|In Service Of Corporates & Hindutva|
|Modi's disastrous first year|
|When first-time MP Narendra Modi arrived in New Delhi to be sworn in as India's Prime Minister, he flew in a private aircraft belonging to the Adani Group, although he could have taken a commercial flight or hired a chartered plane. On landing, Mr Modi was greeted raucously with the slogan Har Har Modi, patterned on communal-military lines.
The two events showed where Prime Minister Modi's loyalties and priorities would lie: with Big Business and Hindutva, both of which he had served with pious zeal in Gujarat since the anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002 and through the many crony-capitalist deals he cut later.
Over the past year, he has showered favours on both constituencies, and antagonised many classes and groups, including some who voted for him out of the naive belief that he would bri...|
|To be a woman, landless and living on the streets|
|On the heels of the conviction of Hindi film actor Salman Khan in the 2002 hit-and-run case, one of the most unsavoury reactions to hit the media was something to this effect - 'roads are meant for cars and dogs, not for people sleeping on them…' Although insensitive, this comment at once highlights the lives and struggles of the millions who live on the streets across urban India.
Irrespective of why and how they start living in the open, for women particularly each day on the streets is a challenge - whether it is in cooking a meal by the roadside, finding a place to bathe or fending off sexual predators. Survival in the absence of any tangible assets like a home, land or cattle is a huge challenge, but the ordeal can get really unbearable for single women who are either unmarried, aba...|
|Who cares for the Rohingyas?|
|"We fishermen have a code," an Indonesian fisherman by the name of Ridwan told Al Jazeera. "At sea you are all brothers and sisters. So if someone is asking for help, we have an obligation to help without looking at race, religion or anything."
The illiterate, impoverished Indonesian fishermen who rushed to rescue more than 400 Rohingya refugees floating in the Straits of Malacca clearly have more humanity and generosity of spirit than the powerful governments in the region and the international community with all the resources and powers at their disposal.
The fishermen have a code. That at sea you are all brothers and sisters and we have an obligation to help each other. How simple and profound -- as all truth is. What about the international community though? Doesn't it have any co...|
|My car stared angrily at me as I opened the garage door,"Garages are meant for cars and cars only!" said my car angrily."But what does your garage have?"
"You!" I said innocently.
"Look inside your garage!" shouted my car angrily, "the whole of last night I was cramped against that silly cot which went on sliding onto me."
"That's my old baby cot," I said stubbornly.
"And what is it doing in my garage?" asked the car, "waiting for your second childhood? Well I don't think it need wait any longer, you're already into it master and you may as well take it upstairs into your bedroom! Oh how cute you'd look in it. Would you like a plastic doll hanging over you master? Or maybe a little duck?"
"That's enough," I said sternly.
"Oh no it isn't," said my car, "there's more to say. Why do yo...|
|AAP in power: 100* not out|
|By Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada|
|They say that 'With great power comes great responsibility'. But in a democracy, 'With great mandate, comes a great responsibility'. The unprecedented mandate given to the Aam Aadmi Party in the recent Delhi elections meant that expectations of Delhi's citizens from the 'new kid on the block' were sky high. Now with the Delhi Government's 100 day anniversary overlapping with one year anniversary of the Modi Government at the centre, many political pundits have taken out their yellow legal pads and drawn a point by point comparison of the performance showed by the respective Governments.
It is amusing to note that even decades old political parties fail to get the kind of scrutiny offered to AAP ever since its inception. The AAP government in Delhi remains the most reported state Governm...|
|Every now and then something happens in the country and India debates the topic of euthanasia or the right to die. This time it is the death of the nurse Aruna, raped forty two years ago, and how her whole life as a comatose was a living death.
However, the right to kill, or die, I feel is based on the value we place on life itself, and at the moment in our country it is near nil!
Only when we value life will we allow death in the rarest of rare cases, in fact only then should we even debate this topic.
I can imagine what proportions it will reach in our country, because I know for a fact the callous attitude we have for death. "Sir," says the resident doctor at a government hospital, "We have run out of drugs for the patient in ward 3."
"Start euthanasia immediately," says his senior...|
|Pears from Willows!|
|The present rulers due to dire urgency seem to be trying to get Pears from the Willow trees!|
|There is a popular Kashmiri proverb, "Akha gomut heeri, weeri mangaan tangg", which means in dire necessity and helplessness one asks for pears from a willow tree! This sums up the present situation of the ruling set up in the state. There is a similar expression in English known as climbing the wrong tree. The expression is often used to describe people who discover after sometime that the real goals are still elusive because they have been following a wrong track. People get into jobs, careers, businesses and relationships to achieve some purpose in life by taking a certain course which seemed the right idea at a particular time. However, they suddenly start discovering that the path taken is not the right one. It is said that if one discovers that he is climbing the wrong tree, the bes...|
|Drones, drivers and swear words..!|
|Call me old fashioned, but somehow the idea of drones, driverless cars, pilotless planes and such don't appeal to me. I was explaining this to the wife who being more progressive and scientific than I am wondered whether I wasfromthe middle or dark ages.
"What's so bad of having a car without a driver?" she asked.
"You know how I drive, " I explained to her, "Obeying all the rules and traffic signals!"
"Really?" asked the wife, "So what's that got to do with driverless car?"
"It spoils my full driving experience!" I said, "Imagine, I'm at a traffic signal, waiting for the red to turn to green and suddenly a car shoots through the opposite red light straight to me?"
"And it's a driverless car?" asked the wife innocently.
"Yeah, it's a driverless car! So I yell at the driver. All my d...|
|India going big on dirty coal|
|"Just as a worker celebrating their 65th birthday can settle into a more sedate lifestyle while they look back on past achievements, we argue that thermal coal has reached its retirement age." -
India is the world's second-largest coal consumer overtaking Japan as the world's second-largest importer. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal emphasised that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has accorded a top priority to coal and generation of power. Narendra Taneja, energy spokesperson of BJP, has claimed that coal and gas will remain the mainstay of the country's economy for the next 50-60 years. According to trade experts India is at the center of the coal market now that Chinese demand is slowing down. Indian buyers are taking advantage of low coal prices, which h...|
|The wife and the GPS man..!|
|The wife didn't look happy when she announced there was somebody at the door, "He says he's the GPS man!" said the wife.
"Welcome, welcome!" I said to the salesman as he brought me the Global Positioning System I'd ordered for my car.
"You never say welcome, welcome like that to me!" muttered the wife glaring at the salesman and not inviting him to sit down.
"Sit down!" I said, "now tell me about the system!"
"You will never get lost once you install this system!" said the GPS man.
'Get lost!" muttered the wife.
"She is thrilled with the system!" I said quickly, "Aren't you thrilled with the system dear?" I asked the wife sternly.
"Why do you want to change the present system?" asked the wife looking at me, arms akimbo.
"I didn't know you already have one!" said th...|
|Confusing signals in J&K|
|THE newly formed PDP-BJP government in Indian Jammu & Kashmir started with a big bang. On the very first day as chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, set the cat among the pigeons by thanking the Hurriyat Conference, militants and Pakistan for allowing a smooth conduct of elections.
This greatly rankled TV pundits and the right-wing in New Delhi. There were embarrassed faces in the BJP and the Twitter outrage-brigade felt equally mortified. Realising the import of his inaugural statement as a freshly minted chief minister, Mufti Sayeed - ever a canny politician - let it be known that this was an effort towards building bridges along the political fault line in Kashmir.
Shortly afterwards the government released Masrat Alam, a pro-freedom leader known for his ingenuity in organising st...|
|Relationships and Trees..!|
|How often we go through life disappointed or amazed by friends who come into our lives either for the whole length or for awhile. I read this article which must have either been written by a psychologist with a green thumb, because I did find his views very meaningful and insightful and am sure you will too:
Says the author who's name isn't mentioned in the article,
" I have this TREE ANALOGY when I think of People in my life, be it friends, family, acquaintances, employees, co-workers, whomever...They are all placed inside what I call a TREE TEST It goes like this :-
Some people come into your life and they are like leaves on a tree. They are only there for a season. You can't depend on them or count on them because they are weak and only there to give you shade. Like lea...|
|Media Jingoism Alienates Nepalis|
|Rise of 'The Ugly Indian'?|
|Barely two weeks after a major earthquake which killed more than 8,000 people, Nepal suffered a powerful aftershock, adding to its misery and killing over 100 people. More than 3.5 million people are still in need of food assistance; 479,000 houses have been destroyed and 263,000 damaged; and only five percent of the $415 million aid Nepal needs has reached it. Given the extensive destruction and caving in of hill roads, it has been near-impossible to reach relief material to those in dire need.
The aftershock presents India with a real test of demonstrating its solidarity with Nepal, but it's a sure bet that India won't rise to the challenge. Operation Maitri, the post-April 25 rescue effort by the National Disaster Response Force which the Indian media hyped up, has left a bitter taste...|
|Your Healing Touch..!|
|I'd never been one to visit the sick and always felt my wife, a doctor did enough visiting at her hospital for both of us; but this time I had to go. He was an old man, well into his eighties and I had always been particularly fond of him. I entered his room in the hospital and found him bent with his back to me doing something to his leg. I walked up and gently touched him, "Bob," he said, "my leg hurts!"
It was an old leg, wrinkled and gnarled. "It'll go away," I said and then watched him as he tried to massage it. I couldn't bear seeing him in pain any longer; I sat down, placed my hands on the part that hurt and slowly started pressing it. Suddenly I did not see the wrinkles nor the tired veins that accepted my touch. I massaged for a good fifteen minutes and when I looked up he had ...|