It is always between 'what changes from one calendar day to the next' and 'every day is a new day, a reservoir of hopes, a new opportunity to do, undo or redo things'.
The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.
Thursday 31 December 2015
It is always between 'what changes from one calendar day to the next' and 'every day is a new day, a reservoir of hopes, a new opportunity to do, undo or redo things'.
Wednesday 30 December 2015
Tuesday 29 December 2015
And 'secret charity' is its most pious form - giving without expecting anything in return - even good words - even obliged gestures.
It is the 'sanctum sanctorum' act of a virtuous, meaningful human life that believes in 'giving' because it comes to him as responsibility and not as liability - because it comes to him as answerability to his inner urge and not as a mean to feel 'high and mighty'.
Indian philosophy, right from the dawn of its civilization, right from its earliest texts like in Vedas, has consistently extolled virtues of charity (and secret charity). Its scriptures worship concepts like Dana (donation/charity), Bhiksha (alms) or Dakshina (reasonable fee) and put emphasis on their inevitability in every human life and their need for overall well-being of the society - the need to give it back to the society.
Charity (or secret charity) is very basic to human life in Indian culture, tradition and history - and so in every other religion or faith practiced worldwide - be it Christianity or Islam or Buddhism (which emanated from India) or Judaism or others.
Not like the 'basics' of Facebook's 'Free Basics'.
Tomorrow, December 30, is the deadline to send in your opinion on the consultation paper floated by the telecom regulator TRAI on 'differential pricing' of digital content (zero-rating/net neutrality).
Activists and many concerned people, who can think and who bother to think, are up in arms.
How can the initiatives by these 'commercial vendors or social media sites with business interests' be seen in good faith when 'profit seeking' is the root of any business idea?
India crossed 100 crore (1000 million) mobile phone subscribers mark this year, yet only 25% Indians are online as Google's Rajan Anandan says. And even if we are the fastest growing internet market in the world, there are only 400 million mobile internet users (and there are only 150 million smartphone users) - so there is a huge (huge) market to tap - because it is the mobile internet market that makes India the fastest growing internet marketplace in the world.
And that makes us question the intent of the ideas behind the services like 'Free Basics'.
We have no reasons to question Mark Zuckerberg's intent to donate his 99% wealth in charity. In fact acts like that are what the world needs desperately. And people like Zuckerberg doing so publicly, no doubt, will inspire many others to join the cause.
But then Zuckerberg could have kept Facebook away from his 'Free Basics' basket - that would have simply answered all the critics who are questioning his intent - an altruistic act that would speak for itself.
That was the minimum (and maximum) basic expected!
That could have answered the critics questioning his intent with doubts like 'why Free Basics is in bad taste' or 'why it sounds inhuman in appeal'!
Monday 28 December 2015
Sunday 27 December 2015
Saturday 26 December 2015
Friday 25 December 2015
Thursday 24 December 2015
Wednesday 23 December 2015
Such outfits always find this or that excuse to maintain their grip over power and most of them do so in the name of religion like ISIS is doing or quoting ethnicity and national pride like Nazi party did.
In fact, nothing could parallel the worst atrocity perpetrated in the name of ethnic superiority and national pride - the Holocaust - millions of Jews and many others were methodically killed in a cold blooded manner over the years. They were starved to death. They were gassed. They were arbitrarily shot. Many of them were burnt when they were still alive.
We all know, with the beginning of the end of the World War II, Hitler's forces came to know that their defeat was imminent and they were going to be subjected to legal action for their war crimes. And so, the officials of the Concentration Camps, which dotted the German occupied territories, especially in Germany and Poland, were ordered to kill all inmates and wipe the evidence. In many camps they did so – but failed miserably. In many they could not do it.
In our generation, no one has seen the Holocaust, but those who follow it can very feel the horror by going through the literature available on it and by engaging with the visual documentation including fictional narratives based on experiences of victims. An engagement with the Holocaust documentation stirs your whole identity.
I had the similar feeling when I saw this tweet yesterday. It was by Col. Steve Warren, the Spokesman for the Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the US military operation against ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State) as his Twitter page says. Mr. Warren had tweeted a document that listed directives for the ISIS fighters on 'how to commit atrocities on civilians before fleeing Fallujah' so that the allied forces could be painted in dark in the propaganda material of the world's most dreaded terrorist organization - that has established beyond doubt its grip over advanced communication technologies.
ISF is for Iraqi Security Forces and PMF for is Popular Mobilisation Forces, considered a Shia militia wing. They are engaged in fierce battle with ISIS. The ISIS directive lays down on how the ISIS fighters, dressed in ISF and PMF outfits, should maximize efforts to creates stage managed scenes for ISIS propaganda videos and it includes assault on women and execution of people.
Here, it is about one Iraqi city Fallujah. ISIS (or ISIL) adopts similar cruel ways in other cities in territories under its control – whether fleeing or not - killing people at will - in the name of ethnic cleansing and religious wars - like it was done in the Holocaust - though at a much larger scale.
Tuesday 22 December 2015
And it takes a massive public expression of anger that 'disturbs' their ‘this’ attitude.
As it happened in the case of passing amendments in the Juvenile Justice Act in the Parliament to promulgate a stricter law.
Though we cannot say what the proposed amendments will achieve, something that is time (and tide) dependent, we can say it has been a logical step on a tedious journey that should have begun much earlier than December 16, 2012 when the Delhi gang rape took place. Rape and other criminal incidents against women had become social evils and horrible curses much before it in our patriarchal society.
Rape and other crimes against women are a mindset problem and we cannot expect to control them by merely passing a law.
It needs mindset change.
And that requires time and consistency in efforts.
Tougher laws like the one passed in the Rajya Sabha today or in the wake of the national outrage after the December 16 gang rape, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (or Nirbhaya Act), put into effect in April 2013, are vital reflections on how we are progressing.
Such steps, whenever they arrive, irrespective of what they can or cannot do, give a sense of satisfaction that the society has advanced one step ahead in this mindset change battle.
Because this is a tough battle to win - with loads of frustrating moments.
This very case is a burning example.
Somehow, our conscious was stirred to the level that the brutal gang rape of a paramedic student on December 16 in 2012 became precursor to a national outrage and global headlines. We can say the political attitude was not well received initially with brutal crackdown by the Delhi Police on protesters. But later on, intense public pressure and media scrutiny caused some sense to prevail and we saw the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act coming into force in just four months of the incident.
And though politicians had promised a very swift, ‘within months judgement’ (some say even two or three months), the nation accepted the judgement delivered by the lower court in September 2013 – in the 10th month after the incident.
A parallel track to this was the demand for comprehensive amendments in the Juvenile Justice Act because one of the accused, who was also the most brutal one, was a minor (17+ but not yet 18) and was sentenced to just three years in a correctional home. So while four others were sentenced to death (the main accused committed suicide in jail), the minor accused, who was most brutal in committing this crime, was just sentenced to three years and was to get his records expunged after his three years were over.
After December 16 incident in 2016, we saw spurt in rapes and other crimes against women but it was basically because the heightened sense of insecurity and the increased access to information sources led more cases to be reported. We also saw a spurt in reporting of such heinous crimes by juveniles, especially in 16-18 age-group.
So, this parallel track of demand for stricter laws for juveniles in 16-18 age-group was a legitimate one - apt for the senses prevailing in the society. And the demand never died down.
The 'unnecessarily delayed' Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 that was passed today showed us that again. Our political class took three years after the December 2012 incident to pass the Bill and that too came after a trigger that again generated intense sentiment mobilization and could well herald a new mass movement if the Bill was delayed further. The Nirbhaya Act was promulgated in April 2013 but then politicians failed to reach on any conclusion on the Juvenile Justice Act for the next 30 months.
The trigger this time obviously was the release of the minor rapist in the case who walked free on December 20 after completing his three years in a correctional home in Delhi. Public opinion had started galvanizing much before it with themed media campaigns.
And the political class when saw this, it had no other option but to bow to the incoming public outrage. Yes, the fear of another massive public outrage forced them to pass the Bill this time with the 'juvenile convict release' trigger. What else can we say about their sensitivities and priorities again given the fact the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill in May 2015 but it took another six months for the Rajya Sabha to act on it.
Passage of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 is important for this reason - that will of public prevailed over the policymaking class. What qualitative changes this amendment can bring is something that only future will tell.
Monday 21 December 2015
Welcome to the changed realpolitik of Indian politics with its new breed (or the latest addition) that is trying to capture the centre stage with rapid fire rounds in almost everything that comes across - the breed that sees a political opportunity in anything and everything - be it political or apolitical.
How will it affect the scene?
How will it affect the locales of the political landscape in India?
How will it affect the rules of the games politicians play in India?
Well, there are no visible answers as of yet.
It is too early, in fact, (too) premature to write who is going to prevail and who is going to concede.
It is too judgemental at this primitive stage to write that who will assimilate/incorporate changes and who will lead the way politics is exercised in this country.
It is too irrelevant at this juncture to look for any symbolism in the ongoing juggleries and manoeuvrings so far.
But if it is disturbing to watch the devaluation of values to a new low, analytically, it is interesting to see how it develops further and what elements it throws in and throws out in the process.
On one side there is this breed, with decades of experience that has fine-tuned their politics to the level that they do whatever they want to do – but at the same time, they also keep the space for fine prints in dealing with complex/crisis issues to subtly settle them. Though they talk of social parity, they believe in and follow elitism.
Then there is this new class of entrants - with windfall gains in the very beginning. Bolstered by the unexpected foothold and 'unbelievable gains of apologies' (intentional or fake) they have gained in a span of just three years, they are out there to 'brazen' it out - to claim their political territory and to win over domains that have been preserves of others so far.
And there are bound to be struggles - struggles for survival - and it has already progressed to the final stages of its initiation with the Delhi assembly election results this year.
Sunday 20 December 2015
Saturday 19 December 2015
And in doing so, they are failing miserably – in explaining that how ‘their over-the-top, hoarse cries about political vendetta in the National Herald case is not touching the realms of judicial sovereignty and how it is not about trying to drag judiciary into the ongoing political row’.
Well, what is wrong in Subramanian Swamy or BJP pursuing the case?
BJP and Congress are political adversaries and given the state of affairs of Indian politics of the day, anyone would grab the opportunity to score political mileage a mismanaged affair like National Herald throws.
Congress would do the same if it would come across a similar opportunity.
So, no grand opinionating, no innovative catchphrases, no sycophantic overtures can justify what the Congress is trying to do – through its leaders – through its spokespersons.
In fact, the whole spectacle has put the Congress party in bad light – lost in a space where people can easily see through such designs.
What remains clear is the fact that the Delhi High Court saw dubious designs in the whole ‘Associate Journals Limited-Young Indian-National Herald’ affair, even if on Subramanian Swamy’s plea and ordered Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders accused in the case to appear in the lower court (Patiala House Court, Delhi), rejecting their appeal.
It is clear that people are not buying the charges of political vendetta in the case and are not going to buy it even in the future – apart from political grandstanding by few political outfits. They, in fact, clearly detest such political spectacles now. People can no longer be duped in the age of information access even if it sometimes creates chaos.
That is probably the reason that some sense prevailed and we did not see all that ‘tamasha’ like marches, rallies, effigy burning and sloganeering and we did not see the ‘expected grand climax of the day with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi not applying for bail’.
And anyway, the court proceedings lasted for some 10 minutes only granting bail to everyone rejecting Subramanian Swamy’s argument (of not granting bail), fixing the next date of hearing on 20th February 2016. No questions were asked; the court imposed no conditions for bails and asked just for personal sureties and guarantees. Same is expected to follow for Sam Pitroda who could not appear in the court due to health issues.
So, it again flew in the face of the party. Congress clearly miscalculated and overreacted here.
Friday 18 December 2015
Thursday 17 December 2015
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/
Wednesday 16 December 2015
I may be wrong here in judging the prop in the scene but I would like to think I am right - that another movie scene has written the iconic 'Golden Gate Bridge' off - blowing it again - in fact annihilating it.
And it happens time and again - be it an apocalyptic script or a theme or a simple larger than life thrilling adventure.
The thought came to my mind while watching trailer of 'X Men: Apocalypse'.
I think it was the Golden Gate Bridge that was shown to go down in the trailer and here we need to keep this in mind that in another 'X Men' film, i.e., 'X-Men: The Last Stand', we had seen some similar treatment with the bridge, though, with a moderate spectacle.
I have seen it so many times - and so have others - the 1937 bridge coming down with a big, thunderous blast, huge clouds of dust and smoke and lots of chutzpah in movies with apocalyptic times or movies that show the Golden Gate Bridge facing critical destruction of climactic scenes as it was in Godzilla.
And after this trailer, continuing this random thought, I think I will write a larger piece on the subject (:)) with some proper research. :)