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, 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

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

10 Reasons Why Arvind Kejriwal Should Be Successful in Politics

Arvind Kejriwal, National Convenor of AAP
It's been more than four months since Arvind Kejriwal launched the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and more than six months since he announced of it. Lot of speculations have been published and telecast in the media about his political future. While we cannot just ignore the comments from the experts and the current situation in politics where a lot of money is required to contest elections, we cannot even deny the call of our hearts. Here is why my heart says why this anti-corruption crusader should be successful as a political leader:
  1. Arvind Kejriwal has been fighting against corruption and trying to introduce a system that will be able abolish corruption. He is advocating of creation of a system that will cleanse the political environment once and forever.
  2. Arvind Kejriwal advocates of making our leaders more accountable. He has also inspired people to ask questions to their leaders. Accountability will definitely keep the leaders from wrong-doings.
  3. Arvind Kejriwal has brought back the sense of patriotism in Indians. He wants Indians to demonstrate a fighting spirit and not to surrender to the wrong-doings or evil-intentions of the political leaders.
  4. Arvind Kejriwal thinks that Indians are first class people with third class governance. He blames the governance of the country for its pitiable condition and not the people.
  5. Arvind Kejriwal demands decentralization of the decision making process. He wants people to decide what they want and the government to deliver accordingly rather than the latter assuming of what people want.
  6. In his search of freedom from corruption, Arvind Kejriwal never gave in to the odds he faced. He continued his fight even when his ideal Anna Hazare and his other comrades including Kiran Bedi parted ways with him. This shows his strength and his strong-belief and determination about what he is doing. He has practiced what Ravindranath Tagore said: Jodi Tor Dak Shune Keu Na Ase Tobe Ekla Cholo Re (If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone).
  7. Arvind Kejriwal believes in the principle “Be the change you want to see in the world”. He is honest himself, he has chosen honest people in his party, and he is challenging the other political parties to dare follow the same ideology.
  8. Arvind Kejriwal is against people who come to politics for the facilities such as car, bungalow, and other privileges that the politicians get. He urges the aspirants to come to politics for serving the society and to sacrifice these privileges.
  9. Arvind Kejriwal is an ordinary man. He doesn’t have any political background. If he becomes successful, he can inspire many ordinary but honest people to come and join politics, who otherwise thought it’s a dirty field. Therefore, politics is not going to be a playground of the goons, corrupt, rich, or the descendants of other politicians only.
  10. Above all, Arvind Kejriwal is fearless and has penetrated fearlessness in millions of people. His success will be a celebration of being fearless and standing against all odds in life.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Who is Guilty? The Woman, the Driver, or the Boy?

A beautiful woman – in her 20s, adorned with adequate jewelry perfectly matching her gracious sari – was talking to her friends in a local train. She seemed to be highly educated. While picking the last piece of the potato chips from the packet she was holding in her left hand, she mentioned that her house was getting renovated for Diwali (the festival of lights) celebrations. At the last word of her statement, she threw the wrapper out of the train through the window.

An auto-rickshaw driver asked my co-passenger to not to leave the biscuit wrappers inside the rickshaw. The passenger put the wrapper in his bag with an intention to throw it into a dustbin when he gets down. The driver then asked me whether I wanted to get down at the next stop and then he spit the betel nut, which he was chewing for a long time, to his right on the road.

On the bus stop, an educated boy asked me when the bus was supposed to arrive. He had his face neatly shaved and had also applied some perfume. I told him that even I was waiting for the bus for last half an hour. In disappointment, he casually kicked one empty soft drink can that had fallen out of the nearby dustbin. The can ended up finding itself on the middle of the otherwise spotless road.

Many-a-times, it seems we live in a time of selfishness when we care very much about our own impression but not that of the society, when anything told to us about the world outside that of ourselves merely seems cacophony to us. That might be the reason why the woman didn’t want the entire city but only her house to be clean for the festival, the auto-rickshaw driver didn’t want the roads to be as clean as his own vehicle, and the handsome, presentable boy didn’t want the road to look as good and presentable as he looked.

Cursing these three people while walking home, I started to search for a chocolate in my pocket. Luckily, I found one, which I unwrapped and put in my mouth. My eyes were wandering to find a dustbin where I can put the wrapper. I didn’t find any in the vicinity. Hence, I started walking while holding the wrapper in my hand with an intention to throw it wherever I find a dustbin. I had already walked for 200 meters and hadn’t found a single dustbin on the road though the road was full of garbage lying here and there. Suddenly, my hand hit my body and the wrapper I was holding fell down on the road. Did I consider picking it up again? No. How does it matter? One more wrapper on the ugly road wouldn’t make a difference to its appearance, I thought. And then, I moved on.

As I reached home, I realized that those three individuals were not at fault completely. They were merely reacting naturally to the conditions they were put into. The woman didn’t find a single dustbin in the train, the auto-rickshaw driver found the road worth spitting, and the boy thought the road would be a better place for the can than where he was standing. Everything in its present shape or condition is prepared to face its own destiny. Even a street dog looks for a pole to address the nature’s call. People who spit on the dirty roads don’t behave in the same way with the posh malls they visit. Therefore, it is time to desperately demand for infrastructure that deserve better behavior from the society; at the same time let’s encourage the society to respect whatever the little we have and not to make it uglier. And as they say, we need to be the change we want to see in the world.