[Reader-list] ..and these newspapers say Australians are racist

Sudeep K S sudeep.ks at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 18:21:20 IST 2009

On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 5:05 PM, Karthik Natarajan <
karthik.natarajan at gmail.com> wrote:

> hi.i complete agree with you. we are racists. but i dont think its because
> jug suraiya made fun of mayawatis statue making romp. but because you were
> looking for a racist/casteist and gender-insensitive comment in a cartoon
> strip that may be a little over the top funny. i wonder if you would still
> call it racist/casteist and gender insensitive, if say advani would have
> erect these statues and the cartoon strip was made with him instead of her?

 Dear Karthik Natarajan,

I can bet that had it been Adwani, the cartoon would not have said 'that one
is ugly'.
Nor would someone in the cartoon strip mistake Advani for a statue,
especially if statues were black in colour.

 the strip,, makes fun of mayawatis feeble shot at immortalizing herself in
> indian political history, by means of a series of staues. i wonder how she
> is justifying this move morally? is the state doing so well that we are
> spending obscene amounts of money on cosmetic efforts and not aesthetics. i
> dont think this wil be like the bruce lee of mostar for lucknow? <
> http://www.reason.com/news/show/33300.html>. it could have the exact
> opposite effect if that.

Ok this is another topic of discussion -- the morality of Mayawati's statues
(not the ugliness of Mayawati's looks, or  her being mistaken for a statue
because she is dark).

We never have any problem with all those Gandhi/India Gandhi/Rajeev Gandhi
statues or many other ways of wasting the money. In fact what is 'wasting
money' is subjective. Building statues, building roads, building dams,
buying weapons, building malls, building houses..  Governments  do  so
many  things.  I have felt many times that a lot of it is a waste of money.
Of mine and yours. But that is my opinion.

Here is a short moral justification for Mayawati:

1) MONEY: The monuments were built with money from the department of
culture, NOT money meant for development or education. The culture money is
for cultural development. Mayawati chose to built monuments with it.

2) MONUMENTS: Why monuments, why not TV, theatres, plays books about dalit
culture. In five years time, this is the best symbolic method. The statues
remain. Why do we visit Taj Mahal? Why do we feel proud about it? It is a
cultural exercise, an education, a reconnection with history as a Taj Mahal
visit connects the Indian to the Indian history, Monuments connect humanity.

3) What for DALITS: Dalits are not just deprived of economic and social
rights, the cultural heritage is also missing. Using the money from the
culture department, to give a Dalit that education, connection to the dalit
history is as primary as getting the education departments money being spent
on better library facilities for them.

There has been some amount of debate on that on the internet, and I had
reproduced some of the arguments and linked to them from my blog, at

There was also a 'Big Fight' on NDTV, in which the Congress spokesperson
desparately tried to defend themselves saying Mayavati should have waited
for 'others' to make her statue, like Congress did for Rajiv or others. That
was a gem :-)

Link to the big fight video here:

Let me reiterate that this discussion has got absolutely nothing to do with
that cartoon which you find funny (even if 'over the top').


> who is to benefit from these statues? does a resident care if he sees a
> statue of a deceased/alive politician on the way to work each day? or is his
> life going to be better because of this move? does this help the unemployed
> and the homeless? have our politicians become this insecure of their place
> in time that they have to resort to such meaningless moves?
> tho' i agree with the idea that indians are racists, and we shall be
> racists, unless we stop making issues of things as trivial as cartoon
> strips, and bearded students in school and head scarves. 62 years after
> independence if we cannot focus on better things i think we should seriously
> rethink our strategies and more so our representatives. calling them leaders
> would just be demean the idea of democracy.
> i sincerely hope that in the future, we shall stop being so paranoid about
> such non issues and look at progress as the only issue.
> best,
> karthik.
> 2009/9/16 Sudeep K S <sudeep.ks at gmail.com>
>> http://blog.insightyv.com/?p=738
> --
> karthik  natarajan
> 0091 99232 27049
> [using webmail]

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