Kshetrajna

An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

News round up: Dec. 15

1. Can you legislate common-sense?

Anti-superstition Bill introduced

Excerpt: "A Bill seeking to punish those making false claims and taking advantage of people's superstitions was introduced in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday. Maharashtra is the first State to propose such a law. ... [check cheating by quacks.]"

Although I support the government when it comes to punishing fraudsters for their false claims, I am wary of the presence of the word "superstitions" in this report. One human's superstition is another's faith. Also, does the bill cover only financial aspects of cheating? What about the emotional costs? Opening up the bill to cover emotional cheating would be a lawyer's dream!

Warning: Long sentence ahead! Indeed, if the bill becomes a law, can newspapers be hauled up for their "astrological predictions", "vaastu", "fengshui", for their claims such as "love is in the air today. You will meet someone ..." or "Move the ceramic pot such that when it is viewed from underneath the sofa, it is in line with the dustbin, the printer and the TV-stand, while when viewed while suspended 2 feet above the sofa, it is enclosed by an equilateral triangle containing the aforementioned items ..."?

In our country, entrusting a government with the right to define "superstition" and implement a law based on it is as dangerous as (if not more than) allowing them to sneak in an ill-defined (and hence much distorted and abused) "secularism" in the constitution.

On the other hand, if passing the bill results in the cold hands of the law landing on the likes of the charlatans advertising mass healings at their prayer meetings ... dream on, it's never going to happen!

2. On missed calls

You can't miss them

The write-up generally extolls the utility of missed calls in several situations, prominent among which is the following:

Excerpt: "Whenever I want to convey to my fiancé that I miss her, I love her, or I am thinking of her, all that I have to do is send a buzz and the message is conveyed. Since she is into research it is not possible to disturb her while she is in her lab, to convey my love notes. So this works perfectly for us and she reciprocates in a similar way. Hats off to this feature in mobile phones," says Shameem Mustafa."

I have a serious problem with this.

Now, don't get me wrong, dear Shameem, but isn't the feature that really helps you the SILENT MODE feature of the mobile phone, and not the "missed call"?! Presumably, you can send all the messages you want to your beloved fiance and she can receive them with the mobile in the silent mode! The only message you are conveying is that ... you are CHEAP! And going by your story, looks like your fiance has also accepted your specious argument! :)

Further, I can't (under)stand it when someone asks me to "give a missed call"! Please understand, people, that I can only "give a call", it's usually up to you or the telephone company to miss it! Of course, being practical, I am not going into the theoretical possibilities of dialling a number, waiting for the number to show up on the recipient's mobile and then disconnecting the call. If that's what you mean by "giving a missed call", I'm OK with it. There, I just figured out something by writing about it ... this blog has a purpose, you know ...

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