Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Pioneer- Dilli Billi -26th.August.2012 - "ANNA-RAMDEV ANTI-CORRUPTION REMIX"


The conflicting messages given by Team Anna and Baba Ramdev have confused the public which now only wants a system that’s corruption-free.

The feeling of deja vu was overwhelming when one saw Team Anna at Jantar Mantar. The clippings on news channel reminded one of the days when Anna had started his anti-corruption movement last year from Ramlila Maidan. But this time, things were different.

While Anna was still following the Gandhian ethos, his team members were talking about how they could amalgamate themselves in the 21st century. Political aspirations came out in the open much to the surprise of the common man. Most wondered the reason behind announcing disbanding of the team and forming of a political party. Was the inaction on the Lokpal Bill that forced the team to take such a drastic step? Well, only time would tell.

And if the anshan at Jantar Mantar was not enough, Baba Ramdev announced his andolan on fight against corruption and black money. There was a huge gathering for the Baba’s movement. The difference in the number of people who had come out in support for Ramdev was for all to see. And while Team Anna had said that there was a gathering of more than 10,000 at Jantar Mantar, most people put the figure at not more than 2,000 — a stark contrast in show of strength at Ramlila Maidan last year.

While all the drama unfolded at Jantar Mantar and at Ambedkar Stadium, the politicians though wary of the proceeding were caught up in their own problems. The multiple scams kept the UPA Government busy even though they are used to a new scam coming to light every now and then.

nterestingly, much drama follows Baba Ramdev. A day before Independence Day he was asked to vacate Ambedkar Stadium. The supporters had made the stadium their personal property. There were discarded paper plates, empty water bottles, cigarette stubs and carelessly dug holes in the lush green grass turf. But nobody was concerned about the mess at the stadium.

The aam aadmi who is talking about Ramdev’s andolan is confused by the conflicting signals being sent by Team Anna and Baba Ramdev. But they do understand Ramdev’s simple yet aggressive approach. And though his rally had to be stopped, it had many netas worried.

And though Team Anna and Ramdev are fighting for the same thing — remove corruption and tackle black money issue — the public is is tired of all the rallies. Many have realised that the politicians are not concerned with finding a solution to either of the problems. In India fighting elections to make a point is not new. But for Team Anna big stakes are involved. Winning an election is a different ball game altogether. The fact that all the members of Team Anna not talking the same language is making them lose credibility.

The UPA Government’s arrogance is irking the public. But all that the common man can do is bear the insensitivity of the Government. The country has been independent for 65 years and the mother of all scams — the coalgate scam — has already had the UPA UPA Government on the run. For now only one slogan is apt — Garv se bolo mera scam mahan, jai Hind.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Pioneer- Dilli Billi -19th.August.2012 - "KNOWLEDGE,NOT DEGREE IMPORTANT"


Despite the fact that the youth today have a plethora of degrees, the truth is that they don’t have the necessary skills to be employable.

The intelligence of small children always leaves me amazed. Their imagination, their sense of humour and wonderment is truly fascinating. Therefore, whenever I visit my friend, I love watching the antics of her children. What is more endearing is that they are not afraid to ask ‘why’. All, too often, the elders in the family wished that they wouldn’t but this question appears to be very important to them. But as they grown up, things change.

What happens to these wonderful abilities when they start going to school? Why is it that most employers want to hit their head against a brick wall when they interview potential candidates. There is only one question in their mind — how on earth can the candidate think that he can do the job that they are applying for despite three years of university education and an MBA degree when they don’t have a view point on anything?

Talking to friends in the UK and the US, the story is the same. After years of education many young people continue to be unemployed. There are several opportunities for those who can afford higher education but has this made a difference to the quality of the education? Students have become customers; education has become a commodity to be sold and the process of learning has become devalued. Therefore, even after getting half-a-dozen degrees many find themselves with no jobs.

There are reports that more private universities are being set up. In fact, in one State, 20 new universities have come up in the last two years. Unfortunately, many seats are vacant in engineering and management department. Maybe people have realised that just getting an MBA degree is not the ticket to getting a job. A friend who had interviewed and MBA told me that he had fewer skills than his driver!

Many times my friends are not free to go out for a lunch or a cup of coffee because their children or grandchildren have tuition classes or an extra curricular activity like dancing, singing or even painting. Going for extra classes after school has become a status symbol just like carrying a Channel handbag! All this, when they are still in nursery school. It is sad what we are doing to small children. This is the age where they should be playing. The learning can follow later when they are much older.

Unfortunately, because the rat-race to get mark starts at an early age by the time they reach Class XII they are completely burnt out. Most of the university going students tell you that they are more concerned with passing than learning. Is it any wonder that most fail to cross the first hurdle where they need to take responsibility and to demonstrate their creativity and talent. Learning should be fun. General knowledge and exposure is a must. Appearing for an exam to pass should not be the end result.

During our time securing 60 per cent was considered excellent. Today, a student with 90 per cent doesn’t get admission in a good college in Delhi. The entire education system needs to be changed. Education needs to be made more practical. The aim should be to acquire knowledge and not just a degree.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Pioneer- Dilli Billi -12th.August.2012 - "ANNA CHARTERS A NEW PATH"


Now, that Anna Hazare has decided to disband his team and form a political party the nation can expect a corrupt-free system.

The fight against corruption by Anna Hazare reached a predictable conclusion this month. The newspaper reports that Anna has decided to disband his team should not be misconstrued as his weakness. Anna’s fan following is genuine. People swarming to where he sat on fast — be it Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar — was there for all to see on news channels.

The masses, in their own way, support Anna’s crusade against corruption. We have all somewhere down the line paid our way through to get the work done. Whether it is a `10 bribe to a MCD sweeper to clean the street in front of our house or `1,000 to get a driving license without any hassle or paying the tout to get a confirmed train ticket. Anna’s message touched the hearts of each Indian. The reason he has become so popular is because he gave hope of a corrupt-free nation.

I, too, have paid bribes many times to get the work done. It is referred to as jugaad. To be jugaadu is good. It would be difficult to survive if one was not jugaadu. Though many people despise themselves, get angry and frustrated that they had to stoop to such levels, the truth is that nothing moves in this country unless one shows the Government babus the colour of money. It doesn’t matter whether one is a businessman or a man on the streets, all need a jugaad.

But why do we need it? Of course, to reach the top and then to maintain that position. In my opinion a survivor is (read jugaadu) is a person who knows where and how to pull his contacts to his advantage.

Now, when Anna has announced his intent to enter politics he will realise how difficult it is to survive in a system which is corrupt from top to bottom. One needs to be thick skinned to not let reality affect you. It is said that politics is the best business today. It is not a State secret that almost all political parties have a backing from business houses. Anna may find it difficult to head a political party on just fight against corruption tag.

Anna’s call for a non-corrupt nation is what every Indian wants. But to run a system that is clean will take decades to achieve. Anna may lay the foundation but where is the guarantee that the people who succeed him would be just as committed to the cause as he is?

Even for Anna it would be an uphill task. One would need to educate each voter. The media can play an important role here. But it is the youth which needs to be educated properly. If Anna can even get eight MPs in the Lok Sabha he can make a big difference. After all, if Sharad Pawar with nine MPs can hold the UPA to ransom, why can’t Anna become a king-maker. At least, he would work for the betterment of the common man.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Pioneer- Dilli Billi -5th.August.2012 - "DISCIPLINE A CHILD WITHOUT SPANKING"


Times have changed. Beating a child is no longer the solution to teach him a lesson. Explaining to him what is correct is the key to proper upbringing .

Horror stories about children being mistreated in schools have become common. A few weeks back, all news channels ran a story on how a warden, as a punishment, forced a 10-year-old girl to lick her urine after bed-wetting. The warden had put salt on the spot and forced the girl’s face into the urine while her roommates looked on.

Over the years, we have heard of reports of children being slapped so hard, by the teacher, that they bled from the ear or became deaf. Locking a child in a bathroom and forgetting is common as well. Some children have even fainted in the bathroom. Recently, there was a case where a child after being scolded jumped off a building and died. And these reports are not from metros alone. Small towns and villages have their share of stories.

The media, with its 24X7 on your face reporting screams for justice for the family and demands harshest the punishment for the culprit. But punishing a child is nothing new. There is an adage: Spare the rod and spoil the child. Almost everyone, as a child, has been punished. Fights with brothers and sisters are common. There is nothing wrong in trying to discipline a child by slapping him once in a while. But to force a child to lick her urine as a form of punishment is crossing the line.

And then there is another form of punishment, this time in hostels. There are numerous instances where boys have committed suicide due to the humiliation they have faced during ragging. Despite the fact that ragging has been banned it continues to take victims.

One can only imagine the shock and sadness that descends on the family when such an incident takes place. Some of us have studying in boarding schools. My children also went to a boarding school. Whenever they would be ragged, I would get angry and want to take up the matter with the school authorities. But they would stop me. So, they stopped telling me the whole truth. They were scared that I would complain that the ragging had not stopped. They grew up to be independent and capable of looking after themselves.

Today, it is anger, frustration and impatience that make teachers cruel. But it is a little odd that a rap on the knuckles is termed as being cruel. As for locking the student in the bathroom, there are many parents today who resort to such punishment when their child misbehaves. The problem lies when both parents and teachers cross the thin line that demarcates cruelty and an act that is unforgivable.

Times have changed and beating a child to discipline him is no longer the best way to mend his ways. Spanking a child can lead to low self esteem and his studies may get affected. It is very important for a child to be able trust his parents. And that trust will come when the child feels assured that he will not be let down in front of others.

Explaining the child what is right and wrong and how he should behave is the key to teach him the right kind of values. The children have more exposure today. They have a scientific bent of mind.

Logic is the only way to make them see sense.