Incredible India – 14; Great Indian Hunger-Strike Drama

This edition of Incredible India focuses on the Great Indian Hunger Strike tamasha. 

Can anyone please help us resolve this dilemma - Every day in India, some group of idiots launch a hunger strike.

Yet India’s population is not going down and more and more Indians increasingly resemble Namitha. 😉

Here are some of the different kinds of hunger strikes, Indian ishstyle.

* J.Jayalalitha: Sri Lankan Tamils Solidarity Hunger Strike (March 9, 2009)

* Curchorem, Goa: Bypass Road Hunger Strike

* Sharmila Kanba Lup: Hunger Strike to Support Hunger-Striker 

* West Bengal Ration Dealers’ Association: More Kerosene, Less Palm Oil Hunger Strike

* Uttar Pradesh Prisoners: Anti-Lathcharge Hunger Strike

* Magadh University: Promotion and Pay Hunger Strike

* Karunanidhi:  Threatening Hunger Strike (if Tamil Nadu Lawyers and Police don’t resolve their dispute)

* Delhi Nursing Union: Pay-demand Relay Hunger Strike

* Tamil Nadu Lawyers: Against-Police Hunger Strike

* JNU Students: Anti-rustication hunger strike

* Orissa Homeo Students: More Stipend Hunger Strike

* Tamil Film Star Vijay: Sympathy for Sri Lankan Tamils Hunger Strike

* Tirumala Hawkers: Anti-TTD Hunger Strike

* Indian Hockey Team: No Recognition Hunger Strike

* Tamil Nadu Film Stars: Cauvery Hunger Strike


* Namitha – Hunger Strike, Me? Are You Out of Your Mind?

Folks, what are the kinds of hunger strikes in your area?

Mera Bharat Mahan.

13 Responses to "Incredible India – 14; Great Indian Hunger-Strike Drama"

  1. guruprasad.s   March 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    What was once a dignified (yet difficult) way of protest has now been reduced to a joke.

    Mahatma Gandhi once fasted for several days on trot (was it 21 or more ?) and many other freedom fighters registered their protest by fasting.

    Sunderlal Bahuguna, an environmentalist, fasted for 63 days for a cause (sometime in the 90s). The folks that you have listed above may have their problems, but they dont seem to have either the faith in hunger strike as a means of protest, or the determination to go through it.

    As an aside, what is the longest duration that you have gone through without food in any form (water allowed), either by design or by compulsion ? My record is about 30 hrs. Responds:

    You write above: what is the longest duration that you have gone through without food in any form (water allowed), either by design or by compulsion

    We think the longest is about 24 hours.

    But that was in the distant past…now like everyone else in the U.S., we hog and hog like what else…hogs. We belong to the Hotte-Paksha (eating party)

    From this week, we’re going to eat just once on Sundays. As someone dear to us often used to say, more people in the world have died from overeating than from eating less/starvation (or something to that effect).

    Let’s see what the others have to say on the longest duration they’ve gone without food.

  2. guruprasad.s   March 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Your mention of Hotte Paksha took me down the memory lane.

    About 20+ years back, there was this chap called Hotte Pakshada Rangaswamy (or some such name) who used to contest all elections and mostly lose. Havent heard of him of late.

    You are right about overeating.

    In fact, eating in moderation (even a bit lesser that you need) not only saves you from most ailments (short-term and long term), but also increases your life-span in general.

    (I dont have medical evidence, but I have seen examples of this). There are some people who believe that not eating is one way to amaratva (immortality). Now that sounds ridiculous, but people have supposedly lived close to 100 years on some very frugal stuff.

    Over the past 10 years I have met a few people, above 60, who have given up on their night meal, and who say that they are doing fine inspite of giving up on food one time everyday.

    While there are many theories, moderation (or even frugality) is much better than excess. Responds:

    1. We’ve heard of that Hotte Pakshada Rangaswamy politician too. (Aside: There was also a politician called Hutchamasti Gowda.)

    2. You write: Now that sounds ridiculous, but people have supposedly lived close to 100 years on some very frugal stuff.

    In the interests of keeping the blog going for the next 50 years, we’re seriously going to cut our calorie intake. Let Shani-Maharaj smite us down if we break our promise.

  3. OpenSesame   March 9, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve fasted for a little over 48 hours with just water. According to my experience, skipping the next meal + 6 hours is the toughest part (about 10-12 hours); after that it was easy (the stomach gets used to fasting)…I could have fasted a couple more days.

    Hotte Paksha Rangaswamy died about 2 years ago, I believe. Before continuing, I just googled his name and Wallah! Found in Wikipedia! Thanks for the internet revolution and Wiki! He died on Jan 7, 2007 and contested 86 times unsuccessfully against a popular few Kengal Hanumanthaiah, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao, and SM Krishna. Responds:

    1. You write above: I’ve fasted for a little over 48 hours with just water.

    48 hours! Impressive.

    After 24 hours, we felt disoriented and dizzy in the sun. We had gone on vacation to B’Lore…after fasting for 24 hours, walked in the hot sun to Shantala movie theatre for a matinee…felt so dizzy and had to sit down while standing in the queue. Although we can’t remember for sure, we likely drank very little water too.

    2. You write: Thanks for the internet revolution and Wiki!

    Back when we were young (a million years ago) and growing up in Tamil Nadu, we didn’t even have TV. Just a Philips Radio or Transistor as they used to be called.

    Now, there’s a generation Gen-Y (??) that’s always had TV, Internet, Wiki et al. Yet they don’t seem any wiser than us, who relied on state-run libraries and the radio.

  4. sumeshy   March 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    I just saw the youtube link for Namitha. She is like a huge truck – gosh. She just stood there like a white ape while the others were dancing. Which fella said she was sexy – yuck!! Responds:

    Plain awful.

    The only thing about Namitha…OK, OK make that two things striking about her is that ‘they’ arrive a few minutes before she does. 😉

    What a horrible actress!

  5. SRINIVAS   March 10, 2009 at 4:14 am

    this hunger strike has resulted in people not expressing their anger in some other way ….so whatever be the cause ….irrespective of whether you agree or not …considering that all issues cannot be solved …..these strikes and speeches where people give vent to their anger over a mike … more than welcome… Responds:

    We think this hunger strike is primarily a middle-class device/gimmick to draw attention to their demands.

    India’s rich don’t care and as for the poor there’s no need for a separate hunger strike because hunger is in any case their constant companion.

    BTW, what’s the longest period you have stayed without food (No lassi or juice only water allowed)?

  6. sumeshy   March 10, 2009 at 11:23 am

    She is not an actress for sure.

    As for staying without food – i have done a maximum of 36 hours. Its so very painful to do it.

    As for JJ and MK, I am not sure how steadfast they will be in such fasting campaigns. with respect to Vijay, that stupid thinks he can become CM one day and is pulling all these stunts.

  7. Asha Tampa   March 10, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I think the longest I’ve gone without food and even water is for about 15 hours. I never ever would have done it, but there was some Puja, and my gran made me do it with force. I cannot fast, and maybe that explains why I’m on the heavier side. 🙂 Responds:

    In the Indian context, we think women tend to fast more than men because of all those asinine Hindu rituals meant to promote the ‘welfare and long-life of the husband.’

  8. joeantony   March 11, 2009 at 12:49 am

    The most touching hunger strike came from one Dileepan of LTTE (before LTTE took weapons) , he went on fasting for 12 days, no food no water was a 100% fasting, and died on 12th day. He was a young guy… could survive only 12 days… I dont know how Gandhi went on 23 days… was he fasting or just skipping a meal? Responds:

    You write above: I dont know how Gandhi went on 23 days… was he fasting or just skipping a meal?

    Interesting question.

  9. SRINIVAS   March 12, 2009 at 3:18 am

    SI : BTW, what’s the longest period you have stayed without food (No lassi or juice only water allowed)?

    I used to fast in the past ……my fast means ….no water also …..for the whole day … on days like shivratri & shashti ….

    now there is a decline in my interest in religion in a positive way ….busy with work and busy tracking what others are doing!!! Responds:

    You write above: decline in my interest in religion in a positive way

    Sounds interesting. We’ve always felt decline in interest in religion is a positive trend for humanity.

    In the U.S., decline in church going/religion seems to be accompanied by increase in the number of churches (going by what we see in a radius of 30-40 miles). Most likely, the new churches are all businesses.

    Here’s an excerpt from a recent AP story:

    A wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting out o of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all.

    Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

    Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.

  10. SRINIVAS   March 12, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Yes Dileepan’s death was a turning point ….LTTE realised that …..Gandhian Methods dont work in all cases …..Tibet / Dalai Lama is one more example ….wherein Non – violence will never work ….

    Jains fast a lot on differnt occasions ….duration is also very high …especially the old do it …. Responds:

    You write above: Gandhian Methods dont work in all cases

    Do they (non-violence/fasting) work at all given that most human beings (90+%) are beasts in clothing.

    Even in the case of Potti Sriramulu, we think it was the violence after the man’s death by fasting that forced Nehru’s hand. Not the fasting per se.

  11. SRINIVAS   March 13, 2009 at 7:12 am

    You write above: decline in my interest in religion in a positive way

    You missed the exclamation mark in the end – !!! .

    I believe you should plan and do both ….maintian a balance between religion , work and other activities …

  12. SRINIVAS   March 13, 2009 at 7:30 am

    SI : Even in the case of Potti Sriramulu,

    Sriramulu and others like him where creations of Nehru itself …..who divided the nation on linguistic basis …..there is no end to this nonsense ….now people who supported him are facing TRS – who is asking for Telangana …..again one of the reasons is ….diff culture ……..Does that mean rest of Andhra is Homogeneous ?? ….same is the case with Maharashtra (Vidarbha) ….other like Chattisgarh, Jharkand , Assam etc …..

    Here Nehru should have rejected such demands …..during those days … was purely ethnic identity which drove people to ask for a seperate state ……….. economically it was the same ……..very little difference ……….now there are economic reasons coupled with ethnic identity ….. grieviances are mostly genuine …… Responds:

    As we said earlier, the orgy of violence after Potti Sriramulu’s death forced Nehru’s hand in the case of Andhra Pradesh.

    Plus the first generation leaders had fought for decades (freedom struggle) that they were eager for power and made compromises (partition et al).

  13. SRINIVAS   March 16, 2009 at 1:03 am

    of course …then came NTR …who played out on Threat to Telugu pride ….the fact here is that …even today …..AP as a whole consists of very few outsiders OR Non-Locals ….that would be less than 5% …..unlike say Mumbai where locals are roughly 35% … nobody knows ….what this threat was …and how NTR managed to bring about the pride and respect for Telugus back…….. For all that he propagated …… Narasimha Rao was the first PM from South and he was from Andhra …so this nonsense about discrimination is nothing but a figment of imagination ….

    People have to grow up ….rather than following leaders blindly …..without questioning them … in line is Chiranjeevi …..

You must be logged in to post a comment Login