Sunday, July 31, 2005

Letting Peter rob you, while you pay Paul

This whole cycle of stuffing yourself to death and then running to a diet clinic to rid yourself of all the extra pounds smacks of stupidity. So, you sit around your home, watching TV, munching Potato chips and other easy to eat munchies from your grocery, while you wash it down with colored, flavoured and sweetened water, or if you are out then you under one of the fast food store with a golden arch or its many more copy cats and taste alikes, letting these large corporates rob you of your money, while you struggle to earn more and more.
Soon when you are big enough, you then start worrying about your health. Not because you went to a recent physical, but because you suddenly feel that you are bigger than most things around you. Now that you have saved some money, actually more likely you have worked out a financing deal with your credit card or a friendly bank at a reasonably high interest, you visit a diet center, so that they can suck the extra fat directly from your belly area, rather than letting it come out from where it normally would, for people who do have some active life.

Well, i am not claiming to be a health fanatic, or fad-food renounced sadhu, but just a person who a realised something and someone who is taking an effort to stop things at its source. Thank you, burger are tasty, but i can surely live with it eating it once a year.

from The Observer: Fat fortune for Diet Town, USA

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A small taste of the effects of globalization

I happened browse the TV yesterday to see the shocking scenes of the police beating workers of Honda factory in Haryana. It was appalling. It is quite understandable that when there is a riot, people on both sides tend to get riled up and escalate matters into an uncontrollable situation. This is probably what happened yesterday. But.
Yes there is a BUT. The police must be trained and should be better equipped to deal with such circumstances than to brutally assault workers demanding their rights.

GURGAON: A protest by workers of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) seeking higher wages and re-employment of suspended employees snowballed into a major confrontation here on Monday with the police brutally assaulting them. Hundreds of protesters and some police personnel were injured, many of them critically.

- from The Hindu: Police savage striking Haryana workers

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Taj is national monument

This recent news regarding the Taj Mahal is clear indication of the Indian democracy crying for some new reform. It doesn't mean that the democracy is flawed, but there are gaps that do affect the society at large. You cant blame the Wakf board alone, specially since the RSS and VHP are claiming that Ayodhya is their personal turf to do as they please. Its time the country and government clearly defines the boundaries for religion and state. Till now, we have followed a system where the State and Religion both acknowledge, respect and live with each other, but certain extreme thinkers are taking this marriage beyond its limits.

- from Yahoo news: Taj is national monument, not Muslim property

Monday, July 18, 2005

Reap what you sow !!

It was very clear from the start, that the BJP was trying the Hindutva card to gain votes. Once in power it was going to continue to do what every Govt did for the last 50 yrs. And when the NDA came to power, the BJP conveniently hid behind the NDA agenda and used it to save face.
Now after losing its share of voting public, the BJP President Mr. Advani, was trying to take a more centrist approach and it has backfired on him. Well good riddance to bad rubbish. But many more have to go.

- from Yahoo news : Advani's image fades

SC restricts use of loudspeakers at night

In a welcome order amidst the noisy disorder in society, the Supreme Court today issued a series of guidelines, including restrictions on the use of loudspeakers in public places at night to bring down the decibel levels giving respite to the citizens.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti and Justice Ashok Bhan pronounced the judgment banning the use of loudspeakers between 2200 hours and 0600 hours in public places.
This order comes after a long pending petition pertaining to the noise pollution caused by the loudspeakers, generators and vehicles. The petition had sought implementation of laws restricting use of loudspeakers and high-volume sound systems.
The court also issued several guidelines to the police on the mode and manner for implementing the laws relating to restriction of the noise pollution as well as the earlier Supreme Court directives.
It also directed the police to restrict the use of pressure horns by vehicles near the hospitals, schools and other educational institutions.
The court also reiterated its earlier directive putting a ban on bursting crackers late at night during Diwali and other festivals which caused a lot of hardship to patients, elderly people and children.

-as reported in The Hindu

Now the question remains 'who is going to enforce this rule ?'

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I will appear for the ninth class examination next year

Fifteen-year-old Ch. Susheela who dared to walk out of her marriage six months ago to pursue studies faced disappointment on Tuesday when her husband and in-laws failed to turn up to formalise the `divorce.'

But she was determined about one thing. "I will appear for the ninth class examination next year," she said.

This news story, not one in isolation, show clear signs of women empowerment. But it still has a long way to go..

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

www - world without women

What would the world be without women ? Well, we in India will quickly know, more about this, given the rate at which girl babies and feotus are being killed. Such acts are punishable by law, but in India, enforcement of a law on paper is extremenly difficult.

A woman's right to choose and plan their family via abortion or any other method of birth control is an indisputable right, but the same cannot be used to selectively choose which child to abort. And when this decision become the collective wisdom of a whole set of population it cannot be very different from murder. Even more gruesome is the act of killing a girl child after she is born, by poisoning or burying alive.

Governments have been trying their half-hearted attempts at solving this problem, but the trend has not changed. And education has not helped either, because the educated now choose the route of selective abortion, rather than female infanticide. The poor woman in rural areas who participate in this cannot be held solely responsible for this act, as their choice and opinion in this matter is of importance in this matter.

Yesterday, was World Population Day, all the TV channels did their bit yesterday to highlight this issue. But, then again, no one offered the silver bullet to stop this.

And so, our education on 'world without women' continues unabated.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Admission to Colleges

The recent drama that is being played out in Tamil Nadu regarding admissions to colleges, specially the Engineering and Medical colleges is having a painful impact on the students. Every side has a view and opinion that is justified. There are totally about 2000 medical seats in the whole of Tamil Nadu, i am not sure how correct this number, but no matter what that number is, it is too small considering the demand for seats. Given the shortage of Doctors, one wonders why it is taking so long for the Government to increase capacity by adding new colleges.

The recent discussion by politicians about the admission drama has centered around the issue of admission of students from rural areas as opposed to urban. A recent analysis done by an NGO to study who are benefitted from the proposed system, which the Govt tried to impose recently, showed that no student in eight education districts may enter medical college. How then can they justify such a system ?

Why not have a Medical College in each district ? And why not each district college, give preference to students who pass from schools located in that district ? Wouldnt that be a better way of ensuring the rural areas are benefitted. They get a hospital and a medical college.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

G8 Meet in Scotland

There is a summit going on in Scotland, where the richest 8 countries, atleast so considered by themselves, meet to discuss issues that concern the world. For the last several years every time these countries meet to solve the world's problems, there have been protests from a large majority of people. People who sometimes travel across the globe to be present in the vicinity for their voices to be heard.

10,000 march and protesters fight running battles with riot police

What would prompt them to literally battle with the police and be labelled as 'arsonist' ? Yes, what they are doing is disrupting peace. But what is the reason for this large scale demonstration.

Anytime, people gather in large numbers, they are a voice that needs to be heard, however unpleasant it might be. It is also sad that the sometimes fighting for justice requires the path of non-adherence, it is sad that the path of non-voilence which was used as an effective tool by Mahatma Gandhi, does not seem to resonate today. Or could it be that the authorities and the so called world leaders simply dont care.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Henry, kiss my ... !!

Pardon my language here. But hey what the heck !!
If he called me Bastard, then he can kiss my ass too !!

And thats precisely what the then PM Indira Gandhi did in less than 2 weeks of fighting a war on two borders with Pakistan, in 1971. And all that sabre rattling by the US and potential issues with the Chinese was balanced out by an agreement with the Russians. The Indo-Soviet friendship treaty authorized either country to aid each other in the event of trouble.

Great Job mi lady. In the moment of need, you stood up and did what no past or future Prime Minister of India had ever done. And that too, every one of them were supposedly a male.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Groom asks for car.... beaten and tonsured instead

By Indo-Asian News Service

Ranchi, July 1 (IANS) A groom was tonsured and his family beaten up in Jharkhand when a gritty bride and her family refused to succumb to his demand for a car even after he had already received dowry of Rs.840,000.

Local reports said Bharti Kumari in Chatarmandu village in Hazaribagh district, 60 km from here, refused to marry Rajesh Kumar Singh when he put forward his demand just before the ceremony was to begin.

Garlands had been exchanged when Singh told Bharti's father that the dowry of Rs.840,000 had been paid to his father, not him, and he would get married only if he got a car as well. That's when the bride's family turned orthodox patriarchy on its head, beat up the family and even filed a police complaint.

Singh, who offered to get married without any dowry at all when he found police closing in on him, and his father have been arrested.

as reported in Yahoo News

The Shariat and its fatwa

What form of justice is this ? No matter what religion you follow, no matter what cultural background you come from, if justice to a victim is handed out by punishing the victim for the deeds of the perpetrator, and the criminal is allowed to go scott free.

Imrana has accepted the terms of the justice handed down to her. Well, what choice does she have ? She has to live in the community and has to seek help from these same men in the future. But it will be a sad day, if others dont step in to help and educate her of her rights. And it will be much better if women from the Islamic community step forward first. It is all too easy for this to spiral into a communal issue, if outsiders start to interfere soon.

I am not a muslim, and i dont know the shariat, i also dont know enough about the cultural background from where Imrana comes from. But i am human, and have enough common sense to understand that she was wronged. It is wrong to characterize this a problem with islam. The problem is never with a religion, the problem is always with its followers.

But, it has to be said that there are too many cases of similar problems and judgements being handed out by a bunch of men, in the name of Allah and whatever law they deem fit at that time. Mukhtar Mai from Pakistan is a very recent example of similar style of flawed justice.

Read more about Mukthar Mai and Imrana.