Showing posts with label Mumbai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mumbai. Show all posts

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Public Hooliganism In India In The Name Of Democracy

How long will we keep tolerating public hooliganism in the name of democracy? Isn’t it high time we understood that it is a disease that should simply be wiped out?

Just the other day a huge group of so-called “common people” created mayhem in the Hathras station, by putting five bogies of the Mahananda Express into fire. And the reason for their ire? Well, they were upset with the fact that a number of important trains do not stop at Hathras station. OK, there might have been some validity in their grievance. And in that case they had 100 per cent right to express their grievance. But was putting the bogies into fire the only way to display their displeasure?

It was by god’s grace that all the passengers escaped unhurt. But there was strong possibility of casualties, that too in huge numbers. The people who orchestrated that heinous attack must realize (provided they have brain) that by coming up with such a shameful act they actually humiliated their own grievance, which was probably a valid one.

India is a democratic country, and people always have the right to protest against any government decision or policy that they disagree with. But that protest must be in accordance with the norms of the civilized society. We must remember that our Constitution has given us the right to express our displeasure, and not the right to stoop to the level of hooliganism.

Before we could digest the Hathras incident, there came the incident of MNS high-handedness against newly released movie “Wake Up Sid”. And what is their complaint against this nice movie starring the two talented young bloods of Bollywood - Ranbir Kapoor and Kankona Sen Sharma? That in the movie the city Mumbai has been referred to as Bombay. Really, what a huge offense. What a terrible attack on the “Marathi sentiment”. No wonder, the dedicated MNS workers – the self-styled custodians of Marathi Manoos – immediately plunged into action by disrupting the screening of the movie. And eventually the producer, a film personality of the stature of Karan Johor, had to kowtow before them, “apologizing” for the “grave offense” that he has committed.

It is high time that we became strict of all these nonsense in the name of democracy and freedom of expression. 60 years have passed. India is no more a young democracy. Now it must learn how to behave like a matured democracy.

Finally, a message for Raj Thakre. Raj, please stop all your hooliganism in the name of safeguarding the so-called Marathi Manoos. The Marathi community is an educated and cultured community, which has produced so many respected personalities. Hooligans like you and your followers cannot be their true representatives. So please stop embarrassing them.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attack – The positive and negative awakenings

The devastating terror attack in Mumbai resulted in both positive and negative awakenings.

First, the positive awakenings

This attack gave us an opportunity to know about the excellence and skills of our security personnel, especially the marine commandos and the commandos of the famed NSG (National Security Guards). The adeptness with which they have handled the situation has boosted our confidence and faith on them to no extent. We now know for sure that our commandos are among the best in the world.

This terror attack also gave us a chance to know that our country still has brave and courageous people like Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar, Major Unnikrishnan and Gajendra Singh, who can unhesitatingly lay down their lives for the sake of their motherland. Not that we ever had any doubt about the existence of such people in India. We have witnessed the selfless supreme sacrifices made by a host of young soldiers at the time of Kargil war. And even now, almost every other day we get the news of brave Indian soldiers laying down their lives in the border areas while fighting terrorist elements. However, the martyrdom of the security personnel handling Mumbai terror attack has inspired the Indian youth in a significant manner, encouraging them to play whatever roles they can play for the service of their great motherland.

Now, the negative awakenings –

The incident has highlighted serious lapses in the Indian intelligence network, apart from bringing into light flaws in the functioning of the Indian Coast Guard.

Hopefully the concerned agencies will undertake a thorough assessment of their infrastructure and functioning style, identify the loopholes and rooms for improvements, and address the same. Good luck to them.

The incident has also highlighted, for the umpteenth time, the extreme inefficiency of our honourable Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil. That nation is really cursed where the responsibility of internal security is in the hands of incompetent persons like Shivraj Patil and Prakash Jaiswal, who so perfectly exemplify the phrase “Good For Nothing”.

Photo Courtesy -

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shame On Raj Thackeray!

No! The heading is wrong. Actually it should have been “Shame On Us!" Why? Because politicians like Raj Thackeray have not emerged from nowhere. It is we, the common people of India who have made them leaders.

It is a common habit of the Indian mass to criticize their political leaders, while we tend to forget that it is we ourselves who bring these so called leaders into the corridors of power. India is not a military dictatorship where the people are forced to accept the leadership of the dictator who has usurped the power. Rather, India is a democracy where we have the full freedom to choose our leaders. And therefore we must accept the responsibility of all the nuisance (corruption, malpractice, misgovernance, etc) created by a leader who has been elected by us.

So instead of criticizing all these leaders whom we accuse of making our life hell, it is time we woke up and took our democratic rights seriously, so that we are able to elect people who worth our confidence. India is a matured democracy, buddies. And we must learn how to behave like the citizens of a matured democracy.

What has happened in Mumbai is actually a boon in disguise, as it has given us another opportunity to wake up from our slumber. Hope we will now start learning how to behave like a matured electorate.

Photo courtesy :

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mumbai (India) Woman Deserted By Husband For Giving Birth To Female Child

India might have established herself as a booming economy, with her educated citizens having all the “right credentials” like tech savvy lifestyle, access to world’s best consumer products, etc. But it is highly doubtful whether economic progress can be interpreted as a symbol of social progress, as well. It is this doubt that struck my mind after I came across this news at, the news web site of India’s prominent news channel NDTV 24x7 -

Woman rues family's disdain for daughters

A mother of two children was recently thrown out of her home because her husband and his family wanted a son.''I am sitting outside. Please let me come in,'' said Ramila Tated.Ramila Tated was sitting outside her own home, pleading to be let inside, after she was thrown out along with her two daughters. She had to spend Saturday night on the steps outside her house. Ramila's husband Shailesh and his family, who own a jewellery store, threw her out because they wanted male children.So much so that after the first girl was born Ramila was forced to go through abortions twice, as the illegally done ultrasound report showed she was expecting girls.''My husband's family came over once after I had a minor fight with my husband. They tortured hours. My father-in-law beat me up and even set me on fire but I managed to escape,'' said Ramila Tated.But when on February 11 she delivered another baby girl, her husband left the house and even threatened divorce.On Saturday night several people walked into Ramila's house and showed her out, forcing her to seek help from the police.''She was being tortured physically and mentally since her marriage in 2004. There is also a case of harassment due to dowry demands,'' said D P Jhende, Police Inspector.The Dahisar Police has also registered a case of dowry harassment after Ramila's parents were told to give 5 lakh rupees for bringing up the first daughter.While Ramila's husband and brother-in-law Rajesh have been arrested, the police is also looking for the two doctors from KK Hospital and Ameen Hospital, who revealed the sex of the child before birth.

The news just left me shocked and horrified. Is it 2008, or 1908? What a shame that India is still experiencing incidents like this, that too in areas adjacent to metro cities and not only in remote villages.

It is undoubtedly true that the Indian government is doing a lot for strengthening the national economy, otherwise the Indian economy would not have achieved what it has achieved so far. But shouldn’t it show the same level of sincerity and effort for the social development of the country, as well? How can it be accepted that even at this age we have families where a female child is considered to be a liability (and not asset), and the “accused mother” is thrown out of the family as a “punishment” for what she has done.

Agreed, the government has launched a battery of social awareness advertisements, trying to teach the Indian mass about the equality of male and female children. I personally have often come across such ads in TV, apart from finding a lot of them in billboards in various parts of various Indian cities and towns.

But has the government ever bothered to check whether its communication efforts in this regard have been effective or not? Has there been any “impact analysis” of all these mass awareness programs? I am not privy to the government’s internal affairs, and I doubt whether I have any right to make any remark. But frankly speaking, I strongly doubt whether the government at all bothers about the success of its social responsibility ads. Otherwise such incidents would have ended long back.

The government should seriously analyse its communication strategies as far as mass awareness campaigns on gender equality are concerned. While going for an ad or any other communication method, it should first check whether the communication channel it has selected is at all effective as far as the target audience it is trying to communicate with is concerned.

For example, we all know that this social bias against female children is predominantly found among the lower strata of the Indian society. And a huge section of these people are illiterate. And if that is the case, then what is the use of crafting such communication efforts which are understandable only to the literate people? For example, if the government is trying to communicate with a section which is mainly illiterate, then it is purely meaningless to come up with billboard ads. They will certainly send this message to the educated and elite section of the Indian society that the government is highly worried about the social bias against women. But the message will remain inaccessible to the intended target audience.

The same can be said about such ads published in print media, as news paper is also inaccessible to the illiterate people.

And the same can be said about the ads in electronic media, like TV. They are still better, as these ads contain small dramas, through which this message is sent to the target audience that there should be equal treatment for children of both the sexes. And TV’s eligibility as a communication channel is beyond doubt, as it has become a household item even in the backward regions of the country.

But the way these TV ads are prepared, do they really sensitize people? I am not a communication expert. But what I feel, these ads reflect a very lukewarm attitude. This can be understood from this fact that all of these ads are of the same nature and type, without any effort to make them more innovative and effective. It will be nice if the Indian government thinks about how to make these ads more result oriented.

The government can also go for several other methods, like sending celebrities (film stars, sportspeople, etc.) to those so-called lower strata people, to talk to them directly on this issue. These celebrities are often regarded as demi-gods by the illiterate and semi-literate mass, and the government might get good results by sending social messages to the target audience through these celebrities. In fact, the government is already using such celebrities in some of the ads in electronic and other media.

Sometimes the government can also take the help of religious personalities. For example, if it is found that a particular religious personality has a huge fan following in a certain area, then that person can be used to spread such valuable social message among people of that area.

At the end of the day, I just want to make this appeal to the Indian government that it should be as serious in making the Indian mass socially educated as it has been in strengthening the Indian economy. The Indian mass has witnessed the success of its government in developing the Indian economy, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Now the mass awaits equal success from its government in social development initiatives, successfully addressing all the social evils that the country still suffers from.