Wednesday, 30 December 2015

juvenile rapists and mr derek o brien

The law may soon be amended to allow 16- 18 year old children also to be treated at par with adults in case of rape!!!

as expected several NGO's and some politicians do not feel that it is the right way forward!!!

I however fully agree with TMC MP Mr Derek O Brien who said that "had it been my daughter I would have shot the rapist".  He also displayed a rather unusual but rather welcome urgency both in pressing for a debate on the bill and in ensuring its passage!!! full marks to him and the BJP for walking the talk!! 

The passage of the law atleast ensures justice to all the victims where the state is able to secure a conviction!!!

But as the conviction rate is very very poor in our country due to various reasons, the battle doesn't end here!!! rape by a 16 year old is just the symptom of the disease.  A possible trial as a adult is unlikely to drastically change their mindset as the social atmosphere/conditions by virtue of  excessive sex/sleaze on tv, internet, movies and poor conviction rates still encourage them to take a chance!!

The real cure is in social engineering off the masses - we need to change the mindset of the people and it is no easy task. If we start today it may take 2-3 decades. we may not even be alive to see the change but it needs to be started now.

Towards that, the first step would be to cut down the sex/sleaze in our movies and off late inTV too.  Dont let guys promote sex in bollywood and TV in the name of free speech!!!  They are just trying to make a fast buck!!  If we don't stop these guys and the resultant corruption of young impressionable minds, no amount of laws can ensure safety of women.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Juvenile rapists

Is God the only hope!!!!
So, it seems!!!

In the light of the events today - the only way something can really change is - if all the women take to the streets to demand a change in the juvenile law!!

I can't believe that a Nation of 120 crores collectively believes (atleast the majority) that this person is guilty but there is no law in our constitution to punish him nor we have the drive to change the law!!!!

This effectively means that anyone even a few weeks below 18 years can do whatever he wants - be it rape or murder of the gruellest kind and can just walk away after 3 years at a reform facility!!!! and can u believe it - they are also given financial assistance to restart their life!!!!

when this law was made, juveniles must have been really juveniles and not like the juveniles of today!!!  As all reports point out - there has been a whopping increase in crime by juveniles in the last decade!!!

Time we all work towards the change we want to see.  

I am ready to support the push for a change in juvenile law and a retrial of this particular guy!!

Are you?!!!



 


juvenile rapist of nirbhaya

Today is a very important day in our social history - a day when the supreme court of india decides if a juvenile who committed a most heinous crime can be set free into our society!!

I heard Nirbhaya's mother speak - she said - if a boy who raped his daughter is looked after in a juvenile home for three years and then given 10,000 rupees to get settled in life and move on - then it will be a good practice to follow for all other similar children i.e to rape a girl, have themselves looked after for next few years and given some bounty to boot, at the end of the term.  

I am sure there will be enough human rights NGO's willing to embrace such people and show how they were reformed.  All the rapist needs to do is to just put on a facade of good behaviour and he would soon be the darling of these people!!

Without belittling the ordeal of rape - I wish to say, just raping has to be a smaller crime than raping n killing.  Then, raping n killing in this grue some manner has to be in an altogether different level and may qualify to be one of a kind crime.  I feel like throwing up whenever I read about it and I am sure many more would feel that way.  Therefore every case of rape even within the confines of existing laws has to be treated differently with regard to the heinousness of the act.

Therefore, this juvenile justice act has to change!!! with high levels of maturity in children due to easy access to violence n porn, be it through internet ot tv, the definition of juvenile age has to be lowered.  In addition rape cannot be a juvenile act. A small boy even killing someone out of rage or in a fit of anger,  can still be termed to be instantaneous i.e one cut with a knife and the person may die. So there is really no time to re-think.  But a rape is not like that - there is prolonged struggle by the victim and surely many cries for mercy!!! So there is enough time for the rapist to re-think his actions and let go the victim. Especially after rape, if he kills the victim, then it is a very cold and calculated decison and should not warrant any soft approach.  As a corollary, we must see that juvenile laws do not  cover rape by  boys.   

This is one time - when i would love hear a diktat or fatwa being issued by any religious head of any religion, on the juvenile!!!! but this is not utopia!!!

In case the honourable court's hands are tied today due to the compulsions of existing law - we must do two things - one to start a movement to change this juvenile law and the next to trace out this juvenile and keep him under watch.

I am sure justice will ultimately be delivered for Nirbhaya- if not today by the honourable court, then by God himself, because when all else fails - He will deliver justice.

But for the rest, We must join the movement to get this juvenile justice law amended to exclude rape.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

indian railways

Yesterday, I went to the railway station to pick up my family.  As i was a little early, I spent some time observing people at the station.  While looking on, I found myself standing next to the general(unreserved) compartment of another train on the adjacent platform. I took a few steps forward and came across another unreserved compartment. I continued further and was surprised to see that there were more unreserved compartments which I found rather unusual as normally trains do not have more than one or two unreserved compartments.  Then I took a closer look at the compartments and to my horror I realised that they were reserved compartments!!!!  They were packed to the full with 4-5 people sitting on a 3 seater with the alleyways and even the spaces in front of bathrooms occupied.  And worse there were many more people on the platform waiting to hop in once the train started moving.
This could be attributed to the holiday rush but my first thoughts were about women and children on these trains.  I wondered about their safety and privacy where even the  simple task of using the wash room would be herculean, wading n pushing through so many men. 

But is it possible to do anything about this in our over populated country?  If the unreserved are denied entry they will cry and if they are allowed, the reserved will!!!  There are no easy solutions to this considering that we have to be sympathetic to the cause of the unreserved also as anyone can find themselves in an 'unreserved' situation!!! A few thoughts -

1.  TT must force unreserved to leave the train - easier said than done as in some places TT himself may get thrown overboard in the process - so it may be easier to stop them from boarding the train at the stations itself..

2.  Towards that - make railway stations like airports - allow entry only with a ticket - again easier said than done - too many practical difficulties but a beginning can be made

3.  or carry out complete ticket checking in station itself and detrain all unreserved passengers - not fool proof but more workable than other solutions!!! will need passengers to report earlier, need addl staff and RPF personnel.  But the additional cost can be passed on to the passenger. This is one price rise the reserved passengers would not mind.
4.   What about unreserved passengers then? - present tatkal scheme can be made steeper in price, so that only those who really have to travel would travel.  This would ensure that people who have to  travel in emergency can do so in a train at any time.

Once people get used to the idea that unreserved are not allowed to board the train, they will reschedule non essential travel. (Right now, the idea is to board the train with or without reservation!!) but this change will take a few years, even a generation but it is a change in the right direction and may be gently nudged by all concerned.

My last thoughts were - are these additional people paying passengers?!!! because if they are - the railways would make a decent profit and that would  at least be the silver lining!!!!

Monday, 7 September 2015

OROP - One Rank One Pension


Congrats to all the personnel of Armed forces and the BJP Govt.  Modiji has turned into a reality a 42 year old dream  of Armed Forces veterans and this is a herculean achievement and needs to be applauded at all levels!!!

While displaying his firm commitment to OROP our beloved PM made a passionate speech about what he feels about the difficulties faced by jawans which left no doubt about his intent and mindset.  He also assured that VRS is just a bogey and OROP will be applicable to everyone!!!.

Well that calls for a happy ending except for a few sticking points which may be met mid way by both parties in due course of time.

While going through this agitation, as a dedicated citizen of this country, I heard certain comments by some learned TV commentators and journalists about the Armed forces and OROP which pained me quite a bit and i would like to touch upon those:-

(Whatever clarifications I am giving here - Modiji and the Govt are already aware of, which is why OROP was granted.  This is for common people like you and me)

1.    Are the Armed forces asking for too much? - a question repeatedly asked by some TV channels.
Ans. The Armed forces are only asking for what is their due.  Upto 1973 the armed forces personnel drew 70% of their last drawn pay as pension and the civil staff drew 30%.  This was due to the short service span of a soldier and as pension was linked to years of service he was permitted to draw upto 70%.  Ironically, after the Armed forces won the 1971 war for India, the Govt of the day (led by Smt (late) Indira Gandhiji) reduced the pensions of the armed forces to 50% and surprisingly increased the pensions of the civilian staff to 50%.  To justify the reduction they assured a scheme which was akin to the present OROP which never fructified in four decades.  So, the veterans are only fighting for what was promised and accepted by the Govt.  They are not demanding anything more than what was promised to them by the Govt and therefore the question of  'asking for too much' does not arise.

2.     The burden of 8-10,000 crores is too much in addition to the 45,000 crores pension bill already there.
Ans. The figure of 45-50,000 crores that is being quoted includes the pension payout to civilians also who make up roughly 40% of the workforce.  Therefore, the entire quoted bill is not just for the uniformed personnel.  

3.    Why should OROP be applicable to VRS personnel?
Ans. Firstly there is no VRS in the services. They retire Prematurely i.e after completion of 15 years for jawans and 20 years for Officers.  They retire either due to war injuries, disabilities accrued on account of service or due to lack of further promotion opportunities.  The last one is particularly good for the country, as it is this exit policy that keeps the Army young. Jawans in the age of 35-40 retire and make way for younger ones in the age group of 17-23.  This obviously is to the Nation's advantage and not to its detriment.


4.  Why should OROP be applicable to people who are comfortably employed in their second careers?
SIR DOES THIS MAN LOOK COMFORTABLY EMPLOYED TO YOU?

Ans.  Everyone is not comfortably employed in second career.  One anchor chose to take the example of airforce pilots leaving to take up a career in the aviation sector as pilots.  I would say that it is a rather extreme example - bcoz the % of transport pilots in the entire armed forces is  a very miniscule number (probably less than 1%) and within that 1% the number who leave the service and join air india would be about 10 %.  Therefore, quoting a case which would apply to less than 0.1% of Armed forces as a norm to force an argument is outrightly unacceptable.  I hope it was done only out of ignorance of the facts and not with malicious intent.

5.    "Its a lot of money", "We have to face it, its going to be a huge bill" said another anchor.
Ans.  It is a huge bill - no doubt about it.  My answer to that anchor would be "Son, that is the cost of War (or the ability to prevent it)".  it is the huge bill on defence expenditure over decades that sustained peace for nearly 45 years (few low intensity conflicts not withstanding).   It is not unique to us.  The same happens in other countries such as the United States (where it is not even called pension -  it is called retirement pay), China, U.K etc.  Even they are paying this huge bill of Armed forces. 

Citizens over generations have paid this bill - to safeguard themselves from barbaric attacks of the enemy  - to preserve their freedom - to keep their Nation's flag flying high 

- the cost is very high, no doubt -

but "Freedom" ladies and gentlemen, does not come cheap!!!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Govt blocks 857 adult sites

At last a long overdue action!!!

There are many who are likening this to Taliban like diktats of an authoritarian regime!!!  I only beg to differ.

There was a time which many middle aged people would remember that these sites were never free.  Most of them had only teaser previews and full viewing was limited only to subscribers who had a credit card.  Most of the students did not have one and as a result porn was out of their reach.  I would dare say here with a lot of conviction that their minds were less polluted!!!

All that changed with the change in internet business model which started monetising the number of clicks/views on the website.  This made content free with viewers forced to watch ads on the side/top or bottom of the page.  These ads are often very tantalising, seducing the viewers to reveal their credit card details.  Maybe they are used to legitimately subscribe for the content but they are prone to misuse also.  (Anyway that kind of misuse is beyond the purview of this post!!). 

As a consequence, majority of porn content on the net became free and can be accessed by anyone on a computer/tab/mobile.  Apart from normal missionary sexual depiction, all kinds of kinky sex is explicitly viewable.  At a young impressionable age, these images would be firmly implanted in the minds of children and it is foolish to assume they would retain a healthy respect for women as they grow up!!!  Moreover the women in these films are shown to enjoy these kinds of acts - the mature minds may make out that they are paid actresses but the young children may not make out the distinction or worse, may not care.  They make try to carry out similar acts which is where the real danger lies.  Children are no longer considered innocent and i feel sorry when i have to think twice to give a hug to a child!!

Also people who repeatedly watch porn need a sexual release!! one would recall that the Nirbhaya rapists also carried out the rape after watching a few sexual videos!!  In our country a ready sexual release is not freely available to everyone and this may be the reason for the increase in molestation/rapes in recent times!!

There are always 'naysayers' for every decison but the government must press on regardless  of the opposition.  The decison needs to be backed by top of the line technical expertise as it is not easy to enforce the ban.  Whatever be the difficulty we must do this, as we owe this to our children whose innocence must be preserved!!

read a portion of my earlier post dated  25 August 2013

extract
---------
 5.  Internet.   The biggest culprit in current times!!! Can u imagine the kind of sites/blogs/threads that are there!!! and all are free!!! Some may make you hold your head in disbelief but some may make you puke (make your mom r!@#$).  With so much free video, audio and text material available catering to every kind of fantasy one can think of (including rape) - how do we stop young minds from being corrupted.  A classic example - there is one foreign site which depicts foreign women being molested on board trains and buses (in foreign countries).  But to the experienced eye, one can make out that the molestation is staged and that it is actually a sex film. But the ordinary people may feel that they can similarly molest women in india and to prove the point - about last week i came across an indian link depicting "molesting of an indian woman on bus"!!  The situation may be sad but true.


Pornography on internet is assuming dangerous proportions and is slowly destroying the moral fabric of the society.  One would re-collect that even the Nirbhaya rapists also confessed that they saw some blue films on the net/mobile before committing the crime.  That is the effect of these movies on young hot blooded guys. 

But, how do we tackle this particular menace. There is no easy answer.  Britian is probably the first country to ban porn (at least making it out of reach for children) recently.  Still, the devil is in the detail and the availability of technology to enforce the ban would decide how successful the ban is!!!
you can read the full article here

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Maggi noodles - the big dilemna

Maggi Noodle - the big dilemna
We just returned from a month long vacation.  The trip involved some hiking and with two small kids in tow we were not very sure of the food we would get.  So, like many other families we packed in lots of maggie packets and a mini stove.  After all we thought - when we have "tasty n healthy" maggi - whats there to fear!!! We did consume most of our packs by the time we came to know of these allegations!!  And needless to say we were shocked!!

Over a period of time - Maggi became synonymous with noodles and households referred to noodles as Maggi. Children wanted to eat Maggi (and not noodles) because they were tasty and moms found them very easy to make.  I myself survived on Maggi many times during my bachelorhood. The  never ending endorsements and ads only helped enhance its appeal.

Therefore the present allegations are more than shocking for many of us.  If allegations turn out to be true, this is like a betrayal by the company.  It is also complete slackness and incompetence on the part of  all of us others, for having not found it earlier.  Imagine we were having this snack for more than 20 years and now we find that it has lead and MSG?!!! Anyway it is "better late than never".

Of the two, the presence of MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) or Ajinomoto (common name) can still be tolerated as most of the chinese dishes we relish in all restaurants/roadside stalla have a pinch of it but surely presence of lead beyond permissible limits is intolerable.  Delhi Govt reportedly found 17 ppm (parts per million) of lead in maggi as against prescribed limit of 2.5 ppm.  Now that is a huge difference!!! 

We as loyal consumers for two decades demand an explanation from Nestle on this account.  They must come clean on both contaminants and not give us some legalese.

But, the bigger question is - what about all the other brands and other products.  do their noodles not have MSG and lead? And Its not just noodles, it's time for stringent testing of all other fast foods which our children consume regularly - for, we do not want to wait for another decade to know if our other favourite junk foods are healthy (one could argue that junk foods can never be healthy - that is a given. we are only demanding that the contaminants in our favourite junk foods be kept below prescribed limits!!!!)

Its time to get everything tested - all noodles, wafers, diary products, chocolates(especially), biscuits and the like!!!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Salman Khan arrest, Abhijeet, Farah and pavement dwellers

Salman Khan convicted and sentenced to five years in prison!!!

Though the sentence is not yet executed, it is unbelievable news because -

- Salman is the King of Bollywood
- Heart throb of millions
- Founder of 'Being Human' an NGO
- Helped many people 
- Tooo larger than life to be sent to Jail

Once the result sunk in - one cannot but appreciate the Indian judicial system which finally caught up with the person.  One could also champion it as the triumph of the system and claim to reinforce the faith of the common man in the system.  One point though was missed out i.e compensation for the victims.  Hope that it gets addressed soon.

That said, it was rather unfortunate that Salman Khan got involved in this accident in which one life was lost and three injured.  That could have happened to anyone - we don't need to demonise him for that.  But where he faltered, is in the way he tried to avoid conviction.  That could be a result of natural human tendency or a result of bad advice by his advisors!! Had he owned up manfully and underwent a short sentence, he would have emerged a bigger and more popular man than he is now!!

There were also a few tweets by his fervent admirers Mr Abhijeet and Ms Farah which when summed up, mean that people should not be sleeping on the pavements.  Having watched their interactions on TV too, I was amazed at their insensitivity which almost seemed to imply that the people who slept on the road were the guilty persons!!!I switched off the TV in disgust.

While I was lying down to get to sleep, these discussions were still in my mind.  It is reported that about 5 lakh people live on the footpaths of Mumbai.  With the rich being so insensitive about these people (even likening them to dogs!!!) Who is going to ensure the safety of these people?!!!!  Many accidents have happened killing some of them in the last few years!! I was disturbed by several such thoughts 
---THEN I GOT TO A RATHER INTRIGUING QUESTION -

JUST WHO ARE THESE 5 LAKH PEOPLE SLEEPING ON THE FOOTPATHS?! That led to some doubts!!
- WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
- ARE THEY WORKERS - IF YES, IS IT NOT THEIR CONTRACTOR'S LIABILITY TO PROVIDE THEM HOMES?!!
- WHY SLEEP ON FOOTPATHS IN POSH MUMBAI AREAS?  IF THEIR PLIGHT IS SO BAD THEN WHY CONTINUE IN MUMBAI?? WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER IN THEIR HOME TOWNS?

THESE ARE DIFFICULT QUESTIONS TO FIND ANSWERS!!!

Mr Abhijeet and Ms Farah may have started this discussion rather crudely, but it may still need to be taken forward to get to the root of this problem.  My heart is with the people who don't have a home and are sleeping on the footpath - but I want to know if they really don't have a choice??  

Either way, after a lot of thought, I tend to agree that footpaths are not meant for people to sleep or hawk.  It's time to do away with the word -'pavement dwellers' altogether and make alternate arrangements for them as precious lives are being lost in this manner !!.

Maybe it's time for a new movement - to free up the pavements (not just roads as in the Times of India initiative) and one may need to thank Mr Abhijeet and Ms Farah for starting this seemingly outrageous (at first sight) discussion.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Palam Kalyanasundaram

palam kalyanasundaram
It was simple message on whats app that i received about Mr Palam Kalyanasundaram.  The contents were rather intriguing and i did a quick search on the internet and I was amazed by the findings.

While everyone in today's world is amassing riches and material possessions, here is one man who donated all his salary to charity for decades.  I consider it an honour to be able to write about him.

He was born in August 1953 in Melakarivelamkulam, in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu.  It is reported that as an undergraduate, he ran a children’s welfare organisation to help slum children.  He also donated his gold chain to the National Defence Fund during the Indo-China war (During this period, it was also reported that several farmers and peasants too gave up their valuable gold ornaments for the war effort - but that would be another post!!!). 

He later met the editor of a Tamil magazine called  Ananda Vikatan under the impression that publicity through the magazine would attract more donations. The editor was not convinced by his intentions and gave him 5 years to prove his sincerity.  By this time, Kalyanasundaram was employed in Kumarkurupara Arts College at Srivaikuntam and he began donating his salary to charity for the next five years. He did not stop even after 5 years and continued the same throughout his service.  It is reported that he even did odd jobs in addition for his own sustenance.  Post retirement too, he worked as a waiter in a hotel to be able to continue to donate to charity.

He continued his work silently but all that changed in 1990 when he gave a cheque of rs 1 lakh to the district collector for charity (which were  his arrears of salary).  Though he did not want any publicity, the collector publicised it and the accolades started to follow.

For his service to humanity, besides several other awards, he was awarded the Man of the Millenium award by the United States which carried a reward of 30 crores.  Needless to say, he donated it to various charities.  He was honoured by the United Nations as one of the most outstanding people of the 20th century. He was also given the  Life Time of Service Award from Rotary Club of India in 2011.

He is now running an an organisation called 'Paalam' which works as a link between donors and beneficiaries.  He has a sound vision about his charitable activities and we wish him all the very best in his endeavours.

His address (as obtained from internet) for any future contact is given below:- 

No 1, 4 th main road , kasthurba nagar , chennai - 600020 .
contact number : 044 - 24402524.
Palam Home address :
No 49, Kodambakkam salai Mettupalayam, West Mambalam, Chennai - 600033
Mobile : 09840218847



signing with one of his famous quotes
---------------------------------------------
"We cannot sustain ourselves, unless we contribute to the society in someway or the other. I strongly feel if even one person does his bit towards social good, there will be some change.”  
– P. kalyanasundaram

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Girl, 14, Dies After Being Thrown Off Bus

Girl, 14, Dies After Being Thrown Off Bus for Resisting being molested in Punjab, 2 Arrested - A ghastly news  to read early in the morning. 

How many times do we have to read such headlines before punitive and deterrent action is taken against the individuals!!

This is of special significance because - with this incident girls may fear resisting molestation in moving buses/trains for fear of being thrown off.  Therefore it is extremely important and sensitive for the govt to make sure that the molesters are charged for 'murder' only and nothing else so that it sets a strong example and a stinging message to all such people.

Further to charging them with murder, the case must be followed on with alacrity to ensure that the case is concluded in the shortest possible time and secure a verdict of at-least life imprisonment of the accused.

No amount of sloganeering or appealing to people with such criminal & sick mindsets is going to help.  The only language they would understand is that of the 'danda' or the 'stick'. let us not kid ourselves otherwise anymore. if that is what they understand the govt must give them that.

Only then, fear will be instilled in people's mind about the results of  indulging in such atrocious activities.

I wonder how many more Nirbhayas we need to have in this country to have revolutionary changes!!!

I really feel dejected!! where is my country going? who is going to put an end to all this?

Monday, 27 April 2015

radhika apte and kyra dutt - full frontal nudity

Ms Kyra Dutt apparently signed the full frontal nudity clause for an Ekta Kapoor film.   The news made enough headlines and the same was the case with the apparently leaked video of Ms Radhika Apte.

Both the Ladies are free women and are at liberty to do whatever they please.  So, it is again upto the censor board to decide what will pass muster and what doesn't.   Why any Producer would need to have a full frontal nudity clause when the censor board does not permit it, is difficult to fathom.  These people would now film explicit scenes just short of full nudity and then try to put pressure on censor board.  I hope the censor board pre-empts such moves.  Anyway this post is about the hue and cry being raised about the second lady's video.

The director says that it was artistically and sensitively shot as part of a larger film sequence and that particular shot must not be seen in isolation.  I haven't seen the video (it has not come to me on whts app - i have a decently active network - i asked a few others who are fairly active - they haven't seen it either - some even asked who is radhika apte?!!!! - that is something i wonder myself - coz honestly i have not heard of her myself?!!! - so could this be another publicity stunt by somebody?? - I don't know so I would not comment!!!)

But honestly speaking, if you have made a 20 minute film then the audience has the right to see the film in entirety or watch the film in bits of even a few seconds.  You can't dictate what to watch and what not to!! You can't really say that you can watch the frontal nudity scene only if you watch the full 20 minutes.   It is not even a case of cheating/misrepresentation bcoz when the movie was shot - the lady agreed for frontal nudity and once the shot was canned - paying audience is free to watch it whenever and as many times as they want (if they wish to , at all) and whichever parts they want.  One really can't be aggrieved about it.

The only real issue is that - it is not a legal release.  That is something that the able people at the cyber crime department would surely take care.  So, the case primarily is of film piracy and not much about frontal nudity.


Friday, 24 April 2015

Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos

This sounds straight out of a science fiction film.  This reportedly had been carried out by Chinese scientists.  Though the results were not outright successful, a beginning has been made.

Needless to say, something as controversial as this is bound to have its pro's and con's,

The single most important argument in its favour is that it eliminates diseases and would lead to birth of healthy babies.  This is quite a compelling factor to push for such studies.  Parents would no longer need to worry about the well being of their new born and their several associated complications.

On the negative front - it tantamounts to meddling with nature and would go against the natural way of life.  But ask any parent of a differently abled child and I am sure he would rather take this chance than let his child endure the agony for a life time.  So, this argument does not hold good and further research is the definite way forward.

The only real cons are two:-

1. How do we stop parents then from going for designer kids?  I would definitely want my children to look like Hollywood film stars - so what stops me from altering/replacing their genes? what are the socio-ethical considerations in that?  There is nothing wrong in that too!!! Just like a parent of differently abled child wants a normal one - a parent of normal child may want a child with movie star looks!!! Nothing wrong but what effect it will have on the society cannot  really be estimated now!!

2. The second and the more serious one is - what effect this genetic alteration/replacement will have on the future generations of the same child.  Will they lead to some abnormal mutations and lead to some strange babies being borne?  We already hear stories of a few abnormal babies who are largely attributed to genetic mutations as a result of pollution, but the genetic mutations as a result this gene therapy may produce such babies on a large scale.  However, it is only a 'may' and it will take decades after the treatment is perfected to know the results!!

In the short term atleast, this treatment is likely to bring joy to many parents.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Juvenile Justice??

It is justice at last for victims in cases such as that of  'Nirbhaya', where the perpetrators of the crime have gotten off very lightly because of their age being less than 18 years.  The Nirbhaya case especially sparked of a spirited debate to reduce the age to be tried as an adult.

The standard appeal was - if a boy is old enough to molest, rape or kill - he is also old enough to be tried for those crimes, for, there is nothing 'juvenile' about a rape or a murder.  The idea of a juvenile home was to ensure that the child's mind does not get scarred by jail life but in the cases of these rapists and murderers, their minds are already so scarred that there is no harm in sending them to a jail.

The honourable courts may be requested to further harden their stand and define which crimes will be always be tried 'as if committed by an adult' irrespective of age.  Bcoz a 'rape' or a 'murder' will always be a rape or a murder for the victim irrespective of the attacker's age - so, why should the punishment be any lesser? - in any case there is no 'loss of innocence' of a child by sending him to prison as his mind is already corrupt.

So, it is time for us to think of waiving off this age requirement altogether for heinous crimes which may be defined by the courts. and more importantly, it is also time to now get that juvenile who badly bruised 'Nirbhaya', into the ambit of this new law and not let him get away.  That would be one legal battle which we all must stand by and I am sure that would bring joy to 'Nirbhaya' in the heavens above!! 
LEST WE FORGET

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Khap panchayats and the girl child

If we can save the Cow , why can't we save the girl child?! - a Khap panchayat asked!!!

We all have to agree that they have got this one dead right.  They have decided to fight female infanticide both by education of villagers and with the threat of outcast of the people who indulge in such acts.

Now, they must press on with their agenda without bowing to any political/class/caste pressure and I am sure their acts will bear fruit in the years to come.

While their efforts in this direction need to be appreciated, the larger issue which khaps need to address is - why does female infanticide happen in the first place?  we dont hear of  male infanticide!!! 

I am also rather certain that parents do not want to dump a baby just like that.  It's got to do with social and economic considerations which have been amply brought out in my earlier post

If Khaps could address the issues mentioned in the above post, they would etch their existence in glory.  

I hope they do!!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

aiims doctor Mrs Priya vedi suicide

I was aghast to read that a 30 year old resident doctor Mrs Priya Vedi had allegedly committed suicide by slitting her wrists on 18 april 2015.  The reasons listed by her were:-
1.her marriage of 5 years was not consummated
2.her husband was gay
3.she was harassed for dowry by her in-laws

I presume she did everything possible to avoid that fateful decison because nobody will part with their life at the first go itself.  My heartfelt condolences were with her for the strange situation she found herself in and i ardently pray that her soul rests in peace.

I don't agree with her decison though. C'mon, she was an educated woman, that too a senior resident doctor in aiims - does she really have to end it that way.  What sort of an example does she set for the less fortunate ones - those who are not educated enough to get a small job even.  how do they survive domestic violence and dowry harassments? do they all committ suicide??  Whatever the complications, an educated independent lady could have obtained divorce (however painful it might have been) and started her second life.  anything would have been better than taking her life.  This was just not OK Lady and you may have set a bad example for few others. 

Her suicide is actually indicative of the mindset of women in India and I cannot but feel perturbed about it. It may not even be their fault entirely.  It may be getting ingrained in their minds due to the way we bring up the girl children in our country which includes staunch fear of rejection of a divorcee from the maternal household.  The maternal household may be unwilling to support the divorcee due to various reasons - financial and social.  Unless we address such deep rooted issues women may continue to dangerously flirt with thoughts such as these. But, whatever may be the   compelling causes for suicide, let us join hands in shunning such practices by women.  suicide is not the answer.  life is too valuable to throw it away over domestic violence.  we need to give more confidence to our girl children that they indeed are loved and would be supported despite a divorce!!!

having said that - may this young lady's soul rest in peace and hope we don't get to hear any similar news even in the distant future.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Greenland

Greenland
If you have seen the old movie 'water world' (with Kevin Costner in the lead) it gives an idea of how the world would be if the land gets submerged by the seas.  I happened to watch it again today and it set me thinking!!

Can we discard it as another 'doomsday' flick?  or is that a reality we may be faced with in a few hundred years from now?!!

How is this happenning!! Well to my understanding the reason lies in the oft heard and repeated word 'global warming'.  'How' and 'why' global warming is happenning is  a subject in itself but in simple layman terms - it means that the surface temperatures on the Earth are rising with every passing year, which is now a well established fact.  The average temperatures in my home town were 20 to 35 degrees a decade back whereas now they are 10 to 45 degrees. The temperatures rose steadily every year.

Melting ice
So what happens to the ice?  Let us take a simple analogy.  The ice is like a frozen packet of milk which you place on your stove or defrost in the oven to bring it to liquid form.  In both cases, heat is generated to melt the frozen milk.  similarly due to the rise in the heat, the ice is melting and as a result more amount of water is being generated.  


Though the net mass available of earth is constant (remember - matter cannot be destroyed and only changes form!!!) it has changed form, from a vertical ice block to a horizontal sheet of water.  This horizontal sheet of water naturally increases the height of water level and severely endangers islands and shallow land areas.

One of the most threatened countries reported on, Maldives may loose majority of her land to seawater by the turn of the next century and even that timeline is given only if she undertakes extensive coastal protection measures.

A one metre rise in water would make Maldives (comprising about 1100 islands), Micronesia (about 600 islands) and many others such as Solomon islands, Palau etc to be unsuitable for inhabitation or cause severe difficulties for human settlements. We should also include Greenland as she is the one set to loose this mass of land(ice).



Not just ice - lotsa people too
There are millions of people living in these low lying areas/islands and they all have to relocated.  They would loose their life time of earnings,their homes,memories and everything they love about their own homeland.  But the relocation of the people of these islands would only be the beginning. 

As the levels continue to rise, more and more land may get inundated by the sea - a typical scenario out of our sacred books - where they see all the land being inundated by the sea and the end of all civilisation!!!

Are we heading there - I wonder!!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

censor board for TV

censor board
Yesterday i found my 4 year old daughter humming the lyrics of the sunny leone song 'baby doll'. I was shocked as i try my best to avoid unneccessary tv exposure to my little one.

Now here she is, despite my best efforts singing this song!!!  One can be dismissive and simply brush aside the whole issue saying that - i could have locked the channel, switched off the tv, disconnected my cable connection etc etc ... the list is endless.

but look at it from my point of view.  how many channels can i lock? with subtly sexy ads and songs coming in all channels with no prior warning to viewers, how do we react to this?

In addition i must say - if a thief manages to enter your bed room - whose fault is it - your's or the thief's? -  these tv visuals are like thieves who trespassed into our houses and they are refusing to go!!!!!

Its not only the shows/songs but also the advertisements that have turned objectionable with deo sprays, condomns and even some ointment ads being made to look like ultra soft porn.  Some super righteous and super idealistics have said that only perverts can find 'ads' to be porn.  Well I wish to say to all of them - hey this is the real world!! please let go your lofty ideals, come down to grass roots level and see what is happening every day on the ground!!!
The TV shows do carry a notice that if we wish to, we can complain to the Broadcasting authority of India against the content.  This shows that there is already a regulatory body to keep a check on TV.  But why entertain complaints after the show is broadcast - why not have it screened by the regulatory body prior broadcast like for movies.  
This may need some additional organisation, manpower and resources but then, this is the need of the hour.
It's time - yes -it's time that we have a censor board for TV shows and the adverts too.  

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Virat Kohli

virat kohli and anushka sharma
Well, apart from having the gorgeous anushka as his girl friend, Virat has several firsts as an Indian cricketer - He is extremely aggressive, swears loudly, celebrates even mile stones with cuss words and leaves no stone unturned in giving it back to the opposition.

Not sure if he can be a role model for young children in his present avatar but he is definitely not a  "Tendulkar".  But Virat probably has more power packed performances in difficult situations than Tendulkar which even his die hard fans (me included) have to concede.

But what got me grinning from ear to ear was the fact that the Aussie team finds him agressive.  C'mon, is it the case of the "pot calling the kettle black?"   The Aussies have for a long time sledged with gay abandon and turned it into a special art.  "You got to stand a bit of it on the field mate", said an unapologetic Aussie great.  Well how much is a 'bit' is a very relative term and anyone who followed the TV visuals closely or read interviews of people who toured down under would realise that  "bit" means "quite a bit".  For many years Indian players too were at the receiving end of this "quite a bit" with even a few occassional skirmishes.

Virat is a winner we know for sure, but for the Aussies to crib that Virat is aggressive on and off the field is quite a revelation!!! This means that he is able to play them in their own game - for good or for bad.  That really is something and I can only say - Whatever you are doing buddy - just keep doing it.  

Its working and we can do with a bit of aggression down under.

Wish you all the very best.

pure heart

Ideals which one should try to imbibe

CIBIL - grinding on regardless

I was shocked to read that CIBIL now intends to use your utility bill payments to determine credit history.  I heard of this some time before but never thought that they will actually get down to implementing it.

There are reasons why this should not be implemented:-
telephone bill -
1. many a time, the telephone bill is inflated and you are in a protracted negotiation with the telecom provider for reduction of the bill. 
2. many outlets do not accept post paid mobile payments.
3. your job may involve frequent tours and you may not be available in the city to pay your bills.  all the bills paid after the due date will not only attract 'late fee' but also 'reporting to CIBIL' i.e you are doubly punished for the same event.
4. in any case, they charge a late fee of about rs 100/- (which is nearly 50% of your monthly plan) and they even cut your telephone within a month of not paying. they then charge reconnection charges also.
5. if DPD(days past due - which is number of days payment is due after the payment due date) is implemented just like in credit cards, the consumer will be under excessive pressure to pay the bill even if minor errors are present.  This will  unduly benefit the telcos and put the consumer at a severe loss.
other utility bills-
the same could be said about all the other bills also. best/govt electric agencies would not hesitate to cut off electricity to your house if the bill is not paid within a month.  so why should anyone be additionally harassed by virtue of reporting to CIBIL.

Presently, as you all are aware banks are sharing info with CIBIL. For example - if a fraudulent transaction took place on your card and you are in negotiation with the bank for dispute resolution,  the amount in question continues to remain as outstanding and would be reflected as DPD till the time the issue is resolved.  Many banks share info on a monthly basis and you continue to be a defaulter till the issue is resolved.  And even after it is resolved the onus is totally on you (and not on the bank) to get your name cleared in CIBIL.

If that is the case with banks (where the employees are more responsible) you can imagine the state of telcos (a routine interaction with the staff at any outlet of any major telco shows how careless they are). they would report you at the first possible oppurtunity and will not take your name off the list.

On the legal front, there are no penalties imposed on the banks for wrongful reporting to CIBIL and CIBIL by themselves claim that they are not responsible for any wrong reporting by any bank.  The individuals are advised by CIBIL to take up with the concerned bank directly.

To avoid all these problems and because utility bill amounts are small, the customer may be forced to end up coughing the money even if the amount is not due just to avoid a credit downgrade.  This is definitely not in the interest of the common man.

Finally, before the ambit of CIBIL is expanded to cover different kind of payments, it may be time to pitch for a regulatory framework wherein both the reporting banks/agencies and CIBIL are made accountable for wrong reporting.  

CIBIL especially cannot absolve themselves of responsibility because:-
1. they are making a lot of money in the process
2. the banks are basing their lending decisons on CIBIL data which means the dreams of many a common man are made or unmade based on the data supplied by them!!!!


Saturday, 7 March 2015

India's daughter

This saga sems to be continuing!!! The documentary film maker refuses to let the issue pass.  Now, she even started sermonising the Indian society and it is reported that she  petetioned the honourable PM against the ban.

The editor's guild of India also appealed for the ban to be revoked. Wonder what their view point is!!!

While she is certain to draw accolades for her film with the kind of attention it generated, the same could not be said about the content or the intent of the film.

The film and the kind of movie star like attention it heaped on the perpetrator of the crime also doesn't do any good to anyone.  This is one thing that the late Nirbhaya would certainly agree!! May God be with her in these tough times and let her soul rest in peace.

Friday, 6 March 2015

An insult to Nirbhaya

BBC went ahead and broadcast the documentary on Nirbhaya.  In fact they preponed the broadcast date to yesterday night in U.K.  

What was the tearing hurry to broadcast the film without court clearences in this country and further upload it on you tube is a question which BBC would be hard pressed to answer.  

Sample a few stats in this regard-
as per open sources - 85,000 women are raped in u.k every year
which means that everyday 232 women are being raped in england.

In India 93 women (as against 232 in england) are raped every day.
Now compare the populations of both countries.
India has a population of of 1200 million and england has a population of about 50 million.

Therefore the % rapes of women in uk is 0.0017 per year 
whereas in India it is 0.0000028 
i.e rapes in india are 1000 times lesser. 

So, the simple question - if BBC wanted to highlight the plight of women why didnt they look inwards into the British prisons and interview the rape convicts there.  Why did they come here and why did they feel that broadcasting an interview of an Indian rapist only should make the cut?

Lastly, how do we address this blatant disobedience of our govt's requests and court's directives by the BBC? 

How we address this issue could be one of the defining moments of the inner strengths of our great Nation.

Hope our Govt gives a befitting reply to this stance of BBC.
                      

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Mind of a rapist - Nrbhaya case prt 2

I woke up to some really heartening news.  Delhi police had managed to obtain an injunction against screening of the film.  Some women's organisations have also written to a prominent news channel not to broadcast the programme.

The BBC film maker who very articulately named the interview 'India's daughter' called it an attack on free speech!!! As a sensitive citizen of this country, my answer to that is - 'if you think it is - so be it, but we don't want such documentaries'. No need for any false pretences or apologies on that count. It must be ensured that the documentary is not aired on any of the foreign channels in india as well.  I am sure the honourable courts and the police would ensure that.

And as for the parents supporting the film, I doubt they would have really understood the gravity of the film,  They must have been happy that a film on their daughter has been made.  This is not to belittle the parents but to high light that they are common people like you and me who are gullible and can be easily conned!!

Anyway this day started on a cheerful note and hope more good news fills in as it progresses!!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Mind of a rapist - Nirbhaya case

"She should not have fought back - and just allowed herself to be raped" - I almost fell off my chair reading this ticker in all the news channels in the morning.

what's wrong with this guy - i thought - but there was more from this ruthless b@#$%^d which i dont even want to reproduce on my blog.  (Just who the f@#k do these guys think they are?). He even predicted that more people would be killed after rape if he is hanged. oh! man! how twisted can the argument get? you really need an extremely sick state of mind to do what he did and then say things like this.

While it was revolting to read the ticker itself, the feling only compounded on knowing that there is going to be a world premiere of the interview with the rapist.  For heaven's sake - it is a hollywood or bollywod movie to have a world premiere?  It is just an interview with a guy who should have long been hanged to death.  why are we attaching so much importance to that rapist and his act?  are we here to hear his convoluted moral stories? dont people have respect towards our sensibilities? has anyone bothered to know if we want to see such short films!!! 

I am writing this in severe anguish and call upon everyone concerned to boycot this short film and just switch off their tv/change channels during its broadcast.  Some people just want to make a fast buck out of everything.  if the makers were really so concerned about her - they should have done something to rehabilitate others who have suffered like her and not just shed crocodile tears and make a film to be applauded on the cocktail circuits!!

Just because the film was made/sponsored by BBC does not by itself give it a stamp of authoritative approval - the viewer has to be convinced enough to watch it.

And lastly, let the Lady rest in peace and help bring the perpetrators of the crime  quickly to the book including the juvenile.

That will be a real and lasting tribute to her.


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