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On a lighter note, this news piece:
Police suspect that the pigeon, which landed in Indian territory, may be on “special mission of spying” and might have been pushed by Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.
The pigeon is being kept in an air conditioned room which is being guarded by policemen. A medical examination of the bird was carried out by the doctor from the state animal husbandry department.
After the recent killing of two Pakistan-based terrorists in a gunbattle in Gurdaspur district, special instructions were issued to border inhabitants to report anything suspicious to the police, the SHO said.
Chahal said he has been asked by his seniors not to leave the police station or to proceed on leave until the fate of pigeon was decided.
The number ’303-6284620′ was written in red on the pigeon’s feathers along with a rubber stamp – Islamabad Wazirabad-Pakistan.
Chahal said they suspected that the pigeon must have landed on Indian soil from Pakistan with a message, which has not be traced so far.
The SHO said that Pakistani pigeon are easily recognisable as they have a “different look”.
“There are five to six families on Indo-Pak border village that have keen interest in keeping pigeons in their houses. They have told us about the difference between Indian and Pakistani birds,” he said.
It could be true, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it is funny as hell.
And if it is true, charge the damn pigeon, I say.
Pakistanis learnt about the evil side of Facebook recently. Not the pictures of the prophet, but that it can be banned at will by the government.
Therefore, an alternative was born : www.millatfacebook.com It would’ve been sued to death in the U.S. for plagiarism, but it should be safe for now.
Its tagline is precious: MillatFacebook helps you connect and share with more than 1.57 Billion Muslims and Sweet people from other Religions.
So if you follow Islam, walk right in. If you follow any other religion, grab a knife, pierce it into your flesh — Arms, thighs are good options for those with a good physique; belly for Indians. Scrape some flesh and eat it. If it tastes sweet, walk right in.
I know that was gross, or as some would say — in bad taste.
At the other extreme is a group called Against Everybody Draw Mohammad Day, which is not banned, has 40,000 members, and has equally insane commenters as the original page — from doing jihad against Facebookers, to saying that Islam is the ‘best’ religion. Well guest what, it’s not. And while everyone would love to believe that theirs is truly the best religion, it is silly to claim any religion is the ‘best’.
I wonder : Now that there are a few thousand blasphemous images on the interwebs, it will be awfully hard to even find each creator.
The outrage .. and outage in Pakistan continues. Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia are all banned. Had they stopped at that, I would have no issues. But they’ve gone too far this time. Xeb writes, from behind the firewall:
I can’t access WordPress (Deepak’s blog is currently being denied)
Not cool, Pakistan, not cool! You will have to pay with your blood for every hit I don’t get.
I’ll accept cash too.
When you don’t get a hit, is it called a miss?
I wrote about Everybody Draw Muhammad Day in an earlier post :
I think the idea is in bad taste and here’s why : When South Park lampoons public figures, celebrities and holy figures, they are doing it as satire — something the creators think of as serving as a larger purpose. But drawing Muhammad is just to offend an entire community, without any other purpose. It will include Muslims who were probably offended by South Park, but left it at that.
That being said, I have way less of a problem with it than with extremists issuing threats.
That day is tomorrow, and its effects are visible. Pakistan banned Facebook until May 31st. And photos are being uploaded by the thousands at the Facebook page. As I would expect, there is hardly any satirical (or otherwise) value in most of the photos. They’re derogatory — and in many instances, racist — comments directed at Muslims in general.
The campaign guys have every right to continue with the campaign, but I don’t agree with them. It is in bad taste and partly racist, but they have every right to be stupid.
I’m not sure how I would react to something that offended me. For starters, I can’t come up with anything that would offend me, but I know this : If I were to be offended by someone, I would disagree and ignore, but defend the offender’s right.
Dammit! Why can’t I think of anything that would offend me?!
Cafe Pyala, one of the good Pakistani blogs I follow, has a post on this, much of which I disagree with:
The US 1st (free speech) Amendment does legally protect all forms of speech but even in the US, it is socially and politically suicidal to say anything in the mainstream media that questions certain sacred cows, such as the right of Israel to exist, having sex with those ‘under age’, or to make fun of Jesus. I am not weighing in on the merits of these prohibitions, only pointing out that the freedom always exists within certain limits prescribed by society.
There are enough voices against Israel in the U.S., almost every second person makes fun of Jesus and I didn’t get how sex with those ‘under age’ is pertinent. I agree there need to be limits on free speech (mostly dealing with extreme forms of hate speech such as direct incitement to violence), but the bar on the limits shouldn’t be so low that free speech isn’t free speech anymore.
To get an idea of what is allowed in the U.S., any standup act of Bill Maher is a good starting point.
of his powers, that is.
Pakistan’s 18th amendment passed a few days back :
You’d think that in a bill stripping the President of some key powers, they’d add a P.S. : Doesn’t need to be signed by the President.
Trust Times of India to come up with such stuff :
Good timing, I must say.
Fatima Bhutto, niece of Benazir Bhutto, is in India to promote her book Songs of Blood and Sword. She appeared in an interview with Barkha Dutt. The interview is 45 mins. long but worth every bit. Here is the link. I know it has Barkha I’m-trying-my-best-to-be-a-cross-between-Oprah-and-Simi-Garewal Dutt, but it is still worth your time.
Fatima’s father, Murtaza Bhutto, was killed in 1996 in a conspiracy allegedly involving her aunt, Benazir Bhutto. Her relationship with Benazir since, leading to Benazir’s own assassination and the strange circle that it completed forms a large part of the interview. And the book, I presume.
What struck me most was the ease with which she talks about the duality of Benazir Bhutto — as a politician and as an aunt. It would have been fine if she had shown her angst at the treatment meted out to her father and his family. But she comes across as remarkably composed and intelligent.
And then there is this quote of Fatima Bhutto (she was asked about why she refused to enter active politics) :
I don’t believe in birth-right politics. I don’t think, nor have I ever thought, that my name qualifies me for anything.
I’m political, my writing is political, I’m active in political causes. I’ve always been interested in politics — but this very idea of eastern politics of dynasty, I don’t think breeds affection. I think it is an entitled, dangerous system. It doesn’t enhance engagement in politics. It doesn’t help participatory democracy.
She deserves much respect for this quote. Given how the Zardari kids are shaping up with Bilawal Sunny-Deol Zardari and Asifa Imma-speak-Urdu-with-a-phoren-accent Zardari, Fatima might be the only good thing to come out of that whole family.
Oh, and she is really charming.
The government goofed on yet another advertisement. This time, Delhi was in Pakistan and Kolkata in the sea (eating phish, I presume). This is what a BJP leader had to say :
“Earlier also the UPA government had goofed with an ad where a Pakistani official was shown–all I can say as far issues of the country are concerned, UPA is very non serious,” said BJP leader, Sumitra Mahajan.
The statement is unacceptable on two counts :
1. She is clearly infringing on the negative rights of bloggers. This was a perfect setting for bloggers to poke fun at someone, and the BJP is trying to hijack it.
2. It makes no effing sense ! At most, the ones to blame are some intern at the advertising firm who was surfing an adult website while doing this (the map, I mean) or the boytoy of some babu who was asked to run an errand while he was finishing up his task.
In a way, I am saddened that this is how low the BJP has to stoop to get across their agenda of security. But if they repeatedly haven’t been able to encash on the failures of the UPA, they are themselves to blame.
Trust the Pakistan Cricket Board to come up with such a gem :
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday clarified that it has not imposed life bans on Muhammad Yousuf and Younus Khan and only barred them from playing for the country in all the formats of the game.
Anywho, I suspect the ruling will hold for as long as the current board is in place. Or the current regime. Whatever changes first.
In other news from across the border, President Zardari has pledged to donate all his organs. As I had tweeted, So all that is left is for him to .. er .. die ? Also, can I have his collection of hair gel after he is gone ?