Friday, October 31, 2008

Advani Speaks Again.......

Pandemonium follows rhetoric. They go in tandem in a democratic set up. The whole idea is borrowed from the day to day proceedings in the legislatures. Here unanimity or absolute majority determine the fate of a 'bill' or a 'government'. Similarly a 'pandemonium' is seen as the only tool to express one's ability to raise a point. The more louder it is, the more are the chances to be recognised as a 'good' legislature. Rhetoric is nothing but an evolved method to spread the word, a 'microphone' exploited by the rabble-rousers. Advani, whose rallys pull huge crowds, has spoken again. This time he disowned Sadhvi Pragya Singh. She is alleged to have "masterminded" the September 29 Malegaon blast. He said that if any one from "Sangh outfit" found guilty of any crime that person should be brought to book. There is nothing to celebrate in his new statement. The country's ex-deputy prime minister's words echo with what a lay man can perceive of "trial procedures" in India. Any one who is under trial can not be branded as a convict. Honourable Courts determine the degree of complicity of the undertrial. Advani said the same things. But this time he do not have to relinquish any "office", as he has not commented on Jinnah and his level of secularism. It is very hard to evaluate one's level of secularism through interpretation of one's speech. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is said to have been gone back on his statements a number of times. That makes "evaluation" more complicated. Jinnah speech throwed Advani into the troubled waters. He was made to resign from the presidentship of BJP. It was him who had nurtured the party with his 'rath' yatras. Yatra "a pure religious concept" was modified to fit it into the political mould. Here the "rhetoric" in the form of 'yatra' misused the religion. End result increased the number of elected-BJP MPs and widened the chasm between communities. Everytime Advani speaks, it becomes hard to understand what he says. Same is the efficacy of most of our great crowd pullers in political arena. But when Advani speaks it has huge repercussions. And this time he speaks to bring the "terror accused" to book if found guilty.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A youth, prejudice and inquiry!

Probe and prejudice are incompatible. An impartial probe is devoid of any influences. A prejudice is pure from all the secualr values. Take Rizwanur Rahman's case as an example. An impartial but "delayed" process of digging out the truth is underway. The recent police action tells a different story. What transpired in the run up to the alleged suicide of this computer graphic-techie needs to be uncovered. A trial expedited as a result of widespread protests across the City of Joy does not seem reaching its logical end. Recent raids on the house of undergarment-tycoon Ashok Todi have revived the hope of justice. A mere death of an individual snowballed into a controversy. Death and controversy are two different things. Deaths are mourned and controversies orchestrated, not in all cases. The resultant controversy over Rizwan's death did cost a police commissioner his post and a newly-wed woman her husband. State government had to clarify its stand. Youth contribute in upsurge of a nation. This youth cleared the decks himself to invite his own death. Why hate wins over the love is a riddle. Both Rizwan and Priyanka adored each other against all odds. The odds were the caste, not the religoon. On a show aired on NDTV hosted by Barkha Dut last year, a Marwari from Kolkata defended the actions taken by Ashok Todi. Reason-----the caste. "Any Marwari could have done the same what Ashok Todi did in Priyanka's case." Central Bureau of Investigation has so far put two officers of the rank of an SP under trial. It may take months to prove the charges and send the "convicted accused" behind bars. CBI is considred an impartial investigative agency. It does not practise prejudice, it is widely perceived. We hear that progress it has made in Rizwan's "mysterious suicide" is a ray of hope for his bereaved family. Both Rizwan and Priyanka were taken for a ride. With a promise to return her to Rizwan within a week, Priyanka's uncle escorted her to her parents house. This was the point people changed their faces and things became obscure. Within a month the "youth" was found dead under "mysterious circumstances". His corspe lying by a raliway track was enough to establish that it was a "suicide". So a fair inquiry would determine the culpability of the accused. And the judgement will mete out justice to the youth.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Seed of Hatred Grows Into A Tree

A north Indian, another Raj has added ‘spark’ to the violence over the presence of north Indians in Maharshtra. Rahul Raj's act has further complicated the issue. Nobody knows with what intentions he came to Mumbai with a gun. Media reports say he arrived in Mumbai to deliver a message to MNS chief Raj Thackeray. One thing is clear that alone he could not deliver a body blow either to MNS or to its chief. All the demonstrations over the North Indians find no popular base to support them. The MNS or its followers still grope in the dark. Their demands are confined only to their core circle which believes in hatred. Ironically these north Indians live on the morsel they earn by putting unmatchable labour. In terms of the daily wage earnings, they constitute the large chunk of the working labours in the city. The daily requirements of Mumbai's over 17 million people, are catered to by these north Indians. So does the word 'Raj', in English which means 'rule' or 'government' or 'Satta' in Hindi, is really attached to troubles or bloodletting? Obviously it is not. It means a 'Constitutional' way to preside over a government came after a democratic procedure, election. It does not mean paralysing the day-to-day life? Everyone knows that power in politics never comes through legitimate means, not in all cases. There are a very few examples that adhere to the Constitutional edicts. Right from the booth capturing to poll-rigging, almost all outlawed activities occupy the front seat in a show called as 'elections'. However many have turned this ‘show’ of democracy into a ‘show’ of strength. However mostly these 'shows' have received poor responses. It does not mean that only the poor exercises the right to vote. Nothing is new to the MNS chief's anti-north India campaign. Needless to say, it is a campaign started against Indians. A campaign by the so called "sons of the soil" started against the 'other'. It was the result of this hate campaign against the north Indians that a youth from Bihar took to the violence. It’s like a retaliatory attempt on the part of the people at the receiving end. The ‘other’ Raj could not implement his plans. The incidence must have given sleepless nights to officials. This is what we feel about the authorities. If it is not the case then nobody knows where it will lead us. Rahul sorry Rahul 'Raj' from Bihar who managed to acquire a gun almost hijacked a bus running on route no 332. The bus that runs between SAKINAKA and ANDHERI must have been transporting huge number of people. It is necessary to mention the huge crowd. They can be the witness to the incidence, to the hatred that has seeped into peoples' mind. However, it was not unexpectable. Rahul who held the conductor of the bus (route no 332) hostage on gun point was shot dead by the police in Bailbazaar. It is matter of concern for the governments, Centre, Right or Left, to sit over the problem. This way they can pinpoint the aching points. The pain of hatred is slowly creeping into the whole body. Recently Bihar saw some counter protests. A Few of the enraged by the incidence over the exams in Mumbai took to the streets. They demonstrated against the atrocities meted out to the north Indians in Maharashtra. They protested the vandalisation of an exam centre by the activists of MNS led by Raj Thackeray. A decent number of north Indians appeared for the exam which is what 'coerced' the MNS members to go on rampage. Obviously it can never be justified. Till the time of writing this article two things have already happened. It doesn't matter whether they will yield results or not. Raj Thackeray has finally been arrested from a remote location in Konkan. Many think that his popularity has soared, a notion which sounds quite much true. The other is that prime minister Manmohan Singh has talked to chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh over the volatile situation in Mumbai. The premier has demanded an assurance from the CM. Our CM has responded enthusiastically by announcing a high level inquiry. Chief Secretary Johny Joseph has been assigned with the task to look into the episode. What will come out is the matter of time. But the truth is that the seeds of hatred sown by MNS have grown into a tree and started shedding the fruits.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Crisis Averted

The Congress-led UPA survived the August 22 no trust vote brought by the Left. The whole drama was marred by three BJP MPs accusing the ruling coalition of some inducement using the MP, money power. Somehow the government managed to survive and a new chapter began. The Manmohan Singh was seen on television waving the Victory sign. Recently the government nearly faced nearly the same situation. This time the threat was not from Left, it was from South. DMK having a strong hold in Tamil Nadu s part of its solidarity towards Tamils in Sri Lanka had planned a mass resignation of its MPs from Tamil Nadu. In all party meet convened by Karunanidhi, all the present adopted a resolution to resign en masse if the government fails to deliver as per their demands. Three of DMK's MPs especially Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi submitted their resignation to the chief minister himself. After seeing thr heat, the government through the foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon voiced its concern. As a result Sri Lankan government reassured that human rights violation in their fight against LTTE would not happen. On October 26 defence minister Pranab Mukherjee called upon Karunanidhi with Centre's assurances. This was the point whereby assurances and reassurances could be seen. The DMK chief alleying the UPA's fears assured Pranab that he will not put a pressure on Centre by going ahead with his threats, if it were to be implemented the DMK MPs would have resigned. That would have created a crisis for the UPA. But with a concrete efffort on the part of UPA managed to save it from another complicated situation. And another crisis was averted.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Caste Based Census

Madras High Court in its recent ruling has directed the Centre to conduct a caste wise census. The honourable court must have ruled after seeing many discrepancies in the number of backward people spread across the country. The SCs, STs, or Other Backward Classes constitute the main structure of India's leading castes. What will be the end result of the ruling is only the matter of time. Now let's have a look over two incidences that had huge implications.
The Gujjar agitation early this year had a certain demands based on castes. They demanded that their status of OBC be "upgraded" to the SC as they are deprived of a number of government facilities, in simple terms. The months long agitation blocked a national highway and derailed the transport running through the affected regions. The Rajasthan government almost gave in to their demands and accepted their proposals. But what many feared about the developments was that the giving in of the state government could have opened a Pandora's Box. In India their are huge number of tribes, sub-tribes that come under myriad number of castes and sub-castes. So what if every community leader stands up with a new set  of demands.? If it happens then it would become a mammoth task for the governments, both the Central and the respective state ones, to melt the ice. So can the caste based census provide a solution if such situation arrises? The debate does and will continue

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Unholy Conflict Changes The Equations

Hundred acres of land, two warring-identities and one inept establishment, these were the constituents of the so-called ‘land transfer row’ in Jammu and Kashmir. What followed the demonstrations was death and destruction. Death knocks without a prior intimation. Similarly, burning of effigies and problem of refugees in India have similar characteristics. They have a number of things in common. One of them is that they occur without news. The former is a result of protests and the later is a consequence of ethnic cleansing. During recent violence in Kashmir, India lost its most precious abstract object, secularism. Secularism can not be seen and touched. It is a far cry from rhetoric. It is not communicated from venom-spewing mouths but through one’s deeds. Slogan-shouting is an integral part of a protest. In Jammu & Kashmir during the land transfer row and the violence that ensued, slogans determined one’s level of secularism and sedition. The entire land-controversy was turned into a between ‘They’ and ‘Us’ squabble. It was propagated as a battle between the nationalists and the separatists.

So what triggered the controversy that pitted men, women and children against each other? People from different age group took to the street and shouted both anti-and-pro-India slogans. Already existing demographic division has crept further deep into peoples’ minds. It has divided the already polarized Hindus and Muslims in the state.
So where did the problems lie? Was it between separatists and the nationalists or between ‘They’ and ‘Us’ indeed? By all means it wasn’t. The question ‘why the controversy broke out in first place?’ needs to be answered.

The whole chronology into the episode says that the matter could have been prevented from turning into a full-fledged flare up with timely action which requires sagacity. It has seen marginalization on both sides.
On May 26 the Jammu and Kashmir government passed an order that allotted hundred acres of forest land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). SASB takes care of the two-month long yatra every year. This year the Yatra lasted between 18 June and 16 August. The transfer, which instilled a feeling of alienation among Muslims, drew fierce protests from the separatists groups and Muslim community.

One thing which must have been aired and printed widely was hushed up in the pandemonium.
The first protest did not come either from Muslims or from the Hindus . An uninterested entity raised many points against the land transfer, an NGO.
Reportedly some environmental groups had objected to the land transfer in the Baltal forest region. Instead of jumping the guns the government should have initiated a scientific study to dig the truth behind the objection. That could have protected the dispensation from humiliation and the people from agony.
All the hell broke loose when Jammu and Kashmir retracted its earlier order of transfer. This time Hindus felt insecure in their ‘own motherland’. And the rest is the history.
Continuous tri-partite parleys among Centre, Hindus and Muslims yielded no results. Sri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS) adopted a tough stand and wanted hundred acres of land restored to SASB to construct makeshift amenities during Yatra. An eighteen-member all party committee under home minister Shiv Raj Patil was constituted that yielded no results.

The problem and its roots lie deep in the hearts of people. The tangible alienation on the part of Muslims and the feeling of being deprived of a ‘piece of land’ in their own motherland triggered the violence.

The extent of alienation can be judged by reaching to those who feel it.
Shakil Ahmad first protested in 1990 against Indian rule in Kashmir. At 35 he is a salaried worker who is back on the roads. Shakil was among many who believed that their land was being taken away from Kashmiris. He said to NDTV, “We are not against Yatra. We are heartily going to support them.” NDTV quoted him as saying, “They won’t allow this to happen even at the cost of their lives.”
{ (June 26 2008)}

Hindus also feel some king of injustice meted out to them in their own motherland. The readers can see the degree of hatred by going through the following.
A blog on Kashmir says, "Secularism is a tool to wipe out Hindus from India." It continues to spew the venom by saying, "There is no word as 'secularism'. There is only one word 'nationalism'." These are the divisive forces that hamper the peace proceses. Such propagandist attitude can never generate results. To add to the woes, they add oil to the flame.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Scold

Never in my life I was so furious with myself when I failed to win the most venerated faculty, her trust. I thought that I was making an unsuccessful attempt to look intelligent. I thI wanted to be one. It was not the matter of losing on one assignment. Suddenly when I was called to her cabin I expected something good. As I left her cabin I was full of self pity and remorse and every other things that bring the self humiliation. But this time I have decided to take my faculties advice not for granted but for making best use of my potential. One thing which kept my soul alive was her encouraging criticism of my inability to live up to her expectations. She told me that I was very prominent in my interview then why I was deteriorating day by day. This was the point where the scold started. Being an obeying student I listened to her and at some point I wanted to ask her something. Words could not come out of my mouth decided. But to conclude I had experineced my scold.

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Evening To Celebrate

October 20 brought us a huge treat, a sort of assorted Punjabi dishes, among many things. It was a real experience. We were given a new life. After having our favourite dishes it turned the situation into a nostalgia. I missed my home in this four months first time. Reason. The good food. Siddhartha K G, with all his aspirations to be an administrator, threw us all a party tonight. A party that was full of camaraderie, mutual understanding because there were no heated exchanges this time. I had a horrible experience during one such gathering at our place, Jains Antariksa at Kodambakkam, when I, showing my friendliness, pulled down one of my friends half pant. Nothing would have happened if I had stopped after he warned me to stay away from such things. An aspirant, who could have made a best athlete or cricketer or could have done wonders had he adopted any sport as a profession chose to keep a low profile. Fruaght with the qualities of a good human being he did not demand to contribute to the enormous bill. It is important to tell those who visit this blog regularly why we went out this evening and had a feast. His sister gave birth to a lovely boy, who she thinks will do wonders like K G, at some point. I wonder some times what a child brings with him when he opens his eyes in this world. By no means unprecedented degree of happiness. no other height can match the altitude of the happiness due to a new arrival in any family. Series of rejoicing happens follwed by feasts. But for my friends it may have been only a chance to fill their stomach. I enjoyed it because K G's sister had a reason to rejoice. Our sister had a reason to be happy. But whatever my be the reason behind her happiness, our happiness, it was a time to party. An evening to celebrate.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another Feather For Indian Literature

The Man Booker for 2007 went to the young and charming Arvind Adiga for his debut novel "The White Tiger." Till the announcement of the the highest citation in the literary world it was hardly inticipated that the writer in his early literary days would manage to bag the coveted 50 000 sterling and a recognition. Adiga who started his carrer as a Business Reporet broke his family norms which was dominated by the medical professinals. His uncle is a renowned medical professinal who runs his establishment in Bangalore. His father currently in Australia is also from the same medical world serving the cause of humanity. The writer who lost his mother at vey young age when he was in standard X was never perturbed by the tragic event. Emerging from the shamble he rised from the confines and went to study at Oxford to realise his dreams. After graduating in Economics and finishing other masterly educations he came back to India. As a media person he shifted his base to Mumabai. According to his uncle his mother was the main driving force that attracted the young author towards the glamour of success. When she died he decided to move on as the world around him moved on. His debu literary work has not only won him the prestigious Booker but at the same time some harsh crticism from the literary world. Those who always portary India in positive picture have criticised the authors fictional work. They believe that his book "The White Tiger" portrays India and its society badly and stereotypes the country. Many of them have put foraward how the BBC used to broadcast cows on India's streets when the channel could have highlighted other things. "The White Tiger" debates two India. One "the Dark" and the other "the Brighter one." Set on the backdrop of the class conflict, the rich and the poor divide, it talks about a character "Balram Halwa" a visionary who progresses to become an entrepreneur. To make his dreams come true Balram uses the illegitimate means. In an interview to the BBC Arivnda emphasised that there is no legitimate way to climb the ladder leading to the riches but the tool of crime. "In India people become rich eother through crime or through politics which is a variant of crime." The story of Balram Halwai is another of the rags to riches story, but it has the overtones of the crime, a tool utilised by him to reach the laddeer. The author says that the novel belongs to Delhi as he finds the city close to his heart. "The White tiger is from Delhi as the protagonist in the novel is based on a character, though fictitiously, from Delhi itself," he elaborates. Enshrining huge dreams in his mind, Balram Halwai lands a chauffeur's job. After winning the trust and seeing the glamour inriches he murders his employee and with the booty starts a business. The entrepreneurial skills which he got naturally makes him much more optimistic and helps realise his dream. howver the nothion that in India you can attain wealth either through politics or through crimes has not gone down well with the literary circle. They believe that the author should have avoided the conflicting notions as it is tantamount to a ceratin way of profling. Debates continue. The author also may be revelling. But one fact is that India has seen another of her literary genious, Arvind Adiga.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A town bleeds more by propaganda...

On September 29 the terror revisited the textile town of Malegaon in the Holy month of Ramadan. The outcome was unending chaotic developments that overpowered the restraint of the people. Many present on the post-blast site took to violence and attacked the police, as preliminarily, the cops reportedly declared that a cylinder had exploded.
But violence can never be the answer to any violent perpetration. People can’t justify it when they resort to it if they don’t find a solution to their problems.
Located in north Maharashtra in Nasik, the city is a distinct example of a ghetto.
Here a river, Mausam nadi, divides Hindus and Muslims into two separate ideological entities. Rivers are considered as uniting force as they flow into different cultures and demography. In India few of them have religious connectivity attached to them. They have no boundaries.
The five bridges over Mausam nadi act as frontiers when it comes to the communal conflagration. People from two sides are held back to cross over the bridge during religious strife.
It is a common phenomenon whenever a riot breaks out that the anti-violence government forces take a centre stage and occupy the entry and exit points at these bridges, on Mausam nadi.
In a city that has a population of more than seven lakh, the segregating forces somewhat have succeeded in poisoning young minds. These immature minds could have been fed with constructive ideas. The father of Indian nuke-bomb A P J Abdul Kalam, who likes to mingle with young minds, has written a book called Ignited Minds. But, being in oblivion, he might not be aware that there is a continuous campaign across the country that feeds these ignited minds with misinformation. Those who remember the pattern behind riot after riot don’t need any further explanation.
Even a small sparkle can snowball into a massive fire at any point of time.
Many believe that the blast that claimed at least six innocent lives and seriously injured as many as 80, was part of a larger conspiracy to polarize the pluralistic Indian social structure. The culprits wanted to trigger a communal flare up as they detonated it in the Holy month of Ramadan.
This is what Hindus and Muslims equally believe.
But hats off to the sagacity of Hindus and Muslims that, the tragedy did not turn into a gruesome wave of violence.
The majority of the Indian populace believes that the series of blasts in the country are nothing more than a gimmick to divide the society on communal lines. Earlier it used to be riot after riot, now the blast after blast. It has damaged the already frail social structure. It has left the bleeding country bandage-less and deprived it of the necessary treatment.
History tells us that the polarization of communities never happened overnight. People attacked each other. The savage, irrespective of the religion they believed in, chased men, women and children to their death only to vent their unfounded anger.
Communities especially the religious minorities live in ghettos. The most common quality of a living organism is to find a safer place to be in, even the ants rush to their havens before the onset of rains.
Previous studies suggest that religious minorities like Dalits, Sikhs or Parsis prefer to live in ghettos. Here their natural characteristic of self-protection and retaining their identities overpowers their desire to be in mainstream.
With a history of a series of communal confrontations Malegaon was always looked down upon, it was always branded as haven for the anti-socials. Many used derogatory languages against Muslims and called Malegaon as Mini-Pakistan.
Successive dispensations overlooked the town which fell further deep into the chaos. Many blame the people themselves for the poor state of the town.
The writer once happened to speak to a man probably in his seventies. When asked about the deplorable conditions under which Muslims live he replied immediately. To the writer’s shock the answer was quite unexpected.
He quoted a popular verse from Quran which was paraphrased into lines by the scholar-cum- poet Mohammed Iqbal that means, “The god never changes the (abysmal) state of any community (nation) until or unless the community (nation) itself contemplates to improve that (abysmal) state.”

Nothing exists in this world without a reason. Smoke does not billow out without a fire.
The poor standard of living because of lowest level of income deviated many to the world of crime. The crime once used to be at its height in Malegaon has died its own death. These ruthless anti-social elements wer once on the rampage and butchered each other mercilessly. The most unpopular murder was committed on the day of Eid. The writer who was not born at the time has heard the story many times since his childhood. After saying Eid prayers Bhoorya Dada as he was known cut the throat of his rival Moosa Dada when both of them confronted each other after EID Namaz. These horrible accounts are unending and would require reams of papers to write.
It is bitter fact that to end the menace no body came forward with a concrete formula. Everybody practiced the rhetoric.
The town once considered as the Manchester of Maharashtra has been neglected on many counts. Muslims depend upon their sole source of bread and butter, the powerlooms. They weave cotton and now polyester fabrics. Malegaon boasts more than one lakh sets of these cloth-weaving machines which are the mainstay of the community. Powerful rich Marwaris buy these weaved clothes from the Muslims in the common gathering place of Taanba Kaanta.
The city came into existence as a result of mass exodus of Muslims from now Uttar Pradesh. A caravan came at the banks of the river Mausam in the late nineteenth century. Most of who migrated where weaver or Julaha Muslims which is a caste granted OBC status by the government of India.
Change is the integral part of the world. Change happens everywhere. It happened in Malegaon. After the communal riots blasts brought change. This time it came in the form of people becoming alert about their rights.
After the blasts it was time to put the ointment to the wounds. Sonia Gandhi visited the textile town with an entourage of ministers and officials to hand out the compensation checks. To astonishment of many, the families of few of those who died in the blasts refused to accept them. They only wanted the acts of terror crushed. They demanded a thorough and fair probe into it.
Never in the history of communal violence or acts of terror, was witnessed that people refused the government aids.
There is nothing more dangerous than the powerful tool of propaganda. It has become quite tougher now to dig into the ground realities. People don’t bother about it. They are spoon-fed with biased information. They practice persecution.
Two blasts one on September 8 2006 and the other in the Holy month of Ramadan this year have failed to make Hindus and Muslims turn their backs towards each other. Hindus have donated their bloods to save the lives of Muslims. They have helped rush the wounded to hospitals in one way or the other.
For reasons unknown to many, Malegaon has witnessed many communal flare ups since independence. It is unnecessary to write “since independence” as it was the point where the mass polarization of communities happened. Millions ended homeless and hundreds were butchered in the name of religion as a result of partition. The legacy of the hatred continues. The blasts which have replaced the riots also continue. But the need of the hour is to stop propaganda. It divides the minds. And minds are the biggest building blocks of any country. It is up to those who are at the power corridors how to prevent the building blocks from turning into stumbling blocks. As someone said minds can easily be ignited. So why not ignite them for turning the century into ours, century of the people of India.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Second Term

The first semester at the Asian College of Journalism ended on septembe the 30. We were relived as there were no more assignments on the prowl to haunt and hunt us. After one week's vaccation all of us have come back now from our respective hometowns. A few of them have brought with them sweets prepared and sold countyr's most famous sweet makers, many of them after cutting down on theri travel expenses have brought confectioneries which are much more sweeter than the sweets. The sweets offered by one of my friends who happpens to be a girl created a warm feeling and increased the so called enmity among ourselves. This enmity only exists only during the time when we are unable to cater to each other demands like bringing a cup of coffe from the tea stall. It also reaches its hight when someone demands an ice cream and the fellow student refuses to fetch that. I remembeme one such occasion when there was a near war like situation when one of us became outrageous only because someone hooted while a girl was entering the gates of the coveted college. The matter was solved with a timely intervention of our beloved dean. These are the samll skirmishes that happen time and again. Humans nees oxygen. We at Asian College of Jouranlism need heated exchanges, skirmishes, quarrels and hate campaigns among ourselves to survive. Many say that all the above play a dividing role when it comes to humans living together. But in our case, note that the Asian College of Jurnalism is a microcosm of the pluralistic Indian society, it is mandatory for every one to indulge in at least a fight per month. This is an incredible phenomenon that no body would believe untill or unless he or she visits our college and witnesses it. I aometimes wonder why people fight in the name of religion, caste, creed or any other quality that identifies we humans. The more we fight the more is the vigour with which we hug each other. A torrent of affection comes crashing down on every waring individual from both the camps. I wonder why India faces riot after riot when Muslims donate bloods to save lives of Hindus whenever a catastrophe or an act of cowardice takes place. I wonder why people burn houses of their fellow humans and theri fellow human beings, men, women and children when Hindus offer shelter to the frightened Muslims who were chased after by the violent rioters. I wonder why Hindus and Muslims are at loggerheads when Hindus and Muslims rush to the circumstances of any apocalyptic event and work shoulder to shoulder to help the victims. the answer lies in our secular and sentimental values. Those hate mongers can never see that the majority of our people still believes in the secular values. The values that the architects of our country like Jawahar Lal Nehru and Maulan Abul Kalam Azad had instilled in us. The values which the aggressive freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh and his companions instilled in us. I really can't even to think to forget the moments I am spending at Asian College of Juranlism. Only the earthly matters like the wall built with brick, cemnet and lime divideds our body when we are fast asleep. But our minds are always together. There's not a single manly force in the world that can damage our unity. We cry when ACJ cries. We laugh when ACJ laughs. And the ACJ cries or laughs when something bad and good happens to its students. The first term ended last month. the first week of second term passed like nothing. And the second term seems would end soon. Nothing in this fleeting world is permanent. There's nothins that is constant. People move. Their fate or destiny also shifts position. People reach their destination or point of earning his or her bread and butter. We also will move one day. o the unendeing journey. the journey of cultivating a good career. Life moves on. The first term moved. I pray the atmosphere at ACJ never moves. This is the symbol of secular and tolerent India. A ray of hope in the darkness of hatred, communal violence and killings in the name of religions. For a person like me the second term doesn't matter if it moves or not. But the secular values of ACJ matters the most. Lets pray the second tem ends happily and the culture at ACJ remains the same.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Wait Got Over

It's hardly belivable, but some people say that "to wait is much more harder experince than to taste death." Like many I also have to wait on a number of occasions. Be it waiting in a queue to get the carosene from the monthly quota or to acquire the railway reservation. Even I had to wait quite patiently for the vaccations to come. Those eagerly awaited holidays at last came with the end of our first semester. On the very same day on September 30, finally everything was going to be a fun. As most of us studying at the Asian College of Jurnalism embarked upon a journey that was poised to bring happiness. The happiness of being catching up with their friends and family. The happiness of being away from the daily bombardment of assignments. A few of them reached on the very same day and met up with their friends in theri hometowns. Thanks to the air traffic. Travelling by air is the most coveted and appreciable mode of transport as people can move from one point of the world to the other in hours and sometimes in minutes. But the journey that I took was trurning out to be a never ending travel that lasted for thirty hours. Thanks to the inconvenience of not being able to travel directly to Manmad junction because there is no direct train connecting Manmad to Chennai central or vice versa. Its a break journey, if my knowldge is right. I take a detour whenever I want to reach Malegaon via Manmad. Manmad is not more than a thirty minute road journey from Malegaon. But this time the thrity hours long travel was taking toll on me. It was getting on my nerve. I was craving to be with my friends and family. For those regular readers of this blog must be astonished why I was dying to get to my native plave this time. To discontinue the whodunit I must reveal the thing. It was Eid. nothing brings more happiness than celebrating the festivals one's family members. Whether it is Eid, Edi ul Adha, Dipawali, Dasehra or Holi or Christmas. I somehow managed to overcome the eagerness and reached to my place. Spent a happy adorable time with my friends and family. The one-week-long holiday ended without giving any prior intimation. unfortunnately this vaccation period was marred by uncertain circumstances. Only one week back a blast rocked the textile town killing at least six persons and injuring hundred others. to add to the woes after terror it was time to bear with the human sentimental attacks on humanity itself. the adjoining Dhule city witnessed a riot of worst of its kind. Till the time of writing this article the violent atmosphere has spill over to some interior parts of the district. While I was packing back for Chennai the surrounding was abuzz with baseless and unfounded rumours. The wind was lagging far behind and the rumour mills were churning the fastes travelling abstract thing unendingly. That also resulted in wrsening the situation. My holidays were over by then. Now i was very evry eager to get back to the Asain College of Jouranalism. My wait was over and I left Malegaon for Chennai in search of peace.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On The Way Back To Chennai

In a charged situation it is hardly seen that the unwieldy shutters of rumour mills are down. Exactly like may othe shop owner who for the fear of a backlash down their shutters. Recently Malegaon and Dhule, twin cities in north Maharshtra confronted nearly a similar situation. The frmer was faced with another terror strike. Though later the mob went out of contrl and attacked police men, may be for a reason or two, the turbulence turned into a nightmare for those who seek peace and who want to live in harmony.
The later where tearing of a poster culiminate in a full fledged large scale communal frenzy, the mob attacked each others' economic, social and commercial establishments. Amidst these chrged stiuations I spent my vaccations with fear in my heart and soul. The fear of back to back attacks or backlash. To add to the woes the rumour mngers acted as oil to the flame. The rumours chnaged their colour and ingredents with the each number of mouths it passed. But thanks to the conscious citizens who prevented any further unfounded violence. So amids ths situation I embarked upon my 25 hur long journry to report back to the college in Chennai