Tilak Rishi's weblog

Musings on writing, expression, world politics, journalism, movies, philosophy, life, humour...

My Photo

Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Tea Party

Back home in India I grew up very fond of tea parties, friends' and especially my own birthday tea parties. I can easily call those one of the best days of my life when, as children, we longed for the next birthday tea party and made it the most memorable time ever with innovative games we enjoyed and the goodies we ate that invariably included cake, sandwiches and a variety of snacks. That was the time when the Britishers were counting their last days of the colonial rule in the country. During over 200 years of their dominating presence in India, perhaps anywhere they went in the world, two of their most traditional identities they always left behind – the English language and addiction to tea. They both remained with us even long after they had departed. What began as birthday tea parties in my childhood days had gained favor in many forms as I grew up - an Afternoon Tea Party suitable for many celebrations. When I would like to host a party that isn't as involved as a dinner party, a tea party was the answer. It was an ideal format for a bridal or baby shower, a retirement party, a birthday celebration, or time to catch up with good friends. It could be a very formal affair at some of the more elegant hotels, or it could be as casual as a pot of tea and some cookies.

As time passed, I saw tea parties taking another interesting form, known as Kitty Party, particularly popular amongst the elite women of New Delhi, my hometown in India. You can call it a time pass for bored housewives. From gossiping to enjoying a hearty tea, kitty parties became the new benchmark of social mobility in Delhi. An all out gossip session, a great place to flaunt your new outfit, share jokes and family feuds, a venue to showcase your creativity and a much awaited opportunity to shred your ma-in-law to pieces! The most common type of kitty parties were patronized by housewives who had plenty of time at hand once they packed off hubbies to office and babies to school. However, lately Kitties are much maligned as they are often associated with idle housewives who have nothing better to do but gossip.

After our retirement in India, we moved to USA to be with our only son settled here. Interestingly, though this country is amongst the biggest coffee lovers in the world, it was born out of the historic Boston Tea Party, 1773. Victory in the French and Indian War was costly for the British. At the war's conclusion in 1763, King George III and his government looked to taxing the American colonies as a way of recouping their war costs. It was the Crown's attempt to tax tea that spurred the colonists to action and laid the groundwork for the American Revolution. In May of 1773 Parliament gave the struggling East India Company a monopoly on the importation of tea to America. In Boston, the arrival of three tea ships ignited a furious reaction. The crisis came to a head on December 16, 1773 when as many as 7,000 agitated locals milled about the wharf where the ships were docked. Whopping war chants, the crowd marched two-by-two to the wharf, descended upon the three ships and dumped their offending cargos of tea into the harbor waters. Most colonists applauded the action while the reaction in London was swift and vehement. In March 1774 Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts which among other measures closed the Port of Boston. The fuse that led directly to the explosion of American independence was lit. And like the “Quit India” in the forties' India, the colonists were enthused to push for independence with the slogan, “Take your tea and shove it.”

The theme of the Boston Tea Party, an iconic event of American history, has been used in the 2009 Tea Party movement that emerged in USA through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests. The protests are partially in response to several Federal laws: the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ("bailout"), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("stimulus package"), and the 2009–2010 health care reform bills. Tea Party protests have invoked themes, images and slogans similar to those used during the pre-revolutionary period in American history. The 'tea' in Tea Party has been used as an acronym standing for Taxed Enough Already. But at its core, the Tea Party movement is rife with contradiction, incoherence and a willful contempt for facts or reason. Consider the Tea Party movement, whose foremost demand of a president, who in his first month passed one of the biggest tax cuts ever, is for tax cuts. On July 14, 2010, a Tea Party group in Iowa removed a billboard comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin after receiving sharp criticism from other tea party leaders. The entire tea party movement may not be racist, but there definitely are elements in the movement that have displayed racist posters of President Barack Obama, spit at black congressmen and used veiled language to warn that “our way of life” is threatened by our first black president. Some of the Tea Party followers are fanning the flames created by a group that wants to take down the president and “wants the president to fail”.

There is ample evidence that certain elements within the tea party movement have been tied to white extremist elements. Pictures from some tea party rallies show racist and anti-Semitic images. Essentially, it is a new face of the same old right-wing, reactionary forces that have long been working to turn America into a more religious, racist and militaristic country with an unregulated free enterprise system, weak government and low taxation, which they prefer to call The Tea Party.


Blogger campbellaguilar林志易 said...


8:49 AM  
Blogger joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..


3:30 PM  
Blogger 原秋原秋 said...


1:42 AM  
Blogger 陳雅茹陳軒豪 said...


10:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home