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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chp 165. Chinky: Confused Nationality.

I think one of the most confused unsung communities here in India these days are the Arunachalis.

At one side, there is that situation of the big bad bully China flexing its muscles and claiming many parts of Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of its territory, while India tries its diplomatic best to convince the rest of India (and the World) that Arunachal Pradesh is indeed a part of India. And thus follows a volley of hard hitting tirades by experts, politicians, diplomats, patriots, journalists and bloggers, condemning China and promising never to let go of Arunachal Pradesh.

Feb 8, 2008: Arunachal is ours, PM can go there: India to China

And then at the other side, the average Arunachali comes to this part of the Country, Delhi, the Nation’s proud Capital, maybe to meet all those people who have warmly supported him and vowed to protect him from the Chinese aggression. And what does he find here? People openly mocking him because of his “strange foreign looks”, racially abusing him as “chinky” and rudely telling him to “go back to China”.

Feb 17, 2008: Arunachal students beaten up and told to go back to China

Just how do you think that person would feel? When he goes back to Arunachal Pradesh, what do you think he will be telling his family, his friends, his neighbors, his village panchayat raj, who are all eager to listen to the tales of his journey to Delhi that they cannot afford? What will be their general mindset about the rest of India then?

You can’t blame him for creating a generalization based on that unfortunate incident alone, because to him, that’s what affects him the most and that’s what lingers in his memory the deepest. He already felt alienated enough to be so “different” in Delhi, now he’s being discriminated because of that difference, with nobody else from the “other side” stepping up to assure him that that’s not the attitude of every other Indians. Can you picture the image of Delhi he’ll be painting to the others back home? What will their reaction be?

Frankly, I won’t be surprised if they turn against India. And when they do, they will be branded as terrorists, hunted out like dogs and silenced forever with nobody ever questioning why he took that path in the first place. I mean, who cares, right? After all, we’re talking about the North-East and he was attacking the Indian Constitution and the integrity of our proud Indian Nation, right? To the rest of India, this incident will just be another brick on the troubled NE wall.

Feb 16, 2008. MID-DAY reports:
5 N-E students assaulted after racial abuse
"We were preparing for the celebrations on February 20. Our friends went to the market to get their cell phone recharged when the shopkeepers racially abused them by calling them 'chinkies'. After an altercation, the local shopkeepers stabbed one of the students. They also used knife, iron rods and bamboo sticks to beat up the students. Chanakyapuri is considered to be a high security zone and even then, an incident like this has happened," Tabataka said.
The Hindu, on the other hand, downplayed the entire incident.
Eleven shopkeepers have been arrested by the Chanakyapuri police here on charges of assaulting some students from Arunachal Pradesh on Friday night. The police said the students had gathered at Aruchanal Bhawan for the State Day celebrations on February 20. They had gone to the local market for shopping around 9 p.m. As some shopkeepers passed objectionable comments on them, a brawl ensued in which the students were assaulted. Some of them were taken to RML Hospital.
On certain occasions, toning down sensitive incidents is a wise thing to do, especially when the incident is communal in nature. That’s where you draw the thin red line between serious journalism and sensational journalism. But in this case, do you think it is really necessary to muffle down the incident? Anyone reading “The Hindu” would wonder, what could be the “objectionable comment” that was uttered. Probably “maa ki”, à la Harbhajan Singh, without ever knowing how much the word “chinky” hurts us, that to be jeered a “chinky” when we are silently minding our own business is nothing but racism.

Racism begets racism.

Take it from experience and observation. In Mizoram, most of the older folks, around the age group of 50+ are still skeptical of every non-Mizo because the memories of the Indian Army “aggression” during the early 60’s are still fresh in their minds. Bombs raining down continuously on innocent towns and villages, day in and day out, gory tales of rape and murder, inhumane treatment at the makeshift prisons, all of which started because of the hungry little bamboo rat.

Refer previous post: Chp 148. Mizoram: The Truth.

And then comes the next generation. And the next. Such generations are supposed to heal the scars inflicted through the passage of time. After all, the past is the past. There is no point in hating somebody for what one’s ancestors did to another’s ancestors a long time ago.

And so these new generations of Mizos travel around to other parts of the Country. Their Country, according to their history and geography books. The Central Government seems to welcome such an initiative, encouraging more exoduses of people, mainly in the name of education. The 7 and a half percent reservation for ST in the educational and central services makes it even smoother for Mizos and other people from the North-east to assimilate with the Mainstream population.

But once they get here, things aren’t always peaches and pie. Most people just expect them to let go of their respective cultures, traditions and heritages and practice only the traditions followed by the majority. And when the North-east students find it difficult to let go of their traditions (would you let go of yours if someone asks you to?), then they are labeled as “trying to be different” and branded as outcasts.

So, almost everywhere, northeast students find it easier to bond with other northeast students, regardless of whether they are from Mizoram, Arunachal or Nagaland (which many people STILL think is one entity) rather than bond with Mainstream Indians because of the way they are treated.

I love being in a multi-ethnic group. We once got into a pub-brawl a long time ago, when one drunken jerk came over to our table and insulted two of our south-Indian friends as “bloody pandis”. Just like that, with no reason of any provocation from our side. So we simply retaliated. Ah we were young, hot-blooded and united, those juvenile years.

But then, one outgrows that fist-fight stage as one matures. What I have observed now whenever I am in a single-ethnic group and some asshole shouts at us in public “chinky” or “ching chong, go back to China” or sometimes “go back to Chinkistan” (what the heck does “Chinkistan” mean? Chinky + Hindustan???), I have never had any support from the others around me. Most of them just stare at me (ME! Not the freaking guy who said that and is laughing his ass out), while some of them giggle and walk on.

The only time somebody ever helped me (and I remember this so well because it was the ONLY time) was in Mumbai when a nice middle-aged aunty with a curly bob-cut (the kind of stereotype Catholic Goan aunty that we see in our Hindi movies with names like Mrs. D’Costa, Mrs. D’Cruz or Mrs. D’Souza, who is full of compassion and grace) shouted at those four guys making fun of me in a very rebuking tone: “EXCUZE ME!!!” and they ran away before she could say anything else. Then she looked at me and I looked at her and nodded a thank you and both of us walked on. Life goes on.

The MNS has been heavily criticized by the Nation for beating up non-Maharashtrians and forcing them to go back to their respective “homes”. And so those “immigrants” flee back to UP, Bihar, Orissa and other Indian States. But when other Indians beat up people from North-east India and tell us to go back to China, oh please, do tell me, how can we do that? We are NOT from China, we don’t speak the same language, most of us don’t even follow the same religion (Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya are Christian majority states).

Just like how people tell Muslims to go back to Pakistan, taunting a person from the North-east to go back to China is equally absurd. If the Government is really interested in creating a better relationship between people from the North-east and Mainland India, it first needs to revise its educational system at the root. And it needs to inform its crooked Delhi cops to stop victimizing people from the North-east, especially women from the North-east (please, don’t get me started on this one).

Until then, I will continue fighting for the rights of the North-eastern people. Maybe something similar to the Blank Noise Project can be initiated, which deals with the plight of the North-east student in your city. You have the power to make the difference, my friend. The next time you see a North-east girl/guy being racially abused in public, step up. And when that victim sees somebody from the “other side” coming to his/her aid, the preconceived notion borne by most north-east students is bound to change.

Whether you’re from Tamilnadu or Haryana or Maharashtra or Karnataka or Jammu & Kashmir, I beseech you not to be a mute spectator the next time you see somebody from the North-east being treated appallingly. I always get involve when I see injustice of any form or just to help an old lady cross the street regardless whether they belong to this community or that community, not just because of mere good intentions alone, but also because I believe in karma, so that somewhere out there, someone is returning the favor to somebody from the North-east.

I have to go to Court now, for I’ve just received news of yet another rape attempt by a group of students from Haryana, this time on a Manipuri girl, after her brother was beaten up and locked up in his room. Just another normal day for me. Sigh.

Ps. I’m not a lawyer. I’m just going to Court to meet my lawyer friends for more information regarding this incident.

Pps. North-East Support Centre website has not yet updated these two incidents about the Arunachal guys and Manipuri girl yet, because they are grossly understaffed as of the moment. You might not be able to get through to most of the numbers listed on the Support helpline, as most of them are volunteers (students) who have other important things to do too, like exams and assignments. Your understanding will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Chp 164. Happy Valentine’s Porn

Ah. The proverbial question that has been asked a zillion times to the ladies: “Why oh why for the love of God did you ever allow him to take a picture?”

But hardly do those same people ask the guys: “Why did you take the picture?” for it is a known fact that most guys like to keep “trophies”. As if it is a given that every guy is bound to take such a snap or video of their sexcapade. Hence everything comes down to the girl – the blame, the fault, the sin.

What am I talking about? Oh yes. I am talking about the latest sex scandal to hit the cyber village. Edison Chen.

Ah. Edison Chen. I remember him so well from Infernal Affairs, part 1, 2 and 3, and also as the reporter Eason who helps out Aubrey in one of my all-time favorite horror flicks “The Grudge 2”. I haven’t seen much of his movies other than that, except for a brief cameo role as a waiter in “The Medallion” (featuring my Idol Jackie Chan) and “Vampire Effect” (also known as “The Twins Effect”) again with good ‘ol Jackie.

Some time ago, our Hong Kong based actor/pop-icon went to a computer repair shop and that is how the pictures in his hard-drive supposedly leaked. And oh my, what pictures! The Paris Hilton – Pamela Anderson scandals are nothing compared to the magnitude of this current scandal.

Some of the women said to be involved in this scandal are Gillian Chung, Cecilia Cheung, Mandy Chen, Bobo Chan, Vincy Yeung, Maggie Q, Rachel Ngan, Candice Shan etc including many women whose identity are still not known.

I have copied this table with the code (minus the links) directly from Wikipedia:

Person InvolvedNames per sourcePhoto count as of
TraditionalSimplified10 Feb 2008
Gillian Chung Yan-tung鍾欣桐钟欣桐104
Bobo Chan Man-woon陳文媛陈文媛116
Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi張栢芝张柏芝143
Rachel Ngan Wing-sze顏穎思颜颖思11
Mandy Chen Yu-ju陳育嬬陈育嬬40
Candice Chan Si-wai陳思慧陈思慧48
Vincy Yeung Wing-ching楊永晴杨永晴3

That is the sheer magnitude of this scandal. Even though HK police so far have nabbed 9 people said to be responsible for this leak, the main person behind all this, known only by his code name: KIRA, is still running loose and challenging the cops to catch him and promising the netizens that more pictures will be uploaded later. He boasts of having more than 1500 pictures of Edison’s past sexcapades and that many other celebrities are involved.

2 years ago, I blogged about how I got the latest Chinese blockbuster “
The Promise” from a friend, which turned out to be in Chinese with Chinese subtitles, and how I still watched the movie, making up my own story as the movie proceeded [Read my post here]. Well, the absolutely charming princess in that movie is Cecilia Cheung, one of the many girls involved in this scandal. And the one lesson we can learn from this scandal is, if you are going to get involved in such a scandal anyway, make sure you don’t have any unique or distinguished tattoos

For most of the girls, they can still claim that the photos have been photoshopped or paintshop-proed (for those like father_sphinx who prefer PaintShop Pro over Photoshop!). But for those with outstanding tattoos or other clearly visible body marks, I pity you all. Poor Cecilia Cheung got no excuse.

Gillian Chung is more famous as a singer than an actress. She is a member of the popular Cantopop girl group “Twins” with Charlene Choi. The two of them even acted in the HK blockbuster (mentioned above) “The Twins Effect” alongside Edison Chen, Jackie Chan and Jaycee Chan (Jackie’s son). Other than that, I haven’t seen any of her other movies.

The photo scandals are easily available everywhere on the net. You won’t find the links here as I am not going to download them, because of three very good reasons:

First of all, other than Edison Chen, Cecilia Cheung and Gillian Chung, I haven’t heard of any of the other people involved. They may be really big names in Asia Pacific, but for me, watching their porn would be just like watching any other random porn – It makes no difference to me. No offence intended to all their fans down there.

Secondly, the involvement of the person I know the most and whom I am absolutely crazy about, Maggie Q, is doubtful, after confirmation that Maggie Q’s naked pictures are either fake or they are from an Advertising agency and rumors are now flying around that she is not even a part of this scandal. Phew! (When I first heard the news about her "involvement", I screamed out... No! Not Maggie! Nooooooooooo!!!)

Third and the most important reason of all, my Blog guru My Digital Life issued out a warning to all his ardent followers (people like me) to be careful when visiting sites that offer pictures of this scandal as there is a virus called Trojan.Win32.Obfuscated.gx attached to such websites. And just when I am recovering from a serious Win32.Brontok.q attack for almost a week, taking such a chance as opening a window for Obfuscated.gx to attack my system is out of the question! Hell no, I don’t want my “Folder Options” and “Task Manager” to disappear again!

Eventually it is a sad situation that people time and again make the mistake of capturing their intimate moments on camera. No matter how foolish it is, it still happens. Hence one extremely wise advice would be to never leave a camera/camcorder lying around in the bedroom. Or the kitchen table.

My scandalous pictures leaked once too! It was taken many years ago when I was still foolish. One night I was with a couple of female friends and I got so wasted from alcohol that I passed out. The next morning, I woke up with make-up and lipstick all over my face. I shrugged it off and went home. Later that day, my good friend and fellow blogger Sundancer released those pictures on the net! It was worse than I feared. My face was not only heavily padded with make-up, those malevolent girls dressed me up and placed their sexy lacy lingerie at “strategic locations” on my body. Grrrrrr.

But then, we all laughed it off. It was all in good fun and no damage was done.

But for those with a more serious scandal, it takes years for the scar to heal. Especially in a small community like our Mizo community. God knows how many such scandals are being transferred from one computer to the other computer in Mizoram right now. Till now, people still talk about the LDP scandal even though she has moved on and married another guy. Or the SDO “nupa” scandal which was of a gargantuan embarrassment to the couple involved even though they are married. The recent Ruati Tonsing scandal too created quite a stir in our Mizo online community. Miss Tonsing explained that her videos were recorded by her German ex-husband who posted it just to take revenge. Sad. The last I heard from Miss Tonsing, she said she still has nightmares and wished me a happy new year. Take care of yourself, Miss Tonsing.

The after-effect of any such scandal is tragic… Suicides, suicide attempts, break-ups, divorces, sackings, etc. Edison is kicked out of his latest movie project “Jump” which is produced by Columbia Pictures and Stephen Chow. I don’t even want to mention or imagine what all those women involved in this scandal are going through, especially with their boyfriends or husbands. Sheesh.

My girlfriend joked: “What would you do if I was one of the girls included in that scandal?” I didn’t laugh So I looked at her and replied, “what would you do if I was the guy taking all those pictures with them?” She didn’t answer me either

Monday, February 04, 2008

Chp 163. Sex, drugs and North-east girls.

Prologue: The Village far far away.

Tetei came from a village, far far away,

Where the spring river flows
       and the nightingale sings.
Where the autumn brook glisters
       like the face of an immaculate.
Where innocence still exists,
       there amidst the hills so green.

She left that village, filled with dreams,

Dreams that she always dreamt of
       back in her village so bare.
Dreams of neon lights and skyscrapers,
       and of opportunity in abundance.
Dreams filled with dreams and dreams,
       of changing her life and her destiny.

Oh how that dream shattered, with all the abuses,

Abused for being a woman,
       as if it is a sin to be one.
Abused for being from the North-east,
       as if she is a cheap whore from Sodom.
Abused by the media for being both,
       as if they haven’t done enough harm already.

Tetei cried every night, and finally made her way,
Back to her barren village, far far away.


Sometimes emotions just gush out when you can contain it no longer. Nobody can stop the colossal tide of pure, raw, unrestrained emotions vehemently pounding their way towards an infinitesimal orifice. For no matter how small the voices of the North-east people are, it is loud enough to echo through all the halls of Valhalla, awakening the ghastly monster which has been constrained deep within our souls.

Nobody can stop hatred. It has always been around, and will always be for the rest of our lives. We have learnt how to turn a blind eye to all the daily racial abuses, and a deaf ear to all the perpetual discriminations we face every passing moment. We have learnt how to cope with the insecurity we feel everyday because of our “differences” from the moment we wake up till the time we sleep. We have learnt how to suppress our emotions at times of gross injustice and humiliation because of our “chinky eyes”. Some of us too have unknowingly become racists ourselves because of the incessant racial abuses encountered by us. Yet, most of us never stop trying to correct the vox populi about the gross misconception of people from the North-east. Many of us have broken away from the stereotype moulds. But still, it will require a lot more effort and time to change the general mindset of the people.

But what really hurts, is when some tactless wannabe reporter comes up with an article at a daily newspaper (of a circulation of more than a million) [Link: MailToday] affirming the preconceived notion people fallaciously have about women from the North-east, that they are all nothing but the scums of society ready to sleep with anybody for money or a mug of draught beer at happy-hours TGIF.

With the aforementioned tabloid readership targeted at the middle class of emerging India [source: tksajeev], it is no wonder that women from the North-east are left stupefied and shocked beyond words when a nice well dressed gentleman approaches them and asks “how much?” They do expect such a cheap and tawdry solicitation from a roadside romeo or somebody from an uneducated background, but how could somebody so well refined behave this way? One glance at the kind of trash these so called middle class people read today, and you will know the reason why.

Could Mr. Kumar Vikram have written the article in a much more subtle tone? Of course he could. But he preferred to sensationalize the whole issue like a plot straight out from a James Hadley Chase novel. Sleazy night clubs. Drugs. Sex. Oriental babes. Money. Sex. Detectives. Drugs. Drug peddlers. Sex. The perfect formula to attract the attention of any normal hormone-raging male. And to what cost? The loss of dignity of every North-eastern woman trying to make an honest living in a “foreign” land that we call our country.

What bigotry! What shoddy journalism! North East Support Group released a statement yesterday demanding an apology from MailToday on behalf of the entire North-east and African community here in India. But I wonder, would that help? Or would we be just labeled as an inconspicuous community vying for our 15 minutes of fame? Maybe you can ask that question to the next North-eastern woman you see here in Delhi, defined as a “combo pack of sex and drugs” according to the writer.


Related Links:

MailToday: Mr. Kumar Vikram’s article
MailToday: Journalist Hoihnu Hauzel’s reply [click on Page 36]
A Generalized ethnic perception: poor ethics - Journalist Gaurav Shrivastava.
Joy Tonsing’s reply to Kumar Vikram
Ninem Misao’s reply to Kumar Vikram as reported by VK Sashikumar.
Report by via The Sangai Express. discussion