Urban

Will you be there for your Parents?


shutterstock_51858802-460x307I have been dreading about those days, when our Parents would be old and physically incapable to manage their daily chores. Those will be the days, when our Parents would need us, as much as we needed them when we were infants. That inevitable phase of our life frightens me. Will I be there for our Parents?

Today, in an urban phenomenon, both husband and wife are chasing money, through their respective jobs. In an era, when we as Parents have buckets of disposable income (although struggling to meet luxurious ends), the only thing we are in extreme dearth of is, “Time”. We do not even have time for our kids, and they are left over to maids, crèches, schools and retired grand-parents.

Our parents, in those ugly days, would need us, more than anything. They will like us to sit beside them, serve them, nurse them, manage their mood swings with a smile and love them. Remember, they did exactly all these things for us in our cradle days. Will our parents too, be left over to maids, nurses or hospitals? Can family be replaced by a hired maid or nurse? Can piles of money replace affection and care? Even if no, will we serve them unapologetically, selflessly with patience and love?

The thought frightens me. It asks me as I ask you the same, “Will you be there for your parents?”

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Why India should vote for BJP in 2014 Elections!


2014 General elections are not too far, and political parties have started their drum beating acts, vilification and slug-fest. Voters either already have or are in process of aligning themselves to preferred ideologies, leadership teams and parties.
Sooner or later, even I had to announce my loyalties for the forthcoming elections. Though I am not fully convinced, but still, here are the reasons, why India should vote for BJP this time.

Widespread Cynicism
Seems like majority to Indians (especially on Social Media) are at their heights of Cynicism. They are in no mood to trust our Media, Government, Institutions and Politicians (except “The Saheb”).
Pessimism is spread among the urban Indians like a wild fire, and the credit goes to both UPA and BJP. UPA Government through their unwanted actions and desirable inactions, have raised several doubts on the theory “India: The next Superpower”. And BJP, backed by RSS, also to be equally blamed, for their vilification tactics using social media and pracharaks!

And the only way to transpose them from Cynicism to Realism is by bringing “Change”.

No-Confidence Motion against Congress
Congress has lost any sought of trust in the Indians. Flurry of scams, minimal communication with the public, perceptive spineless leadership and opaque decision making have crashed their popularity index. All the decisions, statements, views of their leaders are seen with suspicion and usually termed as political opportunism. They have lost their moral ground to even criticize their opposition on every aspect be it economics or governance and more so, on the secularism. More so, Congress is been in power for 10years now, and fatigue factor is overpowering Indians, and thus considering change. Although all the political parties have deleterious baggage of their past, but “The Recency Effect” goes against Congress too. The only political party which seems to “substitute” them is BJP, considering AAP being too small. AAP also lacks the governance experience and the political muscle to win seats in 2014. As of now, they can be a good opposition party, if not more.

Stability

Indian economy needs a stable and decisive government, even if affects the social fabric of India. India needs quick economic, social and agricultural reforms, which only a stable and decisive government can provide. Federal parties don’t seem able enough to provide stability due to internal political tussle and deficiency of national approach to India’s problems. Thus we are left with no option but to vote for BJP.

New Era of Politics

The new-age India would now vote the basis of performance (economic and social). Congress and many other parties would soon realize that their style of traditional politics is now obsolete. Also now it’s high time for Congress to move beyond Gandhis and the Oldies. Thanks to emergence of AAP and BJP’s marketing strategy (based on their state Government’s performance), Indians would soon disown dynastic, corrupt and criminal leaders from politics.

NaMo Mysticism

To start with, I would still believe, India should vote for BJP minus Mr. Narendra Modi as Indian Prime-Minister. But since, now their paths are aligned, this possibility seems hypothetical.

Meanwhile, Indians overwhelmed by the Modi-Mania are dreaming of a mystical world with Mr. Modi with a magical wand, which would solve all of India’s problems, as he did in Gujarat. Many Indians are into idol-worship of NaMo, and see no wrong in the Mr. Modi. Let not their dreams not be shattered.

Mr. Modi, who mirages hope in impatient Indians, for a better future, has outgrown himself bigger than the party. Infact amusingly, many are fascinated with Mr. Modi but not with the party, BJP. Let not their hopes get crushed, because, if crushed, they will lose faith in India’s growth story.

If Modi remains “The Un-Chosen One”, India will keep harping on “If”s and “But”s. He should be given a chance to dictate India, because, sometimes, a country needs to go through the holocaust to realize its true character and to rekindle the importance of social framework.

 

 

Disclaimer: I would still not wish BJP to get 272 seats. A BJP (max 200 seats) led coalition government would keep a check on the right wing extremism in India.

My Remonstrance with Contemporary Journalism !


With the emergence of Television and Digital platforms in last 10 years, I expected more from Indian News Media, but I stand disappointed. I am disappointed because, even after inclusion of newer technologies and heavy investments, our news channels have not milked the benefits in right direction. In the era of fierce competition of making profits, news channels have lowered their standards of content creation and reporting, their outreach and journalistic code of conducts.

Frog in the Well

Today’s journalists are such lazybones, that we end up watching news only from urban India. None of the news channels today have journalists or teams to cover issues of labors and farmers.  Thus effectively, news from 70% of India is neither reported nor even considered by today’s news channels. English News Channels cover stories (pun intended) only from metros/capitals or of major events. And Hindi News Media is busy serving their audiences with either crime reports or entertainment. Even election surveys are merely confined to urban population. We would never get to know how the rural India (actual voters) actually feels, before D-Day of election arrives.

Obsession with Headlines

Gone were the days, when we used to see news reports and features on relevant topics. Today either we end up seeing only speed news or debates. Investigative journalism and reporting seems to be out of fashion. Journalists are out there seeking bites from the news-makers, more so to create headlines. We rarely see these days any documentaries or news reports illustrating all existing on-ground perspectives.  Journalists have turned into vultures, news-makers being their prey, looking for controversial statements or key words to create headlines; and further stretching the issue through irrelevant debates and featured stories.

Opinionated Anchors

News anchor’s role in any discussion is to merely moderate the debate and help bring out all the perspectives. A news anchor has to project him/her as non-partisan and free from any prejudices. But in an era, where debates are equated with popular journalism, news anchors push their views and ridicule counter-viewpoints or perspectives. Though journalists are entitles to have a personal viewpoint, but that can only be exemplified through editorials and not through news or debates.

Mahila Bank or Mahila Police Stations ?


P. Chidambaram’s idea of creating “Mahila Bank” is silly to say the least. There aren’t any major banking issues with women in the urban. And for the rural also, women do prefer their men to take charge in financial issues.

India, desperately “Mahila Police Stations” instead. This would be an important confidence building measure for women across the stratas of society.  Currently, post “Nirbhaya” case and several horrific rape cases across India, Indian Government should take more steps to provide sense of security to women.

I would go a step further in suggesting, that we should even have “Mahila Courts” where, women related specific cases could be heard without condescending them !

Hope our PM is listening !

So guys, what would you all prefer a “Mahila Bank” or “Mahila Police Stations” ?

Cycle Rickshaw – Common Man’s Kingly Ride


India is growing, its economy is well-stabilized, infrastructure is improving, income levels are raising and the whole world wants to invest in this country. My journey from Kanpur (my birthplace) to Delhi and to Bangalore, have seen immense change in terms of city infrastructure, especially transport.

In Kanpur and other two-tier metros, roads are as slim as the footpaths.Four-lane roads are rarely seen, that to in the very outskirts. Smaller Mahanagar Buses, are as full as a popcorn pack, where men and women are popping out of doors. Moreover, in buses, more likely are the chances of pickpocketing and eve-teasing (Kanpur boasts of it). To add to it, you could never ever find a seat to sit even in your wildest dreams. Thus “Sharing Autos” (Vikram) are prominent mode of transport as they are cheap (literally), quick (just see them driving), and safer (you have to experience that). But, for small distances, these cities still depends on “Cycle-Rickshaws”. I assume, whole of North-India depends on them.

According to Calvin Trillin of National Geographic, “Most rickshaws serve people “just a notch above poor” who tend to travel short distances. He added that some people use rickshaws as “24 hour ambulance services,” as escorts for shoppers, and as a way for businesses to transport goods. Trillin added that children enrolled in schools were the “steadiest” customers. Many middle class families contract with rickshaw pullers to transport their children; a rickshaw puller who transports children becomes a “family retainer.”“
The best part about cycle-rickshaws is that, it makes a common man feel as if he is “The King of the Road”. Yes, they are damn slow, but its like a elephant-ride of King, who sits alone, and rules the road as well the driver. Moreover they are eco-friendly and cheap. Yes, it doesn’t save you completely from the heat of summers and rains. But friends, drenching yourself in rain while travelling, is an experience. Rickshaws are the best-friends of people living in smaller cities.

No matter, how thin a lane is.
No matter, how rough a road is.
Rickshaw would take you there!

But, with times, the cycle-rickshaws are reducing in numbers. And I always felt that future generations would never be able to live this experience. Rickshaws are losing the race with times. In more developed cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, rickshaws are even banned. Reason, their slow pace affects traffic and it involves excess physical labor.

Whenever I get an opportunity, I don’t miss a chance to grab a rickshaw ride. It reminds me of my childhood days.

I wish if we could have done anything to save this eco-friendly transport from extinction.