The Common Man Speaks


Nepal Earthquake: How can you help (in the short & long run)?

By: Keyur Seta

The deaths and casualties in the Nepal Earthquake are continuing to go high. According to latest reports, the death toll has now surpassed 4000 with many thousands injured. So, naturally, the help needed should be directly proportional to the magnanimity of the tragedy.

The Indian Army and a whole lot of social groups and independent volunteers are selflessly fighting day in and day out to repair the damage and help out those who are injured and stranded. The Government of India too is taking special care to make sure all the help is provided during Nepal’s hour of crisis.

But when the intensity of the crisis is so high, no help is enough. Hence, it becomes our moral responsibility to make whatever little effort to restore the situation in Nepal. If we can’t visit the affected areas personally, we can surely be there in spirit by donating as much amount as we can.

Volunteers helping

Volunteers helping

You can make a contribution to Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund in the following ways:-

The headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission at Belur Math in West Bengal are collecting funds for the Nepal Earthquake.
Phone: (91-33-) 2654-1144/1180/5391/8494/9581/9681

Save The Children, an NGO, is providing help to the many children affected by the earthquake.
Phone: (Toll Free) 1.800.728.3843 (8:00am-5:00pm EST, M-F)
Online Donation: Click HERE

International Association for Human Values (IAHV) is also collecting funds for the tragedy.
Online Donation:

Friends Service Council Nepal is an organization situated in Kathmandu, Nepal which is working with respect to the tragedy.
Contact Online:
Phone: +977-1-5201497

Goonj, an Indian NGO, too is working for the rehabilitation of the victims.
Contact online:
Phone: 011 – 41611244 & 9810032527

Facebook is also doing its bit in collection fund for the tragedy.
Visit FB’s Nepal tragedy page here -


But what about the long run?

But an ideal way to help in the long run will be by making sure such devastating tragedies never take place ever. This might sound outrageous to some but I feel it is futile to blame Mother Nature for this because such tragedies are an outcome of our own greed. We have destroyed forest after forest and many other aspects of nature in the name of development and progress. Towers after towers are created without paying heed to nature.

Any development at the cost of nature or ecology is not development. It is downright destruction or violence. And since every action has a reaction, incidents like Nepal earthquake, Kashmir and Uttarakhand floods and other such incidents keep happening and, unfortunately, will continue so, if we don’t do anything in this regard.

But, you might ask, what can we do? Well, there is plenty we can do to, at least, make sure the condition of our planet isn’t worsened further.

Here are some ideas:



- Plant trees or saplings anywhere and everywhere you can.

- Avoid Firecrackers as they violently pollute the environment at an enormous level. Parents themselves should sensitize their kids about it.

- Minimize the use of cars. If you are young and fit, use as much of public transport as possible. Many of you might label me crazy but there is no other alternative to reduce traffic and pollution or to, at least, make sure it doesn’t increase further. The traffic and pollution has already crossed insane levels. Use carpooling to the maximum. Metro Rail is a major boon in this regard.

- But the above option is possible only if our government and authorities improve the condition and efficiency of our public transport systems. There should be more local trains with more bogies. Some years ago, a very lengthy B.E.S.T bus used to run on Mumbai roads. But they have stopped it for reasons best known to them. Such buses will prove to be a major boost.

- Ban deforestation or cutting trees completely. We have destroyed forests and trees enough. We should follow the policy of not a single tree being allowed to cut down.

- Make laws to minimize creation of new industries. Preserving nature is more important than making new products and inventions.

- Make sure the industrial waste is properly decomposed and not dumped carelessly into the sea or rivers.

- Ban polluting or littering into rivers even at a micro level.

Only resorting to the above and many other options will help in sustaining Mother Nature. If we ignore these measures, we should be ready for more massive earthquakes, floods, etc. The equation is simple – If we destroy nature, we can’t expect nature to bear it lying down. This is Nature’s Law and not the man-made judicial laws, so it can’t be tweaked as per our whims and fancies.

I recently read on Facebook – Nature doesn’t need us. We need nature.


What is Net Neutrality & how can you ensure the same very easily?

By: Keyur Seta

The support for Net Neutrality is slowly but surely spreading far and wide around the country. This isn’t surprising because it will be absolutely terrible and capitalistic if TRAI and service providers have their way. However, there are still a large number of netizens who are unaware about the whole issue and the reason for such an uproar against it.

So, here is a simple explanation of the same for them:-

How did everything begin?

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) presented a document on March 27, which proposed that telecom companies would be given a chance to make extra money out of 21 apps like Skype, Facebook Messenger, Whats App, Viber, etc. Basically, this contains all apps through which we chat, buy products and send photos, videos and audio.

The reason for such a proposal, according to TRAI, is that mobile companies are facing huge losses due to these aforementioned apps as people are able to talk, chat and send and receive data for free. For example, using Whats App has cut down on revenue earned through SMS and profit earned through ISD calls has cut down due to Skype and so on.




What will happen if this proposal is passed?

- Telecom operators will categorize internet into different segments. You will have to pay for every segment, apart from paying your normal internet service charge.

- If your telecom operator fixes a deal with an online retailer company X, you would be able to access the website of company X with good speed without any issues. However, this will also mean that the website of another retailer company Y might load slowly since it doesn’t have a deal with your telecom operator. Hence, as the website of company Y will open slowly or maybe won’t open, you will be forced to shop from company X.

- If a new emerging player joins the market, it will be next to impossible for him/her to run business successfully since big players will crush him/her due to their deal with the telecom operator.

- Airtel had recently come up with Airtel Zero service through which it tied up with FlipKart. Through this deal, the public won’t have to pay for the internet. Airtel will receive money from FlipKart. But if you try to use other services like Amazon or SnapDeal, you will have to pay. But due to the huge public outrage, FlipKart has backed out of Airtel Zero plan.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the freedom to go to any website or use any online service without any restrictions whatsoever. It is a freedom that is provided to netizens and it should remain with them come what may!

What you can do to keep Net Neutrality alive?

- TRAI has put this matter up on their website and has asked for people’s responses. However, it is a barbaric 118 pages long document that is hidden in small font on their home page and that too with a title as ‘Consultancy Paper for Regulatory Framework for OTT (Over the top) Services’. Now, how would a user know that this Sanjay Leela Bhansali-like lengthy title is asking for your response on Net Neutrality? Even if s/he realizes it, do you expect that person to read 118 pages of technical stuff?

- But there are some truly kind souls who have made things terribly easy for us. They have come together and created the website - Just visit the site and click on the tab ‘Respond to TRAI now’ and you can send a mail to TRAI demanding Net Neutrality. It takes hardly a minute! Seriously, may God bless them!

- Keep spreading the word about Net Neutrality on social media, blogs, mass mailers, general discussions, etc. So go ahead please, soon!


AAP is different, it plays same politics differently…

By: Keyur Seta



Despite the continuous crooked efforts by the enemies and a section of the media, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) managed to win 67 out of the 70 seats in the Delhi Elections, which is an unthinkable feat. Hence, they became politically invincible. But when you are unbreakable, it only means you can’t be broken by an external force. No matter how strong you are, you can’t escape an internal collapse.

This, unfortunately, has come true for AAP. The party’s ugly internal war between Yogendra Yadav-Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal & Company has thrown the party off from the high moral ground it had created for itself. It has shown that AAP hasn’t taken time in becoming like any other political party, something it has always tried to prove otherwise.

It is always difficult to take sides in such tussles. But the events that led to this fight and Kejriwal’s reactions to it compel me to support Yadav and Bhushan. They might be blamed for making the fight public by going directly to the media. But the points raised by them are absolutely logical and give serious indications of the throwing away of principles by AAP High Command (Kejriwal).

I have explained myself through the following points:-

Click to read the leaked letter

Click to read the leaked letter

Questionable Candidates: Yadav and Bhushan’s leaked emails show the list of people with dubious past record being included in AAP without any issue. They had even provided details of their past, which showed they indulged in hooliganism, communalism and some other criminal activities. Most of these people are ex-members of other parties.



Click to read the letter

Click to read the leaked letter


Click to read the leaked letter


I have checked the records of the people in the list (listed HERE) and I can say with certainty that Yadav and Bhushan’s concerns surely make sense. This obviously means that the party threw away its basic principles just to get people that can earn votes even if they have a criminal or dubious record. Haven’t Kejriwal and other prominent AAP members time and again criticized other parties for resorting to this very practice?

Sting Affair: Kejriwal’s sting operation where he is speaking of breaking Congress gave further indications. One can argue that he isn’t heard given money, ministerial posts or any kind of favors, which is true. But he is clearly urging his party member to break (todo) Congress’ tally of MLAs so that they can support AAP in forming the government in Delhi.

Plus, Kumar Vishwas’ cunningly reacted to the issue on a news debate. He defended AK saying he isn’t horse-trading but at the same time he maintained that he doesn’t consider the tape to be genuine. So, what exactly is your stand? Later AAP issued a statement that it was ‘political realignment’. But you don’t need to be an expert in politics to understand that such talks about breaking a party’s MLAs can never be termed as ‘realignment’.

Listen to the sting conversation:


AK’s ‘Under the Carpet’ Response: Kejriwal’s response and reaction to the whole issue made it very clear that AAP is just like any other party as far as internal democracy is concerned. Initially, he Tweeted that he doesn’t want to get involved. This was just a drama to show how clean he is despite the fact that the issue concerns him the most. After he returned from his Vipassana treatment, he released a video message on YouTube regarding the issue.

Considering him to be a man of integrity and principles, his supporters felt he will honestly speak his heart out. However, the only thing he said in the video was that ‘some people’ are trying to break the party! That’s it! Isn’t this the response of a typical double-faced politician who buries the issue under the carpet while doing a fake show of ‘All Is Well’? Doesn’t this make him one of those against whom he has waged a war?

See his message:


So-Called NC Meeting: If this wasn’t enough, the video recording of the National Council Meeting some days back became the final nail in the coffin. Kejriwal tried playing a victim by blaming Yadav and Bhushan for all. He didn’t allow the duo and their supporters inside. He saved his best (read: worst) drama for the end where he emotionally blackmailed everyone in choosing either him or ‘them’. This made the meeting into a scripted shoddy reality show. The video is also a smartly edited version.

Watch it yourself below:-

So, the question that is lurking in everyone’s minds is what will happen to AAP now? I also ask myself whether I will continue to be an AAP sympathizer. No, I won’t. Will I vote for them? Yes, I will (provided Yogendra Yadav doesn't form his own party). But this has only to do with the fact that the other big political parties have become highly criminalized, so I am left with no other option. In front of their terrible misdeeds, AAP’s issue is negligible. The party’s performance in Delhi has so far been satisfactory, so it might be saved from completely falling apart.

But considering the ghastly events mentioned above, did we support the party for it being the lesser evil or for the honest and clean politics it always advocated?

Did people support AAP for bringing in new brand of politics or for playing politics differently?

Latest Update: Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan have been sacked/removed/expelled from AAP. I guess the only option Yadav and Bhushan have is that they start their own new political party.


The World Remade: Instead of remaking films, let’s remake the world!

By: Keyur Seta

I am participating in the #TheWorldRemade activity at BlogAdda in association with India Today #Conclave15

Nainital (Picture: Wikipedia)

Nainital (Picture: Wikipedia)

No matter how happy, peaceful or wealthy a person is, he or she will certainly have big problems with not few but a lot of aspects of the world and rightly so. I too fall in the same category, naturally. So, how about remaking this world our way? BlogAdda in association with India Today Conclave has provided this opportunity of jotting down your idea of a perfect world. Although this is just imaginary, the very thought of creating a world as per my wishes is enough to bring a wide grin on my face.

I firmly feel that God or Nature had made a perfect, harmonious world. It is we the people who have destroyed or are destroying it by going against nature. In my opinion, going against nature is one of the worst forms of violence. So a large part of my creation of the world will focus on going as per the rules of the nature. And when I say nature, it is not just restricted to our surroundings or ecology.

So here are the points that determine the world remade by me:-

Fundamentalism: All human beings have the same flesh, bones, blood and organs and feel happy and sad at the same things. In other words, nature hasn’t created any difference between humans. So any idea, people, group or association encouraging division among human beings or advocating one religion will be discarded and the people responsible will be strictly punished. Naturally, people from terror groups will be awarded severe death sentence without any delay.



Casteism: A glaring social evil is ‘caste’, according to which people are classified higher or lower without any fault or effort. In my world, not only the word caste will be abolished but all groups that represent castes or sub-castes would also be banned. Matrimonial columns in newspapers and matrimonial websites will be barred from the mention of caste. Any discrimination or encouragement of caste will be strictly penalized. Needless to say, all caste or community based reservation will be abolished. In short, the word ‘caste’ will be reduced to ashes.

Ecology: We have destroyed forests, open lands, rivers and many other natural gifts. I would put a huge impetus on strictly not destroying nature by any means. Of course, we need industrial development but not at the cost of nature. Any development aimed at harming the natural surroundings and ecosystem can never be labeled as development; that’s outright destruction.

There would be measures to curb all types of pollution and a large amount would be spent on it. Only special eco-friendly firecrackers would be allowed. Pollution created in the name of religious festivals will also be abolished.

Women Issues: Rapists will be punished as per the middle-eastern style. I don’t see any other way of inducing fear in the minds of potential rapists. Even sexual harassment or so-called harmless eve-teasing will be categorized under serious crimes. Nature hasn’t created any difference between men and women in terms of strength. Any idea describing women as the weaker sex will be banned and anyone advocating this idea will be punished. Such passages found in any religious book will also be edited out.



Parents of to-be brides will be encouraged not to feel inferior in front of ladke wale. Any such attempt from the latter will be dealt severely. Indirect acts of dowry will also be considered a serious offense. A family found guilty of forcibly marrying off their daughter will also be penalized although in a minor way.

Poverty: I believe poverty is largely an outcome of unequal distribution of income. Super rich individuals or organizations (including places of worship) earning more than a particular amount will be made to donate a tiny percentage of their income to the needy. Even such a minute amount can go a long way in diminishing poverty. Continuous efforts in various other ways will be put to eradicate poverty.



Medical Bills: From what I have observed in the last few years, I feel it is an unofficial crime for the poor or lower middle-class to fall sick. If a person is saved from a serious illness, he will still die while paying an abnormal amount to the hospitals and for medicines. I would prefer my world to give access to proper healthcare to all irrespective of his or her social class. This slow killing will be looked upon as one of the most urgent matters to deal with.

Law & Order: It seriously hurts to see our hard-working policemen earn less than peanuts. In my world, their wages will be raised to an enormous level. Along with the cop, his family members too sacrifice a lot so even they would be taken care of. Something more than Fast Track Courts will be placed to make judiciary processes way faster.

Corruption: This will be considered a very serious offence and the wrongdoers will face strictest of punishment; definitely not the easy way corrupts are treated in the current times. All political parties will be compelled by law to disclose every penny from their funding.

Smoking: There would be ways chalked out to ban smoking. If not, there at least would be serious restrictions on the selling of cigarettes.



Right to Peace: I am sure this phrase is never heard before from any government in the world, which is truly unfortunate. This surprises me immensely as I firmly believe everyone has a right to stay peacefully in his or her home. All kinds of noises in public places would be banned in my world, including those made in the name of carrying out ‘religious’ festivals or practices.

Subsidy to art: Sorry, I can’t keep films and plays away. Independent films aiming to promote a social cause or present a social wrongdoing will be given subsidy along with entertainment tax abolition. There will be massive efforts made to revive the art of theatre all over India. The reason for this point is that these mediums have a large reach out, which can help spread noble messages.


There are many, many more things that need to be changed in this world. This is just an overview.


7 reasons for AAP’s triumph in Delhi

By: Keyur Seta

It would be an understatement to say that the results of 2015 Delhi Elections have surprised Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters. ‘Pleasantly shocked’ is the right phrase to describe their situation right now. Who would have thought AAP will win 67 out of the 70 seats? It still sounds unreal!

Various reasons can be attributed to AAP’s unthinkable success. Here are some of them:-

Apologies: The biggest mistake made by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal was to quit as the Chief Minister of Delhi last year after just 49 days. This was the major reason for all the flak he received. However, taking it by his stride, he accepted his mistake and sincerely apologized many times over at various rallies and interviews. Remember any other politician ever doing this?

Maturity: After receiving sudden success in the last Delhi Elections, Kejriwal and his party got a bit carried away which was seen in their actions (Dharna), statements and their ambition to go national in last year’s Loksabha Elections. But this time around, we got to see a different mindset of Kejriwal and AAP leaders. There was a lot of maturity and wisdom in all their public speeches.



Winning Trust: 1) After the arrival of gloomy days, the challenge was terribly tough for AAP to win people’s confidence again. It took many rallies and sabhas for them to finally be able to do it. And again, it took a lot of apologizing, which they did with respect.

2) AAP is the first and the only party in India to display accounts of their donations. This also saved them from the wrong hawala accusation. They are also ready to come under RTI for funding whereas other parties are petrified of it. This went a long way in gaining people's trust because before AAP's emergence, nobody gave a thought to the funding of political parties.

Manifesto: AAP had a well-prepared manifesto, which highlighted the biggest problems Delhi is facing currently – women safety, corruption and high electricity bills. Their idea of installing 15 lakh CCTV cameras in the city was the stand out promise. However, it will be left to see how they manage this humongous task.

Not Abusing Back: The BJP insulted, mocked and made fun of Kejriwal and AAP many times over during their campaign. Their cartoons also went to the extent of showing Anna Hazare dead just to insult AK. However, by showing maturity, none of the AAP leaders abused back to BJP.

BJP: This is one of the major reasons. BJP’s blunders during their seven-month-old rule at the Centre sowed the seeds of their downfall. Their blatant lie about bringing back black money was the biggest of all.

No Show Campaign: But the biggest blunder came in the form of BJP's disastrous campaign and strategies during the run up to the Delhi Elections. Roping in Kiran Bedi, who has targeted BJP in the past, was the final nail in the coffin as far as BJP’s chances are concerned.

But despite these many factors in AAP’s favor, winning 67 out of the 70 seats is unthinkable. This is pure miracle!


11 reasons for BJP’s downfall

By: Keyur Seta

Many felt that the exit polls over-estimated Aam Aadmi Party’s win percentage in the 2015 Delhi Elections. However, the results have stunned or, rather, shocked everyone. With AAP winning as many as 67 out of the 70 seats and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) reduced to an embarrassing 3, it looks like the exit polls were actually under-estimated.

Despite BJP winning the Lok Sabha polls last year with a resounding majority, the party is now in shackles after just seven months in power. If we analyze closely, the actions and intentions of the BJP, right from the time they formed government at the center, are to be blamed for this.

Let’s have a look at them:

Communal Politics: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi time and again stressed that his party will only focus on good governance and development. However, some prominent people from his party and some affiliate organizations like RSS had other plans. Communal statements and slogans like Ram Zade-Haram Zade, Ghar Wapsi, Bahu Lao Beti Bachao, asking Hindus to bear 4-5 children and India for Hindus overshadowed Modi’s talks on development and good governance.

Lack of Control: Despite a series of communal antics, Modi didn’t utter a word against the offenders. Had he publicly condemned them, things would have been hugely different and it wouldn’t have reinstated BJP’s communal image.

Black Promises: In order to gain votes during the Lok Sabha elections last year, the party promised with a lot of heroism to bring back India’s black money stashed in foreign banks. But the black money bubble busted soon and how!

(To know the reasons for AAP's success, click HERE.)



Curtailing Important Budgets: The Center curtailed India’s Education and Healthcare budget by 3000 + and 4000 crores respectively. On the other hand, they are happy to spend 4500 crore and 1000 crore on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Shivaji Maharaj statues and their crazy promotions. Are statues more important than proper healthcare and education?

Favors to Adani: BJP cleared 370 acre forest land to Adani Group to install and run a power plant. Development cannot take place by destroying nature.

Hiring Arvind’s Ex-Buddies: In order to gain the upper hand against AAP, BJP roped in Shazia Ilmi and Kiran Bedi, who were once with Kejriwal and have now turned against him. However, welcoming those who had openly lambasted BJP didn’t go down well with their own party members.

Questioning Funds: The BJP went down heavily on AAP for their funding for one of the donations despite it being made through proper cheque and bank records and being listed on their site. However, they are not ready to list down their own sources and are not ready to come under RTI for funds.

10 Lakh Suit: With slogans like Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, Modi gave indications that he is the leader of the Common Man. But his suit worth as much as 10 lakh with his full name inscribed throughout indicated otherwise. On the other hand, when Kejriwal traveled business class just once and that too by not paying from his own pocket or party funds, the BJP made a hue and cry.

Bedi Blunder: The less said the better about Kiran Bedi and her unintentionally hilarious speeches. In fact, she managed to match Congress’ Rahul Gandhi on several occasions. Plus, running away from serious questions showed her lack of confidence to stand up on her decision.

Negative Campaign & Arrogance: Instead of bringing in some agenda for several problems Delhi is facing, the BJP only focused on badmouthing Kejriwal and AAP with a lot arrogance. Words like Naxal, Bhagoda and Dharnakarne Wale were frequently used. In fact, they even went on to the extent of personally attacking him for his cough, muffler and, worse, caste through their insulting cartoons, where they even went on to show Anna Hazare dead! The Shahi Imam controversy also hurt them badly.

Over-Desperate Promotions: BJP’s helplessness and desperation was seen from the fact that the entire party, including the PM, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers from BJP run states and many MPs and several party-men left their tasks and teamed up in Delhi to fight against just one person – Kejriwal. This coupled with over-desperate bombarding of BJP advertisements made them look desperate for a win.


When life presented her with muck, she grew a lotus

By: Keyur Seta

(This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus. Under this activity, we have to write about a woman who, after being just a wife, went on to join a profession.)

For those grown up in late 80s and 90s, like I was, it was a normal thing to see a woman either choosing to be a wife or a hardworking professional. Through the society, films and advertisements, we were always indirectly told that a woman can’t play both the roles. If she starts working somewhere after finishing college, it is obvious that she will have to give up her career after she gets married to serve her family and raise kids.

But no society can escape change and India is no different. The aforementioned notion about women has changed quite a bit over the years as now she chooses to be a working professional along with being a wife. However, the change is far from complete. There is still a long way to go before the regressive ideologies get completely washed out.



But be rest assured, we are reaching there slowly but surely. There are a number of unknown faces going through such self-realization. I would like to highlight the story of one such woman, whose name I am not aware of.

Many a times, we come face-to-face with real-life inspiring stories in the most unexpected situations. Had anybody predicted that I would hear an inspirational tale while I was looking after my grandmother when she was admitted in hospital, I wouldn’t have believed that person. But this is exactly how it happened in mid-2013.

The protagonist of the story is the caretaker or helper at the hospital, someone who works under the nurse. We found her to be cheerful and, energetic and full of life; someone who always smiled and happily chit-chatted even while doing petty jobs (petty on paper but difficult in reality). But some smiles are earned after prolong periods of sorrow and grief. Her case wasn’t different.

We came to know about her dark past after she narrated it to my granny after building a rapport with her over the days spent. Belonging to the lower strata of society, she was one of the many unpaid maids disguised as housewives. But the biggest pain in life was her drunkard husband. Staying with a man who regularly consumes alcohol and creates havoc can make any wife experience hell on earth.



Her case was even worse since her husband faced serious health issues and was strictly advised to keep away from the bottle. But temptation can make anyone logically blind and he too fell under this category. Despite being urged to stop his habit, he didn’t. The outcome was his untimely death, leaving behind his wife, two small kids and his mother. The woman’s grief was coupled by a frightening question of who will run the house and feed everyone.

Instead of looking for answers from and caring about anyone, she answered it herself by deciding to work at this hospital. Although she didn’t tell this, it is quite obvious that the initial period would have been terribly tough to deal with. But here she is today, smiling her way through the tedious and thankless job and feeding her family. When life presented her with muck (keechad), she grew a lotus in it.

She proved that she, like many other women, can be an ‘and’ and should no longer be confined to being just an ‘or’. There are many out there constantly proving or trying to prove the regressive theories wrong.


R K Laxman: Rest In Peace revolutionary cartoonist

By: Keyur Seta

‘Common Man’ is no ordinary title. The term has given a unique and respectful identity to a large majority of Indians falling into the middle-class and upper middle-class category. They may be divided by religion, caste, language, region or what not, but they stand united under the umbrella of ‘Common Man’.

This title has given them a voice. It has highlighted the fact that the betterment of India can only take place when the life of people falling in this category is bettered. This can be seen from the fact that the main agenda of each political party in India is to serve the Common Man. Whether they have been able to achieve it is a different story. Hence, it won’t be an overstatement that ‘Common Man’ is a revolutionary title.



Today, the person who coined this title breathed his last. India’s greatest cartoonist R K Laxman returned to heavenly abode at a Pune hospital after a prolonged illness at the age of 94. May his soul Rest In Peace.

There is no doubt that he was an excellent cartoonist; easily the best the country has seen. However, he has influenced my life more by his ‘Common Man’ feature. In fact, I live this theory every moment as it has become the most important philosophy of my life.

Needless to say, the name of this blog is solely influenced by Laxman’s ‘Common Man’. Although I also considered Naseeruddin Shah’s character in A Wednesday while naming it, the germ of this philosophy was created by Laxman. Today, the name of my blog has played a large role in whatever little acceptance it has received from readers, friends and well-wishers. All thanks to R K Laxman!

The man has passed away but his legacy of ‘Common Man’ will be kept alive in various ways. The ‘Common Man’ might fail every now and then but he will never get tired.


R K Laxman's Common Man. (Picture:

R K Laxman's Common Man. (Picture:

His masterpiece sketch of Malgudi Days (Picture:

His masterpiece sketch of Malgudi Days (Picture:


Vivekananda gave me another birth: Kangana Ranaut

By: Keyur Seta

Actress Kangana Ranaut has spoken about herself during her innumerable interviews. However, very few of us know that she considers Swami Vivekananda as her biggest inspiration and motivation. She spoke about this little known aspect about her life during the 153rd Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at Ramakrishna Mission, Mumbai.

Kangana Ranaut. Picture Source: Sonam Budha @sonambudha1

Kangana Ranaut. Picture Source: Sonam Budha @sonambudha1

“There was a time in my life when I couldn’t face tough situations. I was a lot confused about a lot of things. One day, my Yoga Guru gave me few books on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. That changed everything. His book on Karma Yoga provided me with a lot of inspiration. Only I can understand how his teachings gave me another birth. I am Vivekananda’s product,” said Kangana with a broad smile.

She added, “I always wanted to connect with R K Mission. I am happy that I finally got a chance to be here and speak.”

As always, the address by Swami Sarvalokananda, secretary of RKM Mumbai, contained messages for the youth. “When Swamiji went to the west, he used to proudly say that he is from India. But today’s youth show a lot of hesitation to reveal that.” While speaking on leadership, he said, “We need servant leadership.”

Arunagiri Mudaaliar, Chairman and Chief Mentor of E Cube India, pointed out how Vivekananda’s teachings also help management students. “His most important teaching which the management students adhere to is – Before managing external environment, manage yourself internally.”

Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor at BARC and Dr Srikumar Banerjee, from the Atomic Energy Commission, Mumbai also spoke about the relevance of Vivekananda’s message in today’s times.

A large number of school and college students were invited for the event since Vivekananda’s birthday is also celebrated as National Youth Day in India. This time, his birth tithi coincided with his birthday.


Lokmanya (Marathi Movie) Review

By: Keyur Seta

Rating: * * * *

The basic motto of a biopic is to do complete justice to the person on whom it is based. The next challenge for such genre of films is to leave behind a solid impact on the heart and mind of the viewer through his message or teachings. Om Raut’s Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush succeeds in both areas while also making sure it is not just any other freedom fighter biopic.

Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush focuses on the life of India’s freedom fighter, journalist, teacher and social reformer, Bal Gangadhar Tilak aka Lokmanya Tilak from the time he was a college student till the end of his life. The film highlights his fight against the British rule through various means and its consequences.

The story of a newspaper journalist (Chinmay Mandlekar), based in today’s times, is also narrated simultaneously. Hailing from Mumbai’s middle-class, he is about to marry his rich fiancée (Priya Bapat). But a chance incident ignites some serious inner conflict within him.

lokmanya-marathi-movieBiopics face a danger of becoming a bit boring or a drag, making it unacceptable for the youth. But Lokmanya steers clear from it. Through a riveting screenplay, powerful dialogues and appealing presentation, you are kept engrossed. It also makes sure that the protagonist’s inspiring lines don’t turn out to be fake or corny. Although the film is filled with soul-stirring events, the sequence about the explanation of the Bhagvad Gita and the sad truth during opening credits deserve mention.

But as mentioned before, the film stands apart from the usual biopics. This is due to the story of the journalist, based in today’s era, which is connected to the life story of Tilak. This aspect will break your heart about the kind of lives people are living today. It will force you to question not only others but also yourself.

Lokmanya has few issues though. The commercial element in some sequences should have been toned down. But the biggest question mark is the change of heart of a supporting character, which is unconvincing.

Ajit-Sameer’s music enhances the proceedings to a greater level, especially the theme song. The same can be said for the technicalities (camerawork, background score and editing), production values and costume designing.

Lokmanya wouldn’t have been reached this level without Subodh Bhave’s brilliant enactment of the protagonist. With a powerful and heartwarming act, he shows why he is one of the finest artists around. Sameer Sanjay Vidwans too shines in the role of Gopal Ganesh Agarkar.

Chinmay Mandlekar succeeds in displaying frustration and helplessness, mostly through his expressions. Priya Bapat too plays her part perfectly. Angad Mhaskar, as Daiji Khare, Prashant Uthale, as Chapekar, and the rest of the actors play their parts well. However, the actor in the role of Swami Vivekananda is a miscast.

Overall: Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush is an ideal film for today’s youth to know this important personality from India’s freedom struggle. It is expected to do well at the box office.

Director: Om Raut

Writers: Om Raut and Kaustubh Savarkar

Producers: Neena Raut Films and Emmay Entertainment

Cast: Subodh Bhave, Chinmay Mandlekar, Sameer Sanjay Vidwans, Priya Bapat

Music: Ajit-Sameer

Genre: Period Drama