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Pakistan is a 24×7 conspiracy cauldron. The chefs manning its high voltage kitchen manage to churn out eye-popping recipes for the whole world out there. They don’t discriminate between men and women, young and old, white and black, while doling out meticulously prepared menus. Religion is no bar in their eyes. Christianity, Hinduism, islam and Judaism- all are treated at par. Native Pakistanis are also not forgotten, while entreating rest of the global citizens with their dishes.
Pakistan was born out of midnight conspiracies hatched between religious bigots and their political minions and the departing Englishmen. The Englishmen wanted to give the Indians a parting shot- while unwillingly relinquishing the power- in the form of a truncated subcontinent. The Islamic groups became willing accomplices in the move to cut the subcontinent into two pieces. The conspirators left and the world closed its eyes to the frenzy of genocide, bloody mayhem and a trail of destruction in the painful division of the country. Thus, a country was carved out on the edifice of hatred and communal poison. Today, after seventy long years, when the world has moved far ahead and the parent country is willing to move on and be in peace with its neighbors, pakistan seems to be stuck in a time-warp. It behaved insanely with its own east pakistan citizens. The gentle bengali speaking east pakistanis had suffered enough at the hands of monstrous pak generals and revolted. The affronted pakistanis went on with a butchering spree of innocent civilians till india intervened with its army. The pakistanis saw their conspiracy of dividing india repeat itself in the creation of bangladesh.
They would not sit still. They put their evil heads together and came up with an idea to bleed India with thousand cuts. Millions of dollars of budgetary allocation was provided to create brand new institutions to prepare new age pre-degree, degree, post-graduate and doctoral degree holders in terrorism. The freshly educated people fanned out to jammu and Kashmir, to india’s hinterland and other parts of the world to showcase the practical use of their knowledge. They blew up any stranger on their path as their proud faculties watched their pupils’ feats from pakistan. They also died dog’s’ death at the hands of security forces. So, the CMDs of autonomous terrorism campuses urged their tired and hungry womenfolk to produce more and more scholars to supply uninterrupted batches of alumni. The authorities also pleaded with americans and chinese to continue with their charitable supply of dollar to keep the institutions of excellence going.
The time came when the dog tried to bite its donor’s hand. The people at large saw the recipes from pakistani chefs’ trick of hand very bitter, foul tasting and stomach-upsetting. The world is at a point of crucible and india’s story of pakistan’s perfidy is slowly gaining wider credence. The conspiracy factory of pakistan has timed the moment well to discover a man called kulbhusan yadav. They want to gain moral equivalence with india on terrorism as being perpetrated by each side on the other, in this case kulbhusan yadav being the fall guy purportedly creating terrorism in Balochistan. They have managed to coerce a confession out of him and on that basis a verdict of hanging has been handed to him in double quick time by the military court, the CEO- you remember? – of colleges of terrorism and research.
The Indians are outraged, justly so, by the allegation of expertise in a subject that they have no clue about, over which the pakistanis have patent rights as a result of years of experience in research and development in this field.
Anti-Romeo squad is the new buzzword in the town. The newly sworn-in government of Uttarpradesh hails its decision as an effective counter to the growing menace of eve-teasing, stalking and cases seriously criminal in nature affecting the womenfolk. The people who formed a part of the voted-out dispensation are at odds with the move, terming it ill-conceived and shallow. It is another matter that their full tenure was marred with eve-teasing, dowry deaths, rape and murder cases and so many more grievous offences against women. Not only were they found not up to the task, but also their ministers were seen to be complicit in most of the cases. So, the people of the state have most resoundingly shown them the door. Yet, they choose to scoff at the term anti-Romeo squad, not for what the police is doing on the ground, but for the naming of the squad itself, which they denounce as defamatory to the famous lover in Shakespeare’s character. Such is the juvenility of members of last government that one shudders to think they have just demitted the office that was writing the fate of the state for last five years, like the ones before them for so many years more. They see no difference between the years of abdication of responsibility and inaction that their regime was infamous for, and some action initiated on the ground by the present dispensation to eliminate the scourge. One can’t but pity the losers in Tv discussions and Parliamentary interventions, chastising the government for what they call the latter’s attempt to besmirch the poor Romeo’s image of a lover boy and not an eve-teaser.
Politicians lose the plot when they fail to read the writing on the wall, when they lose connect with the people and instead go on boasting from the ivory tower of their invincibility and of the never diminishing love of the citizens. They abandon people when in power, choosing to play deaf and dumb to the distressed call of mothers, sisters and daughters, pleading to save them from marauding oppressors. They abandon them yet again out of power by creating roadblocks against any sincere effort by the new government to bring about change. They serve nobody but themselves when they oppose a sincere move by the present government to ban the pernicious practice called triple talaq. They are okay with fifty percent of a community suffering abuse, violation of individual freedom and women’s rights, as long as they find favor with rest of that community in electoral calculus. The terms secularism and pluralism and idea of India that are bandied about at the drop of a hat by these people in any public discourse are but excuses to maintain the status quo of unlawful practices under the cover of religious freedom, minority rights etc etc. They are fine with equality of education and gender justice in so far as it does not extend to the people of minority community. Universality of freedom, equality and gender justice is anathema to them and they are quick to brand those, attempting to bring everybody irrespective of religion under one rule of law, as communal. This utter hypocrisy is dangerous and must be resisted by everybody.
The exam season is upon us once again. It is really the most difficult part of executing the dreams that we see as easily in sleep as in being wide awake. The bright ones have stars in their eyes. They aim at nothing short of making it to NASA as scientists and engineers or at the very least getting entry to ISRO. The number crunching and cracking difficult problems takes a vigorous pace from earlier routine of relaxed manner of study. Some students go it alone and some others like to get in a group, burning midnight oil and getting up in the morning with swollen red-shot eyes.
Whole year long, students are seen astride the bicycles or riding bikes to their preferred tutorials to get to know the nuts and bolts of different subjects. Schools and colleges are hardly the places where any knowledge worth the name can be gained. Teachers go through the motion of forty five minutes of formality till the class bell rings, making the process as monotonous and as boring as possible. The students devote all their attention-unencumbered by any engaging topic-to cracking jokes, gossiping and having a merry time. All that a student gets from so much toing and froing between formal classes and tutorials is half baked knowledge served as fast foods as per order items from menus. The menus are highlight budget packages of tutorials designed as per students’ demands, for example formal course, formal+engineering, formal+medical etc etc.
Students of commerce and humanities don’t carry the baggage of so many entrance exams at intermediate level as science students do. They wait till the graduation to opt for professional courses or to make a serious bid to crack banking, IAS or public sector jobs. Meanwhile, they avail themselves vicarious pleasure at the expense of science students who look all serious, round-the-clock putting their noses between the pages of entrance question paper sets.
At the end of the day, a miniscule percentage of hard working and gifted students turn up trumps. The unlucky ones remain as clueless as ever as to what could have been done differently besides so much of hard labour they had put in. However, they choose to move on to second or third best career options available to them.
War sans ideas
We are reminded, at every step, of much trumpeted media neutrality by none other than media itself. They jolly well shoot their fingers in every direction, but the moment a finger is pointed at them they simply turn red at the audacity of the suggestion. The facts that citizens legitimately seek take different colours by the expert sleight-of-hand. The viewers get queasy when they see simple black and white facts getting dissected by surgical journalists’ hands and being put on the table with a whole new shape and a different meaning.
One hears a lot, now a days, about freedom of speech, intolerance and threat to secularism in our country. One is disturbed to see some news channels in league with some political parties branding a particular set of opinions as the most sacrosanct and dismissing the opinions opposed to it as intolerant trolling. Take the case…
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A boy from a poor family in rural hinterland was ecstatic with joy when the postman handed him an envelope. The boy’s name was Sujit. The envelope contained a letter of selection to the prestigious JNU. His old parents were happy that the event was at last a break from their own grinding life. On the day of departure, his parents were overcome with emotion of having to let their only son leave for an alien rough-and-tumble of city life. The life of their beloved son had been a much pampered one, spent amidst friends group of village playing in the meadows, diving from the embankment head first into the river for swimming and having fun for hours together till he was reprimanded to go home. Village school was simple one where unkempt kids with running noses studied, played games and used to enjoy unadulterated days, months and years of joy of their life. Although, his parents knew that the life of misery and suffering that their son was shackled with was in fact due to their own cursed life, yet the fear of uncertainty in the life of their only son in a distant land like Delhi, haunted them no end. Here, at least, their son running here and there, jumping and whooping with joy even in half-filled stomach would have filled them with joy.
For a few days,Sujit was lost in crowd of students from all over the country. He was shy and introvert. His lecturers encouraged him to take part in group discussions and debates. The shy introvert Sujit slowly opened up. His short speeches started getting longer from a gentle halting style to a feisty clarion call to rebel against the establishment. His philosophy professor took him to his ideological laboratory and filled all his being with leftist philosophy of ranting against Indian democracy, human rights violations, capitalism and bourgeois ideology. He was now in complete auto-motion. His comrades clapped when he declaimed that cross border terrorism by Pakistan was an honorable cause against injustice by Indian military state. Army and police are tools of oppression of Indian state, he cried the war cry and everybody else joined in. Naxalites killing policemen and Pakistani terrorists killing army men are justifiably exacting revenge against the oppressors and not vice-versa, he claimed and all else agreed. China’s one party rule is more Democratic than India’s multi party system, he ranted and everybody gave thumbs up.
Meanwhile, his parents got to know about his feats from stories told to them by those who read newspaper and saw television. They were awestruck by such stuffs that were inside the boy, which they did not get a hint of all these years. They were happy that their son was making waves, going places and making a name for himself. They wanted nothing more.
“Yes, i hit the airline official 25 times with my slipper.” boastfully proclaimed Mr Gaikwad, the Shiv sena MP.
Any common person in his place would by now have been behind bars with or without the video of the incident or the boastful admission by the perpetrator. But, he and his ilk are a different lot. For them, the system goes into a tailspin. FIR is lodged after a considerable lapse of time, that too prompted by a lot of media criticism. Again, the lodging of an FIR does not automatically translate into his arrest as it normally should have been. For a common person in his place assaulting an official on duty like he did, the system would not have required to go through the process of FIR, enquiry etc. A simple phone call would have sufficed for a policeman to arrive with handcuffs to drag the man to jail.
This is the real travesty of the law of the land that treats citizens differently. For far too long, politicians have been behaving like extra-constitutional figures and common men have been meekly acquiescing in it. A deep seated sense of entitlement to perks and privileges has made them power-blind to such an extent that a few Mps belonging to Shiv sena and Samajwadi party raised a hue and cry in the Parliament over the airliners’ decision to ban the culprit from flying in their airlines. This is actually stretching the power of politicians to its limit. The party the Mp belongs to plays deaf and dumb, seeking to be cured of their infirmities only by an enquiry committee its chief has constituted. The long arm of the law is probably not long enough to catch the erring Mp who meanwhile brazens it out. So, in this scenario, the least an airline could do is ban the person on the grounds of safety of airlines and passengers, which it did and others followed in a show of solidarity. Worst of all is the MP’s refusal to tender an apology and his insistence on the victim to apologize instead.
Over and above all this, the people of his constituency have called for a bandh in a bizarre show of strength. Has the Mp got a medal of excellence in public service by thrashing an official on duty? The MP’s public behavior and utterances smacks of arrogance of power and lack of basic civil decency. It defies logic why people should stand in his support when he remains as unrepentant and hot headed as ever, evenly proudly promising, given a chance, he would do it all over again.
It is time, the system stood up for itself and drilled in the politicians a sense of humility in their behavior.