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Life and all that Jazz!

Rape, Rage and Outrage!!

She. Yes! She is the ‘unwanted’ one who sometimes gets murdered in the womb itself and is spared of seeing this atrocious world. She is the one who is considered burden by her family because apparently, her suitors won’t take her because of lack of dowry. She is the one who is stared at, drooled at, in public places. She is the one who is molested and gets vulgar comments from street loafers. She is the one who is instructed to reach home before it gets too dark. She is the one who gets beaten, lathi-charged at and labelled ‘feminist’ for raising voice for a woman she doesn’t even know. She is the one who is at receiving end of domestic violence and has to stay silent because, you see! onus of keeping the family intact lies with her. She is the one whose psyche is brutally beaten and raped directly or indirectly zillions of times without being reported. She is the one whose individuality is smothered by ‘his’ masculinity. Come what may, in all the equations, it is she who loses always.

Yesterday night, as her life was hanging in balance, with all my strength, I was hoping that she makes it through. But by morning, the news arrived that she didn’t. So, Congratulations! Well done India! She finally succumbed to our apathy, insensitivity and ‘rape culture’. Hoping against the hope, I hope this unfortunate incident catalyzes the awakening for the country too.

 It is important for us to reflect and introspect, what has really brought us to this juncture? I thought a lot, but all I got was the myriad of unanswered questions!

Image

Where has our parenting, something which we ‘Indians’ were so proud of, gone wrong? What values have parents, especially mothers instilled in their ladlas?

What has gone wrong with our education system? Why don’t we teach our kids about gender equity ? Respecting Women, is this concept alien to our civilization? Is this the same country where women are worshiped in the form of ‘Durga’ and ‘Shakti’?

Why does our Cinema portrays our women as sex objects and stereotypes the image of woman? If cinema is the reflection of society, then is this what our society represents?

When did we, as a society became so insensitive towards a crime so gruesome, so inhuman that it obliterates the very identity of victim and allowed a precious life to be piece of statistics for us?

Since when did asking uncomfortable question to those who are vested with power became crime in itself? And Why do we elect them if they are so unaware of the ground realities?

If our legal and judicial constructs not powerful enough to punish the guilty within reasonable period of time then why can’t we amend our laws and effectively implement those which are presently available? Why are we making ourselves a laughing stock before the world? Why are we getting marginalized on our own soil? Why don’t we learn from our mistakes?

This is one crime where burden of proving the guilt, and the aftermath lies singularly with the victim. Why this Stigma? Why is she the one who is scarred? Why don’t they you shame the perpetrators? Why can’t she have dignified life afterwards? Is she not the survivor?

Instead of addressing the issue at fore, Why does our political class engage in non nonsensical verbiage? Recent ‘Dented-Painted’ comment attracted widespread criticism. Our legislators, can’t they feel the pulse of the nation? How will ‘shooting the messenger’ help?

Why does it always boils down to how she was dressed? What she was doing there? Why set yardstick for her behavior? Why assassinate her character always?Is she not somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister? Why doesn’t ‘for once’ ‘He’ comes into picture? 

Why do we allow so much corruption in our Law Enforcement agencies? Why does she pays the price for this power nexus? Police forces, who were there to control the protest, where were they when the untoward incident happened?

How could perpetrators of such crime, those who shamed humanity, get amnesty from highest echelons of power on earlier occasions?

How can we allow capital of this country, a heritage city, to be known for ‘rapes’?

What are we waiting for?

Answers? ……. Anyone?

Jai Hind!

Regards,

A Feminist Bitch.

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15 Comments

Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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India Unbound : Book Review

India unbound‘ by Gurucharan Das is the narration of salient features of pre independence India (with focus on British Raj) and post-independence India ( with focus on Liberalization and its impact) . The book takes you through the journey , recounting on the way – the follies which held us back , the strengths which saw us through , the eternal socialism-capitalism struggle , social stigmas which challenge upward mobility of people even today , the rise of Consumerism and Knowledge Economy and everything that defines the idea of India.

Interval between decay of the Old and formation of New is the period of Transition which has Uncertainty , Confusion , Errors and wild & fierce fanaticism .

Author has very deftly enlisted the grave mistakes committed by India after Independence . Firstly , 17 major industries were reserved for public sector which in turn discouraged entrepreneurship and competition . Aditya Birla , for example was so disillusioned with the Indian policy that he expanded his enterprise outside India . Secondly , a bizarre and damaging licensing system was introduced with Industries Act of 1951 which required entrepreneurs to get a license to set up a new unit or to expand it or to change the product mix . It thwarted competition , brought about delays and corruption , did not achieve any social objective and killed any possibility of Industrial Revolution which could have salvaged our Manufacturing sector in India . Thirdly , Mixed Economy combined worst feature of capitalism and socialism -the controls of socialism with the monopolies and lobbies of capitalism . By suppressing economic liberty for 40 years , system betrayed Indian citizens who were robbed of their growth and future . Then instead of providing quality education (that could make people self sufficient) and health care , system gave subsidies for which our economy is paying price till today . We are still paying price for investment in large Public sector at the expense of Private sector with emphasis on Heavy industry at expense of Consumer goods with focus on Import substitution at expense of Export promotion .

On social front author talks about Caste System . Education and not the reservations/quotas is the answer to issue of upward mobility of backward , yet no politician talks about Primary Education because of Vote-Bank Politics . The logic of ballot box is too strong in India .There are caste wars/clashes between various castes especially in Bihar where massacre of both upper castes and Dalits happen very frequently till date.

On corporate front , Author has given examples of Business houses like Birlas , Tatas and Ambanis who flourished despite of obstacles . Reliance’s success story is not just the classic rags to riches story but a superb example of how to create globally competitive enterprise which responds rapidly to customer through clear focus on Vertical Integration . It questions whether one should give up dream of building world class enterprise defeated by Retrograde Laws or one should match wits against the system .

Case of Vics Branding and Marketing – By working as a Brand Manager for Vics , author realized that building a global brand does not means applying homogenous strategy across the pluralistic world . Vics inspite of being an international brand was market leader in its domain because of its Ayurvedic ingredients which appealed to Indians . Hence globalization involves nourishing local insights and cultivating local pride and ownership in synergy with the brand proposition . The ideas/strategy depending on their success and feasibility can be reemployed across different geographies of the world .

India , thanks to Green Revolution , has surplus food production , but still there is Hunger and malnourishment . This is because of abject poverty and lack of purchasing power with the people . So increasing output is not holistic solution . More employment and skill development will bring prosperity to masses .

Rise of Entrepreneurship – There is a new section of millionaires who have created wealth through their knowledge and innovation . There is a new social construct in India which respects hard work , ideas and managerial expertise rather than inherited wealth . With plethora of reforms and deregulation , competitive business environment has promoted entrepreneurship in India . Many Indian firms which started small , have grown big through innovation eg – Reliance , Infosys , NIIT , Zee TV .

Road Ahead :- In the Joint ventures between Indian and foreign firms , Indian firms should absorb technology & management practices rather than concentrating on ownership . Eg : Samsung did not learn aircrafts from Boeing as much as it did about its projects management which it later applied to its electronic assembly operations . We still have lingering mistrust for modernization yet we are mordernizing at astonishing pace . India has painfully forged an independent judiciary , free press and vibrant and pluralistic society . These are the institutional advantages that will take India long way .

And, following is apart from the book .

There seem to be a pervading pessimistic sentiment in countrywide political and economical scenario . With multitudes of scams , scandals , coalition brawls.. it is but natural to lose hope , but there are million reasons to believe that India will survive .

Quoting India After Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha

So long as constitution is not amended beyond recognition and Elections are held fairly and regularly , India will Survive .
So long as citizens can speak and write in language of their choosing , India will Survive
So long as there is a moderately efficient Civil services and Army to uphold our sovereignty , India will survive .
And lest i forget , so long as Hindi movies are watched and their songs sung , India Will Survive .

P.S This lizard on the wall of my room has been still since eternity . I have no choice but to conclude that it is either dead or it is an outrageously ugly spy device installed by an enemy .

P.P.S The Song of the Post – Phir Le Aaya Dil , a Beautiful-Soulful-Refreshing song from the movie ‘Barfi’ . Composed by Pritam , it has two versions – one by Arijit Singh and other by , none other than , Rekha Bhardawaj . Lyrically , it is a lovely Urdu piece and is like a Ghazal in its treatment. So ,not worth missing.

Jai Hind!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Social Media Decoded : The Good , The Bad and The Way Ahead

Let us go through some New Age Quotes :–

You are what you Tweet .
Deactivating your social media account = Committing pseudocide.
It’s not really social media, it’s the ‘me’ in media.

I was sitting with a friend in a restaurant , a person next to our table was waiting for his order from quite sometime and had a little argument with the waitress there over this . My friend immediately tweeted ‘You don’t seem to value your customer’s time ‘ tagging along the outlet’s twitter handle .
No! we don’t place complaints for inferior customer services. We say it loud and it elicits speedy response . This is social media for you .

Facebook has more than 750 million active users worldwide, meaning that 1 in every 9 people on Earth is using this network. Twitter has also gained momentum as a communication medium: there is an average of 200 million Tweets per day, and the number is continuously increasing.

The Good

1. Role in Arab Spring movement
We know that movement against oppressive dictatorship in the middle east got thrust from social media . Initial call for protest were made on Facebook page (except for Tunisia) . After lifting up of the ban , the traffic on these sites increased exponentially . Even if the user penetration for a social networking site in a country is less , even then user accounts are linked to other social contacts which spread the message viral .
Example – In Egypt itself – Twitter penetration was 5.5 % in initial days of unrest which translated to 6 million users which is a huge number .
On similar lines Anti corruption movement took place in India in 2011 which shook the collective conscience of nation and was primarily initiated through social networking sites .

2. Social skills
People use social media for maintaining strong ties with friends , strengthening of ties with acquaintances and to lesser degree , meeting new people . It helps in self development and gives opportunity to an individual in sharing his/her opinion .

2. It is used by those who are in power or those who are in limelight to engage with people . It is hard to tell which celebrity/politician/journalist/writer is not on one or the other social media platform. Social media provides a great channel for interaction .

3. It is Uncut , Unbiased & Unapologetic
It has no prejudices because there are no interests involved . It is the democracy in true sense . It has brought forth infinite access to platform for free speech for everyone and freedom to have opinion without boundaries .

4. Disaster Relief
No , we don’t just engage in banter ! It was used by many people during Mumbai blast for sharing help and arranging for blood donation . Useful responses flood these sites in case of emergencies .

5. Marketing / Business Development
Social Media has transformed companies into large personalities transcending them beyond Brand through which they can operate as means of personal connection .There is dialogue between Businesses and customers rather than one sided communication traditionally associated with advertising channels . Also there is a very targeted advertising based on content and interest .

According to Malcolm Gladwell, the author for Tipping Point – the characteristics that wins us over and keeps our loyalty are the personality traits . Social Media platform give these businesses , an opportunity to fine tune their personality traits .
This is a novel way for doing Customer Relationship Management .

6. Kolaveri Di Phenomenon
It all started here and went viral eventually. This shows the sheer audience reach of social media platform and the impact generated .

7. It is for everyone
For students and kids there is community engagements and volunteership which broadens their perspective .
Then , there is growth of ideas from creation of blogs , podcasts , videos and gaming sites .
There are sites like PatientsLikeme where people can help each other by discussing their illness , cure and symptoms .

The Bad

1. Cyberbullying / Troll menace
There are user accounts who spread motivated slander . It can cause significant emotional harm resulting in depression, anger, violence and in some cases even suicide for the victims . Then , there are fake and anonymous accounts who try to influence and skew genuine public opinion .

2. Disclosure of Personal Information
Since all the content up there is user generated , the Young adults need to be aware that information given out online could also put them at risk of victimization . There is need to develop appropriate social media literacy channels .

3. Copyright violation and Hacking
Social networks does makes you vulnerable to hackers and content uploaded there is amenable to copyright violation.

4. Lack of Media literacy
There have been instance where people got fired from their jobs because of certain content they posted on Facebook . There is need to understand the boundaries especially on part of professionals , so that they do not clash with the objectives of the organization that they are associated with .

5. It changes the dynamics of social groups and friendship
It somewhere alters and devalue the very meaning of friendship . The traditional notion of friendship embraces trust , support and compatibility level . Today , a friend maybe someone who may have liked the link you may have clicked .

The Way Ahead
Social Media has altered or rather revolutionized our behavioral patterns , cultural fabric , rules of business and marketing strategies (it has introduced ‘human’ element in it) . It has become more reliable source of news and information . It is amenable to regulation to a certain extent but not amenable to censorship . It will determine the rules of business and social life for times to come .

P.S : Song Of The Post – A lesser known song ‘Ab Mujhe Koi Intezaar Kahan’ from the movie ‘Ishqiya’ . It is a very soulful and mesmerizing composition by Vishal Bhardwaj and has vocals by Rekha Bhardwaj .
P.P.S This is the longest post till date . I do rant a lot !!

Jai Hind !!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Thoda Sa Roomani Ho Jaaye : Movie Review

First , some real life stuff . The race here starts in the morning itself. Hustle to reach the class on time . And reaching class on time is really not the big deal , provided you manage to locate your keys in time , there are not more than 4 people in the breakfast queue and the Crows of the campus have mercy on you . And at the end of it , the look that the teacher gives you when you enter through that door , indicating how lucky you are , Priceless!! And after all this , at the end of the day , you are left with the struggle , the struggle to learn more, achieve more and surge ahead and make a difference . I still believe that keeping and following some fundamental rules intact , a person can pursue management or perhaps any career in his own style . Without indulging myself further in my musings and confusing the readers ( if they are any ) , I will get down to reel life stuff now .

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Thoda Sa Roomani Ho Jaye ‘ is a 1990 classic directed by immensely talented theater and movie personality Amol Palekar and features stalwarts like Nana Patekar and Anita Kanwar . It is an adaptation of the American play “ The Rainmaker ” written by Richard Nash . The movie has been adopted as part of Management course in several colleges as part of Behavioral Sciences . The movie is a soulful poetic blend of dreams , hopes , magic , realism , romanticism , aspirations , fear , vulnerabilities , perceptions and human emotions. It tells you that the society will always brand you in a certain way without your consent , but it is you who has to battle it out , to eventually be who you truly are or aspire to be . Lyricism and poetry has lend credibility ans strength to the subject here.

The story revolves around a girl named Binny who is not conventionally attractive , at least everyone around her makes her believe so and subjects her to criticism . She has a younger brother who is struggling with low self esteem and low self confidence issues . They have supportive father and a sympathetic but practical elder brother .The story is based in a small and dry town with a very low rainfall .Then one day , a self proclaimed Rainmaker , an enigmatic conman ‘Barishkar'(Nana Patekar) enters their lives who in his own way , kindles their hopes , dreams and aspirations . He claims that he can bring rains , but in the process he makes everyone realize the potential of believing, self-confidence and determination . He instills self confidences in Binny whose realizes that beauty is skin deep . Her brother also overcomes his fears and pursues his hobby of playing drums which he has been avoiding all these years because of taunts of his elder brother .

Would like to quote following evocative lyrics of a song in the movie :

Badalon ka naam na ho , Ambar ki chhaon mein
Jalta ho jangal khud apni hi chhaon mein

Yehi to hai mausam
Yehi to hai mausam
Aao tum aur hum , barish ke Nagme gungunaye

Thoda sa roomani ho jaaye

Mushkil hai jeena Umeed ke bina
Thode se Sapne sajayaen

Thoda sa roomani ho jaye


( Our life is interspersed with many incidence which inspires us and drives our Karma which in turn determines the further course of our life . Optimistic outlook can rejuvenate a parched and arid life . )

P.S : My frequent posts should not be interpreted as my idleness but my diligence and deftness at managing time (modesty forsaken !) . As for the spelling mistakes , To err is human and I am slightly more human than others .

P.P.S : Little out of context , but who cares ! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi . Enthusiasm here in Mumbai is totally infectious ! ( +1 for Mumbai in Delhi-Mumbai battle )

Jai Hind !!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

I Too Had a Dream : Amul Story

Alright! this is my first blog post after coming to this insomniac city of Mumbai. Without getting into cliché ‘Mumbai Humko Jam Gai’ mode or the truly eternal and rather formidable contest of Mumbai Vs Delhi , I will get to the point. Will surely come to debate part also next time .Wink.

I have always been fascinated by the organizations which brought revolutions in the world and impacted the lives of people by the sheer intent and indomitable spirit of the people behind them . There are the people like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the Missile Man of India , Dr E Sreedharan , our very own Metro Man of India and of course Dr Verghese Kurien , man behind the Amul brand and the key person who envisioned, carved and executed the blueprint for the ‘White revolution’ . These people are rare examples in today’s world which is engulfed in corruption , hypocrisy and mediocrity . These are the people who went against the tide and had exemplary careers in their respective fields .

In last week , I saw the Shyam Benegal movie ‘Manthan’ and read the book ‘ I too had a Dream’ based on the memoirs of Dr Verghese Kurien as told to Gauri Salvi . The book describe the journey of transformation of a sleepy town of Anand which eventually became the Milk Capital of India . The story starts when Dr Verghese kurien who completed degree in metallurgy from University of Michigan sponsored by Government of India lands up in a small, dusty, lazy, unknown village called ‘Anand’ (In the Kaira district of Gujarat) and is supposed to be taking the responsibility of the government owned milk production department over there. He meets another visionary personality called Mr. Thirubhuvan Das Patel and he requests him to take care of the co-operative milk society of Anand .

Over the course of time Dr Kurien built series of institutions which made India the World’s largest Milk Producer , developed a logistics chain to produce and deliver hygienic and nutritious milk to millions and created world’s largest food marketing business and the country’s largest food brand called Amul . He enabled India to nearly double its per capita milk availability and made India’s Diary industry the largest rural employment provider. The cooperatives he created have also become powerful agents of social change in empowering women and in embedding democracy at the grassroot levels in the country .

Although the entire is replete with inspirational incidences . I am going to enlist few here :-

1. Innovation – While the experts from England and New Zealand repeated incessantly that buffalo milk cannot be converted into milk powder , Dr Kurien demonstrated to the entire world how it can be done that too on Commercial basis . This was great product innovation for India where major chunk of milk produce comes from buffalo milk .

2. In 1970s Dr Kurien and his team invented the ‘milk vending’ machine for the first time and made it work in Indian conditions. In a way this machine is a great grand father of today’s money vending machines (or ATMs). I would say this is an innovation in the area of ‘Distribution and supply’.

3. Manthan , a rare , low budget movie directed by Shyam Benegal and costing around million rupees was produced by Gujarat’s diary farmers with each contributing a rupee . In the highly commercialized Hindi film industry notorious for its black money transactions , the funds for Manthan were paid in white .

4. Amul Cooperative System challenged the caste practices in a through their common collection centres and queue system and payment system which did not differentiate between people on the basis of caste.

5. Dr V kurien spearheaded Operation Flood in a novel way -:
a) Milk products in the form of food aid which were received from Europe were reconstituted to provide enough milk to obtain commanding share of market in different in milk schemes .
b) Funds realised from the sale of donated products were to be used to resettle city kept cattle and help them breed and increase milk production .
c) The entire operation was directed towards replicating Anand like cooperatives throughout the country .

6) Dr V Kurien was a great Nationalist and believed that best government is the govt which governs the least and instead finds ways to mobilize the energies of the people . Amul Cooperative demonstrated without a doubt that the biggest asset of India is its people .

7) Progress in rural areas is quintessential to transform our country into developed country .
There is nothing wrong in building flyovers in Delhi , the wrong part is when there is no road connecting to our villages .
There is nothing wrong with building modern hospitals in cities,wrong part comes when poor farmer’s newborn dies for want of medicine.
There is nothing wrong with building colorful fountains in Delhi . wrong part comes when there is no drinking water in our villages .

On personal front , I hope I always keep up my motivation and inspiration levels high and work tirelessly in field I choose for the larger good of the country and for the larger good of Humanity till the time I live and of course , in the end , would like to depart quietly , as poet Alfred Tennyson has very sensibly said :-

Sunset and evening star ,
And one clear call for me !
And may there be no moaning at the bar
When I put out to sea .

P.S : It is awkward when people point out spelling mistakes in your posts . Not quite expected from people of my age . But it is never too late to learn , right ?
P.P.S : Next stop is India Unbound by Gurucharan Das . Looking good so far .

Jai Hind .

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Love , Whatever It Means …………………

Was looking for a topic to write on and decided to do it on a word which first came to my mind . Nobody in the world has ever spared others from Gyan they have on this topic . So here goes my two cents although I may not be the Pro here :-

Well more than what Love is , we need to know what it does not encompasses –

Possessiveness , Expectations , Jealousy , Lust , Fear , Restraint  . All of them singularly or otherwise are bane to idea of Love .

Love is Eternal . Love means that the person can just live their life exactly as they choose and you will always be there for them no matter what .  Its perfectly fine if you feel proud to be with someone but circumstance change , people change  and life changes .But love is not affected by any of that .

Love is Unconditional .  Few attributes like Looks , money , status , intellect cannot sustain relationship for long . An unconditional love as they say is  that spiritual bond  which is complete in itself and does not needs any other attribute to survive .

Love is Noble . It changes you for good . Love is when you take away the feeling, the passion, the romance- and you find out you still care for that person.

Love is Sacrifice . Love brings greatest sorrows . But it is worth the pain . Those moments are perfect, they are right. Those moments make all the suffering worth while. It’s those moments we should live for.

To sum up , love is mother of all virtues .

“And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course.”
Kahil Gibran

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Spurious Case Of A Political Cartoon

It has not been long since Mamata Banerjee , President of Trinamool Congress , the person who apparently holds key to UPA coalition in India , arrested Professor on charges of forwarding her cartoon to his friends via email . The latest row is related to cartoon depicted in NCERT book for 11th standard in schools projecting BR Ambedkar where he is being questioned for his slow pace of framing Constitution . At the outbreak of controversy , Government lost no time to apologize for the same and ordered review of all the cartoons in books .
Political cartoon which rely on exaggeration and sarcasm depicted in Graphics are highly unlikely to appease all the sections of society especially political class .

Above Image does not carry even an ounce of Exaggeration keeping in mind what is happening in country !

It is to be understood that it is not expected from cartoon to Eulogize leaders . They are supposed to be represent repercussions of decision taken by them . Cartoons have , are and will always be sarcastic . It is you Mr Leader , who needs to cultivate a Sense of Humor. It is more and more Democracy and tolerence which will cure existing ills of democracy (read dissent) and not Censorship . Our Economy is sliding down , Industrial growth is plummeting , Inflation is soaring , scams are siphoning the resources . And we are discussing whether cartoons are offensive or not . We will be Butt of Jokes in World if we do not get our priorities right.

Jai Hind

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized