let's say it....

AIB SAYS IT NOW 

Aug 8th 2015

AIB, All India Bakchod releases a  video featuring Irrfan Khan along with the AIB boys, showing what's wrong with the item songs in the Hindi movies- precisely what we have been saying all along!

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Jun 2 2014

Be Done With Article 370 


The Article 370 of the Indian Constitution has yet again become the hot topic of discussion these days- all thanks to Narendra Modi...

Feb 10 2014

Invisible India In Sochi Games....

It's one thing to not have the infrastructure to train and groom the masses, but another to turn a blind eye to the already self-motivated and talented athletes....

Read on...

Feb 05 2014

Sikh In A Kiss Makes News....So Let's Say It Again....

Read on..

 

Dec 03 2013, Tuesday

A Sikh In Gap Ad- What's the Controversy?

Read about the ad and the responses that followed. Lets' say it.

 

 

Oct 29 2013, Tue

A Bride With A Daughter and Not 'Fair' Either- Tanishq takes a lead 

Read On.. 

Oct 6 2013, Sun

After Ganesh Festival....who will do the clean-up? 

Sept 20, 2013, Fri

Not Fair to Call Only Fair Beautiful- India's Reaction to Indian American Miss America

 

Sept 17, 2013, Tues

Say What??? We Say the Glass is Half Full..

Jan 6 2012

Not-So-Incredible India and India’s Incredible Daughter

May 23 2013

Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai? Or the Mighty and the Meek?

Apr 29 2013

Start with Stopping the Item Songs. Let's Say It.

 

Sept 20, 2013, Fri

Not Fair to Call Only Fair Beautiful- India's Reaction to Indian American Miss America

If you thought it was disappointing to see some people here in America make negative racist comments against Nina Davuluri of Indian descent winning the Miss America 2014 title, wait till you hear India's reaction to her getting the coveted title. Apparently, Nina Davuluri's victory has sparked a discussion in India as well. But not whether she's 'American' enough to win or really 'Indian'. The discussion there is of an entirely different nature. No points for guessing. According to the Times, in an article titled, 'India’s Disturbing Obsession with Fair Skin', the talk in India has been centered around how Nina would NOT have won a Miss India title in India because of her dark skin. Surprised? Definitely not. We all know how valued being 'fair' skinned is in India. We all know about all the fairness creams in the market, about all the advertisements on TV proclaiming being fair is being beautiful, about all the celebrities who endorse such products, and about all the matrimonial ads seeking a 'fair' girl.

Well, now the world is talking about it. The article on Times not only talks about India's obsession with fair skin, the video coverage shows the matrimonial clippings, the skin litenning treatment, previous title holders- the fair & lovely, Aishwarya

Rai and Sushmita Sen and our 'King Khan' endorsing a fairness cream for men, sadly showing that 'fair' skin is directly related to self confidence and self worth too. Erin Burnett from CNN, covered the same footage on her show as well.

 

This is not the first time that the issue of 'fair' skin's worth in India has been discussed here in America. Few years back when Aishwarya Rai was a guest on the Tyra Bank show, she unwittingly brought up the issue of Indians desiring fair skin. She said that she doesn't endorse fairness cream. It was evident that Tyra had never heard the term 'fair'. Tyra responded that as a member of the black community in America she does understand the concept of wanting 'light' skin, but “I love how you say fair and lovely”, she said. Shortly afterwards, Tyra came up with a product called, “Black and Lovely”. The desi 'Fair and Lovely” inspired the name? That's anybody's guess, but the point here is- Beautiful- As Is must be the underlying message- always!

Now when the news of controversy relating to Nina descent first broke here in America, we said it's not fair to not think of kids born and raised here as American.

To the controvery in India, we say- What?????! How is it Fair to call only 'fair' beautiful! Wake up and embrace the colors, people!

 

(by Sonal Kulshrestha)

Sept 17, 2013, Tues


Say What???


We Say the Glass is Half Full..


(by Sonal Kulshrestha)


Nina Davuluri, an Indian American, has been crowned as Miss America 2014. She's the first Indian American to have ever achieved this feat.

Every time there's a first from a community, it paves the way for others in the community to dream big and aim high. Unfortunately, every time there's a first, there's backlash to be faced too. When President Barack Obama became the first African American President of the United States of America, we saw people with bummer stickers openly proclaiming, "the only difference between him and Osama is bs". That was disappointing to witness. The newly crowned Miss America sadly faced a similar uncalled for backlash, when many took to social media, calling her 'Ms Al Qaeda', 'Ms 7-11', a 'terrorist', among others.


Although, she has brushed it off, saying that she needs to 'rise above this', it did spark a discussion. Various news channel, talk shows and others covered the story of the racists comments, supporting Nina Davuluri and shaming those who weren't. Kellie Rasberry from the popular radio show, Kid Kraddick from Dallas, said on Dish Nation, “We didn't know we were at war with India”.


The fact is that kids born and raised here think of themselves as American first. There's no doubt about that. They learn to respect their roots, value their heritage, follow the traditions and even embrace their culture, but in their heart they think of themselves as being an American first. An Indian American at best. Certainly not just Indian. It's not fair to them to not call them American. I realized that more than ever recently when, while watching CNN, after intently listening to the news talking about the hatred of the Islamic world for America, my youngest one looks up and asks me, “Mommy, What did we do to them?” I was touched by the use of the word 'we' by him. It was natural and there was no question about it's usage. Our kids, right down to their accent :), are as American as anybody else's. Nobody has the right to decide who they are based on the color of their skin.


That said, I must also say that thankfully there are many many more who don't make such judgements than those who do. This is apparent from some of the responses on Nina Davuluri facebook page. Robert Spech writes, “Nina Davuluri, you represent what it means to be an American!! Just because you skin is a different color or you speak a different native tongue, does not mean you are not American. I am white, but I come from a German descent, probably more. Be proud of who you are and forget those who try to bring you down with their words of insults, for they are not representing true Americans!! God bless!!” Well said, Robert! 


 

At one point, when the whole negativity surfaced, Nina updated her status to say, “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American”. Her post got various comments of support and encouragement. Ronald Primus wrote, “You are truly the spirit of what America is. The descendant of people who came here so that their children would be able to thrive in whatever they choose to do! I look forward to having you as a fellow physician some day. Any med school would be proud to have you!”. Charles Johnson adds, “You don't have to explain yourself Nina. We know who you are and you have more love and support then you realize.” Bethany Schmall says, “you don't need to explain yourself. you are beautiful and fully american as I am German-American, my neighbor is Swedish-American, and my other Korean-American. America is a melting pot and we pride ourselves in that. Everyone who is hating is just extremely ignorant. YOU GO GIRL!!!”. Melissa Ann Beck's comment said, “My children are Honduran American, miss northwest Missouri is my daughter, she is serving her crown with such dignity and spirit! We as a nation have to realize that the only true Americans are native Americans tithe rest of us make the melting pot what we are now a mixture of races and religious beliefs. We should learn from one another and stop the hatred. Nina I knew you'd take the crown after Miss Missouri didn't get it. So very proud of you and all the young ladies that came together to represent what our nation, the most diverse combination of American women can bring to this pageant. Enjoy your reign and make a difference!” Melissa Tucker added, So glad! Love what one person said: a twist in MLK "we are a melting pot" idea. "We (Americans) are like a tossed salad. We are united, yet maintain our individuality and heritage" I LOVE THAT THOUGHT! I wish you much peace and success. I love our country! Go forth and blossom representing ALL races! “ The comments go on, all supportive.


We like to believe that something good did come out of all the negativity. First of all it brought forth the sheer ignorance of some people with respect to India (some had called her 'Arab'). Hopefully by now the shame that they incurred has caused them to educate themselves to the facts -

1. that Indians are not Arab,

2. that no extension of logic nor any stretch of imagination connects India to the atrocious and sick act of 9/11. In fact, the sadness and the sense of loss felt by Indian Americans are in no way lesser than Americans of any other descent.

3. that all Indians do not run 7-11, just as all Mexicans do not run Maid services or Yard services and

4. that fight against terrorism is India's fight too.

But most importantly, the greatest positive to come out of the negativity from few is the positivity from most. We congratulate Nina Davuluri on being crowned Miss America 2014. We congratulate her on becoming the first Indian American to do so and by so doing, she has given America yet another face- that of an Indian American.

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To further drive home the point, watch this video from SoundlyAwake that perfectly hits the nail on the head!

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Jan 6 2012:

Not-So-Incredible India and India’s Incredible Daughter 
(Written by Sonal Kulshrestha)

The world knows her now. The 23 year old beautiful young girl, a Physiotherapist, came to be known by various names- ‘Damini’, ‘Braveheart’, ‘Nirbhaya’, ‘Amanat’ and as we called her-‘India’s Daughter’.

Nirbhaya's story is every girl’s, every parents’, every husband’s, every brother’s, in fact every human being's worst nightmare. She fought the six demons who preyed on her, as bravely as she possibly could and in spite of the trauma that she underwent, in spite of losing most of her intestines to infection later, she displayed valor and the will to live. She displayed courage by giving out the gruesome details of her ordeal so that the culprits could be meted with severe punishment. Her friend, Awindra Pandey, 28, is equally brave in sharing their story with the world and for standing up for her. And so is her family. She might have lost all battles and left all her pain behind on Dec 29th 2012, but she has attained the status of ‘India’s Daughter’ because she was finally able to stir a nation-    

wide movement in India. In fact, not just India but in the entire global community, bringing the issue of the most heinous crime that is committed against women at the hands of men, to the very forefront. For the first time in the history of India, the entire nation has come together to demand justice against the perpetrators of this crime. The nation has awakened to the real suffering involved in ghastly crimes of this nature and they want the politicians to take actions, implement laws, enforce severe punishments and ensure safety to women. Various Bollywood celebrities have come out in support of our brave heart. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan wrote a beautiful soul-moving poem as a tribute to her and Shahrukh Khan said he was ashamed of being a man. Other celebrities like the Kapoors, the Roshans, Hema Malini, Shabana Azmi & Javed Akhtar and even the Bachchans cancelled their New Year Eve’s parties to mourn her passing away. Jaya Bachchan was moved to tears in the parliament hearing demanding justice for her. The entire global media community covered India’s shame. Anderson Cooper from CNN has announced a complete coverage on Monday at 7:00 & 9:00 pm central time. Yes, the entire human race is pained by her sufferings.

The world is probably not thinking about India being incredible right now. After all, the incident brings to light so much more than the monstrosity that was committed. The brutality is unbearable to fathom even, but the cold-heartedness of the passersby is unfathomable too. The lack of efficiency and the lack of urgency to provide quick help is inexplicable too. The utter disregard for human life and human dignity both on the part of the citizens and the police is inexcusable too! No, not so proud of the Not-So-Incredible India. But we are very proud of India’s Incredible Daughter!

(Photos from Mirror)

  

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 May 23 2013

Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai? Or the Mighty and the Meek?

The 1962 Indo-China war came as a major surprise to India because India was not expecting China to wage a war against it- largely due to the fact that China had led us to believe that there was a shared feeling of brotherhood between the people of the two neighboring countries. The slogan that defined the relationship was apparently 'Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai' (Indian and Chinese are brothers). again, did India decide to look the other way?

 No wonder we were fooled. We lost a part of Kashmir as a result of that war. China occupied it, obviously because of its very strategic location- it provided a good pathway for China to transport weapons to Pakistan while keeping an eye on the American influence on the Afghan rebels. So China grabbed parts of Kashmir, while India looked the other way. We have all heard this story from our parents. 

The part of Kashmir that was annexed by China, remains with China even today. The only “claim” we make to it, if we can even call it that, is our insistence on calling it 'China Occupied Kashmir'. And then there's the story about the other side of Kashmir, the 'Pakistan Occupied Kashmir', that's best left for another day. But the link there being that China's open assistance to Pakistan certainly encourages India to perceive China as anything but 'bhai'.

So what brings this article on, you ask? The de facto border between the two countries was recently breached by the Chinese troops leading to a tense military stand-off between the two Asian giants. Further escalation was avoided. Honestly, we're not really sure how. Did China's flexing of it's muscles cause India to back down and tone down it's military build-up in the area? Or once again, did India decide to look the other way?

China's Premier Li Keqiang visited India this week during his first foreign trip since taking office. He met with the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. Both sides are feigning friendliness, promising to resolve difference and insisting that the common interests outweighs the differences. Then he went to Pakistan this Thursday declaring there, "To be friends forever is the cherished desire of both nations".

What do you think about the India China relationship? Do you think considering China's might, its okay for India to be meek?

Apr 25 2013

Start with stopping the item songs. What do YOU say?

Dec 29th 2012 a young 23 year old girl, Nirbhaya- the heart, soul and life of her parents, lost the battle with life and passed away. She had fallen prey to the most ghastly of human act by six demons. The incident spurred a movement never seen before. People took to streets, shaken to the core by the torture and torment that the girl underwent. Promises were made, but alas, only to be broken. Politicians continue to sit back, refusing to make the country safe for women, while the atrocities continue.

On Apr 15th, we were yet again reminded of the monstrous form of men, a form beyond comprehension. What can possibly drive someone to subject a 5 year old to the kind of assault even animals aren’t capable of?  Again protestors took to streets, while the government sits tight. We seethe with anger and frustration and wonder over and over, what has gone wrong and how can we right it?

Of course, the government needs to step up their act and implement some really strict laws that would mete out severe punishments to perpetrators of crime against women. But do you think, Bollywood, as an icon of today’s culture, plays a role too in people's psyche? If so, do you think we should start by stopping the item songs? Yes, we’re talking of stopping the Munni, Sheila, Bubli and yes, stopping the Fevicol, Zandu and the likes that are on the rise- atleast the way they’re picturised. We asked you and you replied. Here's the verdict.

 

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Apr 29 2013

Start with Stopping the Item Songs. Let's Say It.


So we hear that the soon to be released movie “Shootout at Wadala” has three item songs. While Kangana Ranaut is the lead, Priyanka Chopra does an item song, “Babli Badmaash”, Sunny Leon does the ‘O Laila’ and the singer Sophie Chaoudry does the ‘Ala Re Manya’ over much leching, I’m sure. Now we danced on ‘Munni Badnam Hui’, albeit with a few reservations at first before opening up. We even warmed up to gyrating on ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’. Okay we even collectively agreed that Kareena Kapoor totally got away with doing the ‘Fevicol Se’ but the bottom line is- in the wake of the increasing number of cases of crimes against girls in India, should the Indian film industry take its share of responsibility in what’s going drastically wrong with our society? We asked YOU if we should start by stopping the so-called Item songs.

First let’s define item songs.

Item songs are the mostly out of context songs in Indian movies with awesome beats, pun-filled lyrics, featuring famous or wanting-to-be famous actresses, commonly endowed with long abs, wearing attires that expose the just-mentioned-long-abs and cleavage, with lots of men openly drooling at her. Our discussion here pertains to these kinds of “item” songs.

What are the people in the film industry saying about it?

Sharmila Tagore said in a recent interview that these songs are played openly and unabashedly in weddings and other celebrations. Women are seen dancing to these songs. Then when the same songs are released on film then they become a problem. She felt that the same logistics should be applied both on and off screen.   She went onto say that we must not blame media images for the way woman are treated in society. There are deep socio-economic factors that are causing violence against women.

Kajol said in another interview that these have always been around. And there are countless others in the industry who see no reason to stop this rising trend of item songs.

Let’s Say It

So knowing that the country’s socio-economic factors often cause violence against women, does it not become even more imperative that we not encourage it?  ‘Item songs’ of the past were done by Helen, Bindu, etc  but were certainly not one-woman-many-men kinds.  Kareen Kapoor’s ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ in Don and ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ from Dil are more in keeping with the concept.

Of course, at end of the day, the onus lies on us- to imbibe the good and shun the bad. Like Prashant Sharma, from Ahmedabad, India, though fully agreeing that these songs are vulgar, subscribes to the theory that we own our actions irrespective of the environment- in his words. He blames the ‘sanskaar’ of men who behave badly. He points out that movies show mother-in-laws mistreating their daughter-in-laws too. Change has to come from within. That’s true. Of course, that is where the parents come in. The rich and the poor alike have to look into their kids’ eyes and tell them what’s wrong and what is right. Parents are never off the hook. It is their prime responsibility to instill good ‘sanskaar’ in their kids. But as Roli Mehrotra, from Dallas, Texas, points out, “we do have to start from the place that is 20% the cause and has 80% of impact due to its reach and influence”. And here’s the danger in the way the item songs are picturized. While movies show that there is a consequence to evil deeds, group leching is practically passed on as ‘normal’. While movies all over the world do show men “enjoying” the moment as part of “male bonding”, it is always depicted in a controlled club setting, any other place- its’ pure evil. The worst part in an Indian movie is that it is thrown in right smack in the middle of an otherwise family movie, for no apparent reason.  And that is highly irresponsible of the movie producers. It promotes “gang versus girl” assault. Like Roli puts it, “people get conditioned by watching something over and over again to the point that media makes them believe it is normal”. If at all such song and dance combinations are to be made, like Roli says,” Release them as music videos that are meant only for adults”. Alpa Shah from North Carolina suggests that Indian movies and TV shows need to be rated as PG, R, etc. That’s long overdue.

So let’s say it- all those producers who think they have hit the jack pot in having discovered an easy way to market their movies, think again. Because ultimately, we should all do our part in righting the wrong.