Friday, December 30, 2011

Three Times Loser: Book Review

Love is not about winning, it is about sacrificing for your love. The book ‘Three Times Loser’ if not anything else proves this statement perfectly. ‘Three Times Loser’ is authored by Akash Verma, who already has a bestselling book ‘It Happened that Night’ under his belt. His use of simple English not only sets the backdrop of his story but also makes it a good read.

And who said, love can only happen once in your life time, definitely not, according to the principal protagonist of the story Alok. He loved three completely different girls who were unique in their own ways but representing a section of our society. As love is more about sacrifices and not how much you get, every time he had to sacrifice something. First he sacrificed his love for Megha, second time he gave up his principles for Mandira and in the third case he gave up his flourishing career for Shonali. But the story teaches one thing to keep on loving and to hear our heart as this can only give us our peace of mind.

His way of storytelling has been unique wherein he converged three frames of his life happened at three different time period and place into a single one. And perhaps all seemed to be so interlinked to each other which ultimately became part of a single set of events.

And lastly the story teaches us something which is very basic to our lives i.e. happiness. It teaches us to forget our past and move on. To take decisions that our heart says.
The story is nicely written in a well articulated\manner. It is a good read and I would definitely recommend it to others.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why do boys stare at girls?

Few months back, I was traveling in a train, alongside me there was a newly married couple sitting and talking between them. And then I could hear (sorry, if I eavesdropped) the beautiful young lady telling to her husband that a guy sitting opposite to her is staring at her (thanks that guy wasn't me). The husband exchanged his seat with his wife and they continued with their earlier conversation.

So, why do boys stare at girls? Is it just something that we come with those genes, where it becomes impulsive for us to stare at girls? Shall I use the word 'stare', I think 'look' is a better option. Beauty must always be appreciated, and perhaps looking at a girl is a way of appreciating her beauty. If not for staring looking by the boys, I really doubt how many girls would have looked that beautiful. Its the beauty of a lady that attracts a guy at the first instance and that makes him have a better glance at that lady. Don't you think if not for staring by the boys, all the one and half hour that she spends every day to look better would be of waste. Because ultimately we try to look good so that people appreciate that, either by words or may be through glances. This has something to do with males being a bit more expressive than their opposite sex. A girl may hide her feelings.

I really sympathize with those girls who find it annoying when a boy stares. But then a boy stares only when you deserve that, shouldn't that make you happy? I would have been so glad and happy, if I would have ever known that a girl is staring at me. I would have personally gone on record to thank her.

Don't the girls ever stare at boys? It needs to be debated. I personally had conversations with many girls and they do accept that girls do stare at boys. The difference, their act being a bit more subdued.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Art of Refusing

It may happen many times that we want to say 'NO' to some of the whimsical demands of our friend, boss at work, or even from some people who are in no way related, etc. but we are not able to. It happened many times with me that I was busy with a particular job even then someone asked me to help in their job, though he knew about my busy state of affairs. And I could not refuse that ultimately leading to jeopardizing my own state of work.

So, the art of refusing needs to be mastered for that matter. Its very important to make a mark about our displeasure about things we don't intent to do. Because unless we say no one is going to understand the importance of our work. We should say in a way that would not offend the person and he also understands the cause. For me it becomes impossible to refuse a person outright, a habit that does not help in the long run. Instead of putting ourselves in trouble, we can politely REFUSE, an art I need to master the most.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: The Storyteller of Marrakesh

On my flight to Kolkata as I was reading the last few lines of the book ‘The Storyteller of Marrakesh’, my friend who was also travelling with me asked me about the book and this is all what I said to him:

The book ‘The Storyteller of Marrakesh’ is written by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, an author of Indian origin, who now lives in NewYork. The story revolves around the disappearance of a foreign couple from Jemaa and the various theories and interpretations to that. The author has a very unique way of narrating the story. He brings about philosophy of life in his story and that makes it even more riveting to read. His use of Arabic words makes the story livelier and readers while reading could feel the story being narrated to them with the flavor of the place Jemaa. The descriptions of the places in Marrakesh could make readers visualize the whole picture in their mind. He has also beautifully included stories within a story. Also, his first novel ‘The Gabriel Club’ has been described to be impressive and passionate.

Hassan, the storyteller in the book, is an apt in his profession and sets the stage beautifully for the story to unfold. And instead of just narrating the story all by himself, he makes his listeners become a part of the story and everyone has an account to share regarding that fateful night when the mysterious incident of the disappearance of the foreign couple happened few years back. His listeners had different accounts of their meeting that foreign couple which were sometimes contrasting to others’ versions, leading to the mystery of the incident and a search for the truth of what happened that night. And every year on this particular night he tells this story to prove to the world the innocence of his brother, Mustafa, who surrendered to the police as the one responsible for the couple’s missing from the square of Jemaa.

Hassan through his story wants to unfold the mystery of that night but what can be debatable is how much he really wants to unearth it for the lines:
And, in any case, I added, I wouldn’t tell you if I were either one of those things. I wouldn’t betray them.
clearly suggest that he perhaps is completely aware of the mystery but doesn’t want to disclose it. Also, Mustafa’s finding Hassan’s inkwell from the room from where the couple went missing further suggests the involvement of Hassan in the whole episode as Mustafa once said ‘If you are ever in trouble. I will give my life to save yours. ’ But that remains a mystery, the mystery that is perhaps known to only Hassan and Mustafa. And you are left with questions: Is Mustafa serving a life sentence in jail just to save his brother or to protect his love, Lucia, one of the two strangers who went missing? Is Hassan the one responsible for the missing of the couple? Or Is Hassan’s act of narrating the story every year a way to distort the facts and hide his own deeds?

The book is an awesome work of fiction that would at the end make you gasping for more. This would let you dream about the incident and shape your story about what really happened on that special night. A wonderful book that can be highly recommended to the readers, who want something new and something fresh.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program  at  BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Home Calling

After a gap of one and half years, again the time has come when I would go to my home. This is the longest period, I have been away from home. And what could have been a better occasion to go than this festive season. With flowers blooming, spring sparkling, heat from the Sun becoming more tolerable, sound of the drums beating, blowing of the conch shells because of the festive season, its an wonderful time to be at home to enjoy the flavour of the season. Being a Bengalee, Durga Puja is the one that we wait for the whole year. This is the time when all family get together happens. All members of family from wherever they stay try to go to their home and enjoy these few days with their close and near ones. And I am no difference to that.

For the last one an half years, I have missed so much of the warmth of the place where I grew up, the place whose each and every sand particle perhaps know me, the friends with whom I spent all the best moments till now and the most important, I received all my education which has made me able enough to have a little standing in society. When I was in home, I always wanted to be away from home and used to long for a day when I will be all alone in the road of life. But once I have been to that I could realise what family and near ones mean in our lives. And as I am nearing to the day of my travel, my excitement level is also increasing but deep down it makes me feel sad thinking that after those few days of leave I would again have to return and be in a life that has become so distasteful to me nowadays.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Is it a curse to be born as a girl child?

On the occasion of International Girl Child day, I could not stop myself from sharing my thoughts on Female Foeticide in India. India is a land that boasts of  having the maximum number of Goddess and it also boasts of the killing of maximum number of foetus of girls. The foetus is being killed or destroyed when its still in its mother's womb and is yet to see the light of the day. What an irony of facts!!! In many Indian families, still its being considered a curse to have a girl child and the mother is often being treated badly for that though she has little to do or almost has no hand in the birth of a girl. Genetically, its the man who is responsible for a girl child because of the X-Y chromosome factor.

Traditionally it was being treated that male members of a family are torch bearers and they would carry forward the name and legacy of a family. They would have the surname with their name and also in the event of death it would the male would perform the last rites. A woman after getting married is no longer considered a member of her family of birth. All these aspects led to the support of a boy over a girl. Moreover, it is the old females in a family who want male child in spite of their being females themselves. They make the life of a woman horrible if she gives birth to a girl child. But who has created all these rules, this same society that can mend any rules to favour it. Moreover, girls nowadays can keep their maiden name even after marriage. And there are many families where girls have excelled more than the boys of that family and they have become the torch bearers. And killing of a life even before it could start its life cannot be justifiable in any sense.

The more educated and developed we have become, the more dogmatic and doomed, have become our views. Perhaps the most developed states of India have high incidence of Female foeticide. The overall sex ratio is also very poor in those states. The National Capital is leading them all in having a low sex ratio in the country, a shame to many. Education helps us to gain knowledge but this knowledge can be both ways and it also lets you know the ways to detect sex before birth. Government has also tried to implement laws to prevent pre natal detection of sex but without much success. The Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 could not be of much success as only few cases have been reported under it.

The other factors like dowry is also an important cause for families supporting male child over females. Dowry in South India, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu is very much prevalent. And the more educated and better employed he is, the more is his rate. Also, in some states of North India, there different set of rates earmarked for different jobs, IAS, Doctor, Engineer has separate prices set for them. The education provided to a girl is of no value when considered with this. All these systems prevalent have been responsible for such crimes being committed by parents because parents consider that with birth of a girl it brings an added burden of dowry also.

The government while looking into the issue of Female Foeticide also needs to look into the other issues that are responsible for this. And unless we could eradicate those issues, it would be very difficult to stop female foeticide. Moreover, men should also start realising that if such killing of female foetus goes on then they would be the only ones staying in this world and that would be their last generation.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Iron Lady

If this year, 2011 is to be dedicated to anything then nothing can be better than to dedicate it as 'Year of Hunger Strikes'. The nation has witnessed a quite a few remarkable and dramatized fasts which have been made more popular by the acts of our able and apt government at the center. Be it Anna Hazare for LokPal Bill, Baba Ramdev to bring back Black Money or Narendra Modi's Sadbhavna fast (though there is a big doubt how much Sadbhavna this fast could generate), the fasts have been popular ones and all these have been possible because of active support from the political parties from front or behind the doors, support of media at large and the common people of the nation.

But there is one fast that didn't get counted here and very few people ever consider to know about it is the hunger strike of 'Irom Sharmila Chanu', a civil rights activist who has been fasting for more than 10 years in demand of the repeal of 'Armed Forces Special Powers Act' (AFSPA), a draconian act that gives such powers to the Armed Forces that they can detain any person they wish, on their suspicion without any valid proof or documents. She started her fast after Assam Rifles brutally killed 10 people in the streets of Imphal, capital of Manipur. Then there was the incident of the death of Manorama, who was raped by the Armed Forces in the most inhumane act after being detained by them. These led to women of Manipur coming to the streets naked and asking Security Personnel to rape them.

So, why this fast is not making much headlines or the required attention in the print or electronic media?
Why political parties are not coming out in active support of the cause?

The answers are hard to find but one of the reasons is that this fast is not happening in one of the most happening places of Delhi (Jantar Mantar, Ramlila Maidan, India Gate, etc.) but at a place in the North east of India which hardly people know about or care. I won't be surprised to find people saying that they are hearing about Imphal or even Manipur for the first time and I am not saying this with my some kind of preassumption but I have experienced this. So, to those people it doesn't matter much if there is some one fasting for that long period (world's longest fast ever). And our media is also good at selecting those topics that sells among people, ultimately its all about money. So why to show this when people are not willing to see this.

And for political parties, they only go where the mass follows. Perhaps, Manipur being a small state of India with a very low population doesn't stand much in terms of electoral gains. So, why to take so much of pain, they are better of at their luxury bungalows and cars. Political parties and their leaders are pseudo activists, they water a plant only after it starts to fruit. They supported Anna Hazare because people were supporting him.

So, what Sharmila can do? Basically she can't do much because her acts and whatever she says being in Manipur, all going into the deaf ears of the government. She is at the mercy of the ones in power. If she can assimilate support that Anna or Ramdev managed to get then only something can be achieved but that is most unlikely from the present circumstances because the AFSPA concerns only a few lakh people of Manipur and from that to mobilise such a support is very difficult. We can only wait for the good sense to prevail on the government when they will realise the atrocities committed because of the Act.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I wish I could be a child again

It happens many a times in our lives, small things or actions touch us. It happened to me many times and today I experienced it again. I went out for a walk in the evening along with a friend ( so called Adda), and saw a young boy of 6-7 years old holding his father's hand and walking along with him. This sight which is quite common and I too might have seen on many other occasions  but never it stroke my heart and mind in the same way as it did today. Suddenly, it took me to all those days when as a child I would go out with my father holding his hand trying to get every comfort and security of this world and walking along the muddy roads of the place where I grew up. Thinking of those times when every step of mine was looked after by my father so that I never fall into any sorts of trouble, I went into a deep sense of nostalgia. My throat chocked and it took some time for me to return to my self.

Perhaps the feeling has been more intense because of my staying away from my parents in a far away place. I could still remember the days when my father on any occasion or festival would take us out so, that we can enjoy and don't miss out on anything on life. I sometimes wish to get back those days away from the hassles of life, no thought of the impending troubles and so that I can be care free. I wish I could still hold my father's hand so that he maneuvers me to cross the road. I wish I could still get into his shoulders when my feet starts to pain after walking for some distance. I wish to cry with my heart out not thinking what the people around me would be thinking. I wish to be a child again to relive those days.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Men like Flesh and Dogs like Bones

I always pondered what is that Size 0 that makes so much of fuss in the modelling industry but never made any conscious effort to know much about it. But lately, I came across some materials about all those skinny and Size 0 models. I don't want to go about with the vital statistics of Size 0, but to me, what seems is that its nothing but starving to death. Young women for the sake of having such skinny figure starve themselves because Size 0 can never be natural and its only possible when they don't have any diet.

Do women like being Size 0?
A question, I may not be the right person to answer but still I would like to give my point of view by saying a big 'NO' from the perspective of women (exceptions are always welcome). As, I see all around me the ladies who look beautiful are not the ones with Size 0 but flesh. By flesh, I would never like to mean the obese ones, that's again a disorder. And also being Slim and being Size 0 are two completely different things. Being Size 0 is definitely not being healthy as it can only lead to death through starvation. And it doesn't settle into my mind how & why the fashion industry is having so much of fascination for them. The dresses that they will showcase won't fit to any naturally good looking lady. Their whole lot of effort and money goes to waste.

But to be on a humorous side, Size 0 ladies are doing some good to the people of this world. As, we see so many people in African, Asian and Latin American countries starving  to death, not having enough food to eat, there will be some ray of hope and cheer in their minds. At least by virtue of these starving ladies, the governments of the nations can provide food to the ones who really need them. For these the ladies deserve all the kudos and encouragement to carry on about with their mission of starvation.

What do I like?
Does it really make much sense with what I like or don't like? But what I like would also be liked by many others and that I suppose make some sense. To me 'Men like Flesh and Dogs like Bones', again I would say, as above, exceptions are always welcome. Men can never be happy with bones and only the fleshy ladies can be beautiful and acceptable to a man. Bones are more of a dog thing, they are happy running away with that but not men, who like to feel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are Beauty Pageants ruled by markets?

Its again India coming out with empty hands from the Miss Universe Pageant. Congratulations to Miss Leila Lopes of Angola for being the proud winner. In the mid nineties and towards the starting of this century, we saw so many Indian winning the crown and not only the Miss Universe but the other Pageants also like Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific(now renamed to Miss Earth). But now it seems there is dearth of beauty in India.
Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011

To me, what I feel, there is lot more into choosing the winner than the talent or the brains of the contestants. Rather I would like to put it, there are brains behind who work in choosing the winner to the coveted crown. There are markets and business that actually govern in selecting the country. And perhaps this is the reason why so many Indians won the titles during the mid nineties. India became a free economy towards the starting of the last decade of the last century and it became very important for the global brands to get a share of such a large consumer base in India. They had to set up a base in India and for this what was necessary, Indians be aware of fashion and different trends that rule the world. And there could not have been easier way then set some role models for the young Indian in those ambassadors of beauty. We saw a rise in different International brands coming to India and capturing the market in India.

And perhaps similar can be story attributed to so many Chinese winning the title in the recent past. Participating in beauty contests in China was banned and it was removed recently and before that China didn't participate in any International beauty pageants. But with Chinese markets gradually opening up, it again became imperative for those companies to set a foot in the fastest growing economy of the world. Thus, we saw many Chinese winning in consecutive years like what happened in the nineties to India.

All these make me think if its really the beauty with brains that is being considered or the brains behind the contest that decides. The market and the business definitely rules. And my this point of view is definitely not because India didn't win and we want to blame.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Long Years

Ten Long Years, are ten years really long enough? Because I can visibly remember the day, I was a school going boy then and during the morning assembly the guy who was reading the news, read that World Trade Center has been attacked by terrorists and thousands of people have been killed. So, its exactly 10 years ago, the infamous 9/11 (September 11) happened that shook the world and the US as a whole and made many of us feel insecure with our lives. And then reactions and counter reactions started, Talibans were attacked by the US as they were the master mind behind the WTC attack under their infamous leader Osama Bin Laden. The most important thing is that this one attack was enough for the US to secure their country. They brought about strict security policies, punished the offenders and then we saw war in Iraq. Though there is high amount of doubt if the attack on Saddam Hussein was related to terror or there were some other business interests that were getting suffered. The whole Oil Diplomacy needs to be taken into picture.

But whatever be the case, US was able to avert and prevent any such attack after that. And now India comes into picture which has been a sufferer of terror for a much longer duration and which is being harboured by its neighbouring countries. But what India could not do is Indian governments were not able learn from their mistakes or rather learn from US, though in other aspects they are quite good at following and appeasing the US regime. Til now, we could not have a proper security and intelligence system established that could deal with terrorism. Every now and then we are failing and after every such attacks we hear the government say, 'The culprits won't be let off'. But after few days, everyone forgets about such and we are back to square zero. Almost all the major cities and commercial hubs have been attacked by the terrorists, thus they making it clear to all on how their acts going to continue.

So, my basic question is:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Another Wednesday

Many Delhites woke up on 7th September thinking it to be just like another normal Wednesday. But it wasn't to be the case as there was something heinous in store for the people of Delhi and why only Delhi, but fr the whole of the country. Another terrorist attack at the national capital that took away so many innocent lives at a place where these creators of fear psychosis among the people are supposed to be pronounced guilty, the Delhi High Court. The terrorists by choosing the place made it quite symbolic at how they are making a mockery of the Indian Judiciary and the Administrative system.

The way Indian Government is busy providing high class security and treating them as VVIP in the jails, Ajmal Kasab being one such beneficiary, it won't be an irony of the fact that being a terrorist and performing terrorist acts in India would be a lucrative job offer many would die for. Because there are very few jobs where one would be provided such a honourable treatment, taking care of their extravagant needs.

By Wednesday, I am reminded of the the movie, Wednesday. The treatment meted out to the terrorists in the movie is the need of the hour and only by such acts against them can make them think twice before they ever have in mind of committing such ghastly crimes. An act of Wednesday by the terrorists should be replied by our own version of Wednesday.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Anna Hazare: The new Mahatma

12 days, 288 long hours and ultimately the fast of Anna came to an end. 27th August, 2011 would be written with golden letters in the history of India. The government had to give up to the just demands of the Team Anna. People's voice and protest against the government bill won under the umbrella of Team Anna. The Parliament passed a resolution accepting the 3 crucial demands of Anna:
  • To include lower bureaucracy into the ambit of LokPal
  • To establish Lokayuktas at the state level
  • To establish Citizen's Charter for grievance redressal
These 3 points are very important for establishing a strong LokPal. First one deals with the bureaucracy especially at the lower level where most of the corruption which the common men have to face. A watch dog on this is a must to remove corruption. Second is to establish Lokayuktas at the state level on the lines of LokPal. An ombudsman at the state level is a must and only having one at the central level help in eradicating the menace of corruption. Third demand is to have a proper mechanism where citizens can log in their grievances. Their grievances should be looked into with a definite time frame. For this a proper institution needs to be established.

This is just the first step and a long road is yet to be travelled. A mere accepting of resolution won't guarantee that these demands would be accepted at the Bill. There is still a long way to go for this. Like Team Anna, we the common men need to be always vigilant in this regard.

For the people of India, a new Mahatma is born. He has again shown the people what non-violent way of protest can achieve.


Apple or Microsoft

A debate that is long over drawn is which is better Apple or Microsoft. Two great companies almost founded at the same time and dealing with Computers, Laptops, Mobiles, etc. Two college drop outs went on to become the founder of the two most important companies in the fields, Apple by Steve Jobs and Microsoft by Bill Gates. When they started, computer was still at its nascent stage. What made them different is their ability to think different from others. And that is for this reason that they could rise the echelon and reach the zenith position. in the field

These companies brought about a change in our lives. Computers would not have been that popular if not for Microsoft's Windows which made working on computers much more simpler and easier. It could ultimately become a household name. And Apple has been more famous because of its innovations and out of the box thinking. Apple thinks well ahead of its time, and also its contemporaries and that is the reason we have iPod, iPhone and iPads. If Microsoft is the one that took computers to every home then Apple is the one that always maintained its class.

But both these two companies have maintained a very strict licensing policies. They are not willing make their technology open source. What needs to be seen is how these companies going to fare when these two great gentleman not around. They have been the oxygen for the companies. Steve Jobs has already resigned from the post of CEO because of his long battle with Cancer. And Bill Gates also not directly looking after the day to day affairs of Microsoft.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Common Man's Right to Protest

India has always been a land of protests and strikes. Political parties are always one up to call for strikes and mass protests. These protests and strikes lead to a loss of crores of rupees to the economy. These parties don't give a damn care about this. To them protests are a way to express their disapproval of the ruling party's governance and policies. They regard it as a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India. Though they would also carry about with the same policies as carried out by the previous government with only difference is that the signatory would change.

But irony of the matter is that these political parties forget about the right to protest when civilian does it against them. At that time it is being treated as a breaking of law and order situation. They try all means to curb the civilians right to protest. The two most recent events of such has been the way the government handled Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare incidents. In one case, they choose mid night, when all were sleeping to lathi charge at the innocent people and use tear gas. While on the other case they arrested even before the peaceful protest for implementing
Jan LokPal Bill can be started. What is more important is that these protests are significantly different from what the political parties carry about, as they often take to violent means. Moreover, these protests were also supported by the common man man who did not have any political affiliations. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why political parties especially the one in the government are so against it. They could feel the shrink in their support base.

So, my basic question is that has common man lost the right to protest against the unlawful actions of the government?
Are the constitutional rights only meant for politically aligned people?

These political parties and the government has a lot to answer to the people of this nation...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life Without Mobile

Unthinkable has become life for humans without the gadget mobile phones. Even a few years back it was out of the reach of the common man. Mobile phones were marked as elitist and it was only the reach of the rich. It was more of a symbol of status to many. Perhaps for a normal person it was a distant thought. Mobile network was also not that widespread. And there was always the problem of connectivity. Calls getting dropped while having conversation with someone else was quite a common affair. And life was usual without mobiles and there was no necessity for it also.

But there has been a significant change in the mindset of people in using mobiles and it has attained the status of a necessary item in almost everyone's life. From old to young, everybody can be seen holding a mobile in his/her hand. Even a 6-7 years old boy or girls knows how to operate them. And what is more important is that it has crossed the barriers of economic divide and it no longer represents a gadget possessed only by the rich. Rather to be more precise, even the poorest of poor also uses them.

To many mobiles are of great necessity as it can increase their income and business many folds as it helps to be in constant contact with clients and customers. But to many it is also another electronic device that they flaunt wherever they go. But the most shocking thing is that even children are using it in a widespread manner and school going boys possess them. The parents also without thinking much about the side affects of mobiles and the electromagnetic waves from it buy them these devices. Use of excessive mobiles have led to a gradual increase in cases of incidence of brain tumour and cancer. Researchers have also found links between the these waves and high incidence of cancer. So, the way mobiles have become a necessity, it is also becoming a serious concern for healthy life. So, our use should be minimized, and used only in case of necessity and not just to talk to pass time. Especially children should be kept away from it as much as possible.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The LokPal or JokePal

Close to 50 years and so many governments, but LokPal is yet to see the light of the day. There is some mysterious energy or power that is always preventing this LokPal Bill to be passed or framed. The first time it was perhaps in the 1960s that the demand for LokPal Bill was mooted. But we are yet to get anything such.

So many governments have place so many drafts of LokPal in parliament but no government was serious enough to convert it into a Bill or Law. But recently it attained widespread publicity and headlines in news because of the movement started by Anna Hazare and his team for to force the government to pass the bill in the parliament. Anna Hazare, a Padma Bhushan, ex-Army man, a Gandhian, a social activist, perhaps adjectives would fall short to describe such a person. He launched a nation wide movement in the month of April, 2011 for the support of LokPal Bill, a draft of which was also prepared by them. He received massive support from walks of life.

The government being under pressure due to the massive support of the common people included them into the joint drafting committee of the LokPal that was to be placed in the parliament. But on all contentious issues like including of Prime Minister or Judges in the ambit of LokPal, it was the government which had the last say. The proper justifications of the civil society members demanding to include them under the ambit of LokPal was never given a serious thought.

The government and the congress ridiculing the demands of Anna and his team by saying that this would lead to a JokePal. They are vehemently opposing inclusion of Prime Minister under LokePal. Perhaps, they have their own vested interests. This government being involved in so many in so many scams and corruptions, it is definitely not at their best of interests to have a strong Ombudsman Bill. They always trying to keep some loopholes in the bill. What is more important to note that they are actually trying to place a JokePal in the parliament that would perhaps have no real powers. It would turn up to be another government machinery that stands and sits at mercy of the ruling party and government.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Aarakshan or Quota

The roots of caste system are so deep rooted and wide spread that it has become difficult to think something in India without considering caste. Anywhere we go, caste also goes with us. Be it school, college, university or ultimately at the jobs. But Aarakshan or Quota is not only related to caste, it is more about politics than upliftment of the downtrodden. And the politics involved in it has rather made the life of the people even more miserable. Statistics tell that the percentage of people who really require the benefits and who in actual get it is complete mismatch. The one who requires hardly gets it. One more aspect which I can hardly understand is how a person who already availed the quota system and is in a good position can get his son or daughter also avail the same. The idea of quota system was upliftment and if one family is uplifted then tat family should no longer be allowed such benefits. Because that family now avails all that a high privileged or so called high caste people can avail. So, they should not be considered in the system.

What is more irony is that even after having these systems for so many decades, we can't say there is much improvement. One of the reason is that these are people are labelled by the government only as low castes and in a way making it easier for high caste people to continue with their ill treatment of them. These low castes people can never be equal with the mainstream because system puts a label or stigma upon them. Wherever they go, their caste also runs after after them. In colleges, jobs, etc. they are always being made to hear that they got this job just because they are from low caste which in other case they would not have got. And they have to live with this idea for their entire life. The more we divide on these lines, the more hatred grows among people.

The movie Aarakshan is also news because of all these. It deals with the caste system of India. Though it is difficult to presume anything now before the release of the movie, whether it supports or is against the whole system. But some groups say it to be pro reservation whereas few others consider it to be against reservation. So it is not appropriate to make out anything from now. Though many state governments have already banned the movie from being screened in those states. This is gross violation of the right to expression as granted in the constitution of India. Even state governments have stopped discussions on this topic in universities which are supposed to be centres of excellence and where diverse ideas should grow up. They are also not allowing the caste and crew of this movie to visit their states.

Aarakshan or Quota is a menace and the earlier we are free of it, the better it would be for the future of the country.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Hierarchy of Indian Politics

The moment one thinks about Indian politics, the name of one family that always comes up is the Nehru-Gandhi family. And someone from this family was almost always at the helm of affairs. Starting with Nehru immediately after the Independence and now with Sonia Gandhi and the passing of reigns to Rahul, this is the family that ruled the country either directly or indirectly as it is happening now. Though 'rule' would not be a correct word in a democratic country but when one someone from the same family comes to power then basic democratic nature vanishes. Though many would not agree with this.

The matter that is of most concern is that in a country of more than 120 crore population, we are not able to find a single person who can lead the nation forward. Apart from few names who led the government for a brief period with only exception being Atalji, it was always the same family. Many might have already raised eyebrows and have started asking questions what about Dr. Manmohan Singh, but to them there is one question, is he really the head of the government or it is the same Gandhi family that is taking decisions. And Dr. Singh's habit of seeking regular guidance from Sonia madam, further proves the notion.

But then the basic question that arises is why the Gandhi family, why not some other person or family? What is the X factor about this particular family? Is it because the surname Gandhi has been immortalized in the minds of Indian people due to our Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi? Perhaps, to me India could never come out of dynastic politics or may be the mindset of Indian people is not suited for democracy.

Our too much fantasy with the same family is undoubtedly stopping us from having some other people as Prime Minister of this country and who could have changed the course of actions for India. The government's most important trouble shooter Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, perhaps India would always miss him as one of the finest Prime Minister, India never had. Similar such names won't be difficult to find. Now, the reason for them not being Prime Minister lies with the people with this country or the family that has been instrumental in either becoming Prime Minister or by deciding who their choice would be. And the best answer can be given by them.
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