Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bharat Uday - A Mission Possible ?

As mentioned in my profile, I am like any average Indian, I have an opinion on anything and everything, I crib all the time (As evident from my previous Posts J) about the state of affairs of our great nation, about the system, about our politicians, about rampant corruption, about the state of Bangalore Infrastructure J ….. I want all this to change, I want my Country to be the greatest. And I’m sure it’s not only me there are millions of us who think the same ….. but also like any average Indian when posed with questions like “why don’t you do something abut it” , the standard answer is what can I do ? I am just an ordinary citizen of this country, how can I go about bringing change on my own. To an extent I guess this logic is justified.

Now being the person I am and a net savvy one at that, on Friday night (24th Feb) while aimlessly surfing the net, I came across an orkut community, Bharatudaymission ( ) and somewhere there I found out that the Bangalore Chapter which is just kicking off is having a meeting on Saturday the 25th, Ok I thought lets check out what this Bharat Uday Mission is all about and visited its homepage as mentioned in there ( ) , I was kind of impressed with whatever little I could browse then, but still going for a meeting of an organization I have heard just now didn’t seem to click, also I had better plans ….. to freak out with friends on the weekend. Saturday morning the plans for the day got cancelled as a couple of guys were a bit preoccupied, so was free for the day … and just thought that maybe I can catch up with the meeting ….. I called up one of the contact nos checked out the details. And there I was at around quarter to 5, accompanied with the person I had talked to whom I picked up on the way, at the venue of the meeting … a simple residence of a s/w professional.

The first thing that struck me was the person who volunteered to host the meeting was part of Bharat Uday Mission for just a week and hadn’t met anyone till that time, that was just a prelude to the enthusiasm I was about to witness over the next 3 hrs, One by one people started dropping in and not a single person accompanied, no sense of the herd effect …. “chal tu chal raha hai toh mein bhi dekh leta hoo” and most of them not knowing anyone else till that time. By the time everyone one was in we were 8 gentlemen and 1 lady of which one of them had traveled 45 kms to attend the meet immediately after a class and had a class next morning 9 am. And you coudnt have expected a better representative gathering of just nine people, there were Engg students(2), a management student, s/w professionals(4), a lady doctor and a self employed free lance consultant. If we look into the regional diversity of the representative gathering we had representation from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, and Delhi …. The only thing common among such a diverse group that had brought all of us there was a mission, a vision for our great nation.

Here I would come back to a statement I made earlier “How can I go about bringing change on my own” …. And this was the answer to that question, we need to come together on a single platform merge our strengths, and work together for our common vision. And Bharat Uday Mission had provided a platform for us that day.

I wont say that we did some great path breaking stuff in that meet, Also none of us had much of an idea how to start and where to start, but still each one of us had fire in them to do something, we discussed a lot of things, and believe me by sitting together and brainstorming for about 3 hrs we did get to the stage where we had an action plan regarding what we should be doing in the next few days …. The level of enthusiasm can be judged from the fact that when we were talking about spreading the message, we decided that we will distribute a few pamphlets to people coming out from an RDB show …. maybe tomorrow … one of them instantaneously said why not today ??? and guess what three of us were at Forum (PVR multiplex in Bangalore) at 10 in the night the same day distributing those pamphlets …… I still can’t believe it that I was there ….

I don’t know how far this will go ….how long will the spark last … maybe disillusionment sets in ………I don’t know whether will be able to make any kind of impact ….. but at least there is the satisfaction that we are at least trying today …… at least next time someone says that why don’t you do something …. I can say I tried … and why not ??? why cant the mission be successful …. Yesterday we were 9 people …. Maybe tomorrow we will be a 100 and someday maybe the entire country will rise ….. that is the day hopefully we will be freed from most of our problems ….

Before signing off --------

“One individual may die for an Idea; but that idea will after his death, Incarnate itself in a thousand lives. That is how the wheel of evolution moves on and the ideas and dreams of one nation are bequeathed to the next”

Subhash Chandra Bose

“To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns the foot that crushes it. In general the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt”

- Mikhail Bakunin

“Since you have come into this world, leave some mark behind...otherwise what is the difference between you and the trees and the stones?”

- Swami Vivekanand

here I am ....

here i am ..... a 25 yr young / old guy sitting at my office desk after work well past 9 pm , having just created a blog site for myself , wht makes me to do this ?? do I have the time , the skills or the patience to blog .... the practical answers to all the above three questions are a big NO , but still here am I ....

If I dwell a bit more on this ... i begin to realise that the urge to express my inner self , is overpowering ..... maybe akin to a simmering volcano ... but again the question arises do I actually need to go to a website and put in all the effort to type down wht i feel and wht i want to express .... dont I hav other options ??? ...... thinking of options ... maybe yes , maybe i talk to friends debate with colleagues that wud be more direct and satisfying for sure ......... but the fact remains that in todays pacy world who has the time .... and frankly speaking who cares wht u think , another problem is that of a limited audience .... now the person u are with might not be interested in what i think of Denmark and those cartoons .... and maybe i wont be interested if he tells me the latest gossip abt ash and Junior B .....and further even be carefull not to offend someone ....... and these days u know how ppl take offence on seemingly irrelevant matters , the fact is when ppl in somalia can start protests against Denmark where I guess not more than 50 ppl will be able to locate it on the world map.... now i think I'm digressing ... coming to the point ... I'm sure its too risky to speak out anything anywhere ......... so wht do I do ???

so here I am at the most wonderfull place ..... where I can just vomit all I feel , without caring a damn whether anyone is listening or not , whether anyone likes it or not (though i know with cyber security and all if someone is hell bent on getting back to me ..... on smthg offensive even here ... can easily track me down :-) ..... hence willl try to be as careful as possible ) .......... i just love the medium , and i will try to make use of it as much as possible ......

till then signing off .....

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cartoons vs Paintings

Recent times have seen a surge of religious sentiment to levels that have not been seen or heard in recent times. It all started with some obscure Danish newspaper publishing seemingly harmless (for them) caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed who as far is I understand is the most respected figure in Islam. Angst and displeasure was natural and certainly expected, but what followed has well been beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, with violent agitations across the world leaving hundreds dead and destroying property worth millions.

In this whole episode what fails any explanation is how did such protests spread so wide , wild and far, and that too, the worst protests taking lives of people, coming approximately 4 months after the Cartoons were first published, this has for sure raised valid concerns that maybe these were not just a natural reaction to a seemingly provocative caricature of the Prophet, but more like an organized attempt to fuel these protests, a reflection of the current standoff between the Islamic world and the West ,with the cartoons being just the spark a few vested interests were waiting for to cry war.

Now this issue has been debated so much in recent times at various forums that further dwelling into the how’s & why’s wont make sense, here what I intend to do is to get closer home and try to bring forth how our own local so called “secular” Indian leaders have not been left behind in exploiting this issue and the sentiments attached with it,also try to draw a parallel with something which has happened in India itself.

Now this starts off at the top when our esteemed Prime Minister sends of a strong letter of protest to Denmark to convey how bad we are feeling about the Cartoons knowing very well that the caricatures were printed by an Independent private publisher which had already tendered apologies inspite of there being no law in the land of Denmark which would have forced them to do so, but that is also absolutely fine Mr Prime Minister, but would have loved to hear one word of ridicule or protest for Mr M.F. Hussain following his great display of respect for Hindu gods and goddesses , but off course why would you do so especially when there is the possibility of losing out of a Vote bank through suspected alienation of Muslims from your Party (U know how many contenders are there in the race to capture their votes :) )after all yours is a secular party.

Now when all this is going on, how can our pillars of secularism be left behind, Our own Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and his bete noire Ms Mayawati come out crying foul…. “snap trade ties with Denmark” , Having absolutely no idea whether the state of Denmark had anything to do with the Caricatures or not.

With Mr Chief Minister leading the way how can the minister of state for Haj (Now whats that ministry?) comes out shouting at the top of his voice, 51 Crore for the cartoonists head !!!!!!!!!!! In what age are we living it, this is a person holding a constitutional position and is expected to be responsible for upholding our constitution. Even after all this not even a murmur from anyone , even the media is happy to keep it on the 8th page. And then there have me many more realted comic incidents in the recent past and these are just samples.

I have called this Post Cartoons Vs Painitings for a simple reason, I just came across a protest against the MF Hussain paintings on the Net, now to see how according to me protests ought to be done go through the links below,

also have a look at the Paintings of MF Hussain in case u haven’t seen them yet, Instead of Shiva in that pose had he drawn the Prophet, going by what has been happening, there would have already been a 3rd World War. I would have never written on this subject had I not seen these paintings today.

There has also been another interesting development today, One Mr Ashok Pandey who claims to be the President of the Hindu Law Board (Obviously a pun on the Muslim Law board) has offered Mr Yaqoob Qureshi 101 Crores for the head of MF Hussain and 51 Croeres for anyone else J , Now this is the kind of challenge the Indian administration need to take action.

Link to the above story -

I am an agnostic, as is written in my profile, It is not like I am deeply hurt religiously that’s why I have written this, my sole purpose of this post is to expose “secularists” and their double standards.

P.S. – had just wandered over to this one, this guy anant has put my views very aptly in his post –

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Color Blindness

Ask anyone … and not necessarily an uneducated, ignorant person …. what is color blindness … in 9 of 10 cases you will get a reply on the lines that a color blind person is one who cannot see colors …now what does that mean does the world of a color blind is a black and white TV ????

As a matter of fact it is estimated that approximately 8-12 % of the male population has red green color blindness, which is nothing more than a problem in distinguishing certain shades of Red and Green which even people suffering from this disorder don’t realize until they go through the ishihara test for color blindness wherein they are shown colored dots and asked to identify numbers hidden in them. Color blindness is an inaccurate term for a lack of perceptual sensitivity to certain colors. Absolute color blindness is almost unknown.

But still people with such a problem are denied opportunities for which they are perfectly capable. And ppl in fact tend to hide such a problem. And the worst thing is that there is no consistency in eligibility criterion across different spheres of the professional world , I would just list down a few examples of which I am absolutely sure about –

1) People with color blindness are denied opportunities in Defense (This can be acceptable as defense forces need to be fit in all respects ... but is there no area in the entire defense establishment where such a person cannot work ??)
2) Admissions to Certain Professional Colleges – If you are color blind you cannot become an engineer from UP (Through UP common admission test), just cant understand if a person with color blindness can become an Engg from IIT then why not from a regional UP college .... There might be many more such cases including medical colleges.
3) Denial of jobs – here I will talk about the software industry of which I know , you cannot become a software engg. in TCS one the leading Indian IT services company, they have a compulsory pre employment medical test in which color blindness is the only possible reason for which you can be permanently denied employment, whereas there are other Indian companies like infosys which doesn’t have any kind of medical test as do most of the MNC’s in India …. This just defies all logic …. In software where most of the time you work on black and white code why does a condition in which u cant distinguish certain shades of red and green become critical.

Mentioned above are a very few things that I have touched upon which I am sure about and I have a feeling that this is just the tip of an iceberg.

In most organization today there is a conscious attempt to accommodate people with disabilities, there is also lot of talk about inclusion in the society for such people , cant understand why this discrimination against people who cant even be called disabled, you wont find many people talking abut this as most who know about their condition tend to keep it with themselves , anyway no one can tell when there are as many as 10% men having the same condition.

I think this issue needs to be taken up, really don’t know by whom, to atleast arrive at some universal guidelines regarding what these people can do and what they cant in all spheres.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rang de ... Provoking thought

.... yesterdays post was just an attempt to get myself pumped up to take the plunge :-) , so here I am starting off as a blogger today .

ok so whts on my mind ... just cant get myself out of the impact that this movie Rang De Basanti had which i happened to watch this weekend ..... though i am no movie buff and am sure you wont see me writing about movies very often , i did actually watch this movie .... now you can call this peer pressure :-) ... all friends were like ... “dude thsi is a must watch“ ..... it so happened that i got hold of a friend of mine and dashed off on my bike to the theatre .... HOUSE FULL .... this was saturday around 1500 hrs ... that wasnt a problem .... there are only “somethings that money cant buy” for every thing else there is “master card“ .... but here there was something that money could buy but only hard cash ... by now u ppl know that i bought the ticket in black .... 100 ka 150 ... big deal I earn enough to afford that ..... it was only after watching the movie i did realize wht I had done .....I felt like kicking myself ... the least I could hv done for my country was not to encourage these black marketeers .

before getting into details about what I feel abt the movie in general and the issue apecifically .. let me tell u what has provoked me to write today ... I was just surfing the net when i just came across an article/reveiw from a sagarika ghose on , she didnt take more than a few paras to tear apart this movie in shreds ..... isnt it surprising how these critics esplly the media so conveniently ignore things abt a movie that dont fit in to their overall analysis ....there was a comparison between Rang De and sholay in which she says that sholay was more real ..... as if jai and veeru in real life with two 303's can fight and finish off Gabbar's army ??? if that is probable I guess what is depicted in Rang De is even more ....agreed that towards the end the movie had become melodramatic and u dont expect such things in reality as of now, but the fact that the movie is a hit shows how much the youth of today relate to it ... as big an enemy britishers were b4 independence ... today corruption and these currupt leaders are no less .... and relating to the hero's of that time is not wrong in the given context .... then also we had Gandhi .... as were Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat singh ....then also there were different schools of thought ..... different ways to achieve a common goal .

If u look in todays context tell me one high profile politician ever to be convicted in any court of law on any charge ..., be it Narsimha Rao , Rajiv Gandhi , George Fernandes and the list can ggo on and on ..... or even sons of MP's like our Manu Sharma, son of former Union Minister Vinod Sharma who so convinietly gunned down Jessica in a crowded bar ... and is acquitted today after a trial that went for more than 7 years ... during that period ....a few witnesses hav met their natural death ... maybe a few unnatural ... and others wud hav turned hostile .... isnt it as simple as that ?? We have state ministers in India shouting at the top of their voice asking for the head of the danish cartoonost and no one moves (This one has got to me ... be prepared for my outburst on this maybe sometime later) ?? Also in cases when in a rarest of rare case high profile person is actually convicted (read salman khan) ppl blame the media for it....blame it on communalism ..... this is not done !!!!!!! and believe me wont be tolerated for long ...... it is just one spark that is needs to ignite this volcano building up in most of us .......

What I mean by saying all this is that though as of today I dont believe in the ways as shown in Rang de ...nor does the end of the movie inspire anything like that ... but the angst shown is very true .... the message very loud and clear ... if our judiciary doesnt improve, the day is not far when u will c that actually happening ..... I as a youngster of India hail the movie as really thought provoking .....and I wont accept any blame if some day I take up the Gun ............but to think big u need to start with a small step and I start off with a pledge that Rang De Basanti was the last movie I saw in Black

..... and I give the Indian Judiciary and administration some time to get its act together !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!