Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rich Dad Syndrome !!!

Anybody who has lived in Delhi for some length of time would surely have experienced boorish behavior from kids who`s parents have substituted parental care with money.These kids flush with money indulge in all kinds of wrong activities with absolute disdain.Many ,if not most, of the road accidents in Delhi are caused by these wayward sons of riches(use of wrong word is deliberate!).I remember a incident that happened a few months back in Gurgaon,where two cars driven by rich kids were racing with each other and in the process ran over a security guard.Not stopping at that ,the poor guy was also beaten up by these scoundrels.Later on the colony people came and locked up these rich kids till police arrived.After the initial reporting there was no follow up of the incident and i for one would not be surprised if the case was hushed up as the kids were well connected.
The only remedy for preventing such highhanded behavior by kids is to educate the parents that overcoming the guilt of not being able to spend time with their kids by giving them money,cars etc is just not right.The parents need to realise that money cannot substitute for values.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Red Rose !

The dreaded day is coming for all those who are single(by choice or by compulsion).The newspapers ,especially TOI & HT, pile on the agony of singles as they are filled with suggestions about how to make it a memorable day.For those who are not engaged ,for whatever reason,it is a day to reflect on the past and plan ahead(hopefully,for a better future).The grass always seems greener on the other side is a common refrain but it may not be so in reality.
My first and so far the only brush with V-day was in class 11.In fact,till class 10(summerof 1997) i dont think i had even heard of St.Valentine(and i m sure, he of me) and his exploits.Anyway,14th feb 1998 was business as usual for me.Woke up and got ready for catching the school bus,oblivious of what was about to happen.Myself and few of my friends used to occupy the long rear seat in the bus and the bus journey used to be lot of fun.So, on that day also i got on the bus and for some reason (unrelated to Vday,i presume)the attendance in the bus was quite thin.When the bus stopped for its penultimate stop before reaching the school,two sisters(also in class 11 but from different sections)entered the bus.I knew both of them reasonably well(one of them had somewhat fiery temper and the other one was more easygoing)but at that moment not well enough.The fiery one(sis1) came and out of the blue thrust a rose in front of not me but my very good friend(DM)and this caused everybody to raise their eyebrow (including yours truly)as the two concerned people were as different as chalk and cheese.In the meantime,while everybody`s attention was focused on DM and sister1,the other sister gave me a rose and wished me happy V-day.Fortunately for me,nobody seemed to notice and i quickly dropped the rose into my bag.To be honest ,all along i knew that this is some kind of joke being played on my dear friend DM and i was but a character artist in the scheme of things.
All the same,that day we had very few classes and DM and Sis1 were seen walking around the school discussing something or the other.Well,everybody was envious of DM,though everybody thought deep down that he was being taken for a ride..but what a ride !
Finally,classes got over and i reached back home.On coming back i took out the rose(colour is immaterial,but it was red)from my bag and threw it away(actually,under my bed)....Well that was supposed to be the end of it ,but later that evening some of my friends came over to my place.....and quite unknown to me some had actually witnessed the rose giving ceremony ....they wanted to see it for themselves,i told them that i had thrown it (technically a true statement) but one of them looked under the bed and i had to face some music ....but then everybody knew that it was nothing but a friendship rose(unfortunately!).....
P.S.-the person from whom i received the rose is now happily married(to somebody else,ofcourse!)and same is true for her sister also.DM is also engaged to someone.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The unmaking of Iraq ...

Iraq,before the US led invasion, was under a dictatorial regime headed by Saddam Hussein but there was peace.He was a dictator and ruled with a iron hand but the Iraqis had access to healthcare and education.Saddam was also secular and under him Iraq was one of the more progressive nations of West Asia.Now ,after US meddling we have a Islamic Republic of Iraq which for all purpose is embroiled in a civil war among the majority Shias and the Sunni insurgents.Iraq has an explosive mix of 60% Shias,20% Sunnis and 20% Kurds and for Saddam(a sunni)to rule over this diverse population required the use of strong arm tactics.
A person who lives by the sword also dies by it is an oft repeated saying and came true in Saddam`s case.He was executed for the massacre of about 160 Shias of Dujail who were suspected of an assassination attempt on his life.If the same token is applied to George Bush,he would have to be hanged umpteen times for the death of nearly 650,000+ Iraqis so far.Not a single day passes without a bomb exploding in some part of Iraq.Saddam was no saint and he had his fair share of sins but the manner of his execution and the farcical trial has made him into a martyr.The ghost of Saddam will keep haunting US and its allies.A dead Saddam may turn out to be more of a threat to Americans worlwide as it is going to alienate muslims all over the world and strengthen the feeling of being wronged by the West.
The situation in Iraq is now so bad that even a complete and immediate withdrawal of US led coalition forces offers no guarantee that peace will return to Iraq any time soon.But the withdrawal of US led forces would be the first step towards peace.The minority sunnis would need to be given proprtional stake in governance of Iraq to wean them away from insurgency.Ultimately,the Iraqis would have to choose for themselves between co-existence and co-destruction ....

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Bounty Hunters !!!!

The recent expose of the murder of innocent civilians by some rogue police and army officials in Jammu & Kashmir points to a bigger malaise.Power without accountability almost always leads to corruption.Few rotten elements in J&K Police and the Rashtriya Rifles connived to kill innocent civilians just to get out of turn promotions and cash rewards.This incident has put a serious question mark over the government`s policy of rewarding officials for killing militants.Fake encounters are not something new and have been reported from all over the country at some point of time or the other.Mumbai Police being a master of the game and an inspiration to many bollywood flicks.While in states where there is relative peace it is somewhat difficult to indulge in fake encounters and cover them up because of vigilant media and civil society groups.But in places like J&K and the north-east where counter-insurgency operations are going on full throttle, it is apparently not so.
The police establishment as well as the army top brass would do well to bring the guilty officials to justice and be transparent about their modus-operandi as far as rewards and other benefits given for killing militants are concerned.