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.


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