Tuesday, 29 December 2015

What Should Be India's New Year Resolution?

So we are at that time of the year again when everyone resorts to making resolutions for the New Year and following them throughout. While personal resolutions have always been very common, have you ever thought of making a New Year resolution for the country? What do you think must be India’s New Year resolution for 2016?

Research has it that the most common personal resolution made by people is losing weight and getting in the right shape every year. Improving a relationship and being good to people is the 8th most common New Year resolution made by people across the world. But, this year, let’s start something new. Let’s make a resolution for the betterment of our country that would not only benefit us but also our future generations. What say?

What I mean by making a resolution for the country is that every single individual must pledge to be a better citizen of the nation and stop being a part of social crimes and evils. For instance, let is resolve to not take or offer bribes in 2016 and thereafter. If every single individual of the country pledges to this, then our nation can become corruption-free. Isn’t it?

Yes, I know this is something next to impossible. Not everyone has the heart of gold and some people have a never-ending hunger for money. But, simple moves and resolutions from our side can help make our nation a sturdy one and a better place to live in. For every parent, let your New Year resolution be that you will teach your sons to respect women and protect them. If every parent of this generation teaches their sons to be respectable, humble and responsible towards women, our next generation will see fewer crimes such as rapes and murders. Of course, making India completely crime-free is not possible but we can still try to influence as many people as we can.

Let us all make a resolution to respect one another and every human on this planet and not judge people on the basis of caste, creed, race, religion, language or gender. Let us all make a resolution to care more for our environment and avoid polluting our surroundings in any way. Let us all make a resolution to help one another, be kind and generous and raise our voice every time we witness crime or injustice happening around us. Many people in today’s world do not care about the injustice happening around them due to a lack of time and insecurity, fear or carelessness. But, there can be anyone of us in the same situation or even our loved ones. So let us all come together to raise voice against anything and everything that kills our unity and integrity.

If you guys have any more resolutions to share, please comment in the comment box below. I would love to get responses from you. Also, let me know what your resolutions are for the New Year 2016.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Wishing Everyone A Very Merry Christmas!

Dear all my readers,

Here’s wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

It’s winter again, the merry month of December, that brings with it happiness, joy and fun-filled weekends. This is the time to recount every moment of joy that we lived throughout the year and gear up to give a warm welcome to the New Year. Hope this Christmas illuminates everyone’s life and brings peace, health, wealth and happiness to everyone.

On this day, let us all pray that our country gets freed from all sorts of social and political evils, violence, terrorism, corruption and crime. Let’s hope and pray that the entire world comes together as a family, unites to destroy every evil prevalent and works together to help one another progress and prosper.

Christmas has always been my favourite festival; the Christmas Tree, the lights and decorations, the gifts, Santa, everything has been exciting to me since childhood. I believe angels do exist in the world, not the way we imagined them to be in childhood like the ones with wings and elegantly dressed in pretty white dresses, but in the form of simple common people like us who have the capability to make a difference to the society and influence lives. I hope all these angels help spread the message of peace and humanity across the world so that we live in a better country and world.

Lastly, a big thank you to all my readers who have stayed loyal to me and read what I liked to share with the world. Lately, I have been grateful to be chosen a winner in two contests; the I’m Influence Blog War and #madeofgreat contest by Indiblogger. This was possible only because of the love and trust that you guys have shown on me. Thank you all once again. Keep reading, liking, commenting and sharing if you like my posts.

Once again, wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance!

Monday, 21 December 2015

No Miscarriage Of Justice, Certainly Not This Time!

Crime has not been foreign to our country. In fact, we have witnessed high profile crimes and cases that eventually went forward to become national interests and also motivated changes in laws and order. One among these is the popular Delhi Gang Rape of 2012 that shook entire India and also made headlines across the world. This is one case that is classified among the ‘rarest of the rare’ cases and the entire world has been looking forward to the verdict against the accused.

Although all the living accused were sentenced to death (God knows when the sentence will be implemented though), the juvenile accused who was younger than 18 years of age at the time of the crime was sentenced to only three years according to the juvenile law. And, since the accused has served the three-year term now, he is set to walk free this December.

I have been seeing a lot of petitions being circulated requesting the Judiciary to prolong the punishment of the accused who is believed to have been the most dangerous and ruthless of all. Just because he was a minor at the time of committing the crime, of course, we cannot overlook the nature of the crime he committed.

Rape itself is among one of the most brutal crimes that one can commit. Destroying a woman completely, dragging out her internal body parts and attempting to kill her along with a male friend is surely not something that deserves a term of three years at a reformation centre. If the boy had the understanding and audacity of raping a woman and killing her, I don’t think he was anything lesser than the other accused just because he was not 18 years of age then.

Anyway, the number of petitions and pleas being made to the court to reconsider the victim’s sentence and put him behind the bars is certainly a good move. It is good to see that people are actually fighting for a girl who they did not know but are still concerned because India lost a braveheart daughter like her. Of course, despite the changes made in the law, rapes have not receded. But, if, in this case, the juvenile is tried in a way similar to that of adults, it will discourage minors from committing such crimes and create a fear in their mind.

We all think miscarriage of justice should not happen, at least not in this case!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

So The Court Means It Was A Driverless Car? Seriously?

The much-awaited verdict of the Salman Khan hit and run case back in 2002 finally came yesterday leaving all his fans and Bhai himself joyous and celebrating. The Bombay High Court on Thursday, i.e., December 10, 2015, acquitted Salman Khan of all the charges on him in the hit and run case and he walked free from the court. Of course, this was a big moment to celebrate for all the Bhai fans and the social media immediately went viral with countless posts, some congratulating him, some expressing their disappointment and some others full of sarcasm and memes.

But amid all the funny messages, tweets and posts making rounds in the media, there is this serious question! Who was driving Salman Khan’s car that night? Did the court actually mean that neither Salman nor his driver was driving the car? Does this mean that the car was drunk? Or it was a driverless car? What exactly happened on the fateful night? C’mon Indian Judiciary, a person lost his life in the incident and a few others were injured. This amounts to murder if you remember! And murder is a punishable offence. An offence which should never be forgiven because every life is precious, whether it belongs to a rich or poor!

I don’t understand how an institution as large and prominent as the High Court can give such a verdict just because there aren’t proofs enough to prove anyone guilty. Or maybe things were manipulated because corruption is not something alien to us. But we consider our legal system, our Judiciary, among the three pillars of the society and if verdicts like this come up, will anyone trust the system? Isn’t it completely baseless and irrelevant to assume that no one actually drove the car that night because there are no proofs to prove it?

I can remember the double murder case of 14-year-old Aarushi and house help Hemraj in 2008 that met a fateful end in a similar way. There weren’t any valid proofs to prove anyone guilty in the case and the case was finally closed alleging the parents guilty of killing their own child. No, I am not saying that the Talwars did not murder their daughter or they are innocent, but on what basis were they convicted? As much as I know of the case, the servants in the house, i.e, the driver, compounder and one more aide had committed to have murdered the two in their narco tests. But, since narco tests are not admissible in the court as proofs, the case was shut down, claiming that the parents had killed Aarushi and Hemraj.

This is how our judicial system works! You never know who will accuse you of killing someone when you wouldn’t even be knowing the victim, or who would set you free for killing people (the latter is possible only when you have lots of money and contacts, of course)!

Monday, 7 December 2015

The Plight Of Sportspersons In India, Barring Cricketers Of Course!

In India, when we say ‘sports’, most of the people can first think of Cricket. Cricket has been considered one of the greatest sports by Indians for several years now, although the National Game remains to be Hockey. And, when we are not talking of Cricket, what most Indians can make out of the word ‘sports’ is Football. No other sport is given as much importance as these two sports, although we have so many that we cannot count on our fingers.

So, it is a fact that India has numerous sports and countless sportspersons who excel in them. There are shooting, basketball, golf, boxing, wrestling, volleyball, archery, weight lifting and so many more. But how many of us know about all of these or the players associated with them? Personally, I don’t think anyone who is not greatly fond of sports would know about these sports. Reason? Well, they have never been given footage by the media or never received any kind of popularity or emphasis from the government. The government has clearly ignored all of these sports over the years, a result of which, the sportspersons associated with them are leading a miserable life.

A news headline published by NDTV yesterday is a classic example that tells the tale of the plight that sportspersons go through every day. The news brought to light the tough life of Pushpa Gupta, a 21-year-old National level shooter from Gujarat, who now sells noodles on a roadside stall along with her father to earn a living. Having represented Gujarat at National Level shooting competitions, the girl has now given up on her passion because she cannot afford the guns. Such is the life that our National level sportspersons are leading today. According to the news report, Pushpa attracts customers to her stalls with all the medals and prizes that she has won so far.

A few years ago, one more such story made rounds in the media. It showed women representing the National Women’s Kabaddi team waiting for an auto rickshaw on a roadside with the Kabaddi World Cup in hand. No kind of transportation facilities were provided for these players by the government after they made India proud at the global level and got home the World Cup for us.

On the other hand, when there are cricket matches or World Cup matches, the entire country sits glued in front of the television; the players and teams are appreciated and congratulated by politicians and even awarded for their contribution to their sport. But what about these players? Aren’t they important? They are as talented as the cricketers are, aren’t they? They have also made India proud a number of times by bringing home awards and medals. But because these sports are ignored by the government and not given any sort of popularity by the media, these players get completely neglected and have to struggle to meet the odds meet in their everyday life eventually.

My only point of writing this article is that people should share this so that it reaches the government and all these talented players get their rights, some form of help and recognition. After making the nation proud, they surely do not deserve to struggle every day to fill their stomach. The media should give such sports importance and popularity too so that people come to know about them.

Also, read this awesome article on the plight of various non-cricketing sportspersons:

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Lokmat Office Attack: A Classic Example Of Misinterpretation!

Amid all the talk of tolerance and intolerance going on among people and making headlines in the media, this comes as a classic example of misinterpretation. As I was checking out the morning headlines yesterday, this news caught my attention and I was unable to decide whether I should be furious and condemn it or simply laugh it out. Lokmat, one of the leading and widely circulated daily in Maharashtra witnessed attacks on its offices at several places two days ago after it published a cartoon in one of its news stories on Sunday.

Initially, when I went through the news, I couldn’t make out what the exact issue was and what made people go so furious as to attack the daily’s offices at several places. After reading about 4-5 news reports of the same news published in different dailies and websites did I come to know that the newspaper had published the cartoon of a swine in one of its news stories that was named ‘ISIS cha Paisa’ which translates to ISIS money. The Islamic State has been making a lot of headlines in the international media these days due to its growing power and atrocities and also due to the recent attacks in Paris of which it claims responsibility. The cartoon published by Lokmat depicted currencies of several countries falling into the piggy bank that had the name of Prophet Mohammad written on it just like the ISIS flag.

Protestors, as reported by news channels, attacked several Lokmat offices across Maharashtra and also burnt the Sunday copies of the daily to demonstrate their anger. People also resorted to social media to condemn the newspaper and express their views. The cartoon, they said, was derogatory as the swine is considered haraam (inauspicious) in Islam. The Muslims argued that the cartoon had hurt their sentiments by showing a pig and establishing its connection with Islam and ISIS.

When I saw this news, honestly, it made me laugh. It also made me think whether people actually have any work in life rather than misinterpreting every single thing that crops up in the media and then demonstrating their anger through violent protests. Okay, let’s just imagine that the cartoon hurt the sentiments of Muslims. But, they could have simply written to the editor mentioning it and Lokmat would have apologized if they had made a mistake anyway. In my personal view, I don’t think Lokmat has made any mistake, although the daily has already apologized for it.

Ever since childhood, we all are aware of piggy banks and most of us have also used them to store money that our parents and relatives gave us occasionally. In fact, a piggy bank has always been a commonly used symbol globally that depicts savings, money and finances in general. The graphic designer who made the cartoon, of course, did not have any intention of hurting people according to me. The cartoon was a simple and clear illustration of how ISIS gets its money through various sources across the world for its terrorist activities. Thus, the currencies depicted belonged to different countries and were falling in a single piggy bank that was shown to belong to ISIS. Therefore, the script or the name of Prophet Mohammad on it, just like it features on the ISIS flag!

Why do people always have to misunderstand and misinterpret things and then resort to protesting in a violent way? Aren’t there better things to think about in life or grave problems in our country to deal with? Chennai is battling the worst flood in 100 years, flights have been canceled and thousands are stranded, the entire city is under water! Isn’t this an issue more serious than a cartoon published by a daily? People have time to gather and protest, to burn newspapers and attack offices, but how many of them actually thought of helping people in Chennai? Why don’t people come out together to offer help to others rather than causing violence in the society?

It is high time each and every one of us thinks about this and acts in a sane way. Humanity, after all, is greater than any religion in the world!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Does Our Media Tell Us The Complete Truth?

There have been numerous debates among people on social platforms lately on diverse issues. Whether it is a fatal crime or rape case, violence in the country and across the world or the comments made on it by prominent people, everyone nowadays has an opinion to share and express with the world. But, how do we form our opinions? Ever thought of it seriously?

I am a Journalism graduate and we had a subject known as ‘Journalism and Public Opinion’ during our course. This is where I first thought about my own opinions seriously and realized the truth behind it. Yes, our opinions are largely based on our media, the content that it shows us. Referred to as the fourth pillar of the society, the media has a huge relevance to play in our day to day life and influence and shape our opinions on diverse issues. In fact, all our opinions of different subjects and matters happening across the world originate from the media or from the content that the media puts in front of us, in particular.

If the media reports a man to have molested a woman, the man is cursed by every single person in the country. No one ever tries to understand the man’s point of view or even find out the truth behind the news. Immediately posts go viral on social media and criticism starts pouring him. But, none of us, even for a second, considers the other side of the story. Does anyone think that he might not be a molester or a rapist and the media must have mistaken him to be one? No!

A classic example for this is the Jasleen Kaur case that took place in August. The young girl had alleged a man named Sarvjeet Singh to have eve-teased her at a traffic signal in Delhi and immediately the social media was brimming with posts criticizing the young man and shouting insults for him. Not for a single moment did anyone consider him to be innocent or find out the truth. Even people who did not know Jasleen and Sarvjeet in person made an opinion about them based on what the media showed them. The media accused Sarvjeet of eve-teasing and so did the entire country. Only later was it found out that Sarvjeet was innocent and Jasleen had created the entire fuss to gain popularity.

As our opinions are influenced to a great extent by the media, we now have this subject called ‘Journalism and Public Opinion’ introduced in the academic curriculum for media students. And, to my surprise, I discovered facts that made me lose my faith in media. The media, whether print, electronic or digital, does not give you complete facts in reality! And, when we are living in an era of sensationalism where topics such as crime, violence and sex sell, the media ultimately focuses on making money by publishing news that can get them more readers and viewers. Moral journalism has become far from being a myth and ethics have taken a secondary position.

I had written an article on media earlier (Read: Dear Media, What’s With You?) focusing on how sensational the media of today is! However, let me tell you a fact here, apart from reporting sensational news, the media, in reality, only lets people know half the information. Of course, there are reasons, some good and some bad. Sometimes, the media conceals information such as facts and figures in order to prevent the spread of panic among people. However, sometimes, or many a times I can say, the media conceals information, facts and figures because they are related to the rich and dominant class of people who have a huge role to play in their development and growth.

To quote an example, Akash Ambani, the son of the famous business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, had killed two people with his Aston Martin car about two years ago. But, did any news channel or newspaper report it? No! In fact, the case was covered as much as possible by the media. Most of the time, media covers unpleasant information and facts pertaining to people such as business tycoons and politicians who fund these organizations and help them grow. When Tarun Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting a female journalist working at his own office, the case was reported by rival media agencies so as to bring Tehelka down. However, what happened to the case later? No one knows! Only when I searched for information on Google did I understand that Tarun Tejpal had been granted bail by the Supreme Court in 2014.

It is a matter of fact that the rich businessmen, media tycoons and politicians in India have been providing funds to the media and, in return, concealing important facts and information about themselves or their own organizations that can spoil their image in the society. So, the news that we see on TV or read in magazines and newspapers today is highly influenced and scrutinized; where there are facts that can destruct the images of these rich barons, the news is altered so that people know only what they are supposed to know. And, we then make an opinion based on this half information that the media gives us.

Of course, the only source of information for a common man is media. But, before making an opinion about someone of judging them, know that the media alters news and does not reveal the complete truth. Think rationally before you make an opinion!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Amir Khan Isn't Anti-National... He Is Being Portrayed As One!

Lately, the internet has been going viral with posts about the Amir Khan controversy. Amir Khan, one of the most popular and adored actors of the B-Town has been receiving enormous opposition from the people for comments he did not make! People have literally resorted to calling him a traitor and bashing him online for calling India intolerant and unsafe. My question here is, why is Amir Khan being criticized for a statement that he did not make in the first place? And why are people responding to a statement made by Kiran Rao?

Okay, so I feel everyone has got the freedom of expression in our country that is conferred upon every citizen alike by the Constitution. So, as far as it does not cause loss to anybody, we, the citizens of India, can express ourselves freely and convey our opinions and views in public, just like I am writing this post to express my views on the controversy. Kiran Rao simply made a statement that she feels unsafe in India due to the growing violence and religious discrimination among people. She feels it will cause a bad impact on her children’s mind if such an atmosphere prevails in the country. What’s wrong with that?

As soon as the media reported this issue, trolls and posts started making a buzz on social media and Whatsapp. I have even received posts that suggest Amir Khan to leave India and shift to Pakistan, Afghanistan or Syria if he thinks India is intolerant. Personally, I feel India doesn’t need to be compared with these nations in any way. Of course, the situation is much better in India than these countries when it comes to violence and killing of innocents. Kiran Rao never said that these nations are better than India. She only said she wishes to shift in another country where she and her family could lead safe and sound lives, where her children would be raised in a peaceful environment and grow up to be non-violent, responsible citizens. Do you know there are so many such people in India, or mothers, in particular, who think of this in order to give their children a better life?

Every year, so many people from India move abroad for studies and job and settle there. Many of them, even after completing their education, do not return to India. In fact, following the reservation system in India and many other evils, we have lost so many genius brains to other countries who are now serving companies such as Apple, Google, etc. But nobody blames them or calls them traitors! Why? Even they had the same thoughts in their mind while they moved to these foreign countries to serve huge companies abroad, isn’t it? They did not see enough scope to grow and prosper in India which made them move out and serve other nations. Then why is such as big fuss created when Amir Khan’s wife mentioned about moving out of the country? Is it something new?

Other than the funny ones, Whatsapp and Facebook also witnessed posts stating that Col. Mahadik’s wife who recently had to bid farewell to her braveheart husband forever when he lost his life fighting the terrorists, wants both her sons to join the army and serve the nation. On the contrary, Kiran Rao wants to flee the nation because of her insecurity. Now, this is a case of perspective according to me. Not everyone is brave or has the guts to sacrifice their lives. In fact, most people who criticised Amir Khan and Kiran Rao for their statement themselves won’t be willing to lay their lives for the nation. Col. Mahadik was indeed a brave soldier and has a brave family. But that doesn’t mean someone who is not as brave must be criticised.

Another irrelevant thing that people did was to sort of boycott Snapdeal, uninstall its app from their phones, just because they have Amir Khan as their brand ambassador. Dear people, Amir Khan and Snapdeal are different entities altogether. None of them have any connection with each other’s personal views. So please start thinking rationally before you act!

And, by the way, those who declared Amir Khan a traitor by making an opinion based on posts on Whatsapp and social media, let me tell you that Amir Khan clearly said that the statement that his wife made was disastrous and big. He is clearly not happy with the statement that his wife made, nor does he plan to leave the nation. This is clearly a case on media hype because the media perhaps has no other important issues to report currently.

Please think rationally before you make any opinion!


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Surprising Encounter With A Stranger #madeofgreat

We meet a lot of people in our lifetime. Sure, all of them leave some or the other impact on our lives. Personally, I believe that every person enters our life for a specific reason, to give us lessons, both good and the bitter ones! If I were to list down a few that had a huge positive impact on my life and inspired me in innumerable ways, of course, I would write the names of my parents and grandparents on the top. But, apart from these vital people in my life, I happened to meet someone in my life who laid a huge impact on me and inspired me in many strong ways.

So there was this usual Saturday, about five years ago, when I was seated in my class, attending the long Saturday lectures. I was in the 12th grade at the time. As I was waiting for the lecture to end and head home, my phone beeped and it was my sister. An engineering student then, she had her assignment submissions on that day. When I opened the text, she sounded quite panicked since she had forgotten back an assignment at home. Of course, it was a serious matter since the non-submission would mean she would fail the internals for the particular subject. And now, after my lectures, I was expected to rush home, collect the assignment and travel all the way to Bandra, as quick as I can, to hand it to her by 4.15pm.

So here I was rushing through the crowd once I had reached Bandra station, tired and extremely hungry. In order to reach the college, I had to take a bus from the station since I did not have enough money to pay for the auto. I waited in the bus queue. The bus that otherwise arrives in a gap of about 15-20 minutes was taking too long today. It is indeed so true that you will never get it on time when you need it and, when you don’t need it, it will be there right in front of you! So I was waiting, constantly checking my watch since it was about to be 4pm in a few minutes. And I was bound to reach the college within not more than 15 minutes now or my sister would lose out on her internal marks.

Another girl, roughly of the same age group as mine, was standing right ahead of me in the queue. I asked her if she knew the bus timings just to be sure when my bus would arrive. “It should have come by now. Maybe it will be here in the other 5 minutes”, she said. With a weary smile, I began waiting again. In the other 5 minutes, she was joined by a male friend. Just as I was getting impatient and worried, my phone rang. My sister was really tensed and sounded like she was in tears. I was explaining to her on the phone that the bus was late and that I was helpless.

Just as I disconnected the phone, I heard the other girl’s male friend murmur something to her and, with his expression, I could make out he was talking about me. However, I ignored. The other moment, he turned to me, smiled and asked me where I wanted to go. I was unsure whether I needed to talk to him or even give a reply but he had recognized my worried and anxious face and offered me to go with them in a share auto. I only had 10 minutes in hand and no time to think over the offer. I agreed and got into one of the autos with the two of them. The auto sped.

Within 10 minutes, I was near the college gate. As I motioned the auto driver to stop and began searching my purse for money, the guy murmured something that took me by surprise. “Let it be, I’ll pay for it. You are late and you should rush”. Just as I stared at him in surprise and was about to say anything, he said, “Just take it as a Rakshabandhan gift from me.” Then he smiled and before I could even deny letting him pay, he motioned the auto driver to leave and the auto sped. I met my sister who then rushed into the college for the submission.

Just as I stood at the college gate, I remembered the guy, his kindness and generosity and how he had helped me in my time of need. It may not be a great help for him, the share auto costed only about Rs.10 per head and that surely wouldn’t have mattered for him. But, for me, it was a great help, not the amount but the feeling and emotion behind it of helping people when they need it the most. This was the first time I had travelled in train and outside my city of Dombivli all alone. And, while parents teach us that stepping out of the house and heading to unknown places alone can be dangerous, this was one guy who made me realise that the world is still filled by good, kind and generous people who lend a helping hand even to strangers.

That day, I learnt a very important lesson of life. No matter what, help people in need all the time. By help I don’t mean doing great things, but our smallest gestures can sometimes put a smile on someone’s face. I don’t remember the guy’s face anymore and even if he passes by me some day, I wouldn’t recognise him. But, even after 5 years, although the incident was a petty one, I still wish good for him and pray that he gets everything he dreams and desires in his life. Because, he was my Angel in my time of need, after all!

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Monday, 16 November 2015

After Every Attack, Only DPs Change, Terrorism Doesn't!

Okay so all of us active on Facebook might have noticed this trend that seems to have charmed the youngsters of today quite too much. After every terrorist attack or even a natural calamity that hits any country of the world, DPs or Display Pictures are changed by applying themes to them. The main idea behind this, they say, is showing support to the affected country and praying for them. But is it really so?

First and foremost, a major chunk of people change their Display Pictures just because they are trending and, many of them, actually do not even know the meaning or reason behind it. Simply because their news feeds are brimming with newly changed Display Pictures of friends and colleagues, many people have been applying these themes too and putting up the DPs merely as a trend and style.

And, my main question is, what happens when you change your DP? Is that the only way to show support and offer a prayer for the people fighting the difficult situations in their country? Personally, I don’t think so! If one simply wants to offer a prayer, we can sit in silence for two minutes, think about the innocent victims and pray for their safety and rehabilitation. What is a DP change going to do? Instead, why can’t all of us collectively think of the ways in which we can curb terrorism and fight it to bring it to an end? That would be more productive, isn’t it?

I am not in opposition to any country or people. Neither am I in favour of the ISIS or terrorism in general. Of course, all of us simply want terrorism to come to an end so that people all over the world can lead happy and peaceful lives! But, I don’t think changing one’s Display Picture is going to help in any manner to bring the situation in control. Instead, we can try helping the victims in some ways or the other so that it can benefit them in the real way instead of simply adding a few colours to our Facebook account.

And, by the way, how many of us had changed our pictures back in 2008 when terrorists had struck Mumbai? Or how many of us change our Display Pictures to show love and support to our soldiers who die every day on the borders guarding and protecting us? Why is this so? We can show our support and prayers to France but not for our own country, is it? Has anyone ever thought of applying our tricolour theme to their Facebook DP every time a soldier becomes a martyr on the LoC? Well, we need to ask these questions to ourselves!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Wishing You All A Very Happy And Prosperous Diwali!

The beloved and most awaited festival of lights, Diwali, is already here! Every time I peek out of my window, I see colorful lanterns and dazzling lights sparkling on numerous windows, adding colors and happiness to life! Truly, this is a treat to the eyes!

Diwali has always been one of the most widely loved and enormously celebrated festivals across India. In fact, this is a festival that brings all of us together, irrespective of language, caste and religious barriers. It is a festival when people come together and celebrate by presenting gifts to their loved ones and enjoying the awesome Diwali-special sweets and delicacies. Unique in its own way, Diwali is one festival that perfectly reflects the rich culture of our country.

This Diwali, while we celebrate with crackers, sweets and lights, let’s not forget to spread happiness with the world. Let us help as many people as we can to forget their grief and problems and enjoy the festival of lights just like we do. And, of course, let us all pray that this Diwali bring prosperity and happiness in the lives of our farmers and light up their houses. May the auspicious festival also end the rift between Hindus and Muslims and people of different religions and aid everyone to come together as Indians and celebrate the joy.

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali!

And, lastly, be careful with the crackers you use. Be safe, be happy!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Writers Are Returning Their Awards And The Religious Fuss Is Just Getting Worse!

The last one month has been crucial for the art industry in India. Of course, you know what I am talking about! The writer fraternity in India has been actively returning their awards one by one to demonstrate their protest against the killing of a renowned writer last month and religious intolerance on the whole. Initially, it was only a dozen of writers who had chosen to demonstrate their protest in this way. But the issue has become deeper and more serious with time and seems to have assumed the character of a non-violent movement. And here’s why it is serious and has forced me to come with this article!

The entire fuss began when Maleshappa Kalburgi, an academic from Karnataka, was shot dead at his home last month, i.e., September. The writer had previously gotten threat calls for his criticism on the practice of idol worship among Hindus. It is this killing that has forced all the writers across the country to come together and show their protest. Of course, these are the literate class of people in the society and hence the protest has remained non-violent so far. But, religious intolerance has been rising more phenomenally than we think and know, and, if it grows at this rate, India would soon witness a riot like that which Mumbai experienced in 1992.

First and foremost, what is religion? And why so much of fuss over it? Religion is something that we people have created to bring like-minded people closer to each other and connect with divinity. No religion, absolutely no religion in this world, preaches people to be violent, to kill the people of other religion or disapprove of them and their ideologies. Every person has a unique way of thinking, a unique of worship and connecting with God. This is what religion is all about! And yes, no individual comes with a religious tag on him. A newly born child doesn’t know which religion he belongs to; it is the parents and the society who teach them to behave in a certain way, act and react in a certain way and practice certain things, irrespective of whether the person approves of it or believes in the ideologies. When children are first admitted to school and get exposed and connected to their numerous classmates, no one asks one another what religion they belong to! Relationships and friendships are irrespective of any barriers such as caste, creed, religion, sex and race.

Something that was created by people to get close to God and divinity and connect with like-minded people has however now taken the structure of violence and intolerance. The writers’ movement is undoubtedly non-violent but what about what is happening across the country? Innocent people are being dragged and killed in what has become the issue of beef ban, bans are imposed by the government on the way people live and eat and people are killing each other over petty issues. Is this what our freedom fighters had fought for? Is this what our soldiers are battling on the borders for? All of these great Indians have a simple belief and desire – to bring Indians together so that they can fight evils together. ‘Unity in Diversity’ is what we are taught at schools! Imagine what those kids must be feeling when they see this violence on their TV sets that results from a thing such as religion!

Why are we Hindus and Muslims and not Indians? Why are we teaching our innocent younger generation to fight with one another on the grounds of religion? Why is violence taking over India? What do people want? Do we want the government to exercise control over the way we live now? Would we be happy if the government now tells us what to eat and what not? If people want beef to be banned in India, why is chicken, mutton and fish not banned? Just because cows are sacred for a particular religion? And what about the chickens who lay their lives daily to fill the stomachs of numerous people in the country? Aren’t they living beings? My only point here is, let people eat what they want. No one has got the right to tell anyone what to eat and what not and, if people are so concerned about the killing of cows, impose a ban on animal killing on the whole! But, do this to save the animals and not in the name of religion!

My entire point of writing this is to suggest people,
Enough of the religious fuss, please, let’s be Indians now!

Disclaimer: This, again, is a topic suggested by my dear friend Sheetal Maurya. Thanks Sheetal. J

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

I Never Implemented In Reality What I Learnt At School And College...

Okay so I am quite sure I am not the only one! In fact, all of us have experienced this in our lives; none of us have really implemented in reality what we were taught at school or college, isn’t it? I don’t remember having to use derivatives or integration at my office or I don’t have to do anything with the map of different states and countries. The world has progressed at an alarming pace over the last few years and India too has seen immense development take place in terms of technology, communication and more. Education, however, amidst all this, has remained outdated! Agree people?

Is our education system fit for today’s world?

Frankly speaking, I don’t think so! It must have been, at some point of time, the best curriculum for students that taught them things right. For instance, learning maths tables was justified when there were no calculators. Now, all of us have calculators in our mobile phones and learning tables, the different methods of division isn’t really necessary. Or drawing a perfect circle using the geometry box; do you think it is ever going to have any relevance or practical application in our life?

It is a matter of fact that in the race to become technologically sound and compete with other nations, education remained sidetracked. Once perfect, education had never been concentrated upon by our ministers which is why it has become outdated now and has no practical relevance or connection with life. But it is justified? Is this the way it should be? Is it not the right of our children, the tomorrow of the nation, to learn things that are right and that which can help them in future to make a bright career or grow as responsible citizens of the country?

What’s happening in the country is purely due to lack of good education!

We know what’s happening in our country currently. Forget terrorist attacks or enemy invasions, people are burning the country from within, leaving it in a sorry state. The everyday violence following the beef ban in the northern parts of the country, political parties protesting the launch of a book because it is written by a Pakistani, throwing black paint on a reputed politician, all of these are incidences that give a classic example of what lack of good education can do to us and to the country as a whole. Here, I am stressing the word GOOD EDUCATION. Because I know not all the people who are participating in these violent and baseless acts are uneducated. In fact, many of them are well educated, employed and have a good knowledge about the political situation of the country with exact facts and figures. Of course, Hardik Patel, the face of the Patidar protests in Gujarat, is a classic example. But, although educated, these people are the real fools dwelling in our country, who are using their false and incomplete knowledge against the society and resorting to violence.

Why we need good education right away?

Education is what shapes our personality and determines what we grow up to, although there are many more factors that affect us on a day to day basis. By good education, I mean education that teaches us to be responsible citizens of India, to participate in programs that can bring about development in the country and make contributions to the country’s growth and well being. Learning derivatives or the usage of a blast furnace, the chemical formula of methane and all such stupid, irrelevant things is surely not going to help any of us. What the nation needs right now is a change; a change in the way we learn and the content we are taught.

Instead of all the impractical things that we are taught, why can’t schools and colleges teach children to respect both the genders, make the right use of technology and scientific knowledge, indulge into tree planting and social welfare programs, help humans and all the living beings on earth, combat violence and understand each other in the first place? Why can’t our schools and colleges teach children, the future of our nation, that there is no such thing as religion and we should not judge people based on it?
Don’t we need a serious change in the curriculum that is presently taught in schools and colleges across the country? If you agree with me, please share this article as much as you can so that it reaches the education minister and the right authorities and forces them to take action!

Disclaimer: This article comes after a casual chat with a friend +Sheetal Maurya. The topic that began somewhere with the ISIS, followed by the Dadri killings progressed up to the violence going on in the society. It was this friend of mine who suggested and motivated me to write on the current pathetic situation of education in India. I thank her from my heart for suggesting me a topic that is so vital to the nation currently.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Another Nirbhaya In Delhi! Where Is Nirbhaya Fund?

Ever since the brutal rape of a medical student in Delhi on the night of 16 December 2013, rapes and their horrific effects have come to light in India. An unforgettable incident that it was, the Nirbhaya case forced the government to take action, make the laws against rape more stringent and also take steps to prevent such incidents in future. A fund named as the Nirbhaya Fund was created by the government that basically intends to provide help to rape victims and protect the dignity and security of women in India. A case that amassed huge media attention initially later got overpowered by other news and nobody exactly knows the situation about the Nirbhaya fund currently. Forget the situation of the fund, there are even people who do not know that such a fund exists for the dignity, security and aid of women in the first place.

Just a day before, Delhi, the capital city of crime apart from being the capital of our country, witnessed another Nirbhaya. This time, however, she is a minor, a mere 4 year old, who was brutally raped and assaulted in the capital city, bringing back the memories of the brutal Delhi gang rape once again. The 4 year old was lured from her home and taken to a secluded place where she was brutally raped and left behind bleeding profusely. The little braveheart then managed to crawl back to her home after which she was taken to the Safdarjung hospital just like the incident of 16 December 2013.

Although the case could not make as many headlines in the media as the one in 2013 had, this is an incident very similar to it. They say history repeats and yeah, it really does! By similar, I do not mean the minor was raped in a bus by five to six men but the damage caused to the little girl reminds every attendant of the brutal crime that took place in the same city two years ago. The doctors at the hospital have termed the injuries on the little girl’s body as horrific and have also reported tremendous damage to the toddler’s intestines. The damage is so high that doctors claim the victim will have to undergo several surgeries for six months to be brought back to normal. Such is the state of our country right now!

In 2015, the Nirbhaya Fund received a more of 1000 crores than the existent 1000 crores allocated to it. In short, in 2015, the Finance Minister put an overall 2000 crores in the Nirbhaya Fund on the pretext of protecting the dignity of women and ensuring their security. But, considering the increasing number of rapes across the country, of course, people have questioned the credibility of the fund. When it was first created, the Nirbhaya Fund talked a lot about women’s safety and made promises to build rape rehabilitation centres apart from helping the victims to emerge from the losses and lead a normal life once again. However, so far, the fund hasn’t been used for any victim, nor have the proposed rehabilitation centres or help centres have been built. A total waste of money we can say!

It is not like proposals were not made for the fund to be used. However, in reality, the fund has done nothing for any rape survivor so far nor has taken any steps to prevent such brutal and inhuman incidents in future.
Women’s security has been becoming a serious issue day by day with countless rape, molestation and eve-teasing incidents being reported in different cities and states in the country. Instead of allocating an extra 1000 crores to the Nirbhaya Fund, dear Finance Minister, it would have been better if the money would have been used to install CCTV cameras at public places in cities, build help centres across cities and create functional emergency helplines that could help women seek help in case of any grave situation.

And yeah, by the way, please train the police force to handle grave emergency cases. Also make sure they are professional enough to act quickly and wisely during such emergencies as most of them are not even sure about their jurisdiction.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

I'm Influencer Blog War

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I am participating in I'm Influencer blog war contest organized by AdviceAdda. The greater the number of votes I get, the greater are my chances of winning. I need you all to shower your love and support towards me by voting for me. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

AdviceAdda - When There Seems To Be No Way Out!

We humans live a complicated life. Although the advancement in technology over the years is believed to have made life easier and more comfortable, in reality, the problems of people have multiplied than what our ancestors faced. While medical science has advanced phenomenally, life expectancy has reduced; while there are a growing number of social networks, people do not have true friends to talk and rely upon! ‘Life is not a bed of roses’ thus goes a popular saying and, in today’s world, almost every other individual will agree upon this. So whom do you turn to when there seems no way out from a particular problem? Well, AdviceAdda is the best one-stop solution to all your problems!

Just as every lock has its key, every problem too has a solution! However, sometimes we get so lost in the problem and the emotions arising from it that there seems no way out. If we go for proven statistics and facts, about 16,000 students have been reported to have committed suicides over the last 3 years for varied reasons. In fact, studies have revealed that every 90 minutes, a student tries to commit suicide in India for reasons whatsoever. With the number rising every year, this has surely become a matter of concern.

AdviceAdda – A Reliable Friend

Every time we are tensed, all we want is to speak to a reliable person, no matter whether it is our parents, friends or even a professional expert. However, there are certain problems that cannot be discussed with parents or even explained to friends. So where are you to find support and solution to your problem in such a case? This is where AdviceAdda comes as a savior!

AdviceAdda (adviceadda.com) is the first-ever online helpline for every youngster, teenager and even adult out there who is depressed due to some or the other problems in his or her life. The portal, founded by an eminent journalist, Vivek Satya Mitram, in order to bring about a social change and help the depressed and troubled people, ventures far in terms of professional assistance to every problem faced by human beings. The basic objective of the portal is as simple as providing assistance to people who think there is no way out of their problems by offering solutions through experts. It, in fact, works like a reliable friend who will be there for you when you most need someone to talk to and discuss and share your problems with!

No Matter What Problem, The Solution Is Here!

Every individual in this world is fighting a battle of his own. Everyone faces problems at some or the other point in their life and, like they say, only the one who goes through it understands the pain. But, no matter what’s bothering you, whether it is a health issue or you are in a dilemma, whether it is a failed relationship or lack of success in career, AdviceAdda has the solution for it all! To be more specific and informative, it offers professional assistance and problem solving in the areas of health, relationships, career, mental health, education, money and legal issues, beauty and fashion, parenting, fitness, property, grooming, lifestyle, society, teenage, life skills, automobile, entrepreneurship, gadgets and even sex.

Get All Problems Solved With Experts

Have you ever heard ‘Love Guru’ on the radio and thought that there must be more such ‘gurus’ to solve the problems of people or offer their valuable advice? Then, AdviceAdda is simply the right place to visit! More than just being a one-stop solution to the problems of people, AdviceAdda is basically a group of experts who went a step ahead in serving humanity and helping people deal with their problems, stress, and confusion. Not all problems are the same and not all of them are simple to be solved by friends or colleagues. Some problems simply need to be professionally dealt with as they can be grave in nature than the others. The expert advice offered by the reliable AdviceAdda experts thus comes as a perfect solution for every individual to deal with the growing complexity of life and get out from a typical state of the body or mind.

Timely Advice Prevents Further Complications

Whether an individual is physically unwell or mentally disturbed, timely advice is what all of us need! This is where AdviceAdda will win your heart. When people are disturbed and wish to get expert advice or suggestion, the worst thing they can be subjected to is waiting for a long time before their queries are answered. AdviceAdda, however, is effective, fast and timely. The experts on the website analyze your queries in detail and answer them as soon as possible so as to help people deal with their problems faster and lead a happy and peaceful life.

I had posted a query about mental health on AdviceAdda a few days ago and got advice from a psychiatrist on the same day. This is what makes the website reliable and commendable. Also, one can easily view the profile of the experts and the total experience they have had in their field just to be sure that the entire process of problem solving is professional and no child’s play.

Why Do I think AdviceAdda Is Unique And Commendable?

Having used AdviceAdda to get expert advice for my own issues, I think this portal is unique and absolutely commendable for the following reasons.

Ø  It offers professional guidance, advice and assistance for practically every problem in the world.
Ø  It is particularly ideal for freely discussing personal issues that people otherwise shy away from discussing in public or even with friends and family.
Ø  AdviceAdda will never make your issues public and also protect your identity.
Ø  It offers quick response to queries which makes it an ideal choice for problem-solving. For people who want their queries to be solved immediately, they also have a premium paid plan.
Ø  The experts are reliable, knowledgeable and have several years of professional experience and expertise in their own fields.

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Monday, 5 October 2015

4 Armymen Killed On LoC Today! We Have No Idea What We Are Losing!

The news comes as a great loss to the country! Three armymen were reported to be killed on the LoC (Line of Control) in Jammu and Kashmir when a fierce gun battle broke down with terrorists in the state. Another armyman is reported to have been killed in a separate encounter in the same state. Surprisingly, not many must have known this news by now since our media doesn’t list it as an important issue, enough to be reported as a BREAKING NEWS!

While going through the headlines on the website of NDTV, I found this headline that was, of course, not a part of the top news reported in bold characters. Every day, every month and every year, we lose countless such soldiers to terrorists and gunbattles which the media and the government don’t consider as a great loss. May be because people don’t know what they are losing! While the suicides of farmers have become a common issue in various states of the country, the loss of soldiers is taking India to a deadly situation!

It was way back in 1965 when Lal Bahadur Shastriji gave the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’. The slogan, since then, gained huge popularity and also made its way to the textbooks of school children. But has our government ever thought about its worth? Or has our media ever recognized the efforts that these bravehearts put in every day so that we lead a happy and safe life? If they would have recognized the worth of these brave and commendable souls, their efforts would have been appreciated and their plight would have been thrown light upon. However, it is really sad to see such a news of national relevance being reported secondary to other news and that nothing has been done to enhance their situation by the government over the years.

Most of us do not have our friends or relatives working in the army or navy so we remain unaware about the conditions that these brave souls live in every day! However, it is a matter of fact that soldiers have been suffering countless hardships while defending the country since years and nothing significant has been done by the country to uplift their condition and make their life better. Many movies have been made explaining the plight of soldiers, but to vain.

Life on the LoC is not an easy task at all! When the room gets too cool, it is our obvious reaction to turn off the air conditioner, isn’t it? Can you imagine how our soldiers live in extremely frozen conditions, in temperatures that sometimes go up to minus 60 degrees? Yes, it is not at all an easy task! Mountaineers or those who have trekked to a snow clad mountain at least once in their life will agree with me on this. They do not get leaves to go back to their towns and visit their families; some of them have to leave their pregnant wives at home and have not even seen their new born even once. An altitude that offers numerous hardships other than freezing temperatures does not even make fresh food available for them. This is the condition that our soldiers live in today!

I had read in numerous articles that the Siachen is one of the most treacherous borders of India that has the worst and most difficult climatic conditions for human existence. However, we still have our army deployed here at a height that can degrade a human’s health to unimaginable extent. Also, while terrorism and attacks by neighbouring country armies is always a threat to their life apart from the difficult conditions, there is always a fear of glaciers coming down to the soldier camps that may cause our bravehearts to sacrifice their lives!

Yet, no light has ever been put on the hardships they face on the borders or no efforts have been made to improve their lifestyle whatsoever! In fact, the media puts the news of our martyred soldiers somewhere in the clutter of lesser relevant news. Isn’t this a shame for our country?