
Although watching porn is not an offence, co-operation minister Lakshman Savadi committed a grave offence by viewing the clip on the floor of the assembly, said Pawan Duggal, a Supreme Court advocate and authority on cyber law.

He said Savadi was watching the obscene clip as it was being transmitted on his mobile. This amounted to illegal transmission of obscene material and also abuse of gadget. The offence would invite three years imprisonment and fine of Rs5 lakh.

Morally, legislators should serve as role models to people. But if they indulged in acts like this, people would lose faith in democracy, he said.

The government gives mobile phones to public servants for good use. Savadi should be booked under appropriate section for misusing the gadget given to him. Savadi was caught in the act inside the assembly and what he had done was a grave mistake morally, ethically and legally, Duggal said. A senior police officer, who did not want to be quoted, said Savadi could also be booked for violating the code of conduct in the assembly.

If you ask me, buck McKeon's bribe taking and Spencer Bachus' insider trading scandals are more serious, no? Anyway, this Psychedelic Furs video would have been far more effective if everyone was dancing, don't you think?

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home