Bursting away ‘Youth’ with crackers? October 24, 2011Posted by Akriti Bahal in Peace, Poverty.
Tags: Diwali, pollution
1 comment so far
“You young generation, have no respect for the elders. Always rash!” Says a curmudgeon at the Rajiv Chowk metro station, on being stepped on his foot.
“The youngsters of today are an oversized knapsack of laziness and inactiveness, having impractical ideas! Why don’t they understand that we have more experience!” Declares another man to his colleague, sitting at their office canteen.
“They aren’t even born yet, and they think they know the world.” Pronounces a beldam while crossing a road offhandedly during the rush hour and just saving herself from being hit by four cars.
How many of us come across situations where you are just tagged with misnomers like lazy and ignorant by the people, without going much into the depth of anything? Yeah I know, extraneous question, I need not even ask; because we all are aware of the answer.
When most people think of us – the awkward age, they see us as a horizontal line. One end screams, “Violent! Asbos! Hoodies!” and the other end whispers, “A+ student; liberal; friendly”; the only difference is that at the other end, there is nobody but, we ourselves.
We are lumped into one group or the other. More often than not the only group that is ever reported on is the former. Well, what about the rest of us? I agree, that ill-activities and thieving are reaching aerial heights these days, but why labeling the entire clan as horrendous? And mind you, misdeeds are carried out by people of all levels of maturity, and not specifically the youth. Some maybe belonging to the dark underbelly, but most of us, we are not. We might be crawling with snail steps, but we work very hard just to get a puny appreciation from you folks; just so that we could see our parents standing there with a smile full of pride, it’s just that our ways might be a little different and we have the right to think differently. Don’t we? Or are we just puppets of maven people? We too have the right to experience ourselves and then learn, right? Just like you people did.
In a place where a 16-year old, young Gurbaksh Chahal can set up his first company, ClickAgents and thereby turn up to be among the biggest entrepreneurs in a very short time; where a 4.5-year old, Prakratti Chandra can give discourses to people on eye awareness and motivate people to donate their eyes, and thereby become the brand ambassador of Dristi Suraksha Abhiyan; where a seven-year old Akrit Jaswal, can perform his first medical surgery and turn up to be “world’s smartest boy”; the youth doesn’t turn out to be all that bad as many elderly people might think.
We all our working, you see, its just that every person shines at it’s own pace.
So, why blowing up ‘Youth’ with crackers, and filling your minds with the smoke of delusion about Youngsters?
And, hey youth! Why exploding the peaceful time of Diwali and flaming up the Earth with pollution? Don’t you see the hapless Raju and Rani, sitting there in dark and smiling to the different colours their eyes can see, but not feel. The little Sonu, looking expectantly at you, hoping for a ‘sweet’ Diwali, for himself too. The tender footed Poonam walking bare footed on the splintery road of life, hoping for a cushy and warm Diwali. So, why bursting away ‘Youth’ with crackers?
It’s a Diwali for Raju, Rani, Sonu and Poonam too. That’s what ‘we’ can make, and not blazing up money in fumes; and the Earth in ashes.
Coz that’s why we are misjudged. Time to change that, guys!
Make it a very happy Diwali for yourself and for the Chotu, looking innocently at you. Because, is Diwali aap kisko khush kar rahe hain?
Rotten Eggs, Stale Tomatoes and ‘Ladies Sandals’ October 14, 2011Posted by Akriti Bahal in Empowerment of Women, Poverty, Struggle.
Tags: Womens' empowerment
Well, wondering if, in the year of abnormalities, Holi has replaced Diwali this year, that I’m gathering ‘rotten eggs-and-stale tomatoes‘ ?
Then yes, it has! It’s Holi my friend! A rain of awakening! A splash of colours of justice, for gender equality! A balloon fight for ‘unbiased’ empowerment of women!
The other day I presented, or rather ‘I was made to’ present a presentation (as, I just landed from Guwahati and straight away, I was burdened with two t-o-t-a-l-l-y different kinds of presentations scheduled for the next day and after) on ‘Empowerment of Women’. It was a crappy piece of work with sentences from Wikipedia floating pervasively on my pages. Was that my opinion? Nah. That was just my friend Wikipedia saying solely about statistics and factual data and not referring to reality. To our reality, of gender (in)equality, today.
Kicking off with a very light-footed question. Are we (females) safe in any place, alone? (And I’m not talking, solely, of Delhi, so please stop giving me your arguments about ‘only’ Delhi being unsafe for girls. If Delhi is a mud-pit, Mumbai is nothing less than an overflowing drain and Bihar, a sty.) Click! And we all have a smile for sympathy on our brittle faces, because we all know the answer. But, whose fault is it? Is it our (females’) fault that the mentality of guys mostly fall only to such cheap levels. What about us? That because of such sordid guy-mentality, we are restrained from ‘living‘.
The condition is such that, in the age of iphone 4S where man has, practically, become a master completely slaving technology, we are still controlled by some orthodox patriarch of the society. (And mind you, the terms ‘we and ‘us’ in today’s post refer only to the female club. So guys, go put a lipstick to slip in!)
For instance, allowance to us for going to a nearby park, is also given a second thought only because darkness is ‘about’ to fall, while your younger brother is conceded to wander around even late in the night. Referring to a year old conversation with a friend, that just sneaked into my head, I find myself hearing, “Guys easily get a car (or bus or truck or whatever, if you live in a highway and own a Dhaba!) to drive all by themselves, but when it comes to girls, it’s a shackled situation.” I say, even toddler guys, who have not even gotten over their cycling-age, roar into the streets with their cars, in today’s time, and that’s not same for girls.
Anyway, cutting the trivial issues here, we have more momentous arguments to focus on.
Still in parts of India, the sex of the unborn is checked just to make sure that it’s a boy, and if it’s a girl, it is aborted. Female foeticide still exists! In other parts the condition is even worse. The levels of humaneness fall to this extent, that newborn girls are even suffocated to death, mercilessly. I ask, if you are such big a follower of the deep-rooted cultures of India, then where have they vanished now? Stop washing your blood-stained hands off the Indian Culture fish story. You are nothing but, murderers! Incessant murderers.
Although I feel, that the female sacrifice, or as we have read it in the standard 8th history books as — Sati practices, have been abolished to a great extent. But, the problem doesn’t end here. Till the time, we let ourselves be suppressed, no one can help us. We need to come up, for nobody else, but ourselves. For our equality, our justice.
The other day I was travelling in the Delhi Metro, and all I found was an entire set of seats invaded by the pachyderm asses — The Men (in black), and it was the ‘womens’ compartment’. But, I don’t blame them here, don’t we all know that it requires a cane to tame a lion (or dog) and here, only we can act as canes. C’mon! If you have a problem with men in the womens’ compartment then speak for it, don’t just give your disgusting stares to their clan, coz that might not have any hypnotic effect (until and unless you are Pamela Anderson!).
All of us might remember the Slumdog Millionaire, after all it was virgin India’s first chance to be proud of it’s slums and the putrid conditions prevailing here. Yeah right, Jai ho!
So, of all the things, we might also have enjoyed the ‘forced’ selling of young girls or let me put it as — forced prostitution (for a gradual stage) portrayed in the movie. Well if you might have missed it, in the awe of cute kids with their cute acting, then don’t feel sad, because that can be seen in major of India, still. Below-the-poverty-line families, with exploding populace don’t kill their female newborns, but sell them for money. That’s even worse. Are you nothing but, machines producing ‘life’ for money?
And these are not all, the just‘ice’ is needed because what our country faces, is also, female beating and violence, where drunk husbands treat their wives as nothing but, punching bags for their frustration.
Can anything ever stop if all we do is, talk in the air and not come up, ever? Atleast all of us can come ‘together’, to speak up for it, coz it may be possible to suppress one, but not many.
We live in the fast-paced Metropolitans and affluent families, so we might not come across such extremities, but helping the ones who do, is also our duty! Female humaneness, you can say, because the ones who suffer from it, surely need our help. A help to give them the strength to come forward, atleast. I’m sure we can do it!
And for those whose thoughts are still stuck in a conundrum of Holi and Diwali, go burst water bijli bombs and throw gola bomb balloons! Coz it might just be the commencement of Holi-Diwali justice, for some.
India at the Brink of Independence! August 15, 2011Posted by Akriti Bahal in Corruption, Freedom, Independence Day, Patriotism, Politics, Poverty, Struggle.
Wondering if I’m talking about just-another festive day in India. National holiday. Ensconcing yourself at home. Complete rest and relaxation. Well yeah, then I’m talking about just that!
Talking about this just-another holiday what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Of course kite flying, I know! Coz we’re just happy comfortably sitting at our homes giving free advises to run the country and criticizing the system. Coz we’re just too busy (or lazy) to step out of our comfort shell and actually do something. And when some Anna Hazare steps up for us, we do nothing but give advises to him too! This is OUR country and he is out there fasting and giving them a run-for-their-black-money just for us. What will he get on doing something like this? Now, here there is no selfish motive involved.
So, the fact is that we still have good people in the country. It is just that they are crushed. Why? Because we Indians are too chickened to come out on the streets and support someone who is doing it.
Now, I know I need not give any reasons why you must support Anna Hazare, for it is beneath Anna’s dignity to beg and make case for support when he is fighting for you against an abusive, corrupt regime. But, for those who still prefer to be the ostriches of their country (nah! country would be too vast a term, even I’m an ostrich then, in fact I may even be an ostrich of my city, Delhi, too! But, let’s just keep it to ostriches of the city), here’s a quick recap.
(As stated by Chetan Bhagat) Anna did a fast in April, which became the nation’s movement and spread virally. Concerned, the government agreed to make a good Lokpal Bill, shook hands with the activists and in principle agreed to Anna’s version, designed to truly check corruption. Since then, the government has insulted Anna’s team, thrown away their draft, and come up with its own almost pointless draft of the Lokpal Bill. The draft the government is presenting to Parliament will not check corruption. Only 0.5%, or one in 200 government officials are under its purview. Your corrupt ration shop, RTO, passport office, panchayats or municipal authority will not be covered. State scams will not be covered – yes, the Adarsh society scam or the Jharkhand scams are all out of its purview. The prime minister is excluded as well. Ever heard of a corruption law in a democracy that only applies to a certain section of people? The government is throwing magic dust in your eyes – and counting on India’s illiterate and ignorant to not know the difference. However, you reading this are educated. You know when wrong is being committed. You know that while you have lived your life with corruption, you do not want your children to do the same. A bad Lokpal Bill may not affect you today – but tomorrow it will hit you when your child does not get a college seat, when your hospital gives shoddy treatment, when your government work doesn’t get done. We live in a poor country – poor not because we don’t have what it takes to be rich, but because our leaders have let us down. We have given them too much power, and they consider our vote as a mandate to steal and be incompetent. They hate accountability. However, without accountability, our progress will stall. There are countries where the average income per person is 50 times more than in India. Don’t we deserve the same?
Thus, whatever your personal view on Anna, it is not him but his cause that needs support. The government can crush a few activists. However, it cannot crush India on the streets. A peaceful, firm, decisive protest is every Indian’s birthright, and must be exercised in times of need.
Coming back to flying kites on Independence Day, you know flying kites symbolizes the spirit of freedom, a spirit of free India. But, do you think we really are independent? Being a part of a political discussion, I was really ashamed to see that most of the people (and I mean people from all ages, including those who have witnessed the freedom struggle, too) acknowledged that India was better when there was British Rule than what is prevailing here today. Now, this is a point of real chagrin for all of us, for this means all those who struggled so hard only to make their next generations see a free country, all those who lost their lives in the struggle, was in vain? Are we so insentient that we don’t even canonize their sacrificed lives? And then we are happy digging our faces into the air and symbolizing the spirit of freedom when what we are suffering from is worse than British Rule!
Ending it with an excerpt from the ‘Tryst of Destiny’, the historic speech by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, which I think most of the ‘people-in-power’ have forgotten today.
The pledge “At this solemn moment when the people of India, through suffering and sacrifice have secured freedom, I, a member of the Constituent Assembly of India, do dedicate myself in a humility to the service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land attain her rightful and honoured place in the world and make her full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.”
With this, it’s a cry for help from India and we have to aid her coz she’s our mother and she needs help.
When there will be freedom from hunger, freedom from poverty, freedom from child labour, freedom from corruption that’s when India will be Independent. Coz ‘Nothing is permanent’ and we have to change it. We have to prove the advisory-systems, present in every home, wrong. We have to prove that India can change and we have to do it.
We have to save our country’s future. It’s time for us to come out on the streets and that’s how we can end this trepidation!
Now we have a job to do, coz we know that we are on the brink of independence but we are not independent yet!