India Uncut

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Monday, August 21, 2006

A pointless homage

Ustad Bismillah Khan is dead, and I'm sure there'll be many moving tributes to him in the days to come. Trust the government of India, though, to choose pointless (and costly) symbolism. The Times of India reports that the UP government has "declared a one-day mourning and ordered closure of all government schools, colleges and offices."

I'm okay with declaring one-day mournings, as long as they consist of symbolic gestures like flying flags at half mast, which harm nobody. But why close schools and colleges and offices? What's the connection? We correctly criticise the Shiv Sena everytime it calls a bandh, for the damage it does to the economy, well, this is a government mandated bandh, even if one limited to government organisations. Ludicrosity. If souls existed, Ustadsaab's soul would no doubt be going, "Wtf?"

: You'll hardly get a better tribute to Bismillah Khan than Falstaff's post, Bidai.
amit varma, 4:43 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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