मैंने सोचा था
कमीनेपन की
कोई तो हद
होती होगी

इसका उल्टा जानने की
मेरी कोई इच्छा नहीं थी

पर कोई मेरे घर
आकर और खाकर
ज़बरदस्ती बता गया
कि नहीं होती
एकदम नहीं होती

It Could Happen to You Too

If it doesn’t, perhaps it should.

The third person pronoun used repeatedly above refers to this. A short quote:

Ocampo’s view of the timing of the arrest warrant in 2008, which applies just as much today, was that as any prosecutor, with such evidence in his hand, had a duty to act and did not have “the luxury to look away.” Ocampo, who also believes that he has a duty to contribute to the prevention of international crimes, has pointed out that every day which Bashir remains free enables him to engage in the commission of additional hostilities and abuses.

Sounds familiar?

And the second person pronoun in the title? Is it just one person? Is it hard to guess the candidates?

About the title itself? Well, the sub-editors have been following the local version of the Truman show and they got mighty inspired.

भाव खाना

कुछ लोगों को भवसागर में आने से लेकर
भवसागर पार हो जाने तक लगातार
बहुत चाव से भाव खिलाया जाता है
यहाँ तक कि कभी-कभी तो उनको
भाव ही बहुत सस्ता लगने लगता है

कुछ और लोग होते हैं जो आने के बाद
कभी, कहीं, किसी तरह दूसरे लोगों से
भाव खाने का हक हासिल कर लेते हैं

ऐसे लोगों की तो गिनती ही नहीं है जो
बावर्दी या मुफ़्ती, तलवार से या मीठी छुरी से
बहुतों से बहुत सा भाव छीनने के एवज में
अपने लिए भी और अपनों के लिए भी
अपने और अपनों के सपनों के लिए भी
जितना हो सके भाव का इनाम पा लेते हैं

ऐसे भी होते हैं जिन्हें घूमते-घामते ही
हालात का चक्का बिना किसी कारण
औरों से भाव खाने का परमिट दे जाता है

बाकी रहे वो जिन्हें काव-काव करके
अपनी ज़बान तमाम जला डालने
या मुँह ही सिलने-सिलवा-लेने पर भी
कोई रत्ती भर भाव देने को राज़ी नहीं होता

उन्हें तहज़ीब को ऊपर ताक पर रख कर
पालथी मार कर और हाथ धो-धाकर
जो भी जितना भी जैसा भी और जब भी जुटे
रोकर हँस कर या बुद्धं शरणं सा भाव धर कर
खुद ही खुद को भाव खिलाना पड़ता है

Potential Replacements

There has been some concern about how long can the local-Truman last. It has been asked whether, in the eventuality of his unavailability due to migration, flight or ceasure of existence, the show will continue or not. We share this concern, but we might be able to help in addressing it.

We are the co-ordinating members of the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) in our place. As part of our national and social duties, we have been observing several noteworthy individuals. Based on our observations over the last few years, we have shortlisted a select few for special attention. These few might form a part of a shortlist of potential replacements for the show.

We believe that the LIUs in other places too might have their own shortlists. We suggest that these shortlists might be combined together and the process of selecting the replacement be initiated, so that there is no delay, in case we are suddenly faced with one of the aforementioned eventualities.

The (Not So) Secret Logo of India Inc.

The (Not So) Secret Logo India Inc.
A Trophy of the Operation Green Hunt

A Dose of Randomness

Predictability can indeed compromise the confidentiality aspect of the techniques being used for the show. It is not only intuitive, it is even supported by the probability theory. I know that the show is being coordinated by very competent people, but if I might be so bold as to suggest an improvement, I would like to say that introducing an element of randomness can reduce predictability significantly. We might, in fact, go further and associate randomness not just with individual events, but also with schedules. And the schedules themselves can be varied in timing, duration as well as length on the same principles. In other words, we can mix purposeful individual events (which have to occur at some specific time, either decided in advance or based on observation) with schedules that are of varying length, varying duration and continue for a varying number of days. These randomized schedules can serve as a camouflage for the purposeful events which require some confidentiality. As an additional benefit, their randomness can itself become purposeful in the same way in which the events are purposeful.

The problem can be formally studied in terms of the probability theory alone, but while implementing it in practical situations, we also need to take into account pragmatic, psychological and behavioral aspects. The latter are harder to study and require prolonged exploration that might require considerable resources. Ordinarily, i.e., under conditions different from those of the current decade, it would have been difficult to get support for such studies for a show of this kind. Fortunately, at present, we are in the midst of a security goldrush, otherwise known the terror goldrush*, that will most probably last for a long time. Therefore, it should not be difficult to get the required support. But wait, does not the said show owe its existence to the same goldrush? I think it does, but even so, we should try and get the required support and utilize it efficiently for the studies mentioned above.

* It really has terrorized the local-Truman. Ha! Ha!

So, my humble suggestion is that we should conduct these studies as expediently as possible and reduce the predictability to which the existing techniques are susceptible. Confidentiality is an important aspect and we should do everything we can to avoid it from being compromised.