Category Archives: News

Political & Governance Mess – India

There are just thousands of examples of so many things that can be done and that is yet not done for the betterment of this country. We have these experiences on a daily basis. Various bills are passed in the parliament that talk about benefiting the poor. Most of them claiming to be investing crores for the implementation of such schemes, which is actually the tax that we pay.

We’ve seen crores spent in various schemes for the benefit of farmers, their land, agriculture as a whole… How much benefit have we seen though? Farmers suicide cases are yet increasing on a year by year basis. Agriculture as an industry isn’t growing enough. Infact, it’s on a downfall. India, known as an agricultural country is facing all sorts of issues in it. There is absolutely no motivation for people to actually think of making agriculture their career goal. Why? Because, bad governance.
Not sure whether the schemes introduced are with right intentions or not at first. but once it’s introduced no one bothers. Implementation is so poor that people are either not aware of the benefits at all OR the process is so tedious and torturing that the person thinks of rather quitting than giving it a try. And worse, there are so many loop holes in the implementation that there is hardly any benefit for the intended people, but for corrupt officials.
Well, issues are bound to be there… but do our leaders have it in them to improvise and make it work effectively is where they are actually tested. Rather, their intentions are tested.
And this is just one example of bad governance, there are thousands of such examples.

One very recent experience which is a classic example of how it’s all only politics and nothing else. Even on a good deed.
We are all aware of minority quotas for college admissions. Its a good thing as long as it is used well and the minorities are actually benefited. But, what happens? There are so many who make up fake certificates to get admissions and worst of all, the one’s who should get those reserved seats are without a seat. Why are they without a seat? Let me tell you what happens…

Many of the minorities have done their schooling from a small town in vernacular language medium schools. They don’t have good colleges in their small town. Hence, they prefer to come to cities like Mumbai for their further studies, i.e. Junior College.
In Mumbai, junior college admissions happen only online nowadays, which is actually less exhausting and well organised. But, only for those who have the knowledge and resources to work through it. It requires kids to collect their login ID and passwords from their respective schools on a certain date during vacations, fill up their online admission forms before even the original mark sheet is distributed to them.
The problem here is… it requires co-operation from schools, which most normal English medium schools give. But, the one’s who have been studying in smaller schools that don’t have much recognition, they have no idea of what is happening and by the time these kids figure out what’s needed to be done, it’s too late. Their schools have no idea of how to help the student and if they do, they are probably not interested in helping. These kids roam around for information from their school to the intended college they wish to study in for information and more often than not, they get half the information which only builds fear into them. College asked him to get his login ID and password details for online admission, while school said they don’t know anything about online admissions. By the time the kid does multiple visits to these places and collates information from various other sources, its too late. Somehow when he does collate all the information, he/she needs help in the online admission process, as computers and internet is new to many of them, yet. There are no centers to help them fill up these forms. Only online FAQ’s, which are good, but not enough.
In short, so many such minority people are unable to register themselves and take advantage of the seats reserved for them. What’s the point of distributing seats when it doesn’t reach the intended people?

Another short example, of the recent Rajdhani Express train accident. Loss of Life. Loss of infrastructure. Loss due to delays and repairs. Loss due to investigation over the incident. A total loss, that runs in multiple crores due to the accident.
What if even 50L was spent on security and quality? The incident wouldn’t have taken place and all of it could have been saved.

Have been through so many debates about how globalization, inflation, increase in crude oil prices and multiple other factors play a role in us indirectly paying additional taxes. Yes, if a company is in loss, changing tax structure, increasing prices is the easiest way to keep the balance sheet in profit. But, is it enough? More importantly, we need to learn to manage what we have and grow within as a country.

Our government hospitals, if they were good enough, we would ourselves prefer visiting them and saving money than being looted by the private players, which would eventually be another source of earning for government.

Management is the key. Governance is the key. Intention is the key. Will to succeed is the key.

After all this thought, the question that really arises and probably doesn’t even need an answer is… “Do out political leaders really want growth of this country? for the people of India?”

Advertisements

Welcome 2014. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2014. 🙂

How did you’ll welcome this new year? Well, does it really matter?
Have you set a new year’s resolution for yourself?
Some might say, do we even need to welcome a new year? Isn’t every day a new day, and 2014 just another change in calendar day.

Probably, everything is okay as long as you are being true to yourself. As long as you are happy.
You may like to party hard and welcome the year with a bang of fun. You may love to welcome the new year with dancing to the tunes of your favorite songs, with your favorite people all night long. You might want to take it as just another day in your Life. You might not care, but just consider it as another reason to party. You might want to set or not set a resolution, just for fun. Could be a lot of other options.

Happy New Year!

 

Keeping all that aside, no matter what, wouldn’t it actually be a good opportunity to motivate yourself? To pep up yourself? To look into your Life, past and most importantly the future. You can’t move forward, with holding onto the troubled past. This is the time when you can look back, and decide what is it that you would want to take forward with you and what is it that needs to be left behind. Decide for good, and let go off the baggage. Look into the future, with respect to the past. Looking into what aspects of your Life would you want to focus on in the near future to make a better future for yourself. This is just the recipe to build hope and confidence within you, which indirectly helps you perform better.

Some might say, the same can be done on any other day. Yes, obviously. And if you do it on a regular basis, it is great. But, the fact is that most of us don’t. We don’t think analyzing our Life and deliberately focusing on improvement is important enough. Hence, New Year could well just be used as an opportunity to look into yourself too.
After some thinking we all will have a set of things we’d love to let go, and a set of things we’d love to follow or change moving on.

In general, looking forward to the Formula1 in 2014, with a complete new set of rules. Looking forward to new music and movie releases. Especially, music by Radiohead, Adele, Lana Del Rey and many more set to release their new albums in 2014. Looking forward to learning and growing in my professional Life and a lot more…

2013 hasn’t been a good year, as far as blogging is concerned with just 3 posts throughout the year. Surely do look forward to a little more blogging in 2014.

Wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year! 
Enjoy!

Cinema Impact on Society/People

This is my personal opinion here. You may judge me by my opinion, but I feel I am just being practical and factual. I do feel that Bollywood/TV, in short Cinema, does make an impact on the people, on the common man and I’ll try and justify it below in short.

By saying that cinema does make an impact on people, I do not mean to say that movies like Satya, The Godfather will be the reason for underworld dons, I do not mean to say that item numbers like Chikni Chameli, are the reason for rapes. But, they do make an impact, a subtle one. They do influence the general attitude of people. They not just influence, but also showcase the general culture of the country as a whole to the world.

The whole reason why documentaries are made, is to spread knowledge, spread awareness to the masses of the various issues that are faced across the globe, to showcase historical knowledge. Even mainstream cinema movies like 3 Idiots, October Sky, A Beautiful Mind and so many more are known for the story they tell, for the end message they convey to the people. The end message makes a difference. When it comes to music, there is soulful music, there are some really great lyrical songs that motivate you, that make you smile, that make you cry. Why does that happen? Because it does make an impact.

The paragraph above states only the ‘good’ of cinema and music and anything good can be bad too, if it is not used well. I believe, it’s the end message that matters. Some places where things are bad, especially in Bollywood are the item numbers. Item numbers are included in almost every movie even when it’s not needed. Worst, the lyrics, the dance, the overall presentation that most item numbers put up is cheap. Again, it’s not the clothing, it the presentation that matters, it’s the end message that you pass that matters. The movies too today are rarely a showcase of art and knowledge, it’s more commercial. The directors today display cheapness in the name of bold cinema. This is just Bollywood, let’s talk about Bhojpuri cinema. I do not watch Bhojpuri films, but I have come across many posters of Bhojpuri films that are released, and to me they say a lot. The posters itself give me an impression that the movie is almost a porn movie. What kind of message do you think these movies pass on to the people?

I am one of those who is ready to accept nudity in cinema too, but only when it’s needed, only when it makes a difference to the direction of the movie. Similarly, item numbers too, only if it makes a difference, only if it holds some decent meaning. Movies released, TV serials, especially the reality shows, should pass through censor board, while the censor board should not follow typical rules that say slang words are not allowed or there is no nudity. Without nudity and typical slang words a lot bad can yet be shown. It’s just a matter of playing the game and twisting the rules. The censor board should rather take into account the end message that the TV Series/movies/songs are showcasing.

Many may argue that only those who take cinema seriously will be influenced by it, but almost everyone is influenced. Each one of us is bound to be influenced by where ever your weakness or strength lies. It is just human tendency. If someone is not brought up well, not taught how to value women, he is bound to be more influenced by watching item numbers where women is considered as a ‘thing to play with’, which in turn will lead to his already bad attitude getting a boost. That same item number may probably not affect a man who is taught well how to respect women, and most probably he won’t like that item number. Let cinema be a showcase of art plus useful true knowledge plus entertainment and not ‘just’ entertainment in the name of bold cinema.

What Indians Want from the Government & Why

This post is with regards to the Delhi Protest that’s triggered after the ‘brutal’ gang rape of a 23 year old Indian Citizen in a bus that was freely roaming around in the streets of New Delhi. The nature of the crime is such that it did hurt each and every one of us concerned citizens of India deeply. Having said that, it isn’t the first time such incidents have occurred in India, and not the first time that such incidents have hurt our sentiments, but why the sudden outrage of people after this particular incident is what the Government Of India, in fact all politicians really need to understand. It really needs to connect with the people who have put them to power. Government is there in power for the people to make them feel safe, feel satisfied if not happy.

A common example, which best describes why that sudden outburst, is the fights that you see, witness in your own house, in your own Life. No one is perfect, no one expects everyone to be perfect. But there is always a threshold limit of the amount of wrong that you can tolerate. You may have various issues with your friend, but not argue and fight over every issue with him. But each time you face the issue, it sticks at the back of your mind. At some point, and that point usually is very random, when various issues are being tolerated together that the bubble bursts. You fight, you argue, and in that argument, the frustration and anger of the present issue which triggered the outburst plus the past issues all is seen at once. Hence this protest is not really just related to one rape case, but all rape cases, general freedom for all to roam around at any time, the inflation, the unemployment, the poverty, the corruption, and to top it all the attitude of the laid back, ignorant & rude Government.

Laid back, because when any protest or an issue reaches it’s peak, it’s at that time when the Government even bothers to start thinking towards addressing it, instead of an immediate action. It is then, when some top official bothers to just address the nation, giving false promises as usual.
Ignorant, because people are at a daily basis facing countless issues, inflation topping the chart for most Indians, but there is no issue that seems to take a downward turn. Not just that, we don’t see an effort by the Government to help resolve these issues. Instead we do see scams and more scams which are only worsening the already worsened economy, leading to more inflation.
Arrogant, because even if they are ignorant, people of India are reaching out to the Government, to know what is wrong, to sit together and help solve issues. If a wrong step is being taken a loud shout of NO is given by the people of India, or may be the opposition party, but the Government is not bothered, they yet do as per their will and wish. Biggest example here being bringing in FDI, the way GOI has handled various protests that’s happened since past few years.

What we are seeing until today is that this rape case is being given importance (which is good), but at the same time, it’s clearly visible that the attitude of GOI still remains laid back, ignorant & arrogant. This rape case seems to be given some special importance just for the sake of politics, to pacify the protesters. We yet do not see the change we want to see in the Government.

I write this article with a hope that, the message reaches the people who are part of the Government, to the people who may be a part of the Government at some point. Let this mistake not be repeated. It’s never too late.

Balasaheb Thackeray – All You Need To Know

Balasaheb Thackeray, a cartoonist, a politician, a public figure who is not on news everyday but yet is known to all. When he is on news, we know there is something major, something to watch out. But since he is on news rarely, only a few know much about him. Also, considering the fact that in the past 10 years or so, he’s hardly done much, this left a big amount of crowd, especially the urban literate to not respect him because they know him as a man who instigated violence and fear(thanks to paid media, may be), and some Valentine’s Day protests. This post is mainly to highlight some of his acts, with explanations if possible.

Call it paid media or the fact that he didn’t do much in the past 10 years, I think this is a big failure of Shiv Sena to educate every class about his achievements. Many supporters themselves may not know all and only know some instances. When it comes to vandalising property, creating fear, his supporters blindly followed his commands without really understanding why. I take this as a failure too, not that his commands were wrong, but highlighting the cause, giving reasonable reason is necessary too. It will help in moving forward the legacy too, educating the crowd for what he really stands for. This is the main reason why at times there’s violence even when there is no order from the Shiv Sena leaders. They are unable to control their own followers. Nevertheless, he is not perfect, no one is.

Coming down to achievements which I doubt anyone will disagree on. He started off as a cartoonist and must say a good one. Even in the later stages his cartoons did speak a lot. If he has lacs of followers who just go by his word, it definitely means a lot, says a lot about his leadership skills. Inspite of a few goof-ups here and there, he has managed this large number of followers in a way none of us can even imagine. His oratory skills are evident from the fact that within a couple of years he could manage to gather lacs of people to just listen to him. And this was done with only speeches and writing down some amazing articles in his magazine in the very early stage of his career. He has helped his community in a way like no other. You may be from a different community, feel jealous that you don’t have anyone of that stature to fight for your community, but you can’t deny what he did for his community, gave them job security, food, shelter, and Life security too. He was fearless and pursued what he believed in, no matter what. No matter how many enemies he created in that course, it didn’t stop him. Here, we read inspirational quotes each day from the greats to do what you believe in, to not fear. He was a man who lived it and proved to the world that those are not just quotes, they can be put to reality.

Coming down to some issues which all do not agree on, I will raise my opinion here with explanations.
He is often known as an enemy to the so called “outsiders” in Mumbai. My family is Sindhi-Gujju, an outsider too, and we have never faced any issue ever from them, infact we have been saved and helped at times. Reason being my family is contributing to this nation, to the city by working, having a decent job, a decent business. He has given security to Sikhs during the 84 riots, that were almost spread into Mumbai too, but didn’t because of him. He gave security to Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced out of their own states. In Mumbai, there are many immigrants from other states with absolutely no idea of what they want, they just hop in here, and start the search for job, shelter, food. This leads to them using resources that are already low for the people here, increasing population which indirectly hits the city in various ways. Increase in slum dwellers, affecting the hygiene of the city, also a reason to lot many infrastructure development hurdles. Since am not from the 1970’s, I don’t know why exactly was he against South Indians, Gujjus back then. But today against UP immigrants makes sense, because majority of them are from UP, the very lower class, without a job, just roaming around with the main motive of eve teasing, spitting at public places. The one’s running auto, taxis resort to meter tampering, being rude to passengers. Compare this to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi may be, there are immigrants in these cities too, but those are mainly service class people who first secure a job and then move in. They know how to behave too. They don’t just come in, make their own tent in some corner of the road and claim to get resources and land for free some years later. Yes, violence is not the way to treat this issue, but the issue raised isn’t wrong.
BJP ruled Maharashtra from 95-99. And it’s not a secret that Balasaheb was the ‘remote control’ minister. That was the time when Maharashtra witnessed a lot of development, but that was also the time when the development didn’t reach his own true followers, the poor Marathi Manoos. May be, he went wrong in distributing the development equally. Since then Mumbai has been losing it’s charm slow and steadily, in subtle ways, for which you can view my blog post on Mumbai written a few months back,  Mumbai – A City Of Dreams, Yet?
Balasaheb may have been linked to violence a lot many times, most prominent being the one is 93. The question is why. No one likes violence, especially not a person who is working for the welfare of the state, of the people. Not going much into details, that was the time when various events took place, which sparked one another. Someone needed to take charge and ‘retaliate’, retaliate to protect and stand for Hindus, that someone was Balasaheb Thackeray. Many of this generation parents would not have been alive today or rather worse would have been raped if it were not for him to protect at that crucial moment. I somehow remember this quote now from the man who is known as the epitome of non-violence.

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Balasaheb himself said that he is not against Muslims, he is against those Muslims who are against India. Well, aren’t we all against them? Atleast, I am. I don’t want people like Kasab to be called Indian Citizens and spread terror in the country, in the name of being a minority. Infact, the Muslims who are not against India will not like themselves to be called a minority because they know how much they are loved by all.

Me, being born and brought up in Mumbai, having my parents live the 1984, 1993 riots in Mumbai, I admire the man for the way he’s shown courage, for what he has managed to accomplish, for the strength, for his accomplishments as a politician, as a public figure, for the hold that he has developed over the city, like no other can. Yes, I may not agree to all of Balasaheb’s acts, techniques, but then me and him are not the same. I respect him for the amount of work he has done, I doubt most of us can even achieve 10% of what he has done in his Life.

Respect earned.

Some Questions Answered – Anna Movement

Disclaimer : What I say here is not what Anna says, these are my personal views.

I am just a commoner here, and felt I should share the knowledge that I have and answer a few questions for those who feel the movement is not a good one, un-necessary, or may be are just against it. Some are dis-interested. These are some thoughts/questions I came over when I was tweeting ‘for’ the support of the movement, and had to counter some arguments/questions from many not supporting it.

 

  • I support the movement, but I feel the process that Anna is following is not correct.

Firstly, Anna is fighting for the ‘good’ of the nation and his intentions are very clear and I don’t think there will be anyone out here saying he has his own selfish motives or something like that. Secondly, if you look at his past, he has been involved in many such movements in a small scale though. He has enough experience, much more than we people on how to go about with such movement. He has gained a lot of success and done good for his village, also for RTI Act which we all appreciate. Also, if you follow the past, by past I mean recent past related to the current issue, they did try all the possible ways to get to the consensus, get the Bill passed in a right way. Not only were they not heard, but they were cheated, by getting only the draft bill prepared by the government and not their draft into the Parliament. He was forced to take a path that could be a little harsh, but it was necessary. And even with all that he didn’t go against the rules. May be he did mend it, but for the good.

 

  • This is against Democracy and you are blackmailing the Government

Well, this has been partially covered in the above answer itself. To add to the above answer, this is definitely not agaianst the rules, may be mending of rules. This is not even blackmailing. It’s a huge support for the Jan Lokpal Bill and not the Government’s version of the Bill. Hence, if this is being said that you are not even allowed to protest, I say, it’s the government blackmailing each and every citizen that you can’t challenge what we pass, what we think. That is not Democracy. We have the right to be a part of making laws, amending them, challenging them.

 

  • Corruption needs to handled in a different way, A new committee means more corruption.

I must admit, this is one argument that made me think and made me agree to it to a great extent. Yes, a new Committee would open the grounds of corruption furthermore, IF the Lokpal Committee is corrupted. The chances of this happening is a lot less, I don’t say NO but less.. especially when Jan Lokpal will be an Independent body. It will be integrated with an independent CBI. Hence the chances of Government/Politicians ruling over the working of the Committee will be less. Nevertheless, we must ensure that the Selection process for the members to be a part of the Committee should be strict and fair. It has to be well defined. And this is also a part of the Jan Lokpal.

 

  • You do anything, nothing is going to change until we as citizens ourself stop giving bribe.

This thought if comes from someone who is not into economics is understandable. But when it comes from a person who is well versed with the working of finances, am speechless. A common service man can be advised not to pay bribe for small issues like fine to a Ticket collector, fine for breaking signals, bribe to get your Licences, Ration Card, etc faster. Well, yes, we can stop that, but it’s easier said than done. You want to buy a home, you ‘Have’ to pay the Black amount, you want to start a Business, a manufacturing unit, you ‘Have’ to pay bribe to various officers to get each and every license. You want to talk to get your IT refund, you ‘Have’ to pay the bribe to them for your own money. The one’s I mentioned earlier were small patches of money, while the ‘have to’ one’s comprise of the large sum of money. And that is more important to be stopped.

Moving ahead, all of it, be it the small amount of bribe for getting your licences or huge amount of bribe which business people pay are all at the end inter linked. It’s all a circle, which leads straight to the highest authority. From here do these Business people recover the bribe they pay? From us, but adding it into the MRP of the product they sell. You can’t stop buying every little thing. Right? Hence for all the Raja Scam, Kalmadi Scam, we are the one’s who’s paid them that money.

Enough Said. Getting the right reforms, right sets of economic strategies, transparent one’s is the need of the hour. And Jan Lokpal is just a way to monitor all the expenditure, track it to the core, and then take the appropriate actions against the root cause of it. Stop the Corruption from it’s root.

No, bill is ever going to be fool proof, amendments will be required all the time. Even after it’s passed. that doesn’t mean we don’t support a person who stood for us, when all we did was lived with it saying “Yeh system kabhi badlega nahi. Kuch nahi hoga” and things like that.

Baba Ramdev – My thoughts about him and his movement

Here is Baba Ramdev, a human being, an Indian Citizen, one of us… trying to change the dirty, polluted system. He is on a fast, against corruption. The corruption in India is a super popular thing all across the globe, especially with the inclusions of the recent scams namely the 2G scam, CWG Scam. Its a well known fact that India as a LOT of money, all hidden in Swiss banks. Its said that the total accumulated money in the Swiss banks from Indians, is s high that if its brought back to India, India can be counted as one of the richest nations in the world. Ok, now this is Baba Ramdev’s main demand that the government is not ready to listen to… declare all the black money outside India(the one’s mentioned above) and use it for the development and growth of India.

This is his demand, that he mentions on TV to the public. I wont deny the fact that today, there are very very few men who would actually stand up for something selflessly. And this is true for many, including me… including you. I am one of those who almost always WANT to go ahead and do something for the betterment of the society, be it helping the poor, creating awareness for cleanliness, education, health, etc. But, still at the end of the day, my want is not enough. I would not leave my work and start doing things selflessly. I would probably not even leave some hangout with friends for this. And again this is true for almost all of us. Now, here is someone who may be having his own motives behind this, may be just get a majority entrance into politics straight away. This can be really big for him, but hey who cares? As far as his entrance into politics (which may be good or bad) is helping is getting back this all so important black money… which you know can help almost eradicate poverty in India why not support him NOW atleast.

I see people joking around, making fun of him.. just because he is a Baba (a person who dresses like a saint and not one of us) who teaches Yoga… and has a good amount of follower’s for his Yoga preaching worldwide. He has been into some controversy’s lately… some serious controversy’s, but as I said no one is as 100% clean today. He atleast had the power to collect thousands together to support him for the cause. This is not easy. I wouldn’t expect any good from the government employees, but the common man? The people on Twitter, most of them busy creating all sorts of jokes out of this whole fiasco. I see jokes coming up even when this Ramdev is hospitalized for his health worsening after 7 days of fast. He is a Yoga Guru, he claims to live upto 40 days without food with the help of Yoga. But this is when he is free of mental stress, is lying all alone in some Himalayan region doing only Yoga. He has been giving speeches throughout, he had to withstand the cruelty of the government (you know the 4th June black night). He is the leader of a social movement and thousands look upto him for this.. there’s lots of responsibility on his head. You can’t expect a 40 day fast from a person under such circumstances. Majorly, those on twitter who are good at joking around for such things too are from rich classes of India, who are not much affected by corruption, either because they are themselves deeply into it, or coz they have a lot of money not to let it bother them. But think twice, majority India is not them, and the change only happens when these minority rich people want some change to happen, it wont happen if the majority Indians want.

He’s made a few mistakes even while the movement was on, and hence what Anna Hazare said is pretty true – “He is not mature enough to lead a social movement yet” .. But does that mean we should let him die out of hunger? He is not demanding something that would harm the society. If the government for some external reason cannot go ahead with it, atleast show some concern about him, try and negotiate continuously with him until he breaks his fast. You can’t just leave him fasting and die no matter what. at one end you actually feed a person (Kasab) who is the face of terror today in India with his 26/11 acts. On the other, a person who has some legitimate demands for the good of the nation is just left aside to die. This is not even human.

%d bloggers like this: