India’s capital (New Delhi) and India’s Media

I am back to the blog after long. Interestingly my last post was on eve of general elections in 2009 and this post is on the eve of next general elections of 2014. So 5 long years passed !!

Not that I deliberately chose this time, but I felt compelled to express my self about certain things I keep on hearing in the media.Indian media (and for that matter people) is known to be stereo typing, they create loud noise,hue & cry, build an image about people, things, places etc and continue to harness it , blatantly & shamelessly.

One of such examples is about city of Delhi. Media keeps on tagging Delhi as “Most unsafe” , “Most corrupt” and what not in their news, never highlighting good things about the city. And most of the time being blatant & wrongly putting facts giving bizarre and silly arguments (as listed below the first item).

Few examples below

1)    I was aghast by this and this prompted me to write this post.

After AAP’s win in Delhi assembly elections in December-2013, A journalist (Kumar ketkar if I remember name correctly on CNN-IBN) said on TV, “ parties like Aam admi party can win in Delhi but cannot be successful is Mumbai as Mumbai is a city of practical & mature people and such fairytale to remove corruption and clean politics by a new party will not be taken well by mature mumbaikars.

My question to Mr ketkar “ Does maturity lie in not supporting promises to clean politics and rather lies in supporting social hatred and violence against own countrymen?. No points for guessing, the biggest trump card to win “Mature “ Mumbai voters is to spread social hatred, indulge in street violence and goondagardi which has been the biggest political issue there.

Here I don’t intend to undermine Mumbai or its residents but intent is to rather show mirror to the particular journalist.

Not only Mr ketkar, I heard similar comments elsewhere also denying any credit to Delhites of choosing an alternate politics, rather branding them as non mature for not giving majority to traditional cong & bjp. Thank god Delhiets are not “mature” enough.

My point is here not to demean Mumbaikars. But I want to ask why Delhietes are not being given credit for opting an alternate brand of politics (Which may or may not prove to be successful), and rather they are being dubbed as “immature”. Hence a positive is turned into negative. 

2) Now An example how Delhi is denied credit it deserves.Delhi has been the rebellion capital of india where youth power of India is on full display. Youth of Delhi is well aware, mature and comes out of their comfort zone to demand justice for others and protest against the system unlike other “mature” cities. But Delhi is never given credit for such passionately display of its people against the social evils.

Be it Anna movement, India against corruption, Youth for equality movement against blatant reservations, whether Nirbhaya case or Jessica case. Youth of Delhi has always come and shown its power. On the contrary Anna movement was flopped in other cities when once he did his Anshan outside Delhi.

And again Delhi is never given credit and was rather dubbed as “angry” city  by Media (CNN IBN in this case). Hence yet again this positive  of Delhi is turned into negative.And other cities are never criticized for being apathetic to various social issues.

3) Delhi being showcased as “most unsafe” city of India. And when one looks for the basis, The basis are always “opinion polls” and not the hard data. And “opinions” are always driven by what media shows day in and day out.

“An autowallah brushes against the feet of a woman while taking out some material from under the back seat of auto becomes a national headline like ”Woman molested in Delhi”, as the front page news. But the rape & murders happening in other parts of india don’t even find a mention forget about being in headline. As per the statistics there is a rape in India every half an hour hence about 50 rapes take place in this country daily, but none of that finds even mention and autowallah-brushes-hands becomes the National Headline News.

Agreed, crime numbers in Delhi is higher than some other cities but on per capita basis its lower than most other cities. Only thing is that media shows Delhi news day in and day out and this may form opinions in people and these opinions very much created by media are the basis of the opinion polls which further create opinions. And his cycle goes on.

Above three points are just few examples. i am sick of such biased and stereotypical attitude of media towards Delhi. One reason may be that 90% of national media is based in Delhi. And that good news is no news, they have to show bad news only.

Another factor is also that there is no Local pride in Delhi unlike cities of Mumbai, Kokata, Chennai etc, which of course is not a bad thing, but it simply doesn’t exist in Delhi. There are no “ketkars” from Delhi who will put shameless and laughable opinions just to support his city and demean others. Also In Delhi there are no “locals” or “outsiders”. This is another outstanding feature of this city which media fail to recognize due to their biased attitude.

Objective of this post is not to demean other Indian cities but to help Delhi get its due respect as one of the greatest cities in the world which has historically been capital of this country under many dynasties, which constantly faced barbaric attacks , destroyed and rebuilt and stood from the Ashes and it today stands tall as the capital of the largest democracy in the world.

And India’s Next PM is……

manmohan1

advani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Elections are approaching in India, and I am very curious about it. Have always been. I started taking interest in politics since I was about 15, and when Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the PM for the first time in 1996. My family has been a supporter of BJP (Supporter in the sense that they wanted to see a change after so long of congress rule) . I remember my father asked the hawker specially to drop all the newspapers at our home when Mr Vajpayee took oath. And then Govt fell after 13 days, and I was disappointed, that was the very moment in my life when I started taking interest in politics and started following it closely being a BJP supporter.

  Of late I’m not that ardent follower of politics, the reason probably is that I don’t have faith in any of the political parties.But still, lok sabha elections and the counting of votes will surely be my biggest attraction on the print and electronic media in the coming days.

The biggest question is that who will be our next PM this time, let’s take a look at the contenders

1) Dr Manmohan Singh: (Current Prime Minister of India)

He is my favourite to be the next PM and lead us again. He is an educated, experienced and most importantly honest person. I admired him when he put his government at stake for Indo US Nuclear deal, when as a finance minister he started the process of economic reforms. He is a decent, soft-spoken and nice being and  deserve the top job more than anyone else. But I would like him to come out of the shadow of Sonia Gandhi

2) L K Advani: (Current leader of opposition and former Union Home minister) 

He is my second choice for the top job for having vast political experience, having been MP,home minister and deputy prime minister of India.He is well educated and i believe he  has the knack to lead the country from the front. He has a reputation of being a tough and dynamic administrator. And of late he has been trying to get rid of his image as a communal leader, which i would like him to do.

Above two are the prime ministerial candidates of the two leading national parties/coalitions and have all chance to grab the top job.Following are some other contenders whose names are doing rounds in the media.

3) Mayawati: (Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state of India)

maya

I don’t think she has any real chance to become PM and more importantly she doesn’t deserve to be PM. Her wrong points are her opportunism, her aggression, corruption charges, lack of experience in central politics and lack of decency and sophistication among many more. Yes, she has some strong points as well like she is a tough administrator, she has risen to this level on her own and the fact that she can not be driven by others. If she becomes PM, she will certainly not be a “weak” PM.

 4) Sharad Pawar: (Current Union agriculture Minister)

sharad-pawar

His name too is coming up and I don’t understand why. There is nothing wrong with him as a contender, he is experienced politician, has been a good MP and minister, has got good administratrive experience too being central minister. But if it comes to the number game, he doesn’t stand any chance

 5) Narendra Modi: (Current Chief Minister of Gujarat State of India)

modi2

 If I am right, his name was thrown by some industrialists as an option for Prime ministership. Certainly his industry friendly approach has done good for Gujarat state of India. On personal level he can surely be an effective PM, having enough administrative/political experience, being a strong and capable chief minister and being development oriented.
But, BJP has to win 271 seats for him to become prime minister,  that’s because of his image as an anti Muslim politician and the role of his government during notorious Gujarat riots.

Out of the above, My personal choice is  Dr Manmohan Singh, but something in me wants to see a change, so I wont be disappointed if Mr Advani take the charge of our country this time.

There is every possibility that none of them gets the chance and something unexpected happens, that’s why the outcome of these elections is going to be very interesting.

Let us see what happens, the countdown has already begun…

Why should India fiddle with Sri Lankan issue?

 

Recently this has been a big issue, and I saw no post on the subject in the blogs I visit, so decided to write something about it. It’s a common knowledge that Sri Lankan government is on the way of eliminating the LTTE, a notorious terrorist organization of Sri Lanka who have been engaged in conducting heinous crimes against the humanity including assassination of  former prime minister of India,  Rajeev Gandhi and several top Sri Lankan politicians.

 

The aim of LTTE is to create a separate Tamil country in the northern and eastern parts of the island nation.LTTE are notorious for suicide bombings and here they outnumber even the Islamic terror groups. They have trained huge number of children to become suicide bombers who always carry cyanide capsules with them.Nowadays the government of Sri Lanka is running a massive campaign to eliminate LTTE and reportedly many civil Tamilians are too being victims of the same. This is an abhorable act by the government in Sri Lanka if some civilians too are suffering as a result of their drive against the militant outfit.

 

 Obviously India and other democratic countries in the world should condemn this act and request the government of Sri Lanka to protect the rights of the civilian people. I believe the reaction of India in this particular case should be same as it’s reaction in the case of Israel’s drive in Gaza which is again inhuman.But i dont think India can go out of the way and and force the Sri Lankan government to act in any particular manner.  

 

But what’s happening here in India is something different. The government of Tamilnadu state in India is forcing the Government of India to send very senior envoys to Sri Lanka and force them to stop their action against LTTE. Recently there have been lots of disruptions and Bandhs in Tamilnadu and even the colleges were to be closed. In Tamilnadu, there have been more bandhs for Srilankan Tamils than Indian Tamils, forget about other Indians:)  Even the political parties of tamilnadu are known to have links with LTTE.

 

This is what I find not appropriate, why India should go out of the way in the internal matter of Sri Lanka.I am all for the rights of civilians in Sri Lanka and for that matter any other country on the planet but have my reservations about Indian government interfering everywhere in the world and direct the respective governments to act. Can India go to Israel and make them stop their inhuman acts in Philistine, I don’t think so.World’s most influential country USA could do something but certainly not India.   

 

I must say I am surprised by this move by the government of Tamilnadu. Apparently they are doing so because LTTE and Sri Lankan Tamils also speak Tamil and are of same ethnic origin as them. But, so what? Even in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Pakistan one can find people of same ethnic origin as Indians, so can India take the responsibility to protect their rights rather than the governments of the respective countries. It is the responsibility of the government of a country to protect the rights of its citizens and not that of a foreign country.

 

The idea of so called same race and ethnic origin is costing our country dearly nowadays. In Indian state of maharashtra, people belonging to other parts of the country have been killed by the local political parties in hope to get votes. In Karnataka state of India, people of Maharashtra are being treated badly and in return buses entering from Karnata were burnt in maharashtra.Also there were incidents of people of Karnataka and Tamilnadu beating each other. Regionalism, along with terrorism has become a roadblock in the progress of our country. And in rest of India (Northern India, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, AP, etc) people fight on the names of caste and religion, if not region.

  

I am sorry to say; still we humans are deeply divided and there is no point in growing up and being educated if we are going to hate other people who we think are not like “us”.

 

PS- Recently Sri Lankan Army released photographs of Indian tamil leader Vaiko with LTTE chief Phabhakaran in the LTTE uniform. Later Vaiko said that he is proud on the photos and his LTTE links. Vaiko is a prominant Tamil politician and is known to have links with LTTE.

 

Gandhis and Bachchans

                                                               

                                                                 

  

  

 

Recently there was a buzz in the media when reportedly Sonia Gandhi came for the Rescue of Bachchan family when some antisocial elements dragged them into a controversy and tried to ban their films illegally. The buzz was about thawing the ice between the relations of the two families. But what’s so special between the two families that media is so obsessed with?

 

It’s well known that once Bachchans and Gandhis were as close as a family. The two families are among the most respected in India, and both belong to Allahabad city, it was where their relationship started. Harivansh Rai Bachchan is regarded as one of the greatest writers of Hindi Literature and was the professor of English at Allahabad University, also he was the first Indian to pursue doctorate in English literature from Cambridge University.His son Amitabh Bachchan is among the greatest actors of Indian cinema and is regarded as the biggest superstar of all time.Whereas Gandhis are the most influential political family in India and have given three Prime Ministers to the country so far, and have traditionally lead Congress, the biggest political party of India.

 

The relations between the two families started with Dr Harivansh Rai Bahchan working in India’s foreign ministry as a Hindi Officer, where he joined after quitting from the university. Nehru was very impressed with him, and respected him for his literary genius. Also, while living in Allahabad, the families of Nehru and Harivansh came close.Harivansh’s wife Teji became close friend of Nehru’s daughter Indira.  Later when Bahchans moved to Delhi, Teji Bahchan, got fame as a social activist, and her friendship with  Indira Gandhi became deeper, their friendship remained very close till Indira’s assassination in 1984.Their relationship continued in the succeeding generations too, Amitabh and Rajiv Gandhi were childhood friends.When Sonia came to India in 1968 as Rajiv’s fiancée, she was put up  at Bachchan’s residence and Teji acted as Sonia’s god mother and made her accustomed to Indian culture. Also during marriage of Rajiv and sonia, as the bride is not supposed to live with the in laws before marriage, Sonia used to live at Bachchan residence in New Delhi.Teji  was like mother to Sonia Gandhi, and did  “Kanya Dan” of sonia in her marriage with Rajiv. 

 

But what happened that now that when Taji Bachchan passed away few months ago, Sonia didn’t even attend the funeral. The relations between the two families are sour and it all started with Amitabh joining politice in 1984, mainly to support Rajiv Gandhi.That time congress desperately wanted the Allahabad constituency and wanted to defeat H N Bahuguna, which seemed impossible.

Rajiv Gandhi convinced Amitabh to contest. Amitabh contested and won the election with record margin (he got more than 68% votes) in the history of independent India.But Amitabh quit politics and resigned after three years when a newspaper reported his involvement in Bofors scam, this was the beginning of soaring of relations between the two families, though later Amitabh was declared clean by the supreme court. The relationship between the two families worsened after Rajiv Gandhi’s assessation in 1991, when Gandhis felt, Bachchans left them alone in distress, and when they relied on bachchans for taking every decision after Rajiv’s assassination. Also it’s said that Sonia didn’t take it kindly when Amitabh consistently advised her not to join politics.

 

Whereas Bahchans have point that Gandhis brought them in politics and left midway in trouble and also didn’t help them during the financial crisis after collapse of his company ABCL. And this was the time when Bachchans came close to Amar Singh, of Samajvadi Party. It’s not that Bachchan was not acquainted with Amar Singh before. In fact Amar singh was a very old friend of Bachchan , but when he helped Amitabh during financial crisis, the two became very close and later Jaya Bachchan was nominated to Rajya Sabha as a Samajvadi party member. As congress used to be rival (it has changed very recently) of Samajvadi party in Uttar Pradesh, the relations between the two families were bound to worsen.

 

In 2004 Jaya Bachchan remarked about Gandhi family not helping them during crisis and left them midway after bringing them into politics. She even said that  Gandhis betrayed bachchans. Then Rahul  Gandhi replied to Jaya’s remarks and said his family didn’t deceive any one, and termed Jaya’s remarks as bundle of lies.Finally Amitabh came to control the situation and said the the relations between the two familes stood on strong emotional ground and struck deep roots from the time of Nehru and Harivansh Rai Bachchan, and when  neither Jaya nor Rahul nor Paryanka were around and hence they don’t understand it. Amitabh said he could neither forget those relationships nor tolerate any comment on them.Those relationships were between the two families. He said, he has nothing but respect and goodwill for the Gandhis.

 

Above is the all I could write about the subject. I don’t think there is going to be any change between the relations of the two families now, and of course it doesn’t matter to any of us general public other than writing a post about it 🙂 I wish all of them good luck in their future endeavours.

 

 

Is India a soft state?

 

The nuclear deal between India and the US has been finalized, finally. The other day I saw news that, Pakistan is also willing to have a similar deal with the US, but the US denied it (So far at least 🙂). US secretary of state Ms Condoleeza Rice said that India’s case was unique, and that’s because of  India’s history.

 

So, what’s about India’s history that Ms Rice is talking about, I guess it’s about India’s record as a non aggressive state, rather a soft state. No one can imagine India attacking another country for any purpose. Even during the Kargil war of 1999, when Pakistani troops invaded India; in the process of fighting with them, Indian armed forces had a clear-cut instruction not to cross the LOC. So India avoided crossing borderline even for self-defense.

   

Second thing is that India is a successful democracy; the democratic values have been firmly embedded in the culture of our country. There has never been any fuss in the power exchange after the elections. The armed forces and intelligence are under very much control of the union government, and them taking any step without Government orders is beyond imagination.  

 

Only time when I felt exception was in 1998 when India conducted nuclear tests despite international pressure. And before that in 1975 when Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India announced emergency in the country following a judgment by Allahabad High court banning her from contesting any election for next 6 years. But, she called off the emergency in 1977, and announced fresh elections and that election of 1977 was the biggest defeat of her party (Congress) in the history of independent India. Democracy was in India to stay, and all that was the result of  the democratic traditions and values, which were entrenched in the political culture of India and which is the legacy of Indira Gandhi’s father and india’s first Prime minister Pt Jawhar Lal Nehru. Nehru in his tenure of 17 years as first prime minister of India made it sure that India is always going to follow the path of a responsible democracy.   

 

Everything about India being non-aggressive, and democratic country is fine, but many feel that India is a very soft state, which means just too non aggressive, which sometimes is not good for the country.

We have faced terrorism sponsored by nearby countries for a long time and still it continues. Kashmir, once known as heaven on earth is today among the most insecure places in the world, India’s Punjab state has faced terrorism for over a decade, and today terrorism is spreading in many major metros of India but still there is lack of any aggression on part of India to do something about terror camps flourishing in our neighbor country. Then there has been incidence of Kandhar plane hijack where we very calmly released the terrorist as per the demand of the hijackers. Also there was an incidence of our soldiers being humiliated by Bangladesh and there was no strong reaction from India.These are just some of the examples which come to my mind, and i’m sure there are many other such incidences.

 

It seems, on international level, India has developed an image of a very soft state, a state that can never become aggressive. It has it’s benefits and losses both, but I wonder whether benefits more or losses??

 

Decline of “Khari Boli”

 

 Those who belong to or have lived in Haryana, Delhi or Northwestern UP, understand what “Khari boli” (Haryanavi) dialect of Hindi is all about. Some people say it lacks sophistication and even that it’s rude.

 

The perception of lack of sophistication or being “rude”, is probably because that the words which show respect in Hindi are not part of khari boli, for example , to address someone, “Aap” is non existant, mainly “Tu” is used, and if one wants to give lot of respect “Tum” is used 🙂 .Also, “iye” of sophisticated Hindi is not spoken in “Khari Boli” for example,  to ask some one to sit “ Bathiye” wont be used , only “baith ja” or “Baitho” shall be used. Also, the sentence closing “Hai” of mainstream Hindi is not used in “Khari boli” .The terms most distinct about khari boi are use of “Maka” and “ Nuko”  for “Maine kaha” (I said) and “usne kaha” (he/she said).. Hindi words are spoken differently to give a unique flow to the language, like the word “Anghuthi” (Ring) will be pronounced as “Gunthi”.“Khari Boli” when spoken in it’s original form, is an unbelievably fast accent ..and difference between normal sophisticated Hindi and Khari Boli is just like the difference of spoken English between Indians and westerners.

 

But, of late “Khari Boli” accent is on decline. First of all Delhi lost it, being a major metropolis and capital of the country, and nowadays urban regions of Haryana and northwestern UP are loosing it and is limited to older generations only, and young generation have developed more sophisticated form of Hindi. The reason behind is the general perception even in the native speakers, that “Khari boi” is “rude” way of speaking and is not sophisticated. Nowadays it has become unfashionable to speak it.

 

There have been efforts to sanskritize Khari Boli, but this dilect of Hindi will die if sanskritised, as Sanskrit words doesn’t fit naturally here. Of Course the standard or pure Hindi derives it’s vocabulary from Sanskrit, but Khari Boli is different, and uses basically “Tadhbhav” form of Sanskrit words.

 

But I believe Khari boli is very much alive in the rural area of this region, and some of my relatives (Younger generation too) who live in the villages/small towns of this region, speak it. I personally am very fond of Khari Boli… since my childhood I’ve scene my relatives speaking it, though myself and our parents don’t speak it having lived in urban areas, but my parents can switch gear anytime and start speaking it when with our relatives 🙂 , but myself and my brother (Like other younger generation of urban population of this region ) are not able to speak it, but still we love it.

 

P.S.- In Bollywood, Khari boli is very rare…A recent example i’ve scene in Bollywood is the character of Komal Chautala in the film “Chak de India”, who spoke in Khari boli dilect

 

Tribute to Inspector MC Sharma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are certain things, which make us to be proud of our nation and the heroes of our nation. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, one of the most worthy officers of Delhi police breathed his last yesterday, he was 42. He was badly injured during an encounter with the terrorists in the Jamia nagar area of south Delhi yesterday.

 

Inspector Sharma, Winner of seven gallantry awards, including the President’s gallantry medal and 150 police rewards, was credited with the killing of 35 terrorists and the arrest of 80 others. Sharma always pioneered Delhi police’s fight against terror. Hardly there was any big operation, that Delhi police performed without Inspector Sharma, and he never failed.

 

 Even yesterday’s event was a major breakthrough in India’s fight against terror, as they were apparently the same terrorists who were involved in Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts. While two were killed, and two managed to flee, one was nabbed by Delhi police and is under interrogation.

 

 I salute Inspector Sharma for his bravery and dedication; it’s because of officers like him only that many terror attacks are busted before making any loss to the nation and we manage to live a peaceful life.

 

 But one question I would like to raise, why he and other policemen were not wearing bulletproof jackets when they were supposed to take on the dangerous terrorists, I’m not sure what’s the reason. Inspector Sharma had bullet wounds on his abdomen, he could definitely be saved if was wearing a bulletproof jacket. While our politicians (Many of them are harming the nation) have so tight security…why our brave officers who take on direct encounter with the terrorists are not taken care of?

 

 Inspector Sharma, India is proud of you

 

PS: Later JCP Mr Karnal Singh clarified in his press conference that not wearing bulletproof jacket was a strategy by inspector Sharma himself.