Tag Archive for 'Morality'

Noam Chomsky: My reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death

In Guernica:

We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

There’s more to say about [Cuban airline bomber Orlando] Bosch, who just died peacefully in Florida, including reference to the “Bush doctrine” that societies that harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves and should be treated accordingly. No one seemed to notice that Bush was calling for invasion and destruction of the U.S. and murder of its criminal president. More:

At scienceblogs: Another reason not to pay Noam Chomsky any mind

In WSJ: The professor dons the militant’s cap: It fits.

No cheerleaders, please. We’re Indians

[Updated on May 2]

Namita Bhandare in Mint

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that the moral grandstanding on the Indian Premier League, or IPL, cheerleader controversy has the elements of a pre-written script with the dramatis personae mouthing predictable lines? First, the cast of characters: Siddharam Mehetre is Maharashtra’s minister of state for home. He finds cheerleaders and their performance “absolutely obscene” and out of place in a country where “womanhood is worshipped”.


Maharashtra’s moral police wants to ban cheereaders from IPL matches played in the state for their ‘vulgar’ and ‘obscene’ performance. Some conservative politicians would not like these girls to perform at the Indian Premier League’s upcoming matches in the state’s capital city, Bombay (Mumbai).

Many IPL franchisees have brought in foreign cheerleaders to add a bit of US-style glitz to the popular game. While cricket fans are not complaining, these politicians are not amused. They say that in a country where “womanhood is worshipped,” cheerleaders are “an affront” to Indian culture. And they ask: “How can anything obscene like this be allowed?”

Result? The state government gives in to the moral police. The franchisees will have to apply for permits before cheerleaders can be allowed to perform in Mumbai. If the cheerleaders “indulge in obscenity,” the franchisees will be fined.

However, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, who owns the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, does not find anything vulgar about cheerleaders. “I am also a family person, I do not see anything negative in it,” he said

National Commission for Women Girija Vyas said “we should promote our culture by bringing folk dancers and musicians in these matches.”

More here, here, here and here

And as for the cheerleaders themselves, they have some harrowing stories: “It’s been horrendous,” Tabitha, a cheerleader from Uzbekistan, told the Hindustan Times. “Wherever we go we do expect people to pass lewd, snide remarks but I’m shocked by the nature and magnitude of the comments people pass here.” Another cheerleader, Christy, told The Telegraph, Calcutta, “If they want us to be fully clad, we don’t mind.”

More here:

Body politics: bahu okay, others bawdy

From The Telegraph, Calcutta:

From the Indian Politician’s Dictionary, edited by Amar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan’s “younger brother”:

Single standards: If Mumbai bar girls are banned, so should be the Indian Premier League’s pom-pom girls.

Obscene: What the Washington Redskins wear, but not what “bahu” Aishwarya Rai wore in Dhoom:2

[Photos: Left, a cheerleader at an IPL match in Bangalore; right, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the movie Dhoom:2]