Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Exceptionally Commoner

Clicked in February 2009 at book fair

I have spotted you among so many others!

I have spotted you being the common man.

You are the one to keep us moving through ages

You are the one beyond the ballot…

Beyond the identity – “voter”

You are yet another…

Exceptional being called the common man

Thursday, May 20, 2010


When Kaleidoscope writes on his lethargic self, he mentions about his wish to lengthen his infancy. However, he fails to address his privileged social selves. First Kaleidoscope is a male entitled to numerous privileges. Second, he belongs to "not so bad" material world as economics things are settled. Kaleidoscope worries about another room and not about a missing roof! Now he has a less challenging "descent" job.

This is a phase when Kaleidoscope thinks he will grow. But he sees something like this.

Kaleidoscope can visualise the blue infinity, but its beyond the STOP. This is not some reified situation which compels him to stop. This is his well known lethargic self, which he defines as stopergic. Its his lethargy which compels him to stop.

Kaleidoscope is trying to analyse a very rich, but considerably boring 3000 pages transcript. He is failing again and again. To legitimise his failure he keeps on deferring the process!!

He knows that its just a button he needs to press. Something like this

However, its just not happening. He wishes to see beyond the stop sign. But somehow for last one month its just not working.

As Kaleidoscope's economics is secured, he might not get enough kick from basics.

Kaleidoscope is kinda concerned!

Monday, May 17, 2010

IPLism: the commodification and neoliberal dreams

When Kaleidoscope grows up, "oneday matches" are the most prominent mode of India's cricketing self. While he travels he often finds "If cricket is our religion/ then Sachin is our God" written on local trains. When he types the phrase in google in Quote unquote he finds 19000 results!!

But this is not enough for gaining capital. Kaleidoscope sees a new game begins, steered by something the country never seen before, Indian Premier League: Twenty twenty which speeds up the game perhaps a million times.

The game imports the following:


PEOPLE AND PLACES: cultural performances



Does Kaleidoscope miss something?

Yes of course



Cheerleaders: Fantasy revised

City based teams staffed with international stars, and players: Regionalism at global scale

Private ownership of teams: Free market strategy

Player auction: Commodification of human talent

Kaleidoscope's reading of the entire narratives bounds him to see some of the theoretical concerns. It makes him think IPL as a mixed bag of profit maximisation at unthinkable rate.

Selective application of neoliberal principal:
The local quotas, annual player auction show a selective strategy. However, the franchises are given exclusive right to exploit a designated market. It means while one has to secure resources in the beginning, but one can exploit the market with that limited resources (which also means limited investment) indefinitely.

Constructions of identities:
Kaleidoscope watches that M.S.Dhoni, originally from Jharkhand speaks for Chennai and wears a lungi. When the name bears a city name (like Kolkata or Delhi) and then adds a subtitle of aggression (Knight or daredevils) it creates a different form of fragmented identity within the country which is historically fragmented. Kaleidoscope finds that the national sentiment is also used while his country bans auction of Pakistani players.

IPL commodifies everything nakedly.
Player auction: commodification of human talent
Cheerleaders: commodification of body
Bollywood celebrity presence: Commodification of Indian glamour and everyday dreams
Advertisements: Commodification of everything, i.e. identities, players, bodies and material products.

Dependency, power and accountability:
While money flows, even one of worst performing teams like Kolkata Knight Riders makes huge profit. Everyone pats Modi! Board takes it for granted and believes that Modi will do things fairly and responsibly until he is suspended for rigging bids, receiving kickback from television deals, more recent addition to this is his indulgence to activities which is detrimental to world cricket.

This shows dependency, corruption and lack of accountability which stigmatises the nation as a whole.


Kaleidoscope believe that he lives in a world which is finite in every respect and he compartmentalises himself from the people who fosters unlimited economic growth. Those who foster unlimited growth are either economists or are fools (as Kenneth Boulding comments)

The question is while India moves towards neoliberal pursuits in its budget (see my posts on Neoliberalism Unplugged? Pretty Confused and Deferred food security is denial of food grains, and also From bread to being: mcdonaldization) IPL mirrored the dark side of neoliberal dreams and cost of unleashing the private sector.

Would we learn anything from this?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Put off until tomorrow

Kaleidoscope is essentially lethargic. He belongs to a group which defines lethargic as being Lyad! Kaleidoscope knows, he belongs to this extended family of Lyad.

One of his favourite lines: "Will do it tomorrow"

Now when Kaleidoscope is given the world filled with practical people with practical goals... material pursuits... he speaks nonsense regarding his love for the material which is immaterial to many...

He is reminded "GROW UP!" again and again.He thinks for a while about his ungrown self, a song plays in his ears

"Give me another chance I wanna grow up once again!"

Kaleidoscope smiles and proudly declairs according to his conscious self (Which usually sleeps)

"I will grow up tomorrow"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blame it on others: from OGH to Ajmal Kasab

As kaleidoscope loves to see himself a conscious being, he often explores his own self in the world in which he belongs. The most recent discovery is his habit of blaming others.

Kaleidoscope breaks a glass and says "its broken" instead of "I broke it." He makes a mistake in interim report for his institute. He says "I am disturbed with this hot and humid environment. Its too difficult to concentrate." Kalidoscope's super mom says "if you want to blame, blame it on yourself." Kaleidoscope knows this is a dialogue by Saradamoyee Devi, wife of Shri Ramakrishna. Well he is confused while he relates his mother's action and her words, its like railway tracks... you know what it means.

Now Kaleidoscope places himself in the world, which he is given to live in. He finds the same blame game continues. Recently three major events touch him.

First, Operation Green Hunt (OGH, yes once-again!!). Kaleidoscope finds that basic participatory strategy in development is ignored in its Clear Hold and Build strategy. Which means state action forces will clear territory from Maoist occupation, will hold themselves for a while as a peace keeping strategy and then build, that is, state machinery will initiate development activities.

The adivasis of Bastar taking refuge owing to OGH, Courtesy The Hindu.

The question is development for whom? Most recent strategic meeting for OGH in Orissa has been done without inviting a single local people from a place where tribals are victimised by red rebels and state machinary.

kaleidoscope looks at his country's map and finds this

India's red corridor till 2007

This is a map of 2007, and now The frontline says they have spread in states like Gujrat, Rajastan, Hariyana, UP and Uttaranchal. Recent Dantewara incident on April 6, shows their skills and lack of information to OGH actors. While strategy remains the same, OGH implementers, common people, targeted groups (like CPIM leaders and workers in West Bengal) are dying everyday. Common people are living in prolonged strike condition, with constant threat.

The basic fact is clear in Dantewada's District Magistrate's voice, that lack of sensitivity from mainstreatm politics to address livelihood issues actively creates a vacuum where red rebels work. Planning commission recommends for opting Integrated Tribal Development Programme through Tribal Sub Plans, with encouragement of people's participation. They argue for this strategy can tackle the problems of injustice and can prevent people from taking guns. (see Frontline, May 7,2010)

Instead of looking at the basic problems and causes of Maoist spread, Kaleidoscope frustratingly finds that it is just a blame game. BLAME IT ON MAOISTS.

Second, IPL massacre. Suddenly all blame goes to Lalit Modi. BLAME IT ON MODI

Third and more sentimental is the death sentence of Ajmal Kasab. Kaleidoscope finds that the entire nation rejoices while a human bomb is in the process of being punished. While the country fails to address the issue of internal security, people are happy to see the alive terrorist being killed. So, BLAME IT ON PAKISTAN.

Kaleidoscope is happy to find like minded people and like minded national strategy.