Category Archives: Social Issues

Holi: Licence for hooliganism?

Picture this: A week into holi and one is afraid to step out. Water balloons, mud water balloons, eggs and many other things (including condoms I have heard) filled with water and colour can land on you out of nowhere, Delhi being Delhi and Holi being Holi.

Picture this too: 2 days into Holi and one has to step out to get the data card recharged, and one does since the shop is a one minute walk from the PG. Narrow escape from 3 water balloons. Narrow escape for the parents’ of those tween boys, too- they were spared a long lecture on teaching kids how to enjoy with responsibility.

Now picture this: Holi is here. No escape possible because the landlady herself calls me to have breakfast with the family. But before I am allowed to touch anything out of the lavish spread, I must partake in the ‘celebrations’. Colours smeared on lips and stuffed into nose. Water thrown at me from a pipe. I run downstairs to bath again and come back for breakfast only after repeated assurances that the thing won’t be repeated. I bless my PG owners for the delectable food and think that the taste and the satisfaction will overweigh the effort and money that will go into washing the clothes this evening and replacing the lenses of spectacles before the mid semester break gets over. Yours truly is wrong. This time, before I am allowed to run downstairs, I am made to stand in front of the water pipe for a good 3 minutes and plead for mercy to my phone and watch.

That’s my Holi experience this year, giving me all the more reasons to hate it more than I ever had. To a reader who doesn’t know me personally, this may sound very silly- after all isn’t this festival meant to be a day when you let yourself loose and just enjoy? But the reader may not be aware that I have never been able to make sense out of first getting yourself and your clothes dirty for 3 hours and then spending another 3 hours to clean up. Fine, this wasn’t as bad as it could be but the very fact that it all happened without my consent serves my hating this festival. Talking of letting loose and enjoying, how are you supposed to be able to enjoy being thrown mud or being thrown into a water tank? Let’s not talk about alcohol and shit here which are other popular Holi ammunition.

One may ask- Isn’t this day a part of our rich cultural tradition? My answer- I have never caught up with how all sorts of propriety in interacting with strangers, especially ladies, come to vanish into thin air on this day, granting license to hooliganism, so the culture part is out of the question. Surely, those of our ancestors who were the first to play Holi didn’t mean it to be a day when you harass random ladies who chance to pass your street, when you play pranks with strangers and laugh it off!

The biggest joke on all those who use the excuse of ‘Holi Hai’ to run amok with hooliganism- The International Women’s day coincided with Holi this year. I would love to know how many ladies felt empowered on the day.

Of course, I am not asking for avoiding Holi altogether. One can always enjoy with one’s family. Play only with your friends and relatives and don’t kill the spirit of this festival by harassing those non-willing. Set a good example for the kids in your family and teach them how to have a good time even while staying within limits.

P.S. There is always a right way and another easy way to do things. Our choice reflects who we are, even in something trivial like the way we play Holi. Think it over.

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Eve-teasing – An Evil


On 20 October 2011, Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez were out with their friends when some “EVE- TEASERS” started misbehaving with the girls in the group. These two young men objected to their behaviour and got into an altercation. The goons stabbed both Keenan and Reuben. Keenan died on the spot and Reuben passed away a week later. Reuben and Keenan died because they took a stand against the menace of “eve-teasing”.

 Eve-teasing is the incessant and unremitting sexual harassment of women by men who takes perverted pleasure in tormenting them. Nowadays, Cluster of young boys can be seen standing in groups at public places like bus-stops, street corners, parks, etc. When a young girl or a couple of girls happen to pass near them they invariably subject them to verbal abuse, filthy remarks and lewd comments and obscene gestures. This eve teasing menace has been omnipresent in our society since many decades and, has become an endemic part of public life. No city in India is barred from this social evil. There is hardly a girl in India who is not subjected to it. Women are still not respected in this male dominated country. It can be seen as an expression of masculine sexual control over women who have stepped out of the private sphere. These men just think that women are weak & always target them. BUT Keenan and Rueben were the MEN who couldn’t tolerate such non sense and paid the ultimate price for standing against this heinous act of Eve-teasing

In the Indian Penal Code, the word ‘eve-teasing’ does not exist. Eve teasing is an attitude, a mindset, a set of behaviours that is construed as an insult and an act of humiliation of the female sex. It has been argued that  one of the reasons for the audacity of abuse against “women” is that police do not regard this as a “serious” crime.

At one point, we people say that today’s woman is a free and a modern woman but I wonder what kind of  freedom and modernity are we talking about?? Every now and then SHE is raped, insulted, beaten up, teased, humiliated and what not!! Every human being has a right to live with freedom, respect and dignity , THEN why SHE (woman) is always made the victim and the oppressed. I guess this is a by-product of our patriarchal culture in which MEN are treated differently than the women. Women are always seen as “targets” and “victims” for any kind of violence across the World. She is the one who is always to be blamed for everything. It is often heard that “She might have provoked or seduced the opposite sex and that’s the reason why she is raped, molested or  teased”!! BUT ,It is the patriarchal mindset of the Indian men which is to be blamed. They are always believed to be the powerful sex , on the other hand , Women are always made to feel vulnerable and weaker. Eve- teasing is an act which is really shameful for males as womens do deserve respect and by eve- teasing we are doing no good at all instead we are harming them!! It violates the basic right of a woman to live with dignity. It makes the life of the” women folk” miserable.

Eve teasing should be dealt with unbailable custody of the accused. Unless we make stringent laws to deal with eve teasing our women folks will not be safe on the streets. This is a call to ACTION, we need to protect the social fabric ,make it safe for women and highly unsafe for the culprits. Secondly, women should not ignore these incidences of eve-teasing, instead they should protest strongly against them and should immediately report to the police. And the Government should take stern measures regarding this issue and ensure security to the Women folk. And most importantly, MEN, should change their mindset on gender equations, to make Women feel safer and out of danger.

FACEBOOK…Breaking News!!!

Headlines of 2020…
BREAKING NEWS….”WORLD’S THIRD LARGEST COUNTRY FOUND…FACEBOOK”
COUNTRY FACEBOOK….
Area…the space taken by your laptops or desktops
Population….infinite
Religion…humanity
Language….countless

Yeah…!! This is what the headlines of 2020 would say.

It even won’t be surprising if students would soon be asked to plot Facebook on their virtual maps (this is a technology driven…my friend…!) it won’t even be a bad idea if facebook is used for global citizenship…with all of as its residents (you need not to change your nationality…be a member of Facebook.
Yeah…this is the importance of Facebook in our lives…. it has become an integral part of our lives. People not only share WHAT’S IN THEIR MINDS…but also make new friends (increasing friend list is a status symbol in Facebook)search the old ones…join new clubs…like different pages (the favorite time pass when sitting idle)…upload photographs(comments can’t be forgotten for sure) and nowadays even share them and what not..!! In fact it is the most feasible…viable…and popular way of

Bonding, Meeting and Sharing all at one place…afterall its all about CONNECTING PEOPLE

Being such an integral part of people’s lives…Facebook has sure become a replica of its member’s personal lives. From hookups to breakups….from marriages to new- born babies….it’s all on Facebook. And the latest activity to join the club is democracy eg: The people of Egypt used Facebook as a medium to unite their country’s people to fight against dictatorship and stand up for themselves and their country (what a use…a real use…Indeed).

Well….after describing our dearest Facebook…everybody would like to be its member…and that day is not far off when we would surely have Facebook as

WORLD’S largest Country and A Religion called FACEBOOK

Sexual harassment – The complexities

11th September , 2011
It is not even an hour yet, I heard of Anjali Gupta’s (Ex Indian Air Force Officer) suicide news, another case related to human rights. A case that leaves behind huge amount of room for investigation. Something that leaves a serious question mark on the very nature of sexual harassment, law against it and its complexity aspect.

Her story goes like this:

Ex-IAF officer, Anjali Gupta had committed suicide in Bhopal by hanging herself at a relative’s residence. On December 8, 2005, a military court in Bangalore ordered the dismissal of Indian Air Force Flying Officer Anjali Gupta from service, finding her guilty of the charges levied against her. Gupta was the first ever woman officer to be court martial-ed and stripped of her rank by the Indian Air Force. Seven charges – including insubordination, indiscipline and financial irregularity were slapped against her in 2005. Gupta had alleged that her superiors tried to sexually harass her. She was serving a private contract in Bangalore at the time of her death.
The very fact that cannot be denied is the need of sex for the human beings,  “Maslow Macgregor”, ranked it at the top of hierarchy of the social needs.

Also in the words of Dr Sigmund Freud, “every act of a man towards women more than normal course of action is desired to have sex with her”.

The complexity and difficulty to prove the charges of sexual harassment becomes the crux of the issue, also at times it has been found that it is misused by the feminist community to make an easy way like in case of Anjali Gupta . Well, it will be too early for us to verdict that the ingredient that led to her suicide was her dismissal from IAF.
Somewhere the connection of pleasure concept with egos proves a fatal connection in these matters.
What exactly happens behind the four walls of the room cannot be known to the world as it is protected under right to privacy. For now it just leads to another debate as how long this opposite sex wars will continue?
And how long will it take for civilized beings to understand that the notions for the humans towards fulfilling their sexual needs are necessary for living a healthy moral life?

“Ladies Only”~! reservations..

Capitation fee- A curse!!

Liberalisation of economy in India has generated more wealth and a never satiating consumerism. Unfortunately even education has fallen into the clutches of consumerism and the economics of demand and supply. The increasing menace of capitation fee has become prevalent at the time of admission. Though it can be said with a certain amount of authority that there is nobody who likes to willingly part with hefty amounts, yet the practice seems to flourish. Leaving aside a few reputed and established names, most of the newly-sprung up schools and institutes  are no better than “teaching shops”.

The other day i had to visit A.P.J  School for admission of my nephew to the KG class. I contacted the admission incharge of the school and i was shocked to learn that the admission test is merely a formality. The admission will be granted not based on the merit of the child but on the parents capacity to pay a fat capitation fee of Rs. 10,000 to 30,000.

To me, it seems nothing short of corruption to seek funds in the name of providing quality education. Isn’t it a shame that in a country where education was once free , it is now being sold and that too at a price. This system is a fraud system which exploits the parents and is being carried out shamelessly with impunity.

The government should not remain a mute spectator and must take stringent action against these dealers of education and lay down as well as enforce strict laws to curb this evil practice. Accepting donations or capitation fee in admission should be declared illegal and a cognizable offence. All sections of society including parents, teachers, students and educationists should come up in arms against this system and force the educational institutions to discontinue this evil practice forthwith.

Banaras Hindu University- expelled three students for ragging!!!

9/21/2011

Acting tough on an incident of ragging, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) here has expelled three students- Umashankar Shukla, Rajiv Pandey and Nand Kumar for one year for allegedly harassing a junior student.

The students were pursuing BAFA at the University. They  have been expelled for one year after taking congisance of the ‘Anti-Ragging Committee’ report,

Rajesh Singh, chairman of college Press, Publicity and Publication (PPP) cell, said “They would, however, be allowed to complete their BAFA after the one year expulsion period but would not be given admission for further studies in the BHU.”

A third year BAFA student was allegedly ragged by the three students on the night of September 12.

This is the third reported incident of ragging in BHU

This is not the first incidence of ragging:

September 15, a Patna College first-year student Nitish Kumar was ragged on the college campus when they were trying to advertise the institution as a “no ragging, no eve-teasing” hub. Nitish said: “I was waiting for my history subsidiary class when three boys asked me to come out of the classroom.”

The trio allegedly dragged Nitish downstairs kicking him. A visibly shocked Nitish said: “I was dragged in front of the administrative block by my seniors. Four others joined them. They also started assaulting me.” The seniors allegedly asked Nitish to do sit-ups and tried to open his trousers.

September 10, Greater Noida…. Tej Pratap Singh, B.Tech second year student of Sharda University, was thrashed by two students of the same college Friday. He was admitted to hospital with injuries.
He was beaten up by the two students when he intervened in the ragging of his cousin Rahul Singh, studying in first year B.Sc (Mass Communication).

September 13, Lucknow…. Two students, Sandeep Bhadana and Deepak Kumar — final year MBA students of Chaudhary Charan Singh Meerut University (CCSMU) — brutally assaulted Brijesh Ram, a first year Dalit student Monday after he refused to perform obscene acts.

IIM Bangalore student wasted over break-up!

                                   Name- Malini Murmu
                                   Age- 22
A first-year MBA student and a native of Jamshedpur ,hanged herself in her hostel room no. 421 in the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, on Monday evening.
According to an investigation officer she found out from Facebook on Sunday that her boyfriend had dumped her.
The couple had had an argument, which resulted in the breakup. Later, her boyfriend had left a post on Facebook saying,

“Feeling super cool today. Dumped my new ex-girlfriend. Happy independence day.”

She had left a suicide note on her laptop, saying her boyfriend had left her and she was killing herself over it. She’d also scribbled ‘He ditched me‘ on a board in her room. She had no roommates.

Police are waiting for her parents to reach Bangalore before carrying out an autopsy.

IIM-B officials refused to comment.

In this competitive world where would the underdogs go?

India has been witnessing a lot of inflation lately.But a straight hike in the field of education is something seen only in India. No. No.! I am not talking about the donations and the fee structure (these criteria’s have a permanent inflation rate in them) but the sky touching percentages and cut-offs.
This year’s AISSE examination 12th board examination had overwhelming results (with four students securing 100 on 100 in English as a subject from Chennai region) which is appreciable on the part of the education system of India. However, what about the underdogs….the non-achievers? Where would they go? Is a bunch of achievers pushing the future of others in dark?

Probably.YESS!

Moreover, this “yes” is firmly supported by the impossible cut-offs limitations set by the well renowned college.SHREE RAM COLLEGE OF COMMERCE (which was forced to be lowered down). Even the “not so renowned colleges” have raised their cutoff stands and the authorities seem to have forgotten about the average grade students.The so-called group of non-achievers? Where would they go?

Our voices are often misunderstood and that is what might be happening in the minds of the readers reading this article. Well I am not advocating against the achievers because I know it requires a lot of hard work and consistency to achieve such results, which is commendable.However, the question again comes to the same point-what about those who were not able to achieve? Who are not so intelligent?

This competitive 21st century has turned cruel to those who can’t prove themselves.This world doesn’t let them survive.And it can actually be witnessed everywhere. A student cannot get admission in a good college because of its demand. Therefore, the hierarchy goes this way->

NO PROPER COLLEGE = NO PROPER EDUCATION = NO PROPER PLACEMENT = NO PROPER JOBS = FLOP CAREER.

Moreover, the pressure that keeps on rising, ultimately leads to the forbidden things. People fail to face the world…so they escape. Escape in the form of SUICIDES or fall into deep DEPRESSIONS.

Who is responsible for all this?

Can this inflation be controlled?

Answers. Please answer.!

Accepting Homosexuality- The Paradox!!

I walked out of my house with a wallet in my one hand and a broken mobile in another (must get this phone repaired soon). Just to get rid of my mom’s angry words for not helping her in work (I guess it’s every girl’s gloomy story), I preferred inhaling the fresh air (doubtful about its freshness though). Lost in the jungle of my thoughts, of how impatient I have become, my eyes caught hold of a couple (don’t know if it’s the ‘perfect’ word used). The girl, with appealing eyes, was laughing with a slight dimple on her left cheek; and her counterpart, the other ‘girl’ was innocently watching her giggling. Seems innocuous! Looks simple! BUT, is it?

“Ooo…they are lesbians”; “OMG! She has a girl friend”; “this is illegal in India!” etc. These are some of the initial remarks that strike most of our ‘intellectual’ heads. Since the de-criminalization homosexuality in India, there has been a vibrant debate about the validity of this contemplation. Despite the Court reforms, homophobia (fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men) still persist in the nation. Many cultural organizations categorize homosexuality as a western/foreign import and deny its existence. To them it is alien to Indian culture, and looked upon as a corrupting influence that needs to be curbed. The irony here is that homosexuality is not something the West has taught us; the West taught us how to criminalize this very concept. The fact that we are unaware of is- that homosexuality has a reference in our religious texts. Ancient Hindu scriptures, such as Rig Veda make clear mention to sexual acts between women. Further the carvings and depictions in the famous temples of Khajuraho, Konark, Puri are proof of the same.

The next debate that has turned the clock is whether gay marriage should be allowed in our country or not?

No doubt that in the past 50 years, social life has been under continuous change with the introduction and propagation of globalization. ‘Gay (same sex) marriages’–is one of those topics which has come up often for discussion and India is no exception to this. A recent State of the Nation CNN-IBN survey revealed that as many as 73% Indians feel homosexuality should be considered illegal while 83% felt that homosexuality is not part of Indian culture.

Yes, ours is a traditional nation, with morals and values. Yes, marriage is considered as a very pure ritual on our land. Yes, sexual intimacy between a female and a male is a convention among our people

But I fail to understand, why can’t we have a revolution— in terms of changing our conventions? Don’t we have a freedom to make a choice? Is it ethical or moral when taking away from someone the right of choosing a life partner? Why in our country, LGBTs (Lesbian, gay, Bisexual and Trans-sexual) are seen with an “Oh, my God!” kind of outlook? Why is our country so critical of homosexuality that it dismisses even the slightest hint in this direction with an embarrassed yet stern approach?

Is it not time for our country to stop trying to control what two consenting adults may do behind closed doors? Is it not time for our country to come out of its cocoon of misconception and realize that as much as they hope for it, the gay and lesbian community in our country isn’t going anywhere; they will remain here and keep demanding their rights until they get it? For our Country to accept certain norms and shun others is quite hypocritical. While the whole world has started recognizing and respecting homosexuals and granting them all legal rights due in today’s era to any human being, our Country treats consensual adult love between people of the same sex as sodomy, and refuses to grant same sex relationships the sanctity that is due to them.

The universal law of Human Rights states that social norms, tradition, custom or culture cannot be used to curb a person from asserting his fundamental and constitutional rights.

The gay relationship can be legalized through marriage which will prevent the cases of illegitimate secret relations. Marriage not only gives to people the right to co-habit but also gives them rights as far as issues like property, inheritance, maintenance, adoption, pension, insurance, employee benefits etc., are concerned. Another point is of respect. A satisfactory personal life is as much a right of gay couples as straight couples.

There is no cure to a darkness that refuses the light of the day. It’s high time that we come out of the closet of our pre-defined notions, and think rationally!

Hmm…While I got lost in my thoughts, I can still see the love birds chatting! Taking departure from staring them since a ‘very’ long time, I better be going back home now and lend a hand to my mother (perhaps she might give me an extra dollar for my pocket money! *wink*)