Bullet Train(s) its guns on Tribals – dark shades of Mumbai-Ahd project
Protests against Sterlite in Tamil Nadu go awry
Kar nautanki – Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018
Karnataka, the biggest state (electorally and GDP wise) in the Indian Union that is still with the Congress is going to the polls today. The results are to be announced on May 15. The Exit Polls promised by the media at 5 pm today are eagerly awaited.
Most of the elections in the past few years have been hi-decibel ones. But this State Assembly election is extra special. It is the last/ major poll battle before the National General Elections scheduled in 2019 rolls in.
The BJP meanwhile has transitioned India from a (Indira) Gandhi fiefdom to one which has seen the benefit of more meaningful ‘inner-party democracy’ oriented party functioning. Despite the challenges/ suffering in major policy initiatives undertaken (like Demonetization), the BJP has been voted to power in most of the state elections. Congress meanwhile has been limping from one defeat to another. Perhaps the biggest harm it could have done for itself (and Indian democracy) has been ‘crowning’ the dynasty scion, Mr Rahul Gandhi as its Leader, without any serious soul-searching. India sadly and badly, needs a strong opposition to ensure that no party gets drunk on power.
In Karnataka, the BJP has not done much to walk the talk by continuing to ride on Mr Yeddyurappa (a Lingayat), who is seen as corrupt and self-centered. Karnataka also has a history of going against the party in the Centre while choosing its State Government. These points could make Mr Deve Gowda a critical ally post elections. The Congress proved its Secular credentials hollow by trying to divide the Hindu Vote-bank. Its attempt to woo the Lingayat community may not be enough for it to win the Karnataka Chair at least on its own.
As this post is getting written, there are footages of voters being paid money outside voting booths. Both the Congress and the BJP have been accused of encouraging this. Hope the Election Commission / Executive/ Legislative takes cognisance of the massive irregularities that political parties are capable of and takes appropriate measures to prevent/ minimize recurrence.
In ending, whether the KarNautanki is the ‘dance of democracy’ / nautanki or a puppetry show, the next few days will reveal who the master Puppeteer is.
Then Nirbhaya, Now Asifa, When Deliverance??
It takes an Asifa to remind us that it was only yesterday that the country was aghast at the Nirbhaya rape. Widespread outrage and some legislative amendments followed. But it seems not much has changed. Abominable thoughts are still harboured by some diseased minds about the female body, however young or tender it may be. The only pre-requisite to become the target is the vulnerability which an average lady, more so a young child/ toddler, is susceptible to. The despicable thought that the female body is meant to be used or abused for male whims, continues to fester in many, if not most, minds.
India is still a ‘Jalionwala Baag’ for many women. Many General Dyers run amock knowing there is more than an even chance that they would escape and continue to rape another day.
Deliverance for Justice (in the Asifa case) through DSP Sharma and Deepika??
Thanks to the brave efforts of honest officers like Deputy Superintendent of Police Shwetambri Sharma and her team of cops some amount of evidence has been salvaged (though much may still be irrecoverable). Likewise, a lady lawyer like Deepika Singh Rajawat is taking up the legal fight against the accused. Deepika (like the police officers above) is being threatened with dire consequences. Time will tell how the Asifa case or the other cases including the infamous Unnao case pan out.
Politics and Probity
It is sad that Lawyers and BJP Leaders (J&K Ministers, no less) took upon themselves to obstruct the natural course of Justice. The normal process that should happen in every democratic society, regulated by an impartial/ unfettered Administration took a deviation. Some rhetoric also questions the outrage in the social media being triggered as late as April for a crime which took place in January. This is almost like questioning the victim of the rape (on her character etc) rather than chasing the accused. The BJP may wish to criticise the Congress’ ‘dirty’ hand for the ‘expose’ of this dastardly act in the social media (and the national anger it helped fan). But the plain truth is that if it is indeed the Congress that has engineered this outrage, the Nation needs to be thankful. No citizen can afford to let Power get into the heads of those governing the country. Even if it is the well meaning Mr Modi, whose personal intentions seem beyond reproach.
The government in power has the moral duty to ensure that its weakest subjects feel safe and are adequately protected. The BJP and its Leaders (majority in U.P./ and sharing power with PDP in J&K) have been guilty of not abiding by ‘Raj Dharma’ (the obligation of the Ruler to adhere to Dharma). We could still have understood Mr Modi’s and his men’s reluctance had the BJP not marshalled the kind of grass-root/ legislative base that it has today. More than 70% of the Indian Union’s states, probably contributing an equivalent/ more share of India’s GDP, are ruled by the BJP, either on its own or with its alliance partners.
The rape cases in the public domain now would have been an excellent opportunity for the BJP top brass to buttress BJP’s claims of commitment to better Governance. Somehow they have missed the opportunity to showcase these credentials in both the Kathua (J&K) and Unnao (Uttar Pradesh) rape cases. This also reflects poorly on the BJP’s commitment to its vision of Ram Rajya.
Vision of Ram Rajya is mere talk,
If Justice/ women, the Vanars, brazenly stalk.
The Crack in BJP’s Castle for Congress to Capitalize on
The Congress may have enough skeletons and more in its cupboard. But it has not wasted much opportunity to put the BJP on the back foot in the past few days. The BJP may push back, comparing these cases are a small percentage of the overall rape or crime rate in the country. But for a party which seeks to build a better Bharat and an Incredible India, BJP needs to show it is made of better Governance matter. It has to ensure that it’s own house is more or less in odour-free order. The Congress is but doing the Opposition’s role to keep the ruling party on its toes.
Congress by trying to mould public opinion against the BJP by leveraging these rape cases, is hoping its dalliance with Cambridge Analytica will be somehow buried.
Not Just the Body, the female mind is also under siege
That these acts are facilitated by the very mothers of the unfortunate girls, the same mothers who themselves are living victims, only shows the imprisonment of their minds.
We need to realize how Society has tied women up in all manner of knots possible. Not only have we helped perpetuate ideas about how women ought to behave or conduct herself, we have also created an eco-system wherein the female victim is more likely blamed or sadly enough, ends up blaming herself. The way we have created and helped perpetuate customs and practices regarding female behaviour may embarrass even Nazi Practitioners. How women are supposed to act, behave, be subservient to male interests etc. Some structured religious orders/ sub-systems take it to extreme lengths, even enforcing barbaric acts like female genital mutilation. That these acts are facilitated by the very mothers of the unfortunate girls, the same mothers who themselves are living victims, only shows the imprisonment of their minds.
Widespread Education Necessary – of both Men and Women
Men need to be taught to respect women. Women too need this training. To learn to respect themselves and train to protect themselves from an early age. Needless to add, it all begins at home. A parent who encourages a fair and equitable division of education, labour, favour, reprimands etc irrespective of their child’s gender takes the first step.
Stakeholders should also start understanding more about the psychology of sexual abuses. It is not about sex in most of the cases. It is about power. More often than not, the perpetrators don’t believe they are actually committing a rape or a crime for that matter, though they acknowledge having had forced intercourse/s. Such is the nature of this activity which (in animal society) is just strain of behaviour, but in our higher order communities is treated as a crime, and rightly so. For the truly evolved man/ woman, God lies within. For others including rulers , the fear of God needs to be instilled, by cracking the whip as necessary. What else is the Rule of Law/ the opposition for.
Stephen Hawking – A Brief Story of a Mind honed against all odds (1942 – 2018)
Rest in Peace, Stephen Hawking in the Abrahamic Traditions….Om Shanthi in the Indic Ones
No one could possibly hold anything against a brilliant mind which rallied a body beset by the devastating ALS disease. A mind which used humour with as much verve as simplicity to explain Singularity and other mysteries of the cosmos.
If there is one thing Cool Chilli had wanted to educate Stephen Hawking on (sounds audacious, right and maybe impolite too now) it is about giving more recognition to the ancients in India. Hawking had mentioned about the mathematics that the world had learnt from ancient India. But he refers to the Europeans to credit them for theories on Helio-centricity.
A brief Visit to 1000+ (very conservative estimate) year old Temples in South India (still standing after the invasions) is enough to show that the world has a lot to learn about Incredible India. The Navagraha (Nine Celestial Bodies) altars clearly depict the Sun at the centre with all the other bodies arranged around it. But then, this understanding would be kid’s play for a culture which knew about Binary Star systems and dovetailed it into marriage rituals to reinforce the importance of partnership.
But then this column is not about childishly finding fault with a genius. This is about applauding the brain, the wit and the grit of a person who symbolised the best of Human Spirit, fighting adversity against all odds. As seen in the figure, Cool Chilli’s thunderbolt which tries to inspire him, is too thunderstruck at the news. Saddened that the Universe has finally called ‘Time’ on the man who tried to explain it (to laymen) and expand it (his own longevity after Doctors gave him only two years, 50+ years ago).
Happy Holi – May nothing unholy happen henceforth
An Obituary to Sridevi: ‘Khuda Gawah’, no ‘Moondram Pirai’ for ‘Poombatta’ to flutter again. the ‘Chandni Chaplin’ who as Hawa Hawaii called ‘Mr India’, ‘ChaalBaaz’ , chal bazi.
An Obituary to Sridevi: ‘Khuda Gawah‘, no ‘Moondram Pirai‘ for ‘Poombatta‘ to flutter again. the ‘Chandni Chaplin’ who as Hawa Hawaii called ‘Mr India’, ‘ChaalBaaz‘ , chal bazi.
Sridevi was born in Tamil Nadu village into a Telugu family. She ruled the cine industries in Kollywood, Tollywood and Bollywood as the Numero Uno Heroine. Her sense of timing was well cultivated, especially in the comic scenes.
In ‘English Vinglish, she brought out the predicament of a typical home maker looked down upon by even her close family. Sadly, the ability or inability to communicate well/ assertively, that too in English is still a stigma. What Pink did for the working/ extroverted woman, ‘English Vinglish’ did for the house wife.
Along with her legions of fans we are saddened to realize that ‘Khuda Gawah‘, there will be no ‘Moondram Pirai‘ for the beautiful ‘Poombatta‘ to flutter again. The ‘Chandni Chaplin’ who as Hawa Hawaii called ‘Mr India’, ‘ChaalBaaz‘ , chal bazi (has left us)……. or did someone feel, “baz, ab chal” (enough, now leave). One hopes not.
Like the butterfly (Poombatta, one of her early films), she underwent metamorphosis time and again. Maybe this caterpillar went through one transformation too many. We will never know for sure. But sadly her death also brings to mind, the demise, a year ago of her senior fellow-artist from the Tamil film industry. Can Success also be cruel to the women who rule their domains??? All her life, we understand Sridevi too struggled to find peace,(shanthi). It seems ironic to say on her death, ‘Om Shanti‘.
How Despicable! Minions serving Banking Sector. BoB (Bank of Baroda), just one of them. Stuart, Kevin and others still abound.
How Despicable! Minions serving Banking Sector. BoB (Bank of Baroda) is just one of them. Stuart, Kevin and others still abound.
One thing that the lay observer notices as the adage goes. That the more things change, the more they seem to remain the same. The mismanagement and process violations that marked the KingFisher / Vijay Mallya story keep re-surfacing. They have really not alerted honchos managing India’s banks. Many of our Managers/ Leaders are literal paradoxes. They seem to be minions. They don’t wish to or are unable to stand up for what is right.
Or maybe, they know fully well all the dust/ dirt that they have been routinely sweeping/ made to sweep under the carpet. Hence they must be taking personal care to ensure they hold it down firmly….., the carpet that is. It is sad to see India’s ‘Governance stakeholders’ either conniving or looking the other way to help the unscrupulous make a killing. The irony is that these same minions become messengers of death for our poor farmers, grappling with multiple vagaries in their eco-system as the figure below portrays.
How despicable! 🙁