Saturday, September 29, 2007

India wins, so does Rahul

India won the inaugural 20-20 world cup, thereby giving me and many others like me the opportunity to witness things that we have never witnessed before.

Though i pride myself of having a strong heart yet when Joginder was hit for 6 of the second ball, i switched off the TV and went to the balcony of my 7th floor flat . Two minutes later i knew India had won. The sound of crackers, the ''heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy'sssssss' and the voice of Ravi Shastri which was coming from every corner was more than enough to awake even a deaf man lying in his grave.

It was Diwali that day; both literally and figuratively. Soon there were the group of lads and ladies who were taking a 'lap' of our society, perhaps trying to emulate their heroes. Outside on the roads the drunkards were doing what they do best; boozing and far away i heard some humming "Peeney walo ko piney ka bahana chahiye" . How true.

I don't want write about what, how and why Dhoni and his man achieved. Already much has been written about that and i am sure more will be written.

For me it was a memorable day. Memorable like my last school day, my school farewell day, my sister's marriage day and so many yet so less different memorable days which we all witness. The ones you remember whenever you go back in memory.

On the same day another of the youth face of young India, Rahul Gandhi also was in news but his political appointment was treated as secondary concern by the news channels. I never expected that someone or something could upstage any news about the Gandhi family, but the Indian cricket team did it. Hats off to Dhoni and company. They will never know what they have achieved along with the cup!

Rahul Gandhi the would be PM of India as called by his collegues ( It seems that these days the Politicians are better future predictor than Bejan Daruwalla) was appointed the General Secretary of Indian National Congress and was also given the helm of NSUI and Youth Congress. Talk about being born with a silver spoon in mouth!

The buzz in the corridors of power as it is often called is that many of the young Congress leaders are not too happy with Rahul being given so much in so less time and without much effort. But i can guarantee you that no one will raise a voice.

Not going into the merits of the appointment it's pertinent to talk about that is Rahul Gandhi more of 'Gandhi' than 'Rahu'l ? Of course! Even a child of 14 years will say that if Rahul was not born into the Gandhi dynasty than he wouldn't be where he is now. This is not a rocket science and everyone knows this including Rahul himself.

When Rajiv Gandhi entered into politics he was also of Rahul's age. He was a great leader, one of the few modern 'visionary' India had, a man who worked to better India's future. Lets just hope that Rahul proves himself like his father. He has an able team to assist him. Sachin Pilot, JyotirAditya Scindia are all young politicians and have a vision for future India.

After playing lots of tricks, "The Kite Runner" finally landed in my hand. A beautiful book, impressive in the beginning but it gradually loses the power to bind readers towards the end. It is about how human relationships go through many a turmoils; some emerge winner and some are not that fortunate.

Chetan's Bhagat 'One night @ the call center' was a damp squib for me, specially considering the way he wrote my one of the all time favorites '5.1 someone'. I guess either my expectations were too high or the success of the previous book got into the head of the author. The only thing which pushed me to complete the book was an expectancy that was based on my reading of 5.1 someone. I turned one page after another hoping for a better something, but the last page arrived and i was happy that it finally ended.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ram Setu , Karuna Nidhi and the CAT ; So much to write

The recent one month has
been kind of 'laid back' period as my activities have been limited to attending the coaching class for MBA preparations and internet-socializing. Orkut lost its monopoly and i got hooked to Facebook and Shelfari.

Even though there have been so many political issues that i have felt the urge to write-on still i have not written anything substantial because whenever i open the news papers or the news-sites i find that my thoughts have already been penned down by someone else. Either i have lost my creativity or its just that everyones else opinion matches mine which in turn is shared by thousand others.

The Ram-setu controversy was one which could have been avoided. First Ambica Soni and then Karunanidhi fed fuel into the fire. If we go by the affidavit filed by the Cultural minister all gods should carry historical proof and evidence of their existence. And those who don't have any alibi to prove their existence then they don't exist in her book.

Karunanidhi went a step further and described Ram as a drunkard. An insane person like Karunanidhi should be given the least of attentions, clinically sick people like him thrive on the attention they get.

Everyone has the right to practise religion-ism or atheism but does it mean that an atheist, a person who is in a responsible position of CM can call a religious figure worshiped as god a drunkard?

Similarly some months back an artist drew pictures of god and goddess which to say the least were obscene.

Now, why would one draw god in obscene positions? Is that the only way left to show creativity? Is this art?

God in which ever form, holds a very sensitive position in our hearts and its existence is beyond any logic. It cannot be comprehended. One cannot insult religious belief under the garb of freedom of expression. And if they do, then they are misusing the freedom.

Coming back to the simple things of life, in all probability i will be going to Bhopal in the last week of October.

It's the season of Durga pujas and i just cannot miss Abhivyakti Dandiya thats organized in Bhopal every year and i feel somewhat proud to say that i have never missed one since its inception 8 years ago.

The Dandiyas, the Gujarati songs that color the atmosphere ( Pankidha 'O' Pankidha), the vibrant display of traditional dress wore by the beautiful pretty girls is just awesome, and one has to be there to believe it.

It has been more than one year since i left Bhopal , and still i become nostalgic at the mere mention of the city's name. I guess some memories become more stronger with the passage of time.

No one knows what future holds, the day i left PTI and enrolled into the MBA coaching i got an offer to work as a Journalist, again! That too in Oman. Now we have a situation! The money is good ( Gulf has only two things that lures a simple man like me and that is money and more money) and experts have opined that i should go and re-taste ( i have already tasted Doha) the feeling of sand and sun san the sea.

Then what about my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur ? ( a saying goes that one who can write the correct spelling of 'entrepreneur' at one go is sure to don the cap of a business honcho one day...and guess what ? i wrote it correctly. It seems we have a CEO in making). Entrepreneurship can wait, Gulf cannot. Now i am in a is sure good when someone else is there to take decisions on your behalf. When i was 12 i craved to be of 21 so i could take my own decisions, and now when i am of 24 i wish i never grew up.

The 'D day' for the CAT exams is 18th November, and i would have given you a 110% assurance that i would crack it, but for QUANT-MATHS. Simply put, me and maths share a Osama-Bush relationship. As a matter of fact we have a "Khandani Ladai' one in which lots of blood has been shed through generations. I see Quant as Mr.Dubya, Feared by the many and yet forced to loved.

There are many other 'D-days', the IRMA,the NMAT and the SNAP. I humbly believe that someday , one of the three will rise and say that they had enough of maths and when that happens that would be the salvation for me and for the thousands of others.

P.S- Just read some where that about 16,000 hyphens (-) from the English vocab have been done away with? If that's true then i must compliment the do-ers. I never liked distances between two letters of a word. It gave the impression that thet were going through a seperation period.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Chhattisgarh: End of democracy?

I wrote this in Feburary 2006, when the CSPS bill was still being 'debated' in the house. I am posting it on the blog in the wake of arrest of PUCL activist Dr.Binayak Sen who was arrested on May 5th 2007 under the CSPS act.

This article was carried by the Times of India and Central Chroncile.

The Chhattisgarh Special Public Security legislation 2005 (CSPS) which has been sent to the president for his approval is being seen as an instrument which will surely strangulate democracy in the state. The legislation which has been formulated to tackle the rising incident of naxalism has virtually given blanket power to the state so as to curb naxalism.

The legislation which contains 18 sections is being seen as the start of the series of laws which will be formulated in the country all in the name of combating terrorism, naxalism and communalism. If not repealed this legislation will be set a very bad precedent for the other states to follow suit.

Section 3 of this legislation authorizes the government to declare any organization as unlawful, and in some cases the government is even exempted from giving the reasons for declaring an assembly unlawful. When will our country realize that this is not an authoritarian or an anarchical state where you just do whatever you wish and go away with it. The more you try to justify your illegal legislation, the more illegal it will become.

Unlawful activity as defined in the legislation includes uttering words, writing or making visual representations that may “create risk or danger” for public order, peace and public tranquillity or create an impediment in the administration of law or institutions.

This definition can only mean one thing, either the government wants the state to be free from naxals or it wants to curb freedom of expression. This is up to the people and of chhattisgarh who reside in the naxal affected area to decide that the government is restraining whom , the naxals or the media..

All these years, the BJP government headed by Raman singh has said that naxal problem is socio-economic in nature, and it should be dealt in that way only. Bringing black cat commandoes and NSG troopers is not a socio-economic answer to a socio-economic problem, not by any farthest stretch of imagination.

The Legislation bans media from carrying reports of any kind of 'unlawful act'. Media is perhaps the most important party to democracy; and one cannot just stop them from doing what they are required to do, that is to report.

Media is the only front which has stopped the ever susceptible government from being draconian, and it’s the media that the politicians fear. By barring media from reporting, the government of Chhattisgarh is giving a message that they themselves are not sure that how would they tackle naxalism. Behind a closed door anything can happen.

Similarly under section 14 of the legislation any order or legislation by the government or the district magistrate or any other officer authorised by the government shall not be challenged in any court and no injunction shall be granted by any court or any other authority. First you gag the media then you cripple the judiciary. By doing this the government has conferred itself with an absolute power, one with no checks and balances. The judiciary through its several decisions has earned the respect of being the sole repository of the constitution and democracy in this country, and it remains to be seen whether the court will apply the same thinking that it had applied in various cases like Keshavnanda Bharti, Maneka Gandhi, V.G Row or N.B.khare?

It needs to be mentioned here that when the bill was being debated, the main opposition party, the congress was boycotting the assembly and was out of the House. Now it’s up to us to decide that whose blame is it, Congress’s or BJP’s?

The purpose of the Bill as mentioned is to safeguard people's lives and property and to maintain public order, peace and tranquillity. This has always been the reason advanced, be it the case of POTA, or MISA, the argument of safeguarding public peace and welfare has always been taken by the state to justify its policies. The state must realize that Constitutional rights and liberties just cannot be bypassed or ignored under the garb of combating militancy and naxalism

Just months ago the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh’s in his speech at the Conference of Chief Ministers had said that the democratic government should make a distinction between the genuine and legitimate expression of dissent and disaffection and the manifestations of anti-national, anti-social and anti-people threats to our democratic way of life. He pointed out that while citizens are free to choose the particular brand of politics they wish to follow, they have the freedom to take recourse to collective activity to achieve the social, political or economic changes that they desire, but no one is either permitted or expected to resort to violence to achieve these ends. At the same time, the PM also recognised that “Extremism is not merely a Law and Order issue, Development; or rather the lack of it, often has a critical bearing, as do exploitation and iniquitous socio-political circumstances. This speech sums up the situation of chhattisgarh. This is what is happening in chhattisgarh, but is passing such legislation the answer to the problems? Its not.

Right to freedom has been inscribed under article 19-22 of the constitution. Personal liberty is the most important and the backbone of fundamental rights, without personal liberty a human is not a human. Article 19 provides for six freedoms, viz., freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly, freedom to form associations, freedom to movement, freedom to reside and to settle and freedom of profession and occupation. Freedom dismisses fear and empowers people against oppression of all hues; you take away freedom , and this gives oppression more opportunity to thrive.

In AK gopalan case, J. Patanjali Shastri had rightly said that the guarantee of each of the freedom rights is restricted by the constitution, its not an absolute right and the state can impose reasonable restriction as may be in the larger interest of the society, but one crucial aspect that needs to be understood is that the restrictions must not be arbitrary, and its upon the court and not the legislature to decide what is arbitrary.

In Indian express case the court said that the purpose of the press is to advance the public interest by publishing facts and opinions, without which a democratic society cannot make responsible judgements. Freedom of press is the heart of social and political intercourse.

Freedom of press has always been a cherished right of all the democratic nations, and press has always played a very vital role in shaping the democracy, and this freedom cannot be taken away.

Democracy is all about freedom. Freedom of speech, association, participation, expression, you decapitate these freedom, you have beheaded democracy

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Uma bharti all set to return back to BJP

If the recent cabinet reshuffle in Madhya Pradesh is to go by, Uma Bharti , the firebrand Sadhvi and the former CM of MP is all set to rejoin BJP, her parent party.

Dr Gaurishankar Shejwar, her most trusted lieutenant who returned to the BJP recently, has been re-inducted into the cabinet and rewarded with energy, medical education and bio-diversity and bio-technology.

By inducting the MLA from Vidisha who was earlier suspended from the party for supporting Uma Bharti’s political outfit BJS (Bhartiya Janashakti party), into the cabinet BJP has given clear signs of the things to come. This move is being seen as the first of the many steps being worked upon to placate Bharti and pave a way for her return.

Bharti who formed BJS after her expulsion from BJP for preventing Shivraj Singh Chauhan from becoming CM , has not been able to justify its existence. Though the party is still in its nascent stage, but with Bharti at its helm, it was expected that it would be able to give some fight to BJP, a thing which has not happened.

BJS, fought & lost the by-election for her Madhya Pradesh assembly seat of Bada Malehra, even though Uma Bharati had campaigned extensively for her candidate. BJS has also experienced defeats in the Lok Sabha bypolls for Amethi (UP), Vidisha (MP), Bhagalpur(Bihar).

The BJP General Secretary in charge of Madhya Pradesh affairs, Ananth Kumar, refused to give any direct anwers to queries over Uma Bharti’s return. Significantly he also refrained from using aggressive language, which earlier was norm against the Sanyasin.

Observers are of the view that keeping in the mind the state assembly election that are slated to be held next year , Bharti may well be inducted back and given the post of National general Secretary or State BJP president. Though some section of the organization are against her being given the charge of state organization considering her ‘political volatile nature’.

Speculation of her return has been strengthened after she did not field BJS contestants for Lok Sabha by-elections for two seats in Madhya Pradesh, held in March 2007. Also, she agreed to withdraw her candidates to the 2007 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections at the request of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Chief, Ashok Singhal.

It’s not that only Uma bharti will gain upon her return. BJP is expecting an anti-incumbency wave in the state and to counter this they need someone like Uma Bharti who has not lost her charisma to attract crowds. BJP also needs to Consolidate over the infighting that has been plaguing the state Congress with a power struggle brewing between Subhash Yadav, Jamuna Devi, Ajay singh , Digvijay Singh and the young MP from Gwalior Jyotir Aditya Scindia.

Her rivals in BJP, may find it difficult to stop her from joining BJP considering her proximity to the RSS, VHP and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The only thing which can spoil her and BJP’s plans is she herself .

The chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who had succeeded Babulal Gaur, has further cut his predecessor to size by making him commercial taxes minister. Earlier, he was over looking the Bhopal gas tragedy ministry along with Commercial Tax. Gaur is not happy with his downsizing ahd is on path to become a rebel and is alleging Chauhan had become jealous of his (Gaur’s ) popularity.

Chauhan inducted a Sikh from Jabalpur, Harjinder Singh Baboo, as his cabinet colleague. He will be the second Sikh minister in the state after a gap of ten years. Tanwant Singh Keer used to be a minister in Congress led Digvijay Singh government. Baboo, the young legislator from Jabalpur is himself a victim of anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and his inclusion in Chauhan cabinet would definitely help the BJP attract Sikh votes.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...