Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thank God that in India we have some sanity in form of the judiciary. Census 2001 categorizes housewives, prostitutes and other women who are not working in the organized sector as 'unproductive'. I wonder at the greatness of such minds! Haven't they seen the amount of work their mothers or grand mothers do in the house. Who would offer service 24X7 365 days (add one more for the leap year) without taking a pittance? Right from morning till late in the night, the women in the house see to it that all the residents' needs are fulfilled without thinking of their own troubles. I am a working woman and I openly say that I am more callous than my grand mother who was a non-working woman; my work does not allow me to give my family the same kind of time and attention that my grand mother devoted to her family. I live in a nuclear family and get irritated if things do not happen the way I want them to. My mother and grand mother lived in joint families and worked to keep all happy and satisfied. They took care not just of their own kids but also of the other kids in the family. Hats off to the women who make us what we are! Hats off to them for giving us the best in life without asking for anything in return!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
In three week's time we'll be celebrating our 64th Independence Day with great fervour! All around the town, there will be gaiety and festivity. The loudspeakers will be pouring forth all patriotic songs: from 'Jana Gana Mana' to 'Vande Matram' and Lata's 'Mere Waton ke Logon...'! The tri-colour will be on sale every nook and corner and all cars and rickshaws will be decorated by one! But the real question is what are we celebrating? Independence. What is independence? The public during live interviews for radio and television channels makes tall claims but the reality is something different. Does being independent mean that we spit and throw garbage on the road and use the road as a urinal? (becoz its public space - belongs by right to the public to do anything and everything) Does being independent mean that we ignore traffic rules and drive as if we were driving on the highway without any care and concern? Does being independent mean that we follow rules only if the people to implement the rules are present? For example, the traffic coming from Gandhi Maidan towards Rajapur Pul has to make a detour after Golghar but if the traffic constable is absent no one bothers to change the route.
we seriously need to think about this. Is it enough to remember Gandhi, Nehru and the others on 15th August and 26th January? What do we really do for the country? In Kanpur, a group of teachers of English (both from schools and colleges) have organized a month-long workshop to teach the English language to the marginalized. A philanthropic act indeed! in Patna, there are small units doing similar activities but the number is small in the country. we really need to unite and sensitize ourselves and others to issues around us to realize the true meaning of 'Independence.' Till then 15th August every year will just be another holiday!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Chand is a young man working in the store and purchase section of a government office. All purchases are made through this section and it is his responsibility to see that things are done in the manner specified by higher authorities.
One day Chand told his mother that he was planning to buy a bike. His mother was very happy. After a few days, she asked him what happened to his plans of buying a motor bike. Chand, tired form work, said, "Mother, first the indent has to be raised. Once the indent is approved, an NIQ (Notice Inviting Quotation) will be floated and a time period fixed. After the deadline the quotations will be opened. At least three quotations have to be there, else the NIQ will be floated again. After the approval of the committee, the bike can be purchased." The mother was shocked, "Son, what is this NIQ and three quotations?" Chand said, "Mother, this is what life has come to: raise the indent, float NIQ, open quotations, send the purchase order and check the delivered items and clear the bills."
Next is Chand's turn of getting married and his mother is going to think twice before raising the issue because he might ask for an indent and three quotations!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I need a break from some things and one of them is Bandhs. Bandhs are the in-thing in Patna as its nearly election time and each political party calls for a Bandh someday or the other. The funny thing is that two or more parties may want to organize a bandh on the same issue but they call for a bandh on different days in order to protect their individual identities. As a result on Monday we had the BJP-JD (U) combines bandh against the rising prices and on Wednesday, the bandh is organised by CPI(ML) on another raging issue: naxalism. I do not know what fun these parties get in organizing these bandhs. Don't they realize that such bandhs disrupt public life, lead to hugh economic losses (refer to TOI dated 06.07.10) and cause a lot of nuisance? When I was in school, I looked forward to these bandhs as it gave us a day off in the middle of the hectic academic year. By the time I reached college, bandhs of all types became the norm of the day and invariably we would have quite a number of holidays due to bandhs and then landed up with extra classes to complete the syllabus. Today the situation is slightly better but we are mentally preparing ourselves for lots of bandhs till the elections get over!
Apart from these huge Bharat bandhs, Bihar bandhs and Patna bandhs, there are, at times, local bandhs to protest against irregular electricity or water supply or blocked drains in an area. Sometimes, these bandhs turn out to be more violent than the other bandhs. The local population in the area of protest may end up destroying the wind shields of buses, cars and autos moving through that area, puncture the tyres of vehicles (irrespective of the make of the vehicle) and even lash out at the people on foot. Something similar happened in the capital (ND) last night. Do such acts bring electricity or water to the concerned area or change their situation in any manner? Sadly, the answer is in the negative. No government officials visit the disturbed locality and the residents of the said locality lose the sympathy of the general public due to the attitude of the few who take on themselves the burden of drawing government and public attention!
We seriously need to think of ways of protest so as to achieve the desired end without disrupting the life of the general public and leading to loss of public property!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Regionalism is one of the biggest challenges facing India today. We remember that we are Indians only on the 15th of August or 26th of January each year when we sing loudly and clearly the National Anthem standing in the monsoon showers or the chilly wind of January. On any other day we are Biharis, Gujratis, Bengalis, Keralities etc. All the feeling of oneness and unity disappears!
The challenging task of changing the situation lies on the shoulders of the younger generation. Its high time that we crossed the barrier of region and started thinking of ourselves as being one.
To this extent an important role is being played by the various National Law Universities and the new IITs (not to forget the old institutes) across the country. Most of the new IITs have students from regions other than their own. The presence of students from various backgrounds and different parts of the country lend these institutes a national flavour! One would be surprised to find that students defending their institute in Lucknow or Kanpur may not necessarily be from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar or North India but could well be from Goa or Kerala.
Another area where some change can be seen is matrimony where a girl working in Wipro may say that she is getting married to a an engineer in Infosys (or any other professional/non-professional) instead of saying that she is marrying a Tamiliam or a Marathi. Such trends among the youth of today makes one feel that we may start thinking of ourselves as belonging to one large entity rather than in term of small bordered islands! (Chetan Bhagat's 'Two States')
But a day still has to dawn when all of us are human beings first!