White Lies

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The Sachal Jazz Ensemble was due for a grand showing across India recently. Delhi, Calcutta, Banglore, Madras were all on the menu. But things turned sour when the boys were about to enthral an eager Bombay audience. Shiv Sena would have none of it. Aag laga dain gay, etc. The show was cancelled, of course, as was the tour, even though they had valid visas. Now that’s quite removed from the situation back home, where Indian movies do the rounds as if it were Bombay proper right here. Indian serials, Big Boss, Crorepati, music shows, you name it. Mika Singh has a concert here on the 28th, for God’s sake. Seems Shining India is forever held hostage on the far-right, firmly in the clutches of Shiv Sena and the like.

The PML-N administration’s obsession with mega projects knows no end seemingly. Word is that even funds from the much trumpeted clean drinking water policy have been diverted to such projects. The Islamabad metro is another fine example. Environmental groups are up in arms, of course. There is also criticism that a structured city like the capital did not need the metro to begin with. And then there’s the claim that all this is being done for the poor. Makes you think about all the talk at IDEAS-2014, doesn’t it? They came to trade arms, but the army chief noted a deeper threat to the country, perhaps rightly so. Ignoring the social sector may well lead to internal disintegration; the country imploding from within. Would the N-league throw more metro busses and flyovers to people facing famines, job losses, power shortages, etc?