Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pioneer-DilliBilli-30th.Oct.2011-"STOP TEAM ANNA BASHING"


Instead of targeting Hazare & his team, the Government needs to find a solution to corruption quickly.

The UPA-II Government and the Congress had not estimated or taken into account the embarrassment it would face due to Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement. The ruling Government, it appears, has deliberately shut it’s eyes and ears to the message the public wants to convey. Our leaders live in the world of their own. It could be because of arrogance or ignorance or a combination of both. Nobody is listening to what the Congress workers in villages have to say — that the aam admi is revolting against the corruption.

Leaders who are TV news channels giving statements have missed the implications of the Hazare’ movement. In fact, they are misleading the High Command in order to come closer to her. This is not only annoying Team Anna but also the public. There is an undercurrent —the public wants to know if their leaders can feel the pulse of the common man or whether they are just not concerned what happens to those who vote them to power.

Hazare is only expressing the sentiments of the billion-plus population. It is not Team Anna who is the enemy of the ruling Government, it is corruption and bribery. Hazare’s team is a tool which addressed the movement against corruption. It is absurd that the Government is unable to see the gravity of the situation. Even an illiterate person, today, has the sense to know that Hazare’s movement is gaining momentum. And targeting it will send out one message — the Government is hounding them unnecessarily.

Ignorance about the sensitivity of situation may cost a party to loose an election. The arrogance shown by the Government has frustrated the public. The youth today will not tolerate the high-handed manner in which the Government is handling sensitive issues. Today, the youth is angry, impatient and is looking for quick solutions. The results of the Hisar election was a slap to the Congress for the arrogance it showed. The party lost its touch with the grassroot worker and paid a heavy price. The Congress blames Anna for its loss. If this were the case why did it not take corrective steps? While the loss in all five by elections may not affect the High Command, it has affected the morale of the grassroot worker. Six months back if someone had asked the party in Punjab if they would win the answer would have been a confident ‘yes’. Things have changed now. Inflation, price rise of essential commodities, non-performance of UPA-II and corruption is taking its toll.

Added to the party’s woes is the fact that Congress leaders are making irresponsible remarks against Team Anna. The aam admi is angry. They want the person who has taken up their cause to be treated with respect. Gunning after the members of Team Anna is not going to help. It’ like — the pot calling the kettle black. One can’t escape from the truth that corruption is a part of our lives. The Government needs to address the issue and find a solution.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pioneer-DilliBilli-23rd.Oct.2011-"CHANGE THE SYSTEM"


The fact that RK Sharma walked free last week in the Shivani murder case proves that our system is lopsided

It is not unheard of people being picked up by the police from anywhere and put behind bars for no fault of theirs. The practice is becoming common. The sad part is that the person is not given an opportunity to prove his innocence. Added to the woes is that if there is no one to help, the onus to defend falls on the person and that, too, from behind the bars!

There have been instances where people have been picked up on grounds of allegations, suspicion or enmity. I know of many people where the cops because of their own lack of knowledge or because they were towing some powerful man’s line have randomly picked up people for questioning. Last week, former police officer RK Sharma walked free after the Delhi High Court acquitted him and two other co-accused because the evidence against them was not convincing enough. I am neither accusing him nor defending him. Nor am I talking about whether he is innocent or guilty. My point is that if he is innocent then who is responsible for the 12 years he spent behind bars away from his family. It is said that the CBI’s conviction rate is only 25 per cent.

Many would blame the lopsided system that exists in our country. Well, it is high time that the Government change it because no system in the world has the right to put an innocent man behind bars for a crime that he has not committed. To add to the problem, the media today has donned the role of pronouncing the person ‘guilty’ even before the trial begins. And if the person happens to be well-known, the media has more food for fodder. They will not only hound him, his family, friend’s and even servant’s will not be spared. It is therefore, very important that the cops and the investigating agency need to be extremely sensitive while handling cases, especially when a murder is involved.

Coming back to the High Court’s verdict of freeing Sharma. The fact that he has walked free created quite a stir. The people are confused. Who is to be blamed for not having produced enough evidence against the person who was directly linked to Shivani Bhatnagar’s murder? And if Sharma was guilty why did he walk free? At one level, one feels sorry for his family. The humiliation that it faced almost 10 years ago continues with his release. My heart goes out for his wife and children. How they must have spent these years — to be looked upon as the wife of a murderer, to be labeled as children of a murderer. Sharma belongs to an educated family. If he had continued to serve, he may have reached a top rank. If a person with his connections can be punished for over a decade for a crime that he did not commit, what about the plight of the aam admi?

What kind of a system do we live in today? If a person is guilty, he walks free and a person who is innocent continues to be behind bars. Thousands of innocent people are behind bars for a crime they didn’t commit. A popular saying — justice delayed is justice denied — is apt.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pioneer-DilliBilli-16th.Oct.2011-"MACAU,ISLAND PARADISE"


With magic shows, shopping, golf & casinos, the city has much more to offer than just gambling.

I had heard that Macau, the small island along Hong Kong, was just a gambling paradise. Hence, for a girl from the mountains, the temptation of travelling to a destination surrounded by the sea was irresistible. I had not been to Hong Kong for many years. With the Chinese having taken over, I wanted to see the changes. I jumped at the opportunity when it presented itself. So, Macau became one of the places to visit. With bag full of medicines and some eatables for 80-plus ladies (my mother and mother-in-law were travelling with me), we set off.

Arrival at the new Hong Kong airport was smooth. A quick change from one terminal to the ferry terminal took us to Macau. It was smooth sailing into Macau, with a short taxi ride we rode into, perhaps one of the best hotels in the world — The Venetian. The forty storey-plus hotel also has the distinction of being the sixth largest casino. It is the only hotel that I have seen which has a canal with gandolas. The guests can take a ride and shop from the stores lined along the canal. The hotel has 11,000 employees — all extremely courteous and helpful. If this doesn’t impress you, how about the fact that it has 3,000 suites with an artificial sky as its ceiling! What is more amazing is that the clouds appear to be moving. The spa health centre run by Mayo Clinic ensures that you are all set to enjoy the visit to this island paradise.

Being an old Portuguese colony, Macau still has beautiful Churches which have been declared as national heritage sites. It’s a beautiful mix of cultures that has been left by the Portuguese, the British and now, the new Chinese regime. In comparison, Hong Kong comes across as a downtown in New York city. Busy streets, business hub and tall buildings on one end and some of the finest beaches at the other end.

We were also a witness to a typhoon — Nesat. Due to bad weather we had to postpone our sailing from Macau to Hong Kong by one day. Such was the furry of the typhoon that schools and businesses had to be closed all the way down to Philippines. But in a day things were back to normal. Fortunately, we were in the country when it was celebrating its National Day. We saw one of the best fireworks which lasted for 23 minutes and lit up the entire harbour! I was told it cost $ eight million to put up the show.

Hong Kong, in the last two decades, has transformed itself. It has changed with globalisation and kept pace with modernisation. What is surprising is how the tourists view the country and the growth it has undergone. At night, Hong Kong and Macau become a tourists’ paradise. It is no wonder that some people refer to Macau as the Las Vegas of Asia — after all it has entertainment for all age groups. From magic shows to a game of golf to heritage walks to casinos to shows for the adults — all of which is a heady mix of delight.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pioneer-DilliBilli-9th.Oct.2011-"THE COP-OUT EXPERIENCE"


As it turns out, the police doesn't always help the aam aadmi.
It can be termed as one of the most horrifying, yet interesting, experiences. Recently, I visited a mall on the outskirts of Delhi. After looking around, I entered a small saree shop. It had great designs at reasonable prices. I bought one saree and walked out. Within minutes I realised that my mobile was missing. I immediately went back to the shop and created a fuss.

A young customer, who was still in the shop, had seen me talking over the phone when I was in the shop. Though he intervened, it took over an hour and much fretting, fuming and threats to call the police that the shop manager was able to find my mobile. The phone was switched off when I got it back. But I was elated that I had my phone back. I walked out of the shop once again and switched on the phone.

Much to my surprise it asked me to insert the SIM card. Thinking that the card had loosened, I opened the cover and took out the battery. Much to my horror I found that the SIM was missing. I went back to the shop and demanded that they tell me who had taken out the card. One reads how SIM cards are misused, so I called the mall security who was of no help at all.

I decided to call my daughter who called the cops and gave them the details of the shop. The young customer, who had helped me earlier, stepped in again. He called up my son and dialled 100 again. The incident happened around 5:30 pm and till 7:30 there was no sign of police. My son drove down from Defence Colony, but no cops.

I, of course, refused to leave the shop till I got my SIM back. When the shopkeepers realised that there was no way that I would leave, they pretended to look for the SIM. One of them bent down under a counter and came out with the SIM. “It must have fallen,” was the only explanation they gave.

Even though I was relieved, I was still angry that the cops had not paid any attention to the call made to them. What angered me even more was that the manager of the store was totally oblivious to my dilemma.

I walked out of the shop for the second time and called a top police officer. It was after this call that a police van came and took my statement.

The shop had four CCTV cameras but the footage is yet to be made available. It has been a week now. The much publicised slogan by the Delhi Police — With You, For You, Always — turned out to be such a farce.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pioneer-DilliBilli-2nd.Oct.2011-"ALL IS FAIR IN POLITICS TODAY"

Even though there are a few politicians who are in Tihar, there are many who still roam free.

The Congress has finally found its feet back now that Sonia Gandhi is back from the US after her surgery. The upheavals that the Government had been facing, in the last three months, appear to be heading to some concrete solution. Despite various disruptions in the Parliament, it managed to conduct business. Even though there have been many scams, the silver lining is that that guilty have been punished and lodged in Tihar.

Many associated with the 2G scam are in Tihar. So is Suresh Kalmadi. And then there is Amar Singh who was sent to Tihar but, at present, is in AIIMS undergoing treatment for renal infection. In Karnataka, the mining scandals forced the resignation of the former BJP Chief Minister, BS Yeddyurappa, Anna Hazare and the Civil Society supporters fought and won. Narendra Modi is overjoyed by the Supreme Court’s decision. A lot is happening in the political circles these days.

Amar Singh and Suresh Kalmadi are two heavyweight politicians and who had many friends across party lines. They are both large hearted and loved to party. Both are, in their way, enamoured with Bollywood and liked to be surrounded by their star friends. They lived life king size and made no apology for that. But unfortunately, Singh and Kalmadi made the wrong kind of friends — none stood by them in their hour of trouble.

In their political career, they left their main party base — Singh left Mulayam Singh and Kalmadi left Sharad Pawar. That was sure to make some enemies and though Singh and Kalmadi have the money, it sure can’t buy them the freedom. Both never cared what people said about them and did what pleased them. The same applies to the former Minister of Karnataka Janardhana Reddy is also in Tihar.

One can’t forget Raja and Kanimozhi who are a part of the elite politicians behind bars. However, if the Government thinks that having put the corrupt politicians behind Tihar will save their image, it is wrong. Sending a few corrupt behind bars doesn’t take away the fact that there are many other corrupt politicians who refuse to mend their ways. The public is smart and is aware of what is happening in the name of being people’s representatives. Putting four-five politicians behind bars is not going to cleanse the system. The entire system — from civil servants to babus to clerks — all must be made accountable and responsible for any misuse of the position and Government funds.

Do the politicians realise that the wealth they have amassed will not help them when they are behind bars? One wonders if they treat politics as a game where those with power and money will not be touched because the ruling party needs them to stay in power?

A joke is being circulated, what if a politician is loosing power within his/her party, they are gaining ground in Tihar.

Well, in politics all is fair. And many politicians are living on this motto.