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Showing posts from August, 2012

The government should immediately ban the word 'Chinki' and focus on the Northeast region

Almost a month has passed, since a teenaged girl in Guwahati was molested by a mob and the video went viral all across the nation, but neither the state government nor the central government woke up to counter such a menace. This being one discreet case of molestation, the government could comfortably choose to ignore it at large. But then, the recent riots in Assam and now its retaliation in Indian metros, which largely got instigated through hate SMSs that went viral all across, highlight the repetitive indolent behavior of the government towards an entire set of people belonging to one region. The choreographed hate messages played a significant role in the migration of people of Northeastern states of India from cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai; and such a migration clearly is a blow to the pledge of a free India with equal rights for all. The government on its part banned bulk messages for 15 days, as well as multimedia messages of over 25 KB through

An open letter to my Muslim brothers

Dear Muslim Brothers, I first thought of writing an open appeal to our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. But then I realized that it would be worse than banging my head against a granite wall. I also thought of making an emotional appeal to the President of the Congress Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. But then, people far more powerful, important and experienced than me have tried doing that. When I read about the riots in Assam, I was slightly perplexed. Why now? And then I was bewildered when riots broke out in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, a town that was spared communal violence and divide even at the peak of the Babri Masjid crisis. I was shocked when I saw visuals of a mob rampaging in Mumbai, desecrating and destroying even the Amar Jawan Jyoti. I was boiling with anger and helplessness by the time I read about how bona fide Indian citizens belonging to the Northeast felt so threatened that they were fleeing cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. And I

Why the UID card should be made every citizen's constitutional right

We are probably among those few developing countries that are pegged to be next superpowers but who still do not have any idea of their unemployment rates, birthrates, income disparities and actual poverty counts. This is quite clear just from our government data. Imagine; various commissions of the same government come out with separate reports on poverty that have different counts! If that was surprising, then consider the unemployment rate shown by different government agencies – the figures vary so widely that they seem to be of different nations than of one. Our NSSO surveys go steps ahead. Firstly, the data takes inordinately long, many quarters, to compile, assemble and analyse; secondly, the credibility and accuracy is still always under doubt. And finally, our census count, which is the worst of all. While most countries are undertaking their census exercises every year in order to comprehend the real-time social and economic situation of their respective countries, our census

From Wisconsin to Aurora, Colorado: The American gun culture is a natural by-product of mindless capitalism

I had written this after the Virginia Tech shootout and I write again – capitalism is a great slave, but a pathetic master. This truth unfortunately gets lost in our chase for that elusive dream... especially in America, the land that has been marketed as the land of dreams – the Great American Dream. It’s the dream of being independent masters of our lives, the dream of making big bucks and the dream of being happy – even if that happiness is being bought by money, which all of them chase out there. No doubt, the US, on its part, has been fairly successful in creating material comfort aplenty. It has upped the living standard of its average citizen to an extent that it stands amongst the highest – even if that is a result of more than 200 years of unbridled growth and exploitation. Thus, the shop window of Americanism looks lucidly attractive; you’ve got all of them standing there – from Bill Gates to Michael Dell – in Tommy Hilfigers and Ralph Laurens! And that is what has made the r

Privatise and outsource our prisons!

One needs to be a Sanjay Dutt to fetch lakhs in auction for his work, and that too while serving his jail term. For other prisoners, even a few hundreds is a boon. Indian prisons are still more like Nazi-era concentration camps than being places for correcting the guilty. With over 3 lakh prisoners packed across 1200 plus jails, the government is shamelessly unable to manage these centers and has reduced our prisons to human slaughter houses, where self-respect, dignity and morale are butchered at every single moment. Prisons in India are not only a liability on society but have lost the very essence of their objective. Let me discuss this issue point by point. Most of the prisons in our country (barring two or maximum three) are a cost for the nation. The total expenditure on all prisons combined, across the nation, was estimated to be around Rs.2,69,726.80 lakhs during the year 2010-11, with every prisoner, on an average, costing the exchequer Rs.19,446.60 (2010-11 data