June 21, 2007

Presidentially Silly

June 21, 2007 Posted by Vijay , 2 comments
Pratibha Patil's comments about the purdah and the veil under which she wants to hide herself after the controversy could hopefully save the Atlantis in landing safely and thus rewarding the many who are praying for Sunita Williams' safe return into the earthly presence where 2 legged humans and 4 legged animals roam around in the shelter provided by the ever growing wealth of Indian Cricketers whose money will not stop growing after the ceiling cap on endorsements for cricketers were raised, not taking into account the surprise acceptance of Kalam to contest the presidential elections in India, which has now taken an interesting turn, albeit still not turning as much as the Monty Panesar delivery which dismissed Dinesh Ramdin in the 4th and final test match in England which cannot even stand a chance against the quite irresponsible way in which India's former spinner Maninder Singh disputed suicide accusations even while he was grappling with trying to avoid and evade the accusations of drug consumption which put him in the spotlight, but which has today been over shadowed by the new Italian Avtar of Durga taking shape in the form of Sonia Gandhi's depiction as Sonia Durga Gandhi, hogging the important headlines story in CNN IBN, which may get much publicity amidst growing ecological concerns over China's infrastructure plans of building a road till the base of Mt. Everest as a journey for carrying the Olympic Torch for the 2008 Olympics.

June 12, 2007

Will Orkut Stay Put ?

June 12, 2007 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
Internet savvy world welcomed with open arms the rise and rise of social networking. Orkut, along with other social networking sites as hi5, have revolutionised how people stay in touch. If the messengers of the world (the IM ones) led the way of chatting and finding new friends, social networking provides a better way of meeting people with matching interests. The anonymity of the chat world has been replaced by the genuineness of the orkut world. Not quite well enough though.

Orkut has been in trouble on more than one occasion. In Brazil it had been asked to furnish information and data because of criminal activities which gained ground in orkut. Very soon, it came to light that there were anti-India communities existing as a group. This created another furore in India, with an issue being served to google. And a couple of days ago, Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai vandalised an internet cafe' because of certain groups in orkut derogatory material about Shivaji and the Thackeray family. There was also a murder of a girl working in TCS by her boyfriend after they developed relationships after meeting up on Orkut.

All this indicates the cons of having a networking site. But there is no dearth of such sites at all. To name a few, hi5, fropper, myspace, facebook and the list goes on. The fact that orkut gets dragged into all this is because of it being owned by google, and its spread across the world as a robust networking site. There is no denying that orkut has always had good things from its users, for having brought long lost friends together, in making new friends, and most importantly, the genuineness of the profiles on orkut. Of course there will always be those who will abuse the site. But why orkut is loved by its users is because of the detailed profiles which exist. That users with common interests can form groups is probably what has created a lot of problems.

Technology will always continue to surge ahead, and provide more opportunities for people to get closer. Social networking sites like orkut provide a lot of facilities, but there is always a flip side to anything which enables and equips people. The wrong doers, who will continue to persist and do wrong things. These could be people who want to evoke a sense of hatred, and incitement to create social disharmony. It could also be authoritarian rules which restrict usage of such sites. Either ways, technology will always be misused. The more it progresses , much more chances that it can be misused.

It is difficult to curb sites like orkut which has such huge following. What can be done about those who form groups with wrong intention is to report the site as bogus. This is an option which orkut provides. If a certain number of users report it as bogus, the group will be removed. One other thing that can be done is, to set a lower cap on the number of users who can join a group. If a group can boast of 500 members, then it can be made public. Else it shouldn't be. Moderation should obviously be a responsibility of the owner of the group. It should also be made mandatory that anyone who wishes to join the group has to go through the moderator. Though these are not easy to implement and follow, curbs like these can certainly help in orkut and other networking sites having more of a useful value than nuisance value.

Head Back Home

Vacant Reservation

June 12, 2007 Posted by Vijay No comments
While the Gujjars are now facing the wrath of the Government in Rajashthan, the democracy of India is giving rise to more voices demanding reservation. Rajasthan Brahmins now have demanded for quota on economic grounds. With India clocking economic growth rates of over 9%, it will be fun watching India go back to it's caste based culture. So, India would become an oxymoron of sorts. Maybe we could call India - Forward Looking Backwards. That this is happening is honestly not a surprise. With more people coming under the SC/ST & OBC quota, the remaining poor sections of society would feel they are hard done by. Being not economically sound, is enough for them to demand a right for a quota for their own. Which precisely is what should have been done, or still can be done. Alas, that is not the case, and India would be 100% reserved in a few years to come. Ironically that would solve matters too !

It is funny how the quota matter is boomeranging on those who conceptualised it. It is taking a turn for the worse. Offering reservation to the SC/ST, OBC has now led to more people requesting that they be tagged as backward too. Someone said it right, that India would probably be the only country where people want to have a backward status. And they don't mind it, do they ? While the Indian economy progresses, the Indian Society regresses. Indians a re embarrassing themselves, mainly due to the fact that there is no dignity of labour in India, unlike in the United States.

While Ford has nothing to do with reservation or quotas being demanded, he is certainly in the limelight for the simple reason that he rejected the BCCI's offer of coaching the Indian Cricket Team. As a result he has left the reservation he had, vacant once again. BCCI, in keeping up with the Indian Bureaucratic standards and it's own arrogance about being the richest cricketing body, was game enough to announce Ford as the Indian Coach, without first verifying with his availability. The BCCI and maybe even the players are bent upon getting a coach, so that there will always exist a scapegoat for Indian Cricket's establishment and cricketers. For any losses, blame it on the coach. For any victory, credit it to the cricketers. Handing a one year contract to coach the Indian cricket team, with a neighbouring cricket nation's coach being murdered in the middle of the world cup, can give any prospective coach cold feet. If BCCI thinks that a one year contract would be accepted by a foreign coach, they have got it all wrong.

On the one hand the BCCI insists in a foreign coach, because they bring in discipline and work with the boys closely, on the other, they want quick fix solutions in a matter of a year. One of the prime reasons why Ganguly's team was successful until 2005 was because John Wright was the coach of the team for almost 5 years. That is the amount of time a coach can really make a difference to a team. Though one can always argue, is there a need for a coach at all ?

Head Back Home

June 6, 2007

Celerity In Celebrity

June 06, 2007 Posted by Vijay , No comments
Bloggers can't have enough of media bashing. But I am sure all bloggers agree that it is wonderful that a subtle medium like blogging can keep the media on it's toes. Quite honestly though, the media is too strong for a medium such as blog, atleast as of today. So when I embark on yet another worthless coverage of a drug issue related to a celebrity, one can't but wonder what happened to the fresh memory of the violence in Rajasthan ? What happened of the Goa elections which just got over. What happened of the World Environment Day of yesterday ?

Forgotten by the media, thrust upon the viewers was the drug possession by a supposed celebrity, DJ Aqeel. Pray, with all due respect to Aqeel and his achievements, when did he get the "celebrity" tag ? Caught in the Dubai airport for possession of 0.4g of Ecstacy, Aqeel could face serious charges. This happened on World Environment Day, and the media, did after all get the opportunity to make Aqeel a celebrity. It is quite true. The more the controversy around an individual, the more famous the personality.

I was watching the 11:30 p.m show on entertainment on NDTV, with Himesh Reshammiya talking about his foray into acting with his movie Aapka Surroor. By Jove, didn't he love the media attention. The fact that he is cap-less for a few minutes in the movie is cause for a lot of attention ! Incredible , but true !

Similar is the case with the celebrity farmers of India. You are right, we are talking about none other than the Big B and Perfectionist Khan. Amitabh Bacchan should honestly have seen this coming, especially after his campaign for UP elections fell flat and gave way for Mayawati to start her political games. It is politics galore in India, but more on the lines of personal vendetta. Mayawati aiming guns at Mulayam, and Karunanidhi at Jayalalitha. But when celebrities come into picture, they steal the thunder from right under the Rajes, the Mayas and the Karunas. No wonder they get into the business of nosing in the celebrities' lives itself.

While Amitabh Bacchan is ready to face the law if accused of wrongly possessing land by claiming as a farmer, Aamir Khan has gone a step ahead and declared that he indeed is a farmer. These events are hotting up the competition amongst media channels. Who will get the exclusive footage of Aamir Khan tilling his land ? Who will do the sting operation on Amitabh Bacchan to prove that he is faking his claims of being a farmer. So much scope of sensationalism I say ! As for me, I can wait to blog the next media event. Our News TV Channels are the real source of entertainment these days.

Head Back Home

June 5, 2007

मुस्कुराहट की खोज में ..

June 05, 2007 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
एक मुस्कुराहट की खोज।
बिन चाहत की खोज ।
इस बात को लिए सोच,
हूँ बड़ा ही संकोच।

वोह कौन है जो बिन मुस्कुराये
बिन सोच के हिचकिचाये
अनजान बने और चाहे
कि मुस्कान लौट आये ?

जान पहचान ना होके ,
हँसी एक पल का देके,
चल पडे वोह धोल्के,
लाफ्टर चैलेन्ज में आके ।

June 4, 2007

No Cast(e)Away This ...

June 04, 2007 Posted by Vijay No comments
Some call them Gurjars, yet others Gujjar. Though the fact remains that both refer to the same caste of people , predominantly from Rajasthan, this minute difference in addressing this caste goes on to show whether even an accurate piece of news will get percolated to the common man. And when caught in a fierce caste imbroglio, as in the current case in Rajasthan, any wrongly reported news item can lead to serious consequences.

Thankfully, the demand of the Gujjars (or Gurjars, I still am searching for the right name of this caste) is so critical, that any piece of media news, is not bigger than the issue itself. After Madhya Pradesh and Bihar were split into 5 states, Rajasthan emerged as the largest Indian state in terms of area. To see the largest Indian state get into such caste problems is definitely disturbing for any Indian Citizen.

The issue here is caste based. A system which has refused to die, and only seems to emerge stronger with every passing election. Gujjars, currently have the OBC status, while the Meenas have the ST status (Scheduled Tribe) status. Owing to the non-recognition of the ST status, Gujjars have missed out on opportunities to be well represented in the higher echelons of Indian Society. The fact that the incumbent Chief Minister of Rajasthan, as a true politician failed to keep her promise of granting ST status to Gujjars didn't help either.

To hold an entire state under siege and then to carry out a fierce agitation for their demand of getting ST status can't be ignored even by the Indian Central Government. That is precisely what has happened, with the agitating Gujjars taking to the streets in Delhi as well. Vasundhara Raje is stuck between the Meenas and the Gujjars. While the Meenas don't prefer the Gujjars being given ST status, and threaten the Raje government, the Gujjars are doing the same too. A caste war which has now broken between the two castes has threatened to snowball all across North India.

Raje really has very few options. The funny part though is, there probably are no options to choose from either. She can't give ST status because of the Meenas, but she has to give ST status because of the Gujjars. Quite a dilemma this. The sadder part of all this though is the larger SC/ST issue in the whole of India. It is not difficult to imagine a similar kind of issue, if society continues to have a huge income gap between the well to do and the poor. This is no different from the caste war itself. Just that in the caste war there probably are protagonists in the form of casteist names and figures.

It is even more funny that this issue had to arise a year after the reservation row. While in the case of the reservation row, there was total agreement for allowing 50% reservation to SC/ST and OBC, in this caste war, there is no unanimity in picture. The fact that the Gujjars would still fall under this 50% reservation is a totally different matter. But with all due credit to the SC/ST and the OBC's while the protests against reservation last year didn't have any major impact, with protests being very minimal, the protests by Gujjars have been far more agitative, fierce and life-endangering. 25 lives lost in a week of protests is scary enough. This sort of violence never happened in the reservation row.

Just think if the General Category were to take to the streets, demanding SC/ST status. The remaining population of India would also come under the SC/ST category. That in a way would be ironic, for no vote bank politics would be even possible. On the other hand though, since all of the Indian population would anyway fall under 100% reservation, there probably won't be any cast based distinction. Of course these are quite unfathomable thoughts. But maybe, there is also a reasoning there to scrap any sort of caste based divide.

As a common citizen, all this makes me wonder, where all the political battles would be fought and lives lost. Caste within religions. Amongst religions. The Social Divide of the rich and the poor. And of course the issue of the minorities. So much to choose from as an election issue. But so much to tackle too. Vasundhara Raje may not have seen this one coming. This probably is also the reason why politicians know the game and know to play it well. That is why they are holding the reigns of power, and not a common man like me.

Head Back Home