Congress leaders with dented heads – Ravi Shanker Kapoor

Congress leaders with dented heads – Ravi Shanker Kapoor

Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something, wrote Plato 2,500 years ago. The truth of the quote has remained undiminished over the millennia. The dented-painted statement by President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit is, however, more than a testimony to his folly; it also exposes a mindset that is firmly anchored in medieval mores. Apparently eager to get some free publicity on the Delhi gang rape and subsequent protests, Lok Sabha member Abhijeet Mukherjee said, “In India, staging candle-lit marches, going to discotheques—we did all this during our student life too, we were students too—I know very well what kind of character students should have. Those who claim to be students—I can see many beautiful women among them, highly dented-painted (sic). They’re giving interviews on TV.” It’s good for you, Mr. Mukherjee, that you informed us that you were once a student. Otherwise, we might have concluded you are one of those unlettered, Khap-type relics that refuse to coame out of the 15th century and are always eager to make their obnoxious presence felt. For what you have said, however, only brings disrepute to you, your family, your party, and your government. In one sweeping statement, the Parliamentarian tarred all protesting women as whores, for that is what ‘painted women’ means. And ‘dented’? In the context of his remarks, the word seems to denote ‘having lost virginity before marriage.’ In short, the women protesters are promiscuous streetwalkers who deserve no respect or even attention. And why are they hookers? Well, the Honorable MP has a simple explanation: they go to discotheques. Women should not go to discotheques—in fact, not even to cinema, especially in evenings.  This is how Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana put it a few days ago: “Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark. They should ensure that they do not board buses with [a] few passengers.” And these misogynists are the important members of the party that promised, in its 2009 election manifesto, “to ensure a life of security, dignity and prosperity for every citizen.” Evidently, it does not include security “after...

The rape of reason – Ravi Shanker Kapoor

The rape of reason – Ravi Shanker Kapoor

The sentimentalist orgies our political masters indulged in following the rape and battering of a young physiotherapy student inside a moving bus in Delhi highlight their own insincerities and hypocrisies. Instead of coming up with something solid to make the country safer for women, they took recourse to tokenism, made stupid statements, and tried to derive political mileage from the agony of a tormented girl. Leading the pack was Congress president Sonia Gandhi who visited the hospital where the 23-year-old medical student is fighting for life. Sonia also wrote two letters to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, in which she expressed indignation at the incident. “It’s a shame that these incidents recur with painful regularity and that our daughters, sisters, mothers are unsafe in the capital city,” she wrote in her letter to the Delhi Chief Minister. The letter to Shinde also echoed similar sentiments: “It’s a shame for all of us who are responsible for security of our cities. This monstrous crime deserves not only universal condemnation but also the government’s most urgent attention. It is imperative that the police and other agencies concerned are sensitized to the danger our daughters, sisters, mothers face every day. The security agencies must be motivated, trained and equipped to deal with this menace.” You are right, Mrs. Gandhi, but why the passive voice? Why “security agencies must be motivated, trained and equipped…”? Why not specify the subject―who’ll do this? How’ll they do this? And by what time they will be able to do this? After all, you have a tremendous say in the state of affairs; your political opponents even call you ‘super-prime minister.’ You wanted the rural employment guarantee scheme―it was chalked out and implemented. You want the food security legislation―and the government is furiously working on it, despite the reservations of important functionaries about it. You wanted reservation for Scheduled Castes and Tribes in promotion―and it’s there; even the Bharatiya Janata Party found it politic to support it. You just have to order; the government will do anything to please you in earnest. Thy will be done. Now that the gang rape has attracted “the government’s most urgent...

Delhi rape case – Lt Col. (retd) Noel Ellis

Delhi rape case – Lt Col. (retd) Noel Ellis

Today as I switched on the TV during lunch break I found that it was a riot like situation in Delhi. People protesting, Police reacting, lathi charges, water cannons et al. Slogans of all kinds, let me tell you they were very creative and innovative. The tune was catchy and unique, wow, I thought to myself, slogans have improved many fold. I was curious to understand the reason for protest. On listening on for a minute I realized that it was against the gang rape case which happened in Delhi, in a moving bus. How unfortunate? How sad? I believe the parliament also had erupted on this issue yesterday, with emotions overflowing, and “Saansad’s” shedding a crocodile tear or two. I immediately understood, it must be something more than serious. Or it must be something which as on date has people’s attention and another reason to disrupt the parliament. I found out that these folks have nothing else to do. The 2G case, the 3G case, the CWG scam, the FDI in retail, even Anna has all lost his steam. How do you think these folks will justify their existence as the highest decision making body, which has been made famous/infamous for inaction, disruption and non functionality over the last couple of sessions? They were raising concerns of this rape case for overnight action on all the culprits, fast track courts, for fair and quick trial (Kasab took four years). I wish there would have been army rule, and if required the judgment could have been pronounced in a day. I also heard voices of people asking for a death sentence for rape. I like the thought. I also heard certain people voicing their opinion as, torture this man for life, in a manner the rape victim will suffer for the rest of her life. It seems to be a tooth for a tooth approach. I also heard some say that “bobbitise” these men (one of them is a second time offender for the same crime), so that he may not effectively use this organ with which he did this crime. All said and done fine, I go with the sentiments of the public....

A scarecrow Soldier – Adfar Shah

A scarecrow Soldier – Adfar Shah

    “We call it carnage, when they shoot and when they don’t, we call it crisis mishandling”. Today when the world is celebrating the triumph of scientific men over nature, the status of ‘Aam Aadmi’ has got reduced to ‘the crows and sparrows’ as a result of increasing anomy, man’s routine protesting nature, shrinking resources and growing burden of unmet demands. The situation gets further worsened, when we talk about conflict-ridden societies, where the status of man in uniform i.e., a soldier viz-a-viz ‘Aam Aadmi’ has been reduced to that of a scarecrow. Amidst this never-ending drama of crows and scarecrow, the modern solider keeps on dwindling between extremes of ever-growing public sensitivities and Human Rights concerns, which not only impairs his role performance as a soldier, but thwarts the very concept of his role institutionalization as a soldier. Though a cop is there to regulate the social discipline but to strike a delicate balance between his inner world, self-defense and duty for the public welfare, has turned all the difficult given the increased complexity of social phenomena over the years especially in the turmoil hit zones. All this has casted mounting pressures upon the psyche of a soldier, who finds himself caught in a dilemma while delivering on multiple fronts like handling work place affairs, managing home issues, regulating public law and order affairs that too without crossing the contours of public sentiment. Conversely, how can a soldier who is meant for public welfare and security disrespect the public sentiment while maintaining the law and order in the society – the society which pays him for his services. Today’s soldier is caught in the trap of the compound problems of secessionism, communal disharmony and the problem of religious nationalism versus secular nationalism (Ummah vs. Indianness, Naxalism vs. Secularism, Maoism vs. Democracy, Religion vs. State, etc,). Caught in the saga of  unending political unrests and uprisings, he alone faces the brunt of most of the protests, social unrests and public uproar. Deployed at an eleventh hour, to confront the untoward situations while maintaining the sanctity of ethics of law and order, severely strains the soldier’s physical as well as mental setup who finds himself at cross-roads...

The Frivolous Literature – Adfar Shah & Syed Shafqat

The Frivolous Literature – Adfar Shah & Syed Shafqat

Crime, violence, warfare, nuclear technology debates, discourses upon issues of alienation and empowerment still keep on showing a greater prevalence in many respects in twentieth-century literature. There is found a massive reflection of the themes like destruction and warfare, increasing trends in crimes like molestation, murder, rape, and drug abuse.  While the history and Political Science over emphasized upon the period following the world wars and independence tales, The Psychology exaggerated the human aggression and mental anxieties, Surprisingly the sociologists instead of giving a Clarian call for a paradigm shift or understanding the wider aspects of the global community or conceptualizing the suffering, pain, protest, hope and transcendence, instead began to report society in arm chairs in ivory towers and thus conceptualized the world order rather the shameless disorder in a more shabby and dishonest way. Also such a well paid community over stressed upon just kinship, family and marriage–the garbage from anthropology actually to be treated as the heart of Sociology. Media confined itself to violence reporting as a major theme only just for heavy perks and good news ceased to be the news afterwards. Also when all the sections of the society particularly in conflict zonesfaced the wrath of turbulent times just this fraternity survived hale and hearty and created history by becoming the only community who felt greenery all around even when everything was in tatters and the burning flames were the holistic landscape. Their newspapers got birth in small rooms published from nowhere overnight and thus thrived upon the bloodshed and prolonged agony, with even lay men the journalists to report as media personalities. Thus, violence become a subject to be sold and most of the writers who wished to convey the historical, psychological, and artistic landscape in the modern world found no way but to express only through the prism of conflict or bloodshed narrative. On the other hand so called field workers remained in homes to fill questionnaires and schedules and manufactured statistics to draw inferences about the social order and the routine over repetition of common social problems, tribal anthropology and ethnography, women and futile statistical field findings, late marriages, communal issues, fallouts of conflict even on...

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