The evening of 26th November 2008, saw the beginning of concerted attacks on Mumbai. A squad of highly trained, well-armed terrorists landed in South Mumbai and worked in small teams to wreck death and destruction. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) was the first to be attacked. People waiting to catch a train, people sleeping on the platform, people going home – ordinary people were murdered in cold blood. Over 50 died and over a hundred were injured. CST also saw the capture of one terrorist. The Taj and Oberoi, Hotels were attacked and between them saw dozens of people dead, many more injured and the Taj dome set on fire. Nariman House, a centre for Chabad Jews was attacked and a Rabbi and his pregnant wife along with those who lived there were murdered. Cama Hospital was another target. In all, one hundred and sixty six people lost their lives, and 238 people were injured, many seriously. Damage to property ran into hundreds of crores, and the damage to psyche – terrorists walking into civilian areas and killing people at random- was huge.
As the terror unfolded, India watched with gruesome fascination. Live images were being beamed into homes. Every nuance, every speculation, every little bit of panic was captured and relayed. It was almost there was no other news in India. V.P.Singh, former Prime Minister of India and architect of Mandal died on the 27th November, the day after the siege began. But the airwaves were relatively silent on this. Cyclone Nisha hit the coast of Tamil Nadu on the 26th of November, and continued its wreckage for the next two days. Just under 200 people died, tens of thousands were displaced, crops destroyed and the cumulative loss ran into thousands of crores. But, it barely registered in the media. It seemed like every single news camera was busy, parked in the one square mile of Mumbai, covering a made for TV event that would keep their viewers hooked.
A few days ago the Supreme Court of India, upheld the death penalty on the one lone terrorist – Mohammed Ajmal Kasab – captured on the 26th of November. The verdict lays out the preparation, planning and the training given to terrorists to attack India. It also carries transcripts of terrorist handlers from Pakistan giving instructions to those holed up in the Taj, the Oberoi and Nariman house. They are heard telling the killers to tell the Indian media, and by default the authorities, ‘hamraabhi toh trailor hai abhi asal film to baaki hai’. The transcripts make for eerie reading. It is evident that the handlers sitting across the border are able to give accurate information to the terrorists holed up in Mumbai. As the SC states in the verdict, “from the transcripts … it is evident that the terrorists who were entrenched at those places and more than them, their collaborators across the border were watching the full show on TV. “ Calling the television coverage ‘reckless’ the SC has harsh words for TV news media at large, saying that it resulted in a situation where the terrorists who were complete hidden from the gaze of Indian security forces had complete knowledge on the movement and weapons of Indian security forces because it was being beamed live on television. The SC also takes on the freedom of expression defence on live broadcasts in situations like this by saying that it is “subject to reasonable restrictions. An action tending to violate another person’s right to life guaranteed under Article 21 or putting the national security in jeopardy can never be justified by taking the plea of freedom of speech and expression.”
In the competition for TRP’s and the race to be the first with the news, it is evident that news channels have forgotten two important words ‘accuracy’ and ‘responsibility’. In most cases TV news is neither. While the coverage during 26/11 remains the most visible manifestation of this malaise, it is not the only one. The SC’s observations on TV news are by far, one of the most telling indictments of main stream news television in India. Given the power and the reach of news TV one must ask the question, is there anything to be gained by transmitting news live? There is something fundamentally wrong about news that has not gone through an editorial filter hitting the screens. The world will not come to an end if news and visuals were transmitted half an hour later, after someone responsible in the news channel – the editor – had a look at the coverage and moderated ‘recklessness’. In fact, it will possibly make the world a better place.
Chaos theory is that branch of mathematics that looks at how random results arise from supposedly ‘normal’ events. The most popular representation of this is the Butterfly effect. The basic premise is “a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon, and a hurricane hits India”, essentially an event in one part of the world has terrible repercussions in another. In a globally linked world the butterfly effect is becoming more and more common.
Nothing can explain the butterfly effect better than the last ten days in India. In South Mumbai, a crowd of Muslim men gathered to protest atrocities against Muslims in Burma (approximately 3,000 kms away) and Kokrajhar, Assam (about 2,000 kms away). They had been shown doctored pictures and MMSes lifted from social media to help get them ‘charged’ up. Some of these pictures were a decade old, came from other countries, referred to other ethnic/religious groups, had been debunked multiple times – but none of these mattered. What mattered was the brutality in these pictures that was circulated, and the irresponsible and incendiary speeches that whipped up violence. The crowd became a mob with OB vans, vehicles and property being destroyed. The violence in Mumbai resonated through social media, with the word Muslim being used as an Adjective, Adverb and a religious descriptor. Did it add to the tensions on the ground – unlikely? Did it polarise the universe that inhabits social media and discusses politics and current affairs? Yes.
Bangalore, about 3,000 kms away from Kokrajhar, saw another sort of Butterfly effect. Random SMSes were sent to families in the northeast, warning them of attacks on their children and loved ones who lived, studied and worked in the rest of India. Panicked families began calling back their loved ones. A combination of these SMSes and news of ‘threats’ going viral in the real world led people to leave Bangalore. There have been smaller numbers leaving cities like Pune, Chennai, Vadodara and Mumbai – but Bangalore has faced the worst impact. Various state governments and the central government are making the right noises in terms of reassuring citizens but rumour carried rapidly by unfiltered media has had a powerful impact in creating a sense of insecurity.
It is at times like this you get to see two very different sorts of leadership qualities in both social media & mainstream media. There is the leadership that seeks to reassure and calm. And there is that which wants to create a narrative of victimhood and fear – watch out ‘they’ will take over your lives. Both exist and both are a reflection on the real world. Technology — be it broadcast or social media — has not created these attitudes, at best it allows these attitudes to be transmitted without filters to millions of desktops, mobile phones and TV sets.
Not surprisingly, calls have begun to have greater curbs on social media. Bulk SMSes have already been restricted. There is talk of monitoring social media sites. There are rumours of censorship. But it is neither social media nor mobile phones that are causing panic. People are. It is not the media that is spreading hate. People are. Most who are rioting don’t use social media – someone is downloading material, replicating it, at times morphing it and distributing it with only one express purpose: fermenting trouble. And there is a very good reason for this. From the time of Independence, there has been no cost, no penalty associated with polarising communities, instigating violence and causing death and destruction. In fact the converse is true — people who have done this have not only gotten away scot free but are ‘respectable’ members of the political class. Foot soldiers have been punished but those are the casualties of war.
India is such a complex nation, that even our butterfly effect is multi-layered – distance (event that take place elsewhere), and time (unconnected events in the past). Policies of not ensuring the rule of law, of pandering to religious fundamentalists, of making excuses for law breakers in the name of caste, community, religion, have come back to bite India hard, where it hurts. This is not a social media issue; this is a real world Rule of law problem. If you live in India, the laws of the land apply to you — it doesn’t matter if you sit at a computer and instigate people to cause violence or stand in front of a crowd and egg them to destroy. Both are criminal. The solution is not censorship of social media, or indeed banning gatherings, but punishment of those who break the law – without bias, without exception. Break the peace, go to jail has to be the mantra, going forward.
Again a piece of Lazy Blogging- here is something adapted from a post I did last a few years on the Idea of India – through songs.
I had earlier posted a version of this post on Blogbharti, as a part of the spotlight series . Today, on the 58th Republic Day 65nd Independence Day, I thought that it may be appropriate to post it on my blog… This version has pics… and a few more songs…
One of the things that interest me is this entire concept of Indian identity. After all, there is nothing that we really have in common – not language, nor culture, not religion or even gods, or even a common philosophy, theology, or even a view of the world. (We think we do. But, if you probe even slightly you realise that we dont. ) Our multi-party democracy and our zillion paths and our seeming anarchy will drive any one seeing the country right up the proverbial wall. Yet, we know who we are. We may not be able to define it in specific words, but most of us know what we mean when we say we are Indian.
On Independence Day – the day, we the diverse people of India became Independent and united – in this shape and form for the first time in history, I thought it would be nice to have a list of songs from Hindi Film Music that represent this Indian-ness;not the national identity or the citizenship part of us but something that we recognise in ourselves and others as being Indian. Why only Hindi Film Songs? well because I have limited exposure to songs in other languages. Here is my top 16, do add to the list.
1) Sare Jahan se Achcha Hindustan Hamara – Written by Iqbal way back at the turn of the last century, the song that, I hope, really defines India. Not just the nation state, not even the geographical land mass, but the spirit of the space. There is a stanza in the song,
Mazhab nahin Sikhata, aapas mein bair rakhnaâ€¦. Hind hi hai hum, Hind hi hai ham vatan hai, Hindustan hamara
More than anything else this symbolises secularism in India for me. Not secularism in the western sense of separation of organised state and organised religion, but secularism in the sense of mutual tolerance, acceptance and co-existance. The irony is that Mohammed Iqbal became one of the strong proponents of division on religious lines. I am not really sure if it was ever used in a film, in its entirety. The new version of it for the Incredible India campaign is also worth hearing. I couldn’t find the video of the one we all heard we were in school, so here is the one from the Incredible India campaign.
The Gateway of India, Mumbai
2) Chino Arab Hamara, Hindustan Hamara Rehene Ko Ghar Nahin hai, Sara jahan hamara. Written by Sahir Ludhianvi and sung by Mukesh, for the film Phir Subah Hogi the song possibly is an anti thesis to Sare Jahan se Achcha. It captures the dispossession of the dispossessed. Written for the film made in 1958, the songs lyrics are still valid today. The song was not given playtime on AIR (the only medium on which the song could be heard). Check out this stanza
Jitni bi buldinge hai, Sethon ne baant li hai, Footpath Mumbai ke hai aashia hamara
While the number of home owners has definitely increased since the film was released, so has the number of homeless footpath dwellers. There is another song in this film, also sung by Mukesh, that deals with similar feelings – Aasman Pe Hai Khuda, aur Zameen pe hum.
The Little Beggar Girl, Mumbai
3) Sajan re Jhooth Mat Bolo, Khuda ke paas Jaana Hai – Mukesh waxes philosophical in this folksy number from Teesri Kasam. Picturised on Mukesh, the lyrics are by Shailendra, and music by Shankar Jaikishen. Check out this stanza
Bhalaa Kije Bhalaa Hoga Buraa Kije Buraa Hoga Wahi Likh-Likh Ke Kya Hoga Yahin Sab Kuch Chukana Hai
At a very core level this is so true. I remember a ricksahawaalah telling me when HKL Baghatdied, aise log na aise hi saad saad ke marenge. But, the flip of it is true too. You hear of people giving complete strangers shelter after a downpour, people who risk life and limb to help strangers, water being given away on streets to pilgrims & passers-by.
4) Aurat ne Janam diya Mardon Ko, Mardon ne use Bazaar Diya. Lata Mangeshkar in a rant against a system that is male skewed. At the core, India is still very much a manâ€™s world, with women as an after thought. It is still a country where a Prinyanka Todi is not allowed to exercise her choice, and a Priyanka Bhotmange is gang-raped to teach her a lesson, it is a society which is OK with terminating a girl child and a system where women are offered the chance to marry their rapist. There are success stories, but by and large she is still property. This has Sahir at his revolutionary best, music by N.Dutta. This film also contains the great Geeta Dutt number Ramji ke Dwar Pe, Tora Manva Kyon Gabraye Reâ€¦. Lakh deen dukhiyaare saare, Jag mein mukti paaye. Check out this stanza for its poignancy
mardon ne banaayee jo rasmen, unko haq kaa farmaan kahaa aurat ke zindaa jalane ko, qurbaani aur balidaan kahaa kismat ke badle roti di, aur usko bhi ehsaan kahaa
(woman – Marathwada)
5) Vande Maatram.The film Anand Math, Music by Hemant Kumar and sung by Lata Mangeshkar. There are many versions of this song, including the one on All India Radio, and later by A.R.Rehman but, this remains my favourite rendition. It takes a rare genius to take a song about the beauty of the mother goddess and convert it into a marching song.
sapta koti kantha kalakala ninaada karaale nisapta koti bhujaidhruta kharakarvaale ka bola ka noma eith bole bahubal dhaariniin namaami taariniim ripudalavaariniin maataram vande maataram â€¦
Glory of moonlight dreams, Over thy branches and lordly streams, Clad in thy blossoming trees, Mother, giver of ease Laughing low and sweet! Mother I kiss thy feet, Speaker sweet and low! Mother, to thee I bow.
6) Yeh Mehlon, Yeh Takhton, Yeh Tajon Ki Duniya – Mohd. Rafi singing for Guru Dutt in one of the most famous scenes from Hindi Films. A silhouetted Guru Dutt singing to a bunch of men and women who have sold their souls for something else Yeh Duniya Agar mil Bi Jaaye to Kya Hai. One of those songs that resonate deep within your soul. The other great songs in this film were – Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind per woh Kahan Hai Kissi.
The newspaper vendor
7) Kissi Ke Muskurahato pe Ho Nisaar – Bringing joys to those around you. Mukesh in the film Anari. India is full of men and women who just give up material things to bring happiness to others. Look at the number of NGOâ€™s and the good that they are doing at the grassroots – the people who serve without recognition, because they want to. People who help those less fortunate than themselves:
Maana apni jeb se fakeer hain, Phir bhi yaaron dil ke ham ameer hain
I remember a Dalit activist telling me that he works with the Pardhiâ€™s because they have even less than him. And those stories abound, people who just help each other.
(A Pardhi school – Maharashtra, run by volunteers. Read more – here)
8) Chodo Kal Ki Baatein, Kal Ki Baat Purani, Naye daur mein likhenge milkar nayi kahaani Sung by Mukesh for the film â€œHum Hindustaniâ€. At a very basic level this epitomises our view of history. While it is a great philosophy to move on, it also means justice sometimes doesnâ€™t get delivered. Check out this stanza:
Aaj puraani zanjeeron ko tod chuke hain
Kya dekhe us manzil ko jo chhod chuke hain
Chaand ke dar pe jaa pahuncha hai aaj zamaana
Naye jagat se hum bhi naata jod chuke hain
Naya khoon hai, nayi umangein, ab hai nayi jawaani
9) Chitthi Aayi hai - Sung by Pankaj Udhas, music by Lakshmikant Pyarelal, lyrics by Anand Bakshi. I remember hearing this song when I was a student abroad, and for some peculiar reason, my eyes filled up. For as long as I lived abroad, this song moved me and on my return I found it cloyingly sentimental. There is something about India as â€˜homeâ€™ that draws us back. How many of us know people who still call India home after living for donkeyâ€™s years in firangland and with firang citizenship? This is the stanza that used to reduce most people to tears :
Saat Samundar Paar Gaya Tu, Humko Zinda Maar Gaya Tu
Khoon Ke Rishte Todh Gaya Tu, Aankh Mein Aansoo Chhodh Gaya Tu
Kum Khaate Hain Kum Sote Hain, Bahut Zyaada Hum Rote Hain
Chitthi Aayi Hai
10) Mera Jootha hai Japani – Mukesh for Raj Kapoor in a song that is us. In a modern era it may be educated in London, with an Australian citizenship and a home in Spain. But phir bhi dil hai Hindustani. I love the modern reworking of this song too. Udit Narayan sings for Shah Rukh Khan in Phir bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. Check out this stanza for the new Indian chutzpaha
Thode anari hain thode khiladi, Ruk rukke chalti hai apni gaadi
Humein pyaar chahiye, Aur paise bhi
Hum aise bhi hain, Hum hain vaise bhi
11) Mera Rang De Basanti Chola – I love practically every version of this song, utilised in the Hindi Cinema. From the Mukesh & Mahendra Kapoor version in Shaheed to the Sonu Nigam version in the Legend of Bhagat Singh. While the title track from RDB is not strictly mera Rang de Basanti Chola, it too, for me, fits in. Somehow the song represents that part of us that revels in Independence. The modern Indian republic is the first time all of us have been equal stakeholders, and this anthem for me represents not just that part of us that knows that we are free, equal, and independent but the part of us that is willing to fight to keep it that way.
13) Choti si Aasha. We all hope, and we will wish for a better tomorrow. Small little hopes that we wish would come true. Sung by Minmini for the film Roja, the music director is A.R.Rehman. For me this song was more the Indian ethos than the patriotic Bahrat hamko jaan se pyaara hai. This is a new India, where everyone can hope, dream and hopefully can make it. It is the India, where the maid sends her children to an English medium school, where sachets rule the roost in rural India, and where the gardener, the carpenter and the milk man own a mobile to boost their own business, it is an India where we all have small dreams that can be realised.
I will be a pilot — says the girl to her brother….
14) Aao Bache Tumhe Dikhaye -We had just moved from Delhi to Bombay. I was 7 or maybe 8. There was this school in the lane in which we lived in Vile Parle (E). The PT teacher (he could have just been the NCC in charge) would get the kids in the school to sing this song after their march. It was, surprisingly harmonious. Today when I travel India and I come across some place ordinary, I am struck by its timelessness & beauty. this song echoes in my ears.Goosebumps time…
15) Allah tero Naam, Iswar tere Naam – Lata Mangeshkar in one of my favourite Bhajans from Hindi Films. Music by Jaidev, for the film Hum Dono. Tolerance as secularism – a very Indian ethos. And despite bombs, terror, and a fatwa per minute, despite Khalistan, Khaps, and moral police and the hardening of stands across the board — that value still persists. Watch ordinary people of all shapes, sizes, and all persuasions passing by religious monuments or on festival days … they still share …. the elite have moved away from this, but the bulk are still ‘secular’ – in their faith.
16) Chak De India – the Indian way of saying Just Do It. This is the India not of the class system or the caste system or the old aristocracy. This is the India of a Sunil Mittal, an Irfan Pathan, a Mahindra Singh Dhoni, a Shah Rukh Khan, the Mayawati. Men and women with no famous lineage, a modest background achieving dreams achieved within their own lifetime, while they are still young. This is the India of the small town IAS officer, the India of, hopefully, the new meritocracy. An India, where we as members of the Republic take charge of our own destiny and move ahead, despite the system.
Have a peaceful Independence Day, and spare a thought for all those who fought and continue to fight to ensure that those freedoms remain !
and finally, the National Anthem – an extended version of it –
On a slow news day, a girl in Guwahati got molested by a gang of men, who saw nothing wrong in groping, pinching, punching, stripping, feeling up and mauling the victim. In fact, they seemed to take great pleasure in it. A news camera crew captured the act in full gory detail; every nuance of the violence perpetuated on the victim was captured as was every hand movement, every expression; as was the pride and joy shown by the molesters in hearing the helpless girl cry for help. The mob action seemed like a rite of passage – something that got the molesters their official entry into the club of Machismo. They had done it – succeeded in stripping a girl of all her dignity, in public space; in front of cameras and a gawking public. Without censure. Without being stopped. It finally ended half an hour after it started when the police rescued the victim. But, the ordeal did not end with the molestation. The news channel decided to air the tape without masking her face. The footage was uploaded to YouTube and went viral. Mainstream media that had completely ignored theAssamfloods for being unworthy of national airtime went to town with the story.
A study conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said that amongst the G20 nations, India, was the hardest country for a woman to live in; worse than Saudi Arabia. In the Danger Poll, also conducted by the same foundation, Indiawas the 4th most dangerous place in the world to be a woman. The first three on that list wereAfghanistan,Somalia andPakistan.India lags behind on every count that matters. It starts with birth. Rather, it starts by terminating birth. The Poll estimated that there are 50 million girls missing because of female foeticide. A 100 million women and girls are trafficked. 44.5% of all women are married off before the age of 18 – it means education comes to a grinding halt, dreams of economic independence remain unfulfilled, and lifelong servitude in a feudal set up beckons. The woman neither knows nor understands rights that she has as an independent citizen of the country. She is relegated to being part of a traditional society – which may have its’ own charms- but has never been woman friendly.
Public molestation of a woman is not new. It is to teach her and the men in her family a lesson. ‘Look I am doing this to you and yours – and you are powerless to stop me’. We have grown up hearing about Draupadi and her ordeal. Lost in a game of dice by her husband, dragged out of her chambers by her brother-in law, Dushasan , propositioned in an open court by another brother-in-law Duryodhan, she is told to take off her clothes. When she refuses the ‘vastraharan’ begins. An entire court of ‘Noble’ men stand by and do nothing while a woman is being stripped.. Draupadi was the daughter of a king, wife of another and mother to future kings, dressed modestly and visiting her in-laws. Theoretically it can’t get safer than this, yet none of this prevents her ordeal. It literally takes a deus ex machina to save her. But the story doesn’t end there. Draupadi vows not to tie her hair until it has been washed in the blood of Dushasan. Bhima swears to kill every single Kaurav prince to avenge the assault on Draupadi, to tear open Dushashan’s chest and drink his blood, and to break the thigh of Duryodhan who asked Draupadi to sit on his lap. It takes around fourteen years to fulfil all the vows – but fulfilled they are. Retribution for that act of molestation is bloody, brutal and complete.
In a modern world breaking thighs & tearing chests is not allowed nor is personal retribution. So what is the punishment for ‘molestation’? Two years. The men will spend a maximum of two years in prison and probably make bail after a year. The victim on the other hand has been handed a life sentence. What we saw in Guwahati is not new – it is a story mirrored in various cities, towns and villages. It may not happen in front of news cameras but it does happen. And, it happens for only one reason – the perpetuators know they can get away with it .That needs to stop. There needs to be smarter and better policing – surveillance cameras, more manpower on the streets, linked databases. There need to be time bound trials. Finally, where there is crime, there had better be punishment. Hard jail time. Biting monetary fines. Make the punishment hurt. Else arm every woman in India with a gun and teach her how to use it.
Psychiatry identifies a condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), popularly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, in which two or more distinct identities or personalities compete with each other to take charge of the patient’s behaviour. If you were an alien observing the Indian media to observeIndia, you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that there is a severe case of DID that requires urgent attention and treatment.
Indians especially those of us living in cities and working in relatively high paying jobsseem to suffer from acute multiple personality syndrome when it comes to India and our fellow citizens. There is one personality that sees Indiataking her place at the high table of world powers. There is another personality that thinks that India’s poor are people from another country and another time. There is a third personality that believes that rules should be applied uniformly and the corrupt should be locked up and the keys thrown away. And then to counter that there is a fourth personality that believes that it is completely all right for them to jump the red light and slip the traffic policeman a fifty rupee note along with their licence. There is a fifth personality that will use every contact, every piece of influence in their larger family and friend circle to get their kids into elite schools
and colleges or jobs. And a sixth personality that chaffs at
the concept of reservations. There is another personality that will sit in its comfortable drawing room and talk about how wonderful it is that people from other countries turn up in large numbers to protest against their government or participate in the electoral process, and to counter that is a personality that will send SMS’s or press like buttons in lieu of participation and plan a holiday on election weekend. And of course there is a personality that moans at the non application of rules and the reign of goonda raj where the rich and powerful reign. And there is another personality that outrages that officials – especially police officials – applying the rules without prejudice are puritans from another century or the Taliban from another country. All these personalities and opinions reside within a single person. If it was spread across the country you would call it diversity. But, within one person it seems like a serious problem that requires some concerted psychiatric care.
There is nothing that exemplifies this affliction more than the recent fracas in Mumbai over police raids on watering holes, night clubs and bars. At one level you have had the media and citizen groups that have gone hammer and tongs at the system not sending people to prison when laws are violated, at the other there is outrage when these laws are applied to them.
Mumbai has some of the most archaic rules that govern alcohol and nightlife. Everyone needs a permit to drink alcohol – a permit that states that you need alcohol for medicinal reasons; essentially a permit that declares you an alcoholic. This permit requirement goes back to 1949 – the Bombay Prohibition Act – which no one has bothered to repeal .There are three things that policeman can do in a situation like this. One is ignore the law and do nothing. The second is take money and look the other way. The third is doing something about it. There are many who advocate option one. But, the job of the policeman is not to interpret the law – that is the job of courts, nor is it to make the law – that is the role of legislators. The Policeman’s role is to implement the law.
We keep using the West as an example – in the west establishments breaking overcrowding rules will be penalised. Those that serve alcohol without license will be fined. Those that serve the underage alcohol will be shut down. Teenagers caught with traces of narcotics will end up with a jail record. Parents who take their underage kids into night clubs will be prevented from entering the establishment. There is something called the rule of law and it is obeyed. . And when the law is wrong, as in many cases it can be, groups of citizens lobby their elected representatives to change it. They get involved. There is a conversation, it is a process.
There are just too many laws and rules that govern us, and many of them violate our personal rights and personal space. Those laws need to go. But, we need to be conscious that our rights are in relation to the rights of others, and not absolute in themselves and vice versa. It is important that we sit down together and find solutions. Vilifying policemen who carry out the law is not conversation. It is a tantrum of those who ask ‘how dare anyone ask us what we do’, at the same time as raging against those who do the same.