Freedom Expression

Why You Should Not Vote

Posted in India, Politicians, Politics by Tall Guy on February 6, 2011

I have seen promos of celebrities, people talking about the importance of voting and choosing good governance for a country like ours.  The question is whom are you going to vote? if there are no good people in politics who can bring the change we would like to see in our country.

Every time the elections comes up, the political parties vie for the precious vote of ‘ours’ that would bring them back in power.  Once they are in the power, it’s the same old story of this government not been better than the previous one.  Every one of the politicians seems to be involved in some kind of scams, corruption.  No wonder there wealth shows a huge jump (Check out their wealth declaration in each election) and still they get a hike in the salary of an MP (Member of Parliament).  When the average Indian salary still does not account for that.

It does not matter which political party they belong to, they seem more interested in making money for themselves than serving the country.  No attempt is being made to make the system transparent and fill out the loopholes that advocate its misuse.  The process of transparency is on such a slow track that one wonder if they would even be alive to see it in their own life time.

What is the point of voting when you the person that you elect is going to do the same?  Once elected, they cannot be held accountable for the tall promises they made.  The next time elections are around, one should abstain from voting.  This would send out a strong message to the political parties who boast of having national interest in their heart about the strength of the citizens.  It’s the people who have the power to decide who should run the government.

Only when we are united can a message be send across that enough of the scams, corruptions that’s been taking rampantly and need of greater accountability to set in.

The problem of today is that its hard to find good politicians among the dirty fishes.  The only way they can survive if we take the responsibility of cleaning the pool of bad fish.

Abstaining from voting is a greater way to send out across a message to the political parties that the citizens of the country are not living in ignorance and know the change they want to see.

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Just Pathetic

Posted in India by Tall Guy on February 2, 2011

When I read this piece of news, I was like what could be worse for this women that she lost her limbs because of thieves or that she lost it because the doctors who could rejoin it decided that it was more important to be part of a strike than to attend critical patients needs.

Doctors are supposed to be next in line after God who can save lives of people.  Their priorities in such a situation is simply uncalled for.  Whatever be the reason for the strike, it does not mean that patients who are in critical condition are left in a lurch.  It took more than 18 hours for them to resume work.  By then it was too late to rejoin the limbs.  Is there no way can doctors go on strike without affecting and putting critical patients life in danger?

To make matters, the women succumbed to her injuries leaving behind a child who witness the whole incident traumatized and grieved husband.

The irony is that a women lost her life but who would be considered responsible for it?

i) The railways which did nothing to prevent such robberies which were on a rise.

ii) The thieves who in their process of earning a quick buck made a family lose their mother and a wife.

iii) The doctors whose priorities resulted the women losing her limbs and then subsequently succumbing to her injuries.

Corruption

Posted in India, Indian Judiciary, Politicians, Politics by Tall Guy on November 12, 2010

There is a saying about the corruption in India that even after paying a bribe one cannot be certain that the work will get done.  One can picture the image how corrupt can corrupt people can be.

Off lately, I have been reading about the various scams that have been reported in the media.  Be it the 2G spectrum scandal, CWG scam or the latest Adarsh society ghotala.  The media is doing its job of bringing the truth out in the open but the question largely remains is do you think all the necessary steps would be taken to punish who are guilty?

The answer is a straight “NO”.  Except for the small fishes who would be made to bear the brunt of these scams, the bigger fish would go scot free and probably none would question their role in the future as the Indian public suffers from short term memory and the media which is hell bent on bringing the truth would stop reporting about it after a certain time has passed as it no longer makes the news it used to…

Corruption is not a new phenomenon in our society and even we as the people have accepted it as a way of life as long as it gets our work done.  For e.g., the diwali baksish that is given to the postman, telephone guy, etc. are a sign that even though we know its wrong for them to ask money for us but still most of us give it so that the services they provide does not gets hampered.

People don’t join politics with the intention of serving the nation in the heart instead they are busy filling their coffers when they are in power.  Look at the past of the politicians and one could see a rag to riches story which might seem phenomenal but there is more than what meets the eye.  Take the instance of the former Jharkhand chief minister Madu Koda who was a mine worker who ended up amassing a wealth worth over crores.  Then there are the Reddy brothers, sons of a police constable who went on to become mining barons and play key decision makers in the ruling government of the Karnataka state.

Its one thing to bring out the scams/corruption out in the open and other to see that the culprits pay for their crime.  The Indian judicial system takes such a long time to book the culprits that when the verdict finally comes it comes too late, too little.  No wonder this only encourages the corrupt people who know how to make use of the loopholes in the system.

Unless there is transparency in the system and the RTI Act is empowered more to bring out information on in the public domain, corruption would never come to an end.

The Ayodhya Verdict

Posted in India, Politicians, religion by Tall Guy on September 27, 2010

They say god is everywhere and still we are fighting where do the god belongs.

I find it strange that a lot of bloodshed had been done; all because the saviors of religion wanted the god to regain his old place of which he was long displaced long before India got its independence and there were people who tried to build temple for the god by destroying the mosque of another god which as we know led to a lot of bloodshed.  That place is called Ayodhya the birthplace of Ram, Ram Janmabhoomi or the place where Babri Masjid stands today.

No matter what the verdict comes out on the 28th Sept 2010 or perhaps latter, the so called saviors of religion will see to it that they get what they want or else we know what happened in 1992.

Religion has long been used as a bait for politics and this issue is no different.  Why cannot god from both religion be worshipped on the same place which should be the perfect example of peace and harmony given that we are a country of diversity where people of different religions living together?

Then again such a solution wont be acceptable to the saviors of religion would they?  There are far greater issues plaguing the country but the political parties are obsessed with religion so that they can claim a vote bank and continue their hallow governance and keep filling their coffers in the name of serving the people.

Where does it leave the common man in the midst of this?  Does it matter what the common man thinks about this issue?  I don’t think the people of politics give a damn to that.  After all the common man is busy earning his daily living and avoiding such issues so that he doesn’t get hurt in the middle of the war.

No wonder that we live in a world of ignorance where it does not matter what’s going on unless it affects one.  No matter what the outcome is, the common man is only going to hope that it does not remind them of the bloodshed in the past.

It is such an irony that we fight to give god back his place and don’t even care about people who don’t have a home to live…

Fear

Posted in Uncategorized by Tall Guy on September 8, 2010

Its funny how fear can get to one’s mind and then the body reacts to the single thought that seems innocuous but has the power to control you.  Fear is like the air we breathe; we cannot see it but still feel it.

Everyone has some kind of fears that might be harmless or harmful in the long run and they learn to deal with it in their own way.  One either put themselves in a fight or flight situation or let the fear pass through them and the damage gets done.

I have fears, lot of fears.  There are some that I avoid, some that I face and still it sends out the same jitters as it was the first time.  Even though I am aware of my fears, I am not able to get rid of them.  I am still trying my trial and error methods but don’t seem to shake them off.

Isn’t it strange that it takes only one “thought” in your mind to instill fear in you and somehow all the attempts that one makes to ignore it, it only becomes more stronger and then one loses control over self.

Being afraid is not a bad thing, it helps us realize the eventuality of a situation we might be in.  It makes you aware of the things that could go wrong.  However not everyone is able to decode fears correctly and most of the times they end up hurting themselves as they let the fear control themselves instead of the other way round.

Fear arises only in two situations; when there is uncertainty and when one is desperate to have things in their favor.  Its only then the mind wanders through the woods of thoughts and unknowingly one picks up the ‘one’ thought which then either becomes the fear or tells one what they need to be aware of in a given situation.  How they react to it determines the outcome which can be fight or flight response.

So the question is how does one overcomes their fears?

First, one needs to start filtering out their thoughts.  Check the facts against the thought that makes one dread and then face it.  The more one avoids their fear the greater the leverage one gives into it.  It takes a lot of practice facing one’s fears to overcome them.  It won’t happen overnight and will take time.  One has to find their own way to deal with them or seek help when one struggles with it.

This quote describes fear in the best possible manner:

Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God; your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

— From the Principles of A Course in Miracles

So what are your fears?  Are you ready to face it?

P.S:  This is a different approach to the usual Human Pschye posts and hope you find it good.  Do give your feedback 🙂

Justice Delayed; Justice Denied

Posted in India, Indian Judiciary by Tall Guy on July 3, 2010

The verdict of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy fits the above quote perfectly with its “mockery of justice”.  It has been a long wait of 26 years for the leaking gas victims and in the end the 8 accused gets away with lighter punishments of a maximum imprisonment of 2 years and a fine of a meager sum of 5 lakhs.  The fact that they were able to secure bail (Rs 25,000 bail amount) within a few hours of the verdict rubs the salt on the wounds of the victims.  Yet the victims’ hopes for justice, the bigger fish to be caught responsible for such a disaster so that there could be a closure for them of the dark night that took away their near and dear ones and left some impaired for the rest of their lives.

This is the tragedy of the Indian judicial system where seeking justice sometimes results in fighting court battles for years and when the verdict was out it was too little too late.  The Indian courts are full of back logged cases and even a simple open and shut case takes years to give out a verdict.  All one keep getting is a date for the next hearing.

If one looks at the Ruchika’s case, it should not have taken almost 20 long years before justice could be delivered.  In that 20 years of long struggle the victim Ruchika gave up her life, her brother had cases registered against him and ended up tortured in the hands of the protectors of the law.  The family shifted to another place to get away from the harassment.  The irony is that no body gave it a thought why a molestation case was taking so long to deliver the verdict?    The verdict finally nailed the accused but the victim who went through an agonizing pain was not there to see it. The pain, torture & the long wait the family went through in their fight for justice cannot be compensated.  Their fight is still on as they seek to nail the accused for the abetment of suicide of the victim.

This was one of the cases that could have be lost in the number of the court cases that goes on if not for the media which brought it to the attention to the public which I believe helped changed the fate of this case.  Who knows how many such cases are their which is still trying to seek justice?

If one looks at the statistics according to the Aug 09 data, there is said to be 52,000 cases pending in Supreme Court, 40 lac in High Court and 2.7 crore in Trial courts.  As each day passes new cases are filed adding additional burden to the backlog.  Consider this with the number of judges recruited; falling short of the allocated numbers.  It only get worse for the under trials who end up spending their time in jails even before their trial begins.  Steps have been taken recently in this direction and over 92000 under trial prisoners were released across India.

The sheer number of backlog cases still does not deter the courts to take their regular vacations (which varies from 48 to 63 days).  Apart from that they can take 14 days casual leave and also get day off on public holidays and on the weekends when the courts are closed.  A high court judge is suppose to work for 210 days a year but if one does the math the numbers comes lower than that.  The same also hold true for the Supreme Court which also undertakes vacations.  Such provision for vacations does not exist in countries like US and France.  How can one expect of  speedy disposal of cases with so many issues dodging the legal system?  No wonder the process of delivering verdict within an acceptable time frame does not happens often.

There have been talks of legal reforms in order to provide verdict within an acceptable time frame but not much headway has been made in this regard.  How does one expects a common man to fight for justice when cases gets dragged on for years and ends up eating their  only savings which was kept for children’s education, marriage, retirement thereby making it a burden?  Seeking justice has become an expensive affair and some of the people have to depend on lawyers who are willing to work for a lesser fee.

 Take the example of Anil Gidwani’s case who had a complaint filed against him by a traffic police for parking his car in a no-parking zone.  The trial of the case went on for three years and was finally disposed off when he raised the issue in the High Court.  This only goes on to gives us a picture how the judicial system badly needs reforms for a speedy trial and quick disposal of cases.

Unless legal reforms are brought into action, the backlog of cases will continue and no matter what the verdict is;  it will stand out as justice delayed…

Kanyadan & Pregnancy Connection

Posted in India, Women Issues by Tall Guy on May 28, 2010

Recently I met a friend of mine who told me of an incident which made me wonder about the mentality of the so called Indian society that we live in.  She told me about her cousin who recently got married.

The highlight of the wedding was the “kanyadan” which is normally done by the bride’s father/uncle/brother was done by her sister even though they had a cousin brother who could do it.  Apparently the murmurs began in the wedding itself and someone even called up the bride’s native place to tell about it.  The marriage though took place without any hitch.  However this was not the end.

After 3-4 months of marriage, people started inquiring with her mother-in-law whether the girl has got pregnant yet.  In fact the girl was also asked about it which made her wonder why such a question is being asked when only a few months had passed after marriage.  It later turned out that the reason why this was being asked was because the sister who did the “kanyadan” did not conceive for a long period of time and had adopted a child instead.  So the logic that went around was that the bride who got married may not be able to conceive as the kanyadan was done by sister who did not conceive.

The good news did come through as few months passed by putting a lid on all the talk that was going around.  It also came as a relief to the sister who was worried that she might end up getting a bad name in case the bride did not conceive.

To me, all this looks like straight out of a telly plot where such things were shown but never thought that they actually happen in the reality.  So what if the sister and brother-in-law did the kanyadan?  Who the hell are people to tell them what’s right and what’s wrong.  It’s a family decision on who does the kanyadan and other people don’t need to poke their nose into it regarding themselves as guardians of our culture.

I guess they need to be given a lesson in how cultures evolve and how each generation creates their own and leave it upon the future generations whether to follow or give it up.  Nobody has the “right” to enforce it on anyone.

The reasoning behind the bride won’t be able to conceive was simply irrational.  How can people be so dumb? And that the news spreads like fire even though there is no ounce of truth to support the claim is really shocking.  What surprises me more is that this did not happen in any rural village but in a metro city.

It almost comes like a farce where we keep talking about “21st century India” and we still look like living in “Old India” which is too rigid to give up its social conventions and does not gives an individual the choice of what he/she wants to do…..

Conscious

Posted in human psyche by Tall Guy on April 7, 2010

Every one of us in our life time might have done something that was not morally right at least once knowingly/unknowingly and would have realized what we had done though the same might not be acknowledged in front of others.  Within we always know the truth.

What happens when certain people do it deliberately on a larger scale affecting the lives of people in a big way?  Do such individuals are aware of their actions or they find a way to silence their conscious?

It is this “breed” of people that compels me to ask whether they have lost touch with their conscious or mastered the way of getting out of such issues, that their conscious dies down.

Ramalinga Raju who was responsible for the Satyam fraud inflated the accounts of the company so that it was not taken over by others as the number of shares he held was not enough to prevent it.  Even though he openly admitted his hand in the fraud, there are still questions asked about the timing of his admission given that shares of the stock plummeted and he could have made a killing on the share market.

Don’t you think if he was so much trouble by his company being overtaken, why he did not simply choose to upped the owner’s equity in the company stock to prevent it?  Why do something that is not right and put the employees at stake for it.  Questions, that still needs to be answered.

What would you say of a man who ends up instigating the mob and then riots breaks off all over the country.  While people lost their lives, politicians milked the situation by making hate speeches or instigating the mob.  The riots after the Babri Masjid demolition and the Godhra riots stand testimony to such politicians.

The question at the end of the day is do they ever give a thought how their speeches provoked people into killing?  Do they feel guilty of their actions or is it that they become immune to answer their conscious as they are in a business of telling and making people believe their lies.  There was a time when politicians were meant to help the country develop.  Nowadays they are only interested in filling their own pockets and gaining mileage on whatever opportunity that arises.

What would one do when inaction leads to a grave crime happening especially when there was an opportunity to stop it happen?  I am referring to the rape of a mute girl in a local train that took place on August 15, 2002, the day when India got its independence.  There were five people in the same compartment when a drunken man entered and decided to make the girl his prey.

The five gentlemen did nothing and the man after done with his act left.  Except that one of the persons happened to be a reporter.  The very next day an account of the reporter witnessing the rape was published on the front page.  Five men versus one and I think one can make out who will win if they came to a brawl.  The only reason they did nothing is because they got” scared” by a thin frail drunken man.

I am not sure how they were able to sleep in the night after the incident given that they could have saved the girl from becoming a victim.

Is it because we choose to remain mute spectators most of the time that we fail to act when we can?  Would they have let the crime take place if the girl was related to any of the five men that day?  Chances are at least one of them would have acted no matter what uncertain dangers lay ahead of him.

Our conscious often tells us if we are on the right path or not, then what prompts these individuals to ignore their inner voice or is it because they have found a way to get around it? Does the power and the risk involved gives them a high or they simply think the truth would never come out?

Whatever be the motives behind their acts they still have to answer one question and that is “is it worth it to have sins on one’s conscious?

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Playgrounds

Posted in Children, Open Spaces by Tall Guy on March 29, 2010

I do consider myself lucky that when I was growing up there was no dearth of open spaces in the city or to say in my area whenever we wanted to play a game of cricket.  The same cannot be said today.

There were four grounds in the area where children or rather boys would gather to play cricket.  There were matches played simultaneously without disrupting each other’s game as the pitches we batted on would be next to each other.

As it is the open spaces in residential buildings is used for car parking leaving little space for the kids to play.  If that was not enough, today buildings come up without any open spaces thereby depriving the kids of the much needed outdoor activities.  So if the kids want to play out in the open where should they go?

Out of the four grounds, two were public grounds and other two private.  One of the grounds got converted into a sports complex cum jogger’s park.  The other public ground which was as it’s shorter and in a rectangular format had a jogger track added to it.

The two private grounds which were earlier open to public have been fenced off barring children to enter.  That just leaves only one ground in the area for the children to play.  The question is how many children can be accommodated in a single playground where the number of people goes up in more than hundred.

I believe the same story hold true for many cities and places in India where the open spaces and grounds are disappearing to accommodate residential buildings and complexes.  If this keeps happening, the children might never step outside and would be at home playing video games and watching tv.  It’s also important from the health perspective that children engage in outdoor activities so that their bodies can develop.

Its time that we start protecting these open grounds before they completely extinct and deprive the children of tomorrow from knowing how it feels to play in the open air.

Of Child Marriages & Teenage Pregnancies

Posted in India, Marriages, Women Issues by Tall Guy on March 27, 2010

There was a time in India when child marriages used to take place rampantly.  Children forced by their families to get married under the garb of the customs and tradition even as the couple was too young to understand the concept of marriage.

Child marriages have often resulted in serious health concerns for both the girl and her children as it is a widely accepted fact that adolescent mothers are more likely to experience complications such as obstetric fistula.

Today, we have moved past the issue of child marriage by introducing laws that term them unlawful and by raising the marriageable age of boy to 21 and girl 18.

Still there are places where this practice takes place mostly among poor uneducated families in rural areas.  As the awareness about the ill effects of child marriages spreads across, we can hope such marriages to become extinct in the future.

Though times have changed, the issue of teenage pregnancies still causes a lot of concerns.

Developed countries like US and UK are also dealing with the teenage pregnancies issues with US having the highest birth rate of teenage pregnancies among the developed world.  The numbers are surprising considering the fact that sex education taking place in schools.

There is the option of going for abortions but its considered risky.  Studies have proven that abortion may lead to an increased chance of breast cancer, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, depression, and the contraction of Viral Hepatitis, not to mention death due to excessive bleeding or other complications.

One may find similarities between the child marriage and teenage pregnancy as both leads to pregnancy at a young age.  Early marriages prevents a girl from getting the education and living the life she deserves and ends up managing the household.  In the latter case they end up compromising on their education and sometimes drop out to look after the child who may/may not be supported by the father of the child.  The only difference between the two is that one happens in the sanctity of marriage and other outside marriage.

Even as we are sounding the death knell for child marriages here in India.  The issue of teenage pregnancy is making its presence felt even though the numbers are small, as such cases largely goes unreported.

The only way to ensure to nip the issue in the bud is by providing sex education and the usages of birth control measures to stop it from snowballing.