We Didn’t Start The Fire: Feb. & Mar. 2021

By Krishna Advani
Picture Source: Google Images


Do you believe that farmers, the men and women across the country, should be entitled to selling their produce where they get the highest rate of return? Do you think that these farmers have the right to sell their crops beyond the ‘mandis’ of their state and earn the respective amount for it? Is it right, in your opinion, for a significant portion of their earnings to be going towards the individuals charging them a commission for facilitating sales? Are you of the inclination that the farmers shouldn’t be left dwindling by market monopoly or the whims of purchasers and have a set legal agreement on the price and volume of their goods? Lastly, do you think it is right to make a violation of these things actionable, allowing them to go to a committee or court for their justice? 

If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to most of these questions, you are, in fact, in support of the three farm acts that were exposed to mass scrutiny, misinformation and of course, propaganda for anti-centre agendas. The fun fact for all those vehemently supporting the opposition’s leaders, film cronies and gang, is that the entire structure and vision of this act was in fact credited to the ex-Prime Minister of the (now oppositional) Congress Party, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The force behind the implementation of liberalization in India, Dr. Singh had, on multiple accounts, explained the need for making farmers’ trading options expand beyond the threshold of their towns. Implemented by the current Prime Minister, this act enables farmers to eliminate middle men and commission-payments altogether, bridging the gap between buyer and seller, maximizing profit. Allowing private entities to then retain these farmers on contracts with legally agreed-upon minimal volumes and prices, it prevents the harvested stock from hoarding, rotting and selling at losses. 

The protests, which took a steeply communal tone in the Northern states of the country, also demanded that the act of penalizing stump burning (which has proved to cause immense deterioration of air quality in the National Capital Region) be repealed, effectively making it an acceptable practice. 

Farmer Protests in India _ Current events February March 2021
Farmer Protests in India

Tell-All Tete-a-tete

In light of a seemingly revealing interview between the former Royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, multiple conservatives and liberals alike seem to have done what they do best: taken offense to something that had nothing to do with them.

The couple, interviewed by the talk-show titan, Oprah Winfrey, came all but clear about what happens once Cinderella is married to the prince. Ending old speculation and creating new ones, Meghan Markle revealed the nature of racist undertones inside the walls of the palace, and their explicit, shameless overtones outside. The reason this discussion was extremely interesting for people like me was because it confirmed a suspicion most people had about the press’s relentless badgering of Markle: could the Institution do nothing to defend the newest member of their family? They can (and have), of course, take measures especially when it comes to widespread slanderous misinformation in the case of most, except Meghan (see: Meghan Markle furthers environmental devastation by eating avocado on toast). In the interview, the couple goes on to have a candid conversation about withdrawing from the United Kingdom respectfully, due to the lack of security provided to them and their son, Archie. 

The chat garnered a lot of attention and backlash from people positively infuriated at the notion of Markle and Harry leading a life on their terms, as opposed to living off of tax-payer dollars (or in this case, pounds). A haunting undertone was present throughout, when the couple refused to demonize the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband, Prince Philip, both of whom are in touch with the couple on amicable terms — a stark difference from similar bombshells dropped by Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, not too long ago in her tell-all with the BBC‘s Martin Bashir (1995). A reference to her life and tragedy is also made by Harry, as he addresses the need to ‘stop history from repeating itself’. 

References to mental health deterioration and suicidal ideations were also made by Markle, who, despite her so-called ‘privilege’ continued to feel emotions like a normal human being. Imagine that. Admitting to having crippling depression (and being denied resources for coping with it), Meghan went on to tell Oprah about the toll her media presence took on her personal life— one where she was ‘advised’ to remain home for months at a time, in case she made the papers too often. Harry and Meghan unabashedly address the inability of the powers-that-be to help them through this turbulent, dark phase of their lives. This was then met by folks on the internet who accused the two of having no right to playing ‘victims’ due to their standing in high society. What most fail to realize, then, is the culture shock that the lifestyle change has been for the prince, who, having seldom worked a nine-to-five or paycheck life, was thrown headfirst into a world where he had to fend for himself and his family. A world where being an ex-Royal doesn’t land you a job. 

What is your perspective? Let us know by watching the full interview online here on this link.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: Tell-all Interview with Oprah Winfrey _ Current affairs February and March 2021
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: Tell-all Interview with Oprah Winfrey

Suez Can’t-al

On the 23rd of March, a Panamanian container ship named Ever Given. Besides the humour in the promise of eternity in the ship’s name, the occurrence has taken the internet by storm, making it the topic of many a meme. Attributed to ‘strong winds’, the ship has run aground a little after Egypt’s Suez Port, effectively blocking one of the largest trade routes in the world. The effects have led to an increase in international oil prices, a two week delay in all goods and cargo, along with immense traffic on either side of the diagonally stranded vessel.

For perspective: 12% of global trade takes place through the Suez canal, which is the shortest sea route connecting Asia to Europe. Its only alternative would be to go around Africa, passing the Cape of Good Hope, effectively spanning the distance of the whole continent. 

While no crew members were hurt and ‘priority’ goods were secured, there seems to be no immediate solution in sight, aside from the eight tug boats working to dislodge the ship. 

This once-in-a-lifetime incident (many of which seem to be happening in a single lifetime) can be clearly seen from space and has been captured in all its inconvenient glory by Aerospace Corporation Airbus’s Pleiades satellite.

The news has provided great respite to a particular Oval Office Occupant who, too, was a fellow victim of some viciously strong winds while hiking into Air Force 1 earlier this week.

Suez Canal Blockage _ Current Affairs February and March 2021
Suez Canal Block from Satellite

Cancel Culture comes for Dr. Seuss

6 children’s books by the hugely popular author, Dr Seuss (the man behind ‘Lorax’, ‘The Grinch’ and ‘Horton Hears a Who’) have been effectively canceled due to ‘racist’ depictions of non-White characters. 

Take a second. 

The quest has been self-imposed by the publication house, who is not the first to fold to the pressures of cancel culture and the rampant scrubbing of history till all that remains are raw shreds of accounts based on levels of melanin. 

Claiming that it would ‘impact the self-perception of marginalized children with color’, the argument being made revolves around the lack of not inclusivity, but portrayal. To those supporting this insane exercise of throwing the baby out and keeping the bathwater, my question is this: How is this any different from iron-gripped censorship imposed by the very people you claim to hate for making India ‘less democratic’? While the USSR poses as an inspiring model for many on this bandwagon, the reality remains that there have been generations upon generations of people who grew up on these stories, none of which have subconsciously bred racists. 

The portrayal of different cultures by people outside of the said culture will always be inaccurate. That’s the whole point of it being a ‘portrayal’ and not a ‘replica’. And while it could certainly be offensive, have we all forgotten the basic tenet of a free land where it is acceptable and encouraged to hold differing opinions and co-exist anyway? 

All of these self-righteous efforts to scrub history, culture, literature and cinema clean of any semblance of controversy does not breed a generation with any sense of compassion. It breeds a category of kids who grow up entitled enough to think that the world OWES it to them to appreciate their culture, their ethnicity, or their roots. The sad truth is (and always remains) that this will not be the case. And that is alright. 

As a lot of people of color have had to do in places they are not native to, one is capable of learning to pride themselves in where they come from despite a dated story book characterizing it differently. If caricatures were to become problematic, most people who sold anti-Trump merch would behind bars, or worse, suffer Trump’s fate of being banned from the very realm of the internet. 

So TL;DR: Don’t raise your kids like the world before theirs didn’t make any mistakes. Let them learn from the mistakes so that they don’t repeat them instead.

And if this is the broad brush standard being applied: cancel everyone’s contribution to everything. Because no one’s life has been mistake-free. 

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