Friday, January 26, 2007

On This Republic Day ...

The two facets of a Republic: On this republic day, as the news channels beamed images of a resurgent, vibrant and proud-to-be-India-on-camera India amidst news of separatist groups protesting or observing bandhs, the mercury of my dilemma soared northwards.

Each time they show these kind of visuals of happy, dancing, talking-on-latest-cellphone Indians to project the image of NEW India, somewhere at the back of mind, emerge the images of hungry and extremely malnourished children, everyday mounting toll of farmers committing suicide and many others who are victims of apathy of not only Governments but perhaps of this new 'resurgent' India as well.

Then the sceptical me asks: what and whom this celebration is for? A celebration by the rich/middle class, of the rich/middle class, for the rich/middle class?

And the hopeful me replies: don't be sceptical you jerk. If you have so much pain in the heart for the deprived, don't just shatter keys, go out and dirty your hand in helping them. This one day is a reminder that we have moved a lot but we still have a lot of ground left to cover. No point cribbing over failures, but to highlight the successes and get INSPIRED.

DD Blues: The live telecast of R-Day parade on Doordarshan's National channel was typically old fashioned and hence somewhat nostalgic.

Actually the whole parade seems to be exactly what it seemed to be years ago, when I almost always missed the live telecast (going to school on the two national holidays was compulsory!!) and had to catch the glimpses on the DD's news bulletins which were of course very few and gave very summarizing coverage.

I tried to know the names of all the units marching and the armaments and equipments on display. And though all the tableaus had almost similar themes (and it seems will continue to have same themes for next 1432 years!) there was an excitement of watching all of them and knowing who was the winner.

I can't understand, just why can't DD make the coverage more informative, interactive and vibrant? Of course claiming some one else's feed of a cricket ODI as your 'legitimate right' is much easier than doing some innovation on your own. Mr. Priyaranjan Das Munshi are you listening?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Someone save my state. Please!!!

The missing rivers: The saints and devotees refused to take a bath in Sangam this year due to extremely high level of pollution in the holy rivers. What a shame! We are a nation of more than (supposedly) 330 million deities and this is what we have made of two of our greatest and holiest rivers. And the rate at which Gangotri and Yamnotri glaciers are melting, we may not have these rivers for long.

Why don't VHP and RSS make failure of Ganga and Yamuna Action Plans an issue? Why don't they protest against factory owners who are dumping untreated effluents out in the rivers, and the officials are letting them do so? With the wide reach these organizations have got, it would be much better for country (and Hindus also!) if they could educate people in protecting the environment. But will they?

Any comments, Mr Bachchan? Did you know who are the biggest supporters of Saddam Hussain? No it's not the sunni community of Iraq, not Al-Qaida either. The honour goes to the leaders and party workers of Samajwadi Party in UP. They were protesting against hanging of Saddam Hussain in Agra and attacked a tourist bus. The police said that action will be taken against miscreants, but you don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to understand that no officer would want his job in the line of fire, by acting against members of ruling party.

I wonder why nobody asks Mr. Amitabh Bachchan about his opinion on these matters of lawless ness in Uttar Pradesh. After all he is modelling for Samajwadi Party in UP and has 'family relations' with Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav! If we can have Amir Khan in the dock on cola-pesticide issue, then why not Mr. Bachchan?