Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Jig Saw Puzzle of J & K, getting interesting by the day

The elections in the state of J & K threw in a result that has improved mathematical skills of Politicians. After the result it has emerged that BJP has nearly the same seats as PDP(25 BJP vs 28 PDP). Congress has won nearly same seats as NC (12 of congress vs 15 of NC). Smaller parties won 3 seats with 3 seats going to independents.

It looks that NC and Congress cannot come together as also NC and PDP (Arch opponents) can not see eye to eye. As for BJP & Congress, can they come together? Unlikely and also does not help as, to rule J & K, the combination thus formed needs 44 seats. Can PDP and BJP come with each other and form a government? They are actually as different as Cheese and Chalk or Day and Night but one never knows.

How did the events go? NC offered support to PDP but PDP refused. PDP started seeing virtues in BJP but there are contentious issues between them like Article 370, AFSPA, etc. All the confusion at its best.

Lets look at mathematics. Combo 1 - PDP + BJP = 53. Combo 2 - PDP + NC= 42 (majority needs two more MLAs). Combo 3 - PDP + NC + Independents or smaller parties or both = 45, 45, 48.

If the first combination (BJP + PDP) rules, there will be representation from all the three regions namely, Jammu, Kashmir and Laddakh. However if third combination comes to power Jammu region representation will mostly be in opposition (BJP has won 25 out of 37 seats in the region).

What is likely to happen? Let us look at party aspirations. BJP definite wants to be in power in J & K but it needs a partner. It is their first ever chance to rule this state, even if in coalition. NC and PDP also want to rule and can not do so with out a partner. NC is used to power and finds it hard to let go of it while PDP wants to come back. In this whole game Congress looks 'down and out' but you never know what surprise they may spring.

The history of J  & K is replete with corrupt and inept governments. It is important to remember that the state was mostly ruled by either NC or PDP with sometimes it was congress rule, the congress was, however, in power as coalition partner most of the time. That means they have been rarely out of power.

It is as confusing as it gets. In my opinion the combo 3 has bright chance. That will help both PDP & NC perpetuate their regime, help them keep their deeds (or misdeeds) of many years under wrap, keep them in power and most importantly they can keep a non Muslim BJP out of power. This also will kill their fear of getting a Hindu CM. It may be true that PDP has seen virtues in BJP off late but risks of going with BJP (for PDP) may be more than they can take,

There seems to be no way out for political parties mainly PDP and NC but to bury their past differences and come together else one of them will be out of power, something, they both can ill afford. A rule by BJP in some combination? Looks unlikely but then politics has its second name called 'Possibility'. The last word on government formation in J & K is yet to be spoken.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

We do extraordinary work but lack publicity skills

Our Armed forces do stellar work during aid to nation n neighbours alike during natural calamities and other emergencies. We have done so as far as Lebanon.

What we make up by high quality work is lost by poor media. Our quality of work is seen in many places within India and out side. We have executed rescue missions as far as Lebanon.

What we lack is the necessary media coverage of what we do. Our media is generally busy with covering non issues like conversions and reverse conversions (ghar wapasi)  or things like Sanjay Datt's furlough, etc. Foreign media has its own interests, work by India in general and Armed forces in particular does not figure in their agenda.

In the end it is our stellar work that gets shadowed.

I am happy that one of our own news paper columnists has talked about it in his column.

Read on -http://wap.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/indian-navy-ignored-during-tsunami-for-want-of-media-policy-comment-special-to-ians-114122600609_1.html

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Preeti's tour of the year blog

Dear readers. My daughter Preeti also blogs. God seems to be kind to her  to give her a distinct style of writing. Kindly go through her blog and bless her with your comments on her blog.

Here is the link - http://travel-o-graphy.blogspot.in/2014/12/best-experiences-travel-and-otherwise.html?m=1

Happy reading. 

Does Pak has any shade of Grey?

The death of innocent people particularly children should shake us up. Our inner self should cry with pain for any death in the hands of extremists of any variety.  The  religion of the victims should never come to our mind.

Our Western neighbour is different. If so called non Muslims get killed by extremists any where in that country or outside by terrorists exported by that country,  it is OK for them. It is very easy in that country  to murder people on mere suspection of that person or persons having  insulted the prophet, no appeal no trial. Even under constitutional provisions there, when there is appeal or trial, in any case, penalty laid down is also death. No one seems to be moved by all such incidences that happen there or in neighbouring countries.

When on the name of Jihad the terrorists explode bombs in India or do 26/11 they are hailed as heroes  simply because those who died did not belong to the narrow definition of  'Muslim' as per that country.

For them all this happening to others is OK and the good terrorists need to be fated and protected. They will have all the comforts in jail and can even father a child while in jail. That nation, in its quest for purity (pun intended) finds  nothing unusual in all those being killed in such incidences as they weren't Muslims as per the narrow definition conveniently coined in that country.

When others get killed,  including their own citizens, adults and children alike, Hazaras,  Ahmadias, Shias,  Christian and Hindus,  there is   no worthwhile reaction. At the best some meek noise condemning the incidence. That is the White end of the spectrum.

On the Black end, when their own snakes created  and nurtured in their own backyard to bite others (borrowed from Hillary Clinton) turn around and bite the creator, all the hell breaks loose. It is only when these homegrown terrorists  kill children, about 141, few days ago at Peshawar, that the black end of the spectrum comes into play. The Army action intensifies.  Some militants are hanged and many more are to be hanged.

Does that nation has any shades of Grey like calibrated response, systemic correction in criminal justice system, detoxifying the text books to remove all the venom, etc? The tragic death of children is most condemnable but if there were shades of gray in that nation's behaviour, things would not have  reached this level.

Even if they had any intermediate response and could gather some sanity, the time has proved that they will get back to their demonstrated obnoxious behaviour sooner than later..They will not change.

The signs are already there to see. Despite such a massive tragedy hitting that nation from which they should have learnt proper lessons, the typical Pak style statements of India being behind the attack ,that they must continue to recognize good and bad Taliban and support good terrorists (how and when a terrorist qualifies to be good terrorist?),  etc have already started emanating.

Anyone dying in the hands of terrorists is unfortunate, children dying, even worst but our Western neighbour have not drawn any lessons from this tragic incidence. Their responses are as sick as they have been. We can only wish them luck and pray that good sense returns to them.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Power of One More Attempt

Yesterday when my son tried to start our car,  an Indigo LS Diesel car,  it did not start. The 'Check Engine Lamp' continued to glow a long after the engine some how was started. The car could not be used by him.

So I had a job today morning, to get the car problem resolved.

First option was to either call a local mechanic or phone Tata's on road assistance. Second option was,  what is my most favourite option,  give yet another try to something that is not budging.

Invariably, whenever  I have faced such as situation in personal life and professional one,  I have used this option. The statistics
is, 60% of times it gave me positive results.

In the case of my car too,  I  exercised option two, try yet again. Knowing that it is Peak winter in Delhi,  I choose to use engine heating coil about 4 times (switch on ignition, let engine heating coil lamp burn it's course and go off,  switch off ignition  and repeat the process 4 times).

After that when I gave a start,  the car started smoothly. Great trouble averted,  car available for use and no money had to be paid to mechanic.

The readers must have faced similar situations .Did they give one more try before calling help for repair? Even otherwise in life,  when we try to do some thing and don't succeed, most give up but I give atleast one more try. I am sure many of you also do it but if not,  try doing it. 60% success rate is really a good motivator to adopt this technique.

Next time try doing it, अच्छा लगता है.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Army's War + in Kashmir

Nitin Gokhale wrote a nice post on his blog NewsWarrior (http://nitinagokhale.blogspot.in/) that the Army is fighting a War in Kashmir and not terrorism (http://nitinagokhale.blogspot.in/2014/12/army-is-fighting-war-and-not-terrorism.html). I enjoyed reading it but then there were few questions in my mind.

The question that troubled me was, is Army fighting a War in J & K?  I know they are but is it a war, less than a war or something more than a war. That is what needs to be analysed?

In a war, there are stages. In the first place there will be hectic diplomatic activity between nations. If these activities are not giving any outcome and tensions keep increasing then these nations go to precautionary stage. War is the last stage of the process. It is always intense though the tempo may oscillate.

There is a clear distinction between own and the enemy. The war is defined by Malinowski in an article published in American Journal of Sociology, titled "An anthropological analysis of war" as "an armed contest between two independent political units, by means of organized military force, in pursuit of a tribal or national policy".  It is therefore a contest between two nations by their respective state actors with a sanctioned armed action  to attain the desired objective . All other conditions are generally classified as Operations Other Than War (OOTH).

Moot question is, is our army fighting a war, more than a war  or is it OOTH ?

To my mind, our Army faces extreme uncertainty in J & K about the situation on the ground and likely hood of it turning worst. who is our Own and who is enemy is very fuzzy. Army has to be alert 24 x 7 across the same territory and it has been in that alert state for many years, year after year but terrorists can choose the time and place of next action in the same vast territory.

The physical costs of these operations may not be as high as actual war, the psychological and human costs are many times higher then the war. The tempo of operations is nearly constant. The fatigue is a constant companion and not a phenomenon limited by time. Also the Wars lasts for a finite period (even if it happens to be eight years as was the case with Iran - Iraq war). It is easy (relatively) to sustain the effort knowing fully well that one way or the other it will come to an end. There is no such possibility  in the operations being carried out by the Army in J & K though there is a hope of peace returning at a distant future.

The enemy is not a mere non-state actor having meager resources. In this case enemy is a state actor by another name or proxy of a state actor, well armed (except heavier weapons like tanks or big guns) and even better brain washed (Karl Marx said, religion is the opium of masses) to carry out their action.

It must be evident that this is neither  OOTH nor a simple war. This is actually a War+  which being fought by our Army in various dimensions namely military, psychological, physical, material and so on.

Army has been and is capable of continuing this battle in present and escalated form. It is us, citizens of India ,who must understand  that our Army is fighting not just a war but actually a War+ in J & K. We should and must   provide our unstinted support to our Army.

Are we doing it? May not be, it is us who let down the Army on many occasions. We surely need to change.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Accident between Train and School Van in Mau UP. Who is to blame?

A very tragic accident happened near Mau in UP yesterday in which a train hit a school van on a unmanned Level Crossing. This resulted in loss of life of at least Six school children. Unfortunate it is but there is a need to look at the whole issue in proper perspective.

News papers and TV channels are going whole hog shouting Train rammed in to School bus. TOI said, "At least six children were killed while 16 others suffered serious injuries when a speeding train (as if Express trains are not supposed to be doing designated speed) rammed into a school van at an unmanned crossing in Mau district near Varanasi on Thursday morning."(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/6-children-killed-as-school-bus-collides-with-train-in-UP/articleshow/45369250.cms) and India Today, "But then came a jolt - a passenger train had rammed into a school van at an unmanned railway crossing in Mau district in Uttar Pradesh and five school children had been killed." (http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/suresh-prabhu-railway-minister-death-of-school-children/1/405216.html).

These headlines commented as if the train left its track and rammed in to a School Bus on road. Or that the School bus was supposed to be on the unmanned crossing on tracks and the train was a defaulter and an intruder who rammed into it. All of the papers and channels say that the blame must be shared by the railways for not converting Unmanned crossings to Manned crossings. I agree to a small extent.

Let us first understand that unmanned crossings are not only in India (some of us may have that feeling thinking that Indian Railways are callous). Unmanned crossings exist in most of the countries. Why they are there? If there is a need for a road (already existing or new) to cross a track, proper Level (ed) Crossing is required else except for cycles no vehicle can cross the track. If the road is a busy road where traffic density is high, Railways man that crossing round the clock because it has a potential of huge loss of life if kept unmanned. However, when a road at remote location is supposed to cross a line, unmanned crossing with adequate warning signs on both ends is provided primarily because very few vehicles pass over the crossing.

If the unmanned crossings are not provided by Railways for the roads to cross, the road travel distances will be excessive because the road alignment then would have to perforce pass through a manned crossing taking a long detour. India has over 11000 unmanned crossings but all of them have adequate warning signs on both sides and I have seen many such level crossings during my numerous road journeys. Are we the only ones to have unmanned crossings? Not really, almost all countries have such unmanned crossings. There are accidents in those countries too (See Wikipedia article " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_crossing") because of errant drivers.

The main question being overlooked by our media is, was the train driver supposed to take action to avoid accidents on unmanned crossing? I would quote from the article of Wikipedia mentioned above, "Railroad (Railway) trains have a much larger mass relative to their braking capability, and thus a far longer stopping distance than road vehicles. In general, trains do not stop at level crossings but rely on vehicles and pedestrians to clear the tracks in advance."

It is evident even without this quote that while a vehicle may take few seconds to cross a Level crossing (unless it accidentally gets stuck or stalls) the train doing 60 kmph will take over few minutes to come to a stop. Also if the train driver applies emergency breaks (the time to stop may become half) there is a chance that some train coaches may jump out of the track resulting in a major loss of life.

It is innocents who lose their lives in such tragic accidents. It is innocents who are unnecessarily blamed (the Train Driver, in Mau case also villagers stopped the train for few hours as if the train driver was at fault whereas the poor man had just witnessed a tragic accident due to callousness of a stupid Van driver), The only blameworthy person is the vehicle driver who was supposed to stop before crossing, get down, see on both sides if any train is coming and if and only if there is no train coming he is to board his vehicle and drive on. These are the precise instructions a driver is supposed to know before  a driving license is issued to a driver.

Rather than asking for stricter control over issuance of driving licenses, asking for accountability of schools or parents for hiring unqualified drivers of public / school vehicles, every newspaper and TV channel is busy blaming railways for not converting every unmanned level crossing to manned one.

I pray to god to grant peace to these little souls who lost their lives for the fault of their Van driver and hope to have no requirement to do so in future. But I know my wish of not having to pray to god for peace for souls of tragic accidents on unmanned crossing is going to last only till the next negligent and rash driver takes such stupid and uncalled for risk. 

Let us stop 'barking up the wrong tree' and 'bark up the right one', the errant drivers generally having a field day on the cost of innocent lives.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Unruly Roads of Mumbai

That the roads have become unruly in Mumbai has been evident to me for many years. During my visits in the past and present and also during my latest stint of two years in 2011-13, it kept becoming more and more evident every time I was there.

The final realization that Mumbai roads have become extremely unruly dawned on me during my recent visit. I was born in Mumbai (not brought up) and always had taken pride in a fact that it has traffic sense and rule of law on the road. But not any more.

Let me elaborate. There was a time the drivers including taxi drivers followed lanes (my brother was once fined for jumping lane at Churchgate on his bike long time ago). None turned without giving signal, hand or flasher. People were careful while taking U turn. What is the state today?

The people seem to have claimed the roads for themselves from Police. There are cars and two wheelers parked every where (can't blame them, if Municipal authorities don't provide adequate parking, where would people park)? Delhi with so much open space has Multi Story automated public parking at many places. If Mumbai has any, I don't know at this time. Kindly educate me if it has.

Turning without indicator seem to have become a norm rather then exception. Worst contributors are Yellow - Black (Kali Peeli) cabs. They are also the ones who take a u-turn where ever they feel like, even in crowded Colaba Causeway.

When it comes to Zebra crossing, drivers in Mumbai seem to think, Zebra crossing, 'Ye Kya Hota Hai'? This is not in terms of stopping for pedestrians on a non signaled zebra crossing, that is 'out of fashion' through out India. I am talking about Zebra Crossing on a Traffic signal being routinely violated in Mumbai. The vehicles don't stop short of it rather they are all over it and much beyond it as close to signal as possible. To my utter surprise, the Zebra Crossings on traffic signals are followed strictly and voluntarily in New Delhi. Can't believe it, drop a remark and I will record and post a video?

Other issues? Yes, I noticed that even before the signal turns yellow and then green (that means even when the signal is red), if the opposing traffic is thinned out, every one is on his way. Red signal be damned.

Another problem which was absent in Mumbai few years ago has become a routine affair. When someone comes on a main road from a lane and needs to go some distance for a u-turn (because there is no cut in median where the driver has come on the main road) and the distance of the cut in median on the opposite side is closure, people routinely go some distance on the wrong side. May be they want to contribute in nation's development by saving little bit of fuel but what about rules of the road and road safety?

The above mentioned problem is more prevalent in suburbs. There could be some more issues of this nature but I will keep my post limited to the issues mentioned above. What is required? Introspection and observance of rules. Unfortunately, in our country, observance is rarely voluntary.

I think now the time has come for Mumbai Traffic Police to reclaim roads from the unruly users and bring some order before it is too late.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Vasai, A Miniature Replica of Goa

Recently I had a occasion to visit Vasai for short duration on two consecutive days. It was a road trip from Nalasopara West to Vasai village in outskirts of Mumbai.

Vasai has a history. It had a Fort of sultan of Cambay  or Khambat. This was cede to Portuguese after a long drawn battle.

This Fort served as seat of Portuguese govt of Northern territory (all areas under control of Portuguese to the north of Goa). There was a vibrant city (by those days standard) outside  the fort.

This fort was won over by Maratha Army under Chimajee Appa, brother of the then Peshwa after a battle of over three years in 1739. It was soon cede to English by Marathas.

Even now Vasai is a close knit social unit. This is despite many locals converting to Christianity during Portuguese regime. Most houses, small or big, are independent houses of one or two stories. Some of the houses are still old styled but most are now modern. Each house habits own garden with coconut, supari,  cashew and mangoes, etc.
The roads are narrow (just two tight lanes)  and winding. The landscape is serene and beautiful.

Most importantly while Goa has lost its lifestyle, at least in goan cities, to tourism,. On the other hand  Vasai seems to have preserved it's old peaceful (and not lazy) life style despite it being so close to Mumbai and almost all working people follow Mumbai's harried life style for work (cuz they work in Mumbai)

I wish that they remain aware of the cultural importance of being what their place is,  Vasai and retain the old world charm around them while adopting to modern with a sense of history.

For Mumbaikar, when you miss Goa and can't go there, go to Vasai. Only request,  don't turn it into present day Goa. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cheating Long Distance Cab Drivers of Mumbai.

Passengers arriving to Mumbai by long distance trains are generally tired and in a hurry to reach home.  If some one is receiving those passengers, it is fine. 

The problem is when one has to take a cab from one of these stations like Mumbai Ctl, CST, etc. 

There are cab drivers who catch you right on platform. They will  negotiate the price and try to motivate you to take the cab. It is known that the gullible passengers travel with them and realise later on that they have been overcharged. 

There is nothing new that I have stated. The point that I am making is different. Yesterday we alighted at Borivali. I am aware of the racket mentioned above. We were therefore planning to take a cab from regular queue randomly. 

Ad we were leaving the  platform a cab driver asked us to take him. He also said that he will charge by meter. Since we felt that if the driver is going by meter there is little chance of cheating. We took that cab to go to Nalasopara. 

When we reached our destination the bill was Rs 1067. Instantly I knew I have been cheated but having agreed to pay by meter which was showing that amount I had no option but pay. Later on I checked the distance which turned out to be 38 km and charges on mindicator app showed the fare for that distance to be just about Rs 600.

The education that I gained is the meter of this cab was rigged. Second lesson (which I always knew but missed yesterday) is always take a cab from the queue outside the station. Chance of getting a cab at random also randomises chance of getting cheated. Other option is to book a modern radio cab. 

I think loss of about Rs 400 was good price for the knowledge gained. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Indian Railway, the way to go.

I am presently in August Kranti Rajadhani on my way to Mumbai. Rajadhani trains at least on Delhi - Mumbai route are famous for their catering service feeding the passengers non stop. Well I have not travelled in any other Rajadhani therefore I can comment about Delhi -  Mumbai Rajadhani.

The train in spick and span,  shining and very clean. Service quality is very close to airlines style (barring air hostesses). Food quality is reasonable. The Refreshment try has a tray mat which has whole schedule and menu of catering service. It also has a line, 'No tips please'.

The catering staff is businesslike. The TTE is polite and again business like. In general the over all experience in last two hours is enjoyable.

I know every train is not Rajadhani. Provide these kind of services on other trains would shoot up the cost of ticket.  Non reserved trains and trains with sleeper class has to many people. All is correct.

What I feel is, Railways should have a modular concept. First module should be basic which is available to all passengers. Some bits already exist like drinking water on all stations,  waiting halls,  etc. There is definately a needsto upgrade this module in terms of cleanliness in the comparemts,  water in the toilets and biodigester toilets (already introduced in some trains).

As the class of travel become sleeper class, one more module of additional services is added and so on till first AC class. This way the modularity will result in set protocols for Railway employees to flow. They would know what service must be provided to which class.  Both travellers and the railway would benefit.

Service model of Delhi - Mumbai Rajadhani could become benchmark to break it down to various modules.

Keep it up Railways, your services on August  Kranti exp have improved.  That is the way to go. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rampal episode - We have a tradition of Not learning from the past

There is a stand off at Satlok !!!! Ashram at Hisar in Haryana. A person, so called God man called Rampal is holed up in his Ashram and has been hoodwinking the P & H High court. He is under the protection of his own force and is using women and children as shield. If he is a godman with godly powers why is he scared, he can use his powers and just vanish. The standoff could have been avoided.

Is it not a repeat performance by the government of a state or center? In 1984, some one was allowed to merrily accumulate huge number of supporters and arms in a holiest of the holy place of Sikhism without any check or hindrance. When the time came to call the person to answer the law, no one had any solution. In this country, when there is no solution, the only solution is call the Army. Army was called to flush out that person and his followers.

Army had to take casualties and wreck destruction to do its task. Mind you, the soldiers were, as trained, doing merely their task but the results were that many paid with their life. The effect continued for many years in many forms. A former Army chief, General Vaidya had to loose his life.

In this nation the administration never learns. The confrontation that is going on is almost a repeat performance of what happened during arrest of Asaram. How do we allow these people to gather such resources in their places unhindered. It is being reported that Satlok Ashram walls are 30 to 50 ft high. Is there no rule on height of walls of a place.

First we allow situation to escalate, then we carryout the action at the cost of loss of many lives from both sides, holed up culprits and their hostages as also police (or Army when they are called). And then there are diversions. It is true that media has been mishandled and beaten up. Now, for media, asking Haryana Police to accepting responsibility seems number one priority, that the army of Rampal is firing on police, throwing petrol and acid bombs and explosive sticks have suddenly become irrelevant.

Many a police and civilians as also NSG commandos suffered during 26/11 attack on Mumbai due to News Channels fetish of reporting as real time as possible also has been conveniently forgotten. The people responsible for attacking media must be investigated particularly after the media was permitted by DGP, Haryana but is this the time to devote energy on it? It has given handle to political parties who might be responsible in letting this man reach this far. Their main focus is to condemn attack on Journalist and not the actions of Ashram.

A very Muddy situation and every front we seem to have learned nothing from the past. If we don't learn history, we are destined to become history. We should learn but when will we learn is the question.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Decency, have we forgotten this trait.

We have just passed 14th November. It was Bal Diwali and also world diabetes day. But most importantly it was Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's 125th birth day. 

He was our first Prime Minister. He was the architect of modern India. Today, we may disagree with his policies in the advantage of hindsight that we have. We should not forget that the situation then was very different and what he did that time was possibly the best for that time and place (India that was at that time). Simple things like three tier technical education system (ITI, polytechnic and engg colleges) have transformed this nation. I can go on but my point in this post is very different. 

125th Birth Anniversary of this great man should have been cause of nation wide celebrations. So are they not happening? They are but how?
What should have been a unifying event has been made a mockery of. INC lines up programme but does not have the decency to invite people from some of the parties including the ruling party,  BJP. This as if they and they alone hold the IPR on the brand Nehru. By one act a great national figure has been reduced to a partisan leader of just one of the party out of the many parties existing in this nation. 

There are programmes organised by the government of the day (headed by BJP). what is not clear is that did they invite wide spectrum people including politicians of all parties. They should have because any party can behave in any manner but govt of the day does not have such a luxury. 

If they invited everyone, good. The way the politics of the country has become partisan, decency seems to be the biggest casualty, there is thus a doubt, did the govt function done with a invite to all?

 Hope these people from political domain get well soon and get back this vital trait earlier, else the polity will be the looser. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Unfortunate death of two youth in Nawgam, J & K

Two youth have been killed on a army checkpoint yesterday. Unnecessary loss of life is unfortunate. Why should the young lives be wasted.

However, in the furore over their death a very important point is being missed (provided they did not stop at the check Point despite warning to do so is correct). That point is why did they not stop when asked to do so. Was it youthful exuberance which made them to test the seriousness (like we used to do when we,  as children, stole fruits from fruit garden knowing fully well that the Chowkdat will catch us anytime). Or was it misplaced bravado. It could well be that they did not understand the instructions to stop and continued.

But think from the Security Forces point of view. All over the world Security Forces personnel have lost their lives on countless Road blocks. It happens like this.

Checkpoint personal see a car approaching. They warn it to stop. The car does not and nor does it slow down. Personal fire warning shots (may not be all times),  the car continues. They fire on car tyres. The car stops. When the car is surrounded for checking,  the occupants explode the car resulting in death of all security personnel and destruction of the check post.

It has happened in Iraq,  Afghanistan and even in Pakistan. Has that happened in Kashmir, may be,  I don't have specific details.

Our sympathy is with the family members of these boys. But did our soldiers,  already doing a tough job, have any other option when the car did not stop or slowdown? In the hindsight we may think of many but in reality they,  At that moment,  possibly had none. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sena and Dy CM

In one of my earlier blog some days ago I had said that BJP seems to have a plan in Maharashtra for govt formation with or without SS.

BJP has already formed the government. SS has still not made up its mind. Some rumours say that SS wants Dy CMs post and some specific ministries.

May be.  But they were in a position to have all this bargain only and only if they had been in pre poll alliance amicably with BJP. Having lost that opportunity may be because of their or BJPs adamant attitude. At this stage they should look for via media to come together and work for people of the state.

There is enough to do and prove in every ministry and they should prove their worth in which ever portfolio they get. A specific ministry may be good to make party funds,  if one has to  work for people,  any ministry is as good.

As for Dy CM, it creates power centres with in state govt and should be avoided even if the dy CM is from the same party. If accountability and governance are  to be ensured, Dy CM institution is detrimental and should be avoided at any cost.

In any case SS has very little chips to  bargain. Let them rather concentrate about good of the people of Maharashtra. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Curious Case of Govt Formation in Delhi

The state of Delhi is without an elected government since Feb 14. Kejariwal forming govt with support of Congress, the very party he accused of all through his campaign and then resigning on very flimsy grounds (as such his govt would have fallen out of sheer weight of the contradictions is another story) was already very confusing to people of Delhi.

If he was to resign so fast then why did he form a govt? A big unanswered question. May be a sudden success in Delhi, which gave him unexpected results, made him very ambitious to try his luck for Loksabha elections or may be he realised that governance is beyond him (to agitate at the drop of the hat and to govern are very different things).

That is not the subject of this blog post. Subject is curious case of govt formation in Delhi. One good thing out of Political Samudra Manthan (churning) that is happening in India is, days of Aaya Ram - Gaya Ram (Political Turncoats) are over. As in Samudra Manthan, when good comes out, Bad also comes out of any churning. The bad part also is, the days of Aaya Ram - Gaya Ram are over. This is funny?

Let me explain. When Turncoats shamelessly changed parties, at least there was a possibility that in situation like Delhi, a government would have been formed. In fact smart people found a way around anti defection law when it was brought in. How many turncoats BJP needed, just four (with 32 of their own MLAs)? With the turncoats, BJP would have formed the govt and because their number would have been only 4, it was possible to keep them under check.. However, as mentioned earlier, the political churning has resulted in elected representatives being very fearful of quitting a party from which they have been elected least moralistic new voter junks them in the next election.

Also in the new wave of political correctness, even BJP is wary of forming a government with the help of Turncoats. And what is their worry? Same as the worry of elected representative about leaving one party and joining other. If BJP forms a govt by maneuvering, they are sure to been seen a immoral party and the defeat in the next election is feared.

It was evident from the day of election result that none can form a govt. Despite that AAP tried their hand and burnt it. Why is the assembly not being devolved and fresh elections ordered. BJP was just waiting to consolidate and they have done so by way of big wins in Maharashtra and Haryana. They were marginally short of full majority in the last elections in Delhi, this time with the victory in these two states, they are certain of full majority,

The suspense is likely to be over soon and Delhi will have re-election. That would happen for the reasons mentioned above and not because of antics of the Shoot and Scoot man of Delhi or even SC observations.

The correctness or otherwise of this statement is not far to verify.It is just matter of two odd months and I would peg the probability of the statement above being true to 85 %. The signs are here to see.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Maharashtra, An Enigma at this moment!

When results were being announced in Maharashtra Assembly election, for some time it looked that the voters have paid heed to NaMo and given clear majority to BJP. End of the day, however, they have emerged only as the party having largest number of seats and were short of 21 seats for a clear majority.

It looked very logical and simple in initial stages. Two Saffron parties, BJP and SS The point of contention has been resolved by 'votes of  people' as they gave highest number of seat to BJP and second highest to SS. No ambiguity of who will be the CM ( Uddhav's uttering not withstanding). But politics possibly has not much to do with Logic. These two natural allies (so we thought) are presently behaving like husband - wife fighting their divorce case in the court. Accusing each of doing wrong to other.

In comes NCP offering outside support to BJP. Why this change of heart? The public reason is stability in Maharashtra but real reason could be to protect themselves from likely investigations of various scams reported in the past. It could also be that they want to be with the power that be if not in the power themselves.

Another leak came that Congress, a distant third to BJP is planning to support SS to form the government. How can they do it with their just about 100+ numbers, no one could understand.

One more story that appeared (and is appearing off and on) is that BJP will form the govt on its own. And the balance 21 number? May be 10 independents say they support BJP but that still leaves a gap of 11.

All very confusing? I agree

Now my take. BJP seems very sure of what it wants to do. It most likely will form the government on its own. If they do it jointly with SS, SS's lust for power will spoil the party. They (SS) will continue to be unreasonable and will put undue demands like deputy CM from them, etc. We have already seen the effect of CM - Dy CM in last Cong - NCP govt. It is an experiment worth avoiding.

The question still remains, from where will they get 21 (or 11, counting 10 independents supposedly on BJP's side)? To me, it seems that they do have an answer to the question and hence they are behaving like a cool cat. The cards will be opened by them at the time of "Show". Till then for us, it still is, wait and watch (The fun, may be).

Friday, October 17, 2014

Musharraf and His "Foot in Mouth" Disease

Musharraf is a retired General, Ex President of Pakistan and presently an under-trial in that country. Long tenure as a self imposed president of that nation has given wings to his political ambitions (why live retired life when you can have all the fun as politician).

There is also the issue of remaining relevant. There are two ways to stay relevant, either do something spectacular for people or do something that is controversial. Look around in that nation or read Dawn of any day online and one realises that there is so much to do there but it calls for lot of hard work. Hard work does not seem to be the fashion of the day in Pak.

The politicians in that country have a even better option. Talk any thing about Kashmir or India (mostly nonsense) and you are an instant hit. Hating us is the raison d'etre for Pakistan. It is also fashionable there. So you have Bilawal Jardari (who pretends that he is Bhutto to derive mileage) taking in a shrill voice about doing something that his grand pa wanted to do even if they have to eat grass and even if it takes 1000 years (will Pak exists that far is any body's guess, India will in some form or the other as we have been for generations). I could only say God forgive him because he does not know what he is talking.

But the cake has been taken by irrelevant, out of circulation and reinventing politician called Musharraf who has come up with a idea of instigating Kashmiris in India to revolt (and what happens if Kashmiris in POK revolt paying heed to Musharraf). The man should have at least come up with original idea.

Pakistan tried exactly the same stunt in 1965 by launching Operation Gibraltar to do exactly the same thing that Musharraf now proposes, instigate Kashmiris to revolt and failed miserably. About fifty years post 1965, here is a man who has not learned any thing. Seems he has not heard that those who do not learn from history become history sooner than later. May be his 'Foot in Mouth' Disease has aggravated.

For readers benefit, I quote from Wikipedia, "This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War and was fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947. The war began following Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India.[16] The five-month war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration".

If only Musharraf had told us Indians with a wink that he is doing all this for his domestic audience, our reaction might have been different. But for now we can only say Get well soon.

Swacha Bharat, Nice Idea, But is 'Swacha' in our DNA?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come up with some Game Changer ideas like PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Swacha Bharat and Toilets in all schools, etc. Each one of these ideas can change many lives. Jan Dhan Yojana will induce savings as there would be a bank account to put money This will also help direct transfer of subsidies thereby plugging huge leakages of Govt Funds.

Toilets in all the schools (with separate ones for girls) will bring down the drop out rate drastically for the girl students, having higher classes in smaller places is the other such measure.

But what has the potential for Pan India turn around is Swacha Bharat. The general dirt around us every where in villages, towns and cities, the general poor maintenance of public infra and their run down state and such other things is a major put off. They add gloom to the Psyche of people and either limit their capability to take initiative or just kill it.

A clean village, town, city, public infra included, will change the general doom that has set in among most Indians.  The question is, will it happen?

It should happen but who will do it? Look everywhere. We are a nation of people who sweep their house and throw dirt just outside as if it is going to vanish on its own. They do nothing but to wait for some one to arrive when gutter outside their house has chocked (mostly from the dirt that hey have dumped into it). When they go to offices, neither the pile of dust laden files nor the cob webs competing with each other in size bothers them.

They merrily spit pan where ever they feel like, throw groundnut skin (Chilka), Chips packet and such other things without any second thought, not in a dust bin (even when provided) but straight on road or lawns (where ever the eatable finishes, instant disposal). The cleanliness be damned. It is non of their bother as to who will clean it, may be govt or may be no body, who cares.

We the people of this great Bharat seem to have the habit of dirtying around in our DNA. Cleanliness for us is limited to keeping self, own house and own chair clean and nothing more then that. That our surrounding, office, transport, etc is dirty and may be it was dirtied by us is not of any concern.

Earnest desire and thought of our PM may swing some minds who may change themselves but that would not be enough. It will have to be a majority thought for people then and only then the Bharat will be Swacha.

Will there be change of heart for people and will we have the Bharat Swacha? I might have sounded pessimistic in the text above but by nature I am an optimistic person and thus hope that it shall happen.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Border Firing, Why is it being done

The Indo Pak border has suddenly come alive for last few months. Not only LOC but the IB is also active There are blames and counter blames as to who is violating the cease fire,

Many reasons are being given by the experts including firing by Pak is to give cover to infiltration, this is being done to bring Kashmir to International fora, etc. All of them are plausible individually and collectively.

However, to me, it appears to be a collusion between China and Pak to deliberately keep india guessing and confused The incursions by China without any provocation and the cease fire violations by Pak are all part of attempts to keep india unstable.

Why do they want India to be unstable? There is new NDA government at center with a clear focus on economy and governance. It they win in Maharashtra and Haryana (as of now it is difficult to predict) they will become further powerful. Their numbers in Rajya Sabha will also become better.

This will further strengthen the resolve of the government to go full steam ahead with its agenda. It is also determined to improve relations with immediate neighbors (baring incorrigible Pak) and others (Japan, Australia, USA, Vietnam, etc).

Focus on economy and governance will turn around this nation and make it even more strong economically. Better economy also automatically makes more money available for defence even when GDP % share of defence in the budget may remain unchanged. Better relations with other nations will make China worried (almost all these governments are inimical to China).

How can China stop this? by incursions themselves and by its proxy Pak indulging in cease fire violations. The government should show both of them that this government has no compulsion of collation and is capable of taking firm stand. Some people arguse that we should not have responded to antics of Pak, may be. But will Pak get tired and stop firing if we don't respond? Unlikely. Pak will only stop when the cost of this adventure becomes prohibitive for them (as stated by our defence minister).

Government should leave the job of containing these two actors to security establishment (with laying down clear policies for them to follow) and balance government machinery must focus on its main task, Economical revival and governance.

This two prong strategy may be the only answer to these two countries.

Our National Character - Problem of Finish

Recently concluded Asian Games have brought to fore the most common problem of FINISH of the Indian mindset.

It is true that some of our players did well and won medals but there were cases where fouth position could have become bronze medal or bronze could become silver. The stumbling block was our inability to finish the task.

Some of our players were on the verge of winning till the very end but were overtaken in last few meters. In swimming, one of our swimmer was a leader till 40 m mark and then came third at the end in last 10 m.

Similar things happen in most of the tasks we do. It seems our mindset presumes that once started the task will finish on its own. In reality it does not happen that way. Anyone who has played tennis, golf or basketball knows that while start is important, it is the finish of a stroke or a throw at Basket that determines the result of that action and not just the good beginning. Remember well begin is (only) half done, the balance half definitely comes from well finish, a fact that we mostly miss in our elation of starting a job well.

This tendency is also evident in many things that we Indians do including our government. We always start of with grand ideas but soon run out of steam either mid way or around finish. We cleaning our house and dumping the dirt on the road (and not in the garbage bin) is also part of the same problem.

How will we Indians overcome this shortcoming? Difficult to answer but a cultural change may be the answer.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

History Made at 17 Asian Games at Incheon, Hockey and Relay.

In a heart stopping game of Hockey, Indian men's Hockey team defeated Pakistan in Penalty Shoot out by a score of 4-2. Some brilliant hockey and some not so brilliant display of play by Indian team resulted in 1-1 tie after one hour of play, which lead to Penalty shoot out.

While our players taking shots at Pakistan did superb work by out maneuvering Pakistan goalkeeper, the real hero of the shoot out was our goalkeeper Shreejesh who managed to Block most Paki attempts leading to this historic victory in Asian Games.

The Gold medal returned to Indian after a long gap of 18 years. Last we had won it in Asian Games was in 1996.

Even better was the show of our women's 400 m x 4 relay team. This team won the gold medal in his event for India but winning gold medal, though excellent achievement, is not the actual news.

Actual news is, they did it with a new Asian Games record an that is the NEWS, This is what TOI said on this victory,                                  "The quartet of Priyanka Panwar, Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and M R Poovamma won an easy race in 3:28.68 to improve upon the earlier Games record of 3:29.02 which was also in the name of the gold-winning Indian team in 2010."                                                Bravo to both the teams. May the Success makes it a habit of coming your way in future too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sham at Asian Games - Boxing

Laishram Sarita Devi is a Indian boxer, a former world champion in Light weight class. She was born in 1985 and thus would be thirty years in  the month of March next year (as per Wikipedia) though one TV channel says she is already 32 years old. When next  Asian games take place 2018 she would be 33 years and might not be an active boxer by then, She, after all, is married and has family.

The grueling schedule of boxing practise in itself presents her with psychological dilemma of her child not recognizing her when she meets her child after a long gap caused by tough schedule.

Such a hard work of Sarita was 'flushed down the drain' by stupidity of highest order seen during her Semi Final bout during Asian Games 2014. Even a blind person would have sensed that it was Sarita who had better of her opponent in round 2, 3 and 4 and round 1 was nearly matched. What a blind could have sensed, the great judges with good sight failed to detect and declared her opponent the winner with a 3 - 0 decision against Sarita.

Adding insult to injury was unexplained absence (as reported by TV channels) of our sports officials at Incheon who were no where to be seen when our girl needed their backing the most. May be they were busy in doing some better !!!!!! things.

When she boycotted the Bronze medal, she is being blamed for not showing maturity. Let me ask those people, may be she should have shown restraint but is it some tennis match of Devis cup that if not  now we will take revenge next year. She lost out of sheer favoritism (or did judges pressed red button for scoring when they intended to press blue, Sarita's colour during the bought) and god knows will she be taking part in next Asian Games or not. Her anger is fully justified.

Imagine, AIBA the international boxing body is planning disciplinary action against her for refusing to accept the medal. Its supervisor and Technical Delegate David B Francis said, "In this regard, as the Technical Delegate, I had to request OCA to review this incident, so any boxer or athlete in other sports will not follow in her footsteps by (dis)respecting the spirit of fair-play and sportsmanship of the Olympic Movement,"

Look who is taking and about what! The spirit of fairplay and sportsmanship? LOL.

Sarita has taken a calculated risk. Already being beyond 30 or 32 years of age, she is over the top in Boxing. A ban of some years will make no difference to her because her best that was evident has been killed by the officials shamelessly and brutally. Well done Sarita, you took a stand.

The Pseudo spirit of fair play and sportsmanship be damned.  

Read more at: h

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chess in Progress in Maharashtra, Possibilities! - Follow up

Hi All,

This is a follow on post on the same subject. Now that the actors namely A & B and C & D have broken up, probabilities of event (a)that is party C & D staying together is become zero (at the moment).

Probability of event (b) (namely party D going all alone) happening is now gone up to about 70% though I would not be surprised if post filing nominations in next two days the main protagonists of this game of chess on one side (party C & D) come to some convergence and fight the elections jointly yet again

It may be so that party D broke the alliance to give shock treatment to its friend party C. If they reach some convergence, all it takes is to tell official candidates to withdraw their nominations from the seats allotted to alliance partner, though some candidates revolting and continuing to fight as independent is not ruled out.

Party A and C are already accusing that there is a tacit alliance between party B and party D (that is the event (c) for my earlier post with stated probability of 15% when last post was published, now it is up to 20 %).

I will still not rule out event (d) party A and D joining together though A has already declared its tie up with Mulayam's party. I would peg the probability to mere 10 % of this event happening.

Every news channel is talking of one thing (irrespective of who owns that channel), Maharashtra common man is tired of Party A & B's joint misrule of last decade. If that is true, is there going to be a relief to the population of Maharashtra and are any political parties ever bothered about people's aspirations to let go of their own egos is what remains to be seen?

Parties have time till the date of nomination withdrawal to rethink and realign. As for me, I will enjoy the game of "wait and watch" (the fun I mean).

BTW - I also enjoy to hear your views and comments, so feel free.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Memorial in Official Bungalow

There is a classic being enacted in heart of New Delhi.  A senior politician was alloted a govt bungalow. On his death it was possibly reallocated to his son who might have become a MP or it could be gratis at that time,  I am not sure of it.

Now when he is neither minister nor MP,  he has been asked to vacate. After consuming sufficient time he wanted time till 25 Sep on religious grounds.

So far it looked a normal and routine process. Suddenly it must have donned on someone that why not convert govt owned accommodation to self owned. Brilliant idea,  lets demand that that bungalow be made memorial to senior leader.

Well govt so far has refused to conceed the request. However,  if govt does not fortify the bungalow it is likely that some squatters will take possession of it and refuse to vacate till they have their way.

Let us wait and watch as to who blinks first. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Nothing Surprising about UP results

By-election results in UP and Rajasthan seems to have surprised many. The Rajasthan results are surprising. Loosing 3 out of 4 seats while in power is surprising.

Many are also commenting about UP By-election results. It is being touted as drop in BJPs popularity. It may be so but most commentators are over looking the absence of BSP.

In any election  every party has support Base based on its ideology or composition. for example those having religious ideas vote for such parties. Parties based on casts have their separate clientèle.

In UP possible combination is Hindu nationalist and businessmen for BJP,  MY for SP,  M and Dalits for BSP.

There are some converts from one block to another depending on the type of elections and issues of emotions at that time.

Mere absence of BSP from elections means the MD block would split between BJP and SP with majority of them shifting to SP.

To me election results in UP were a surprise if BJP had won major seats.  In absence of BSP from By-election the results  are on expected lines,  a fact that may be confirmed by verifying loksabha election results.

Why did BSP not fight By-elections? Only they know the answer.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Games Top Leaders of Nations Play

Chinese President is here. He and Indian Prime Minister are holding talks. While on one hand this is happening, on the other hand incursions in Ladakh by PLA Army personals and for the first time by the civilians from Chinese side (mind you originally only Tibetans were the citizens in the area across the border. Whether these civilians are Tibetans or Chinese is not clear to me).

It would have been a reasonable assumption that a nation will ensure that when their leader is traveling to a neighboring country, the contentious issues are kept low. The case here is exactly opposite. The Chinese President is all powerful and his military and civilians have stepped up these activities giving rise to a suspicion that it is not a mere coincidence but a design by Chinese government with full consent of the guest who is presently in our country.

The motive seems to keep our government and its thought process confused and destabilized during bilateral talks to gain a upper hand.

Will they succeed and have we planned similar or suitable counteraction is to seen in the days to come.

Monday, September 15, 2014

They too served the people. Local Volunteers in J n K

J &  K is going through a really rough time.  The scale of tragedy is massive. Rescue efforts require capability, discipline, devotion and reach of our Armed Forces.

The extent of work being done by them is huge and the attended coverage of their actions also is of that scale both on TV as also the print media.

It does not mean that there is vacuum of others in provide relief. Well as far as State government and separatist are concerned their absence is well known. In d first case of State Government it is unfortunate and in the second case, it is a welcome absence. No one missed their absence.

But credit is due and must be given to large number of local volunteers,  people, religious organisations, etc who pitched in with their meger resources and stayed put in the service of their community. Many did so while their own families were facings similar hardship.

We must salute our Armed forces but we must also salute these people who had no organisation to back them up, meger resources and none else but sheer courage and will to help.

Oh common people of J & K who went much beyond their call of duty out of sheer will to assist,  we salute you. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Common Sense is Holding on its own. Kashmir Floods

In my previous blog post I had said, using pure common sense, that these floods are a result of man's greed. I had felt what could have happened. A Times of India article in today's paper (14 Sep 14) confirms what I felt. In an article titled "The Deluge of Development", Mr BR Singh has brought out that in Srinagar, Water ways have been converted in roads and wetland in to colonies that has aggravated the tragedy caused by heavy downpour.

The link to the article is here http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/deep-focus/The-deluge-of-development/articleshow/42417342.cms

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It is Man's Greed that is Evident in most Natural Disasters

Kashmir Valley is under water for about six days now. CM says the rain that poured in was 400 mm and Met dept says it was 200 mm. Let us leave that controversy aside. Even if we take 400 mm (higher figure) as true, all the rain is meant (naturally) to drain to the rivers or the lakes. The design of nature is so good that the water always flows through natural slops to nearest water body. All water bodies also have their discharge mechanism.

What does that mean? In case of a Lake (at least natural) there is a flow channel to a river or a Nullah  when the lake overflows. Similarly a river, unless dammed will freely flow and if dammed, there will be controlled water release from it.

Does it not surprise us that despite no rain in Kashmir valley for last few days post the downpour, water has not drained out (and thus receded) from the streets of Srinagar to rivers and lakes? The reason is simple. We take nature for granted; We construct houses, other buildings and  structures indiscriminately without any regard to natural flow paths of water in case of rain. Since it rains heavily very rarely, we take it for granted that natural drainage of water is a need that will NEVER arise.

This phenomenon is further aided by the unchecked illegal construction not only in the flow / drainage path but even in the river / lake bed. We choke the natural gradients of water flows. After allowing the mankind enough time to reconcile and correct the situation the Mother Nature strikes back. Even in such times if natural water drainage is free of obstructions, the accumulate water will drain out very fast as soon as heavy rain stops.

But since we took Mother Nature granted for many years, when her fury lands on us, we are left with cities like Srinagar becoming lakes by themselves with a very poor drainage rate. Where will the rain water drain? It is us who has dammed the water in our cities by killing natural routes of drainage.

The story repeats itself from Mumbai (a few years back), Uttarakhand and now in Kashmir valley. It is unfortunate that  the people suffering in such times are mostly non contributors to these causes, tourists etc.

The moot question is, will we ever learn? Our record so far shows that we are dim and duffer students.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Saviours @Mumbai

I have come to Mumbai for some work at Ambarnath. Onwards journey from Prabhadevi to Ambernath took 2hrs.

Return journey took 2 Hr 30 min. The doubt then would be,  what am I talking about,  saviours?

On the return leg I traveled through Eastern Freeway. What a experience. In this city where 2 km can take from 5 min to 1 hr  Chembur to Orange gate of Civil Dock in FLAT 10 min. Does it not look like miracle?

Also saw a Monorail in operation. These are the saviours,  Freeway, Metro n Monorail.
More such measures are needed. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Marathi Drama (Natak) 'Proposal'

As  part of Maharashtra Utsav (Ganesh Utsav as called in Delhi but with a difference that the programmes held thereafter in various months also become part of it) celebrated in Delhi, we were fortunate to see a very good Natak (Drama), named Proposal on 06th Sep 14.

It had many unique things in it, starting from its set. It is a two act play but the whole play is enacted in a Mumbai Local Coach (that too supposedly last local of the day from somewhere (may be Mumbai CST) to Kalyan. So one can imagine how innovative the set is.

The story revolves around Just four characters, two main ones and two support ones. The main protagonists are a young man of say 22, very naive and simple (so it looks) and a Street Walker young girl, again pretending to be street smart but a small girl lurking beneath her Street Walker exterior.

From this point one it is a journey of fun, light hearted banter, emotions and a bond between them caused by common rural background. How ever this act culminates in arrest of the girl (not for Street Walking) by the boy (who is a Police Constable) for an accidental death of a ruffian during a fistfight with the girl (while the boy was asleep).

The second act is the hallmark of the play and for maintaining the sanctity of the story line I would not talk about it. I would say that the quality of the whole story line is similar to the famous Hindi short story by Pandit Chandradutt Sharma Guleri called Usane Kaha Tha". Those who know this hindi story would know what intense level of storyline I am talking about.

The acting by Aditi Sarangdhar as the lead female role Radha and by Astad Kale in the leading Male role of Nivruti Krushna Pawar  is the one that adds fragrance to the story line. Among these two, Aditi stands out primarily because her role has emotions as its second name and she bring them out in a unbelievably superb manner with her very high standard of acting. Astad kale also does full justice to his act.

You don't believe in my statement? Please watch the play and then tell me how right I was. Happy Viewing.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New Divide among People of Sanatan Dharma.

When things were almost settled on the Sanatan dharma (aka Hindu dharma) front and it seemed that now the dispute is inter – religion, came the bomb shell. 

It revolved around the question, Ïs Sai baba of shiradi a god”? What the Sanatan Dharma says about god, who qualifies as a god or his Avtar are higher level questions beyond me. To my understanding and I may be wrong, whatever or whose ever responds to ones calls when he is in distress, the mind believes in him.  As such, the dharma followed in India is that everything in this universe has god within it. Remember  the adage, ‘Aaham Brahmasmi’.

Back to this question, is Sai Baba a god? But who says so? This humble saint preached unity. Named a old (unused, to my knowledge)  mosque “Dwarka Mai”. Lived in it in abject poverty and survived only on Alms given by people. Never heard that he called himself even a Saint, let alone an Avtar. He reached out to people, people developed faith in him and they granted him elevated status as a Saint, but as per available information he did not start a Math (Mutt) or stopped living on Alms.

It was always believed that Sai baba is a Saint. Was he Muslim or Hindu? I guess no one could find out even in those days when he was alive nor he ever explained.  Also it did not matter to the people who somehow believed in him. Then why this controversy?

Every issue has its roots in Power or quest for it. It could be power over people or control over money. Sometimes, when life is peaceful, some people become uncomfortable with the peace and tranquility. But the debate being triggered by a senior figure of the stature of Sankarachrya is surprising. 

I thought Sanatan Dharma is ever gracious and accommodating all through the history. However, this issue has triggered intense debate and ideological fight among management committees of various temples across the nation as if all the pressing problems of their fellow followers are resolved and this is the only issue left to be resolved. 

The unity that existed thus far is shattered. A new division among people (mostly Hindus) has started. The issue has boiled down from ’Is Sai Baba a God’, which is a non issue as no one said so, to ‘why is his statue in the temples’. 

The simple man’s simpler saint must be extremely unhappy. He tried to unify people all through his life and now they are getting divided over issues related to him. Let us leave him alone.