Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Have we humans really 'evolved' as a species, over the past centuries?
More importantly, have we "Indians' evolved as a species?
I think not...

How else then would you explain how we behave - not like an 'evolved' species but as if we had degenerated across centuries, millenniums to, to possibly the 'stone age'?
Or maybe even earlier - when we were animals?

How else do you explain how we Indians behave on the road?
Fighting for that extra inch of space and meandering our way to get to the 'front' of the row of waiting cars on a traffic light? Because we just have to be at the top of the line...nothing else matters...?
Or zipping ahead and nearly missing colliding with a shocked sixty year old woman trying desperately and helplessly to cross the road, just because you had to be ahead of her. You just had to cross the road first, before she did?

How else do you explain how easily we become victims of 'road rage' Bludgeoning a fellow human being - a father, son, husband, to death...with a stone lying by the side of the road...Why? Because he had the audacity to honk his car horn and overtake me?

How else would you explain why a man, one of our 'species' is overcome by the most 'carnal' lust, goes and rapes a ten month old girl infant? How? How could he think of 'raping' a ten month old?

How else would you explain why or more importantly 'how' a fifty year old grandfather, or father in -law, overcome by the same desire, rapes his granddaughter or daughter in-law, or his own daughter for that matter?
Or how, the most respected gentleman in his community, the epitome of decency, invites young girls to stay in his house as paying guests, and then installs CAMS in their bathrooms to satisfy his lust in another way?

Intolerance, impatience, lack of respect, regard?
What else could have come over us?
Except the fact the we, as a species, have indeed, degenerated.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Oh the wonderful, ecstatic and overwhelming feeling of 'winning' !

A long and tough journey now complete...

Of first setting sight on an objective, a goal that when achieved, would make the World sit up, gasp and wonder in amazement...

Of getting together a team of dedicated and talented members, all of whom share a common vision and are willing to 'do or die'.....

Of pulling together other resources and continuously facing challenges and problems some - financial, some administrative, social....yet being relentless and not giving up.

Of each team member committing himself or herself to give to the project, life's best ever effort.
For nothing lesser than the best would work.

Endless days, months of tireless efforts. No room for complacency, no 'letting go' or taking it easy.

Striving for perfection in every minuscule aspect of the project. For being perfect will matter.

And then the result of that toil....

The World does sit up and wonder in amazement....

"Slumdog Millionaire"  "Slumdog Millionaire" the favorite 'chant' of the weeks, months, and now on the final day....

Nominated for, in almost every area of film making that the Oscar is awarded for..

And Then - Eight Oscars.! 

The Film world in general and Hollywood in particular, notices this one film stealing the show...

A brilliant story, and classic piece of editing and screenplay showcased in a long time.

The beautiful musical score which transcends language and geographic barriers and gets every foot tapping across the Globe.

And above all, an achievement that makes all Indians stand up in disbelief - and then with pride. Because their Country's name is now permanently 'etched' on to the walls of Global fame for all times to come.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

We Indians are an extremely self centred, selfish, apathetic and insensitive people. 

If, as a Nation we cannot care for and respect our soldiers, then we really are. And there are enough instances in post independence Indian history to prove this.

Take for instance the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. As part of the Simla agreement signed between the two neighbours, Pakistan pressed upon India to release it's more than 90,000 POWs held captive within India. We acceded to that demand in a hurry, never stopping for a moment to check on the fate of our own Officers and other ranks possibly alive and being held prisoners in Pakistan. Today 38 years later 54 Officers and men of the Indian Army and Air Force are allegedly being held captive by Pakistan. As a Country we lack the political will to get Pakistan to do anything about it. And as a people, we are completely insensitive and uncaring towards the families - parents, wives and children of those brave men who sacrificed their lives and their freedom, so that we could live as independent people.

Or take for instance hundreds of brave men who lost their lives fighting for India -for us. They were the sole earning members for their families. Years later their kin continue to fight from pillar to post with the bureaucracy and the red tape, in the most undignified manner, almost begging for that promised yet ever elusive gesture from the State, that would barely help them survive..

And today, hundreds of ex servicemen, pushed to the brink of complete frustration and despair at the worst kind of treatment met ted out to them, in the form of disparity in the pension scheme in the 6th pay commission vis a vis their counterparts in the civil bureaucracy, decided to walk up to the President of India, and return all their service medals that they earned during their Service life, as a sign of protest.

But the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces - the President is not listening. She did not even bother to meet the delegation who returned thousands of their service medals to Rashtrapati Bhawan yesterday. The President couldn't care less. And we, the people are not bothered.

A soldier devotes a good  part of his life to the service of this Country. During that period he is subjected to trials and tribulations of various kinds. Separated from his loved ones for prolonged periods of time, living and harsh and inhuman conditions while guarding the frontiers of India.
Only to be forgotten the day he hangs his uniform. 

And when retired Generals and other senior officers have to be driven to resort to processions, 'dharnas' and strikes to make their point, the entire Country should hang their heads in shame.

India - a Nation with the second largest army in the World, does not even have a "War Memorial" to pay respects to its soldiers.  Because we have debated for and against it for the past two decades and have still not taken a decision to go ahead and build one. We couldn't' heap greater insult to this profession and to those who joined it. 

Its high time we the people started some introspection and looked within us. That the armed forces should be the highest paying and the most respected Government profession, attracting the best talent in the Country, is probably a far sighted dream. 

But can't we even be sensitive and empathising to the problems of and express solidarity with the cause of these very brave soldiers who gave up so much of their lives so that we could enjoy our freedom? 

Why are they fighting this battle alone?