Showing posts from 2012
Timely Vaccination Can Protect Precious Little Lives from Vaccine-preventable Diseases—Save a Child, Save a Life, and Save a Dream.

Hope amidst Despair

Anger on the streets of the national capital and in the social media demanding speedy justice to the rape victim; this was waiting to happen. It's horrifying to even imagine what the harassed girl, boy, and their families may be going through. It's even shocking to hear people responsible to ensure safety of the citizens, writing off the crime as a stray incident. How can it be a stray incident, when several such acts of humiliation, harassment, and crime come to light every day? The fearlessness of the perpetrators is simply alarming. It's disillusioning to find police resort to water cannon, lathicharge, and tear gas attack on people demanding speedy justice, rather than assuaging their concerns. The indifferent attitude of the representatives and bureaucrats to the just concerns of the public defies all reasoning. People have shied away from talking about such crimes for far too long. It was almost like a social taboo to speak about certain crimes in public. Their anger…

Tribute to a Special Person

I got it wrong on the Presidential election. It was a brave decision by the Congress to nominate Pranab da as presidential candidate under the circumstances. However, this post is in dedication to a special person.

We come across many people in our lives. While some remain as mere acquaintances, some evolve as friends. In today's age, friends may not necessarily be of the same age. They may include both young and old. I lost a friend last night. A special person, in his seventies, was steadfast in his trust in me during a crucial period. Whenever I spoke to him, he responded with compassion, which reflected his confidence in me. The same was true for his wife, who survives him. I realize that after my parents and immediate family members, this couple was of great help. There are times, when all that you require is others trust rather than any practical help. The greatness of such people with wisdom is that they might not even realize that they are helping others, simply by trusti…

The Next Head of State

The volatile political situation, growing dominance of the regional parties, social activism and vibrant media have changed the dynamics of the Presidential election. The countdown has begun and so have the parleys among the political parties. With general elections, just two years away, the national and regional parties are eager to get their permutations and combinations right. No new names have emerged so far, but we can't rule out surprises. Here's my list of probable personalities (not in order of probability or preference) for the top post:
Hamid Ansari
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Surjit Singh Barnala
M.S. Swaminathan
Somnath Chatterjee
Mohsina Kidwai

Well, we don't have shortage of capable personalities, so many names may emerge as the days go by.

The Missing Balance - Lit Fest, Controversy, Freedom and Feast

The literary fest: Authors and readers alike wait eagerly for such festivals. Debate, dialogue, readings and stories, the fest had everything that one seeks from an assembly of writers and readers. If acclaimed writers left their impression, Oprah Winfrey stole the show.
The controversy: What was the controversy about? Was it regarding the banned book or the person who wrote it? Was it regarding the sentiments of a particular religion? Was it regarding freedom of speech or expression? Was there an election factor? Whatever the reason, no one was interested in the solution. The so called ‘hardliners’ and the so called 'liberals' did not help the cause. Perceived and real threats made matters worse. The on and off approach of the government was on expected lines.
Ban is on the book, not the man: Is the author in question so influential to affect the wisdom of Indian people? The book is already banned. The author was scheduled to speak on a different topic. He had visited Indi…

Child Deaths - The Blame Game Continues

Child deaths continue. Sadly, the blame game continues as well. When people vote a new party to power after allowing the old one to stay for more than three decades, they are bound to have expectations. The expectations increase when the leader of the new party is someone, who they feel has struggled enough to reach that position. Yes, I am talking about West Bengal. There is no denying the fact that changes cannot happen overnight. At the same time, it's sad and shocking to find people quoting statistics and indulging in blame game. It only adds to the pain of those who have lost their children. And, this is true for every state. India is a major contributor to the tally of child deaths. I don't want to quote figures, as it does not serve any purpose. One can find them on UNICEF's website. The least that one expects from those at the helm is to be more empathetic in their responses. Does it cost anything? We not only have to develop health care infrastructure in the rura…

Elections 2012 - Across Continents

Democracy with all its inherent flaws is still the best bet for the world. Elections play a pivotal role in democracy. Election fever has set in many of the countries going to polls this year. Here's a look at some of the elections scheduled this year.
The Finnish will vote on January 22 to elect a new President. The Finnish elect the President by a direct vote. The Parliament enjoys more powers, but the President has say in foreign affairs. Eight candidates belonging to eight different parties are in the race for the President. Five of the candidates are less than 55 years of age. Paavo Arhinmaki, 34, of the Left Alliance is the youngest of the pack and Paavo Lipponen, 70, of the Social Democratic Party is the oldest among the candidates. In case none of the candidates succeeds in garnering more than 50% of the votes, the constitution provides for a second round of election between the top two candidates.
Election campaign is in top gear here in India as the five states of Goa,…

First Polio Free Year - Is Any Problem Insurmountable?

India's first polio free year has proved that determined and sustained efforts can result in amazing results. That should serve as encouragement for other initiatives and campaigns. We are facing severe challenges in the form of climate change, environmental degradation, child labor, malnutrition and numerous other concerns. Many of these issues seem insurmountable, thanks to the slow movement, improper implementation of schemes and disagreements among nations. Creating awareness is one of the ways to tackle these challenges. And, there is a ray of hope. Several international organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are leveraging twitter to communicate developments, initiatives, policies and links to reports. Their proactive engagement to disseminate information is highly commendable. There are no easy solutions, we have a tough task ahead. However, sustained eff…

Chak De! Team India

The Australian tour has been a disappointment for Team India so far. Not surprisingly, expert opinion is out. And who are the experts? Well, in India everyone is a cricket expert and everyone thinks they know better than the person who steered India to victory in T20 and ODI World Cup, and achieve the top ranking in test cricket. The media is leading the batch of experts in highlighting the uninspiring performance of MS Dhoni in recent Test Matches. Some are even suggesting his replacement as test captain. Just 9 months back, we had documentaries across television channels and articles in print media praising the rise of a star from the state of Jharkand. Well, they will say they are just doing their job. There is nothing new in this trend. Captains go through such phases.
There is no doubt that Indian skipper has been going through a bad phase, but who else is not. Over the last one year, except for veterans Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, no other Indian batsmen has performed we…

The Journey Continues...

Here we are in 2012, a leap year, so it will bound us for another 366 days. 
Hmm... another year. We never know what it has in store. 
One thing is sure, its time for change, for that has been for years now. The form and shape does not matter. Do we have control on the changes at the first place? Yes, on some occasions, answer is in the negative for others. 
Perhaps, it would be the busiest year ever. The journey of life continues with all its twists and turns, pleasant and unpleasant surprises. As usual, the learning continues with self-motivation and there are events, and people—both young and old who inspire. Life would not be boring, it never was. Nothing would be easy, it never was. Some will admire and appreciate, others will question. Some will understand, some will perfect the art of misunderstanding. If I am sad, some will share my sadness, others will encourage me to be easygoing. If I am happy, some will share my happiness, others will try their best to keep me down. If I …