Tag Archives: Uttar Pradesh

Let’s make news!

There’s a saying, “When a dog bites a man it is no news, but when a man bites a dog it is news.” Such is the importance of arbitrariness, unusualness or novelty in the values of news. Recently, Samajwadi Party minister, Azam Khan was in news for his detention at the Boston Airport, USA. But, was being a muslim was the reason behind it? Was the uproar and cancellation of trip justified? Well, it seemed no less than a political goal.

A less number of people would have remembered his trip to US, if it would not have been cancelled. This was a piece of hot cake and a fresh controversy for news channels, which will surely help SP to garner support in the upcoming elections.

Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had to give a lecture on Kumbh Mela at the Harvard University. But detention/questioning of his colleague led him to cancel the program. Concerned that its appeal among Muslim voters was dimming, Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party is on an overdrive to hardsell its boycott of a Harvard lecture.

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Pic: Azam Khan, Cabinet Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India

Azam Khan also went on to blame the External Affairs Minister of India, Salman Khurshid for persuading the US Customs and Border Protection wing of the Homeland Security to make such detention. This sounds really funny! I wonder the amount of influence India has on USA, and the time US authorities have to pay heed to such requests, if made. I can’t just figure out what sadistic pleasure will the Salman Khurshid derive through this!   

A SP functionary says, “Our minority vote bank had been dented owing to the killing of a Muslim cop and the 28 plus communal flare-ups but we hope all that would be a thing of past.” The party is making the most of the opportunity given to it.

SP national general secretary, Ram Asrey Kushwaha added that Akhilesh Yadav’s move “would send the right message among the Muslims”.

Ironically, when former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam, was twice subjected to frisking at New York’s JFK Airport by US security officials, he didn’t create such a ruckus. India’s then ambassador to the US Meera Shanker was patted down by a security agent in Mississippi in December 2010. But they relented themselves from extracting gains from their experience of frisking.

I would say that the common man needs to identify such tactics and should not get maneuvered according to the whims and fancies of political parties. Because they are not worried much of the populace but are relieved of the fact that they made news. 

 

The curious case of Katju!

Accept it or not. Like it or dislike it. Justice Markandey Katju will end his term as the most controversial and outspoken Press Council of India Chairman. His single comment on an issue gives a lot of food for thought and airtime to television news channels who inadvertently say, “Today India is hearing. The people of India needs an answer!” Sigh! Even Ekta Kapoor’s serials were less dramatic!

Sometimes, I wonder that is every and any kind of publicity really the best publicity? Well, the likes of Rakhi Sawant, Sherlyn Chopra, Poonam Pandey might now see a lot of people joining their bandwagon driving the media persons around them. Latest yet unnoticed entry is Mr. Katju. First of all, I respect Mr. Katju a lot. He has shown the guts to come and speak in public sphere time and again against ill-practices in states against media and the wrongdoings by media itself.

ImagePic: Retired Supreme Court of India Justice Markandey Katju

But, some of his statements have been perplexing. The latest jaw-dropping statement made by the Retired Supreme Court Judge is that, “Pakistan is a fake country, and one day it will reunite with India along with Bangladesh.” At a time when both the neighbor countries are disturbed internally and India’s foreign policy has taken a beating, such statements won’t amuse many.

He may confuse you with his words many a times. When he sees that he is in danger then he says that he has made that particular statement as a citizen of India, and when he sees that he has to take decision, he asserts his authority as a retired judge. Swapping roles fast, eh?  

He further goes on to say, “A fake country was created in the name of Pakistan. It is an artificially created entity by the British to make Hindus and Muslims keep fighting with each other, to stop India from becoming a powerful industrialized nation,” he said, answering questions after a symposium on ‘Reporting Terror: How Sensitive is the media?’ on 07 April 2013.

I am not against his statement but I do not like the timing as well as the free publicity element behind it. Without digressing from the subject, I would say that unless the politicians stop mixing their profession with religion and avoid from calling for caste based voting, there shall not be any solution or occurrence of merger between countries.

Once he said, “Ninety per cent of Indians are idiots. You people don’t have brains in your heads.” Subsequently, a PIL was filed against him and he eventually said sorry.

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If that wasn’t enough, read his one more remarkable statement! On September 3, Justice Katju had written an article in The Hindu, in which he, inter alia, went on to say:

“The level of intellect of many teachers is low, because many of them have not been appointed on merit but on extraneous considerations. To give an example, when I was a judge of Allahabad High Court I had a case relating to a service matter of a mathematics lecturer in a university in Uttar Pradesh.

Since the teacher was present in court I asked him how much one divided by zero is equal to.

He replied, Infinity.

I told him that his answer was incorrect, and it was evident that he was not even fit to be a teacher in an intermediate college. I wondered how had he become a university lecturer.”

Justice Katju claims that anything divided by zero is indeterminate. He is wrong and the lecturer was right because any non-zero number divided by zero is infinity. It is zero divided by zero that is indeterminate.

While one can understand the plight of the poor lecturer who did not have the courage to correct the judge hearing his case, I am appalled at the timidity of “some of the top senior academicians” of Jawaharlal Nehru University, to whom Justice Katju narrated the incident.

Well there a many startling statement made by him, but they cannot be put in here.By the way another one was, when he said that, “Sanjay Dutt should be pardoned because he was part of Munnabhai film, spreading Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies…” And the list goes on.

Yes! Rape it is!

I was searching for story ideas for this blog. Checking the trends, reading newspapers, surfing on net, descrying through old stories. Alas! I found my subject. Such is the beauty of my chosen subject, that it may well qualify to be the most popular world of this year!Hold on your breath. Tighten your seats belts! Here it comes! The one and only-RAPE.

The spurt in it’s importance being given by the media nowadays has just mirrored the rising number of such cases.

The emergence of patriarchy, the one sided view of masculinity, the quashed pathos of women have marred over a period of time. The prevalence of It’s Okay attitude has only served to destroy the sanctity of the nation. It took just a huge protest by non-political forces, to awaken the sleeping minds of the ever so concerned lawmakers (December 16 gangrape in Delhi, India).

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Pic: Protest against the December 16 Gangrape in Delhi, India

The dictionary meaning of word rape is the ravishing or violation of a woman. But is it really a stigma on the unblemished life of a woman? Well, the society feels so, as they get a new parameter to identify girls. It is the culprits who have lost their dignity. The woman needs to be applauded for being so strong, for being so rebellious.

By the way, Congratulations! The Indian Parliament’s lower house passed a landmark law on March 19 that sets tougher penalties for rapists and for police officers who refuse to file a woman’s complaint of rape, as well as criminalizing offenses such as stalking, voyeurism and acid attacks.

Ironically, as the lawmakers were busy discussing the new law in Parliament, a British tourist fractured her leg when she jumped from the balcony of her hotel room in Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, to escape being molested by the hotel owner.

The new law, which the upper house is expected to pass till March 22, sets a maximum penalty of death in cases in which a rape victim dies or is left in a persistent vegetative state. Those convicted in incidents of gang rape, the rape of a minor or rape by a police officer or public official will be sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison, up from seven to 10 years.

A provision requiring government approval for the trial of police officers, officials, politicians and judges on rape charges also has been lifted.

For the first time, the law criminalizes stalking and voyeurism, acts of sexual harassment that have long been grouped under the benign euphemism- Love-teasing. Hereafter, acts of barbarism, occurring during religious and caste riots also will be treated as cases of aggravated sexual assault.

There was a lot of word in the past few days, about the need for capital punishment or castration as a deterrent. For once, I was also of the same view, given the public outrage and the intensity of such crimes. But think for a moment. If we’ll come up with it, won’t the rapist kill the girl and destroy all the evidence? The process of trial should lead towards this direction but not this fast. This may add to the existing woes only. Instead of making more stringent laws, India needs to implement existing laws. It should not introduce tougher punishment such as the death penalty, to prevent rape. Apart from other factors, the low conviction rate in the cases of rape is the biggest worry we have today and there is hardly any deterrence.

Some of the most interesting reactions to the Gangrape case of Delhi are worthy to be mentioned. Some said that the women should avoid wearing skirts or provocative clothes to avoid rape. I only have a humble question for them. Do you think that the 6-year old girl or the 84-year old grandmother was dressed inappropriately when they were raped!?

One more quote was from a spiritual leader, blaming the girl for her fate and advising her to consider the rapist as her brother and remember god. Probably, he hasn’t seen much of Bollywood movies, wherein the favourite dialogue to show such scenes is- Bhagwaan Ke Liye Mujhe Chod Do! (Please leave me for the sake of God) to which the rapist vexatiously replies, Agar tujhe bhagwan ke liye chod dunga, toh mera kya hoga!? (If I’ll leave you for god, what fun will I have)

Admit it or not, the portrayal of women in various forms of media has been dismal many a times.

As the bullet theory of mass communication suggests that an intended message is directly received and wholly accepted by the receiver in its pristine form, such messages tend to influence people at large. I even don’t understand the intention behind making crime shows for television! Apart from minting money, they are only providing ideas on how to commit crimes smartly.

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In the case of women, our right of interference should be limited entirely to giving good education. Women must be put in a position to solve their own problems in their own way. According to me, cases related to terrorism and rape should be dealt with strongly and there should be no allowance of moving the higher ranked courts. But the problem is even the Judiciary doesn’t seem so clean. On 23rd January this year, in the Ghonda District of Uttar Pradesh, India, the Additional Chief Magistrate of a court molested a 21 year old woman and a minor, when they were testifying a case of kidnapping inside the closed chambers. 

The possible solution to the aforementioned problems can be-

  1. There should be gender sensitization.
  2. The notion of masculinity needs to be revisited. The new male should be sensitive towards women, have values of empathy and be a family man.
  3. The parents need to teach their kids well and the communication gap between them needs to be reduced. Proper moral education should be infused at appropriate times in the minds of children.
  4. We need to look through the prism of crimes against woman in every public sector. 

Lastly, I would say that it is the men who need to change more and be in that limit as compared to women, as it is the former who is forcing itself and bringing shame to humanity.