Indian Flag

Indian Flag

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Danger which lies within

I was speaking to my friend from the United States yesterday and we as usual got round to the situation of Indian politics.  I think we both agreed that we needed a change.

This I think is in the mind of almost every Indian today. Problem is who to vote for:

On one hand we have a party which has shown utter greed ( this I think almost 80% or so of the people will agree) and absolute bumbling (such as food grains rotting while people go hungry)

This party now carries the weight of its previous burdens and this may be why thepolitician people who spoke the maximum for it have now decided that “health” reasons are why they cant participate in this elections.

On the other we have a person who may perhaps be a very wily person since he has played move after move to sidestep the minefields and has ridden the anti incumbent factor to its complete full extent. This person unfortunately carries the communal divide weight to hamper his every movement

On the third we have a rag tag lot of parties on a local level who will go this way and that based upon which way the wind will blow. This group has people who each harbor ideas of being the supremos and therefore will pull out the chairs from anyone in their internal alliance itself if it helps their needs

And finally we have a party which says tonnes but to date has not even made a dent, and then decides to push every chance it had aside for making a greater change. The only question this brings to mind is if the party is able to gather such forces as they claim, why could they not just fight the battle on two fronts, are the battles mutually exclusive ? There was so much they could have done in 3 months at a local level like move to remove the stranglehold of APMCs so that the common man got food at realistic prices, so much more that I cannot even begin to enumerate. This would have been a Tsunami of unstoppable proportions.

Its so confusing

The problem is now people are talking about a small unknown concept called NOTA. (None of the Above). Under Rule 49 ( O ) of the Conduct of Election rules. On 27th  September, 2013 the Honorable  Supreme Court asked for a NOTA button to be added to the Voting machines instead of the manual procedure which was setup earlier thereby making the use of this option easier.

With the mood that is running now, there is a massive surge for using the NOTA button, the social media is abuzz with it.

HOWEVER BEWARE !!!! 

This elections we are being egged on and on about voting and  the turnout for this elections may be one of the highest ever since the level of frustration is so high.

notaThis high turnout is a double edged sword. If you use the NOTA button, it basically means your vote has no meaning, you might as well sit at home griping. By doing this all you're doing is a token protest behind a screen which no one will see just to satisfy your own ego that you registered a protest.

Let me explain why the vote has no meaning, the NOTA concept in India is warped.  In India there is no cut off % for a candidate. Lets assume for example 80% of the people in an area says NOTA and one candidate gets 2% and another gets 18%. As per Indian election rules. The candidate who has the highest % , no matter what it is would be considered as elected.

So this election, don’t say NOTA, actually cast your vote and make sure you aren't letting a wrong candidate get elected just to satisfy your ego.

====================================================

TICKET TO RIDE (first written by me in 2009 about lok sabha elections - very relevant NOW)

A lot of of people have SMSed me or written Emails or contacted me in some way or the other telling me to vote.

I saw the ad campaigns running on TV and in the press as to how Pappu raj will reign unless I do or how I should “Jago Re”.

Me being the perverse person I am, decided to ask the people who told me to make sure I vote if they knew what exactly was I voting for, how did the Indian Parliamentary system work. Guess what. None of the people I know really understood what they were voting for. Of course they knew who they were voting for but not WHAT they were voting for.

So I decided to make a little synopsis for my readers to really “Jago Re”.

( for those readers who would like a bit of background) First of all, India, a union of states, is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government. The Indian polity is governed in terms of the Constitution, which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into force on 26 November 1950. The Constitution which envisages parliamentary form of government is federal in structure with unitary features.

indian parliment1The President is the constitutional head of the Union of India.

The Union Executive (The top rung) consists of the President, the Vice-President and Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President in his / her duties.

The real executive power (power to do things eg legislate) vests in a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as head. 

The Council of Ministers comprises Cabinet Ministers, Minister of States (independent charge or otherwise) and Deputy Ministers. Prime Minister communicates all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation to the President.

Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister to aid and advise the President who shall, in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.

Now since most Ministers may not know exactly what to do, each bureaucratic department has an officer designated as secretary to the Government of India to advise Ministers on policy matters and general administration.

The Cabinet Secretariat has an important coordinating role in decision making at highest level and operates under direction of Prime Minister.(All those of us who have seen Yes Minister or its Indian version knows how important the permanent secretary is to the Political machinery and how they get things done)

In short The Council of Ministers is the real power behind the throne and collectively answerable to the Lok Sabha, the House of the People.

The people we are voting for in this election is the Lok Sabha representatives.

Now we must remember that the thrill for your local goon doesn't lie in being a Lok Sabha representative, the fun lies in being a Minister or even a Prime Minister so that he is the one with the “real executive power “.lok sabha

That is why the candidates all horse trade to be in the majority in the Lok Sabha since the Ministers are picked from the party which wins a majority of the seats in the Lok Sabha and they  all want to be the movers and shakers. Thats where the real moolah lies

Now this election day, when you go and vote for your local Papu who has stood in the way of bulldozers when they came to demolish the slums in your area, remember he will first of all become a representative of the Lok Sabha.

In the Lok Sabha it is his responsibility to hold the Council of Ministers accountable for their actions and ergo he must be able to logically and systematically understand what he has to question and what not. Before putting the cross next to his name, ask yourself, is he capable of doing that ?

Ask yourself is he capable of reading a report on how the funds for educating all the girls across India below 11years will be arranged or is he the kind of person who will shoot his mouth off first and remove the foot from it later.

What is a Lok Sabha Representative, he is the voice of the people. Is the person you are voting for your voice or is he the voice who will dictate to you for the next 5 years ?

Now assuming despite your deliberation, your Papu becomes your Lok Sabha Representative, he a_circuitor his faction of the government will lobby to make him “Minister for XYZ”.

That means that Papu now controls the future of what happens in the country as far as XYZ is concerned. (Things are now getting dangerous).

For example, lets say Papu is in charge of Home affairs. Does he understand the concept of security ? Does he know the difference between Kevlar and Iron plate vests for the Black Cats ? Of course not. For that he needs to depend upon advisors. And who does the average Papu have for an advisor. His local “Circuit”, Mr. Fix it all.

Do you really think a local goon who is used to fixing things on a local level has the expertise to handle your future ?

>>>I have a very old adage which is the reason I am able to write on a laptop today on the internet today is all thanks to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi’s advisors. He had the right mix of technocrats from Sam Pitroda downwards who knew what technology meant. In order to be a good leader , you dont need to know everything, you just have to have the ability to let your team do its work.

Case to point is Lalu Prasad. He has not done anything earth shattering, in fact most of the plans being implemented under his regime were planned tens of years ago, since you cant just plan and slap a bridge or announce a new railway line overnight, there is a lot of research and planning involved.

Lalu’s only positive point is he doesn’t interfere with the people who actually do the job, which is why the railways has gone from a loss  making venture to a profit making one.

Now assuming that he has pulled the ultimate joker and becomes a Prime Minister, now we really are in trouble.

corrupt politicianWhatever happens he will be  a part of the legislative machinery, the machinery which decides the fate of future India. The Legislative Arm of the Union, called Parliament, consists of the President, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. All legislation requires consent of both Houses of Parliament. However, in case of money bills, the will of the Lok Sabha always prevails.

Under the Constitution, Parliament has the power to make laws for the whole of or any part of the territory of India. The subjects on which legislation can be enacted are specified in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Parliament has the exclusive right to legislate in respect of items appearing in List I, called the Union List. This list includes areas such as defense, foreign affairs, currency, income tax, excise duty, railways, shipping, posts and telegraphs, etc.

Both Parliament and the State Legislatures have the power to legislate in items appearing in List III of the Constitution which is known as Concurrent List. This list includes items like electricity, newspapers, criminal law, marriage and divorce, stamp duties, trade unions, price controls etc.

This means that Papu once elected has a say in topics such as Defense ,electricity, criminal law,etc. “Criminal law” huh, now wonder every 2 bit goon wants to be in legislature. I can just imagine what would have happened to gun laws if Munnabhai has reached parliament.

Rajya Sabha (Upper House)

The Rajya Sabha consists of 245 members. Of these, 233 represent states and union territories and 12 members are nominated by the President. Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect; members are elected by the elected members of Legislative Assemblies of the concerned states. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution, one third of its members retire every second year.

Lok Sabha (Lower House) <---- This is what we are voting for this time.

The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of universal adult suffrage. As of today, the Lok Sabha consists of 545 members with two members nominated by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian Community. Unless dissolved under unusual circumstances, the term of the Lok Sabha is five years

I hope the system is clear to all of my readers and please do feel free to write in and ask any questions that you may have, but do remember that till recently I too was the kind of person who voted either for the person at the centre (the figurehead of the party) Manmohan Singh or LK Advani or maybe for the local popular or famous figure head like maybe Govinda or Priya Dutt.

In most cases the only reason we vote for them is that they are a familiar surname in a sea of unknown names.  (In the 70s, a large percentage of film industry used to change their surname to Kumar or Kapoor just because they thought that made them have a better chance at becoming a star).

What with Monica Bedi (a known gangster moll), Nagma ( infamous for a hawala transaction of an underworld don), Munna bhai, Shabbuddin, Shibu Soren, Arun Gawli,Raja Bhai, etc all standing for the Lok Sabha and whose only claim to fame was infamy, I did some digging as to how a politician is made in India.

In India it starts with a person playing an active role as a mediator in local issues since the judicial and municipal systems are a complete mess. The person then starts mediating in larger and larger disputes and acquires a local reputation as someone who can get things done. Along comes an election and the local populace naturally approach him to stand since they think he will sort out the mess the country is in too.

Then once elected, the person does not change overnight. He continues to be a mediator. But now its National issues and mediation is not what he has been elected for. He has been elected for Legislating. Something he is completely incapable and ill - suited for.

This time if we really wish to call ourselves an awakened force lets not just vote for a politician because he has a familiar face or surname, lets vote because he knows what he’s doing.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kagaaz ke phool

I do apologies if people think this is an anti Congress post. This is actually a dispassionate post at arms length but since the BJP has not released its manifesto I cannot do a comparative and therefore yet this is slightly one sided. It must also be kept in mind that the BJP has not been in power for the last 10 years so we have not had a chance to see if they could have fulfilled their promises or no, unlike the INC of whom I need not say anything.

The first I found hilarious is the cosmetic changes in the manifestos of the INC between 2009 and 2014.

Let me innumerate them:

First of all the smile is gone from the front covers of the manifesto, do they know something we don’t, see for yourselves:smile1_thumb

Secondly, in the 2009 manifesto on page three the INC claims that

“Indian National Congress is the party that has responded creatively to the challenges of the times through the establishment of a vast public sector manufacturing base in the fifties; through bank nationalization and the Green and White Revolutions spearheaded by Indira Gandhi in the late-sixties and seventies; through prudent liberalization and the IT Revolution created by Rajiv Gandhi in the eighties”

But the 2014 says :

“In the 1960’s, the Green Revolution was launched to make India self -sufficient in food grains and a direct assault on poverty. In the 1970’s, further gains were made through the Green Revolution and a White Revolution was unleashed that was to make India the world’s largest producer of milk.”

So where did the names of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in the White and green revolutions go ?ra32

Thirdly There is no mention of corruption in the 2009 manifesto. This by obvious inference has one of two meanings

( a ) There was corruption but it was not on their manifesto to eliminate it,

OR

( b ) It was not there to that significant level that it needed to be mentioned but now has become so much in the last 5 years of the INC governance that it needs to come into the manifesto.

Kingdom of Denmark, my friends

I could go on and on. In short the manifesto is a messy piece of literature which could have been much better thought out by a party headed by lawyers.

========================================================

How do you say pasta in Italian ?

I cant help but scratch my head when I heard Sonia Gandhi on the stage releasing the manifesto or even today when she was giving a speech in Delhi:

The moment an Indian goes abroad, within a few politicciansmonths , he starts rolling his Rs and gets an accent.  He goes “Yo man whats up” and other such phrases .

Here we have a woman who has been in India 3/4 of her life, is called the bahu of the nation , her decisions make or break Indian politicians careers and she still speaks in an Italian accent …..

What really gets my goat is she is supposed to be standing for elections….

Are the Indian public so foolish that they will vote for someone who cant even speak the local tongue ? And these selfsame people are the same ones who talk about Indian culture given the first chance.

=======================================================

CASE OF THE DISSAPEARING CLEAVAGE

HO HO HO HO……. I am in splits. Today Rakhee Sawant launched her green chilies party ( stillsawant_032914-1 waiting approval from EC).

Rakhi Sawanth Hot (1)

What is making me laugh is the the words of her supporters whose wives make up the party's women's wing of RAAP ( dont miss the name ROFLMAO).

"We have dabbled in politics by helping bigger parties before, but the problem is that one can invest a lifetime of work and not receive a nomination even for the assembly election,"

Ok I never knew this , if you support and help a party , you get a nomination for posts like assembly seats OR MORE. Here I was supporting parties out of the goodness of my heart in the name of India.

On the other hand it could just be that my spouse is not in a position to give me the resources for giving them the “right type of support”

 ========================================================

Monday, January 20, 2014

War of Roses

One of the variations of George Santyana’s words areThose who do not learn from history are doomed to relive it”

Let me tell you a story of a tiny country called Georgia. (Please note that this recantation of events are based upon online articles and and my interpretations)

I do apologize if the story seems long, but for those who read to the end, I think you may find it very interesting.

Under the Soviet regime, the province of Georgia was ridden with corruption,Eduard_shevardnadze grey and black markets. Eduard Shevardnadze was appointed to the First Secretary ship of the Georgian Communist Party by the Soviet government to fight this grey and black-market capitalism.

Despite his best efforts, he failed in his quest but quite a few decisive actions were taken like purging of the utterly corrupt border guards.  Under his regime Georgia was perhaps the only part of the Soviet Union which did not experience Economic stagnation.

On April 9, 1991 when Georgia broke away from the Soviet Union, they installed a Presidential system much like ours.

The newly independent Republic of Georgia elected as its first president a leader of the national-liberational movement, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a famous scientist and writer.

However, Gamsakhurdia's rule ended abruptly in January 1992 when he was deposed in a bloody coup d'état led by the self same Shevardnadze.

At the same time, however, Georgia still suffered badly from the effects of crime and rampant corruption, often perpetrated by well-connected officials and politicians.

vacancyAccording to the results of the World Bank survey, the percentage of public officials believed to have purchased their position was close to 50 percent for customs inspectors, approximately 40 percent for tax inspectors and ordinary police officials. The price for a job in the police is said to have been ranging from $2,000-$20,000, depending on the profitability of the position for sale.

More than one-third of the offices of natural resource licensers, judges, investigators and prosecutors were also believed to have been purchased.

Shevardnadze's closest advisers, including several members of his family, exerted disproportionate economic power.

It was estimated by outside observers that Shevardnadze's inner circle controlled as much as 70 per cent of the economy:

  • His wife edited and wrote for one of the country's major newspapers,
  • his daughter was the director of a television film studio
  • and her husband founded one of the country's leading mobile phone networks (with American funding).

While Shevardnadze himself was not a conspicuous profiteer, he was accused by many Georgians of shielding corrupt supporters and using his powers of patronage to shore up his own position. Georgia acquired an unenviable reputation as one of the world's most corrupt countries.

In 2003, are per Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Georgia stood 124th (1 being the least) (Its interesting to note that India was at 85 that year)

anal_3By this time the general public had had enough. Out of the milieu rose a new voice Mikheil Saakashvili. A man wearing a simple shirt and leather jacket against the tailored suits of the parliament members and the President.

He urged the public to protest in a peaceful non violent manner. Under his banner a wild protest broke out under the name "Kmara" ("Enough!").

Their symbol of protest was the presentation of a rose. The cries rose higher and higher, with more and more people joining in till a tidal wave swept the country.

The last bastion to fall was the refusal of the army to obey his orders and instead side with their fellow countrymen. Shevardnadze had no option but to hand over the Presidency under the guise of trying to save bloodshed.

In 2013 Georgia is 55 on the CPI (India is 94).

History for all those who know how to read it history ,shows that once corruption reaches a certain level, the pot will boil over, all it needs is the right man to lead it. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to relive it”

Now will someone tell me why the history of Georgia sounds so familiar in my ears ?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Umeed Vali Dhoop Sunshine Vali Asha

 

The last 2 days have been very interesting ones for a political observer like myself. The manure has hit the fan as they say.

Many many years ago, when I was studying copywriting, one of my ad gurus told me if every advertisement you see for detergents talks about new, improved, ten isn’t it logical that whatever they were selling you to that date was substandard.

I was reminded of this yesterday when at the FCCI meet Rahul Gandhi said “Corruption is bleeding our people dry. It is an unacceptable burden on the people of our nation. We must fight corruption with all our strength and determination.”

This was followed by another rib tickling moment in the words ”The black market in land has got to go. We need to build a robust and open real estate market, so that businesses, especially small startups, have affordable access to land.”

(I think we all know that the right people claiming to be startups and getting interest free loans already have easy access to land, could he make it any easier )

So does that mean we now see the new improved Congress ?

Talking of another startup, I am sort of shell shocked. As my readers know, I have for long being saying that the embers are glowing but to date they have not been able to get into a full blown flame. lion kingAs I saw Arvind Kejriwal take his oath yesterday, I saw the flame blaze. The firebrand was dynamite in a small package.

I must say that I have been skeptical that AAP would be able to achieve much , like most I thought that they may leave scratches on the lion but no real damage would ensure.

SIMBA HAS RISEN

Today India is a recharged nation, today the war is on many fronts. I see people thronging across India to volunteer funds and time. Today India suddenly has seen that the Aam Aadmi has a voice and the Goliath can be felled by a David with almost no funds and almost zero human resources, just because people have reached the end of their tolerance level.

tumblr_lwac88t2v31qbo9y9o1_500 The people will not eat cake, they demand bread.

Recently in an article I had  written UPA 1 was bad, UPA 2 was a disaster and UPA3 was the death of the common man, and it was an almost certainty that UPA 3 would come in. The odds have changed.

It was so much pleasure reading the newspapers after so long. On one side, there was talk of the Chief Secretary being held responsible for missing files in stark contrast to the news in the Times of India about a news channel sting of babus tearing files.

On the other was a panicky announcement of Congress scrambling to announce that there would be a lokayukta in every congress ruled state.

Another facet was the rumor that Manmohan Singh may step aside for the heir apparent.

The fourth was the frantic energy of the new AAP Delhi Govt, it was obvious had been doing their homework round the clock ever since they knew there was a chance of being in power. They came out of the gate running at full pelt announcing one move after another in this preemptive strike.

Theres a new sherrif in town and he has come with guns blazing. Its high noon at OK Corral.

==============================================

Blood Sport

In southern India the sport of cock fighting is very popular. This is where 2 cocks with 3 inch blades are put into a ring and a winner is declared of 3 or 4 rounds of both of them fighting it out with their claws sometimes even drawing blood.

Last few days on TV have reminded me of that. Instead of going into damage  control the two main political partiesHINDU_201006_ASSAM_4_27074f (and all the sub parties) are indulging into cock fighting. There are images of Modi saying things against Congress and Congress slinging mud at Modi.

In my opinion Not a single one of them has rolled up his sleeves and got down into solving the problems.

Of course posturing of both sides is happening just like the preening of feathers in the cock fight, but is any of them reaching the level of drawing blood, I think not.

Wake up !!

Go out and do something at the relief camps at Muzzafarnagar where children are dying of cold.

NirbhayaGo out and do something about the death anniversary of Nirbhaya (which was on sunday in case people forgot) and all future juvenile rapists who use their age as a get out of jail free card.

Go out and prosecute the BMC and other babus who let Aadarsh be built instead of just the luminaries who will draw attention and then be let off

Go out and re-examine the electric prices in states ruled by all parties instead of announcing Lokayuktas which we all suspect will be a sham

Go out and ensure that drought and water supplies are looked in all states by all parties

The roadmap has already been shown by the Aam Aadmi if only the arrogance is dropped and the willingness to listen is there

If the older parties really want the best for the common man and the people who elected you, go look at their needs instead of slinging mud to draw column inches.

And then and only then my friends is there a chance that this flame which has been lit by the Common man in revolt of their plight can be fought by the incumbents.

Till the time real blood is drawn and posturing stops , long live the Aam Aaadmi

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Makes you think

The Indian Penal code is mainly derived from the time of the Colonial rule of the British. This means that there has very little change for the last 150 odd years for the crimes defined in it. gay weddding

The archaic nature of this was brought to our minds in the ruling by the Supreme Court in the case as regards Section 377 of the code which was designed to prevent sodomy and other “unnatural acts”   which has been carried forward from the Colonial rule.

This section reads of the penal code reads as:

377. Unnatural offences.--Whoever voluntarily has carnal  intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal,  shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
 
Explanation.-Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

Let us study this section,the key words here are:

carnal  intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal

This means that the badly drafted code which was perhaps relevant to the British colonies a that time is not just against homosexuality but against most of the current forms of expressions of sexuality such as oral, anal or any other sexual act.

lakhmana-temple2So the next time you have any kind of sex except maybe the missionary position, please do remember the fact that you are committing a crime which may be punished with a life term, or ten years and also have to pay a fine. This in the land of the Kama sutra. (a large percentage of the of pleasing your partner denoted in there can be interpreted as illegal under this section)

This then brought me to think of another line of thought, I decided to investigate some other weird sexual based laws across the world just for a laugh:

In Singapore: As it is considered pornographic, you may not walk around your home nude.:

Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act (Chapter 184, 1997 Edition) Section 27A

(1) Any person who appears nude
(a) in a public place; or
(b) in a private place and is exposed to public view,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both.

(2) For the purpose of this section, the reference to a person appearing nude includes a person who is clad in such a manner as to offend against public decency or order.

In the United Kingdom:  It is illegal for two adult men to have sex in the same house if a third man is there in the house.

Introduced to outlaw "molly houses" which began to appear in the big cities of England in the late 16th Century. In these bordellos, homosexuals engaged in sex, sado masochism, transvestism etc., and they were perceived as a threat to public morality, and so outlawed.

In France: In France, you can legally marry a dead person as long as preliminary civic formalities have been completed which show that you and your fiancée had planned to marry before your fiancée died.

In France, you can legally marry a dead person as long as preliminary civic formalities have been completed which show that you and your fiancée had planned to marry before your fiancée died. It requires special clearance from the French president

In the United States:

In Arizona : No more than six girls may live in any house.

The zoning ordinance was intended to crack down on the proliferation of brothels. However, lawmakers did not forsee cultural changes such as groups of girls living together in a sorority house.

In Florida : Unmarried couples may not commit “lewd acts” and live together in the same residence.

798.02 Lewd and lascivious behavior.
If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or if any man or woman, married or unmarried, engages in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

In Georgia: The term “sadomasochistic abuse” is defined so broadly, that it could possibly be applied to a person handcuffing another in a clown suit.

16-12-100.1.
(6) 'Sadomasochistic abuse' means flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is nude or clad in undergarments or in revealing or bizarre costume or the condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained on the part of one so clothed.

AND THE LIST GOES ON & ON.

================================================

The Other Woman

Then in light of all this, I turned my attention back to India and asked a lawyer friend to clarify something which had been puzzling me for so long. The case of the other woman.

I thought of the history of the “other woman”.

In my option, In the 70’s some men had a bit on the side (the way the other woman was referred to at that time), but they were never heard of, they were completely under wraps.

Pati-Patni-Aur-Woh-1978From 70’s to mid 80’s approx, the other woman was known and discussed in society by people but in whispers.

From mid 80’s to almost mid 2000’s the other woman came out in the open and staked a claim socially even if not legally.

And from mid  2000’s to date there has been a flurry of judgements according legal status and rights to the other woman. Every day there are more and more judgements which give equal rights to a woman who has lived with a man for long periods of time without going through the act of marriage.(long period would typically mean 5 years or more in this interpretation )

IMPORTANT : For those who wish to read up on this topic a recent judgement by Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan on Nov 26th 2013 is very enlightening on this topic. (click here to read jusgement) (this is especially relevant for Hindus as of date)

1) My lawyer friend explained that adultery is defined as a MAN having sex knowingly with a WOMAN who he knows to be married to another man .

The important point to be noted here is a woman cannot commit adultery. Also it must be that the man has to know she is married to another man for adultery to happen.

2) Bigamy he explained was when a MAN (married or unmarried) marries a second WOMAN while still in a state of marriage to the first WOMAN.

<---------------------------------------------------->

This then brought me to a conundrum

“This by inference means that it is better for a married man to live in with another woman (as long as she is not already married) rather than marry her since in the second case he would be committing a jail able office.

The irony is though he does not marry her, she would still get all the rights as if she were married and her children from the live in relationship would get all the benefits of progeny as from his married wife.”

Isn’t the law fun

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I’m loving it

Since yesterday I have been flooded with calls from people asking me to put them in touch with the Aam Admi Party so that they can volunteer their time.

This in a city like Mumbai is an amazing thing since till 3 days ago, these same people were so busy eking out their living in a Mumbai that squeezes every last minute of your time out of you.

I personally am in splits. I would have not been so elated if the AAP had won 10-15 seats, since in Delhi that was a foregone conclusion, due to the wonderful work they had done there. Everytime I told people that AAP would come into power in Delhi, they laughed at me.

The fact that makes me chuckle even now is not that the AAP came close to doing it, but the fact that they thrashed the Cong. A drop to only 8 seats in a incumbent state where Cong thought they owned the world is shameful enough to warrant the Indian idiom “chulla bhar panni” (to drown in  fist full of water)

What was seen till yesterday as a one trick pony is now being considered as a possible contender across a few states. That in itself is amazing.

In my article on the emotions behind 26/11, I had said, “What worries me is that all the people who wish to change the system really do not have their own systems in place. The anger is there, the fire is there but from what I see there's no clear thought pattern”.

It looks like a fresh breeze has blown.

I guess the embers are glowing again, will they become a roaring fire, only time will tell. What seems to have shocked the voting public is that people from all walks of life, incld one who has only Rs.20,000/- to is name and another who is dependent on his parents were able to stand their onionprashun20092013ground against the mighty politicians who are alleged to have hundreds of crores. They were not intimidated by the sheer edifice in front of them, they did not back down. This is giving courage and inspiration to many more to say it is now possible. The gates of Bastille have been stormed.

My personal theory is that Cong has crossed the last bastion of shamelessness on its way to defeat with the food crisis. People will tolerate scams of thousands of Crores, they will tolerate  high electricity rates and astronomical home prices, but the moment a child goes hungry to bed. The party which made it happen is dead. (read story below)

With food inflation at 8-10% year on year, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a physical revolt before this.

What do I personally think the AAP party should do next.

Learn from the Americans. They know how to package things. They can make a theme  park out of a chocolate bar. Harness the energy. The AAP presence should be plastered everywhere (they have two powerful symbols - the broom and the khadi cap with the printed message).

Car stickers, badges, keychains, Tshirts, and other consumer goods all contributed voluntarily. They should ask people supporting them to print their message on every piece of matter crossing their tables, like shopkeepers with plastic bags, small endorsements on all handouts / take away menus restaurants give out, etc.

Gather the volunteers like the onesAAP cap who have called me and ask them to work as spin doctors to ask restaurants and shopkeepers to give discounts to people who wear those badges or aam admi caps.

PUSH PUSH PUSH. The time is right. There are miles to go before we sleep.

 

===============================================

Onions that make you cry

At dinner yesterday, someone told me a story. It seems their maid told her that she could not afford the onions which my friend bought at Rupees 60 to 70 and the kind the maid and her neighbours bought were the semi rotten ones left over at Rupees 30 or so.

It seems they sift though it to find the ones that look sort of ok. This friend then asked her but aren’t these onions even after sorting slightly rotten / damaged. The woman said we peel the layers till e find an eatable one.

This is the second India which lies below the one most of us live in.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yaddon Ki Baraat

Today I sit here with tears in my eyes. I always knew that people have very short memories, but today it has hit home how self centred we Indians are. We move on from our pasts so quickly and the things we once held dear.

Today, except for a few people ,in case no one remembered is the anniversary of 26/11 attacks. The attacks which shook Mumbai, which dug into the very roots of the temple of Mammon and made us realize how mortal we are.

As a contrast, I remember the day the twin towers was attacked. I was in my office when my partner called saying switch on the TV and I saw the second plane ram into the tower and the sight of American edifice crumble before my eyes.

What did America do,it did what it does best, it packaged the attack and made sure we never forgot it.

Documentary and movies were made and aired continuously from all aspects and angles. These horrific visuals are still aired on the anniversary date lest we forget. Ceremonies and events mark the day that America stood still.

The Americans put up massive edifices larger than before in a middle finger salute to the terrorists.

They went in and wiped out the people behind the attacks even if it took years and massive blows to the cause of diplomacy to do it.

The Americans tightened security to a level where  you have to now strip down to almost your Calvin Kliens before you can enter America. 1% of the terrorists will still get through as RG says , but they have made it so difficult to attack them that softer targets make sense.

Now lets look at our response to the attack on something we held do dear, the very essence of Mumbai:

 

I would describe it in one word, NOTHING

Lets understand our main glaring points of failure, from which we should have learnt a lesson but never did:

1) The Black Cats could not arrive since there was no Hercules aircraft available.

2) The building plans of the Taj Mahal Hotel were not available on ready call by the BMC (click here for details)

3) The terrorists entered via sea in an unpatrolled area.

4) The bulletproof vests which the police had were inadequate, (click here for details)

There are loads more, but lets tackle just these.

Today 5 years on :

Post 26/11, on Dec 3 2008,  I saw a swelling of grief in Mumbai-ites eyes. A spontaneous response to the thing we held so dear and my hopes were raised. (click here for details)

5 Years down the line what happens, we go back to our 5 page news cover of Tarun Tejpal and his antics. Politicians go garland the statue of Constable Omble in an almost negligible ceremony. Our politicians go on mouthing platitudes about how we will settle the issue with our neighbours. The only thing we have seen as a positive step is the alleged hanging of Kasab.

I was talking to some of my friends yesterday and they pointed out a very valid point, they said this lax attitude is due to the fact our overwhelming availability of  human resources. Some may even call it one of our largest export. Population is in plenty and where there is plenty, the value goes down. Therefore the commodity becomes expendable in the balance of the cost protecting your resource.

This is why one politician can call this kind of attack a “chota mota haadsa” and another say we can only stop 99% of the terrorists and  1% will get through and still remain in power.

Elections are next year. Let us show the politician that we value our safety, we will not be just a commodity. We will claim our right to live.

Today, friends let us claim back our city, today let us claim back our safety, today let us claim back our sleep.

JAI HIND !

Disclaimer

This blog is my personal opinion and is not meant to offend or hurt any person or any body of people. The matter is drawn from public domain and no copyright is knowingly transgressed. If any topic is found to be objectionable by you for any reason whatsoever, please do leave a comment and I will be glad to include a clarification in my followups.