Questionable Content

If you were not expecting this page, the realQuestionable Content‘ is here. Please do go through and subscribe it. Awesome strip. That if you want to know about private lives of Indie rock geeks.

At any given moment of time, I’m a random mix of Pintsize, Marten and Faye. Did you notice something? I wrote all the names mentioned in that mix reverse lexicographically. Well. That tells you a lot about me. Here is some more of me:

A Möbius strip
[Image courtesy: wikipedia]

Yes, a Möbius strip! The little ‘about me’ is questionable for this post, as it is certainly not about me. What is it about then? That also is questionable.

I realized why M. K. Gandhi was never given a Nobel Peace Prize? Quoting the official Nobel Prize website:

“Gandhi was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and, finally, a few days before he was murdered in January 1948.

The most seriously considered nomination was the last one, in 1948, but he was assassinated two days before the closing date for that year’s Nobel Peace Prize nominations. The Committee received six letters of nomination naming Gandhi; among the nominators were the Quakers and Emily Greene Balch, former Laureates. For the third time Gandhi came on the Committee’s short list – this time the list only included three names — and Committee adviser Seip wrote a report on Gandhi’s activities during the last five months of his life. He concluded that Gandhi, through his course of life, had put his profound mark on an ethical and political attitude which would prevail as a norm for a large number of people both inside and outside India: “In this respect Gandhi can only be compared to the founders of religions.”

Up to 1960, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded almost exclusively to Europeans and Americans. In retrospect, the horizon of the Norwegian Nobel Committee may seem too narrow. Gandhi was very different from earlier Laureates. He was no real politician or proponent of international law, not primarily a humanitarian relief worker and not an organizer of international peace congresses. He would have belonged to a new breed of Laureates.

In 1947 the conflict between India and Pakistan and Gandhi’s prayer-meeting statement, which made people wonder whether he was about to abandon his consistent pacifism, seem to have been the primary reasons why he was not selected by the committee’s majority. Unlike the situation today, there was no tradition for the Norwegian Nobel Committee to try to use the Peace Prize as a stimulus for peaceful settlement of regional conflicts.

During the last months of his life, Gandhi worked hard to end the violence between Hindus and Muslims which followed the partition of India. We know little about the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s discussions on Gandhi’s candidature in 1948 – other than the above quoted entry of November 18 in Gunnar Jahn’s diary – but it seems clear that they seriously considered a posthumous award. When the committee, for formal reasons, ended up not making such an award, they decided to reserve the prize, and then, one year later, not to spend the prize money for 1948 at all. What many thought should have been Mahatma Gandhi’s place on the list of Laureates was silently but respectfully left open.”

But then, Nobel Peace Prize was never about peace, as evident from this article by Jesse Walker:

The Nobel Peace Prize is easy. The important thing to remember is that peace doesn’t have much to do with it.

That quote has been my email signature since the day Walker’s article appeared, October 12 that is.

The Frontline magazine is running the cover story on Bhagat Singh this fortnight, as “a tribute to Bhagat Singh on the occasion of his birth centenary.” Bhagat Singh was born on September 28, 1907.

[This tells you more about me: I quoted a whole story on Gandhi, but mentioned Bhagat Singh in just a couple of lines, despite the fact that I’m not a Gandhian, I was a Marxist, and am an Anarchist. And I always spell “occasion” wrong, as “ocassion” or “occassion”. ]

Newsgroup is full of Antaragni-bashing, Antaragni-basher-bashing, Antaragni-basher-basher-bashing, …, but junta posts something thoughtful once in a while, like these links: India Missing Girls, Harsh reality of India’s unwanted girls. These articles sparked a huge debate between V and the team of T and I. V ended up raising his hands in defeat, realizing that even only one of T and I would have left his arguments in tatters, both of us together was just too much to take on.

Two of the three FM radio stations in Kanpur are celebrating Shahrukh Khan’s birthday today. Yesterday, they celebrated Aishwarya Rai‘s birthday.

[Aishwarya Rai: Indian actor and Miss World 1994]

Did you know “ feature on Aishwarya Rai includes pictures, biography, videos, related news, vital stats, commentary, and cool facts.” Google told me that!

[I do not think Shahrukh Khan has got the things that attract me so much to put a link or his photo. Besides, his photo would deteriorate the aesthetic beauty of this weblog. Aishwayra Rai features here just because she is a beautiful lady, although her beauty only skin deep.]

I’m still left with two papers to review for a conference, and the conference management portal has sent me a couple more “friendly” reminders to send in the reviews fast. They hardly know that those reminders will serve the only purpose of being mentioned here. I’m yet to put, in document form, my recreational paper with some supposedly new results on perfect numbers.

The washerman just came reminding that I’ve to pay him soon. I owe him Rs. 560 now. The newspaper guy came last evening demanding his dues. Not that I don’t have money to pay up, just that I’m too lazy to go to the ATM and withdraw the amount. When I go to the ATM to get cash for my own needs, I forget that I’ve to pay dues.

The room does not feel my own since yesterday. All those empty bottles of cheap vodka and cartons of fruit-juice and cigarettes are gone. It took me months to make the room “livable”, but that sweeper had to clean it up and now, it is nothing more than these four walls, some furniture, desktop computer and books. And me, of course! Not that I was not willing to get my room “cleaned”. My confusion reminds me of the recent Hindi song, sung by some Zubin:

जाने क्या चाहे मन बावरा,

अँखियन मेरी सावन चला


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