आपके साथ हुआ है क्या?

आज विश्व पर्यावरण दिवस है..इसपर कुछ लिखने की लालसा ही नहीं हो रही है…2020 कुछ अलग ही रंग दिखा रहा है और केरल से भी दो दिन पहले वीभत्स तस्वीरें आयी हैं. लेकिन मैं आज आपको कहानी सुनाता हूँ, पर्यावरण को लेकर पूरी मानव जाती आज hyperactive रहेगी. तो मैंने सोचा कि थोड़ी diversity लायी जाये

मेरी चचेड़ी बहन है. नाम है अभव्या. हम घर में उसे राधा के नाम से बुलाते हैं. है बहुत मासूम,बस 6 साल की. आप सोच रहे होंगे कि इस उम्र में सब मासूम ही होते हैं . बात भी कुछ हद तक सही ही है. पर मैंने कल उससे जुडी एक किस्सा सुना, 3-4 महीने पहले का. मासूमियत का पुख्ता सबूत मिला. आप भी सुनकर ही तय कीजिये.

हुआ यूँ कि उसको घर में कम और अड़ोस पड़ोस में घूमने में बड़ा मजा आता है. और हरेक सजग माता पिता की तरह मेरे चाचा चाची को यह ज़्यादा पसंद नहीं आता. शाम हुई नहीं कि पापा को कहने लगती है चलिए न मिश्रा अंकल के यहाँ या खन्ना अंकल के यहाँ! कारण यह है कि वहाँ उसे अपनी उम्र के बच्चे मिल जाते हैं तो मन लगा रहता है

चाचा ने बताना शुरू किया कि सामान्यतया इसको सर्दी हो जाती है इसलिए मैंने इसको बताया था कि एक ही शर्त पे ले जाऊंगा कि जब भी कोई खाने को कुछ भी दे तो लेना नहीं है. अब बच्चों को कोई चॉकलेट ऑफर करे तो आप समझ सकते हैं कितना मुश्किल हो सकता है मना करना. पर चाचा ने बताया राधा पुरजोर तरीके से हरबार डटी रहती. जब भी उसे कोई कुछ भी ऑफर करता तो वह कुछ भी नहीं लेती थी. चाचा ने बताया कि उन्हें राधा के इस दृढ निश्चय पर बड़ा गर्व होता. पर लोग उनसे शिकायत करने लगे कि शायद आप ही उसको सीखा कर लाते हैं इसलिए वो कुछ भी नहीं लेती. चाचा ने सिरे से इस आरोप से इंकार किया. फिर एक दिन चाचा ने राधा से कहा कि जब कोई दो-तीन बार लगातार पूछे तो ले लेना चाहिए, नहीं तो सामने वाले को बुरा लगेगा. राधा ने इसको ज्यों का त्यों लिया.

अगले दिन चाचा खन्ना अंकल के यहाँ गए. खन्ना ऑन्टी ने इस बार भी राधा को आइस क्रीम के लिए पूछा. राधा ने पहली बार मना किया, दूसरी बार मना किया. जब ऑन्टी ने तीसरी बार पूछा तो राधा ने अपना चेहरा चाचा की तरफ करके पूछा..पापा तीन बार हो गया अब ले लूँ!!!

चाचा ने खन्ना अंकल और ऑन्टी की तरफ देखा और दोनों ने उनकी तरफ…

Lowdown of Simultaneous Election

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When it comes to the celebration of festivals, probably no other country in the world can beat us in terms of sheer numbers which we have here in India. The dates of our annual calendar are always filled with colours, signifying one festival or the other. Festivals are generally a cultural and historical attribute of the society. But they are not only restricted to these aspects. Like other democracies, we have political festivals too in the form of elections, but here also we outnumber the other democracies.

We have adopted three tier of government in our polity. First at Central level, next at state level and third at local level. To elect the representatives of all three levels we have separate elections of Parliament, state legislature and to the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayats. In recent years, on an average we had two elections each year and many ULB elections. To conduct an election is a massive exercise in India, reasons are: humongous size of country as a whole as well as states (many of them are large than many European Countries), diverse population, administrative and infrastructural cost and many more.

 So the idea to conduct simultaneous election has been in and around in past also. But recent aggressive push by current government under the stewardship of Prime Minister has made the pitch higher. The only difference in the demand of holding simultaneous election is that the PM has pitched to hold the election of all three elections at one shot including Panchayats.

What’s the history?

Simultaneous Election is not a new concept to India. We had first general election in 1951-52. After the first Parliamentary Election, we had the simultaneous election to the parliament and state legislature till next three times also i.e. in 1957, 1962 and 1967. After 1967 general election, the stronghold of single party domination in India got loosened in few states and it gave the space to the regional parties. But at few occasions regional parties formed coalition government which did not complet its full terms and resulted in premature dissolution. Same thing happened to the Central Government in 1970 and due to lack of majority the Parliament, it got dissolved and fresh elections were held in 1971. Since then the sync which has prevailed over the Parliament and state election finally broken and we reached at point where every year we have more than one elections.

Argument for Simultaneous Election:

The proponent of the joint election rightly points out several benefits. One of the major flaws of having multiple elections, they say, is that it always keeps the government in “Election Mode” and they are hardly able focus on governance. Every election to the state is seen by the political analysts and commentators as the litmus test and they term them as quarter final, semi final to the General Election. In democracy no party wants to lose the momentum, hence government indulges themselves to the populism leaving space of prudence in governance.

When election dates are declared, Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes in to force, where there are several restrictions on government to announce or materialize the schemes for the welfare of the people. Having multiple elections means several MCC and government find themselves hamstrung.

Conducting various elections means administrative as well as financial burden on the limited resource of the country. Requirement of the relocation of police force, election equipments, and mobilization of district administration is cumbersome as well as costly.

Government Teacher plays a very crucial role in conducting the election. But this is not their primary task. It affects the education of the students of the government schools who are already at the disadvantaged side due to several limitations when compared to their counter part of private schools.

There is no doubt that election commission as well as government is trying very hard to reduce the corruption in the election, but despite of several measures, corruption is rampant in election. Money power speaks loudly during the election. Hence more election means more use of dirty money and more loss to democratic ethos.

Frequent Elections also disrupts the normal life by suspending or affecting the supplies of the essential commodities, by jamming the traffic for election rallies, huge rise in noise pollution etc.

One of the debilitating features of the Indian election is that many parties tries to divide the society on  caste, communal, gender line etc. for their vested interest of winning the election, which is highly undesirable for the social fabric of life. When more election happens there are more chances of division in the society.

So keeping all these points in mind, holding simultaneous election seems plausible and desirable thing to ponder upon.

Ideas against it:

Former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi has notably mentioned that “Having simultaneous election is desirable but not feasible”. There are multiple constitutional, practical and administrative restriction prevents this idea from materializing. Indeed, the concerns are genuine.

The first concern is that it negates the principle of Parliamentary Democracy (PD) and Constitution. In Indian PD a government at center is entitled for five year of governance if they secure majority and can dissolve it according to the whim of the ruling party and can be removed by passing no confidence motion. This idea is true as well for the state legislature. So when holding both election will be materialize, this principle has to die down.

The second concern is that this is against the idea of Federalism. Imagine a situation when no party will be able to secure majority in the state election and neither nay coalition government is formed, then according to prevailing procedure President Rule will be applied. So will the President rule be for the entire five year period when the next election will be held? And what if the Central Government falls in mid way? All the 29 state would have to go in for the election again, even when there is a stable government in states?

The next concern is that, state and national issues are different and hence the elections are held differently. But according to IDFC, a research institute, there has been a tendency with the voter that they increasingly vote for the same party if the elections are held together. In recent times that number is about 77% percent which is huge. Keeping this figure in mind, it appears that it will only help the national party and the regional party will be seriously disadvantaged and which is against Democratic Principle which provides level playing field for other.

The other advantage of the separate election is that it keeps the government at toes all the time and prevents them from being despotic through the exercise of their voting power. Last but not the least is the concern of “Political Consensus” on such a contentious issue which needs Constitutional Amendment.

Expert and Panels opinion:

Way back in 1999 Law Commission in its 170th report on “Electoral Reform” has suggested the idea of Simultaneous Election. Though, it was kept in cold storage since then. Recently Parliamentary Standing committee setup for the specific purpose also suggested the holding up simultaneous election but with some modification and further suggestions. Out of many, one is of having state election twice, one with parliament and other in midterm of it. Former President Shri Pranab Mukharjee, while addressing joint session of parliament, also opined in favour of simultaneous election.

So overall we can see that there are numerous benefits lies in holding all the elections at one go, but there are genuine and serious challenges occupies in its implementation which certainly can’t be ignored. The most serious challenge is the constitutional, challenge to the idea of Parliamentary Democracy and Federalism. But looking as a whole, the benefits outnumber the challenges. Prior to GST, Centre had different tax means and the state had different ones. Post implementation GST is touted as “One Nation, One Tax and One Market”, which apparently can be seen as from being a federal subject to Central Subject. Now both are clubbed together for the benefit of both and all party came to consensus along with states,  what we call it a greatest example of co-operative federalism.

Same idea and principle should be applied here. A rigorous discussion and deliberation should be held inviting all the stake holders which includes all the political parties (including regional ones), member from the academia, civil societies, expert from the constitutional realm and if needed foreign experience should also be taken in account. Finally, to quote Victor Hugo “no force on earth can stop an idea, whose time has come” seems quite reasonable here. The whole idea of democracy hinges on consensus, we have to see that are we able to reach to consensus on this idea or not?

Simplicity? Not Really..

Simplicity is considered as one of the great virtues that we as a human hopes to strive for. Everybody claims that they are simple or wanted to be simpler but ends up in being complex.

So after hearing my argument on a contentious topic, when one of my friends told me, “why you are complicating things even when it is simple”? At that time, I did not respond immediately and looked at the case and asked myself, Am I really making a mess out of it? With a little reflection I came to the conclusion Yes, I was making it messy, even though I was not intended to do so.

When I sit alone, I find myself at my best. That doesn’t mean I am having homosapien hysteria. No, absolutely not. The only reason for that is my ability to think independently without any pressure and prejudice of the society increases manifold when I remain in seclusion. So on that day when I sat alone and asked myself why sometime I become complex even though I don’t want to be. After a lot of deliberation and discussion to myself, I devised a hypothesis and would like to share with you all that why we become complex despite knowing that simplicity is the best way to live a peaceful life.

I find society, where we live in, has a great role in it, if not all. Remember your childhood when we were least complex. We loved to play, sing and even study without any fear or pressure. As we grew older then came the notions and process to turn a simple plain person in to most sophisticated and complex being.

You have to score more to get recognized in class, then you have to submit sophisticated projects to get accolades, then came the big IIT, NEET exams, where more and more complex problems to be thrown at you, if you able to pass these complexity then you get respect in society. If you want to look rich, then you have flaunt complex gadgets. If your house has complex architecture then it will give you additional reputation in the society. If you are able to speak something that was only understood by microscopic minority, the so called intellectuals of society, then you are considered as a great orator.  etc. etc.

I observed, we hardly aspire anything simple and yet want to be simple. How is it going to happen? Contemplation on complexity and sophistication will only make us a sophisticated robot, certainly not a simple human being.

If we want to be simple we have to recognize and value simplicity in every walks of life. But before valuing, we must recognize what the simplicity really is?

We, the animal

Today, I went to a park purposefully and the rationale for going there was certainly not the recreation, rather to have contemplation one specific subject. Since I knew, I may stay there for hours; hence I had some snacks and a bottle of water in my bag pack.

Half an hour would have been passed, but I was not able to concentrate on the subject and hence started looking towards surrounding, listened the chirps of the birds and felt the cool gentle breeze of December.

Since I hadn’t had my breakfast, soon I started feeling hungry. I unpacked the snack (a Haldiram product precisely ;-)) and started consuming it. Suddenly a squirrel came very close to me. It was very adorable! I thought I will take few pictures of it. But when I was positioning myself to click some photos, due to my abrupt movement, it got scared and ran away. I was not able to click. But tiny creature had already captured my attention. Then I tried to use a ploy, which generally hunters or a trappers uses, even my intention was same as them, to capture that tiny little creature, but only through my mobile phone camera.

I scattered some of the snacks which I was having, while sitting on the floor of the stoned wall. The same squirrel got lured by it and started enjoying it. It came very near to me on several occasions. It came so close and surrounding being very calm that I could hear it’s nibbling sound.  I clicked few images of it with great difficulties, as it behaved in the exactly in same fashion which I also behaved, when I was told by my elders to sit at a place for having study for even an hour 😉

After a few minute, to my amusement, one more squirrel came to the party and then one more. But the sad part was that I had almost finished the snacks, hence I couldn’t able to scatter more. But whatever was dispersed there, they were having it. They all were erratic and frantic due to my presence. So I decided to move from that place.

But as soon as I moved to other place and sat down on a public chair, few Myna Birds landed there and they tried to usurp whatever little I had distributed there. Squirrels,  being timid, soon backed off the scene. But then another twist came in the story. Two crow, who might have also watching all these events from branch of the trees, came to the picture. This time Myna birds were helpless in front of the size and supremacy of their adversary. Crows evicted the Myna birds from that place and established complete control over the possession. I was watching all these happenings from a distant and felt, as long as I was there, squirrels were eating what was meant for them. But as I left the place, more powerful, dominant and superior species usurped their share.

 

Then spontaneously I recalled the doctrine of “Rule of Law” and its importance in our society. The event which surfaced there was equally comparable to our human social order also. Government allots various goods and services for the common people, but as its supervisory function is weak and sometime absent, those having muscle power/ money power, deprives the weaker section from their dues and captures their shares for self consumption through corrupt practices. But when “Rule of Law” prevails, then rule itself becomes the protector of the weak and maim and even the weakest enjoys their life with dignity and happiness.

Whats happening in US

Hello friends!

Diversity brings different ideas on table, different tastes in food plates, different festivals to celebrate and different cloths to wear and so on so forth. But, if it is not nurtured well, it also brings myriad conflicts, hostilities and divides in the society.

Diversity in India is well known. Diversity in India, in terms of culture, religion, castes, language, ethnicity, food, dressing sense etc. is incomparable in world. But at many times we hear, these divides causing much of the disturbance in society. Some time the disturbance due to these divides is comprehended at such an extent that a prominent Actor in Bollywod was told by her wife to “settle in other country as intolerance is on rise in India”!!!

America is seen as the paradise by many Indians. The democratic values, personal liberty, freedom of press, secularism and tolerance have attracted many of us to that place. One of the prime motive or desire of many, if not all, software engineers working in IT firm is always to have an onsite opportunity in US!

But the ideals are not practical. Recently some of the events in US have suggested that their society, although having less diversity than India, is also grappling with some serious issues related to ethnicity, communalism and racial discrimination.

Charlottesville, Virginia incident:

US
Image Credit: Google Image

If you are having a close or even a partial eye on world news affair, you may have came across Charlottesville incident, where a white supremacist (A philosophy according to which white is supreme) rammed his car on a peaceful African American demonstrator against Confederacy Symbols. In that incident a woman got killed and more than 20 incurred major and minor injuries.

What is Confederacy Symbol and why African Americans were protesting against it?

To explain the story, you have to travel with me in history and to the American Civil War!!! I assure you, travelling in history will not be as boring as you may think.

So, American Civil War, a watershed moment in the history of US, has started in 1861 and ended in 1865. Abraham Lincoln was the president of US at that time. He had proposed a legislation, according to which the slavery (most of the slave were African American) would be annulled and  be termed as illegal and hence punishable. But many of the southern states of US were not happy of this decision. They have a certain notion that white is supreme and blacks are meant to be slaved. Apart from this there were some economical factors were also associated with their discontent. Slaves provided very cheap labor and hence profitable businesses. So 11 of the southern state formed a confederacy and revolted against the union. They seceded from the union in 1861. After that, a civil war had started in US, which finally got ended in 1865, with the victory of the union over confederacy and they were again merged with the union.

So the racial difference between the so called Nationalist American and the African American is deep seated in history. Now after the civil right movement in America, Blacks were legally brought on par with the Whites, but the prejudice is still prevails in American Society.

After the elevation of Mr. Donald Trump as 45th US President, whos is also seen as Right Wing nationalists and pro whites, simmering discontent gets the expression through various means.

One of the demand of the African American people is that in all the southern states, where they got legal protection by law, but the presence of Confederacy Symbols such as monuments, statue, declaration of public holidays, name of the park, name of the streets are on the name of White Supremacist, is not helping the cause of assimilation of the African American in mainstream as they reminds them the suppression by whites.  Naming all these places after white, glorifies their act of brutal repression. These symbols (such as statues) who glorifies the white oppressors, should be removed for once and all.  But the white population thinks that they all were the part of their cultural heritage which they cherishes and they are their source of inspiration, hence it can’t be removed.

So there were protest and counter protest held in Charlottesville. In one of such protest by African American, a White Supremacist, in his 20s, attacked the crowd with his speeding car which resulted, as I mentioned earlier, in killing of a lady and injuring several others.

So the point which I wanted to bring here is that, no country is paradise or perfect. Every country has their own sets of problem. It doesn’t matter that they are developed or developing, western or eastern, above the equator or below the equator differences will be there. So even though we hear so many negative news about the divides in India, we should not get carried away by negativities rather we should bring and use all the means which will bring the peace and harmony in the society.

 

आठ मार्च

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Credit: greatinspire.com

 

आठ मार्च

ममता का ऐसा नज़ारा
क्या दिखता कहीं जहाँ में
स्नेह का सागर उफनते देखा है
मैंने माँ की आँखों में

बहने जब राखी से
कलाइयाँ सजाती हैं
भुजाएं मानों स्वतः ही
असीम शक्ति पाती हैं

कष्टों का पहाड़ जब
सीधे सिर पर आता है
जग छोड़ दे अकेला ,
तब भी वो साथ निभाती है
हाँ वो , धर्म पत्नी कहलाती है

त्याग का ऐसा सामूहिक नज़ारा
शायद ही कहीं नज़र आता है
बचपन से जवानी जिस घर में वो बिताती हैं
एक झटके में सबकुछ छोड़ आती हैं
हाँ वो, बेटी कहलाती है

चेहरा शर्म से झुक जाता है
आँखे नम हो जाती है
जब समाचारपत्र में
भ्रूणहत्या, बाल विवाह, घरेलू हिंसा, और रेप की ख़बरें
अब भी जगह बनाती है
स्मरण रहे कि,

युद्धक्षेत्र में बन
रणचंडी भी वो आती है
शत्रुओं के वक्ष में
अपनी शूल धसाती है

ओलिंपिक में जब हम
मुह लटकाये भाग्य कोसते होते हैं
तो वे कर पराक्रम
भारत की लाज बचती है

भारत सोने की चिड़िया या विश्व गुरु
तभी तक कहलाती है
नारी का सम्मान जब तक
यह धरा कर पाती है
………अभय ……….

What is Life..

gfc
Representative image

Hello Friends,

After reading the topic/heading of my today’s post you might have an inkling that I may discuss some philosophical aspect of life in this write up. But, to tell you the truth, it’s not a philosophical article, rather a narration based on some events.

Old age is a truth of Life. But when we remain young, we hardly grant our thought towards this immutable reality. Especially the influence of western culture, prominence of nuclear family, new modes of entertainments, introduction of Old Age Homes etc keeps the old away from the youth and children, in turn, keeps away one aspect of life that most of us has to go through.

I am blessed to have my grandfather with me. But the sad part is that he is now ailing from past few months and his condition is deteriorating as the time progresses. “Old age in itself is a disease” once I have heard this term, now experiencing through him. He is unable to perform his regular activity not even to take his meal by himself. Though, he is in sound mind with full consciousness and memory, yet physically challenged due to perils of old age.

Yesterday night when I was lifting him from the bed and supporting in a way that he can take his dinner and medicine, he narrated a story that compelled my eyes to go wet. He told me to keep his head in my lap, I obliged. He started.

My Grandpa to me….

“You know, when you were around 4-5 years old, you had a habit of harassing someone who was going outside the home. You just started crying, shouting to carry you wherever any one goes out, so that you can accompany him and enjoy the outing.

One evening, I was the victim. I was going towards the market to purchase some groceries, and you, as usual, started crying to come with me. Your mom persuaded, papa coerced, but in front of your determination every one gave up, including me. But I made a commitment out of you, that in the course of journey you will walk yourself and never ask me to carry you in my lap or on my shoulder. You readily agreed on these terms and conditions, which I knew, you din’t have any intention to obey it.

We started walking towards market place. Barely 50 steps we have taken, you said, with utter innocence, “Baba Godi” (Grandpa please carry me in your lap while walking). I smiled, but shouted “don’t you remember your promise and if you will not walk then we will return home.Then you reverberated, “Yes, I do remember that but……” and started walking with heavy feat.

Just after nearly 30 steps we have marched forward, you again came back to the same agenda..”Baba Godi!! now I am extremely tired”.

But I was testing your patience and enjoying the expression you were giving, which was just like as a true artist. Then suddenly you spoke something which touched my core of the heart. You said, “baba, don’t you know how little I am, my legs becomes tired after a long walk, so please carry me in your arms/lap. I promise you when I will become young I will also carry you in my lap”.

His narration was over. His head was still in my lap. His eyes were wet. He pronounced. I am looking now “You are fulfilling your promise”.

I was speechless. Pretended to be tough. Gave him the medicine, which was prescribed for him for the night. Requested him to chant and remember the name of the Lord and said good night.

I was in quagmire about to share the event, but thought that many of the readers, once they will read, can relish and find their sweet memory associated with their grandfather/mother.

Life is just emotions. How you perceive emotions. How you respond to the emotions. A special trait, which differentiates the Livings with the Dead.

Isn’t it?