Friday, March 30, 2007

grave reservations

hurrah to the supreme court, for showing us that it has the guts to stand up to the dirty game that goes on, in the name of politics.

i refer to the recent staying of the reservation policy that arjun singh tried to push through, with the full complicity of the parliament.

reservation is a sensitive topic, i agree. however, it seems to me, that most people forget the first passage about reservation, that was written in our constitution. baba ambedkar himself wrote, that he envisioned the reservation policy to continue, for not more than 10 top 15 years. unfortunately, with the kind of votebank politics that is practised in the " world's largest democracy", we are stuck with a legacy, that, in the words of the SC " promotes backwardness".

if the intention is to remove the admittedly barbaric practice of caste ism, then the reservation policies are not the best way to go ahead. imagine this, when a child gets admitted to school, his caste is noted. when he fills his board entrance forms, his caste is noted. when he enters college, his caste is noted. and if the congress party has it's way, soon, when you enter employment, your caste will be noted.

so, at every crucial step in life, your caste identity is given more prominence than yourself. way to go!!!

blatant flouting of the constitution is seen everyday. for eg. one of the provisions of the reservation policies, is that at no stage, should reservation exceed 50 % of the seats. however, the state of tamil nadu has " enjoyed" nearly 65 % reservation policies since independence.

many people think that anti reservation thinking is a manifestation of a pro forward caste mentality. far from it. barring rajasthan, in no state will you see the forward castes pressing forward for a reservation for themselves. why? because, one of the main reasons for the huge exodus of many forward caste students to the USA and UK, is that college seats are open to all students.

i also see a situation in the future, where the battle for dominance between the MBC, OBC, SC/ST will see politicians try to weasel out with further reservations. no one will attempt to take the correct way.

build more schools. pay parents to send children to school in rural areas. increase the number of seats in colleges. ensure that faculty are qualified enough to teach subjects. have a more student friendly education loan program. abolish mention of caste in the public sphere. let us all learn to become ourselves first.

then again, it's too much to ask a monkey to learn swimming you know. expect to see more protests, bandhs( our lovely state leads again. tomorrow!!), interviews with people who would otherwise never come on national news.

3 cheers to the caste-ing ouch!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

a tale of two cities

i know for a fact that a good majority of the blogs posted today, from india, will moan or vilify the indian cricket team's performance. but i shall touch on that topic later.

what really has made an impact in me, is the continued courage that the people of Pakistan have shown, in the battle for democracy. If you are a reader of Deccan chronicle, you would have read a column, where ayaz amir reports of an army committee's recommendation, that a fully functional democarcy would be feasible, in pakistan, by 2030!!!

he asks " why has democracy taken such a long time, to take birth in our country, when our neighbor, India, having inherited the same laws and public institutions that we did, has been a " fully functioning democracy, since 1947?"

almost all of us take our right to vote for granted, not realising what a gift it is. for instance,history is replete, with cases of women and people who lived in social minority, who had to struggle and fight, for the right to universal adult franchise( or right to vote, for those whose civics lessons are slightly weak). yet, we in india, have given this right, to all those above the age of 18, right from 1950( when the first elections were announced).

while USA, which calls itself a champion of democracy, has yet to elect a non christian, or a member of jewish, hispanic or african origin, to the top posts, we in india, do not give too much importance to the fact, that our president is a mussalaman, our prime minister is a sikh, our chief justice is a dalit and the chairperson of the ruling coalition was born a roman catholic.

while the american media is busy salivating over the prospects of hillary clinton becoming the first woman president( which she won't as the american heartland is still conservative), we can take a look at our record and see that women have always he ld important posts in most political parties.

and hats off to the indian army, for never placing itself above the parliament, the judiciary and the executive , despite their abyssmal track record, over the last 60 years. as we approach the 60th anniversary of our independence, we can solemnly thank the armed forces, for never taking powers unto themselves.

i hear a lot of bickering by people from all the religions, who crib constantly, that they face persecution and restrictions on the practice of their faith. i humbly ask them, to undertake trips to italy, nepal, or the gulf states, or the latin american countries, before they pass judgement on the freedom or lack of it, in professing their faith.

and about the world cup, well, it's only just a game. the sooner people accept the fact that we are better off with a calculator in hand and not the bat, the lesser our disappointments would be. we need an overhaul of our batting and ask sachin, dravid, saurav to make way for another generation to build a team. between them, this is the 5th world cup, which should be more than enough opportunity to have won the trophy.

Man utd rebuilt their team two years ago. a painful two seasons followed, in which the young inductees made mistakes, learnt from them, got used to each other. now, no matter how the season ends, they have performed superbly thus far. we need to adopt the same approach,

i definitely feel sorry for Sony Max, for having placed such a huge bid for the telecast rights. honestly, 75 % of the potential audience would be wiped out, were bangladesh to beat bermuda today. it would take sometime for them to recoup their losses.

and this is a very bad time to be the head honcho of pepsi right now. having paid ridiculous sums of money, and making one of the worst ads i have ever seen on TV( tiger- ladega to jitega, howz that for a boomerang? ), somebody must be sweating buckets right now.

interestingly, aside from the subcontinent, the rest of the world has not given too much importance to this world cup. evidence can be seen in the post match ceremony, where th eadvertisers backdrop has only indian companies on it.

poor timing and ticket sales plus more or less dull play have made this one of the most zzzz inducing world cups ever.

oh well, atleast aus vs south africa should be interesting.

but for a sport that only 30 odd countries play( overoptimistic calculation) it's sad that someone got motivated to kill bob woolmer, for whatever reasons.. it's about time people realised it's not a serious sport at all