Tuesday, March 29, 2011

India vs Pakistan- Since 1947

Okay people this is it! India will finally face Pakistan in the semi-finals. I have been waiting for this day since the quarter finals. This is the moment when the entire of the nation, will leave everything they are doing and will be glued to the television. This is not a match this is war!
We have been in war like situations with Pakistan since the time of their independence. So how do you expect them to spare us in Cricket. It is a Tom and Jerry chase but is a lot less pleasant. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Pakistan is the Pakistani guest we are taking care of at our country's cost. Yes, our dear Ajmal Kasab, my blood boils when I hear that name. I am sorry I am changing my topic here from less serious India vs Pakistan to a lot more serious an issue.
What had basically been revealed since the Mumbai terror attacks in terms of international relations and peace-keeping seemed to be following a well-decided and manipulated script. Do I call it match-fixing here too? India had clear evidence and verified of Pakistani involvement. The US recognized this fact and held on Pakistan's neck to do something about the terrorists being trained within its borders and surviving on their land at the cost of others’ lives, all over world. The UN had immediately called for some effective action. The Pakistanis had commenced a figurative response by immediately placing a terrorist leader under house arrest and banning that organisation. Namesake, I say. Meanwhile, the media and other parts of the powerful authority in India deny involvement in the attack or its grounding, blaming the Indians or Americans themselves. Media wants to show a different angle to everything. Only if they could show a something credible. I would have broken into their studio if they would have made a Sansani out of this.
Anyway, India’s external affairs minister kept up playing the war of words. Luckily, there was no sign of a military report or it would have been extremely risky for him to get through such situation. I personally think it achieved little or nothing. The openness of Pakistani involvement this time also had seemed to reduced American tendencies to link such events to the need for tackling the Kashmir issue. Maybe it was never the Kashmir issue. They just want to kill and do harm. In fact, there is nothing the US or UN or anyone else can do anything about the Kashmir issue, so they were off doing nothing - except perhaps encouraging the in-house parties concerned, to work things out directly. And those parties’ best approach was to preserve the territorial status and to try and normalize daily life hence improving the quality and frequency of interactions across the border.
Interestingly, the Babri Masjid destruction and the post-Godhra massacres seem to have marked in the motivation of the terrorists. We have a lot of them surviving in our own country, masked and pretty much active. There is a lesson here for certain extremists and nationalists within our country. Besides abusing human rights, their calculative and even fierce actions have contributed to increase and prolong conflict internally and internationally. Unfortunately, the viciousness can be confused with capacity, potency and strength. Our government’s security failure made it look even weaker than it had appeared so far. But I think they would have been more concerned about the general elections that were coming up at that time. People certainly started to believe ‘No security, No tax.’ policy and government needed to act really fast and smart to avoid such situations because the public was not wrong, isn’t it?
Military conflict might have helped the current government get re-elected, but the price that the nation would have to pay would be enormous. Why is it so difficult to understand that it is not about the reputation of the government under which this happened. It is about the lives of the martyrs that were sacrificed as a price? The most the home minister could do was to launch a plan for internal security and services. How well it is implemented yet remains to be seen. We still live in terror. Some 20 tickets for this Ind vs Pak match and the finals are already assumed to be in hands of these terrorists. Only if they could have paid more attention to this rather than arranging for VIP treatment for our politicians and celebrities. These politicians themselves have sicked out on all the resources that could have been used to assure people's security. This shows that they do not really care about the protection of general citizens.
Another part of blood sucking society is our nature of journalism. The terrorists attacked the upper middle class and elite, the terrorists hence receiving much more media attention, triggering outrage. Analysts state that the terrorists seemed to had the same style of attack as the New York attacks. Bombings that killed the masses did not have quite the same effect. The class stimulated or spurred in this manner may bring about some structural changes, hopefully in the direction of greater government responsibility and standards of act, but without letting go democratic freedoms. Have we really changed after this incident as responsible citizens?
Do we take interest in participating more in government, by creating an agenda for developing civil society, which remains stunted in India, and by expanding their own ranks through promoting inclusive economic growth.
My revenge on these monsters is to live happily, no matter what. Ultimately, for India, living healthy and fine will be the best payback on the criminals who promote, plan and carry out terror attacks. Living well means, striving for a just and prosperous society. India must have no more state sponsored violence against its own citizen from own group. So living well also means improving democracy and human rights in the country not restricting them. It should also mean putting India’s budding growth miracle on the firmer long run footing. India has to show the Pakistani people what is possible in politics and economics, if that nation is to work towards a government that serves its interests better.
The terror attacks came at a particularly bad time for our economy, with the global economic condition worsening day by day. Thus, improving security is now an economic policy and challenge as well. More conservative Indian economic policy reactions have been encouraging lately. It was a time of financial down fall for the country. We faced a different type of economic crisis than in 1991, but we have a similar opportunity to introduce further economic reforms, particularly with respect to financial growth of Indian industries –that require structural reforms that are already on the policy agenda, and desperately needed. How far have we succeeded in doing so? God knows. Kasab still lives on out hard earned money and we want to be fair to everyone. I am secretly proud of the action that we have taken because this is the only difference between us and them.
The strategic prize for India is still its tryst with destiny: prosperity along with democracy. That goal must not be derailed by 26/11.
Right now I just want India to send these buggers back to their country and win the world cup final! I am all set to cheer India and lot of motivational songs are running in my mind. Three cheers to our humbleness, consistently and strength. India! India!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Enjoy a Happy and Safe Holi!

Happy Holi everyone! Today when everyone is playing with colours outside, I am hiding in the house like a sissy,writing this blog and playing with words here. From past few days what I can hear about is 'Holi kab hai? Kab hai Holi?' Well, finally its today and people will make the most of it!
Children especially enjoy this festival a lot. There are colours and water and sweets to their disposal. They are free to do all kinds of mischief they want to. I can see all the children walking on the streets armed with their favourite Pichkaris (water guns) filled with coloured water. And another thing that I can see is their love for the festival and their love for the people whom they are playing Holi with. Children take this festival in the true spirit.
Now that we are talking about Holi, let us not forget its spiritual importance. Holi is an occasion when we celebrate the victory of truth over evil. Holika, a woman who had a boon, due to which no fire could burn her, tried to kill Bhakt Prahlad following her brother Hiranya Kashyapu's orders. She was burned to ashes but no fire could touch Prahlad. This shows that no amount of evil can defeat the truth.
Now that we are talking about evil, it reminds me that it has been on a constant rise and getting out of hand. Surprisingly, we see such anti-social behaviour by adults during the very festival. Maximum number of rape, assault and misbehaviour cases have been registered on the day of Holi. People have taken the spirit of this festival is a wrong way. They think they are free to do whatever they wish and it will be over-looked. They believe that their behaviour will be masked behind their coloured faces. Gang of hooligans riding on their bikes on the empty roads make me stay at home on this day.
Especially, in a city like Mumbai, cases of foul play, misbehaviour, rash driving is rising year by year. There is no restriction on these people and people tend to over-do everything and take for granted the freedom they have. Just as I write this blog I can hear uncontrolled "brrroooommm brrroommm" on the road.
Some people take this festival as an opportunity to harm people whom they don't like. They throw eggs, water balloons and other rotten vegetables or put them in mud. Really? Is this what Holi is about? If yes, I am glad that I never played Holi.
Yes, I have never played Holi is life. I am afraid of colours and water and the chemicals reacting on my skin. I became little too paranoid after my brother got hurt badly in his eye when someone hit him with the Pichkari. He could have lost his eye if it would have hit the wrong nerve. :( In addition to it, I hate wasting water. But I think I have better ways to celebrate this occassion. We make pooranpolis and special dishes at home. Last year, we visited an orphanage with other friends and distributed chocolates and filled colours and brightness in their hearts! This year Mom broke her hand and I am planning to paint her plaster.. hehe.. Just kidding! But 'Mann ki Holi' is what I believe in. I just want to appeal to all my friends, please re-consider your Holi plans. Do something eco-friendly. Do not waste water. Spread some smile and brightness. Play but play safe. I hope you all know, you might land in jail for throwing water balloons on unknown people. Try and avoid harmful colours and do not have an intention of harming others. Make sure that whatever you do, it doesn't hurt anyone. Teach the same to you children, so that they grow with these values. Make it a 'Happy' Holi in true and right sense.
Have a rocking and safe Holi everyone!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Real Friends And Sycophants

Have you ever noticed that whenever a film is going to be released, the preview is first shown to the friends of the director, actors and producer of the film? And they all come out applauding and praising the film and its making. If the public love it, then it’s well and good. But many a times the public reject it and the producer keeps on wondering what went wrong because everyone who saw the movie at the preview found it ‘mind- blowing’. Many filmmakers (or artists or writers) complain when the public find their creation objectionable or the critics detest it. They also scratch their heads thinking why their friends never warned them about it and that it was not a good piece of work. 
This is one of the hazards of the deal. No one wants to become unpopular, so they don’t express their true opinions to the originator. But don’t you think if they had really been his true friends, they would have gently busted the fact to him and maybe helped to reclaim or alter his creation. Well, it is justified why no one likes to point his or her friend’s mistake in his conception or piece of work. There are obviously some people around who don’t expect and accept the opinions that are not in the favour of their work. Telling them the truth would mean ending up the friendship for once and forever.
After all the effort on the piece is done and ready to display you do get honest response and reaction at times, may it be a film or a painting on the canvas. The sneak-peek has saved so many writers from publishing articles which without an honest opinion would have miserably failed. At times people encourage sycophants and then face the music. This syndrome can be easily related to the childhood short story where the king felt he is wearing the most valuable clothes on the earth which the tailor fooled the king saying it could not be seen by him (invisible to the king alone). And when he asked opinions from the courtiers they said that it was incredible even there were no clothes on the king. They did not point out that he was half naked. Why? They feared the king.
If you think only big time artists or filmmakers or other such personalities love to listen to the praises then you are wrong. Well we find such people in our daily lives too. And there are no fewer sycophants surrounding you. People love to live in a world where nothing can go wrong and one will get only praises even if they wear shabby looking outfits or get the most hideous hair cut ever done or does fashion that doesn’t even suit them.
It takes a real friend to tell someone that he or she has put on some kilos or those expensive accessories that she bought yesterday doesn’t suit her and they are worthless and the new pair of denims are awful or the piece of literature that he/she has written sucks. But then it takes a real friend to accept these opinions too and understand that they are not being criticised out of callousness or resentment but it was done to save him from further distress or torment. Blunt and tactless people are often eschewed or ignored and have no friends, when actually such people in friend’s circle are assets. They really don’t care about being popular with you nor do they expect you to give good but wrong opinions about the next time they’re going to make something. They call a pin a pin. They don’t call it sword. Look around you. Do you remember the friend who last time criticised your way of writing poems? Have you broken up your friendship for this reason? Then you have made the biggest mistake. When one is criticised he should not feel he is worthless. Rather take help of a friend and improve. So what are you waiting for? Keep all such friends close to you and advance.