Ripples in the Indian Blogosphere: L.K. Advani versus Amitabh Bachhan

In India, we see L.K. Advani from the opposition fundamentalist BJP party try his hand at blogging. While I wonder, if at his age he’s ever used a computer, the posts are somewhat entertaining. For example he talks about why democracy has taken root in India, but not in Pakistan – and uses the words of the late Benazir Bhutto to make his point.
According to Bhutto: “I attribute your country’s success to two factors: firstly, your Army is apolitical; and secondly, your Election Commission is constitutionally independent of the Executive.”
No kidding.
Too bad the BJP doesn’t care too much about apolitical anything; they’re the ones that have sought to divide India by religion, and I believe that, by definition, is a great disservice to India’s cultural heritage. Sort of like the Taliban destroying Buddhist statues in Afghanisthan, but not on the same scale of intolerance.
In terms of influence, however, I’d say Bollywood (or should we call that Mollywood?) icon Amitabh Bachchan‘s blog, corny as it is, has more of an impact across the Indian world – from Mumbai to San Francisco. I just wish he’d focus on bigger issues and less on his daily ablutions. For example, when speaking about his recent trip to Davos, he could have talked about the issues in greater depth.
If and when he does so, he will become India’s answer to Bono.
Here’s a comment he makes which shows how he can, in fact, influence the growth of a secular India:
To me Cinema has always been, apart from its entertainment value, a medium of great integration. When we enter the darkened hall of a theatre we never ask whether the person sitting next to me is a Hindu or a Muslim, or Sikh or Christian. We are never concerned with the colour of his or her skin. Of being black or white or brown. We watch before us the unfolding of a story, where we laugh together at the jokes, sing their songs together, cry together at the same emotions. There are sadly very few institutions left in this world that can propagate the values of such an event. In a world filling rapidly with hate and violence, perhaps this is one medium that prides itself in bringing together, in integrating people rather than dividing them. The popularity of Indian Cinema within our shores and now increasingly outside, is not just the stars and their physical attraction, is not just the song and dance, is not just the escapist nature of our stories, but the fact that it brings us poetic justice within 3 hours. Poetic justice for most of us, does not come within a lifetime, sometimes several lifetimes. What better example of global understanding can there be, in these strained and uncertain times.
Now let’s work on real justice, and leave the entertainment to the politicians… where is India’s Barack Obama?

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