Archive for April, 2009

When evil forces step in

Ever since independence India has been making steady progress on all fronts. It has been a smooth and silent revolution made possible by the guarantees enshrined in the Indian constitution. The country can take pride in the tremendous progress it has achieved in education and food production. Those who have been socially and economically backward began to occupy top posts. Reservations in education and in employment are still based on castes, even though social backwardness is a thing of the past; and the ones who are neglected are the so called forward caste, especially the poor among them.

 

The benefits of socioeconomic progress has reached every nook and corner, but contrary to actual positions some vested interests and political extremists are sowing the seeds of aggression and violence in tribal areas and the result is that these innocent people are taking to the streets at the drop of a hat and thereby depriving themselves of the opportunities to come up in life. If steps are not taken to liberate them from the clutches of extremists it will be back to square one.

Obesity

obesity

India's next Prime minister

indias-next-pm

Certain TV gimmicks

I like watching TV programs but I am not a couch potato. The shows I watch regularly are a couple of TV serials, comedy shows, favorite film songs, cricket matches, and of course, the news channels just to keep myself abreast of the latest developments. 

 

Since most of the news channels are 24/7 by nature, you can’t expect fresh items all the time. Sometimes it is interesting to watch the young media persons extracting the views of the VIPs on a particular event and we feel a bit embarrassed or overjoyed when the VIP struggles for words—depending on who that VIP is. 

 

But I have my own reservations about those exquisite interviews conducted by certain senior journalists. The persons interviewed are invariably some top ranking politician and it is made to appear that it is a friendly chat but very soon we realize that we are watching a one man show. The person interviewed hardly gets a chance to express his views in a calm and collected way. He is not allowed to complete his answer, he feels so uncomfortable that he blurts out something. The next day that part of the answer hits the headline!

The irony of caste-based reservation in India

The irony of caste-based reservation in India

The irony of caste-based reservation in India

In defense of open air salesmen

India is one of the countries where you can see the peaceful coexistence of the old and the ultra modern; more so in business. On the one hand, you have five star hotels, huge malls, expensive restaurants and so on, and on the other you come across innumerable petty shops and hawkers who earn their livelihood by selling all sorts of items ranging from ready made clothes to items like pen, torch, tooth powder etc at incredibly low prices. On top of these, you have mobile tea shops too.

 

At times, the authorities drive them away since they cause some inconvenience to pedestrians; but I do feel they should be permitted to carry on their foot path business, mainly because these self appointed people solve the unemployment problem to a great extent and are indirectly instrumental in holding the price line!

Summer & Recession

a blessing in disguise

a blessing in disguise

A Blessing in Disguise!

Knowledge is power….

Books, these days, seldom find a place in the shopping list of people. On holidays textile shops are crowded, fancy items sell like hot cakes, salesmen working in shops selling kitchenware have a tough time answering the queries of shoppers. Then the usual window shopping at jewelry shops. But if by any chance you are a book lover you can step into any book shop at any time; you have all the time in the world to choose the books you want. You won’t be pushed around or harassed by salesmen. The only problem is to wake up the yawning cashier while making the payment.

 

It does not mean that people do not read books. They do once in a while but someone has to lend them. They don’t mind spending lavishly on any items but when it comes to books or even newspapers they look the other way.

 

Even the teachers do not encourage the students to go beyond the textbooks. The job oriented approach is making them so matter of fact that they are blissfully ignorant of several issues that determine the fate of the world.

Down the memory lane….

I am in the habit of fishing out old letters, bills, newspaper cuttings etc from an old trunk mainly to refresh my memories. Most of the old letters were addressed to my father mainly from his younger brother and his father written in the 30s or early 40s. A letter from my paternal uncle says, “You know father has been fishing in the matrimonial waters and I think he has caught a bright fish for me…” As interesting as his language was, the fact that he was just 18 years old is proof that people got married when they were in their teens. Another one says that he was immediately in need of 2 rupees towards his hostel fee! Then there are old receipts for monthly bills for breakfast, lunch and supper paid by me in the 70s. The amount was below 100 rupees per month, which would be just sufficient for just two days today.

 

But don’t come to the conclusion that the cost of living was very less in those days, for the salary was 30 times less than what we get now!

Hats off to the politicians!

There is a general tendency to criticize the politicians for anything and everything. I must admit that I am one among the critics. If anything goes wrong all the accusing fingers turn against some politicians. Of course, they make our task easier by reacting quickly to some unpleasant incidents to pin down their counterparts or rival parties.

 

Since democratic form of government is said to be superior to any other form of government politicians play a vital role in safeguarding the supremacy of democracy. We have to bear in mind that the toughest job of a senior politician is to keep the flock together. Call them communal, corrupt or power crazy; they are not saints or holy men to expect nothing in return for their service.

 

My goodness, you cannot but admire the way they conduct themselves during the election time. From morning till night they have to be on the move, making speeches, collecting information about the rivals or preparing rejoinders to accusations. It is an uphill task indeed!