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Monday, March 6, 2017

SUMMAMOVIES.COM: DELIVERING CONSUMPTION CONTROL AND COMPELLING STORYTELLING TO THE MARGINALISED AUDIENCE

Hello World,

I am a film producer and a start-up founder now. Here's my story:











Very similar to start-ups from the past and present, a certain set of capability gaps within the industry resulted in a series of frustrating circumstances where I was at the losing end and when this trend reached a tipping point, I decided to step up myself and do something about it so nobody else goes through what I had to. 
To begin with, we need understand the cost of entertainment. 
Cost of Film Entertainment in Today's Time:
Commuting: The cumulative journey to and from the theater takes up 1.5 hours easily [not accounting for traffic]. Inside the mall, the parking lot is usually about 6.5km below the seal level and the travel between the parking spot and the screen takes another 30 minutes. In all, 2 hours of time is gone outside the screening location. 
Parking Fee: The cheapest options available usually take up to INR 100 [for a car] and almost the same for a bike. Once I went on my bike for a movie to a big mall and ended up paying INR 15 more than the movie ticket price. That was the last time I went to that mall.
Food and Beverages: Here in Chennai, we have a ceiling for cinema ticket pricing and so they are sold at INR 120. Assuming 3 of us go for a movie, the ticket expense reaches INR 380 [assuming online ticket booking]. However, the stale popcorn and diluted soda for 3 pax costs a whoppingINR 800-1200!
Film Time: 2.5 hours [average feature film timing as of 2017]
Total Cost: 4.5 hours of a day's time [13.5 man hours assuming 3 pax], INR 1600 for ticket+popcorn+soda for 3 pax, INR 100 for parking
After spending so much of resources what we get to watch is just appalling. Apologies for the blunt statement but that is the fact. Just because someone somewhere 'confidently' decided how films should and how they have been in the industry for decades, precious resources of the audience is getting wasted. By wasted I mean the audience is not getting its money's worth.
While some enjoy what's available at the theatres, there is is this small segment of the audience that is increasingly getting sidelined just because there is a massive hatred for 'serious' themed movies. Films with substance has always been stereotyped under different labels but at least they had their room within the cinema value chain. However, fast forward to the past and such content don't get their share of screen-space as the 'mass-entertainers' do. For some reason the films with substance don't sell. I have no clue what fact is driving such belief. The absolutely irritating part is when the term 'commercial' is being used to describe films that are basically  a blend of diverse nonsense. 
Anything that is not available for free is a commercial thing and this holds good for films as well. As long as the tickets are sold, the film is a commercial film. The other films are usually available without requiring a payment to be made. So 'commercial film' does not mean a blend of every nonsense possible but actually means a film that can be viewed only after purchasing a ticket. 
While I have always hated the 'mass-entertainers' I do admit, there used to be a time when the mass-entertainers brought in the audience in thousands or even more. However, the times are changing. Here is a recording of a senior office bearer of a film distributors association from the south that narrates the reality of mass-entertainers:
The distributor mentions a list of mass-entertainers recently released and says those movies did not do as well as the production houses promoted them through false propaganda.
The same distributor, in this recording says, the movies released in the past 6-8 months have all failed miserably at the theatres. The movies he specifically names are star-studded mass-entertainers that failed miserably but the film industry kept promoting those films as massive hits with huge box office collections. He says, distributors have lost their investment trying to screen these mass-entertainers but the production houses are organising victory-celebrations and success-meets. He goes on to indicate that in the previous decades when top-actors saw their films failing at the box office, they have compensated the distributors either financially right after the failure or agreed to work for smaller salaries for the subsequent films so that the previous loss is compensated through the profit margin from the next production. The distributor says such compensatory behaviour is absent in the present tamil film industry. 
Well, if the distributors feel so badly about the performance of 'mass-entertainers', I am not too wrong in believing that the mass-entertainers are a blend of diverse nonsense. If they really entertain the masses, the masses would have watched it and the distributors would have made profits. At least the distributor won't resort to youtube/whatsapp recording.
Here is another such press-meet where the member of the Theatre-Owners Association  says after 5 consecutive flops of 'mass-entertainers', they had invested in the 6th one and they have faced another massive defeat. In this video, they are asking for proper compensation for their losses. This video is from 2010:
To be fair, while the distributors and theater owners have all been crying loss all along with the so-called 'commercial-mass-entertainers,' we need to see how the audience reacted to such blended nonsense. Here is a video clip from a theater that is screening a commercial-mass-entertainer:
Now that we have established the real state of the film industry here with respect to the mass-entertainers, we need to look at it from a different yet realistic perspective.
The demographics are evolving and what used to be typical profiles 2 decades back do not hold good in our times today [2017]. The entertainment needs of the audience has evolved much farther than one can imagine. 'Content Variety' is a need as of now. Affordable film consumption means is a growing concern now. Accessible films are increasingly preferred now as the opportunity costs of theatre-film-experience is growing by the day.
Keeping this in mind and fuelled by the frustration of having to tolerate the blended nonsense called mass-entertainers on many occasions, I, joined by my brother-in-law Veeramani, founded Summa Productions Private Limited, a film production company focused on what we are calling Intellectually Challenging Entertainment [ICE]. We built our web-based platform https://www.summamovies.com to deliver our content to our audience via the internet. From the little we know, we are the first film production company to have launched their film on their own OTT Platform. We have decided to specialise in short form content that is intellectually challenging, accessible and affordable for our audience who can enjoy the content on their computers and smart-devices when they want.
In essence, with https://www.summamovies.com we have essentially given the 'Consumption Control' to the audience and with a dedicated focus of Intellectually Challenging Entertainment, we have agreed to deliver 'Compelling Storytelling' to the audience. The film will cost INR 15 and will come with English subtitles which not only makes it affordable to the audience but also accessible to those who might not understand the language of the film. At this moment, we are focused on Tamil films but we have our own version of a global media aspiration which need not be discussed at this point in time. Overall, we have enabled the audience to watch our content whenever they want on the device of their choice. Our web platform https://www.summamovies.com is mobile-optimised and our content presents pretty challenging concepts for the audience to put their thought to. Our objective is that even when our audience have their worst experience with our content, they will walk away with some value or the other from an intellectual standpoint. 
Taking this thought process one step higher, we have incorporated the 'Open Source' philosophy into our for-profit business model. Every time our customer pays for our content, she/he will get a Custom-URL which will be live for 48 hours across 5 unique browser sessions. This means anyone who pays for our content, can watch it and SHARE IT LEGALLY with 4 other friends/family within the 48 hour period. This way, our business model eliminates the need for adopting acts of piracy in order to share content. If you have paid for our content, you are allowed to share it for 48 hours across 4 other browser sessions for 48 hours from the time of payment and WE ARE ABSOLUTELY FINE WITH IT. For what we know  if you have paid for the content, you deserve to share it with your friends and family legally. However, at this point in time, we are a start-up and it costs us to stream you our content. Within our existing operational budgets, 48 hours of free-sharing is all we can provide as of now. Our future aspirations do cover single-digit pricing and extended timelines for sharing content that our audience have rightfully paid for. So if you pay and watch our films, do check out your email and share the link with your friends and family. Do look up the spam folder as we are noticing that some of our audience are receiving their custom-URL's in their spam folder. 
Our first production, Theory of Engineering, is a tamil short film spanning 19 minutes and 41 seconds. The film covers 5 friends discussing their state of unemployment post engineering education. The film is blend of sarcastic humour and drama allowing the audience to pick their comedic perspective as the story unfolds in three acts. 
A big thanks to the experienced technicians and artists who worked with us for either small or no salaries. Without their contribution, we couldn't have done any of this. A separate thankful shout out to Team NIKITHA for building our OTT Platform within shorter time frames and budgets.  Their efforts and contribution means so much to what we have done so far and will also serve as the basis for everything we are going to do moving forward.

Every unique effort in today's time does have a global perspective and contribution to it. For our effort so far, we are an Indian start-up company, our web-hosting service provider is a US-based company and our streaming solution provider is a UK based company. We sincerely wish to expand our horizons such that we engage as many stakeholders as possible in the global context and enable the entertainment industry realise a whole new dimension in terms of content design and delivery.
At Summa Productions, we sincerely hope we remain as a source of affordable, accessible and intellectually challenging entertainment for the marginalised segment of the audience that is sick and tired of watching bland blended nonsense called mass-entertainers. We are pleased to set an example for the rest of the film industry here and everywhere so they can pick up a similar effort to start delivering direct to their audience via the digital means. Digital transformation is by far the greatest of disruptions the global industries are facing right now and embracing the technological evolution is key to be part of the revolutionary change that is looking to sweep the entire world.
Thanks to everyone for the fantastic support so far. We have found our dead-end and have got a nice feeling of the wall. Now that we have started pushing it, our journey has officially begun. We will open a new avenue for the entertainment value chain where all stakeholders including every segment of the audience benefits without hurting the presence and prosperity of others. We asked ourselves what could be the reason for all this we are doing and all we got was "Summa is reason enough" and such was the SUMMA Brand born. [summa in Tamil means 'just like that' or 'no specific reason']. 
Follow our soundbites on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-527703291/theory-of-engineering-at-summamoviescom

Here is Big FM RJ Abinaya speaking about our business and first production:


Here is our business featured on our legal consultants' blog:

https://vakilsearch.com/advice/summa-movies/

Best Regards,

Friday, February 3, 2017

SPECIALITY OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY: THE DEFENSE NONSENSE

Hello World,

While I had other ideas for this post, I just could not prevent myself from writing this one before proceeding further. What started with one BSF Jawan is slowly becoming a trend where in-service and retired military personnel are uploading youtube videos of themselves speaking about the bad treatment and corruption they have been bearing during their service. The media has a strong gag order against publishing or discussing this state of military personnel reaching out to the larger audience for the sake of equality in treatment and supplies they need. Well, let’s take a look at the videos they refuse to discuss before we come to a conclusion:

This is what got the trend started. Here’s BSF Jawan Tej Bahadur presenting the sufferings of his and that of his colleagues: 



For those who do not understand Hindi, Jawan Tej Bahadur says the government is providing the supplies but him and his colleagues get very little to eat and what they get is of poor quality. His claim is that something happens across the ranks of the officers that they end up receiving limited supplies which results in less and bad-tasting food.

Here is Air Force Jawan Solanki presenting his travails within the force:



Again, for those who do not understand Hindi, Jawan or Lance Corporal Solanki asks why the British-era practice of unfair disparity between ‘Officers’ and ‘Jawans’ is still live and legitimate in the service. He quotes many examples where the Jawans get less than half the entitlements and allowances in comparison with the Officers. To quote some of the instances, he says Jawans need to serve in the force for about ten years before they become eligible for purchasing a car via the tax-free canteen facility but the officers enter the service with the eligibility. He also says, the Officers’ Mess looks like a star hotel where 50-60 Jawans are engaged just for its upkeep while the Jawans’ Mess remains relatively shabby with the food different  and bad from what’s served in the Officers’ Mess. 

Here is retired Air Force Jawan Suresh Yadav presenting his validation Jawan Tej Bahadur’s accusations and his observations from his service:



Summarising the key aspects of his testimony, he says when jawans/officers make any official effort to bring the discrepancies/discriminations to their superiors’ notice, they get threatened with ‘Form 10 Consequences’. Apparently, when they fill out Form-10 and execute disciplinary action against any Jawan/Officer, the concerned person will be declared as mentally unstable for further service in the force.

Here’s a testimony from CRPF Jawan Meetu Singh Rathod:



Summarising the key points, he says, for every soldier posted at high-altitude/cold regions, the per day oil allowance is about 20 litres but in practice they get 15 litres every 3rd day. This is the condition of soldiers operating at negative temperatures as per Meetu. He also lists the names of honest and corrupt officers based on his personal observation and opinion. He does mention the ‘bad food’ scene in his force citing an example where flour is added to the ‘Dal’ to make it thick. The rest of the bad food story is about the same according to him.

There are many more similar videos where Jawans from different military services claim they are being made to maintain the dogs of their superior offices, polish their boots, wash utensils and even take their kids for sports activity.

On a different note, if you remember, a submarine went down with 18 sailors. Here is the link:


Oh, if you also remember, an air force aircraft went down with 29 personnel onboard, guess what, the search was called off and they were declared ‘presumed dead’. Here are the links:



Now that we have a few instances of oddities from all major services in the military, we need to peace it together.

The military can’t make sure their personnel get proper food.

The military can’t make sure their personnel get treated fairly.

The military can’t make sure their personnel are engaged in tasks they are actually hired for.

The military can’t make sure their sailors are safe in submarines even during peace time.

The military can’t make their planes land safely. When they don’t the military will call off the search and declare the missing personnel dead.


If this is the state of their ongoing operations, how on earth are they going to know when and where the enemy will attack? 

If you don’t have the ‘intelligence’ of your own personnel’s welfare and safety, what is the basis for your ‘actual military intelligence’ capabilities? No wonder the Pathankot base was attacked. Not surprising at all, trust me, it shouldn’t be surprising. 

Why do you think the northern territory in J&K is incomplete and segmented? Why do you think there is a PoK and a CoK?

If they can’t deliver a simple ‘Dal’ to their personnel, why should one believe, they have the ball [never mind the second one please] to stand up to the enemies?

We as tax-payers have been funding this nonsense called military in the name of national security. 

What kind of a force is something that can’t predict and prevent its submarine from sinking, that too during peace-time, when nobody is attacking? 

An aircraft went missing and the search was called off. If you can’t recover and deliver the dead bodies of your own personnel who died during peace time, why should one believe, you won’t desert them during battle? What are you using your surveillance systems for? Tracking deer and cats in the bases?

A $38 billion defense budget and all we get is 18 sunk sailors, 29 officers presumed dead, lost and incomplete northern national territory and Jawans taking care of officers’ kids and pets. Feel free to add the rest of the deaths and nonsense you think will fit in.

At what point are we going to admit, we the taxpayers are funding the death of our own airmen, sailors and soldiers?

At what point are we going to admit, with $38 billion budget, we don’t have the capacity to maintain a submarine or track a plane within our territorial regions?

At what point are we going to admit, we the taxpayers, are funding the organised disparity and inequality among military personnel who signed up to protect us? What makes the services believe, the Jawans have a little less haemoglobin or a kidney less than that of Officers from the academy? 

At what point, will this nonsense end?

If this is just going to continue, I say, let’s stop defense spending, convert the military into disaster response services and have the respective states have access to a service that can actually make a difference. I am afraid, this discrimination and neglect will continue even in that scenario, as it is the same set of people we are talking about. 

Considering this, I think, burning the money we allocate for defense spending can produce some heat/flame. We can use the flame/heat productively to clear failed crops from the lands and keep cold regions warm. The byproduct smoke can be used to clear-off disease spreading insects  and the ashes can serve as manure [not sure if this one is valid for all crops, just being fair you know] while the military personnel migrate to become civilian entities with relatively higher safety, respect and morale. Never mind the borders, why stand along a fence that keeps moving towards us anyways? The infiltrators will realise, it is expensive to keep people alive at those altitudes and they will eventually move down to their side and focus more on feeding and engaging their population with sustainable employment opportunities.

Summing up, the secret of our national security: Really bad food, ill-treated Jawans, ill-maintained equipment and last but not the least, complete disregard for the servicemen who sink or go missing during peacetime.

It is about time, we stay away from vacations along the borders. What if the enemies and infiltrators are well fed and well equipped? What if they get fair treatment from their management? We will be taking pictures and they will be taking our lives. Our servicemen will try but given that they don’t have good food or boat or plane or morale, chances are we will be dead and the media will close the news of our death as ‘Tourists Who Violated Restrictions Got Shot by Terrorists.’ 

On a very different note [a shameless plug], if you are interested in unique tamil short films, feel free to visit https://www.summamovies.com/I couldn't tolerate the mass masala entertainers anymore and decided I will do my best to produce content with substance. I have a long a way to go as a producer and a start-up founder, but I am glad our journey has begun. I look forward to your support. Each film on our site costs INR 15. Thanks!!!


Best Regards,


Thursday, January 26, 2017

JALLIKATTU PROTEST: HOW STUDENTS AND YOUTH GOT USED

Hello World,


Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/T.N.’s-new-jallikattu-law-faces-challenge-in-Supreme-Court/article17095532.ece


The recently concluded #JallikattuProtest is being pushed out as a victory for students and youth while it is a case of carefully planned scheme that fooled students and youth who protested. While I believe that the entire #Jallikattu issue is a big-brother-helps-little-brother political drama, I would like to analyse the possible backdrop of this issue so the students and youth get an opportunity to understand the reality of the situation. To start, please refer to the image above for the news report on potential legal hassle approaching the recently declared 'victory of students and youth.'

What’s the Plan About and What Happened

PeTA, founded in 2000 in India, took over a decade to get to the animal rights in #Jallikattu. That’s an organization which has the capability to investigate secretly guarded animal-abuse practices. For some reason, the organization took over a decade to get to #Jallikattu, which happens to be a public event conducted annually. Not one person in the media has discussed this aspect.

A and B had planned for a collaborative #Jallikattu issue where the A would enable the ban on the sport and the B would do a miraculous counter effort to get back what rightfully belongs to its regional citizens. Unfortunately, those who wrote the story and script did not get elected again to continue the drama into the second term. The new comers, C and D realized there is a quality script ready and decided to produce it and arranged the release. 

As per script, the local parties should have taken turns to call for ‘Bandh’ and when a few of those happened over a span of 4-8 weeks, D would make a publicity-laden appeal to C stating #Jallikattu is part of the region’s cultural identity and C would grant a carefully crafted ruling that will remove the ban on #Jallikattu. D would get the intended ‘Hero’ image and will build the vote bank using this image as the stepping stone. C, in exchange will get the support of all elected D members for everything C tries to achieve.

Unfortunately, out of the blue, students and youth got together at the beach. As the protestor crowd got bigger and bigger, everyone expected someone will start causing nuisance and the police will get cracking. However, the students and youth maintained fair discipline and also cleaned up their trash. This added to the surprise. The party cadres waited to get to the streets with their planned nuisance scheme but the students and youth just went for days in a row. 

Finally the party cadres decided to join the students and youth which is where the screenplay took an unusual twist. The students and youth said NO to all PARTY groups. This came as a surprise to the party cadres.

What was the Response

The party cadres including C and D realized that allowing this protest to go further will only nullify their presence and most importantly, the public perception of their power. So they carefully planned to establish a well declared defeat for the students and youth. They planted their youth-wing cadres dressed in black amongst the honest students and youth who were protesting for #Jallikattu. This is how different smaller groups within the #JallikattuProtest started protesting for things other than #Jallikattu. The unassuming protestor crowd did not know they were already neck deep in this carefully designed chaos. They were still believing their protest for #Jallikattu was just growing in size. The reality is that there was a parallel ‘noise’ that kept growing, muffling their genuine objectives and projecting a digressing protest that to me indicated its end is near.

The Current Perception and Possible Reality Behind

The students and youth, for the most part , believe their protest ended in violence but their efforts got the desired results. Unfortunately, from my perspective, that’s not the case. I still believe, the ordnance is a back up plan that was used to bring the protest to an end and appease the fairly unaware students and youth that they won. The fact is the students and youth entered a game where the planned teams and players were very different groups and none of them included these protesting students and youth. 

What Could be Possible Future of #JallikattuIssue

The top court is going to shoot down the ordnance saying its is up to C to do the necessary corrective measure and D’s actions will not be legally valid. The party groups will then move as per their original script and schedule multiple ‘bandhs’ before D will make a louder and stronger plea to C. Then, C will make a remarkable legal provision, and with drumroll in the background, announce that #Jallikattu and the use of the banned animal will remain legal forever. D and C will continue to convince the voters that it is them who took the fight from the students and youth and ran the final leg all alone, and valiantly fought for the cultural identity of their people. The students and youth, out of part embarrassment and part fear, will stay away from any such protest in future and the PARTY groups will continue their voyage. The voters will continue to believe that when they vote, they have to vote for a PARTY and not an independent. The world will be back to the chaotic equilibrium it used to be. 

I don’t want to emphasise that I am exactly right in my assumption. I am however, inclined to ask the question: If this is not what it is, what else could it be? 


Summing up, I wish to conclude, stating the students and youth came up for something they felt passionate about and demonstrated top-notch civil behaviour. However, they are not as trained as the party groups and could not detect or avoid infiltration and digression. In the end, the students and youth got used for the ulterior motives of so many who did not share the true passion for culture or freedom as the students and youth do. After all, everyday regular people can't take up things in their hand, get together in large gathering and go against a massive industry designed to cheat humans: politics. This will remain the case as long as voters believe, they have to vote for a party. #ThinkIndependent

Update as of 1st Feb, 2017:

The supreme court has refused to stay the new state law enabling #jallikattu. While most of my fellow citizens consider this a victory of those who protested, I see this as a new complex issue in the making. This new issue might be aimed at establishing the recent and future 'protest mentality' as unreasonable and naive. Here's my take on this:

If supreme court should allow the state law defying its previous judgement banning usage of bulls in #jallikattu, then to be fair, it should also allow the other state's law that enables them to stop river water from flowing out of their catchments. 

The supreme court is going to point at the state-level #jallikattu law and consider the other state's law on river water distribution on the same grounds of similarity. While the legal descriptions may very, the court finding will claim if one state is to be allowed a state law overriding the supreme court's judgement, the other state's law overriding the supreme court judgement should also be permitted on grounds of similarity in legislation driven by popular public sentiment.

In essence, the supreme court is about to set an example situation which will end declaring the very objectives of the #jallikattu protest as unwarranted, illegal and last but not the least, stupid. The parties will wait until the turn of events reach this stage and then make a claim saying it is them who are more qualified to bring political solutions in the most legal manner as opposed to protest-driven ordinances such as the recent #jallikattu law. Again, this will be done, only to ensure the political class regains its public power perception. 

While I support the students and youth about their core beliefs, I have to say, they screamed ordinance when they first got the media attention. Halfway through, when they realized ordinance can be shot down by the court, they started demanding permanent solution. As a result of ambiguity in objective, the political class is trying to divide them into two groups: one that feels the protest should have gone a different route and another that feels they got what they asked for and the students deserve this victory. Unfortunately, given the state of things, the political class seems to be gaining strength in terms of discouraging any further such protest mentality, now that the division is clearly visible.

Summing up again, what could be solved in one step of removing the bull's name from a list, has taken the longest route possible causing the entire nation an administrative overhead, only to be positioned for another decade long legal battle that can go either ways and the worst case can result in long term ban on #jallikattu. When the state demands river water from the other state, the supreme court is going to say, your #jallikattu law is the basis on which the other state is allowed a similar law to stop river water sharing. When the state says, the law was passed to appease the sentiments of students and youth and the general public, the court is going to suggest, the state can get their water from the same students, youth and public who protested for the ordinance. To be fair, the students, youth and public in the other state demanded the river water to stay within their territory and their government passed a law over the supreme court judgement, just like what happened for #jallikattu. This will end up with the political class, pointing their fingers at students and youth, calling them responsible for all this trouble. Everyone can celebrate the victory of #jallikattu protests and the state law until this happens. Just my thought.

On a very different note [a shameless plug], if you are interested in unique tamil short films, feel free to visit https://www.summamovies.com/I couldn't tolerate the mass masala entertainers anymore and decided I will do my best to produce content with substance. I have a long a way to go as a producer and a start-up founder, but I am glad our journey has begun. I look forward to your support. Each film on our site costs INR 15. Thanks!!!


Regards,


Sunday, January 15, 2017

JALLIKATTU: WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

Hello World,



With so much rage being displayed over the ‘Ban on Jallikattu’ in the southeastern end of India, it is hard for me discuss the nonsense that I am noticing.

Firstly, last year, thousands of layoffs were announced. In the coming months most of those layoffs will be executed and more job cuts are fast approaching. 

Secondly, with 100-[or is it 150-days now?]-days-work program, labourers are increasingly not preferring factory jobs which means the manufacturing sector is facing a shortage of workers.

Thirdly, in the name of engineering, grossly misunderstood versions of the same are being thrusted into the minds of students who now have to completely rely on their own efforts to identify and learn what they need to secure their first job. [At least this is the case with this corner of India]

When the very state of survival is becoming a state of strange probabilities, for some reason, the citizens are bubbling with passion for a sport involving bulls. The surprise is not that but the fact that so many stepped out in procession demanding the legalisation of jallikattu.

This is where I find the nonsense. I am happy that there is a sense of unity growing among a section of the citizens and the passion for #jalikattu is playing a good catalyst. What I am ashamed of is the way the ‘protestors’ perceive the issue and and the methods in which they display their protest. I am absolutely frustrated at the very demands they are making. All the #jallikattu protestors are wasting their time demanding the infeasible, never mind the irrelevance.

While some are demanding a special legal provision needs to be created [an ordnance maybe], some are demanding PeTA be banned. Just when I decided I need to focus my attention elsewhere, I had the absolute misfortune of learning complete idiots demanding separation of state from union of the country in exchange for ignorance of the jallikattu issue. 

Even if one were to be a chronic alcoholic and a meth-practioner and in a fit of high, starts making the unrealistic of the demands, will you, in your senses, even imagine, if separation of state from the country will be one of them? That too when the high-flyer is passionate about a sport involving bulls.

When the need is to have the sport conducted everyone is busy explaining how all can make a difference if they stand in unison. Some made their way to the beach in Chennai. Some have made their way to the main roads and their college entrances in protest. In the end, all they ever did was stand, scream and nothing more.

If conducting the sport is of importance, the effort needs to be towards conducting the sport. Given that social media has proven its ability to send messages across large masses within short time frames, the capability needs to be leveraged, not to get to the roads but to the grounds where jallikattu can be conducted. This will bring those passionate individuals to the spots where jallikattu is conducted. They are going to watch the sport anyways, from the safest distance possible, mind you. Hardly 5% of the jallikattu crowd will even set foot into the ring with bulls. The rest are just audience. 

So when they say ‘We want jallikattu’ they are really meaning, ‘We want to watch jallikattu as the real jallikatu players chase the bulls’. 

Jallikattu has happened in the state, in rather small events. Everyone is claiming they did. Well, with all due respect, the jallikattu players did it and you watched them do it. Most of these ‘watchers’ did that on their mobile devices. 

Given the circumstances, this seems to be a situation where the local power houses are being offered a source of political mileage by their big brothers from the federal level. During the British rule, local rulers where given similar mileage where unless the local rulers paid a huge sum, the administration did not build a school [high school mostly]. This way, the innocent citizens, were driven to believe that their local zamindar/king paid from his pocket [which he did not] to get their kids the access to school education.  This is how the smaller rulers who promised allegiance to the British rule where supported by the crown.

Getting back to present, this jallikattu seems to be the game where those at the federal level are providing an opportunity to those at the regional level to establish a wave of faith and reinforce their presence so they can continue with their existing and evolving relations for motives, we need not digress into for now. I am suspecting, the message probably is ‘Let me stop something less-relevant that people are passionate about and when their anger reaches peak-performance, you make a strong request and I will accept to the demand. This way, you will remain the symbol-of-guts-that-brings-glory for your surrounding crowd and you can continue to submit yourself to my reign of nonsense. If you are happy, so am I. Are you game for it? Let’s go fool some citizens. Shall we?’

The protestors are busy claiming many versions of the legalisation of #jallikattu without focusing on the core cause, the inclusion of Bull in the list of animals that will not be used for any sport/display event. 

The 'ruling' class slowly waits to leverage this situation. Amidst the accusations, what they are about to establish still remains outside the focus areas of the general public, including the protestors. This gameplay is looking to fool the general public in large scale by giving them the feeling that it is them, the 'ruling' class who took up the issue and got #jallikattu legalised. In the end they successfully created a 'demand' and are taking the credits for providing the 'supply'. The wave of voters posting selfies with dotted fingers will only grow. That is the real reason behind this entire drama being orchestrated by the 'ruling' class. The economy has grown so much that citizens are busy with their own lives. The rulers need newer reasons to build their business on without doing the actual public service. The only way is the enrage the public with trivial 'designed situations' and then appease them with a suitable 'political solution.' Digressing here, I still don't understand why the voting public is still sticking to political parties. They can as well vote independent candidates. If independent candidates get the attention they deserve, the parties will resort to more meaningful ways than requesting the centre ban traditions and build vote-bank out of it. I don't think, the protestors have the awareness to ask the question, 'Why parties? Let it be independent forever' just because they don't want to be in a situation where they seem naive or specifically without a mouth-shut answer. This is the heuristics that has been leveraged by the 'ruling' class for centuries across the planet. But that's a democracy joke which is slightly off-topic for this post.

While the region is beginning to ride the wave of victory over the fact that groups of 15 managed to drag their farming bulls into dirt and claimed conducting jallikattu, what remains unaltered is the fact that the ban on the sport is live.

On a very different note, for some reason, a sport largely associated with a festival of a specific religion, often practiced in or around the temples of the same specific religion is being projected as the sport of the larger ethnic group being named after a language. Unfortunately, that larger ethnic group [based on the language] comprises more than one religion which do not cover this specific festival or the temples. This jallikattu, while being claimed as the identity of a language based ethnic group is merely a sport closely associated with a festival of a specific religion often practiced in front of places of worship associated with that specific religion alone. 

I am not surprised that this fact remains incomprehensible for the larger segment of the population. They are just not equipped enough to understand the concept of realistic segmentation. They are however, very emotional individuals who will not give up on anything that is thrown at them with their ethnic identity as the package. 

Civil disobedience, can be non-participance when something is forced on citizens or wilful practice of something that is banned. When such is the state, the 43rd distantly remote option of making a human chain along the beach and blocking the main roads are gaining prominence which to me means, absolute nonsense is gaining prominence. In a democracy, citizens have the right to display civil disobedience. So when something important is banned they can very well go ahead and practice it to display protest. But if they choose to do other theatricals to gain media limelight, then that becomes the case study for a failed democracy, largely on the basis of the demos being irrevocably stupid.

All I can ask is …… When will they ever learn?

Update as of 19th Jan:






There it comes, the metaphorical 'Aapu' [sharpe wedge] for the protests. Again, the fact of the situation is that the intentions of the public/protestors is right but their efforts are headed in the wrong direction.

In the interest of those whose brains are blocked by their perceived concepts of 'confidence' and 'conviction', I would like to break this down further:

There are laws prohibiting bribes and there are laws that demand all motorcyclists wear helmets. Bribes continue to be given and taken. There are many riders who don't bother about the helmets. I would assume this rings a bell [I am not in the mood to hallucinate though].

While rationality demands those who are really passionate about the sport, might very well play it in their own towns, what's happening now is very odd [I am using empathy here, trust me]. The problem is #jallikattu proponents want to conduct the sport with a large audience where the event involves lakhs of rupees in prize money and the other business opportunities around it. 

If that is really not the issue, the bull owners can meet every Sunday morning with their bulls, at grounds at the outskirts of their respective villages and play the sport as long as they want. There are soft and hard tennis ball cricket tournaments. There can be a #jallikattu tournament every month if not weekly. Now, the problem is, the religious and caste-dominated social behaviour cannot happen if the sport is democratised this way. Those who dominated want to dominate the same way they used to. The players don't want to just chase the bulls. They want to chase the bulls in front of a big audience with a huge prize money waiting for them. 

Now everyone will focus on how one should first understand the concept of #jallikattu and the methodology behind the sport. 

The protestors seem focused on 'Uprising of Youth' 'Rising of the Student Power' and how an ethnic group stands up for its cultural rights. I may be very wrong here but I can only describe and comment what I observe.

One can either hold a hero's image or get their favorite sport into practice. Those who want the ban to be live need to engage the crowd on banning PeTA, establishing a state as a separate country and how international companies are dominating their cultural roots. 

Again, all I can ask is 'When will they ever learn?'....

Update as of 20th Jan:

The students and youth asked the political parties to stay away from them during the protest and they are maintaining that stand even now. However, now, the political class has planned for rail roko. So the 'youth-only' protest now is a multi-dimensional protest with one dimension controlled by the political class. The fast approaching irony is that the political class will invite the students to the railway stations and then declare that the parties have joined hands with the students and youth. From then on, any criminal act that happens will be thrown on everyone involved in the protest, including students and youth. Their absence in the real sense will be ignored once the political class claims their joining hands with the students and youth. By now, the ruling class would have asked around the admin circle about the possible repercussions of any protest activity and choose the safest protest zones for their respective political parties. In the end, the efforts of students and youth is about to be misused in a large scale effort.

Again....when will they ever learn?

Update as of 20th Jan [Evening]:

Now that a promise for a state-level law has been made, the law is yet to be passed. The political class have finally established their control over this issue. 

From now on, it will be the 'PARTIES' which will claim, their efforts at local and federal levels resulted in the special law.

The point is, this could have happened anytime in the past. Unfortunately there was no need. Now that a 'demand' has been created, the 'supply' is being prepared by the political class. 

While most of the protestors will claim the youth and students did it, after a few weeks it will be the 'PARTIES' who will hold the limelight for doing something ground-breaking. 

When the citizens have multiple pressing issues related to their well being, the political class picks a distant yet sentimental area and installs a tailor-made chaos. The citizens get all raged up and when they reach a state of despair, the political class presents a solution. 

The solution is not there yet. By the time the solution is delivered and it is ready to meet the next obstacle, the protesting citizens will be back to their busy lives, some thinking their unity got them their victory and the rest blaming others for not supporting early on. 

The political class will get back to business as usual. They are fairly new here, they needed something that will stay on their cap for a while. That's why this ban-drama was written and directed.

Meanwhile, the political class can have their youth wing cadres dressed in black, without any party logo/mercandise commit small acts of vandalism so that 'students and youth' get branded as hooligans. While the chances for this are low, the potential impact will be too much to handle. 

Still don't believe it? Look at this screenshot below:



The court order is being purposely delayed to buy time for the regional political class to create local law and claim that as a victory of their respective PARTY. This way, the protesting citizens will assume their local political class has delivered value against a not-so-friendly federal political class. The order could go in any direction but that is still being delayed on purpose. Nobody cared for the order until protests erupt and when that does erupt, the process is delayed. If this is not a clever plan to create a 'hero' out of a political class, then what else could it be?

Still finding it harder to believe? Have a look at this:


What could have happened years before is happening just now. out of the blue all the procedures and processes have the room to accommodate this immediate request. If the request had been anything more relevant, it would not have got this attention. 

Now look at this:


This 'fast-food-law' might not end up on the right side of the constitution for long. What if this short term effort appeases the protestors and the issue goes back to square-1 in a few weeks time? 

All I see is, a game of big brother helping little brother establish a new hero's image in front of his home audience. Banning a sport is a mere trigger and the scores of youth and students are mere pawns who voluntarily brought themselves forward and are risking their well being.

If the animal rights have to be upheld, why add the bull to the non-performer list? What if the jallikattu sport started using other animals and the abuse went to a whole new level? When the real solution is in regulating jallikattu, why is the usage of one animal being banned rendering the game invalid? 

If you are still finding it hard to even consider this angle, look a this:



The activist organization's Indian chapter was founded in 2000. The ban on using bulls in Jallikattu came in 2014. 

An activist organization that is capable of investigating secret and privately organized acts of cruelty to animals in labs and slaughterhouses, took a little over a decade to get to jallikattu, which although rural, was a fairly popular festival-sport played in public view year after year. What stopped the them for over 10 years and what supported the activist group out of the blue? Ban on bulls could have happened years before 2014. What stopped them until 2014? 

Big corporations do have deep pockets and they can always offer a higher price in exchange for any conversion or upgrade. They don't have to 'ban' the usage of an animal and disrupt a sport. They have other profitable options which I am sure they are working on.  

This is a case of 'Political Acts of Brotherhood Among the Political Class' which just happened to play around with the emotions of the citizens. 

And still everyone is busy looking to claim a cultural victory assuming the game being played is all they care about. 

Again, when will they ever learn?.....

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