By: Keyur Seta
The phenomenon of hero worshipping is very old among Hindi cinema lovers. There is nothing wrong with it since these actors have entertained us and helped us escape from our stressful routine. But when hero worshipping goes onto a level that people turn a blind eye to the high level of crime their onscreen ‘hero’ commits, be rest assured we are living in dangerous times.
I have always found it questionable and even disturbing to see people demanding forgiveness for Sanjay Dutt despite him being convicted in an utterly dangerous crime of storing arms in connection with the 1993 bomb blasts. But my disturbance scaled higher levels recently when I saw the actor being surrounded and cheered by his fans when he was about to surrender at the Tada Jail. It’s so funny to see people supporting a criminal just because he is a big Bollywood superstar!
All these disturbing scenes have given rise to a single question in my mind – Suppose if a common man like me was convicted under the arms act in connection to a crime as serious as 1993 bomb blasts, how many people would have supported me and demanded forgiveness for me? Nobody would have simply because I am not a superstar! The public would have burnt my effigies in fact! So how can the law be different for a common man and a filmstar?
It is been argued that Dutt has already spent some time in jail but is it enough for a crime as serious as this? His supporters are also raising the point that he deeply regrets what he did. So suppose if I commit a similar serious crime and then repent my acts, will people demand for my forgiveness too?
In the midst of this madness, Nana Patekar’s brave and bold statement on the issue has come as a pleasant surprise. The fearless way in which Nana has expressed no mercy for Dutt has increased my respect for him manifolds. Perhaps, he is the only one from the film fraternity to have spoken about equality in law.
As for the rest from the industry, they scream about honesty, truth and justice only in their films. Their fans whistle and clap whenever their favorite actors speak about these three issues. In real life, both parties will go all out in supporting a criminal activity.
Watch Nana Patekar giving a fearless opinion against Sanjay Dutt's mercy:
Recently, an event named Adhya to empower women to be safe and vigilant against crimes like rape and sexual harassment took place in Powai, Mumbai. Organized by Powai residents Karishma Sharma and Shivani Thakkar, sensitize and train people to deal against crimes like Rape, Sexual Harassment and even Child Molestation. (For the complete pre-event article, click HERE.)
Adhya saw a number of interactive sessions including ‘Good Touch & Bad Touch’ by Psychiatrist Beenal Gangar, Child Molestation by Arpan, Women’s Right by Majilis, Sexual Harassment by Mr Jasaon Temasfieldt of We The People Foundation, ‘Portraying Right Image and Be Secure’ by Mr Harissh Iyer and Mrs Suman Agarwal (Image Consulting Business Institute), Constitutional Rights of Women by Inspector Asha Korke and Psychiatrist Taruna Khattar.
The event was wound up with the pledge to make world a better place for women.
Here are some of the pictures from the event:
With atrocities against women being on an all-time high, there has been an all-round demand for the amendment of laws for the strictest punishment for crimes like rape. But along with the laws, training women to combat such a situation is equally important.
Karishma Sharma and Shivani Thakkar, residents of Powai (Mumbai), have joined hands to do the needful in an event called Adhya on March 17, 2013 at Galleria Circle, Powai from 11 am to 8 pm. The motto of the event is to sensitize people and train them to deal against crimes like Rape, Sexual Harassment and even Child Molestation. The word ‘Adhya’ depicts various roles a woman plays in her lifetime - daughter, sister, friend, wife, saviour, etc.
“A single being may not be able to change the mindset of the human race but certainly one small stone thrown inside the ocean can cause a few ripples. Increasing number of cases against women & kids has led to desensitization. Awareness about these issues is the most important aspect for individual safety,” says Karishma. The event is contributed by NGOs like Kranti, Arpan, Urmi, We The People Foundation, Majlis, Think beyond, Mimaansa and G.O.D.S.
Adhya will see a number of interactive sessions including ‘Good Touch & Bad Touch’ by Psychiatrist Beenal Gangar, Child Molestation by Arpan, Women’s Right by Majilis, Sexual Harassment by Mr Jasaon Temasfieldt of We The People Foundation, ‘Portraying Right Image and Be Secure’ by Mr Harissh Iyer and Mrs Suman Agarwal (Image Consulting Business Institute), Constitutional Rights of Women by Inspector Asha Korke and Psychiatrist Taruna Khattar.
There will also be interactive games and some performances by students from Powai. Recently, the team of Adhya performed freeze mobs all over Hiranandani which received a positive response.
Detailed Schedule of the event:
11:00- 11:10: Inaugration
11:10- 11:30: Introduction about Adhya and NGO associated with event.
11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Interactive Session by Arpan – “Good Touch or Bad Touch”
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Speech about Child Molestation by Harissh Iyer
1:30 pm – 1:45 pm: Performance By G.O.D.S
2:15 pm- 3:00 pm: Short film about Unwanted Girl child ; Each NGO’s self-Introduction Speech; Speech By Taruna Khattar
3:00 pm – 4:45 pm: Interactive Session By Majilis – Women right
5:00pm – 5:10 pm: Dance Performance by Kranti.
5:10 pm – 5:30 pm: Speech By Mrs. Suman Agarwal initiator of Image Consulting Business institute.
5:40pm – 6:15 pm: Dance Performance from Adhya
6:20pm -7:45 pm: Seminar on Sexual Harassment by Jason Temasfieldt, Founder, We The People Foundation.
7:45pm - 8 pm Vote of Thanks
The fact that Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary is one of the most important occasions for the country can be seen from the numerous celebrations and enlightenment programs taking place not only all over India but world over. However, when every state in India celebrated the historic event, government of Maharashtra gave a cold shoulder to it citing lack of funds!
As shocking and shameful as it sounds, the incident was revealed by Swami Sarvalokananda (Adhyaksha, Ramkrishna Math Mumbai) during the 151st Janma Tithi celebrations of Swami Vivekananda at Ramkrishna Math and Mission Mumbai on Sunday. “I personally approached Maharashtra Government. They asked us to prepare a budget for it. We did the hard work of preparing it and submitted it to them. But for six months we didn’t hear anything from them,” he said.
He further says that he again approached them but they just received fake assurances for several months. “Then I was told that the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have rejected the proposal citing shortage of funds,” he says. Naturally, the people gathered at the venue started exclaiming “Shame, shame.”
According to him, along with several others, this is a matter of shame when governments from several states in India have celebrated the event and spread the message of Swami Vivekananda. This is more ironical when we take into account that the great patriot monk had visited Mumbai (then Bombay) thrice in his lifetime. “The city is blessed thrice by Swamiji. In fact, he left for the historic Parliament of Religions in Chicago from Mumbai’s naval port,” said Swami Sarvalokananda.
Leader of opposition Vinod Tawde, who was the chief guest at the event, revealed how he too tried in vain to persuade the government in doing something for the event. “I called the Chief Minister regarding this but he always kept delaying it,” said Tawde during his electrifying and enlightening address to the people gathered in large numbers.
Earlier in the day, Tawde, Swami Sarvalokananda and other prominent personalities unveiled the opening of Swami Vivekananda Chowk, just outside the lane of the Math. The day was also celebrated in various ways at the Mumbai Math and all over India.
I have always had doubts about the concept of reincarnation. But after the terribly tragic news of the passing away of the 23 year old gang rape victim (also called Damini), I am hoping such a phenomenon does exist. Such brave-heart fighters surely deserve another chance! May her soul Rest In Peace and may God give strength to her family and the entire nation to overcome this grave tragedy.
The only way justice can be given for such unimaginably torturous crime is by giving extremely painful deaths to the offenders. Death merely by hanging is as bad as acquittal!
The number of rapes, especially in Delhi, has increased tremendously in the last few years. But what measures have the government taken to amend laws for rapes and to ensure safety of women? Absolutely none!
There is also no doubt that the Delhi Police has the dedication required to improve the situation. This was clearly seen by the way they mercilessly beat up protestors which also included women and, shockingly, senior citizens! If they had shown such fierce determination in protecting the women, such an incident wouldn’t have taken place!
If the same attitude is continued by our authorities, I am sorry to say such incidents will keep taking place, unless some weird creatures, who call themselves men, start behaving humanly!
The level of disgrace in India is increasing day by day. What is most appalling is that these new levels are crossed by the ones who are supposed to protect us: Government and Delhi Police! After the monstrous lathi charge against protestors, including females and even senior citizens, the latest disgrace was seen yesterday when the authorities showed no qualms in even using someone’s death for their own benefit!
When constable Subhash Tomar passed away during the anti-rape protests that turned violent, the Delhi Police and the government announced that the violent mob was responsible for his death. However, they were in for some great disappointment when eyewitnesses Yogendra and a Medical Superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital fearlessly gave firsthand accounts that Tomar died due to a cardiac attack.
Yogendra said he saw him collapsing all of a sudden and there were no injury marks. The same was confirmed by the Superintendent. Hence, the ploy of the authorities to blame protestors for Tomar’s death almost failed. So what did they do? They presented a postmortem report saying he died due to a cardiac attack due to injuries! Very smart but not smart enough to fool the people of our country! For a government that is known for its malpractices in last few years, forging a postmortem is like a walk in the park!
But Yogendra and the medical officer stuck to their stand. I heartily salute them for standing up for the truth! Also, it is clearly seen in the picture that there are no injury marks. And why would a mere student and a medical officer lie? On the other hand, the government and Delhi Police had everything to gain by putting the blame on the protestors as it would, at least temporarily, cover up their failure in protection women.
And by the way, the violent protestors whom they are referring to are members of National Students Union of India (NSUI), which is the youth wing of Congress! An eye-witness told a news channel how NSUI members started violence and abuse on the cops and even encouraged others to do so!
This surely gives rise to an important question – How can we expect our police and authorities to protect our women when they themselves are conspiring against their own people for putting the blame of their ghastly acts on them (people)? One also needs to take into consideration how mercilessly the protectors of law (Delhi Police) beat up females and senior citizens! This question is more relevant after the son of the President of India Abhijit Mukherjee himself made the most disgracefully derogatory statement against the women who took part in the protests against the gang rape of the 23 year old girl in Delhi.
Mukherjee, who is also a Congress MP, shamelessly said, “I would term the protests as Pink Revolution. It is becoming fashionable to land up on streets with candles. Such people are completely disconnected with reality. Women protestors go to discotheques and then hold candle light protests. I bet most of them are not students because of their age. They are beautiful, highly dented and painted women chasing two minutes of fame while giving interviews on TV. They bring their children to show them the scenes.” How can the son of the first citizen of India and an MP can have the audacity to say such a thing? I have no qualms in saying that jail is the ideal place for such people!
The mindset is even worse when it comes to the police. Recently, a number of police officers from Delhi and other parts of North India openly said that it is only women who are responsible for all rapes! See the shocking video here - http://in.screen.yahoo.com/guardian-predator-real-face-indias-193436093.html After such shockingly shameful revelations, it is needless to say that the answer to my above question is a resounding NO, more so as a number of brutal rapes are continuing to happen in various parts of the country, including Delhi.
So what can the women of India do in order to be safe? Recently, a Twitter user with the handle @MyHyness Tweeted, “I don't think any law will work unless men stop behaving like animals.” This according to me seems to be the only way rapes can be stopped or lessened because there is just no hope from the police and Government after a series of nightmarish activities and comments by them!
So far, I have refrained myself from writing about the more than horrendous gang rape of a 23 year old girl in a moving bus in Delhi. This reason for this is not only the fact that I am profoundly disturbed by the crime but also because of my earlier assumption that the guilty would be punished soon since such a horrendous crime is never ever heard in the country before. However, after government and Delhi Police’s monstrous attitude towards the protestors of this incident, it is no longer possible for me to stay quiet anymore!
First of all, the horrifically inhuman nature of the crime should have ensured massive changes in laws pertaining to rapes. If not this, there should have been at least some steps taken for the same. The current law states that a death penalty can be given only when the victim passes away. So should we wait till the poor girl succumbs? Even if the victim passes away, death penalty is given by just hanging the convict. For this type of a crime, death by hanging is a very mild punishment! It is not only denying justice but it also doesn’t put fright in the minds of potential rapists.
The biggest proof of this is how a 20 year old Nepali girl was raped thrice in Mumbai barely five days after the Delhi incident. Need I say more?
So when the whole of Delhi comes out to express protest (which is our constitutional right) for making laws stricter for such crimes, they have to face police brutality in the form of lathi charges, tear gas and water cannons. I agree there were a percentage of miscreants from various wings of political parties who started violence and vandalism but that doesn’t give license to the authorities to become brutal with all, especially students who have nothing to do with these groups. If you can’t catch a small percentage of troublemakers how justifiable it is to assume the rest of the protestors to be antisocial?
Later on, the percentage of troublemakers increased but once you start brutally assaulting innocents, you can’t expect them to behave peacefully, especially when you employ Rapid Action Force! In fact, what stunned the nation with disbelief was how the policemen had no qualms in even bashing up senior citizens (See picture)! Seriously, can we really expect them to protect us?
Someone needs to tell them that they are not dealing with dacoits! These people haven’t gathered to loot the city. These are the common people of their own country who are just demanding terribly strict laws for rapes to secure the future of the women of India! Is the demand so irrational that they need to be dealt like criminals?
Facts also show how Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal's supporters have been subjected to similar treatments a number of times during their peaceful protests. On the other hand, political parties who openly engage in vandalism for their own good are never punished!
I wish the government and Delhi Police had shown such fierce dedication in protecting girls and women of the city. It’s just that the massive outrage have woken them up. But if they had woken up themselves, life of a lot of females in the city would have been much better and such a situation wouldn’t have arisen.
If there is anyone who is expected to safeguard law and order in India the most, it is obviously the Law Minister of the country. However, the whole of India was in for a shock today when the Law Minister Salman Khurshid himself openly endorsed lawlessness by threatening to physically harm anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal.
Trying to hit back at allegations made by Kejriwal, Khurshid openly told a news channel, “Let Kejriwal come to Farrukhabad. Let’s see whether he succeeds in returning back.” Through this statement, Khurshid clearly indicates physical assault on Kejriwal, which definitely amounts to breaking law.
The statements give rise to a number of serious questions. – How can a Law Minister openly endorse breaking of law? Do you have a right to punish a criminal when the Law Minister himself encourages crime? The ruling party has to answer these questions and the only option they have is to remove this person who calls himself the Law Minister. But after a huge number of anti-national actions and statements by the ruling party itself, I wonder whether it has any right to continue to stay in office. The feeling that the British have started ruling India again is produced by the UPA government time and again.
Khurshid’s open dhamki however didn’t deter Kejriwal to name BJP President Nitin Gadkari in a scam where he grabbed land allotted to poor farmers of Vidarbha. Of course as expected, the party has rubbished off all allegations. I don't know whether the allegations are 100% true but like numerous other instances, BJP or the government won’t even order any kind of probe in the issue. After Anjali Damania’s experience with Gadkari, it is clear all parties are unofficially united when it comes to corruption.
It appears weird to many including me that Kejriwal isn’t going to court against Kejriwal or Vadra. But after he highlighted today how these court cases and probes account to nothing, I am slowly starting to agree with him. If you look back at history, you realize these big shots always get away even after committing the most heinous of crimes. Forget politicians, even a hardcore terrorist like Ajmal Kasab is enjoying his stay in India even four years after he openly killed innocents in Mumbai!
So it is up to the people of India to realize how all parties are together involved in money grabbing and then punish them with the power of their vote. Of course, it would be great and ideal if law punishes them but I hardly have any hope for it considering India’s current scenario.
Today’s date saw two ironical incidents indicating that the law exists only for the common man while politicians can walk free even after committing crimes openly!
On October 12 at 1 am, Congress MP Vitthal Radadiya refused to pay toll at a toll naka in Porbandar, Gujarat. When insisted and was asked for his identity papers, he quickly took out a long rifle and threatened to shoot the toll naka executives. He didn’t stop at this as he even smashed the toll cabin with his rifle. Radadiya’s criminal activity was recorded in the CCTV camera of the toll naka. But despite that, just no action is taken against him even after more than 12 hours of the incident.
What’s terrible is that the Vadodra (Baroda) Police has been saying they are studying the CCTV footage to identify the offender. Do they think we are complete fools? The statement comes as a complete shock since the whole country has seen him in the CCTV footage flashed across all news channels.
In fact, Radadiya himself has also confessed his involvement while speaking to the media. However, he has given a totally different version of the story. According to him, he was threatened by a group of people which forced him to take out his gun in self defence. I have not seen a bigger liar than this fellow, who (according to a news channel) has the second largest complains in the parliament! Just watch the video below to know whether he was really threatened by anyone: -
On the other hand, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other anti-corruption crusaders were earlier in the day arrested and beaten in Delhi just for protesting against (so-called) law minister Salman Khurshid. The protest was an outcome of no action or even an investigation on the CAG report that states that the funds raised for physically challenged were misused by Khurshid. In fact, the authorities showed no qualms in even arresting and beating up physically challenged people who took part in the protest! Inhuman is a mild term to describe it!
India’s constitution has given a fundamental right to its citizens to hold a peaceful protest. But the frequent arrests of the anti-corruption activists during a number of their peaceful protests prove that India’s government itself has nothing to do with terms like constitution and democracy. Not just that, the government or the Congress walas are also ready to go any length to protect open crimes committed by their own men like Radadiya.
After the way Congressis have broken all records in the last year and a half or so in bringing biggest shame to India after independence, I feel only two types of people can vote for their party now – the ones who are involved with the party and those who are totally ignorant about their anti-national activities. It will be no different than voting for the ones who have brought back British Raj!
(Do read the end)
On Thursday October 4, 2012, a friend of mine mocked Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement saying its end is very near. Call it a mere co-incidence or whatever, just the next day, team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan exposed how Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, received properties worth Rs 500 crore at a cheap rate from DLF in return for favours received from Congress. The anti corruption crusaders indirectly replied on my behalf that the movement is far from over!
In order to prove their claim, the activists also presented proofs in the form of documents they obtained from registrars of the companies. It takes great courage to openly come out against someone who is family to someone so powerful. I am saying this because we all know, since last year or so, how the current government has proved itself to be no different than the British rulers.
Else, how can you justify Vadra’s name among those who are exempted from frisking at all airports in India? (see 1st picture). In fact, his is the only name that is mentioned in the list whereas the rest are only the names of positions. A shining example of misuse of power by the Congress chief in the worst possible way to facilitate her family!
Coming back at the activists’ claims, as expected, the whole of Congress, in one voice, have rubbished them off while saying all silly things to Kejriwal and Bhushan. Some are acting as per Madamji’s strict orders while others are trying to impress her. Nice try! Of course, just like the shameful coal scam, the government isn’t allowing any probe else it might create problems for them. If this isn’t the case, why not call for at least an independent probe by the CBI in the case?
Ever since Kejriwal decided to form a party, I have found him to be a bit too aggressive and at times over-the-top. However, now I am starting to get convinced that one needs to meet fire with fire while dealing with such anti-national forces.
Of course, Hazare is not a part of the party as he has a difference of opinion on it. This isn’t a ‘split’ among the group as extensively reported by a section of media gone corrupt. Although Hazare and Kejriwal might be on different roads but their destination is the same – to end corruption.
There are a large number of people who aren’t supporting Kejriwal’s decision of forming a party. In fact, there are plenty who have never supported this anti-corruption movement. I would like to narrate a fictitious scene to them – A group of dacoits have been looting a village since years. They are determined to continue looting it in the future as well. On the other hand, there are people who are trying to stop the loot and get the dacoits punished. Whom will you support? The choice is yours!