Friday, April 30, 2010

Should we have kid based reality shows???

I was seeing a program today that was being aired on the colors channel. The name of the program is “Chak Dhoom Dhoom”, and this essentially is a dance reality show for children.
First of all I would like to tell that my opinions are solely of myself and there is no intention from my side to malign the concept or mitigate the wonderful things that are propagated by this program. I have but only one point to make and that point is when we are so much against the concept of pressurizing children, then why on earth are we launching such programs at a massive scale on a huge platform that pressurizes the children to the core?

I was amazed about the fact that how so many children of the age of maybe 5 or 6 are bringing up such great performances on stage and that too in-front of eminent choreographers like Saroj Khan and Ahmed Khan. Having said that I would like to quote one incident that really perplexed me. It was about two girls who were showing their dance performances on the songs “Dekhta hai tu Kya” and “Ring-Ring-Ringa”. Both the songs are very famous and are almost played in every part of the country and are also known for their good filming. To make a long story short, both the songs are very good item-numbers.

What shocks you in the first instant?

I see children of the age of maybe 8 or 9 doing these numbers, and giving expression that you would only see Rakhi Sawant or Freida Pinto giving in those songs. Let us understand the fact that the songs may be good and the performances in these songs may be of a very high stature, but all said and done the song is essentially for an adult audience. The expressions that I saw in the dance steps were pretty raunchy and were not of a nature that you expect in a children dance competition.

What shocked me more?
The judges’ panel immediately stops the performance and calls the parents. The judging panel also lays down the same logic that I explained above. It was learnt that these steps were actually taught to the girls by the parents themselves. This statement and this information is a shocking revelation as to how much a parent can do to get a 15 minute share of the limelight that is being thrown to the people by the medium of this show. This is a very serious situation that our country has to deal with. Our children are actually our future and if this is the way we are going to raise up our future then we surely have a problem. Is the romanticism of a TV show so high that you will actually go to such limits to promote your child.

Mistake that the judges did:It was very right for the judges to point out the fact that such raunchy expressions are not worthy or not suitable to a children dance program, however this message should not have been conveyed in the presence of the child herself. This irresponsible act of the so called judges Saroj Khan and Ahmed Khan leads to the following things.
1. The child is totally discouraged and would probably never want to dance again in her whole life. She is actually demotivated to hear such words like “Gande Expression hai”, “aisa expression is aurat karti hai” and stuff like that.
2. You give a dose of your expert advice to the parents in front of the child and this leads to the fact that you are actually insulting a parent in front of his/her child. A parent holds a very high value for a child, it is sometimes the child’s dignity, and by doing this act of so called judgment you are actually assaulting the dignity of the child. You are forcing the child to lose all the respect that she may have for her parent.
3. You are forgetting the fact that you are also one of the persons who has choreographed this song or may be belonging to the fraternity that has done this. Now when you speak for obscenity you have to take that into matter as well. Why does choreographers like Saroj Khan even choreograph these songs. I have never seen her choreographing a song that may be called as non-raunchy or non-suggestive. She is always involved with songs like “ek do teen” , “choli ke peechhe”, ,“dhak – dhak” and stuff like that. Today how dare she, raise her finger on the obscenity part.

Seeing all the above points I really feel that we should not encourage such shows for kids on Television, which actually leads to more pressure in the kids. This is worse than child-labor, it is stress-loading the child from day-1. It is a way to convey to the child that the whole world is a racing track and you are running a race in which you have to win. It is loading the child with immense amount of aggression in the very start, at an age where you want them to explore, make mistakes, play you are actually making them success-achieving-robots.
Please lay down your comments on this.

Peace, What it is and what it should be........

I was watching a movie today, very hard hitting and very unconventional. While seeing the movie, I liked a thought that was really pertinent and hard-hitting. The thought was about peace. What is peace? Why are we so much craving for it? When we get peace, is it really the peace that we want? How, do we actually know that we are living in a peaceful world? The questions may seem to be some jumbled words without a proper kind of rationale, however I would like to express a bit about what I could finally understand about peace.

We live in a world where we don't have any kind of problems or any kind of difficulties, we are living in peace; but how do we know that this is really the peace that we want. We are living in peace, maybe because we are shying from the truth. You see a person being robbed infront of your eyes, you are an eyewitness, yet you don't testify against the crime, because you want to live in peace. You want to get your house registered, or you want to get your water connection, you just go and bribe the clerk, because you want to get the things done in peace, so that you can actually live in your new house peacefully. The government machinery, which actually runs on the money that you pay as task, asks you for bribe and you gladly conceed because after that what you get is peace.

Have we ever realised that how much this peace is actually worth? How much can we actually gain from buying a peace like this. Living in a graveyard or a crematoriam may also be peaceful, but is ti the peace that everybody seeks for? If not then why do we want a situation of peace where morals and values are compromised. if I undertand this system correctly, we are actually not achieving peace, we are actually buying it, we are buying it with bribe, with our silence, with our escapisms but we are buying it. Is this deal a fair and profitable deal that we are doing? Let me today talk to you in business language, because I believe that the present system has made us compromise with morals and uprightness to such an extent that we only read these words in the dictionary. So let me be more practical and try to understand the purpose of gaining peace.

You go to a vegetable market and then pay money and get a potato that looks very good from the outside, but when you penetrate your knife in that potato, you see that the potato is rotten, worn out. What do you feel? You feel cheated, and then you curse yourself as to why you couldn't just press the potato and see. You feel that you trip to the market has become futile. The business was a losing proposition. Similarly, you care not to testify, or you bribe or you manipulate, just to make the matter more peaceful. What do you gain in the end? Just like the rotten potato, you end up living in fear, insecurity and skepticism. Because you always are scared that the peace that is today bought by you by paying something, can also be bought by somebody else by paying a little extra. You feel you have not done a solid deal and to consolidate that deal, read by more peace, you slowly but steadily immerse yourself in the mud of corruption.

Our crave for buying peace, gives rise to insecurity and corruption. This maybe at any levels. At highest levels these give rise to sovereign insecurities. At levels lower than that it gives rise to political insecurities. At your or mine level it may give rise to personal or social insecurity. So why are we looking for a peace like this.

Peace is never bought. Peace is a state, that is achieved without any kind of compromise or surrender. Only the brave hearted can win a war, but to win peace it is more important to be strong hearted than brave hearted. I personally believe that peace is a state of mind when you are not happy about an achievemnet or sad about a failure. In every situation, your mind doesn't react to anything, rather it delivers a programed response. This is a state of peace.

So, everybody, from today let us search for true peace and not try to buy it, because invaluable things cannot be valued with any material.


Secularism and its true interpretations......

We often hear this word a lot of times, especially during elections or during some kind of political activity that maybe going on in our surroundings. We have heard about this word in school during our civics classes and we hear it quite often in institutions and in political science classes. However, today my objective is not to elaborate on this word but actually to elucidate on the meaning that this word carries and the misinterpretation of this word that people often tend to make. Friends, today I want to discuss about a very sensitive issue for our country and that is secularism. I am going to unearth some myths associated with this word so that there may not be any kind of skepticism associated with this word for the radicals as well as for the moderates in our society.

What secularism doesn’t mean?
Secularism, as it is often taught to us, doesn’t mean equal respect for religion only. However, this is the only meaning that is taught to us. It is always taught to us that being secular is actually to respect each and every religion and emulate the good things. This maybe a part of the meaning of what secularism is but is not the entire meaning for this deep word. By this context one may imagine that a person who is an atheist is never, or can never become, a secular person, which I believe is not true. You cannot believe in God and yet you can be as secular as any God-fearing person maybe without altering the domains and sensitivities of secularism. Secularism doesn’t mean providing reservations or any kind of privilege to the minority community. This, my friend, is not a gesture of being secular, but is a gesture of showing sympathy towards the minority and further attacking their self-respect. Being in minority is not a handicap, and so should not be ornamented with any kind of handicap policies such as reservations or any privileges. This only leads to vote-bank politics and not any kind of secular development of the nation/state that is supposed to be the primary objective of such policies.

So then what is secularism?

Well, I should have got the answers long back in my school days, however sometimes it feels very good to get answers by your own-self, by experience and not by the black ink of the book, which often negates any sort of ideas that your grey cells may be nurturing at that time. Well, now I have the answer.
Socially, secularism is about tolerance and co-existence. The moment a nation/city starts having specific areas dominated by a specific community of people, in that case the secular principles take a back seat. My apartment has people of all religions living in complete harmony without marginalizing any one and this my friends is the most appropriate example of being secular at a social level.
Politically, secularism is not about propounding and pronouncing the unique value propositions of all the religions, but on the contrary it is to actually eliminate the factor or religion in any and every political discussion/decision. A political statement containing elements of religious nature in it, however secular maybe the intention, doesn’t remain secular. This is because of the fact that in any case it gives rise to a sort of debate, which actually is not of a secular nature.
Administratively, secularism is not about giving privileges to the minorities or giving equal opportunities to all religions. Alternatively it is the principle of elimination of any kind of religious interventions in the administrative process that is being carried over. The moment you are asked about your religion when you are filling up an admission form of the college or filling up a form for your electricity connection, the administration is actually flouting the principle of secularism. If the dispatch of electric-power or education has nothing to do with your religion then why on earth is your religion a subject-matter for the entrée level scenario? This itself is a big question mark on the principle of secularism. The moment we have application forms that are devoid of any kind of religious divulgences that I may make then automatically the policies would not be religion driven but they would be kind of secular in real sense.

Other cases which are not secular
Showing any kind of sympathy or mercy towards a person doing a kind of an act that is actually gruesome and inhuman in nature is not being secular. In direct terms let me confront the situation, where we had our administration, nourishing a terrorist in the secure domains of our jail just for the pretext of a fair trial and for the reason of him being from a minority. This is being pro-terror and not being secular. Secularism, on the contrary is the union of all religious beliefs for a common cause, maybe achievable through different means, but common cause.

Essence of the words secularism lies more in non-existence than co-existence.

Do we really need Democracy?????

Browsing through the history of this country or for that matter the history of any country that is in this sub-continent, I could relate to the present problem that it is facing and that is of gross misuse of democracy. History proves that we, Indian people, could never understand democracy. Whatever democracy, or democracy like features we had in our history were not actually for the power centers of our country, or a state, but was for a responsible position, where responsibilities and its pressures over-haul the element of authority and power. So it can be inferred that India is a democratic country of one-billion people who are not ready for democracy, yet, and will not be for the next 1000 years. I would want to prove this idea by jotting down some points that I fetched from the history and how this impacts our way of thinking.

If you browse through the history of our country then you will come to know that in our history there is always reference to a king and a kingdom. We always had kings ruling over subjects, whether these kings were good or bad were the other side of the story, but it never happened in our history that king was elected. Power was never elected, authority was never gifted by a collective people of less authorized people, which essentially is the concept of democracy. The kings always acceded to power, whether by inheritance, blood-shed, force, conspiracy or benevolence. In every case there was a power accession rather than election of an authoritative entity. Me, my parents, my kids have been learning this history for a long time. We had Raja Ramchandra, we had Dharamraj Yudhisthir, we also had Nadir Shah, Allaudin Khilji. Whether the person was good or he was bad power was never elected in any case. These incidents leave a strong imprint in our culture and thus it made us subconsciously a non-democratic population. Democracy is something that we were probably taught. Monarchy or Anarchy is what that we actually know from so many years.

If you see the recent track record of this country, out of the 63 years we actually had democratic rule, or supposed to have had democratic rule, we were actually ruled by one family for 53 years. I am not saying that these 53 years were not years of good rule. Infact these were the years where we grew by leaps and bounds, we made progress, we also made mistakes but the essential problem is that the power was limited to one family, and yet we used to call ourselves a democracy because we used to do this drama of elections every 5 years. Why are we not proud to call ourselves a monarchy where our king/queen is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family? What inhibitions do we have in doing so? Everytime we have an election if there is a good governance it is by them, else it is anarchy. So in India you either have monarchy of this family or you have Anarchy. If the rule is better in their presence, why are we embarrassed from transitioning from a democracy, that is not clear, to a monarchy that is much clear and stable.

Look at Sri-Lanka, the country had similar democratic structures like India, albeit in a smaller proportion. The country too was ruled mostly by the Bhandarnaike family, same was the case with Pakistan who were also mostly ruled by the Bhutto Family or mis-ruled by the army generals. In every case we see that there is an accession to power by inheritance or force. In none of the cases do we see a real democratic emergence of authority as we see in countries like US/Canada.

America never had a history with kings and queens. The country from the very start was a country with more importance to individual freedom than be concerned about a ruler. There the president is a position of power rather than a person. Democracy only works in such conditions. The elimination of personal outfits from centers of power is the true essence of democracy. In US the president, or secretary of state is a position or in colloquial sense it is a chair to which the people are faithful to. The law-makers also are aware of the fact that there can be a possibility that the law they make is subjected to error, but nobody takes it personally, because the authority is given to a position. In India, the mentality is different. Authority is belonging to a person and things are taken more personally.

Countries like, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Jordan, Oman are happy not being democratic. Because they know that it is not their culture. Power can only remain with one person, or with a person who can actually defeat the powerful person. This is how we are, this is how we will be, and this is how we will have to grow keeping all our liabilities also within ourselves. This is the thing that they believe and they are growing in their own way on their own terms.

If we are not ready for democracy yet, let us also not be pseudo-democratic. In the process of doing so we have given rise to evil forces like corruption, nepotism and dirty politics which divide people more than uniting them and thus destroy the basic fabric of our country. If monarchy and family rule satisfies our cause and if it leads to a stabilized growth then so be it. There is no difference virtually we are making to this world in being democratic or non-democratic. Our main focus should be the development of our people and if this happens without being democratic and by removing all evil forces of democracy then so be it. Today the basic problem is the fact that more people are being frustrated by the democratic processes itself than anything else. If by eliminating this system and bringing about a new order can help them then why not.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

After the Attack ALL IZZ WELL

Three to four days back there was this news of a gruesome attack done by the Maoists on our CRPF personnels in Dantewaada. The news shook the whole nation. I personally felt that we are actually nurturing terrorists in our own backyard. Of-late only two kinds of people used to get a kind of footage for such activities a) Islamic terrorists b) The MNS vandals. However now we have a group that was almost ignored by the news channels before of their activities but now they are in the limelight for their recent demonstration of Barbary.
Dantewaada was an incident that should have opened the eyes of our administration, one more time though, as to how vulnerable we are. In a nation of a billion we are, if not more, nurturing a million people with malicious intentions towards our sovereignty. It is so ironical that the country that actually achieved political independence (and I would only say political) by non violent means is seeing so much of violence in the post independence era. Our administration is in a denial mode and is repeating the famous lines “All IZZ WELL”, however this is only decreasing the fright for a moment and then again it re-surfaces in some or the other ways. The example of lax administration was this news piece which I just read.

The news piece says that the Maoists have attacked once more after the gruesome dantewaada episode and killed two more persons. Chidambaram was very vocal in his statement the day before however, he is a man of words and not of action. The Maoists acted and the repercussions are really felt in a strong way.
The question is that how can the system be so ignorant. How can a system that functions with the money of at least 55 million tax payers, be a sitting duck for a group of tribals having sophisticated weapons? Is your money being used in a proper way? Forget about the fact that it is being used in our development or not, but whether it is being used judiciously to give us good safety or not that itself is a primary question. Like everytime, after every attack the government has let us down, and because this govt doesn’t have any substantial opposition so there is nothing we can do.
करने के लिए कुछ ज्यादा तो हैं नहीं क्योंकि यह एक प्रजातंत्र का मज़ाक हैं