Over the last few years, it is noticeable how education has become a shoddy business in India. With these coaching classes and the so-called international schools charging a bomb, it has become clear that the primary motto of these institutes is only money! This is proved further when one notices the business-like manner in which they function as well as behave.
Naturally, to make huge bucks, these institutes do everything to attract consumers by making huge claims in their advertisements. But one coaching class ad which I came across today jerked me out of my chair. In the ad, (on the front page of a leading daily) the institute has actually made fun of itself by a claim which cannot be described in words. What else would you say when they claim to have ‘4500 years of teaching experience’?
Yes, you read it right (see picture below). In the rat race to acquire maximum number of students, are they trying to prove that they are running these classes ever since humans came into existence?
As I have never seen such a thing before, I decided to call them up. Here’s the transcription of my chat with them: -
Me: Today I saw your ad in a newspaper where you have claimed to have more than 4500 years of teaching experience. How is this possible?
Executive: This is possible because there are more than 200 teachers in our institute for the commerce stream. If we total up their teaching experience, it goes up to 45000 (!!!).
(The executive went far ahead than the ad by mistakenly mentioning 45000 instead of 4500.)
Me: But if you mention in this way without any explanation, one might feel your institute is running since the era of Mahabharata.
Executive: Do you have any other query?
Me: No. My query was only about your ad as it has becoming a laughing stock.
Executive: We are just paid for our work. (Said something that sounded like this.)
While all this sounds very funny, it's sad to see the difference between education institutes and publicity-hungry film stars reducing.
On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand, a Hindi play will be staged in Mumbai based on him. The play is titled Yuganayak Swami Vivekanand and it will focus on the life and principles of the great disciple of Ramkrishna Paramhansa.
Title: Yuganayak Swami Vivekanand
Presented By: Adhyatma Vidya Mandir Ahmedabad and Vikram Academy of Performing Arts
Director: Dr Vikram Panchal
Date: Sunday January 8, 2012.
Venue: Bhaidas Auditorium, Juhu Scheme, Road No. 1, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai - 400056.
The play is free for all but one needs to collect passes from the office of Ramkrishna Math at Khar or call Jayesh Shroff on 9820293242.
With the Government sabotaging the passing of the Lokpal Bill on December 29 by their cheap tactics, Anna Hazare's grudge against them is proved right. Now, the intentions of the Congress are crystal clear in front of the nation! But I would like to take your attention on some other serious issue.
There has been a massive hue and cry by the media that Anna Hazare’s fast in Mumbai’s MMRDA ground, which took place on December 27 and 28, was a flop as very few people turned up at the venue to support the Gandhian. However, truth is something else at least on the second day.
Agreed, the long distance shots seen on various news channels showed vast empty spaces on the ground. When I saw the footage even I felt the attendance was way below short of expectations. However, recently my brother Fenil Seta and few IAC supporters told me a totally different story.
According to them, large number of people had turned up at the venue but since the ground covers a humongous area, the crowd looked small when seen from long distance. After watching the pictures and videos taken by them, I find no reason not to believe them.
(Article continued after pictures.)
When my brother took the above picture on the second day, he had to use the zoom function to the fullest effect. This is because he was just not able to go anywhere near the stage due to the strong crowd on the second day.
To prove my point further, I would like you to watch the following videos: -
During Hazare’s August fast at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, the crowd started increasing as the days progressed. Given the fact that the crowd had increased on the second day at MMRDA, it would have increased further if the fast was continued for some more days.
Considering that MMRDA is so far from Bandra and Kurla railway stations, with hardly any BEST buses running on the route, it should be said the turnout was good and the event by no means was a flop! It seems our media either didn’t know the truth or for some strange reason was shying away from reporting actual facts! Was it money? Who knows?
Finally Anna Hazare has broken his fast due to his deteriorating health condition. With this, the Jail Bharo Andolan, which was scheduled to take place from December 30 to January 1, is delayed indefinitely. Although he has gone against his decision of fasting for three days, this is the right decision since his presence in vital for any future course of action.
But the big issue which is in everyone’s minds is the low turnout at Mumbai’s MMRDA grounds. This was surprising considering the increase in the number of members in various Anna Hazare and India Against Corruption (IAC) groups and fan pages in Facebook and Twitter. According to me, the reason for the low turnout could be: -
Location: MMRDA ground is too far away from the station. It is also not accessible via BEST buses from every corner of the city unlike Azad Maidan.
Working day: It is very difficult for Mumbaikars to take leave from work during weekdays to attend the event. Even if they are willing to join after work, the location makes it difficult for them after a tiring and hectic day.
Having said all this, I show no bones in saying that I am highly disappointed by the way Mumbaikars have responded to the fast.
I have been reading huge number of comments in favour of Hazare in Facebook, Twitter and under various news articles. Even a good number of friends, family and relatives have been supporting him. So, why the same number didn’t reflect on MMRDA? I hope it’s the above mentioned two reasons that kept large number of Mumbaikars away. If that is not the case, such major events shouldn’t take place in Mumbai again!
But as Anna said, the battle will continue. I don't care if large number of Mumbaikars don't respond. I am fully committed to the cause. And why shouldn't I all since the government is hell bent in presenting a toothless Lokpal Bill? Their intentions are crystal clear - to help those who wish to indulge in corruption. On the other hand, Anna's dream is to bring a Bill which will help curb corruption. So, of course, I am with the one with good and noble intentions.
Sonia Gandhi’s latest statement has confirmed the aar ya paar battle between the government and the people of India from December 27 onwards. After keeping the CBI outside the Lokpal, the Congress chief has said that team Anna Hazare must agree with the Bill.
One can’t help but laugh at the way she has said ‘must agree’. She thinks Team Anna and the whole of India are foolish to be satisfied with such a weak Lokpal Bill.
At the end of August, a resolution was passed in the parliament wherein it was unanimously agreed to put CBI, Group C and D employees and the Prime Minister under Lokpal. Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised the above to Anna in his letter. But the government has turned away from its promise and not included the CBI under Lokpal.
Are they trying to show that the parliament resolution and the PM letter bear no meaning? In this way, they have clearly betrayed the people of India!
Obviously, we the people won’t take this betrayal lying down. Hence, the government will see the power of the people from December 27 onwards when Anna will fast in Mumbai. This will be complimented by protests from all over India. Well, we will give the government what they asked for!
So, from December 27 onwards, let us start protesting in every non-violent way possible. Let the government face the consequences of cheating the people of India!
It didn’t come as a surprise that Anna Hazare’s much awaited token fast today (December 11, 2011) at Jantar Mantar received considerable mass support. Even result-wise, the protest turned out to be a success as representatives from all political parties from the opposition agreed with Hazare’s demand that Group C and D employees, CBI and, most importantly, the Prime Minister should come under Lokpal.
This unanimous nod from the oppositions has made sure that the Congress and UPA Government are left all alone and in a mighty spot! Now, the pressure has increased upon them even further! If a token protest like today can bring such results, one can imagine the consequences once the full-fledged protests begin from December 27 onwards.
Meanwhile, there were numerous successful protests rallies all across India in support of Hazare. In Mumbai, the bike and car rally from Shivaji Park to Azad Maidan saw around 1500 vehicles carrying innumerable Indian flags. Even the dharna at Azad Maidan saw some energetic and enthusiastic scenes.
Mayank Gandhi’s talk was the highlight as expected. I bet someone who is against the movement will be convinced to be a part of it after listening to him. Apart from him, it was a six year old girl who stole the show with her innocence as she spoke about the importance of being a part of this movement.
Have a look at the pictures from the rally and protest in Mumbai: -
As expected, the Government and our parliamentarians have betrayed us once again by passing a weak Lokpal in the on-going Winter Session of the Lok Sabha. Hence, the time has come for us to show once again that we won’t take it lying down. We are ready to do what we did successfully in April and Augsut 2011- protest!
There will be a number of protest rallies all across India in the month of December before the massive protest from December 27 begins.
Here is the list of protest rallies all across India: -
1) Kanpur: December 1, Thursday (Candle March)
Venue: Phool Baug, Near Gandhi Statue. Contact - 9580303575 , 9616002123
2) Mumbai: December 3, Saturday
Venue : Mahajan Wadi, Opposite Voltas, Dr Ambedkar Road, Below Lalbaug Flyover,
Chinchpokli East, Mumbai.
Time: 5:30pm to 8:30pm
3) Chandigarh: December 4, Sunday (Car and Bike Rally)
Venue: Sec 17/21 roundabout, Opposite Sec-17 Bus Stand, Chandigarh, India.
Time: 11am to 2pm
4) Pune: December 11, Sunday (Full day Dharna)
Venue: Kamala Arcade, Opp. Balgandharva, J.M. Road, Pune.
Time: 10am to 10pm
5) Pune: December 11, Sunday - Freeze Mob to Support Anna Hazare's Fast
Venue: Outside Pune Railway Station at 1pm, at Swargate Bus Stand 3pm and at Shivajinagar Bus Stand at 5:pm.
6) New Delhi : Anna Hazare’s protest on December 11, Sunday
Venue: Jantar Mantar
Time: Full day
Let us show the government once again how wrong they are in underestimating the power of The Common Man!
Finally, there comes something which revives my interest in TV serials. After more than a decade, I felt like watching a soap (as they call it now) when I saw promos of R K Laxman Ki Duniya – Aam Aadmi Ke Meethe Namkeen Kisse on Sab TV.
There are three reasons for me being attracted to it. Firstly, it’s based on R K Laxman’s Common Man. His cartoons based on the daily life of the aam aadmi are captivating for all of us. Secondly, because I am obsessed with the concept of The Common Man. And lastly, it was more than refreshing to see something clean and simple on TV during an era of meaningless and obscene content.
I am hoping the show rises at least to the level of my expectations. R K Laxman Ki Duniya starts tonight (November 28, 2011) on Sab TV at 9:30 from Monday to Friday. Let’s see if The Common Man can rescue Indian TV from the dumps it has fallen into!