Friday, February 18, 2011

The world we don’t treat as ours

If 100 random people were to be asked the most important incident of the last decade they remember, I bet we’ll have more than ninety 9/11s for an answer. None of us can forget the news flash on our televisions of the collapsing World Trade Centers, one of the worst examples of terrorism ever seen. Seven years later, it was India’s turn to lose lives to terrorism. The 107-year-old Taj stood burning in front of our eyes.

Our world hasn’t given us a decade with many positive things to remember. The Iraq war, the battle of Tora Bora, the Israeli-Palistinian conflict that refuses to cease, the second Congo war, the Darfur civil war-- every decade promises to have its share of bloodshed. There was even the bizarre Virginia Tech massacre. With man going on such rampage, nature was not to be left far behind. It fought back with the gigantic tsunami.The last 10 years had their share of high-profile deaths too. Banazir bhutto’s assassination, Saddam Hussain’s fall, Yasser Arafat’s death, Ronald Reagan’s demise and the death of Pope John Paul II.

Then there were major changes in the news. We bid farewell to Kofi Annan, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Bill Clinton, and welcomed Ban-Ki-moon, Gordon Brown, Sarkozy and George Bush. Then the U.S. got its first African-American president. The Taliban government fell in Afghanistan, Sarah Palin became the first Republican woman vice-president and Hillary Clinton is the woman closest to U.S. presidency. Well, speaking of women, there were some in the news for different reasons—read Monica Lewinsky and Camilla Parker.

But there is one thing that refuses to change about the world— our lack of insensitivity that makes the poor of a country poorer, our greed for wealth that destroys natural resources and our quest for power that leads to lost lives. Do the nuclear tests in India and Pakistan indicate impending doom? How many more examples do we need to be convinced that conflicts and subsequent wars have taken more innocent lives than the lives of the powerful and the power-hungry? Rulers change but ruling seldom does. Countries behave like separate eco-systems. The world today refuses to share anything and ends up sharing a common problem—a growing number of people being denied the right to live.  No government whether it’s democracy, capitalism or dictatorship has the right to let a human being suffer.

The World Trade Center is being rebuilt, the Taj continues to stand in all its magnificence. But lost lives don’t come back. We want to redraw borders, acquire resources and conquer the world. And the stains of the blood of those who pay the price in this power-race, get washed away to make way for more in the next conflict.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Is politics democratic when the public is ignored?

In the wake of the governor-chief minister battle in Karnataka, what’s transpiring in the state is not the much-needed investigation of a multi-crore land scam, but a war of words between two individuals or at most, two political parties. It resembles a war of words between two 8-year-olds, in which the one who has the last word wins. And we have the central government waiting and watching like a patient parent, who’ll listen to both sides of the story and draw a conclusion. But there’s a distortion in this metaphor: Is there “another side” to this story?
Our reigning CM says he’ll fight the battle “legally and politically.” “Politically,” yes. That’s what we have been watching, reading and listening to ever since Mr. Bharadwaj issued the sanction. We have been receiving endless updates of the blame-game. But “legally”? With the evidence and the number of cases pitched against him mounting, Mr. Yedyurappa, with his kith and kin sitting on land lots worth Rs. 500 crore, has few chances of fighting it out legally. Well, he might have better chances illegally, if his conscience permits. Or else, the CM is confident that our long list of laws and its sections are not enough to nail him. Going by the velocity at which our law proceedings have advanced in the past, it’s difficult to prove him wrong. But with the evidence as concrete as the earth itself, is it so hard to unearth it?
No wonder, then, that the CM prefers the political route over the legal one. After all, he has a large number of followers who call themselves “protestors” and are specialized in burning buses and effigies the moment someone dares to even look their protector in the eye. Crores of public money in the hands of a government servant or acres of land under the feet of his family, doesn’t seem to bother this loyal lot, till they get a part of the booty.
And all that we, the unfortunate lot who committed the mistake of electing a government servant who forgot his duty was to safeguard public property as his own and not make it his own, can do is just wait and watch the drama unfold just as the central government does. We have a highly politicized democratic stage show with a billion viewers. A billion helpless viewers.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What are we upto??

The source of the thoughts in this post is the discussion we had in college yesterday: A bunch of young would-be journalists brainstorming on what should come first in India - Environment or Development (did i put environment first right away??)
A majority of us chose to keep our mouth shut, some too lazy to bother, some seeing no point in the discussion, some left with no hopes for their country, some wondering what the topic is & some intimidated by our Vice dean's presence. While I doubt whether the members of any of these categories deserve to be journalists, I'd rather keep mum because I myself fall in one of them..
But there were a few who did voice their opinions- that multinational companies playing havoc with our villages only give promises without implementation of the same, that history has shown that the number of people victimized always outshone the number that benefited, that there is no instance of corporate social responsibility, that development has been offered to people who never asked for short it was an anti-development aandolan by a group of environmentalists....we spoke of avoiding luxuries with cell phones in our bags, of deprivation of people while many of us leave our geysers on for hours on mornings, of destruction of trees when we never bothered to plant one... & thats not all, we even blame the government as if it is an entity of its own, appointed to sort things out....Or lets consider the government is an organization responsible for everything...still...A country of 1.2 billion people, about 17% of the world's population, victimized by the so-called organization of how many people??? Please don't mind the language but GIMME A GODDAMN BREAK!! We are gifted with the supreme ability to always blame someone for the mess we are in.......We open newspapers, see people losing habitats to development, wrinkle our faces in sympathy for them and disgust for our govt, & get back to work.....As if the responsibility to fight against what's wrong belongs to only those people losing their lives out there.....India is our country and all Indians are our brothers and sisters only two days a year, isn't it?
If government is wrong, don't forget we elected those power hungry politicians.....People exploit u when you let them.....We have the kind of manpower that should make a potential exploiter think twice before messing with us.....We don't have to be maoists or naxalites to protest.....Let's stop accepting things as they are and speak up...
OHH LOOK WHO'S TALKING....Someone who refused to open her mouth in a simple amphi -adda discussion!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My first blog...why am I so excited??

Hi's a blogging-beginner for you who just learnt the 'A' of blogs and trying to figure out the 'B'..& as i type the first few words on my first ever blog, there's only one emotion I can identify in my mind.."Excitement." I almost feel like I did on my first day at school.. You know nothing, you know no one, you are nervous..but hoping you'll feel at home someday in this new place.. Same are my expectations this time too..My "Expresso", having just one post today, posted by me myself, might some day be known to more, visited by more, expressed in by more..when finally i'll feel at the process of figuring out the 'Z'...

 Thanks, see you around...