‘Take this Rs 2,000/- and be quiet; thank god your girl is alive’

What excuse shall we give for a 5-year-old being raped? Was she dented and painted! Was she not wearing the right clothes? Was she roaming with the wrong guys at the wrong hour? Was she giving the wrong signals to the guy?

Not a single day passes without a rape or two in the news, and I am sure thousands go unreported! There are prying eyes every where! Half of humanity is always under constant fear?! What a loss of potential! What a loss!

All Eyes are on me! what do I do to save myself?

An infiltrator violating the borders of Mother India is shot at and incapacitated. We take great pride in doing so and the nation unites eulogizing the spirit of defending our Mother Nation. But we see every mother, sister and daughter being violated around us and are hardly bothered. Our police will find ways to intimidate the family. Our societal elders will banish them out of the community or even from this world. There are enough lawyers to prove the culprit to be juvenile. And our acclaimed lawyers and judges find ways and means to delay the hearings. It will be a decade or two, by which time the victim would have been through a million deaths all the while the culprit gets patronage under one influential group or the other!

What have we become? When did we stop being humans? Where does this stop?
Is this the India which we want to live in? Is this the India we want to leave for our children and grand children? Does mere amending the laws going to find solutions?

Where does it start?

At every home, for sure. We do not want to have a girl child. Even before the young one comes into this world, the mother is subjected to all sorts. There is a great disparity in the way a girl child is treated compared to a boy child – Food to amenities to school to opportunities, she is always against the wall and he is the lord. What sort of messages do we pass on to the boys and the girls as they grow? What attitudes do these boys carry of the fellow girl children as they grow?

The boys end up being drivers and cleaners, policemen and lawyers, doctors and engineers ….while most girls find their progression curtailed by their family; and if not, the boys around, feel their progression has to be curtailed! What a sad state of affairs that we sow and nurture…

We need to start at home. Respect and celebrate every girl child and woman at home… Unless every home does it, we will have perpetrators at every nook and corner. The road is pretty long…

While it will take a few generations for the change to happen, bottom up, we need to do a lot in every space. The common theme though will be of infusing sense of responsibility and belonging.

The indifferent one! If only they can be saviours, our plight will be very different!

First and foremost has to be political and electoral reforms. The election commission should make sure that criminalization of politics is eliminated at any cost. The constitution provides all authority for the election commission to do so.

Every political party should realize that their future lies in decriminalization. They would be better off selecting responsible candidates and also not interfere in any administration appointments and implementation once the directional decisions are taken.

The Administrative reforms are the next most important facet. There have been a few administrative officers in small pockets of the country who have changed the face of these places. We need every officer to make impact.

That cannot happen unless the government is as efficient. So political parties forming the government has to set their houses right. Each one of us as a citizen has the responsibility to cast the vote and select the right person.

The police has to be more conscious of its social responsibilities. Hence their training and orientation will have to change. They need to be deployed more for aam admi’s cause than that of the VIP duties!

We need to come out of “Chalta hai”, “Aisa hi hoga”, “Mera kya jara hai” attitude. Only then the aforesaid shifts can be implemented in right spirit. Each one of us has to be vigilant and feel responsible for everything happening around. Youth needs to play a pivotal role in making this happen. Unless we leave our personal, self-centric approach, we will not be able to bring the change. We need to evolve ourselves beyond the mundane.

It is a tough ask. Let us make it happen.

Love.

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Impacting society (radio, mobile):Readings to introspect for the day – 120511

Can India rise up through radio?

Pioneering broadcasters use mobile phones and creative programming to push the limits of India’s ban on news radio.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/110420/india-radio-news-freedom-of-speech

Interesting issues dealt with in this Pull in Radio station –  CGnet Swara is a platform to discuss issues related to Central Gondwana region in India. To record a message please call on (080) 4113 7280.

http://cgnetswara.org/

Dabba Radio is India’s first independent news radio network. We create great shows on a range of important topics: from news, politics, and current events to food, art, music, and culture. We then disseminate these shows over as many mediums as possible, including cell phones, internet streaming, and podcasts. Named after the eight-sigma dabbawalas of mumbai.

http://www.dabbaradio.org/Site/Dabba_Radio_Home.html

By going mobile, developing world leaps ahead

Commentary: Networks, devices will change way business is done; India, China and Africa will lead the growth of the world economy!!

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/by-going-mobile-developing-world-leaps-ahead-2011-05-12?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Gramin Radio Inter Networking System v0.3
Documentation

If you want to set up a radio station, here you may find good info and advise…

http://gramvaani.org/docs/

Twenty-six / eleven or three / three – all due to apathy of citizens like you and me.

Whether it was Mumbai or Lahore, an incident of this magnitude cannot happen but for the small contributions from each one of us. Yes, indeed, each one of us is a culprit, just a shade lesser than Kasab and Osama.

How, you may say? Do we really behave the way a responsible citizen need to? Do we really care for another fellow being or the environment? I am not excluding myself from this introspective journey, and for that matter not any ‘educated’ person –


  1. How many of us drive in lanes? Usually, if there are three lanes on a road, we will see at least five vehicles squeezing shoulder to shoulder, giving warmth to each other. In a while ‘real heat’ emanates. I can never make out which lane is which.
  2. Crisscrossing the lanes with utter disregard to basic traffic rules is our basic etiquette. Honking is my birth right. Don’t look at my face, I am very angry and am about to scowl at the other, as he is not giving me my way. If I am on a two wheeler, then I have every license to find the smallest of the holes to manouvre through. With an engaging cell-phone in hand, it gives me a great thrill to do all these.
  3. The slowest moving vehicle will be in the fastest lane, will not budge, and will make sure that faster moving one overtakes from wrong side. The heavy vehicle cannot fathom that a puny vehicle comparatively, can overtake him, so he would always occupy the faster lane to satisfy his ego. 
  4. Waiting at the traffic signal or giving way to a pedestrian is ‘shaan ke khilaf’
  5. At every round about, I will try to squeeze into, oblivious of the traffic already in the circle, adding to their immobility. I will enter a thorough fare from a by-lane, without bothering to look at the moving traffic, forget about stopping for a moment. Right of way, I am not aware of.
  6. Park, we would, at all places that are not meant for parking. Thanks to our innovative ways of parking, a three lane road most times ends up being a single lane, rendering the already chaotic traffic to move at snail’s pace.
  7. Often, I discover that the whole traffic is moving slow, only because there are two motorists fighting in the middle of the road after their motor-vehicles have made love to each other. The fight is about which kissed the other first and who is responsible for it! Maintaining a responsible distance from the vehicle in front of me is degrading to me. I am not aware that I should have at least 20 meters of clearing if I am at a speed of 60km/hr.
  8. Even more surprising will be, a huge vehicle plonked with a flat tyre or a broken axle, in the middle of the road on a blind curve of an express way that has traffic moving at 100Km/hour!


  1. I will open a biscuit packet or a ‘paan ka beeda’ while driving on the road, and in a jiffy the wrapper will be flying out of my window, while I munch the biscuit or paan. I cannot carry a small disposal in my vehicle.
  2. I have tea at a dhaba or a kiosk, at the roadside, bus stop or railway platform, but I will definitely throw the PLASTIC cup into the Nala (culvert) or on the railway track. I do not notice the waste bin.
  3. While on the sports field, a zoo or a park, I care no hoot to the surroundings, I will drop my emptied plastic water bottle or the plastic glass to see it floating into the arenas! I do not care to look for the ‘monkey bins’ around!
  4. I will demand the hawker or the stores to give my purchase in a plastic bag as I never carry a cloth bag from home. I keep doing this every time, despite noticing thousands of these soiled plastic carry bags littered around open spaces, by the side of the roads, railway tracks, clogging water bodies.
  5. I will keep the tap flowing while brushing, shaving, bathing, washing etc, not realizing that the overflowing water is a result of vast amount of money that is spent on bringing it into my home. I do hear that future wars will be for water!!
  6. I do not even think for a moment about switching off the illuminating bulb in the empty room, as I have never experienced what it is to live in an un-electrified village.
  7. I did fell a couple of trees while constructing, but I hardly realize that they were protecting the soil and mother earth for over a hundred years!!

Queues and Security –

  1. Standing in a queue is beyond our dignity. We shall find every way to beat the system. Pushing and shoving to get in is my first priority (into the bus, into a train, into a film theatre, into the traffic..)
  2. Getting frisked by a security guy is even more demeaning to me. “Mujhe nahin jaante..” (You do not know who I am..).
  3. If I am caught violating any rule, at the traffic signal, or with an overweight luggage, or even taking an over-aged child in a train, I will try my level best to ‘payoff.’
  4. If I were the security guy at the gate in a railway station or a bus stand, I am least bothered about whether the screening gate is functional, I continue yapping with my fellow colleague. I am not concerned about who has sneaked in, a taxi guy soliciting passengers, a smart kingpin forcing a few kids to beg or even a ‘liberator’ with an AK in his knapsack to carry out the orders of the ‘almighty’

At home –

  1. I do not have time to sit and facilitate the child. Neither I have time to read a book to, play a game with, nor take a child to a museum, an art gallery or a performance.
  2. The annual visit to zoo for me is a promise that I have to fulfill. It is just a ritual.
  3. If some one calls for me, I would ask my child to say “papa ghar par nahin hai, baad mein phone kijiye.”
  4. Most of the time, as a father I may even fumble when some one asks which class my child is in.

I continue to turn a blind eye to many ills happening around me, instead of responding, as  ‘chalta hai, hame kya karna’, is the usual refrain!! I can go on and on and on. But I shall stop here.

Most of the above mentioned ‘innocuous’ acts are experienced by silent yet sharp co-travellers, our children. I fail to imagine the gravity of  influence these will have on my children’s thought process and behaviour.

If I am conscientious about my own existence, that of my fellow beings and environment, if I execute my responsibilities in the society – if I play by the rules, facilitate my driver to abide by them, my maid to be more conscious, if I bring up my child with all honesty and involvement – the world certainly would be a better place to be. I am also relatively sure that many of these ‘man-mad-and-made’ disasters can be averted to a great extent. So, till then, I am no less culprit than a Osama or a Kasab.

Looking forward to your feedback here or on my mail id – sreeni@careerlauncher.com

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