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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