The Common Man Speaks

12Nov/130

AAP funding issue: Thank you Mr Shinde!

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s decision to probe Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) funding has once again proved that truth is stranger than fiction. We have come across a list of atrocious statements from our politicians but still I find Shinde’s statement completely unfathomable! Here’s why.

Picture Source - Livemint.com

Picture Source - Livemint.com

Just consider this. Here’s a political party (Congress) which is strictly not willing to reveal its sources of humongous funds. On top of that, their rule has given rise to a long list of shocking scams worth, literally, unthinkable amounts. But forget revealing their funding source, the ruling party is not even willing to probe any of these scams despite numerous reports by the CAG.

On the other hand, AAP, forget being involved in any scam, is been revealing every detail of its funding on its website (check it HERE). So what sense can one make out of Shinde’s decision? Somebody please explain!

Before trying to probe AAP’s funding, is Mr Shinde ready to compel Congress and various other parties to disclose their funding? Well, he isn’t for obvious reasons.

But looking at it from another angle, I realize that Shinde has immensely helped the cause of AAP. So please carry on sir!

10Oct/130

Sachin retirement: Memories never retire!

By: Keyur Seta

So the news the world never wished to hear is out. The God of cricket Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has finally announced retirement from international cricket. Of course, the news is not surprising whatsoever even to a single cricket fan, yet it has hit everyone like a bolt simply because of Sachin’s priceless value. Some are literally into tears!

However, as strange as it may sound, in the midst of the emotional turmoil, I might be in the minority for not being sad, shattered or whatever. This might even label me as anti-Sachin or a Sachin hater, but believe me, I am not. My close friends would know that I have worshipped him as much as you people (you can read my poem on him by clicking HERE). It might sound rude but I think we should all accept the truth.

The law of nature is that everything has to end one day. None can escape this law including Sachin’s career. Every player has to end his career at some point or the other. Let’s be practical - Sachin had to retire one day, no matter how much we hoped against it. Also let’s face it – he is facing a lot of trouble with his technique and timing since recent times. And come on, he has been playing international cricket since 24 long years! How much more do you expect from him?

The number of great and proud memories provided by the Master Blaster is uncountable. It won’t be an overstatement to term them as priceless treasure. So instead of crying over his retirement, let’s be positive and cherish the priceless treasure. Our wailing will make things difficult for Sachin himself. By the way, one thing I can assure everyone is that the great man would continue to do his bit for cricket or other sports. Despite retiring, you will keep hearing good things about him for sure!

Sachin’s emotional strength was proved during the 1999 World Cup where he played against Kenya just after he lost his father. So being true Sachin fans, we can’t afford to be weak. In case, if we do, just revisit his numerous innings available on YouTube. After all, memories never retire!

Picture source: Cricinfo.com

Picture source: Cricinfo.com

29May/136

Mr Srinivasan, even retards won’t endorse your ‘enthusiast’ theory!

With the BCCI chief trying to fool people in the most shocking manner, it is high time the legends of the game listen to their conscience and speak on behalf of those who made them what they are: their fans!

By: Keyur Seta

Politicians and big-shots trying to fool the aam junta is nothing new in our country. For them, the common public is either unintelligent to fall in the trap or too busy in their own life to pay heed to the issue. But the way N Srinivasan, the President of the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI), is lying through his teeth has set a new benchmark in trying to take the country for a ride!

Picture Source - Indianexpress.com

Picture Source - Indianexpress.com

Let's have a look at the background of the issue first. As we all are aware, Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, owner of Chennai Super Kings, is arrested for his alleged role in betting and match-fixing (or spot-fixing as they are calling it) in the so-called cricket series Indian Premier League (IPL). So according to the IPL rules, the team can be banned due to their owner’s malpractice.

But to make sure his son-in-law doesn’t get into trouble and his team isn’t banned, Srinivasan has come up with a shocking theory. According to him, Gurunath is neither the owner of CSK nor he is associated with the team in any way. In fact, he also says, Gurunath is just a cricket enthusiast who travels with the team!!! Well, even mentally retarded individuals won’t believe such a theory.

The President has clearly gone way too ahead in trying to fool the people of India due to the following reasons:-

  • Gurunath’s ID card, which is splashed across all TV channels, mentions him as the owner of CSK.
  • We have seen him giving numerous interviews on TV as the owner of CSK.
  • His visiting cards mention him as the owner of CSK. This was also shown across various news channels.
  • (Best point of all) He was seen bidding for his team at IPL team auctioning.

Before this incident, nobody knew that a mere cricket enthusiast gets all these privileges! I can assure to Srinivasan that I am a much bigger cricket enthusiast than Gurunath. So will I be given the opportunity to speak as a team owner and bid for the team during auctions?

More than Srinivas’s shocking claims, it is the audacity at which he is making them and, in turn, blaming the media for ‘hounding’ him that speaks volumes about his adamancy for fooling the people of India!

On the contrary, we should thank the media, especially Times Now, for not giving up on the issue and asking what billions of cricket fans across the country are desperate to ask. In fact, we can only rely on the media because the big names of the game aren’t going to utter a word on the issue. This is so evident from yesterday’s press conference where Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni just behaved like a puppet on the hands of his CSK owner and the BCCI President!

It was highly sad to see someone so confident and brave transforming into a scary bone! If this continues, be rest assured, the whole issue will soon be swept under the carpet. It is high time the big names of Indian cricket, including the Tendulkars, Dravids and Dhonis, raise their voice on behalf of those who have made them what they are: their billions of fans! It is up to them to choose between their bosses and their conscience!

18May/130

“Forgive him, he’s a superstar!”

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.

Picture Source - Mail.com

Picture Source - Mail.com

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:

 

20Mar/132

Pictures from anti-women harassment event, Adhya

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:

Adhyaa

Team Adhya

Adhya-event

Participants taking a pledge to protect women

sexual-harassment-training

Dance performance to create awareness

Shivani Thakkar and Karishma Sharma

Shivani Thakkar and Karishma Sharma

16Mar/130

Adhya: Be Safe, Be Vigilant

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.

PrintKarishma 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

3Feb/130

Mah. Govt. has no money to celebrate Vivekananda Anniversary

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!

Swami Sarvalokananda addressing the audience

Swami Sarvalokananda addressing the audience

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.

Inauguration of Swami Vivekananda Chowk

Inauguration of Swami Vivekananda Chowk

Swami Vivekananda statue at Ramakrishna Math Mumbai

Swami Vivekananda statue at Ramakrishna Math Mumbai

 

29Dec/120

Gang Rape Victim Death: Last wake up call!

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!

28Dec/120

No hope for safety of women?

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.

Picture Courtesy - India Today Facebook page

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.

Abhijit Mukherjee (Picture Courtesy - India Today)

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!

Seriously, can you expect them to protect us? (Picture Courtesy - Facebook page)

23Dec/1211

Delhi Gang Rape: Fighting the enemy within!

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!

Picture courtesy - ibtimes.com

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?

Picture courtesy - India Against Corruption Facebook page

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.

Picture courtesy - Associated Press