Friday, April 27, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

MCD polls... haah!

This is the election season in Delhi. And like every other time, all we get to see is bickering, manipulation, inflated expenses and high profile campaigning. What we really need is to address issues like these (see pic). This is a water-logged street of the national capital!

And this is just one pic of the sorry state of affairs! Roads are caving in, women are being raped, men are being murdered. Delhi has gone from bad to worse!

Years have passed but nothing has happened. Read somewhere that change is inevitable. Waiting to see that happen in reality...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Delhi and its weird mausam!

This is the summer season but have a look at these pictures. It looks like monsoon's already here!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jantar Mantar back to its ethereal self

Jantar Mantar is not happy. When I visited, it told me there is nobody to talk to because the police removed all the protesters, thanks to Commonwealth Games. The astronomical observatory, built by the king of Jaipur in 18th century, always saw a deluge of protesters all the time. Many of them had made it their permanent residence.

"Lekin ab sab saaf kar diya hai. Ab aap logon ko koi takleef nahi hogi (Now we have cleared the place of protesters. No more trouble now),” said a beaming policeman. And the shopkeepers are happy. "Our business was on decline as none of the visitors came to our stalls/eateries. They feared that the protesters, living here permanently, would rob them." They say the move was inevitable because “Jantar Mantar is very near to the Games office”.

On March 17, at 4 pm, the police came with some trucks, sealed all the exits, started grabbing the protesters and stuffed them in the trucks along with their belongings. By 9 pm, there was no protester at Jantar Mantar. "It just took them 5 hours to clear years of mess," said an eatery owner.

While the authorities and business establishments are celebrating the clean up operation, the protesters are devastated. One or two families/groups of them, who have nowhere to go, sit there quietly staring at torn posters and broken tents. They have nothing to say.

Some protesters may not have been genuine, but others sat there for a reason. Their demands were reasonable and they wanted the government to listen to them. But now, no more camping is allowed at the site. And all the protesters can do is wait.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Women's Bill: Less equality more politics

After 14 years and numerous proceedings of Parliament, the Women’s Reservation Bill cleared its first hurdle – when the Rajya Sabha passed it. But only after a lot of drama which even saw Chairman of the House and Vice President of the country being attacked by the leaders.

The government missed its date with the Bill on International Women’s Day, thanks to 'kill bill' Yadav troika – Lalu, Mulayam and Sharad Yadav. Sloganeering, ripped off mics, and torn papers were all that was left on Day 1 of the presentation of the Bill. And the Chairman of the House also had to go through humiliation; it had turned into a 'Hall Of Shame'. A jittery government too decided not to aggravate the tension and put the Bill on hold.

This led to some angry voices from the Opposition as well as allies who slammed the government for not doing its homework. So, a determined UPA government was back with the agenda in the Upper House the next day. It even ignored a threat to its stability. And it worked this time, though everyone was not happy. While UPA allies like Mamata Banerjee sulked over not been taken into confidence, Lalu and Mulayam confirmed they will formally write to President to withdraw support from the government.

But, is this Bill really going to help? Call me pessimist, but I believe reservation of all sorts is dangerous. I believe in achieving everything through hard work. If the government - or whoever - is promoting reservation, it is killing hard work, merit, and thereby excellence. Forget about Parliament. There’s reservation in education system which begins right after school. A meritorious student who is burning the midnight oil preparing for the entrance exam like engineering or medical, may lose his seat to those coming through reservation/quota system. And this may even mean no entry into on of the country’s premier institutes.

Moreover, if the student getting selected through reservation is a friend/colleague/classmate of the one who couldn’t make it through, it may strain their relationship and the effect may last for a lifetime.

And it was more than the betterment of women which led to the involvement of Sonia Gandhi in pushing the Bill through. It was sheer politics, and of course, her ego. By providing reservation to women in Parliament and state Assemblies, she and other politicians alike are undermining the achievements of women. Those who reached the helm of power, never needed reservation; even in the corporate world the women entrepreneurs who are among the most powerful persons, never reached there through reservation.

The point being raised by them is that women need equal status as men. According to me, every person is capable of reaching highest echelons of power and success without the aid of reservation. But for our netas, it's just another time for politics!

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