Friday, November 1, 2013

Indian Bureaucracy to Get a Shield


Indian Bureaucracy is about to get a shield against the malicious political class it seems. On October 31, the Supreme course discouraged bureaucrats from taking oral orders from their political bosses. The apex course sought an end to frequent transfers and also suggested a fixed tenure to protect the officers from political interference.

Certainly, when implemented, the action is going to make the political class more accountable. The action would also bell the unruly cats in bureaucracy as well. After getting all the decisions and actions in black and white, they will hardly get any excuse for delaying or accelerating any process. Hence, the lightning of the verdict is going to fall on both the political class and the bureaucracy. Passing the buck is not going to work anymore.  

However, there is certainly a concern in this context. Though the court has said that the parliament must enact a law to regulate postings, transfers and disciplinary action against bureaucrats, how much exhilaration the political class will show to take action on the enactment. How reasonable will it be to expect any speedy action in this context from the same political class which wants to get out of the purview of the Right to Information to prevent itself from the noose of accountability?

The verdict came as a result of a PIL filed by 83 retired bureaucrats, including former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Why Do We Elect Them?









From cricket commentary to being a participant of the reality show Big Boss 6, to being a judge of a comedy show, it seems the former cricketer Navjot Singh Siddhu has done everything else other than performing his duties as a member of parliament from Amritsar.

Mr Siddhu preferred to lock himself in the Big Boss house for more than a month as if for those many days his constituency won't need him at all.

Hence, the question that remains with us is, "What's the use of having such star members of parliament who publicly ignore their constituencies, having no sense of responsibility?"






Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Movie Review: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

It’s a story of a sportsman who fights against all odds and comes out as a winner. It’s a story of a coal thief who joins army to win his love. It’s a story of a child who loses all his kith and kin except a sister during partition and comes to India from Pakistan. It’s a story of an individual who travels from being a no-one to someone on whose name a national holiday is declared. It’s a story about the Flying Singh (Milkha Singh).
“Hard Work, Will Power, and Dedication! Jisme yeh teen cheez ho woh zameen se aashman chhu sakta hai.” This quote by Milkha Singh is displayed after the film ends. The same is true with the film as well. It has become a master piece thanks to the hard work, will power, and dedication of the people involved with this project.
I won’t give you the story here but the feel. While watching Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, you will get the feel of India’s partition, the thrill of an Olympic game, the pain of a lover, the helplessness of a child, the love of a sister, the cruelty of jealous competitors, the forgiveness of a dedicated, goal-oriented hero, the high aspirations of an individual and the hard work he puts in, the pain of failure, the impact of distraction, the will power, the fear of revisiting the same place where one had lost all his near and dear ones, and the happiness of making one’s country proud.
Performance from all the actors is fantastic. Starting from the child who plays young Milkha to the director who does a cameo as a pilot, no one lets down. The movie is about the journey of Milkha Singh and hence the onus was mostly on Farhaan Akhtar who played the pivotal character. From body language to running posture, he played the character with perfection. However, in a couple of scenes, he couldn’t go far away from being Farhan Akhtar particularly where he delivers some witty lines. Divya Dutta is brilliant as Milkha’s sister. She delivers both love and agony through her eyes and voice. I don’t know whom to miss and whom to mention from the supporting star cast. Each of them has done justice to their parts though I liked Prakash Raj, Pavan Malhotra, and the boy who played young Milkha the most.
What makes the film so great apart from the performances are the following aspects: flawless editing, brilliant story-telling, high-class cinematography, perfect locations, and the climax. You come out of the theatre with a smile on your face along with the wet eyes.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Longer will We Take to Abolish the Dowry System?

When I was in fourth standard, once a teacher asked all the students to write an essay on the dowry system. I didn’t know how to write. Hence, I just documented all the criminal incidents related to the dowry system, which I had come across in my locality. To my surprise, the teacher was very impressed with my essay. That was perhaps the first appreciation I received for my writing. But that was also the first time when I expressed my anger on the criminality of this so-called social norm. I was assured by the teacher that this norm wouldn't be existing in the society ten years down the line. That year was 1989. Twenty-four years have passed since then. And recently, when I browsed through the Internet, the news items that caught my eyes were as follows:
Today is the time when our fight against female feticide has gone stronger. We take pride in taking action against people who get involved in gender identification in the womb. However, the root cause of female feticide doesn't solely lie in gender identification in the womb. It is in the brain. It is also formed in the brain when one comes across facts about atrocities against women like sexual exploitation, torture for dowry, so on and so forth, which showcase how difficult it is to become a woman in our society. Therefore, while we are fighting to make every girl child in the womb see the world, we will need to make the world secure for them at every stage of their lives. Demand of dowry in marriage is one such insecurity.
We have ambassadors for polio eradication, breast cancer care, going green, etc. We need ambassadors for abolishment of the dowry system as well. We need long-term campaigns till this social injustice (norm) is uprooted and erased from our brains forever and for never to come back.
People who accepted or planning to accept dowry in marriage tend to give one or other excuse for accepting dowry. All that is crap. The way you cannot justify any injustice, you cannot justify accepting dowry as well.
From my experience, I can give you some popular excuses. Feel free to add to the list below:
  • I didn’t want dowry. My parents wanted it. (Answer: You are getting married, not your parents. You can definitely stop them from having such illegal demand.)
  • We never demanded. But they just forced us to accept. (Answer: You are not a child. Nobody wants to give you anything free of cost. You must have showed the greed in your eyes. There are many shameless people who don't demand dowry these days, but expects it to be given as a right.)
  • I had given dowry to my sister. Hence, I demanded too. (Answer: Then, you take back from your sister. Why do you take it from someone else's sister.)
  • I spent so much money in my marriage for my in-laws’ pride. Hence, I had to accept dowry. (Answer: Who asked you to spend it. Don't give such crap. You spent it for showing off. And you want your parents-in-law to pay for it.)
  • That’s why I preferred an arrange marriage. Otherwise, I would have gone for a love marriage. (Answer: Greed is not restricted to arrange marriage or love marriage. No girl would have loved you when you had so much greed.)
  • My wife will not demand her share from her parents' property. Dowry is a form of that share. (Answer: Rather you don't take it as dowry and ask your wife to legally demand for her share of property.)
  • I wanted to start a business. This was like the capital amount. It is for their daughter only. (Answer: Wait. Your son-in-law will ask you for the same. Save for the capital amount of your future son-in-law's business.)
  • This is a tradition. We need to follow it. (I am sure you wouldn't have followed the tradition if it was inconvenient to you. You need not follow the age-old traditions that has no relevence in today's time.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Glimpses of Berhampur Thakurani Jatra (Fair)



A man impersonating a tree




The Rath (chariot) of Hari Arjun


The Kalakunj (art piece) of Basudeva carrying Lord Krishna

A musical group formed by all visually impaired members

A man impersonating Sai Baba


The Rath of Goddess Kanakdurga


The Rath of Lord Shiva


People appreciating the art piece of Goddess Kali


The Kalakunj (art piece) of Goddess Kali


The Rath of Lord Sri Narayan

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Confused State

As usual the morning and the evening are
As usual the day and the night are
Something is missing today, but
Something is perplexing today, but

I am searching for something..
Or, I am searching for someone.
I must find something today..
Or someone must find me today!

I am there where I should be..
Or, I was there where I should be.
I am forgetting myself today!
I am discovering myself today!

I am feeling restless..
Or, I am just motionless.
The emptiness is biting me today.
My patience is giving in today.

As usual the morning and the evening are
As usual the day and the night are
Something is missing today, but
Something is perplexing today, but