HOME | ABOUT US | Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com You can send an email to: MikeGhouseforIndia@gmail.com

Friday, February 12, 2010

Khan Premieres Quietly in Mumbai

Khan' Premieres Quietly in Mumbai
An article by Arlene Chang and comments by Subra Narayan
Courtesy of Wall Street Journal

The movie "My name is Khan" is going to be yet another block buster Bollywood movie, the extremists in India have been destrucitve and preventing it from being shown in Mumbai, India. As an Indian, I have to figure out how to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill for the well being of my mother land.

I ask the Wall Street Journat to assess the economic impact bullyism will have on Mumbai? It will make every one's life difficult. What about the Jobs that the ordinary people would lose? If it were in the United States, the cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad would scout the businesses to move to their cities, offer incentives, tax breaks and safety and security of every one in the City. When there was electricity shortage in California, Texas Cities advertised in California papers to move to Texas including my own Dallas ... and we wooed some businesses, and Atlanta beat us a few times as well. Let the competition and free market determine the survivability of a City.

For the sake of Mumbai, and every one in Mumbai including the Sainiks, I hope the Mubaikers wake up and stops the bullyism. If the businesses move out, then these guys stand to lose, then they will chase all North Indians out of the city, and when they loose more, they would chase any one who does not speak Marathi and at the end, they may realize that they were wrong. Let's not lookdown upon the misguided, but sit down with them and see if they are a tool of others or if they sincerely believe in it, let there be a dialogue that, let them see the value of India together is better off than Maharashtra, Gujarat, TN, Bengal or others separately. I would urge a real genuine heart to heart conference on the topic.

This article is shared at http://www.mikeghouseforindia.net/ and DallasIndians@yahoogroups.com in existence for nearly 6 years serving the every one in Dallas, prior to that the community was served through Asian American Journal published between 1993-2000 and Asian news Radio, the first Desi talk show radio in Dallas that began in 1996. You are welcome to join, if you have positive things to contribute and to make the world a better place to live for every one, please do so.

We do allow extreme views for us to understand the insignificant but potent hate that pervades in our society and learn to work at it. Hate mongering is not any one's monopoly - there is an equal percentage of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists (alphabetical order) and others who spew nothing but hate, we cannot exclude them, they are part of the society and we hope some day, they can see that hate produces hate, belligerency produces belligerency and it makes sense to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.

Let events like this bring people together to find solutions. I hope the comments that flow in here would be suggestions to make life better and not hate mongering or blaming or cursing. I challenge your goodness to write here, you are welcome to show your meanness, because I believe, some day, you will see that it makes sense to respect the otherness of other.
Jai Hind
Mike Ghouse


'Khan' Premieres Quietly in Mumbai
Terror in the Maximum Cityby Subra Narayan

Should Pakistani and Australian cricket players be allowed to play in the upcoming IPL? Well that is a decision best left to IPL, which is a private organization and the Government of India, as it is somewhat of a political issue. But a handful of thugs have no right to decide who can come to India to play cricket or whether its citizens have the right to live and work in any part of the nation. The Sena goons have hijacked and terrorized my beloved city of Bombay, oops Mumbai, for well over four decades, resorting to unlawful means, inciting violence and destruction of public property.

This city was not built in a single day, but these senseless goons waste no time in bringing life to a standstill by way of their infamous bandhs and morchas. And now they have decided it is time to inflict their wrath on Shah Rukh Khan for his comments on including Pakistani players! I don’t care much for his movies or acting talents, but there was nothing wrong when he said that cricket or any other game for that matter should not be influenced by politics. He had every right to speak his mind, in his capacity as the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, whether you agree with him or not, whether you like his movies or not. If you don't agree with what he said, then well write about it, invite him to a duel on multiple TV channels, pick his brains and let him have it in front of an audience.

But why threaten to picket his upcoming movie release, why call him a traitor and why arouse hundreds of misguided folks who have nothing better to do than burn effigies, posters, bash people and destroy property!

Sachin Tendulkar echoed the sentiments of a majority of Indians when he unequivocally stated that, ‘I am a proud Indian first and then a Maharashtrian’. Needless to say he incurred the wrath of India’s moral police, the self-appointed demagogues. Are we living in a civilized society or the Stone Age? It is a complete mockery of the Constitution which upholds every citizen’s right to freedom of speech and expression. India recently celebrated 60 years of being a Republic, not a Banana Republic!

We elect our leaders democratically in the hope that they will uphold the law, ensure citizens’ safety and improve their lives. We don’t elect them so that they can sit and watch helplessly while an unlawful bunch of vitriol spewing hooligans continue to issue diktats on the law abiding, tax paying citizens of the nation. Shame on such a government for letting this happen in one of the largest metropolis whose folks take pride in this wonderfully diverse cosmopolitan hub.The whole country is aghast at the merciless treatment being meted out to Indian students in Australia, rightfully so.

But what about the goondas in Mumbai that rail against their own countrymen who migrate from other parts of the country for a livelihood. In the 60’s when the tiger was young and had just tasted blood, the target was predominantly South Indians and Gujaratis. Now the Uttar Bharatiya is being attacked and forced to learn Marathi or else! Vir Sanghvi’s latest column in the Hindustan Times poignantly captures the essence of the moment as he traces the birth of the Sena in the 60’s and its achievements or lack thereof. Ironically as history has shown us so many times, that once you create a Frankenstein it always comes back to bite you. In this case, the Sena is Congress’s Frankenstein!

Pinky Virani, an activist and author of “Once was Bombay”, tackles the negative forces that are responsible for the decline of this once beautiful city and comes down heavily on the Sena. And now decades later the tiger may be aging but doesn’t seem to have given up its old habits. Many people are of the opinion that India’s time has finally arrived on the world stage and we are racing speedily towards becoming a superpower.

The events in the last couple of months tell a different story though. How can a bunch of ruffians be allowed to decide who has the right to settle down and live in Mumbai? Or for that matter how can petty politicians decide whether Hyderabad belongs to Telangana or AP? You may disagree with me on this issue, but the founding fathers did a big disservice to the nation by allowing the formation of states on a linguistic basis.

The Bombay Presidency should have been left untouched in 1960 which eventually gave rise to linguistic, regional and parochial jingoism. We should all be proud of our mother-tongue, but that shouldn't form the basis for who gets to live in your mother-State. Languages cannot be forced down someone’s throat, they should feel free to learn and enjoy it.

I love to sing in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada & Malwi, although my singing abilities are questionable. But the point is that language should not be a determinant in who gets to settle down in which part of the country, if it is a free nation. Every schoolchild knows to recite the Pledge, which glorifies India’s rich heritage and cultural diversity.

We were unified as one country in our freedom struggle against the British. But somehow after 60 years, we seem to have become more disintegrated, parochial, fanatical and even fascists on our way to becoming a superpower. Is “India Shining”? Jai Hind!

February 11, 2010

'Khan' Premieres Quietly in Mumbai

MUMBAI—The film "My Name is Khan" premiered in Mumbai Friday amid tight security and on a much-reduced number of screens after right-wing protesters earlier this week damaged cinemas slated to show the new movie by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

Activists of the Shiv Sena party, a Hindu nationalist group, earlier this week vandalized movie theaters scheduled to show the film, ripping posters of the movie and breaking windows. They were protesting the views of Mr. Khan, who said that Pakistan's cricket players should be allowed to participate in India's professional cricket league. Mr. Khan is co-owner of Kolkata's cricket team and a hugely popular star in the sub continent.

Police took 2,739 protestors into custody and 108 have been charged with damaging property, said D. Sivanandhan, Mumbai Police Commissioner.

View Full ImageReuters
Indian police personnel stationed outside a theater scheduled to screen "My Name Is Khan."

Originally, 63 screens were scheduled to show the movie; only 13 did so Friday. None of the city's theaters screened morning shows for the film. Fun Cinemas and INOX were the first two multiplexes to start screenings for the film with their matinee shows.

"There were people who came in to buy tickets early in the morning, in anticipation of the shows starting, and some obviously went away," said Vishal Kapur, chief operating officer of Fun Cinemas. "But, when we opened bookings, there was a huge rush and our first show was a full house." An official at BIG Cinemas, another multiplex chain, said: "We have screened one show and the response good, but we have still not decided the fate of a full opening; we are still testing the waters."

Many theaters across the city resembled a fortress, with hundreds of police personnel stationed in and around their premises.

The distributors of the film, Fox Star Studios, expressed relief at the film's phased release in Mumbai and were optimistic about the film's prospects. "The past few days have been very difficult for us and business in Maharashtra has definitely been impacted," said Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Searchlight. "But, what's important is that the audience has loved the film and the response to it has been absolutely rock solid."
Fox Star Studios will market and distribute the film throughout India; Fox Star is a joint venture between Twentieth Century Fox and Star, which are owned by News Corp., owner of Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

Analysts say the Shiv Sena is trying to put up a show of strength and regain its hold on the Marathi-speaking voters of Mumbai, the capital of the state of Maharashtra, by resorting to violence over Mr. Khan's comments. The Sena, which was founded in 1966 by cartoonist Bal Thackeray, lost many voters to the rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in last year's state assembly elections. The MNS was formed by Raj Thackeray, nephew of the Shiv Sena founder. Both compete for the votes of Mumbai's natives, many of whom feel they have been bypassed by the city's growing wealth amid an influx of immigrants from elsewhere in India.

"The Sena has been a powerful party in Maharashtra and the fact that they did not do well in the last assembly elections is definitely still playing on their minds," said Mahesh Rangarajan, a political analyst at Delhi University.

"They are trying to regain lost ground by their tactics."

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