Gujrat Elections and Democracy

19 Dec

Election results are out. BJP won; not very comfortably but a victory nonetheless. They will go on to claim this as an approval for their economic policies, despite the fact that they tried all they could to avoid this debate.

But it’s not the results that disturb me. What bothers me is the way the election was fought! I have believed for some time now that communication theories and styles play as important role as work if not more. It’s our site that put us in display out there. And this election was arguably the ugliest display I have seen.

Congress was partially riding on reservation promises and this was scary. They were the ones who took regressive step of providing reservation for OBCs rather than working towards social equality. Had they won, they probably would have went ahead to provide reservation to Patidars- creating a further division.

It was heartening to see Rahul visiting temples. Gandhi was one of the most secular national leaders but he never shied from singing “Vaishnav Jan..” or “Ragupati Raghav Raja Ram..”. To be secular you do not need to be non-religious or anti-religious. In fact I think accepting religion is first step in bring secular. But saying that he is Janeudhari or Shiv-Bhakt was unnecessary.

BJP too played dirty. Very dirty in fact. For a Prime Minister to go on record and say that opposition is collaborating with Pakistan!!! He even implicated a former PM.That’s a new low. And a very very scary low. To imply that an enemy state is trying to impact election and a major national party and a former PM are working with them! And that too cane straight from PM. If I have slightest faith in Mr PM I will not do anything to help an enemy states motives.

This was wrong. Very very wrong. I hope this doesn’t set a trend that it becomes impossible to separate lie from truth.

The third face of ugliness was of people. So ignorant and so gullible! A video went viral in which Rahul Gandhi was seen claiming how he would install machines which would convert potato into gold. Turns out, he was mimicking Modi’s speech.

People saw liked and forwarded this edited video in huge numbers without even verifying. Even if this doesn’t impact elections, such gullibility is injurious to democracy.

We live in an age of communication. We have to be wary of all that we hear, see and forward. The effect of combination needs to be limited to Agenda-Setting at best. If we allow this to create Magic Bullet effect, we are strangling the democracy.

Be careful. Be very very careful.

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Shape of Life

29 Nov

It’s kind of funny how some moments, some marks on paper can change your life forever. Life just becomes a ripple across time of this one point.

Some of these incidents make you feel thankful. You feel glad and even proud to have made those choices, while the others make you want to scream and cry-why should i face the punishment for eternity for a choice!

In such moments I remember the philosophical wisdom- “I look at birds and wonder they could fly anywhere on earth, why they don’t? And then I look at myself.”

Life has become increasingly more unforgiving. Angulimal or Valmiki cannot even dream of reform today. The society, the law and the internet are very unforgiving- and in that order.

But I should be thankful that at least those choices were mine, there are people whose lives get ruined for no mistake of their own.

In the end life is a sum of these fortunes and misfortunes. I drift to sleep and hope that I will wake out of this nightmare.

लिखता जाऊँ

11 Feb

जी करता है कि लिखता जाऊँ,
लिखता जाऊं, कहता जाऊं;
वो सारी बातें जो तुमने कही,
या कहते कहते ठिठक गयी|

विषयों की भी कमी नहीं है,
ग्रन्थ लिख सकता हूँ-

उस अंतरिक्ष में जाते यान पर,
सड़क किनारे कुचले श्वान पर,
आज फिर से टूटे एक अरमान पर;
थमती ठिठकती हर घ्राण पर।

 

शब्द भी हैं अगणित-

कुछ शब्दकोष में बंधे हुए
कुछ स्वछन्द हवा में उड़ते
कुछ इतराते, कुछ चहकते,
कुछ सहमे, कुछ सिसकते।

 
पर इस सूखे निर्झर से जीवन में भाव कहाँ से लाऊँ ?
जी तो करता है की आज फिर से मैं लिखता जाऊं!

Odd-Even in Delhi

1 Jan

So today was the first day for Delhites to follow the odd-even formula for private cars. [See Appendix at bottom]

There has been said a lot for and against the initiative. Sadly, the tussle at Delhi between the state and the center (and their very organised and blind followers) colors every topic into something totally different.

Skipping that part, I will come to the point.

The pollution is REAL. So real that it can wipe out life, as we know it, from this planet. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, climate change is unpredictable, non-renewable sources are depleting and renewable tech is nowhere close to fill the gap.

So get off the unicorn guys and deal with it. Is odd-even sufficient to control pollution? Hell no.

delhi1

As per this graph vehicles contribute at most roughly 8%-10% to pollution. There share in more dangerous type of pollution like NOx and CO is definitely much higher, but this scheme of cars will cut at most 3%-4% overall, 12%-15% NOx and 25%-30% of CO emissions. And that is nowhere enough. The obvious question is, is it worth the pain then? Scroll 6-8 lines above and re-read- WE MAY LOSE THE PLANET. This is war guys. So every bit is worth the effort.

This scheme touches the common man. And it gets them into discussion on pollution, thus having a more responsible society. And then, we can work on more areas like Cleaner construction tech, the dust particles.

So this is a war guys. Delhi, you have got a govt that is trying (ignore the drama); please support this as you did today. You can set the example for the country and even for the world.

Another thing I would like to talk about- the commutation is not a stand alone process, there is an eco-system around it.

The offices who do not stick to uniform work hours and thus making car-pooling a pain in neck, the schools who try to run only big buses (or only on selected routes), the auto-rickshaws who do not use meter. There is an entire ecosystem around it and everybody needs to do their bit.

Offices and corporates, you can afford to be more streamlined. Please check your working hours, create a discipline in the system. Schools you should be next, I think the limit of distance should already have made it easier for you. But try another mile.

Govt, you have been working on disciplining autos, but this is required even more now. And buses, we need buses, luxury buses; comfortable, safe, easily accessible.

And engineers, boy we need you! We desperately need cleaner construction tech. Can we assemble pieces outside city and transport them? Can we cut down on construction time? We really really need to solve this.

Again, all the best Delhites. May we all be victors.

Appendix

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Lloyd Unisex Washing Machine

11 Jul

To get noticed you have to stand on the extreme. And often, you may end up stereotyping. Here is Lloyd- promoting there not so established range of Washing machine as Unisex Washing Machines.

Not so long ago, we were talking about machines easy enough for women to handle; Lloyd talks of machines easy enough for men to handle. Stands out- definitely. But problem may be, it ends up stereotyping men and even mocking them. They may end up alienating men- still important decision maker in household.

Phones Down : McDonald’s

11 Apr

Smartphone is bad news for leisure industry. People are engrossed in virtual world so much that they forget the real world. Result- industries that operates on people relaxing or enjoying company of each other- should face a threat.

It was only a matter of time before someone would start talking about it. And guess who is doing it! Surprise Surprise! It is McDonalds.

McDonalds aren’t even proper leisure industry, they literally sell fast food. So, why they are worried? TG overlap! Largest consumer for both McD and Smartphones is the young India.

A noticeable event in adspace.

The More Loving One

11 Apr

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

-W. H. Auden, 1907 - 1973
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