Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Stuff Indian Government Says

No time to start a Tumblr blog, so I'm just going to go with a new label for this. Interpreting 'government' quite broadly (to include official pronouncements of all kinds), here are two recent examples:

  1. "Family matters should be argued only by married people, not spinsters. You [an unmarried lawyer] should only watch. Bachelors and spinsters watching family court proceedings will start thinking if there is any need to marry at all. Marriage is not like a public transport system. You better get married and you will get very good experience to argue such cases."
    -- Justice K. Bhaktavatsala, Judge, Karnataka High Court. [Source: Kafila: Petition to Chief Justice of India – Remove Justice Bhaktavatsala of Karnataka High Court

  2. "Indian tradition doesn't permit a lady to smoke."
    -- V. Shekhar, Senior Advocate for the Ministry of Health, during oral arguments in a lawsuit about smoking movie characters. [Link via Indian Homemaker.]


  1. Pratik Ray said...

    WTF moment of the day!

  2. Harisankar H said...


  3. gaddeswarup said...

    Kuffir has a few more examples

  4. Nappinnai NC said...

    O Lord, i personally know lot of couples who have 'mental compatibility' problem. They are good specimens for doing research in human psychology. ***holes like this don't want the public to know the real truth about 'what is marriage and its consequences'. Redemption for India is only when this entire caste system gets wiped out. Its better to remain single and be happy than be married and miserable. Both 'Paradise Lost(hell)' and 'Paradise regained(heaven)' can be experienced right here on Earth through a gamble called Marriage:-)

  5. Anonymous said...

    Justice Bhaktavatsala's position springs from a very, very widely accepted, and also unquestioningly respected, idea from the Indian philosophical tradition, an idea which holds that intellectualizing in the absence of the experience is entirely worthless.

    So deep is the cultural influence of this idea that, for instance in Marathi, there exist numerous routine expressions---not just one or two---to express the same: "korDaa yuktivaad" (dry argumentation), "shabdaanchi hamaali" (coolie-work of carrying words, after a Tukaram "abhang"), etc. Similarly, "anubhavaaviN shabda phol" (Without experience, word is empty) is a very common and oft-quoted proverb.

    All these (and similar) culturally ingrained expressions trace their origins to the same Upnishadic idea. Yes, the idea certainly is mentioned in Upnishads, though I don't know for sure if it also goes further back to the Rigveda or not. Easily possible.

    So, are any BJP/RSS/Hindutva/Indian tradition-types coming forward to defend Justice Bhaktavatsala, on that basis?

    Anyone else---for example, hiring managers, who routinely reject applications out of a lack of experience? Would they defend him? Why not? What idea separates the hiring manager's case from the present one? Any specific principle?

    Oh, BTW, I do find Justice Bhaktavatsala's pronouncement repelling. It's just that, it does not stop me from seeking the idea/principle that separates the HR case from the present one. ... Any ideas?


  6. Ankur Kulkarni said...

    One more to add to the list:

  7. Anonymous said...

    I am SHOCKED to see such statements from a professor of India.

    Dear Sir,

    May I point out that in our very noisy country, although the two cases you have mentioned are quite funny, that the general learned audience will take this statement "The stuff Indian Government says" and apply it to nonsense like Arvind Kejriwal?

    I repeat the two cases you highlighted are funny, but please, the Indian government is putting in an almighty effort to balance systemic Western aggression, systemic "terrorism" outlooks from neighbours and manage the often silly masses of India.

    I would like to hear what a professor of India has to say about my comment.