What an election it has been ? Month “March” which gets its name after the Roman god “Mars” , the god of war , had its complete presence in India in the form of elections . An election which was not less than a war saw some of the most action packed campaigning, melodramas and aggressive barbs. And when the result came out BJP had won the election diminishing their opponents well beyond the mark.With a monumental majority in UP and Uttarakhand , Modi echoed a strong statement again and again, in a pure bollywood term, ek ke baad ek hit .BJP also has to be credited in the way they went up addressing the states like Goa and Manipur were they did not had a clear mandate. Even before congress could think of a stratergy, BJP had its mathematics done and had its government sworn in.
It will be too early to say that the decision to anoint Yogi Adityanada as UP CM is a political shrewd one. But when you have a brute majority of 312 MLAs, the BJP is well within its right to pick any leader it wants to lead one of the largest states in the country. Akhilesh Yadav , even though boasted about giving laptops to students, did forget that UP is still a state hit by superstitions, illiteracy and under development.If the current elected government even does an attempt to work on these issues, UP can change dramatically. Modi will have to personally follow this up as the people of UP has voted for him rather than for his party.
The biggest challenge India will face going forward is to have a strong opposition to Modi. A good democracy necessitates to have a strong and healthy opposition . As the saying goes ” Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely ” . If you notice this election very closely it was a vote against the incumbent government. Goa’s election result was z classic example were in six ministers including the CM of BJP lost in the election but still BJP went on to form the new government. You cannot blame BJP for this. It is pity that the grand old party of India still holds on to the first family and expects miracles. Its time that the leadership is changed and new Regional faces are given fair chances to build up a strong opposition. Otherwise the country will end up in fighting Government vs Judiciary as we now see it happening in America.
Imagine a patient is undergoing a surgery and on successful completion of the operation doctor tells him “well the surgery was successful, but find somebody to stitch your cuts, its not my job”. This is exactly what is happening to our roads in the city. Authorities whether they are from water , electricity, telephone , broadband or mobile companies, all are merrily digging up the roads for their respective repair works and vanish without restoring back the road . Not that we don’t have enough pot holes, these digging leaves tributaries on the road adding further to the traffic snarls .Below is the picture of one such excavation done at the exit gate of my office by some authorities. Its been more than a week and no civic authority has patched up the road.
Also there is another corollary to this , the moment a new road is laid or patched up the very next day you can find people digging up the road. May be people get some peculiar happiness or Nirvana while doing these digging which they don’t get while laying up the road. We are very very far from becoming a smart city. Nevertheless these inconveniences remain as parts and parcel of our life and we are also happy to live with it.
This year Kerala has been hogging in making headlines, all for wrong reasons. To start with it was the horrifying Puttingal Fire tragedy which claimed lives of hundreds and then followed by the hideous killing of an young girl. This month Kerala had to appear on the front page, again for an unpropitious reasons. 12 people are surprisingly found missing and are feared to be radicalized by ISIS. The most intriguing part, even the families or the near ones are oblivious to this fleeing. It seems these missing ones have covertly prepared and organised the fleeing and once they have reached their so called destination they have informed their family about it.
The above photo caught my attention when I was scurrying through the newspaper. Railway station of Chervattur ( background photo) is hardly 20 kms from my native. The first local train to Mangalore leaves from this station and therefore ‘Chervattur Local’ is a commonly used word here. So when I saw this photo in the Chennai addition of Times I was bemused. We had heard about IS trying to recruit from India but when you see that they have reached your neighborhood is a shocking discovery. Good news is that this has not paved way for any kind communalism in this area.
Back in my college days, I shared my room with guys from different religion. No one ever had any issues with anyone on religious subject. We celebrated Christmas, Onam , Id alike and never had any issues sharing our things. The only religion followed at that time was friendship. I don’t know how radicalization can suddenly change the fundamental thinking of people. And it becomes so incisive that it starts harming the society. When we do not have power to give lives then we definitely have no rights to take it also.Hope this missing case is just an aberration and that it doesn’t cause any damage to the society. Live and Let live be the only norm.
A recent Malayalam movie ” Action Hero Biju” attempted to show how a local police station can bring difference to the society. The sub Inspector in this movie is an ordinary young man who is passionate about his mundane job . He listens to the grievances of people patiently and provides solutions to them if they are within his ambit. The movie extrapolates a message on how a local police station can do a better job given their limited powers. A similar message was also rendered by Meghna Gulzar’s “Talvar”. The movie clearly shows how the local police botched up the case. Had the police had done the fundamentals correct, perhaps the outcome of the judgement on the case would have been different.
We have two cases which enters the Hall of Shame. One is the Nirbhaya like rape and murder of Jisha in Kerala and another death of Aditya allegedly gunned down by a spoilt brat in Bihar. What adds up to disgrace is that there has been no substantial efforts to punish the guilty . Jisha’s case still remains unsolved and the real culprit is still on loose. Police had it got all wrong and the reason being their delayed and mediocre response to the case. Initially there was a noticeable response from the politicians and people which had brought the police under huge pressure, but now the election fever has taken the pressure out of them. It was sarcastic to see Keralites getting hurt and reactive on PM’s Somalia remark but not when this horrific incident took place.
On Aditya’s killing, it was the media’s and public incense that got Rocky Yadav caught and arrested. The accused who had shot down Adiya Sachdev, 19 years old, for the naive reason that the Aditya’s car overtook his expensive Land Rover. Bindi Yadav, father of the accused , is a well known thug and having power make these brats think that have license to bully or belittle anyone. It was disheartening to see Aditya’s parents showing the blood stained clothes of their son on television when should have been already collected by the police as one of the prime evidence. Even though there is an overwhelming evidence against the accused in this case , given the history of police mishandling most of the open and shut cases, whether the accused gets convicted remains a serious question.
The interview with cricketer David Warner was published yesterday on The Times of India in the editorial section. The heading of the article went like this ” I’m eating the same breakfast as Virat Kohli… ” and was referring to ongoing IPL and the less known dual between Warner and Virat Kohli for the orange cap.It is a kind of pity to find an irrelevant and frivolous article getting a space in the prime spot of the newspaper.Editorial sections are supposed to reflect the opinion of the senior editors on topical issues, but this article din’t had an ounce of profundity in it.
For a cricket fan like me ,I would have read this article no matter in which page it had appeared. If the intention of this piece was to revive viewership of IPL matches, which is currently at an all time low, then it has hardly done anything to improve it rather, it might have caused to diminish it further. Newspaper should retrospect and should restrict themselves in publishing such vacuous article and provide a more responsible and sensible article on the much read editorial section.
Its barely two weeks that the massive firework scorched more than 100 lives in the temple tragedy in Puttingal, Kerala. The tragedy which was mourned by entire India and also by the outside fraternity, now struggles to find an identity in the visual media or in the print media. The nationwide debate on this incident had a life of only 48 hours.This is just an example of insolent behavior of our media . We have debated on farmer’s suicide , Chennai flood, Nirbhaya, drought, but irony is that all these debates have only a one-night stand. These debates are mere stage plays and everything discussed remains within the “fixed” proscenium arch of the TV screen.
Today’s media is quite strong and impulsive . They have cutting edge technology to concoct any kind of news and get the public attention.They hop from one news to another as if the previous have never taken place. Its been 6 months that the Chennai Flood has taken place. No media has focused on what caused it and investigated on what was the preventive measure that the government has taken so that the deluge doesn’t repeat again. Has the flood affected compensated or has the housing facilities been provided to the needy is still unknown.Its trivial whether Kohinoor will return to India or passport of some baron is revoked or not, but our media features its news focusing only on TRP rating . The 9 pm national debate on the TV remains a schizophrenic, gibberish gimmick or some times an exasperating one man show.
Public memory is short lived. This theory is getting exploited by all politicians and related factions. Media can play a major role in defying this theory. Media should take the responsibility of closing the loop by bringing the erroneous individual or authorities in front of law.The buried and dreadful stories should be pulled into lime light in regular intervals and should be deliberated and debated. This will make sure that the incidents remains substantive in the public space and thereby building pressure and forcing the authorities to take necessary actions. This will make citizens and authorities to respect media and will make the debates meaningful and purposeful.
I live in Velachery, one of the fastest growing commercial and residential hub of South Chennai. The main road which links to OMR (Old Mahabalipuram ) is under repair for almost many years now. The poor homeless families have happily grounded their tents on the repair section of the road. Vehicles do not ply on this repair section making a safe abode for these ill fated ones. They cook ,sleep on the open road , pack their treasured belongings during day time and reopen it again after their day job.
Last week on national level the debate was whether Indian economy was one eyed King among the blind. As the hindi lines goes “Andhon mein kaana raaja”. But I would say we are not even there. The basic needs of “Roti Kapda aur makaan” is still a quixotic dream to these necessitous and many others . The country is still under the mercy of the corrupt bureaucracy and politicians. We are still running reservation not based on merit but on castes and we continue to have uprise in favour for more reservations. Income tax is still skewed limiting it to corporates and salaried professionals.
We are now at brink of a drought which can be only be solved by water and not by any growth figures. We are definitely growing progressively but at very snail pace. Its not the government alone to be blamed but we citizen also curtail the growth. We sometimes forget the national interest and support the individualistic, cast and religion based agendas. We still have a long way to go before we proclaim ourselves a prospering economy.