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Shehla Masood : Good Practices, Habits, Creativity, Improvements required etc.
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Posted on
Sep
23
2009
Wed
3:02
PM
who are outsiders ?
From shehla masood
Who are outsiders?

As mentioned in the story published in Hindustan Times dated 22/9/2009 the words outsiders are used for whom?

Is it used for citizens who keep a watch on administration?
Is an outsider the vigilant citizen?
Is an outsider the opinion makers?
Is an outsider the public pressure groups?
Is an outsider the one who works at their own expense to keep a check on the Government officers who are perpetual at fault and who take laws in their hands?
Is an outsider the one who keep the head above the shoulder?
Is an outsider who is earnest?
Is an outsider a nature lover?
Is an outsider who raises questions on time?
Is an outsider one who writes the PM for action?
Is an outsider the one who wrote to the Chief Wildlife warden?
Is an outsider the one who exposed the faults made by the Van Vihar officers to impress the Minister?
Is an outsider the activists?
Is an outsider the one who do not take grants for their work?
Is an outsider a sensitive person?
Is an outsider a courageous person who makes his/her voice heard?
Is an outsider the social worker who works for the betterment of the society?
Is an outsider inhuman?
Is an outsider the one who points out defects in the system?
Is an outsider who is working for the betterment of the society and nature?
Is an outsider who raises voice where Public Option is under siege?
Is an outsider better than the so called elite who know all but do not react?
Is an outside r who believes that the road is made by walking?
Is an outside the one that breaks a window to rescue a child from a burning car?
Is an outsider the one who is talking to keep everybody alive?
If all these are outsiders I am proud to be known as outsiders. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.

It’s a shame who calls the vigilant citizens outsiders.
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5 Comments
Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 2:01:29 PM
From shehla masood
i had sent the same letter to the editor Hindustan times but was not published.lol
Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:57:24 PM
From Ravi Upadhyaya
well said and raised voice for the so called outsider.
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 4:05:06 PM
From shehla masood
This was a response to story published in Hindustan Times published dated 22/9/2009
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 3:50:40 PM
From Anil Tiwari
शैला जी,

आपके आलेख ''बाहरी कौन'' में आपके भीतर का आक्रोश धधक रहा है। आलेख का शब्द संयोजन देख कर प्रथमदृष्ट्‌या तो लगा कि यह कोई व्यंग्यात्मक कविता है, पर ज्यों-ज्यों उसे पढ़ता गया त्यों-त्यों स्पष्ट होता गया कि एक सच्चे देशभक्त-एक आम आदमी का आक्रोश बेबाक होकर आपके शब्दों में व्यक्त हुआ है। यह किसी फिल्मी पटकथा के लिये सटीक संवाद हो सकते हैं। कुछ पल के लिये तो मुझे लगा कि ''ए वेडनेसडे'' में नसीरुद्दीन शाह ये डॉयलॉग बोल रहे हैं।

अपनी इस आग को सुलगाए रखिये, जलाने के लिये यहाँ बहुत कचरा है।
Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1:39:58 PM
From Ajay Dubey
In democracy any citizen can put forth their views. If activists can voice the displeasure's of common man. they should not be named outsiders. In democracy go0d governance is possib;e when people can participate in it.
Posted on
Sep
19
2009
Sat
12:06
AM
Twitter, Tharoor and the Indian Politics
From shehla masood
Holier-than-thou.

Before I write I must say that the Congress and BJP should have an English teacher.

Mr Tharoor's track record in our country reveals one clear distinguished feature. His ability..to gather controversies .lol. if I am not wrong it all started the very day his name was announced as the contestant from Trivandrum. From the burning of his effigy to the National anthem controversy he has emerged out amidst personal attacks pertaining to his American Connection, Israel soft-corner, literary works, Canadian wife and affluent lifestyle.

A former UN diplomat, a prolific writer, a political debutant and an inveterate Twitter-e. In all fairness to Tharoor, Cattle Class is an accepted and widely frequented synonym for Economy Class travel. He has used it as a run-of-the-mill response but this is where the words and phrases find new and out of context ...I fail to understsnd.. what is the fuss all about ? A wise crack has been made into a controversy. Twitter, Tharoor and the Indian Politics is being discussed for no reason leaving the more important discussion on the Indian media houses who thinks whatever the media vomits and excretes are sacred offering. From debates to research, to polls a complete waste of time and money on the nonsense. The omnipresent television folks are ready to spring upon anything, and under the present Indian circumstances the media verdict is interpreted as the people's opinion.

The recent Five Star Hotel non-issue brought the man again back in frame. Shashi Tharoor, the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and a member parliament is in big controversy due to his statement regarding the people traveling in economy class. Before the Hotel nonsense was dead the next one has crashed down on all of us, this time with the effect of a Tsunami! And this one seems bad enough, with Tharoor's trendy aide, Twitter, letting him down this time.

What’s more astonishing is the fact that airlines has taken no an action on the remark but definitely our Politicians who are trying to be Holier-than-thou. Does anybody remember the infamous 'dog remarks' by Kerala CM Comrade Achutanandan? Same settings, same ploy, same error, same comedy and same emotions …Now if Achumama was wrong there, Tharoor is wrong here. You take out the 'if' from the previous sentence, it still holds its fact, sadly.

It’s not an astonishment to see lack of sense of humour among the political and the chattering classes. People who are unfamiliar with English usage and with the nuances of the language suddenly take offense at phrases that are perfectly normal and acceptable.

Shashi Tharoor usage of the words “cattle class” and “holy cow” will get a political debate on is funny. The humorless politicians who are good in manipulating once again show their aptitude, social and political realities. Shashi Tharoor is not an average man or a fuddy-duddy Indian politician.

A student of St Xavier’s Collegiate School, Calcutta, St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston is being targeted. The Congress party has gone on an overdrive with its austerity procedures. This is wise and good. But this should not mean that the leaders of our country should abandon the ability to laugh at themselves. Fusion with the BJP senior leaders on the issue shows the true colours of our politicians and the love for the cattle class. That’s how they treat the aam admi

Our politicians tend to be earnest, self-righteous and holier-than-thou. This is what Mr Tharoor was poking fun at when he spoke of holy cows. Lets re-look at the political, societal and security developments related to India as it readies to reclaim its position among the great nations of the world.

Twittering back, Mr Tharoor has negotiated the "cattle class" slight uncomfortably, arguing that it was a "silly expression" not meant to disrespect economy travellers. Instead, he says, it was airline companies who "herded passengers in like cattle".

He also came up with a somewhat revisionist and semantic take on the phrase "holy cow". "Holy cows are NOT individuals but sacrosanct issues or principles that no one dares challenge. I wish the critic would look it up," he writes. "Now I realise that I shouldn't assume people will appreciate humour and I shouldn't give those who would willfully distort your words an opportunity to do so.".

To my limited knowledge goes, "holy cow" is used as an exclamation, in American slang something negative..

It’s silly to ask the minister to resign. If this is diplomacy I have no words. Sadly, humour sense and common sense is not something very common in our set-up, he has learned the hard way..:)

() Never understood this about humans. We call dogs our best friends, but then abuse someone by calling him a dog. We descend from monkeys, but calling someone a monkey is racist. We worship cows, but suddenly saying 'cattle class' is derogatory.:)
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6 Comments
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 2:50:24 PM
From shehla masood
tell me is the issue of ST of serious concern?
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:51:25 AM
From Manoj Misra
The fact is that there was no election in 1976 due to Emergency. Indira Gandhi lost the LS election from Raibarreli in March 1977 to Raj Narain of the Bhartiya Lok Dal. The symbol on which she fought was cow and calf. The symbol of cow and calf was given to Congress (R) in a fight for the electrol symbol in which Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma represented the Indira led Congress (R) against the Morarji Desai led Congress (O). The Congress split into Congress (I) (I for Indira) and Congress (R) (R for Reddy) after 1977. The symbol of 'raised hand' was given to Congress (I). Later, the Brahmanand Reddy led Congress (R) merged with Congress (I) and won the 1980 elections. Reddy became Indira Gandhi's home minister. Till today, there has never been a Congress K or a Congress J.
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 11:56:15 PM
From shehla masood
The 1960s had the “sacred cow” at the center of a controversy in the social sciences concerning whether the concept was essentially religious in nature or reflected the ecological realities of the cattle economy of the Indian subcontinent.

Cattle assumes a political role in contemporary India.:)

Believing in dynasty is the problem with slavery that we have already had plate-full in British or pre-British era . Now changing the mindset is dependent on time and knowledge.

The election symbol of the INC since the beginning upto 1976 was the cow and its calf. It was in the year 1976-77 the National Congress split in to Congress "I", Congress "J" and Congress "K". The Congress got the election symbol by "the hand" in the year 1977 in which (late) Mrs. Indira Gandhi lost her seat and regained her seat in the by-election in the year 1978-79.

It is also during this period that some of India's most famous ancient works of art were produced.

I stand by my point that its useless to debate on st Twitter as there are issue which needs our attention.

The oldies in the Congress should not be insecure.lol
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 11:03:13 PM
From Manoj Misra
The Electrol symbol of the Indian National Congress (R) was cow and calf.
It was so said that Indira Gandhi's love for Sanjay was reflected in the symbol.
'Holy cow' as used by Shashi Thuroor has nothing to do with the American exclaim.
It meant 'sacred, revered, immortal '. Obviously,the humour here was on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul!!
Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2009 3:33:47 PM
From shehla masood
The ban on cow slaughter should be discussed on its own merit as Gandhiji also maintained. Gandhiji even refused to take up cow slaughter issue to win over the Hindu support for Khilafat movement.

Even our Constitution in Article 48 says that "State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle."

The Nehruvian concept of secularism is as good as dead and we are left with cheap tactics to win elections.

Very few understand the concept of secularism, which is based on cultural and political wisdom. India is secular country and it will remain one.

1977 also was lust & power nothing beyond it.
Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2009 3:43:13 PM
From Pravir Krishak
Spot-on Shehla...also you are correct -"Holy cow!" is an exclamation of surprise used in American and Canadian English.It is/was also catchphrase of some famous celebs in US..hope we are not trying to catch up with them!
However Congress as a political party has a interesting connect with 'Holy Cow' as their election symbol..it is different story that they have lost some key elections(1977) with it.It seems 'Cow' is going to haunt congress once again.
Posted on
Sep
12
2009
Sat
11:15
PM
Raising of a Union Carbide Tragedy Memorial
From shehla masood
The Union Minister for Forest and Environment Mr Jairam Ramesh one day visit to Bhopal was very optimistic. Unlike the blame games which are exchanged between the state and the central government especially when of different ideologies the Ministers attitude was positive although he was misinformed and he remained ignorant till the end.

His facts and figures along with his subordinates were totally incorrect be it on the financial figures or on the Tigers.Twice i corrected them.

No doubts his remarks of Vishnu and Brahma will do the political round at the Political front as few Bhopal journalists do not mind manufacturing news out of nothing.lol igoring the facts which are ore of great importance and of consequences.

Neverthe less I was happy to hear two news athe the conference today.A Memorial will be built at the site of the Union Carbide factory with the help of the central government. The Bhopal gas disaster of December 1984 is a national tragedy.

Secondly the process of setting up of an environment green tribunal in the state capital is under consideration which would lead to the establishment of many environment-related institutions.

He agreed to incinerate 350 tonnes of waste that is lying around the factory from which the lethal Methyl Iso Cyanate gas had leaked on the fateful night of December 2-3, 1984 but at the same time said the waste is not dangerous anymore. Sad.. he is still not aware of the surrounding and the victims living nearby. He failed to see the generation which have been crippled but said “We have drawn lessons from the tragedy but the only way out now was to look ahead,”.
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1 Comment
Posted on Saturday, February 6, 2010 6:59:54 PM
From shehla masood
http://letzchangedrulz-miracles.blogspot.com/2010/02/careless-forest-department-of-madhya.html

http://letzchangedrulz-miracles.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html
Posted on
Sep
8
2009
Tue
4:17
PM
Fake encounters= Official Crime ?
From shehla masood
Dadan Kumar Ram IAS aspirant, Abdul Rehman, Rizwanur, Shoot out at Lokhandwala, Ranbir Singh from Ghaziabad, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Ishrat Jehan, Jasbir, Sanjit, Rabina Devi, etc these cases are someway similar? Naturally no case can be identical but motive can be.


"Forget politics. Just quickly bring those criminal cops to trial and hand out the severest punishment" thats what we have been hearing since a decade but who gives a damn?

We all know the trend which has led the criminals in the police force to wave around human trophies to get promotions and pats on the back. Incidents of fake encounter killing are many that take place throughout the country. While some individual killings may find condemnation once the matter is publicly exposed, the generality of such killings goes on without being questioned. Few mentioned above are only examples from cases that have national focus. There is another example where the police summarily killed a naxalite in MP who had come forward to surrender and then raped his wife who had convinced him to surrender.

In the recent years any killing by the police is associated in the popular mind as a fake encounter. Despite of such a strong popular consciousness of such killings taking place quite frequently neither the central government nor the state governments have taken any serious action to bring this gross violation of the law to a halt. This cannot be done unless a serious attempt is made to deal with the problems of the Indian policing system and criminal justice system which have now become counterproductive to the nation.

During the last decade the term ‘encounter killing’ became an oft used term all over India. The term provided legitimacy to some killings carried out by the police. Behind the approval of encounter killings was the assumption that those who are considered serious criminals need to be physically eliminated and that the agency to do this is the police. Often officers who did such killings received state grants as rewards. The Police are killing unarmed suspects and lying about what happened in order to forgo trials and paperwork… It is this policy of the encouragement of encounter killings by the state as well as some sections of the opinion makers that has brought about the menace of fake encounters into the criminal justice framework of India.

The reason to encounter killings as “Solution” to crime is inefficient and depicts corrupt Police System.. The criminal justice system as a whole is slow, inefficient and also corrupt. So. .. “a legal solution” was evolved. Fake encounter.

Looking at the cases we have witnessed in the last 10 years one is forced to ask the question – why our law enforcement has lost faith in the Judicial System that it tends to find violent and murderous solutions outside the ambit of law? Why there are such a large number of encounters and fake encounters in some specific states? How Criminal Justice and Law enforcement are so easily prone to political pressures that they tend to be misused for political purposes?

From many years, these matters have remained top discussion topics; however, nothing is done by our government so far to control this problem.

Police reforms and the freeing of the police from political interference is an absolute must.
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2 Comments
Posted on Friday, September 2, 2011 8:07:00 AM
From Ravi Shankar
If courage and beauty had other names
It is surely yours - Shehla.
In a thousand ways you inspire me my friend,
A friend that I never met in person
But whose warmth and sincerity I feel
By the footprints of your actions
And the ultimate sacrifice of your life.

I will hide my tears carefully Shehla
For I do not want your vile assassins
And their accomplices explicit, complicit and implicit
To revel in your passing.
For you Shayla there is no end
You live on...
Like an eternal truth.


Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 4:24:32 PM
From shehla masood
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=130782198123&ref=mf
join the discussion .
Posted on
Aug
31
2009
Mon
1:26
AM
Does anyone know the physics of what happens to a rabbit hit by an Formula One "F1" car ?
From shehla masood
Does anyone know the physics of what happens to a rabbit hit by an F1 car?"
Force india

Two time Spa podium finisher Giancarlo Fisichella of Force India executed one of the most shocking and surprising feats in the history of Formula One. He not only won the pole position at the Belgian GP on 29th Aug. And on Sunday, 30 August 2009 for the first time any bottom-ranking team has made it to the spotlight, ever! In addition, Fisichella also broke Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonnen's record of 1:47.930 from the 2008 season and claimed the fastest lap record of 1:44.667 in a lap in Q2.

Am a FAN of F1 and dont miss the track easily.. if not on TV than all ears to the Radioas this time..

The reporter said.. Current weather conditions sunny with patches of cloud.,15C outside but 32C on the track. The word is no rain is expected… But that may change...The picture was in front of my eyes as the BBC reported ,twittered. Spa air full of Predictions , Sporting sunglasses as big as the face, tyre updates, Swiss stars, Discussion on Belgium chips the best in the world if tried with mayonnaise..

And the Race began…. Kimmi began with a good start but bad start was made by Hamiltan, first-lap mayhem and so on. Busy pit lane as Kimi Raikkonen, Giancarlo Fisichella, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld came in.. near-miss between Webber and Heidfeld - and the Aussie did receive a drive-through penalty for an "unsafe release".

The excitement grew from the Lap 17 when Kimi Raikkonen was second, ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and they both made their first stop. At Lap 18: Giancarlo Fisichella was catching Kimi Raikkonen. Fernando Alonso in fourth in… the only Renault left in the race - in the Lap 19 Kimi Raikkonen leads again, with Giancarlo Fisichella 0.9 seconds behind..

We heard at Lap 20 Renault told Fernando Alonso: "If you can, save some fuel behind Fisi, don't lose any time." Alonso was third but yet to stop. But Kimi Raikkonen stretched his lead over Giancarlo Fisichella to a second. loll

Luca Badoer at the Lap 21 does the fastest first section of the race. Jarno Trulli comes in for his second stop from last place and one of the Toyota tyre men wasn’t ready and the fuel rig gets stuck. Shittt!!. It was devastating race for Trulli. He becomes the fifth retirement of the race. Meanwhile Ferrari told Kimi Raikkonnen’s he needed to pull out a gap because they suspect Giancarlo Fisichella could be stopping on the same lap, or even going longer.

Jarno Trulli's “retirement” meant the inevitable had happened: Luca Badoer is rock bottom. Force India responded to Ferrari's message to Kimi Raikkonen by telling Giancarlo Fisichella he needs a "tenth per lap". My heart was pounding… My God..couldn't... could he ?

At the Lap 24 Fernando Alonso comes in for his only stop of the race from third. BUT IT'S WAS A DISASTER FOR RENAULT. The Front left got damaged as he had a collision with Adrian Sutil .They could not get the left front tyre on.. The gloomy message came over the radio that he's to return to the pits for good. Neither Renault will finish the race. The picture was clear.

At the front, Kimi Raikkonen leads by 1 measly second from Giancarlo Fisichella.

Lap 27: Heikki Kovalainen has made his one and only stop. Rubens Barrichello comes in for stop number two. Kov now 10th.

And Anthony Davidson announces "If Kimi Raikkonen pits before Giancarlo Fisichella then Fisichella is going to win this race."

I lost the track as was excited…. The lead for Kimi Raikkonen was only a second. Only 13.8 seconds separate the first five. While on Lap 30 we all heard that Force India owner Vijay Mallya was unable bring himself to watch from the pit wallalthough they expect Raikkonen to come in one lap after Fisichella. But they seemed happy

The Lap 31 was indeed a Crucial moment. Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella in fact come into the pits at the same time... Ferrari get Raikkonen out first and the Finn maintains the lead from the Italian.

At the Lap 40 Kimi Raikkonen's lead over Giancarlo Fisichella was still 0.8 seconds. And we heard “Stunning performance from the Force India today.”"Just an oil leak, so you just need to eke it out for one more lap," Brawn told Rubinho. Kimi Raikkonen on the verge of victory, Giancarlo Fisichella on the verge of Force India's first points in F1

KIMI RAIKKONEN WINS BELGIAN GRAND PRIX

After 29 false starts, Vijay Mallya-owned Force India finally scored their maiden Formula One points with Giancarlo Fisichella finishing second behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Giancarlo Fisichella: "I was quicker than Kimi and I'm a little bit sad for that. We had exactly the same strategy. It's great because I finished second, just one second behind leader - but actually, we could have won the race."

Martin Brundle on BBC: "Had it not been for the safety car, I don't think Kimi Raikkonen would have won this race. I think Giancarlo Fisichella had the pace to drive away."

Giancarlo Fisichella, speaking to David Coulthard on BBC: "When you do pole position with a good car, it's great, but when you do it like [Saturday], with not a winning car, with a small team, it's just like something very amazing, very unusual."

Giancarlo Fisichella on his qualifying performance: "I hit a rabbit during morning practice and damaged the front wing. My mechanics said: 'In England, rabbits are good luck.' Maybe they're right."
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Posted on
Aug
21
2009
Fri
11:33
AM
Talak Talak Talak
From shehla masood
It is very tempting to describe Jaswant Singh's unceremonious expulsion from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Talak ..Talak ..Talak.

The BJP’s treatment of Jaswant Singh only brings the Chand Fiza affair back to my mind.

Chand Mohammad place has been taken by Rajnath Singh and poor Jaswant Singh has been left to fend himself so much like Fiza aka ….

The media off course is unbiased and is giving as much time to Jaswant Singh as was given to Chand and Fiza.

Chand loved Fiza and Fiza loved Chand. Our Hanuman turned Ravana loves Jinnh the only difference is the Jaswant Jinnah love affair can turn sour only if the BJP gives Jaswant Singh PM in waiting tag. 2014 Singh in that case make give an explanation that he had not been able to distribute the opium to his quests because of the bloody media and was forced to consume the whole stock him self and that is the time the Jinnah Affair started.

A facetious way to look at the expulsion is to call it a telephone breakup of the kind teenagers engage in these days thanks to mobile phones. Dispelling Jaswant Singh over telephone.. Shows evolution is needed. loll

On the other note my dear friends don’t you think this as a blatant example of the culture of intolerance of independence of thought that runs through India's political class.

What does this show ? Isn’t this merely one political party's inability to define itself? Otherwise what?

Inspite being in the party for all of those 30 years, it is barely evident whether the party was with him in those decades. Jaswant Singh managed this dichotomy much less successfully than his more illustrious mentor Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Again, which is to be noticed is “Prudence” by the forbearer of the BJP. More doctrinaire members of the party need a Chintan. Their role in the party is “ Unambiguous”. With the retirement of Vajpayee it was only a matter of time.. The hardliners strike once again and modernization tolerance raises questions.

Lal Krishna Advani tempted fate by doing so once but escaped justice because of his RSS roots. There was no way Singh could have survived in the aftermath of the book.

On a more serious note this Book underscores a lack of evolution within the BJP leadership which is grappling with a serious identity crisis.

Jaswant Singh in his book demonstrates the boldness to be an impartial historian and not a party demagogue. When Singh says that if India does not watch out it would enter a "dark alley" by boiling dispute and discouraging honest intellectual reflection over its history's most traumatic phases... he is not wrong.

One can legitimately describe the book as the proverbial last straw that broke the camel's back but it is a serious illustration of which has gripped the BJP.

The book is not going to change the history. The leaders who want to rule us should understand that they have to wake up from the slumber and to be reintroduced to 2009.

The youth of this country need not be told the explanation of secularism.

Banning books won’t lead us anywhere. Jaswant Singh has strongly contested the popular Indian view of most of us that Jinnah was the villain of the 1947 partition. Let’s be honest! We have been taught.... A person who is the man principally responsible for partition is Jinnah.

Asked if he thought this view was wrong, Jaswant Singh said: "It is. It is not borne out of the facts... we need to correct it.". Singh's intellectual inquiries and assessments as an author are hardly an impediment. What is chintan baithak than for?


India needs to challenge lazy certainties of established wisdoms.The book of Jaswant Singh also questions the wisdom of Indians who hesitate. …The cold Shimla weather has produced some hot waves for the veteran BJP leader.


But…we don’t need to create more demons for our country. We have a long way to go or do we have a Ram ban coming our way and than the celebration of Diwali

So… lets wait and watch .. Cheers !!
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Posted on
Aug
20
2009
Thu
6:05
PM
THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA. Can bloggers share what does our constitution mean to them?
From shehla masood
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a 1[SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC] and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual
and the 2[unity and integrity of the Nation];
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
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Posted on
Aug
18
2009
Tue
6:58
PM
Conventional wisdom in India has indeeed recieved a body blow.
From shehla masood
http://www.facebook.com/shehla.masood?ref=profile#/note.php?note_id=119693073123&comments

Jinnah's legacy is receiving an overhaul from an unlikely quarter.

The book received critical acclaim from the panelists – eminent writer Lord Meghnad Desai, veteran journalists Mark Tully, M.J. Akbar and B.G. Verghese from India and Hameed Haroon from Pakistan, besides renowned Hindi litterateur Naamvar Singh.

After disagreeing with Jaswant Singh's comment on Jinnah, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders stayed away from the former foreign minister's book launch to making their disapproval more evident. The book book ‘Jinnah: India-Partition Independence’ was launched on Monday, Aug 17 with just one leader from BJP Shyam Jaju.

If I were not drawn to the personality I wouldn’t have written the book. It’s an intricate, complex personality, of great character and determination, Jaswant Singh said at the time of his book launch.

Following in the footsteps of party senior LK Advani, former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh has called Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a great Indian, and admitted that he has been attracted by Jinnah's personality.

Conventional wisdom in India has indeeed recieved a body blow by the book on the Quaid-i-Azam .

‘If I were not drawn to the personality I wouldn’t have written the book. It’s an intricate, complex personality, of great character, determination,’ Mr Jaswant Singh told an Indian TV channel ahead of the release of the book, ‘Jinnah: India – Partition – Independence.’ It took five years to research.

Jaswant’s views on Jinnah against party’s ideologysays Sushma Swaraj leader of the Lok Sabha said.

It was historically not tenable to see Mr Jinnah as the villain of 1947, Mr Singh said. ‘It is not borne out of the facts… we need to correct it… Muslims saw that unless they had a voice in their own economic, political and social destiny they will be obliterated.’

Mr Singh said the 1946 election was a good example to show the fear held by Muslims. That year, he said: ‘Jinnah’s Muslim League wins all the Muslim seats and yet they don’t have sufficient numbers to be in office because the Congress Party has, without even a single Muslim, enough to form a government and they are outside of the government.

‘So it was realised that simply contesting elections was not enough… All of this was a search for some kind of autonomy of decision making in their own social and economy destiny.’

Mr Jinnah was a great man because he created something out of nothing, Mr Singh said of his newfound hero.

‘He single-handedly stood against the might of the Congress Party and against the British who didn’t really like him ... Gandhi himself called Jinnah a great Indian. Why don’t we recognise that? Why don’t we see (and try to understand) why he called him that?’

Mr Jinnah was as much a nationalist as any leader in India.
‘He fought the British for an independent India but also fought resolutely and relentlessly for the interest of the Muslims of India … the acme of his nationalistic achievement was the 1916 Lucknow Pact of Hindu-Muslim unity.’

Among the aspects of Mr Jinnah’s personality Mr Singh said he admired his determination and will to rise. ‘He was a self-made man. Mahatma Gandhi was the son of a Diwan. All these (people) — Nehru and others — were born to wealth and position. Jinnah created for himself a position. He carved in Bombay, a metropolitan city, a position for himself.

‘He was so poor he had to walk to work … he told one of his biographers there was always room at the top but there’s no lift. And he never sought a lift.’

Demolishing the belief that Mr Jinnah hated or disliked Hindus, Mr Singh said the claim was totally wrong. ‘His principal disagreement was with the Congress Party.’

Going by his interview shown on CNN-IBN With Karan Thapar on Sunday and monday Mr Singh holds Mr Jawaharlal Nehru as more culpable than anyone else for the division of the country.M A Jinnah is not a demon but is Jaswant Singh right? Did I not say so?"I think we have misunderstood him because we needed to create a demon," the book's author, Jaswant Singh, a veteran politician, told the CNN-IBN television channel. "We needed a demon because, in the 20th century, the most telling event in the sub-continent was the partition of the country."

We should not forget is that the partition of India in August 1947, when both Pakistan and an independent India won independence from Britain, resulted in one of the largest forced migrations of people in history. As millions of Hindus travelled east into the new India and millions of Muslims travelled West into the new country of Pakistan .

All i can say is that the book has again partioned India.SAD
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5 Comments
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 5:40:07 PM
From shehla masood

Today the book is banned in Gujrat.A national party cannot be so intolerant of its own leader.Dogma and regressive mentality should have no place in our society.


The Gujarat government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said Jaswant's Singh's book was banned because it has derogatory comments about Patel.
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:07:36 PM
From shehla masood
SEE ......the book has sacked Jaswant Singh.loll
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 10:16:50 AM
From shehla masood
First of all the interpretations, comments , press quotes , political interpretations, international reviews etc is harming the general perception of common man as they have not read the book and am sure they wont even bother to..

Digging out debate on partition should be done on facts.. one should read accounts of the years around partition from independent historians and they more or less say what Mr. Singh is saying.
One book I would recommend who would like to discuss with me to read The Mountbatten Papers by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins and another is Freedom at Midnight by the same authors.The Mountbatten Papers is based on and reprints official Government papers and correspondence.This is sadly out of print.

'Freedom at Midnight' provides an interesting details , citations and bare the action of Gandhi/JInnah/Nehru WHICH HAS BEEN WATERD DOWN in our history books.

Like today we are demonizing Jinnah and so are ppl from the other side do the same for others but y should one forget that before partition Jinnah WAS A PROMINENT LEADER of freedom and it cannot be denied… His acll for Pakistan came very late in th4 struggle. It is worthwhile reading about the circumstances that led to this demand.At best Jinnah can be accused of being a tad selfish. No one.. no body could have imagined the losss of the lives would resullt to..

The Hindsight is always brighter my dear friends..
What would have been your point of view if the country were to go into the hands of the right wing ? who at that time were advocating a different tune..

I ask mr Singh why this after 62 years .. our mother land was divided . Singh describes the partition of India as the "defining event of the 20th century for this entire subcontinent. Infact the joining of the two countries will be the defining moment for the entire universe.. human race.

I say if the two countries become one again it will be a celebrated moment for the entire human race & the universe.

The genaration to come is not worried what their religion is or what a scarf on their heads means . For them it is a fashion for them it’s a necessity they want to lead and live in peace. A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. Life is an adventure in forgiveness. Cleverness is not wisdom. Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions. Humor distorts nothing, and only false gods are laughed off their earthly pedestals . Genious is just elegant commonsense
Indai's secularism can not be questioned for a long period of time WE SHOULD NOT FORGET
Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:25:45 PM
From Vishnu Khare
किताबें लिखने से भारत का विभाजन नहीं हो सकता
कभी नहीं
Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:37:18 PM
From Raghav Chandra
How and why do you say this book has partitioned India?
Posted on
Aug
10
2009
Mon
10:16
AM
Bhopal Temple in news for Vedic traditions
From shehla masood
A temple which worked as a hub of alleged Hindutva terror network has been awarded an ISO certificate.

Yes... im talking about Ram temple at the Gurubaksha Ki Talaiya on Hamidia Roadt.The place where the Malegaon blast conspiracy was allegedly hatched and where Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur spent a night in April 2008.

The temmple has an ISO certificate for following a quality management system.The process of worship, the facilities provided to devotees have been awared.

The Certificate is issued by Orion Registrar, Inc, USA, reads

i wonder how people of the fundamental groups would have reacted if a mosque/madarsa/gurduwara connected with some terror activity was awarded this kind of certificate?
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Posted on
Aug
8
2009
Sat
1:26
AM
Bicentenary of Alfred Lord Tennyson.
From shehla masood
Alfred Lord Tennyson.

His quotes which I like are..

“A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies”.
“In the long years like they must grow; The man be more of woman, she of man”
“Who is wise in love, love most, say least”.
“Love is the only gold”.
“Men at most differ as Heaven and Earth, but women, worst and best, as Heaven and Hell”

and lines ...
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

His Bicentenary was on 6 August so I choose to write and share.

‘He had the finest ear of any English poet,’ said W.H. Auden. ‘He was also, undoubtedly, the stupidest Every age rejects the one before and it’s no surprise that he was hated by his contemporaries like Auden but later on was told he was jealous.

Tennyson knew half a dozen languages and was famed for the brilliance of his conversation.

From the start of his career he was able to create beautiful imagery in language whose magical sounds complemented its luxurious shapes and textures.
He was blessed with physical beauty. ‘The best-looking man in the world,’ said Carlyle. Elizabeth Barrett Browning declared herself ready to ‘kiss his shoe-tyes any day’.

Alfred Tennyson was sent to Cambridge in his early twenties where, according to Harold Nicolson’s mischievously sarcastic biography, ‘he was in advance of his time. He became a reactionary at 22.’

He liked showing off his appearance — the broad shoulders and shaggy black mane of hair . Once he walked across a field, stretched out his arms and picked up a pony. ‘Must you be Hercules,’ panted a watching devotee, ‘as well as Apollo!’

Many of the selections in the Golden Treasury are Tennyson’s own.

In 1829 June, Tennyson won the Chancellor’s Gold Medal with his prize poem, Timbuctoo.

He was extremely sensitive about his own work. An early collection published in 1832 was subjected to an unfair review which stung Tennyson into silence for the next decade. In 1833 the sudden death of his best friend Arthur Hallam would provide the material for ‘In Memoriam’, the work that made his name, but it wasn’t to be published for a further 17 years. He spent his twenties travelling, writing, drinking port, puffing on tobacco for nine hours a day and amusing his friends with conversation.

In 1833-34 Tennyson began writing In Memoriam, and created (sometimes in draft form) some of his finest poems, among them ‘Ulysses,’ ‘Tithonus,’ and ‘Morte d’Arthur.’

He married at 40and was still a virgin. The young Tennyson had blurted out to the teenager, ‘Are you a Dryad or an Oread wandering here?’ Twenty years later she was his wife Emily Sellwood.They remained in casual contact for two decades as modesty prevented Tennyson from marrying ..as was not sure he could make a living from poetry.

Tennyson’s reputation was taking root when his second volume.{poems appeared in 1842. Same yea, Tennyson was made laureate and he easily outclassed every other holder of the office.. songs like ‘Riflemen Form’ and ‘Britons, Guard Your Own’ are catchy as pop music.

In 1854 Tennyson read of the disastrous charge of the Light Brigade in a newspaper which made him produce a poem whose fame reached across the world. In the hospitals of the Crimea it was said to cure wounded soldiers, ‘even after the leeches had failed’.

He lived unchallenged and outstretched with the outcome of success.It’s said, were too tapered for greatness. He ridiculed his celebrity in public…. ‘Modern fame is nothing. I should rather have an acre of land. I shall go down, down. I am up now. Action and reaction.’ A party of Bostonians once crossed the Atlantic hoping to pay him personal homage and having spotted him in his garden they called out, ‘We have come 4,000 miles to tell you —’ and Tennyson cut them dead. ‘It cannot be!’ He fled into his rhododendrons.

He preferred more formal approaches. When the people of Mantua asked him to supply some lines to commemorate the 19th centenary of Virgil’s death they were expecting a formal public ode. They got a masterpiece...

I salute thee, Mantovano,
I that loved thee
since my day began,
Wielder of the stateliest measure ever
moulded by the lips of man.
.................
Indeed he was a friend of liberty and truth.
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Posted on
Aug
7
2009
Fri
7:44
PM
Women
about Shehla Masood By Suneela Bhalla
According to newspaper reports our H'nble Sports Minister Mr. Gill has asked the media to stop making a hoo-ha over sportswomen serving refreshments at SAI.According to him women do this at home and therefore it is no big deal if they are made to do this at their work/trainig palce too. This is a very derogatory sentiment and I am shocked that a senior minister has such an opinion about women and is not shy of amking them public.
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1 Comment
Posted on Friday, August 7, 2009 11:42:56 PM
From shehla masood
Till the time they ARE not forceD its fine,if not the superiors have to get their acts right.
Posted on
Aug
4
2009
Tue
3:28
AM
DILIP KUMAR for Bharat Ratna.
From shehla masood
The Real Living Legend who rightly deserves the Bharat Ratna.....an actor par excellence!!!!!!!


Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan had to wait for 46 years before he could get the autograph of his idol, Dilip Kumar .

In his latest blog entry, Amitabh Bachchan calls Dilip Kumar as an institution in himself and talks about how he as a teenager had unsuccessfully attempted to get an autograph from his superstar and had to wait for the premiere his film Black to finally get hold of one.

"I remember the first time I ever saw him in 1960. I had come to Bombay as a visitor with my parents...our hosts had taken us out to visit some of the awe inspiring sights and locations of this great city...It was a prominent restaurant, in now what is commonly referred to as South Bombay, where Dilip Kumar, the Dilip Kumar, walked in," wrote the actor in his blog.

Urged by the elders and eager to go up and greet him and to ask him to oblige them with an autograph, Bachchan ran out of the restaurant to a nearby stationary store to buy an autograph book.

"Out of breath with excitement and apprehension, I walked back to the legend and softly put up my request. Poised statue like, hand extended with the book, I repeated my quivering words to him. He remained unmoved. Either to me or to the book.

"In a short while, he turned and left. I followed his departure, book in hand and a little embarrassed and self conscious and disappointed, returned to my seat, consoled by the elders with me not to take it personally. He may not have noticed you, or perhaps he was too busy with what was transpiring between him and is friends. I understood with some trepidation. End of meeting with Dilip Kumar," the actor cum keen blogger said.

Starting his career in 1944, Dilip Kumar has starred in some of the biggest commercially successful films from the late 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. His performances have been regarded as the epitome of emoting in Indian Cinema. He was the first actor to receive a Filmfare Best Actor Award and holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for that category.

Though he has done all kinds of films - he balanced a wide variety of roles such as the romantic Andaz (1949) with the swashbuckling Aan (1952), the dramatic Devdas (1955) with the comical Azaad (1955) and the historical romance Mughal E Azam (1960) with the social Ganga Jamuna (1961).

In the 1970s roles dried up for Kumar and after 1976 he left films for a five year break. In 1981 he returned with a character role in the blockbuster film Kranti and continued his career playing central character roles in hits such as Shakti (1982), Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991) his last film was Qila in 1998. He has since retired from the industry.
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2 Comments
Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:03:21 PM
From shehla masood
Cheers Pramod !! atleast somebody bothered to read and reply coz i feel the bloggers are not having discussion/debates.. but just writing ...
Posted on Monday, November 16, 2009 9:28:03 PM
From Pramod Rai
Not contesting the view weather Dilip Kumar deserves a Bharat Ratana or not ..........I totally agree with Shehla , he is the most outstanding ...and very few even come close to his talent and the one who does , is his fan ......
Posted on
Jul
30
2009
Thu
3:01
AM
Gayatri Devi: People?s princess who loved lilies and horses
From shehla masood

Known to her friends as "Ayesha", she caused a minor sensation in India when, in 1940, she married for love rather than by parental decree, to become the third wife of the dashing Maharaja of Jaipur. In 1962 she created a very different sensation by winning by the largest landslide ever recorded as the Republic of India's first princess to stand for parliament...The Guinness Book of Records by securing a majority of 175,000 votes. She was imprisoned for six months during the period of Indira Gandhi's notorious State of Emergency.

Princess Gayatri Devi was born in London on May 23 1919, the fourth child of the ruler of Cooch Behar State in eastern India. Her childhood years were shaped by the influence of two remarkable women: one was her mother, the Maharani of Cooch Behar the other was her maternal grandmother, the Maharani of Baroda. These two formidable queens saw to it that Gayatri Devi was brought up as a thoroughly anglicised Indian princess with strong ideas of her own.

At the age of 12 she fell for the most glamorous young man in India, the Maharaja of Jaipur, then 21 years old.A nine-handicap polo player, leading his Jaipur polo team to victory in every tournament they entered.A rare combination of political courage and beauty called the Prince Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur “Jai” and insisted on marrying him, never mind that he already had two wives and that her own family was against the match. Just before the wedding, her brother told her: “The maharaja likes girls and just because he is marrying you, one must not expect him to give up all his girls.” Gayatri Devi shot back that since he was marrying her, and not the other way round, “there would be no need for him to have other girls”. All this is now famously recorded in her memoirs for posterity.

When Gayatri Devi was sent to the Monkey Club finishing school in Knightsbridge, they met secretly and became unofficially engaged. She loved to travel, spending the summer months based in a small flat in Knightsbridge and her winters in Jaipur, where she held court in the dower house (Lilypool) that her husband had built after their first home.A list of VIPs from the hotel was daily sent over to Lilypool and if not otherwise occupied she would invite them over for a glass of champagne in the evening. Those who displeased her were billed for the champagne.

She and her husband had shared a great zest for sport and entertainment and, to the indignation of the traditionalists, the Rajmata continued to live life to the full unlike the widow of a rajput ruler.

Gayatri Devi had a natural beauty that achieved international recognition after Cecil Beaton photographed her in Jaipur in 1943.Gayatri Devi's classical good looks ensured that photographs of her in elegant chiffon saris and diamonds and pearls were splashed across fashion and lifestyle magazines. She was also known for her love of horses and polo.


Gayatri Devi — the grand queen mother or ‘rajmata’ of the Jaipur royal family in Rajasthan who was listed as one of the most beautiful women in the world by Vogue — remained spirited till the end of her colourful life.

That was Her Highness Maharani Shri Gayatri Devi Sahiba, Maharani of Jaipur
The personification of beauty, grace, charm and elegance.


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2 Comments
Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009 8:38:17 PM
From shehla masood
Thanks ..

A vacuum in the world of most beautiful women.A generation of beauty and royale goes into history.Alas!!

A woman who had experienced life in all its complexities. This Cinderella story was not without its warts.In her book, “ A Princess Remembers,” she had recalled with rare poignancy and candour that at the end of the day, even the World’s Most Beautiful Woman places her head on a pillow…. and silently weeps. Today, we mourn the death of Eternal Beauty.

May her soul rest in peace.
Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:58:59 PM
From Dinesh Chandra Jugran
very well written shehla!!!!she was unarguably one of the most graceful and
elegant lady of the century.
Posted on
Jul
29
2009
Wed
9:00
PM
Why Indian Men Are Still Boys
From shehla masood
Very interesting read

A FEW YEARS AGO, a group of young men, all Bengaluru- based lawyers, were asked who bought their underwear. Their answer bears out the seemingly arbitrary nature of this intrusion. Of the five men, all in their late twenties, all wellgroomed and intelligent, all given to the unconventional in their personal and political lives, only one bought his own underwear. For the rest, this was the first time they were thinking about why their mothers were the ones still picking out their boxers and briefs.

In the popular imagination the Indian male has always been the stuff of nightmare, able to rape, beat and oppress with his hands tied behind his back. Certainly the newspapers and the grapevine are full of such tales. Here is the one who beats his wife everyday. Here is he who rapes his daughters for years as in the Mira Road case earlier this year. Here is the man who pays to have his daughter’s Muslim husband bumped off as was alleged in the Rizwanur case. Here is the one secretly buying acid to burn into blindness the schoolgirl who rejected him.

But one could bat that away as just an exaggerated version of the brute Indian male. A decade ago, the same media had triumphantly heralded the arrival of the ‘New Indian Male’ – gentler, kinder, more in touch with his feminine side. And true to image, in the sliver of Indian society that is upper-middle class, educated and reaping the benefits of globalisation, Indian men seemed to be undergoing big changes in social roles. More and more men cooked, more and more men participated in childrearing and more and more men were cleaning themselves up. Or so it seemed. Was this mere wishful thinking? Was it a media-manufactured trend cranked up by the handy feature-writing phrase ‘more and more’?

Evidence is, the urban Indian male hasn’t really changed. He is cocooned as he has always been in a sort of prolonged infantilism – a hatchery protected by doting mothers, fathers, sisters, girlfriends, and society itself. As Mukul Kesavan, author of the The Ugliness Of The Indian Male And Other Propositions says, “The Indian male’s bullet-proof unselfconsciousness comes from a sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household.”

Turn to the men in the lives of People Like Us — fathers, husbands, brothers, lovers, colleagues and friends — and Kesavan’s prognosis looms everywhere. They seem innocuous, but beneath the surface, the twitchy, occasionally grubby person with a collegiate sense of humour milling everywhere around you is perhaps only a milder version of the raving beast in the news clips.

This innocuous man never makes the news because what he does is not news. He leverages power so casually it seems to be his by natural right. To him and to others around him — us — it is legitimate for him to exert measured but highly effective violence to protect his way of life. He is the man who is impeccably well-behaved everywhere but at home, where he throws plates if meals are late. The man who finds it difficult to deal with his girlfriend’s higher income. Who assumes all young women are interns or secretaries or have slept their way up the professional ladder. Who assumes his teenage sister-in-law does not mind his copping a feel as long as she stays under his roof. Who discusses the difference between analytic and synthetic philosophy with his students while forgetting to introduce the wife who brings in tray after tray of coffee. He is the one who tells his much loved and high-powered daughter that if she comes home later than 7pm after work, she is without morals. The one who wearing designer shirts, drinks in designer bars but does not flinch from casually slapping his designer wife in spaghetti straps. He is the one who brings the attitude of the thwarted child to any zone of conflict: an accident on the road, a difference of opinion with a spouse or child, an employee not subservient enough. The hushed whisper families maintain around the tyrant of the house is uncannily similar to the ones that surround a colicky baby.

So, truth is, the New Indian Male announced a decade ago was a mirage. The man who lays out the plates for dinner and perhaps washes them — fifteen minutes of haloed domesticity — the man in the giddy magazine features is actually a bewildered robot caught in a crisis. He is expected to be new; the new emancipated Indian woman certainly expects him to be new. But he has not been brought up to be new. He has never been taught how to live in an egalitarian society.

Palash Krishna Mehrotra, author of the forthcoming The Butterfly Generation, a book about urban young men and women between 25 to 35 years old, epitomises contemporary confusions. Changed rules, changed expectations and zero preparedness. He paints a picture of utter pathos. “If I am supposed to cook, why can’t I cry? We men are constantly guessing. Am I supposed to pay for dinner or not? We have nothing to go on — you just patch something your girlfriend told you with something you saw on Star World and hope to get by!”

Who, and what, is responsible for hard-wiring Indian men into this mess of emotional clumsiness and latent brutality? The answers sprawl across an untidy canvas.

Kesavan says, “Indian men are ugly on account of the three Hs: hygiene, hair and horrible habits. Despite the way they look, they’re always paired off with goodlooking women.” He’s right. The unequal logic of arranged marriages does spin out perversely. Nalini, a 22- year-old student in Pune says, “I have a cousin in New York, a 35-year-old professor. He sent word home that he wanted a beautiful 19-yearold village girl. She had to be musical, highly religious and from a strict Brahmin family. But since he fancied himself as very modern, his wife would have to cook meat for him. Whether or not this would violate her beliefs did not matter. And, of course, his parents found him one.”

KRISHNA, A 24-year-old software engineer who moved from Kerala to Bengaluru for work, seems to have the opposite problem. Allowed by his parents to find a girl for himself, he is out hunting. But as he says, giggling, “Things are very difficult. I am not getting any.” Krishna is suffering from the cruelest and newest of India’s free markets: the singles scene. Nothing he has learnt so far in his young life has taught him how to engage the attentions of a woman. He has never needed to please. That’s the single thread that connects him with the New York professor: an unexamined sense of selfentitlement.

So who’s programming this bug in the circuitry of the Indian male? Rahul Verma, 56, trade unionist and Delhi-based writer, is the anti-thesis of smug traditional male or even the bewildered one wandering about in a newly egalitarian world. Verma, who calls himself a ‘house-husband’, was the epitome of the New Indian Man long before such a phrase was coined. He has kept house, cooked for the family and cared for his parents and his in-laws for decades. Ask him how he came to these life choices and he shrugs. “I never thought I was doing anything unusual. My parents were radicals. My father lived underground for years.”

PARENTS — THERE seems to be a simple equation between parents and the drought of responsible, responsive Indian men. In the homes of People Like Us, young boys do not automatically learn to cook or even to be grateful to those who cook for them. They are rarely taught to anticipate other people’s needs. They are not automatically involved in the care of siblings, the elderly or the ill, while their sisters are encouraged to keep vrats (or fasts) as spiritual general insurance for the whole family. They are not taught to settle conflicts peacefully or, to use the unfortunate phrase, to occasionally shut up and put up. Indian boys are not just perpetrators: they are victims of the plague of the stereotype.

From the nineties, Stanford University psychologists have conducted long-term experiments that prove that if you can convince children that stereotypes don’t limit their potential, they can perform wonderfully and variantly. But Indian schools are utterly unmindful of this. Girls are widely expected to do better in board exams, and usually they do (albeit for some embarrassingly sexist explanations that suggest girls have a greater and innate desire to sit quietly in front of their NCERT textbooks). Boys, it is assumed, are naturally restless in classrooms or, in an increasingly pathologising world, suffering from Attention Deficiency Disorder. Both reasons — nature and illness — excuse them from having to take responsibility for their actions. Outside of school too, presumably, behaviour modifies itself to match expectations. Given the wild largesse accorded to boys then, it is absurd for us to be surprised at the startling excesses of public and private behaviour in Indian men.

The odd parent determined to set things right must resort, then, to constant vigil. Take Delhi-based blogger Mad Momma, for instance. Well-known for her views on parenting (she has had both stalkers and hostile parody bloggers) and brought up by relaxed hippy parents, 30-year-old Mad Momma runs a tight ship. Her young son and daughter are schooled into absolute politeness and her house is intimidatingly pretty. MM and her husband have worked out a relaxed and equitable distribution of household chores and child-rearing. “Women cripple their sons and husbands by doing everything for them,” says she. “I am rabidly feminist about treating my children equally. But my mother-in-law and even my cook are not. They sometimes give my two-year-old daughter a piece of dough to play with, but never my son. My husband too instinctively asks my son not to cry if he falls down but will hug and kiss my daughter if she does. But we are constantly talking about these things in our house.”

Like Mad Momma, Veena Naidu, a Pune-based academic with two grown sons sees herself as part of a disturbingly small minority. Her biggest anxiety in raising her sons, she says, is ensuring that they do not become a burden on other women. “When they were growing up, I never pampered them emotionally. I never tried to protect their or their father’s feelings, never tried to get around them or manipulate them as I have seen other women do.” Yet today she continues to worry that her sons may be too terrified of the uncontrollable or uncomfortable nature of emotions to ever fall in love or sustain other meaningful relationships. “I never hear boys — mine or others — talking about their feelings in the way I know girls do.”

This male inability to express feelings is a common affliction. Therapists across the country tell stories of men who face tremendous crises at work but who enact elaborate ruses to hide them from their friends and family. A Delhi-based therapist describes the shock of a wife who found out her middleaged husband had been leaving home everyday, dressed for work, for six months only to spend lonely days in public parks. “Why didn’t he tell me he couldn’t face going to work anymore? I would not have blamed him,” cried the wife.

Mothers, wives and trendseeking journalists are not the only ones to fall unwillingly into discussions about the seemingly innate differences between boys and girls. Global pop culture (such as television shows and self-help books with alliterative titles) rampantly emphasise and reinforce the inscrutability of men to women and viceversa. For decades, in development jargon, gender had come to stand in for women. And for decades all initiatives, political and intellectual, were directed at the transformation of women’s lives or the yeast-like raising of women’s consciousness. The queer movement opened up rich possibilities of happiness. But all this left the straight man out of conversations about emotions and self-expression until the mid- 1990s when funding patterns shifted. Suddenly, the focus shifted from women to the inner worlds of straight men, creating a domain called masculinity studies.

Ratheesh Radhakrishnan, now at IIT Mumbai, a researcher in this relatively unknown area of study, suggests usefully that one way of resolving the naturenurture contradiction (‘If I brought up my son in gender- sensitive ways, why is he still using a doll as a gun?’) is to look away from individual sets of parents to the culture that fosters notions of self-indulgent masculinity.

Today, we are learning to appreciate and enjoy our daughters. It is not uncommon to hear parents now saying they are grateful they have daughters because they are assured of care in their old age. Nor is it uncommon to see around us confident young women encouraged at every step to excel. We react with awkward but sincere pleasure about stories of a woman firefighter, a woman Foreign Secretary, a woman who has sent her children to engineering college on a labourer’s income. In the manner that the modern, independent woman has the option of playing out any number of sexual types and social roles (butch, femme, friend, superboss, languid mother, gaming junkie, film festival nerd) men, too, should have the option of embracing a spectrum of roles and selves. As yet, they do not.

Nowhere is this entrapment more vividly evident than in male responses to that most reviled college experience: ragging. Young Indian men routinely brutalise incoming juniors in colleges and justify it as tradition or socialising. Stripping, beatings, ritual humiliation, the eating of shit and licking of toilets, sodomy – everyone has a story. Worryingly, these stories are told with a grin. Naveen, a gentle, young Chennai-based doctor, for instance, says he thoroughly enjoyed a ragging ceremony that lasted hours and ended in his standing in neck-deep mud. Vinay, a 28-year-old security analyst, shifts between saying, “I know it was all bad” and “It was the best years of my life” when talking about the elaborate ragging rituals in Madras Christian College. His room was once ‘egged’ — covered in eggshells filled with urine — for weeks. But Naveen justifies it by saying it was all about being accepted and liked. His father and grandfather had gone to the same college and he is quite sure he wants his unborn son to go there someday.

NEITHER VINAY nor Naveen will concede that their experiences are merely a variant of the violence that killed 19-year-old medical student Aman Kachroo in March this year in Kangra. Mary John, Director of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, says that the tendency of young urban college boys to talk of Kachroo’s death ‘as the kind of thing that happens out there’ — far away from their own realities — fits well with modern forms of masculinity which are inclined to deem overt violence as infra-dig. “The successful man today is one who can get what he wants — power, service and his woman — through consent. Overt violence would be a sign of failure,” says John.

There are reasons why ragging remains a perversely beloved ritual among young men. Unlike Indian women who are trained emotionally and socially by parents and society to gear up for a time when they must leave their parental home and occupy their space in the adult world, and unlike their selfsufficient counterparts in western countries, there are no major markers to end childhood for Indian men.

When an Indian man goes away from home (if at all he does) he is almost entirely unprepared to look after himself. Indian university towns such as Pune, for instance, are full of well-heeled young teenage boys housed with cook-cum-major-domos to clean up after them. Young women in Indian metros often refuse to visit their male contemporaries’ homes, sure that there will be no towels, no furniture and no food. Maya, a 26-year-old Delhibased professional, recounts how various male acquaintances would land up at her home at odd hours of the morning without notice, casually demanding specific items for breakfast (‘I’ll just have some juice’) with every expectation of these demands being satisfied. Even marriage does not necessarily mark adulthood for Indian men in the same way as it does for women.

SO, IN a sense, ragging in college is the only real initiation rite privileged young Indian men get to pass through. It is the only time they feel they have ‘faced something’ – suffered, and so walked through a doorway into a wider, adult world. For the first time, they feel the thrill of no protective shield around them. Certainly there are few other things in their lives that was not for their taking.

Ironically then, Indian men are unable to break the stereotypes that entrap them and embrace the pleasure of multiple selves precisely because neither parents nor society allows them to experience any markers that end their childhood. The beautifully christened Yuvraj Singh lounging in an up-market Delhi coffee shop is a perfect example of this. 24-years old, good-looking, well-travelled, he is just out of a fouryear relationship that ended recently and is dating again. He is polite and likes clever, feminine women. He has never been in any scuffles. The one time a girl’s boyfriend arrived outside his school to beat him up, he called his father’s security company and his problem was taken care of.

Now, as his student life in London draws to an end he is on the verge of returning permanently to Delhi. Returning involves a big decision. Does he want to join his father’s multi-crore business immediately or in a while? It is a decision that is clearly weighing on his mind. He admires his father tremendously but wonders whether it is the same life he wants for himself. “I want to be able to stop thinking about work at 6 o’clock, go home and spend time with my family.” Family is a word that comes up dozens of times in his conversation. His mother, his father, other people’s mothers and fathers. Family, family, family. His parents know everything about his life, he says. “I don’t smoke or drink in front of my father. I can’t,” he smiles sweetly. You are irresistibly reminded of Kesavan saying that Indian men are only required to be sons.

Globalisation itself has brought new complications for the Indian man. At one level, it has encouraged many Indian men to morph into the pleasant-smelling, colour-coordinated, high-spending creatures called the metrosexual. At another, it has hardened some of the traditionally fluid lines of Indian masculinity. For instance, the once easy, even lavish, physical affection between Indian men – holding hands, slapping butts, slinging easy arms over friendly shoulders -- is now being schooled into selfconscious homophobia. And the quintessential south Indian nerd or the overweight and wonderfully romantic movie heroes of our past are no longer kosher: it is the big muscular body that is now more universally coveted.

George Jose, gleeful father of a three-year-old daughter, and Programme Director of the Asia Society, Mumbai, sums it up wonderfully. “Indian men are no longer going to be able to take their place in the world for granted. They will suffer the anxieties that women have been dealing with forever, wondering what is appropriate or inappropriate all the time. The pity is that in their case there is no women’s movement to light the path ahead and men are too scared to admit the need for such groups.”

But until that fear is routed, the search for the genuine New Indian Male will resemble a quest for a unicorn. And what is the unicorn we are looking for? Is it 29-year-old, Bengalurubased Kamal, all spikes and metal piercings, a porcupine in a Jesus t-shirt at first glance? Kamal, who belies his looks and is quiet and retiring and enjoys the discipline of domesticity, who keeps house without turning house-keeping into a cult, and admires his wife’s ability to bring home an income because his band does not make any money yet? Kamal, who is looking forward to having his own children one day and being a gentle father, and who is happy for now making music and maintaining his fragile peace? Or is it Jinu Joseph, hulking new villain of Malayalam cinema, macho man of the world, comfortable in his skin and comfortable with women?

The point is, there should be no one unicorn: no new stereotype to replace the first. If there was to be a masculine movement to equal the feminist movement that has set large sections of the Indian woman free, the goal for Indian men would be to throw off some of their own deprivations. From the moment they can walk, Indian men are taught to provide but not feel. Taught to command, not empathise. Taught to expect subservience not companionship. Taught, most damagingly, to repudiate their emotions. Their inner life. Their capacity for variety.

As Jose says, “Part of the problem has always been language and how men and women speak to each other. You know how the old feminist guard gets all worked up when they hear young women today saying, ‘I am not a feminist’? It is as if these young women are ungrateful for all the hard work that was done before they were born, work that paved the way for their individualistic freedom. But actually it could offer an interesting and intuitive new space. It is as if these women are signaling to the men they meet and saying, ‘Let’s set aside the history of stereotypes that set us apart. You and I, let’s start on a fresh page.”

WRITER’S EMAIL
nishasusan@tehelka.com
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 30, Dated August 01, 2009
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1 Comment
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 7:28:28 PM
From Shlok Chandra
Fantastic read. Really enjoyed this, even though the joke is on men.
I think you are absolutely correct about stereotypes and how they are engrained in young minds at a very early stage. I think young boys are either spoilt rotten or made to behave like women. A middle ground needs to be acieved.

Recently a Swedish women (former beauty queen Anna Ikeda) has written extensively about Swedish men and how they are becoming pansys due to the obsessive drive for equality in Sweden. Wonder what your thoughts on that are. The link of that blog is http://www.transparent.com/swedish/when-daddies-take-care-of-kids-gender-equality/
Posted on
Jul
29
2009
Wed
8:58
PM
Wetting my appetite.
From shehla masood
Niagara Falls has often been called "the world’s most famous address and indeed it is.

It took us almost 10 hours to reach the American Pilgrimage from Jersey.loll. We were delayed by the part of Obama’s stimulus package as lot of jobs are created in recession . We could see work in progress on the highways. Nonetheless we thoroughly enjoyed our expedition crossing towns and countryside.

We crossed City of Buffalo best known for the bills, Sabres and chicken wings and off course historic architecture and bustling theatre district. It is the second most populous city in the state of New York.Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River. we ven crossed the Mittals steel factory a part of the Mittals empire. President William McKinley was shot here. We stopped at the Lake theme park resort which has amphitheatre showcasing today’s biggest names in music. I wanted to visit the cultural and the intellectual center of the Chautauqua and Ellicotville which was not easy as was out of way but also visited the Ford and Chevrolet plants.

The food cooked by my sister was delicious and enjoyed the shamikababs with pitar bread . My niece Hiba just enjoyed my company and the two year old Monster Mustufa my nephew was tied to his car seat. When bushed the song of film main hu na were treated as lullaby for him.

It poured cats and dogs on the way but didn’t beat our spirits.We all were there for breathtaking sights and sound of the majestic Niagra falls. Niagra falls state park is Americas oldest park established in 1885 and designed by a great landscape architect, Fredric Law Olmsted perhaps better known for designing New York City’s Central Park. Olmsted believed that parks should be places of natural beauty, where “the masses could be renewed.” This philosophy was applied throughout Niagara Falls State Park, with an entire network of footpaths through wooded areas and along the banks of the Niagara River .Trust me Its ONLY at this falls where we can get up-close and personal with the falls. It’s a fitting tribute to the man who believed that Niagara Falls belongs to all of us.

We reached in the afternoon and made ourselves comfy for the day and night ahead of us. The hotel was 20 minutes drive from the Niagra falls. Soon our adventure trip began. Parked the car and reached the Niagra Information center. My sister and brother in law were well informed as visited years back. So… the adventure began right with an elevator ride 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge. Then, clad in a souvenir rain poncho and sandals, we went to the wooden walkways to the Hurricane Deck, less than 20 feet from the torrents of Bridal Veil Falls. This walkway is removed every November and reassembled each spring so it won’t be damaged by winter weather. Cave of the Winds was an ultimate experience. Have never faced the pounding waters. It was a almost like facing a 5 degree hurricane as informed We were mere feet away from the thundering waters. It was a rocking experience. The Maid of the mist boat tour of the American and the Canadian falls was thirty minutes ride but a lifetime experience. It was spectacular. The boat took us right down to the base of the falls. It took us so close to the waterfall that we gasped for air, we drenched in the falls water but one thing I dI couldn’t stop capturing the moments which came out quite decent as expected as the boat was rocking throughout in the choppy waters.


Although the most widespread and extraordinary views of the American Falls can be seen from the deck of the park’s Observation Tower. Extending out over the Niagara Gorge, the Tower allows you to look directly out into the cascading waters of the American Falls or down into the raging torrents below. Four elevators provide access to the base of the gorge and the boarding site of the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Trust me these firangs knows adventure. We came back awestruck. Imagine 3,160 tons of water flowing over the falls every second. This accounts for 75,750 gallons of water per second over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls.


Next day we planned moving in a tour bus which could take us to the topmost of the falls. On the way we were informed that native Americans living in the Niagara region were most likely the first people to behold the power of Niagara Falls. The first European to document the area was a French priest, Father Louis Hennepin. During a 1678 expedition, he was overwhelmed by the size and significance of Niagara Falls. When he returned to France, Hennepin published an account of his travels in "A New Discovery". The book brought Niagara Falls to the attention of the western world for the first time and inspired further exploration of the region. The development of the rail system in the 1800s opened Niagara Falls to throngs of visitors and made it a prime destination for travelers from all over the world. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte’s young brother, Jerome, honeymooned with this American bride at the falls. He is sometimes credited with starting this tradition.


By this time were got access to the cave Goat island which was dramatic as we had to go through the cave of the winds, t op of the falls restaurants , three sister island, terrapin point, luna island and the rapids! This was the place where world’s first large-scale hydroelectric generating station opened in 1895. However, the plant used the direct current (DC) system, which could only transmit electricity 100 yards. Then, in 1896, the famous electrical engineer Nikola Tesla proved that he could transmit electric from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, New York, using his new alternating current induction motor. This was the first use of the AC system of electricity that is used around the world today. The current Niagara Gorge Discovery Center is located above the site of the Schoellkopf Power Station, from which electricity was first sold as a commodity.


The ultimate was never forgetting Illuminating experience witnessed by me produced by the massive spotlight beamed across the gorge onto the falls, the beams were sent across the side of the falls which is Canada.its was mind boggling.trust me the lights competed with all the lights of the Broadway.It was spectular…


Now I wonder why for generations, the majestic beauty and humbling power of Niagara Falls State Park has fostered a sense of awe and wonder. Through the years, countless people have enjoyed the sparkling scenery of the falls, making the Niagara Falls vacation spot a favorite.. rushing torrents, spectacular scenery and one-of-a-kind attractions while letting your excitement flow as freely as the waters. I want to visit once more but now I would like to watch it from Canada.. across the bridge.
check out the pictures i took at.
http://www.letzchangedrulz-miracles.blogspot.com/
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Posted on
Jul
22
2009
Wed
8:38
AM
3 Broken Ribs Puncturing his Lung & No One Killed Him ?
From shehla masood
“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure” - George E. Woodberry


Prof Shabharwal is one victim out of three crores criminal cases pending in various courts all over the country. Money rules the show. There is no justice for the common people.lets not argue on this... Though the government and the judiciary claim to provide justice to all, they are making fool to the innocent victims.

We have a recent case where despite extensive and vivid footages of the murderous attacks on Prof. Sabharwal having been available and also repeatedly televised, the trial court on July 13 2009 acquitted all the six accused facing trial for “lack of evidence” saying the prosecution "failed misreably' to prove their presence on the campus.

The Additional District and Sessions Judge Nitin Dalvi, who pronounced the order after the case was tried by Justice B A Sheikh when the Supreme Court had ordered transfer of trial from the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, has observed that he regretted that Professor Sabharwal could not get justice.

The raucous celebrations and the Chief Minister openly welcoming the order saying that it has only 'vindicated his earlier stand of calling it an accident" on acquittal have also been widely televised and reported.

Himanshu Sabharwal is still fighting the battle for his father.We all have decided to make this Teachers day as a Black Day. The Campaign has begun... worldwide.

What a shameful day it was...A day later, after being released from a Nagpur jail late on Monday, the ABVP activists returned to MP like heroes. After their felicitation in Bhopal.. my city.. they offered prayers at the famous Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain. The ABVP activists celebrated as if this was their last celebrarion. They shouted slogans and took out a rally in Ujjain late on Monday. Meanwhile, the National Students' Union of India, the students' body of the Congress, held a protest outside the Madhav College demanding a CBI probe.

its very disheartening to see all this...the case was weakened much before the trial was shifted to Nagpur as eyewitness statements were not recorded under the Section 164 of the CrPC. College peon Komal Singh Sengar and teacher Manohar Dodiya, who had seen Prof Sabharwal being beaten up, also turned hostile in court, saying they only saw a mob attacking him but could not identify individuals. However, in the interviews to the media immediately after the incident, Sengar had named the ABVP activists.

Even while the witnesses were turning hostile during the Ujjain trial, the senior police officers kept saying that there were other witnesses and that the prosecution had circumstantial evidence. However, the Nagpur court did not agree, saying the prosecution has failed to put up evidence to prove the case.

Vimal Tomar, Pankaj Mishra, Vimal Rajoria, Shashi Ranjan Akela, Hemant Dubey and Sudhir Yadav have to answer ..if not today.The political patronage will not be able to save them.

Deterioration in the judicial system is getting exposed so blatantly ...Judges are appointed by the politicians. Can such judges dare to go beyond their wishes? The answer is so simple.. No. Can the politicians dare to go beyond the wishes of the hard core criminals whom they are using during the election? The answer is no. Can the Government dare to go beyond the wishes of the top business houses as they fund them during the election? The answer is no. Can the policemen/Investigating agencies and Investigating Officials) dare to go beyond the wishes of their top officials? The answer is no.Can the journalist covering the courts/police dare to go against the wishes of the editors. NO.. they forget that even they are answerable..

But who cares?

who will take the lead?

its we .. who cares.. will take a lead.


sharing the letter Himanshu wrote.....

The Hon'ble Prime Minister of India,
Prime Minister's Office, South Block
New Delh

Sub: Acquittal of the Accused in Prof. Sabharwal Murder Case and Visible Miscarriage of Justice: Remedial Measures

Respected Sir,

You may kindly recall that Prof HS Sabharwal (59), head of the department of Political Science at Madhav College in Ujjain of Madhya Pradesh, was brutally attacked by a mob of 25-30 poitival activists and party workers on August 26 2006 within the college premises when he was on his way out after the student council elections were pronounced cancelled by the teachers council . He succumbed to his injuries of three broken ribs puncturing his lung and was declared brought dead to the hospital.

You may also kindly recall that these men who had attacked Prof. Sabharwal all belong to the student organisation affiliated to the then, and also current, party in power.

Given the close relationships between the leaders of the state government and the accused, in apprehension of miscarriage of justice, the son of the Late Professor had approached the Supreme Court of India with the dual prayer for transferring the trial of the case outside of Madhya Pradesh and investigation by the CBI, a central agency.
The highest court, in its wisdom, while granted the first prayer did not act on the second.

Despite extensive and vivid footages of the murderous attacks on Prof. Sabharwal having been available, and also repeatedly televised, the trial court has on July 13 last acquitted all the six accused facing trial for “lack of evidence” saying the prosecution "failed misreably' to prove their presence on the campus. The Additional District and Sessions Judge Nitin Dalvi, who pronounced the order after the case was tried by Justice B A Sheikh when the Supreme Court had ordered transfer of trial from the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, has observed that he regretted that Professor Sabharwal could not get justice.

The raucous celebrations and the Chief Minister openly welcoming the order saying that it has only 'vindicated his earlier stand of calling it an accident" on acquittal have also been widely televised and reported. The state is also not going in appeal in the Hight Court.

While the son of the slain Professor is planning to move the High Court for revision , an independent reinvestigation in the case, on the lines of SIT investigations in selected cases of post-Godhra violence in Gujarat at the instance of the Supreme Court, A questioning on the issue by the State Governor to the CM, is what is immediately called for to uphold the cause of justice.

Also the prosecutor in the case must enjoy the confidence of the kin of the slain Professor.There should also be adequate provisions for witness protection and 3 policemen who have retracted from their statements should be punished for perjury.

We, the undersigned of the teachers community, hence earnestly urge you to kindly look into the matter and take necessary actions to ensure the above.
That’s what is absolutely necessary to uphold the cause of justice in the instant case.

And this being a case where there is a demonstrative misuse of “power”, upholding of justice in this case is extremely crucial for preserving the high credibility of the judicial system in India, further reinforced by some recent instances of interventions by the Supreme Court - involving the murders of Priyadarshini Mattoo, Jessica Lal and Nitish Katara, for example, where the accused were visibly manipulating and subverting the process of justice from the vantage positions of power.

Thanking you

thanks and regards,
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Posted on
Jul
13
2009
Mon
6:03
PM
Gay and merry
about Shehla Masood By Ambry
You first encounter gays and lesbians in school, about the time puberty kicks in. That's when the hormones are raging and doing all kinds of things to the bodies and minds of us all. Since I went to an all-male school, it was almost obligatory to be macho as soon as you got the first hint of a moustache, and often, much before. Being a stupid macho teenager almost always pre-supposed that you had to act tough. And if the gay chap at school displayed more of a feminine disposition, it automatically meant being a butt of ridicule for him. That, of course, till you encountered the more virile gay factor, usually in the common school urinals. He would have a thick bush for a beard and grip of an 800-pound gorilla. I once happened to witness first hand one of my friends' butt kicked like hell by one such burly chap who took offense to some nasty asides. My friend had to run for his life practically with his pants down.

Personally, I always went along well with the gay-type (in school, you never knew for sure who was what so I relied mostly on the grapevine). Of the guys we thought were `queer', one was a class-mate, three others were a year senior. Have forgotten the names of all but one. They might have gone on and done their bit by way of the usual teenage sexual experimentation among themselves but never broached the subject with the rest of the straight crowd. That contrasts sharply with the received Bhopali wisdom about some colourful gay characters that lads in the walled city talk about almost like folklore over endless cups of salted tea. If you believed even half the story, you would be firm in the belief that gay guys were raving sex maniacs out to catch hold of young boys for a bit of butt-lovin'. Makes sense to discount walled city lore as eternal truth.

Talking about myths, the one I think that goes around unchallenged is about their creativity. The gays I know, or think that they are differently-oriented, have never displayed any special talent or creativity. None played the guitar like I did, one did paint but was nowhere close to the perfection I thought I had achieved. It could be that all the talk about their average creativity being on a different plane altogether is a myth. Or, maybe, the guys I think were gay were plain straight Joes. One thing is for sure, from persecution to simple segregation has perhaps made sure gays don't come out of the closet so readily.

The Delhi High Court decision in the Naz Foundation v/s Union of India and others might change that, although the final word has yet to be spoken in the matter by the Supreme Court where it has been challenged. Perhaps, the gay community would do well to exercise caution and not come out in the open as yet. After all, the entire clergy from Abrahamic to Brahminic religions and everything in between is ranged against them.

The rest, I should discuss some other time.
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2 Comments
Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2009 3:54:42 PM
From Ambry
Guitar, not anytime soon. The entry in the previous blog is in past tense. Used to think that played well. That was almost 20 years ago. Later, got wiser to the truth -would never be the next Santana, Satriani, Slash or Eddie Van Halen, not even close. The musical prodigy was a mere pretender, not the maestro.

Posted on Friday, July 17, 2009 3:34:35 PM
From shehla masood
so...wn do we see you... hear guitar chords??
Posted on
Jul
10
2009
Fri
6:03
PM
Forget the gays, let?s make Adultery a crime.
From shehla masood
We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongues, at our peril, risk and hazard.Voltaire

Nuclear explosion=section 377.

The raging controversy over Gay rights in the wake of Delhi High Court ruling that the ban under Section 377 was invalid, has landed in the apex court.

Seven months and few days after concluding the hearings on the petition filed by Naz Foundation, bench consisting of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar decriminalized homosexuality by reading down section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The Section 377 of the IPC as far as it criminalizes gay sex among consenting adults is violation of fundamental rights, said the high court. However, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes homosexuality will continue for non-consensual and non-vaginal sex.

The Delhi High Court decision interpreting Section 377 Of IPC dealing with homosexuality, has blasted the issue with shrapnel hitting the large populace of India as concerned over the issue ( affirming OR opposing) , is like a nuclear explosion .

Guarded but misguided by the rhetoric of ‘safety of children’, ‘family values’, ‘slippery slope’ arguments and the legal enshrinement of discrimination. Most of us are blinkered by prejudices, dogma and lack of information and none knows about 377A . I can Bet….

The Naz Foundation (India) Trust movement and Delhi High Court decision are significant on two levels. Firstly, it shows India is making progress in recognizing sexual minorities as equal citizens deserving the right of consensual sex. It also removes the legal and institutional discrimination. Secondly, the Indian court decision has proven yet another step forward and away from its British colonial past.

Sexual morality was and is not an issue of discussion, but rather the recognition of rights and the moral value of consent.

If God created all of us with the so called natural sexual orientationl, then who created those with different orientations? I am sure this assignment of different sexual orientations is also his creation?/?

Yet religious clerics lament that it is against the Bible, Quoran, Bhagwat Geeta, Guru Granth Sahib et all!

Baba Ramdev storing political ambitions evolves controversies better than new asanas.
What kind of logic and understanding is this? Scientists, psychologists and the so and so have proclaimed that a person with a male physical body could be born with a female mind. Transmutation of genes, a slow process, which could be reasons for different sexual orientation. If that be true, then in the process of evolution the LGBT community would seem to be more evolved!

Evidence of homosexuality was traced back all the way back to the the Ancient EGYPT 2400BC. Khumpthep and Niankhum were even burried together and listed as royal confidants.

Aristotle,Socrates,Plato were followers of this practice..Julious Ceasar was called every womens husband, every man’s wife.

Nearly every Hans Dynasty had a male or more partners and so was with the Samuraui.

Italian figures Michaelengelo Buonarotti,Leonardo Da Vinci.i can go on and on..
Walt and Bacon were gay.
Ancients Greece and Ancient Romes accepted and practised. known as PEDERASTY.

Abraham Lincoln, Elton John,Vikram Seth, Byron ((and a few mythological ones such as Ardha-Nari Nateshwara, Mohini (Lord Vishnu) etc.)) with different orientations.

Did they wantonly chose them, against the morals, generally acceptable to the larger society, or, was it a natural phenomenon? And, look at the great feats they achieved! Let us think magnanimously. For hEaven sake lets get rid of the the law which was drafted in a hundred and forty nine years ago in 1860 by Lord Macualay prescribes a punishment of 10 years in jail for anyone found guilty of sodomy.

Who are we , inded, to judge homosexuality when it itself has existed far longer than we did.
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1 Comment
Posted on Friday, July 10, 2009 7:47:20 PM
From Raghav Chandra
I completely agree with you Shehla.

As a manager/administrator, I feel we have enough pressing problems not to have to waste time and energy on lesser issues.

I remember going to Puri many years ago, and on the beach, as my wife and I took in the pleasant evening sea-breeze over a fine glass of wine, we were astounded to observe a pack of dogs in every possible posture of the kamasutra, including the 377.

So lets give guys a chance to lead their lives naturally, and pray for nature to do its bit more naturally. Lets not play God!

On the lighter side, 'one now has to work harder and listen to the Boss, otherwise he can screw your ass...and now it is legal!!!"
Posted on
Jun
29
2009
Mon
9:33
PM
Police Reforms ? Too important to neglect, too urgent to delay
From shehla masood
Today a notice is being served to the Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh for not implementing the Police Reforms in Madhya Pradesh.

Implementing Police reforms is adhering to the splendid ideals and the democratic values, intended and designed for the protection of life, liberty and other fundamental rights of the defenseless.

To our great dismay and disappointment my State Governments neither approached the Hon Supreme Court of India to review their order in Writ Petition nor implemented the Supreme Court orders.

We have our police functioning under a legislation enacted in 1861 and in the present stage of our growth and development and claims to be a developed state with credible institutions of governance.

Not implementing Police reforms is an effort to keep the police in this country as a lawless bunch and violators of Human Rights. The present police force is not in rhyme with the new and growing society, inspite of the Government of India and the Apex Court several initiatives, police reform that are framed with the approval by the public.

I request citizen’s immediate intervention in the matter. Ajay Dubey an activist from Bhopal Had filed a PIL two months back. He has been collecting information through RTI act fr0m the Home Department. Fifteen days back teh Government was served a notice for the contempt of the Supreme Court order.....the news was broadcasted by very few.

On 22nd of September 2006 the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India gave a ‘judicial nudge’ to the ever, elusive quest for police reforms.

Shri Prakash Singh, a former Director General filed a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution ..praying for issue of directions to the Government of India to frame a new Police Act on the lines of the model Act drafted by the Commissions in order to ensure that the Police is made accountable essentially and primarily to the law of the land and the people.

In their order in Prakash Singh and Ors Vs. Union of India (UoI) and Ors, a three member Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Y.K. Sabharwalwent through the annals of police reforms , the Reports of the Law Commission, Report of the Human Rights Commission and a host of material relevant to police and criminal justice reforms.

The Court noted that ‘police’ is a State subject, and quite candidly asked themselves: “The question, however is whether this Court should further wait for Government to take suitable steps for Police Reforms” and concluded, most logically, that they should not wait any further. They went on to say “Having regard to (i) the gravity of the problem ; (ii) the urgent need for preservation and strengthening of Rule of Law; (iii) pendency of even this petition for last over ten years; (iv) the fact that various Commissions and Committees have made recommendations on similar lines for introducing reforms in the police set up in this country (v) total uncertainty as to when police reforms would be introduced, we think that there cannot be any further wait, and the stage has come for issue of appropriate directions for immediate compliance so as to be operative till such time a new model Police Act prepared by the Central Government and / or the State Governments pass requisite legislations”.

The Chief Justice of India who authored the judgment was echoing the hopes and aspirations of generations of police personnel and millions of right thinking people, when he observed that “….. we can only express our hope that all State Governments would rise to the occasion and enact a new Police Act wholly insulating the police from any pressure what so ever by placing in position an important measure for securing the rights of the citizens under the Constitution for the Rule of Law, treating everyone equal and being partisan to none, which will also help in securing an efficient and better criminal justice delivery system.

It is not possible or proper to leave this matter only with an expression of this hope and to await developments further. It is essential to lay down guidelines to be operative till the new legislation is enacted by the State Governments”. The directives touch upon the following issues only:-

• A State Security Commission in every State / A National Security Commission by the Union Government.
• Selection process and minimum tenure for the Director General of Police and certain other functionaries.
• Separation of investigation
• Police Establishment Board
• Police Complaints Authority

The Cat is out of the Bag since long...a new society needs a new police.Are the politicians alone in the efforts to abort the initiatives for police reforms? No, certainly not....This is thus the most crucial moment for all well-meaning people of this sTate to make their voice heard; to come to the open and press their case for a clean and efficient police; a police accountable to the law and respecting the Rule of Law.
“Police Reforms – Too important to neglect, too urgent to delay”

Invent India.
Say We Care.
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3 Comments
Posted on Saturday, July 4, 2009 4:30:52 PM
From Ahsaas Verma
VERY TRUE "NEED OF THE HOUR" AND REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ACTION
Posted on Thursday, July 2, 2009 2:45:27 PM
From shehla masood
Sir ,

Need your blessings and guidance always.

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:10:26 PM
From Dinesh Chandra Jugran
i appreciate yr comittment n passion for urgent and immediate police reforms.an orderly civil society ,maintaining internal peace,prevention of crime has never been the priority of our planners for last 60 yrs.an efficent policing is required for security; and scurity is first step for devlopment.
Posted on
Jun
26
2009
Fri
12:58
PM
We will always miss you Michael !
From shehla masood
MICHAEL Jackson has died after suffering what is believed to have been a cardiac arrest in Los Angeles.

A whole generation of desi music lovers grew up listening to Michael Jackson in the eighties and nineties. His craze was such that the Indian youth thronged music stores the moment his album hit the markets. Bollywood imitated his gyrations (remember Prabhu Deva?) and B'day parties played his songs till dawn.

One of the most well-known international celebrities in India, MJ is no more. He died following a cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of colour - way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama. Michael Jackson did with music what they did in sport politics and music.

When he arrived in India in 1996 for the show at andheri complex on 1 Nov .. he was welcomed by Sonali Bendre, clad in traditional Maharashtrian nine-yard saree. I watched that show. cannot forget actor Anupam Kher jumped to the stage, grabbed Michael's hands with a, ‘Yeah Michael, yeah!’ Author Shobha De even told the press later, "Shaking hands with him was like an orgasm!"

The show was truly magnificient.Michael flew in all his equipment in three Russian Antanov cargo planes. The Earth Song, History Bad were all enough to mesmerise the audience.The “POP KING” was revered by the Indian youth in the eighties and nineties . He was even compared to Amitabh Bachchan in terms of popularity by the media.

.,.Behind the biggest-selling album of all time, Thriller, Michael was attempting a comeback after years of headlines about his child molestation charges (he was acquitted) to his plastic surgery and his habit of wearing face masks.

He had been scheduled to perform 50 sell-out concerts at London's 02 arena from next week to March 2010.

On the one hand, he was brilliantly talented. On the other hand, he gave every appearance of having destroyed himself. On the one hand, there were allegations about him that were horrifying. On the other hand, he did nonsense things that were hard not to find amusingly bizarre. (The chimp, and so forth..)

No controversy will erase his impact.Once a youth icon of India, MJ is 'History' now .

He was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and had 13 Grammy awards and 13 number one singles.He has sold over 750 million albums worldwide. Five of his solo albums are some of the top-selling albums of all time: "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous" and "History.To celebrate his 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a compilation album, "King of Pop," in various countries, but it was not released in the US.

He came, he performed, he “THRILLED” and he won millions of hearts worldwide with his unique style and panache.

Leave your tributes for the music legend who kept us spell bound with his pulsating music.
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Posted on
Jun
23
2009
Tue
9:52
AM
Burqa and Cassock
From shehla masood
Is burqa more alienating than a cassock?
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2 Comments
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 8:45:30 PM
From shehla masood
The burqa is a garment that covers a woman from head to toe, with only a slit in the cloth or a light mesh through which she can see. It is worn by Muslim women in some parts of the world.

The burqa is a garment of modesty. It grew out of the much older practice of women wearing a hijab, or veil, over their hair. The Koran instructs women to cover their hair with a veil/scarf in order to downplay their sexuality. The burqa is not required by the Koran, but some Muslims have taken the logic of the hijab to an extreme in the search for modesty.

Some Muslim women wear a burqa by choice, not under threat or coercion.However, contrary to popular belief, there is no support anywhere in the Quran (Koran) for burqas, chardors or veils.
The garment/Nakab/veil are meant to be realisations of Purdah, the practice of segregating the sexes in public life


There are only three places in the Quran where dress for women is mentioned, all of them quite innocuous:

(1) Surah 7:26: "O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness (REMARK: 'fear of God' in some translations). These are some of God's signs, that they may take heed."

So just a "garment of righteousness" is recommended here.

(2) Surah 24:31: "And tell the believing women to subdue their eyes (REMARK: in the previous verse men are asked to subdue their eyes), and maintain their chastity. They shall not reveal any parts of their bodies, except that which is necessary. They shall cover their chests, and shall not relax this code in the presence of other than their husbands, their fathers, the fathers of their husbands, their sons, the sons of their husbands, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, other women, the male servants or employees whose sexual drive has been nullified, or the children who have not reached puberty. They shall not strike their feet when they walk in order to shake and reveal certain details of their bodies. All of you shall repent to GOD, O you believers, that you may succeed."


(3) Surah 33:59: "O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall lengthen their garments. Thus, they will be recognized and avoid being insulted. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful."

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 7:41:39 PM
From Raghav Chandra
A cassock is like a tunic worn under the ancient toga. It is representative of catholic gowns. It adds ceremoniality and a sense of discipline. So does a burqa.

What is the difference. The cassock does not cover the face, or mask it.

There is a openness of attitude, a sense of connectivity and sharing that an uncovered face offers. To the observor it presents transparency of approach. To the covered, it offers concealment. That may be mischievous and playful joy. It might also be repressive if made a habit or a ritual.
Posted on
Jun
22
2009
Mon
2:19
PM
Disclose your income, journos!
From shehla masood
New Delhi, June 21: In the cutthroat news gathering environment of 24X7 television channels and newspapers, journalists are no less accountable than politicians, says a new code of conduct drawn up by leading English business daily Economic Times.

The new Code of Conduct has placed all journalists in the media organisation's new business channel ET Now and in the flagship print edition, Economic Times, in the ambit of an ethical code that monitors financial conduct as well.

It requires all journalists to disclose their investment portfolio to a company- appointed external auditor and details a sub-section that attempts to remove any possible conflict of interest and attempts to profit from privileged information that a news organisation is privy to.

It cracks the whip on plagiarism terming it a "sackable offence". Journalists have to win over the confidence of the audience with unbiased reportage, says the code.

"Financial journalism often courts controversy and such codes can tackle conflicts of interest," veteran columnist and media watcher Sevanti Ninan said.

Earlier, HT Media's business daily Mint had evolved a code of conduct during its launch in 2007 and The Hindu has an ombudsman or a reader's editor.
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2 Comments
Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 10:04:00 PM
From shehla masood
why blame TIMES.. What about others who are following the footprints ??
Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 3:35:13 PM
From Ambry
Great sentiments Ms. Masood. Yet, the Economic Times code of conduct can only be taken with a pinch of salt. Not that the hacks need not be regulated. But coming from a paper in the Times stable, it's a bit rich. The concern is not about the code itself. It's about Times. You can say, "look who's talking".

The reason: Times' own controversial practices. The paper has diluted the authority of the editor to a great extent, with managers and marketing staff involved in selling advertisement space, occupying the top slot in the practical order of hierarchy. The parent company has recently launched a controversial new business initiative, called "Private Treaties," (visit http://www.privatetreaties.com/) to find out the details. The initiative offers to take an equity stake in a company in exchange for advertising. It has been known to promote products in return for advertising revenue.
Posted on
Jun
20
2009
Sat
9:31
PM
Gang rape in Bhopal. Its a shame ..
From shehla masood
ang rape in Bhopal! Yes..... This news was spreading like fire in the jungle. The city was shocked. This was unbelievable.. Last night around 9 pm hrs last night a woman and her husband, who came here to visit Sant Asaram Bapu Ashram at Gandhi Nagar area here from Mumbai, asked for a lift from a SUV. There were a total of four people, including driver, in the vehicle. After giving the couple a lift, one of the accused pointed gun at her husband's head and criminally assaulted the woman. The victim identified the vehicle as a black SUV but had failed to note its number. The couple was abandoned in a lonely place. The couple had complained about the crime to the Gandhi Nagar police station. The victim was admitted to a hospital and case was registered against the offenders who were at large, police said.
It is a shame for the city.

In the last two years I have heard and read stories if Rape, Eve teasing, Chain snatching
Car and bike theft so often and most of the time the police are clueless. Woman raped in MP police station- Minor girl raped by cousin, assaulted by father in Bhopal,Woman raped on board Pushpak Train ,Dowry accused was gang raped in custody ,Woman accuses Crime branch team of gang , A policeman was sent to jail by a local court in connection with the gang-rape of a minor girl in a police station in Panna district .I can go on and on .. these are the regular headline nowdays of the city newspapers. But none have gone further ahead from just printing.

Its a shame that MP is the no 1 state in crimes against women. If we looks look into the problem deeper.. we can realize a phenomenon for urban violence which has grown in percents every year over the last ten years.'violent crime has increased in recent years in Bhopal city.
Homicide, infanticide, assault, rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence now make up between 25 and 30 percent. Urbanization with large scale poverty, deprivations and environmental degradation is seen. While urbanization in the city has allowed large sections of society to partake in the fruits of development, increasingly, urbanisation has led to extreme overcrowding and congestion with the marked deterioration of the quality of life of the lives of the residents of the city.

We are overlooking to a statement since long. “It is the urban poor who are the main instigators and perpetrators of violence and crime in the city”. Is debatable and there is a strong belief in this bias. And it is this prejudice that has often hindered any attempt to get to the heart of the problem of either poverty or crime and violence, in our city

Urbanization, rapid economic liberalization, growing mass political disorder, violent conflict and inappropriate and inadequate policies, inappropriate policing, corrupt police , corruption, Nepotism , no fear of law , government making mockery of laws on the behest of politicians personal interest , are amongst the numerous complex factors that have contributed to higher and growing levels of crime in the city.

'Crime is an act punishable by law, i.e., it is the breach of a legal prohibition'. Not all crime entails violence . petty theft, white collar crime are such examples. Violence, on the other hand, is the undue exercise of physical and emotional/psychological which is evident in Bhopal cases.The victimization rates for crimes against women is very high I feel in Bhopal.

Very little initiatives have been taken by residents of cities and government to provide mechanisms which ensure the safety of all citizens. Nothing has been done on Safety and Crime Prevention. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in Aug 12 2008 had announced the women policy in which there would be a “proper mechanism” to curb violence and crime against themwomen. “Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while chairing a cabinet meeting, endorsed the proposed new Women Policy - 2008-12 for the state which aimed at ensuring total and dignified participation of women in the development process and integrating them with the mainstream of development,”.Other objectives of the policy which were claimed, included providing protection to women in every field, their empowerment and ensuring result-oriented implementation of the various policies, programmes and schemes for their welfare.
The Police department of Madhya Pradesh has made a mockery of the policie by not impementing along with the women and child department. Fifteen days back reviewing the progress of activities of Woman and Child Development Departmen it was claimed that 12 announcement of the CM were implemented. Introducing gender budgeting in 21 departments aswell.
Where is the policy which is an effective curb on sexual harassment of women at work place? and the guidelines of the Supreme Court in this regard ?
hello! what about the safety and security of us? i cant hear,even a faint voice!
We should see how Japan is curbing crime. Japan is probably the only country in the world whose crime rates are falling. Much of this success is due to a vast network of community-based, crime control organizations operating in neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. The Crime Prevention Associations have , local liaison units; Juvenile Guidance , volunteer co-operators, the Women's Association for Rehabilitation volunteers and the Voluntary Probation Officers Association has members.. so on so forth .

Can’t we have some members and the committees?
Police, Government and Citizens should come together to solve the issues. the situation concerning crime and violence in the city is undergoing huge change, almost as i speak. The rate of crime and violence in comparison with other regions, is likely to change for the worse. The economic, social and human progress that engulfed this region for has tattered. The possible scenario is likely to be misery and social and political turmoil. Hence, it seems that the city is for a transformation that does not bode well for its citizens. Perhaps there could be no better opportunity to forge links between citizens and their governments, particularly, local/municipal government.
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7 Comments
Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:49:08 PM
From shehla masood
does anybody know what kinda amount has been spent to solve this mystery till date?
Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009 10:54:56 PM
From Rajendra Mandloi
में आप से पूरी तरह सहमत हु पर भोपाल पुलिस दिन और रात गुन्हेगारओ को धुंडने मै लगी है
Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:49:12 AM
From shehla masood
MP stands no 1 against women- crime and violence in India .and Bhopal graph has increased day by day.

The Bhopal mahila thana is far away from requirements...do not have councellors ,apt staff... i have just collected few details will post it very soon..
ull laugh wn ull hear that the councellors do not have degrees or experience.

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 11:42:19 PM
From Dev Kumar Vasudevan
The low rate of convictions in rape cases ensures that there is no deterrent against rape. Cases like the Matoo case are exceptions. But I do feel that as far as crimes against women are concerned MP is far better than UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Haryana and Punjab. But is that any consolation?
Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 10:12:55 PM
From shehla masood
Human rights violations in the city have been a regular feature of our morning newspapers and despite tall promises by our police officers,leaders, leading newspaers ..nothing concrete has been done so far.

Another aspect to this incident: Psychologists fear that such cases may lead to psychological disorders among the teenaged girls and they prefer to stay indoors. Isn’t this too much a price to pay in a democracy?

the society at large is insensitive...sad.
Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 10:38:20 AM
From Tarun Lokhande
I think Court will not wait for any evidence now and give them a painful death and it will be held in any MArket where everybody watch them hanged or shoot.As such type of punishment will force the people to think of commiting this type of crime.
Posted on Sunday, June 21, 2009 12:46:07 PM
From Raghav Chandra
Urban policing needs the involvement of citizen groups in a big and organised way.

RWAs and citizen groups need to be vigilant and capable of dealing with crime at least in an interim way.

Bhopal requires to identify key criminal elements and their protectors. Unfortunately, we feel that white collar crime grows in isolation and that there is no connection with regular and organised crime, but that thinking is wrong. Crime of all kind is inter-connected. Corrupt practices are as criminal as basic heinous crime like rape and murder.

So if we want to root out rape and robbery from Bhopal we must root out corruption, unethical behaviour and small petty crime.

Since we do not have the time and resources for detailed trial we must have citizen courts or spot magistrates for administering justice.

How about platforms on which to ask petty violators to climb up in full public gaze and stay there the whole day! Like the packed drill(pd)that was meted out to unruly students in school?
Posted on
Jun
13
2009
Sat
8:52
PM
The Yashwant bombshelllll
From shehla masood



Resignation letter of Yashwant Sinha
Date: June 12, 2009

Dear Rajnathji,

As you are aware, I do not belong to the category of those great leaders who can contest and win elections from anywhere in the country. I have been rooted in one constituency, Hazaribagh, ever since I entered politics.

It is not an easy constituency for me. So as on previous occasions, this time also I had to work very hard to win my seat. Apart from the work that I did in my constituency over the last five years, I spent all of three and a half months since the beginning of January until my election was over on April 16, in my constituency, moving from village to village and persuading people to vote for the party. I am grateful to the voters of Hazaribagh, to my workers and to God Almighty for my win.

My joy at my own victory was, however, short-lived when it became clear that the Party had failed to win the trust of the people of India. The little euphoria which was left also evaporated when I reached Delhi to a cold reception from the leadership here. I had expected that there would be a flurry of activity in Delhi, that the Party office would be abuzz with a series of meetings to review our performance, that the necessary lessons from our defeat would be drawn quickly and remedial steps initiated without loss of time. I was surprised, therefore, when I noticed that nothing of the kind was happening. It was business as usual.

It will be obvious even to a casual observer that this election has thrown up a number of issues, which we can ignore only at our peril. These relate to our basic tenets, our policies and programmes, the issues that we raised during elections, the language in which we expressed them, the strategy that we worked our for the elections, the manner in which that strategy was implemented, the campaign style of our leaders, and finally, the faces that we projected.

The media has been quick to draw its own conclusions about our defeat. Many of them are superficial and unsupported by empirical evidence. But some facts stand out.
We have never won a seat in Kerala. We have been wiped out in some marginal States like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and most of the North-East. We have drawn a blank in Orissa, Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. We have done poorly in Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra and UP. In Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh our performance is below our expectation.

The only States where our performance has been satisfactory are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Karnataka. What are the reasons for this wide variation?
Similarly, one would like to understand the voting behaviour of the minorities, the first-time voters, women, scheduled castes and tribes, the urban middle class, the government employees and most importantly, the farmers and the industrial workers in this election. Which is the vote bank we have lost? Which is the vote bank we have gained? And finally, an analysis of the factors which helped the Congress Party increase its tally from 145 seats in the last election to 206 in this.

am sure a detailed review would be instructive and show us the path for the future. At the same time it would also help us establish the principle of accountability in the Party. We failed to carry out a review after our defeat in the last election. I am getting a sinking feeling that once again there is a conspiracy of silence.

We are shying away from pin-pointing our weaknesses and fixing responsibility. We are hoping that time shall heal our wounds. Thus, while one of the one hand, the Party is avoiding a systematic appraisal of its performance, on the other, those who were responsible for the management of the campaign have already made their views public through interviews and articles in the media, drawn their conclusions, apportioned blame and given themselves a clean chit.

Those of us who actually toiled in the field and took all the risk have not even been heard. Advaniji set a fine example of accountability by declining to take up the position of the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. It was an eminently appropriate and dignified decision. He was persuaded to continue. So have the others who wanted to take responsibility and resign, it appears as if some people in the party are determined to ensure that the principle of accountability does not prevail so that their own little perch is not disturbed.

Separately, in our anxiety to distribute amongst the few higher mortals in the party whatever goodies were available, we completely disregarded the parliamentary party constitution in the election of the office-bearers of the parliamentary party on May 31.
It is difficult to avoid the impression that in the BJP we put a premium on failure. Our reluctance to introspect and introspect comprehensively and openly is unacceptable to a large number of people within the party. So is the rat race for posts.

If we are a party with a difference, let us set an example in abnegation. If the responsibility is collective, as I have often heard you say, then all of us should jointly share the responsibility for our defeat. Let the party implement its own Kamraj Plan under which all office bearers of the party and the parliamentary party should resign from their posts which should then be filled up through the process of election laid down by our constitution. In order to facilitate this and to establish the principle of collective responsibility, I am making a beginning by submitting my resignation from the post of Vice-President of the party, from the membership of the National Executive of the party and from all positions of responsibility in the party at the national and state level. I shall continue to serve the party as an ordinary worker of the party and as its member in Lok Sabha from Hazaribagh.

In the meanwhile, I hope you will give due consideration to the issues I have raised in this letter. I am endorsing a copy of this letter to all members of the Core Group of the party.
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Posted on
Jun
13
2009
Sat
5:54
PM
Can rich save the world?
From shehla masood


Richard Smith asks: Can the rich save the world??





Matthew Bishop is Chief Business Writer/US Business Editor of The Economist, based in New York. He was previously The Economist's London-based Business Editor, and has also served as its New York Bureau Chief. ..
The author of The Business of Giving,Essential Economics etc


Mathew Bishop, one of the authors of Philanthrocapitalism, last week told the audience of a Lancet debate packed into the grandeur of the Royal Society of Arts in London, that the rich—like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Carlos Slim—could save the world.

Yes we can……

Many in the audience were palpably horrified, believing exactly the opposite—…that these rich bastards had made their fortunes on the backs of the poor and were now busy corrupting public bodies like the United Nations. Bishop was dismissed by his opponent, Dave McCoy, managing editor of theGlobal Health Watch, as a “neoliberal,” while Bishop accused McCoy of being a Marxist. Yet both complimented each other on contributing to the debate over the role of “philanthrocapitalists” in the modern world.

In a clash of ideologies, was “What has the Gates Foundation done for global health? ”which is also the title of a Lancet editorial. Bishop compared this to the famous Monty Python sketch “What have the Romans ever done for us?” Apart from roads, medicine, education, wine, public health, peace, and public order it’s nothing, which is why the revolution must go ahead.

Similarly Gates, according to the Lancet editorial, has given billions to global health, “challenged the world to think big and be more ambitious about what can be done to save lives in low income settings…added renewed dynamism, credibility, and attractiveness to global health…inaugurated an important new era of scientific commitment to global health. What is philanthrocapitalism? There have since ancient times been rich people who gave to the poor, probably hoping to buy their way into heaven after a life of misdemeanors.

Philanthrocapitalism is about combining the head and the heart.
Its bringing a businesslike approach to solve society's problems.

its seem more daunting.. ??


we need to understand /??
leaders need to demonstrate their personal commitment to give back. Gates is leading by example, increasing the annual giving of his foundation by over 10% this year, to a record $3.8 billion, even though the foundation's assets have fallen by 20% in the past year. He called on other wealthy people to give more, especially the large number who now give nothing at all. .
Whilst some people who have given a lot in recent years have been so badly hit by the financial crisis that they have to scale back, if the non-givers and small-givers dig a bit deeper, their new money can more than fill the giving gap, he said.
Jet Li, the Chinese movie star, said much the same thing -- highlighting how the philanthrocapitalism movement that has been most vibrant in America is now spreading throughout the world. Jet Li's organization, One, has already signed up 1 million Chinese to give money and time to good causes. He once said that he turned down two $20 million movie deals in 2008 because he wanted to concentrate on his giving -- a role model for leaders worthy of the star of Hero. What a tragedy it would be if growing protectionism and China-bashing increases, and alienates the world, just as American ideas are catching on in places that used to be hostile. …..
Second, philanthrocapitalism is about innovation and risk taking in the name of social progress. Both Clinton and Blair pointed out that government tends to be hopeless at innovation, unlike the private sector, both for-profit and non-profit. If there is to be change we can believe in, government must embrace these changemakers in new partnerships, especially social entrepreneurs. Yunus is the poster-child of social entrepreneurship, having won the Nobel peace prize for his role in developing microfinance (financial services for the poor).
That said, much of the non-profit sector performs far below its potential. The economic crisis may be the catalyst that sorts out the best non-profits from the also-rans, leading to a sharp increase in the overall effectiveness of the sector. At another well-attended event at Davos, about "Philanthrocapitalism in Action", serial social entrepreneur Nancy Lublin described one innovative way to improve the efficiency of the non-profit sector by describing her recent "initial public offering" of shares in the non-profit she runs,

Third, philanthrocapitalism is about doing well by doing good. Both Yunus and Branson enthused about how businesses should embrace social causes as a profit-making strategy, because the money earned by harnessing the profit motive can help achieve change faster, and more sustainably than old-fashioned charity alone.
Encouragingly, many of the business leaders in Davos seemed to be getting the message. Nike, for example, which has learned the hard way that business needs to be on the side of good, announced that it will freely share all the intellectual property it has developed through its environmental strategy to a new "green exchange". In a closing plenary discussion on what business can do to reduce the risk of a social backlash, there was general agreement that companies urgently needed to adopt "values-based leadership".
Yes we can

??
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Posted on
Jun
8
2009
Mon
4:33
PM
Habib Tanveer the Legend
From shehla masood
Last year in the winters i was driving back home from the office .. while climbing the akaswani road i saw a man lying on the road. Nearing him i realised he was bleeding and was in pain..immediately i parked the car and reached out to help him.. he asked me to dial a number.. it was of Mr Habib Tanveer.. My Teacher in Delhi and a legend ..he asked to take him to the hospital than his daughter Nageen will follow it up.. as asked i took him to the Hamidia Hospital and waited for her to reach. she Hugged me ,thanked me and took my contact no.


The next day i was called at his place. Tousled hair, walking stick in hand ..In the dimly lit living room full of books. Tribal artifacts jostle with old files, musty ledgers and frayed folders. He reaches for his pipe and a glass of water before he carefully lowers himself on a sturdy cane chair, dressed in white pyjama and pink kurta.It was a privilege to see vintage Habib Tanvir sahib. Electrifying power he exuded even at the age of 85. The spirit was the same when he was teaching .

He gave me a small star red coloured hand embroidered as a token of his greatness.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, he never got upset over the state of Hindi theatre across India but kept on working….all over the world.

Today he is no more.. But he will always be remembered through out with his plays, poems, ideology, classic productions, his crew.. Born on 1 September 1923 at Raipur (Now in Chattisgarh Pradesh), he began his career as a journalist and went on to become a playwright. In 1959, he founded a theatre company called the Naya Theatre. He was nominated as a member of India's upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, from 1972 to 1978.
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Posted on
Jun
4
2009
Thu
6:05
PM
Can somebody answer why so many deaths in Vanvihar Bhopal?
From shehla masood
Day before yesterday three-year old tigress died at Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal. She was “Era” .The big cat was brought to the park in 2006 from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve when it was just five-month old.

Yesterday itself the PCF had declared to constitute a committee to probe the lapses in death of the striped beauty.

Last year white tigress Kiku died in June due to paralytic attach and old age. She was 16 year old. Her hind legs were weak ever since she was brought from the Delhi zoo in 1995.

Till June last year total of seven big cats, including two white tigers, two tigress, two tigers and a lion, had died in the national park since October 2006.
This year almost 4 have died. The park has lost 23 big cats in the last five years
A tiger cub brought to the park for treatment died April 15.

Today a panther Tigo died in the afternoon. It’s strange what’s happening at Van Vihar Bhopal.
will somebody answer?
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Posted on
May
28
2009
Thu
9:13
PM
Sikhs and casteism
From shehla masood
Riots erupted across the Punjab region of India on Monday after a Sikh preacher from an Indian sect was killed by a rival Sikh group in Austria. Within hours of the incident in Vienna, thousands of Sikhs took to the streets, setting fire to buildings, vehicles and a train. Curfew was imposed in four towns and the army fanned out to quell the violence.

The dead man belonged to Dera Guru Ravidass Sachkhand Balan, a Sikh sect of dalits, or untouchables.

Sikhism rejects caste divisions; one of its main tenets is the equality of all believers. But caste inequality is entrenched in rural Punjab, resulting in the spread of caste-based sects within Sikhism.

“In fact, all major villages in Punjab today have two gurdwaras - one frequented by the so-called ‘upper castes’ or Jat Sikhs, another by Dalits or ‘lower castes,’” writes Vipin Pubby in the Indian Express..must read..

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/deciphering-deras/465965/
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1 Comment
Posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 10:31:32 AM
From Suneela Bhalla
Ofcourse the Sikhs in India are no different from other communities in that there exists casteism to some extent. We should,however, not forget that casteism is a politically generated and not not a social or religious phenomenon.Sikhism is an offshoot of Hinduism and every Hindu family in Punjab gave one son to the Khalsa Panth and till the middle of the 20th century Hindu-Sikh weddings were very common .Slowly as politics started ruling society bothe communities became disitinct in their identities and casteism too reared its ugly head.
Posted on
May
27
2009
Wed
12:55
PM
When protectors become violators.
From shehla masood
The United Nations, which aspires to protect human rights around the world, is dealing with sexual harassment complaints of Sexual harassment.

The one who have made and faced accusations of the sexual harassment accuse the system of being arbitrary, unfair and over-involved in bureaucracy,

Cases takes years to adjudicate.. very sad…

UN Secretary Generals admits to this problem along with a former U.N attorney who represents both sides. .The bewildering system dates back to 1946.

A recent case disposed of an Indian is of October 2006 of Archana Pande, a communication officer in Delhi accused Cercilio Adorna, then UNICEF top officials in India, of sexual harassment. She alleged he threatened not to renew her contract. Which was due to expire at the year’s end, if she didn’t grant him sexual favours, according to the UN records..,,,

Nothing happened.. in month to follow and finally the contract wasn’t renewed.
UNICEF investigated…

The funniest part is the letter reviewed by the journal accused her of delusion, and said if u were still a staff member, Unicef could consider taking a disciplinary action against u..

At the same time UN records also show that the same UNICEF officer sent Mr. Adorna a reprimand. Its very interesting that the same letter stated that while nearly all allegations couldn’t be supported, the enquiry found that” at times touched female staff in a manner they considered inappropriate”lol..

"The Investigation Committee itself witnessed one of such comments during your interview when you stated that you would not have invited anybody for romantic drinks in your hotel room, because you 'can't do sex without food first,' " the letter said. "Such a comment is highly inappropriate, particularly in light of the fact that you were being interviewed on sexual harassment allegations." The letter threatened Mr. Adorna with disciplinary action for "any further misconduct."

In 2007, Ms. Pandey, who is Indian, filed a criminal complaint with the New Delhi police that accused Mr. Adorna, a Filipino, of attempted rape, among other alllegations, according to Indian court filings. The police declined to take action because U.N. employees have diplomatic immunity. Immune She has continued to press her case in Indian courts. She also filed an appeal within the U.N. system.

In December 2008, the U.N. appeals board, while not addressing the sexual-harassment allegations, found that Unicef had "let go" Ms. Pandey "wrongfully" and "illegally" while she was on sick leave. It recommended that the secretary-general award her two years' pay, plus interest, or $76,800. In March, Secretary-General Ban accepted the recommendation.

Mr. Adorna retired from Unicef last month. He has filed an appeal with the U.N. seeking, among other things, a public statement of exoneration and monetary damages. He accuses Unicef of making him "its sacrificial lamb" and urging him to resign.

There have been number of cases where both sides are not happy.. like in the above case.. in Syria, Haitai, GhazA, South Korea, Kuwait ,Sudan, France ,Netherland and many other cases going on sice lasy 6 years.
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Posted on
May
27
2009
Wed
12:51
PM
SIT begins the probe in Gujarat
From shehla masood
SIT begins probing Modi role, first call to Jafris --(Indian Express)

Gandhinagar: The SIT on Tuesday began probing the role, if any, of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in the 2002 riots in Gujarat which officially left 1,180 dead.

The Supreme Court’s order to the SIT followed a complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was among those killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre during the riots. Besides seeking a probe into the role of the 63 persons, Zakia had also raised several other questions.

“We began the inquiry today into Zakia Jafri’s petition by calling the petitioner herself to our office in Gandhinagar. We had a long interaction with her, and she narrated the allegations she made in her petition,” said SIT chief and former CBI Director R K Raghavan.

During her half-an-hour interaction, Zakia mainly focused on a meeting of February 27, 2002 where she alleged Chief Minister Narendra Modi had directed the police “to remain silent and allow Hindus to vent their anger”. The meeting called by the CM to review the law and order situation arising out of the torching of Sabarmati Express at Godhra was attended by some ministers, the then ACS (Home) Ashok Narayan and DGP K Chakravarti.

“I have requested the SIT to thoroughly probe the role of Modi and other 62 persons in the post-Godhra riots. The SIT chief has assured me that his team will inquire into all the questions raised in the petition filed in the Supreme Court,” Zakia said later.

Teesta Setalvad of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and Zakia’s son Tanvir were also present during the interaction. A co-petitioner, Teesta said she had also requested the SIT to take note of the late BJP leader Haren Pandya’s statement before the Concerned People’s Tribunal, headed by Justice Krishna Aiyar, on what transpired at the February 27 meeting.
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Posted on Thursday, June 4, 2009 4:50:51 PM
From shehla masood
Manoj Mitta | TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi: In a process that could prove embarrassing for Narendra Modi, the special investigation team (SIT) intends to question him and 61 others who have been ordered to be probed by the Supreme Court for their alleged complicity in the Gujarat riots.
Authoritative sources in the SIT told TOI that the team would not submit a report to the SC without examining each and everyone of the 62 political leaders, bureaucrats and police officers covered by the April 27 order, including the Gujarat chief minister.
Although the SC has set a three-month deadline for the report, the consolation for Modi is that given the magnitude of its task, the SIT may take longer than that to get around to questioning him. The SIT, headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan, is most likely to seek an extension from the SC before the deadline expires on July 26.
In a related development, the SIT has cited journalist Ashish Khetan as a prosecution witness in at least three Gujarat riot cases after verifying some of the evidence contained in the sting he had conducted for Tehelka magazine on political complicity.
This is not a happy augury for Modi because the SIT could cite Khetan as a prosecution witness against him too if it’s able to verify any of the sting evidence concerning him. Apparently, it was only after such due diligence that the SIT named Khetan as a prosecution witness in the high-profile cases related to Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon. SIT may lodge fresh FIR in Guj riot cases
New Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) is planning to question Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 61 others in connection with the Gujarat riots. Moreover, the SIT also named journalist Ashish Khetan as the prosecution witness in Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gaon cases.
In a supplementary chargesheet filed, for instance, in the Naroda Gaon case on April 30, the SIT cited Khetan as a witness against Bajrang Dal activist Babu Bajrangi who had famously bragged in front of the spycam that he had in the course of the 2002 riots wrenched the foetus out of a pregnant Muslim woman.
But the reason why Khetan’s statement and the Tehelka tapes have been appended to the Naroda Gaon case is because the SIT could verify mobile telephone records to confirm Bajrangi’s claim that he had been frequently in touch with VHP leader Jaideep Patel to update him on the Naroda massacre.
It was in the same Naroda Patiya case that the SIT had come up with its first major catch earlier this year when it arrested Modi’s cabinet colleague Maya Kodnani. And that was on the basis of the allegations made by victims and witnesses who had been disregarded by the Gujarat police.
When the SIT began its probe related to Modi on May 26 by recording the statements of riot widow Zakhiya Ahsan Jaffri and activist Teesta Setalvad, its focus was on the secret meeting he allegedly held in his office with ministers and officials on the evening of February 27, 2002 to plot a massive retaliation to the Godhra violence.
At the end of the exercise, the SIT will have three options, depending on the extent to which it is able to verify the evidence. First, it could file supplementary chargesheets in the existing case naming some or all of the 62 persons under probe, including Modi, and report accordingly to the SC. Second, it could register a fresh FIR. The most unlikely scenario is that it would report to the SC that none of the allegations against named persons could be substantiated.
Posted on
May
26
2009
Tue
3:02
PM
National Anthem taken for granted .
From shehla masood
Ram Gopal Verma and controversy deliberately go side by side. For his new film under the garb of personal creativity National anthem is being distorted. What is more interesting is Mr Arun Jaitely appeared for the celebrated film director and tried to equate the song in the film "Jana Gana Mana Rann" as an artistic expression of the anthem. lol... today..

Where as the party he belongs to has been opposing the artistic expression of M .F Hussain. Can Arun Jaitly explain this hypocrisy? If Ram Gopal Verma's distortion of the National Anthem is Artistic Expression why is MF Husain not been ignored?

He has been called the anti Hindu painter. Of what i read , listen and feel artistes in India are being subjected to the worst campaign of politically inspired censorship's .. They say that what they term a "moral police of cultural vigilantes" have targeted art, literature and films.

As for the arguments for freedom of artistic expression etc., we've been through all that too often before..The issue has thrown the focus back to the case of one man, believed by many to be the father of modern Indian art: M.F. Husain. If he dies outside the country. its a shame that we will never overcome.

Nudity is not the same as vulgarity.Those VHP/Shiv Sena members who believe that the approved dress code for heaven is khaki knickers. One should understand that Democracy is about tolerance and respecting other person's right to be and to believe.

If you do not like the some/painting, songs, books -IGNORE IT .. or if you have the ability make a 'alternative' version of it.

Can we ignore Gandhi ji.What could have been more Hindu than Gandhiji's movement ? And yet, there was not a single element of sectarianism or communalism in his appeal.

Today in the case of Ram Gopal Verma the Bench said borrowing lines from the national anthem to create a new song could not be termed an artistic expression since nobody had a right to tinker with it.

What aN attention seeker Ram Gopal Verma is.. masterfully created the controvercy.. sure will create a big contoversy.the song is pretty gud but..:)

I find these protest and even controversies suspicious.
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1 Comment
Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 6:27:23 PM
From Sharjeel Khan
100 में से 99 बेईमान... फिर भी
मेरा भारत महान ;)

बम ब्लास्ट के मुजरिमों को सिर्फ 1 महीने में पकड़ लिया जाता हे ....
पर दंगो में जिन लोगो ने हजारो मासूमो की जान ली सालो बाद भी उनका कोई सुराग नहीं...GREAT
Posted on
May
24
2009
Sun
5:44
PM
Evil works under the cover of darkness
From shehla masood
Evil works under the cover of darkness.

Internet is quite a dodgy place if at all a check is not kept.. Is this innocence or ignorance or both? This is an area that is really now coming into full focus. It has already sparked off a major row with online advocates who strongly guard the freedom of the World Wide Web and the governments of the world are toiling on since 1995.

Content, harmful content, and copyright ETC are no more emerging issue. The government, directed by those diabolical think-tanks, are engaging in war on their own people since a decade. Free speech is intergral to the Internet. I bet they’ll try and tax it next!


I find this a terrifying prospect..Clandestine agencies in the US and in the UK, working outside of the law are bullying ISPs to restrict access to many political sites anyway.

Nannying .. into believing censorship of ‘beheading’ sites is needed is the thin edge of a very dangerous axe head of its own. The Internet should be freely accessible to everyone .Censoring of the web is a difficult mountain to climb. Very difficult…

Corn-Revere once made-known, “’on-line systems give people for more genuinely free speech and free press than ever before in human history.’

Internet is the people’s last fortress of freedom of speech in the country.. world.Everybody has the freedom to receive broadcasts from free Internet radio, tv, web sites, and blogs. This is FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and we must preserve this most inalienable right if we want to have any chance to save our country from the corporate takeover and tyranny that is now visible.

Evil works under the cover of darkness. Surrendering our freedoms in exchange for a “phony security” has been and will continue to be a disaster. The greatest tool we have for freedom is unfiltered and uncensored knowledge and information. The truth movement and alternative Internet news are dusrurbing the major networks and the corporate controlled media, and they’re determined to change that… nothing else.. Just for thir profits/

If “we the people” allow the Internet to be controlled, then the game is over and the and the citizens of the world, lose. Truth and freedom will fade from the public eye like two ships disappearing into the horizon.

Secondly the whole thing is just unmanageable. There are about 100 million websites on the internet made up of over 20 trillion pages .. weird man…

When Scientology tried to censor one clip from the interwebs, the interwebs came out in droves to the real world, and the battle is on between Scientology and the online collective known as ‘anonymous.’ lol

Most search engines, video sites and image hosting services already have mechanisms in place people can buy additional black/whitelisting software if they really want to. No need for nation-wide laws which trim freedom.


I find censoring ,law and plan both appalling and utterly preposterous

The internet is one of the last free places on earth. John Milton remarked in 1644, "Who ever knew Truth put to worse, in a free and open encounter?" good speech -educates and informs - not censorship
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1 Comment
Posted on Monday, May 25, 2009 1:10:20 AM
From shehla masood
Per Prensa Libre in Guatemala, protests advocating for justice were held in separate locations in Guatemala City on Sunday. The events were held at Plaza Italia and Plaza de Constitution and were organized through the social networking sites Twitter, Facebook and Hi5. They seek to fight impunity and injustice in the country and promote human rights.

Twitterers were most active in Plaza Italia, where participants wore white to create a “white tsunami” effect. The most popular hashtag for the event was #Escandalogt.
Posted on
May
24
2009
Sun
3:08
PM
Mrs Gandhi And Her Extra God
From shehla masood
want to share this open letter written today to Mrs Sonia Gandhi by TARUN J TEJPAL

DEAR MRS SONIA GANDHI, We all know the cliché that India moves on faith. We love our gods, and it is at their feet that we place all our successes and failures. It is in this department that those who oppose you — and perhaps even some of those who support you — will assert that you have an unfair advantage. Through marriage and masquerade you have acquired all the gods Indian politicians have, while also possessing one you brought along from your faraway home all those aeons ago.


Since we do not oppose you, we are happy that you have an extra god. As you know, India has so many gods only because it has so many problems. (Yes, there are men on the far left and far right who think god is the problem, to be banished or to be rescued — but let these men not detain us, since they’ve failed to detain the electorate.) So we are glad that you have an extra god. One more is always handy. Our gods are playful, multi-faced, philosophical. Often their moralities are slippery to grasp, sheathed as they are in the complexities of karma and dharma, moksha and maya. The one you bring along, the extra one, is more cut and dried. Quite clear about right and wrong, good and bad, sin and virtue, charity and compassion. We — who do not oppose you — welcome that. Amid the material excesses born of our religious abstractions, a little bit of clarity is not a bad thing.

Since we are agreed that you have one god more than the rest of us, it necessarily follows that your responsibilities must be more. It is an easy catechism: privilege and obligation. Of course it is not easily followed. Our playful gods tend to often muddle it up. But your extra one is quite clear on how this must run. In this case, we’d be quite grateful if you heed him, not for your own sake, but that of a few hundred million others.

To begin with, this means that you must banish the thought that your labours are done. Without a doubt you have been stellar in marshalling an army whose officers did not even know which way the battle broke, and whose chief skill lay in swiftly putting the knife into each other. For long years you did this in the face of great personal abuse (inspired perhaps by your extra god). It is not pleasant for a General to be told she does not know how to hold a gun or speak the language of the troops. But you understood, intuitively, that cheap insults can so easily keep the good and the great from the good and the great tasks. You understood that wars, finally, are won not by the size of bullet and the decibel of bugle but by the strength of heart. By simply staying the course, over 13 years, you have unexpectedly changed the battle-lines.

So your toil has been worthy. Your ragged army of 1996 is a renewed one in 2009. In the process you have so cleverly — and beautifully — played out two key precepts of your extra god. Thou shalt not covet, the last of the ten commandments, so artfully spun as an act of renunciation that it sucked out the wind from the sails of your opponents. And Mathew 5:5, which is also Manmohan Singh 2004: blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. And both have been cleansing of the public in unanticipated ways.

Yet let me assert it without any ambiguity. Manmohan 2009 needs you as much as Manmohan 2004. He may be the scythe that clears the weeds, but you are still the arm that wields the scythe. To slice cleanly, the arm and scythe must swing in tandem.

Since I am convinced that your work is far from over, and since I am on Mathew, let me remind you of the exhortation in 10:7. “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” As one must always do with divine scripture, I could spell out the contemporary burden of every phrase. But that would be fatuous. More than those of us who write of these things, you know best what it is in this calamitous nation to heal the sick and to cast out devils.

An open letter to the unlikely woman whose tenacity in staying the course has changed the contours of Indian politics
Even so — as humble epistle writers must — let me say my piece. Power brings with it a surrounding mist; great power a billowing fog. You may not be blinded by it since you have always lived with great power, but all around you, your partymen will now be tempted to explode in arrogance. They may tend to forget they have merely won a battle. The war, or may I say wars, still rage around us. The bigots — who would divide us — are still at the gates, nursing their wounds, renewing their munitions. They are far from a spent force. They have taken a fourth of our dominions. Be in no doubt that they will storm the walls again, and again. What will serve your legions well then is not hauteur, but what brought them here in the first place — humility, and the steel that is born of it. Across the land we cast our vote against swagger: let it be known, we will bear our ordained abjections but refuse to be hit by misplaced arrogance.

AS I said, the wars are many. Of civilisational ideas, of inhuman deprivations, of lack and want and misery and dying children. In my city — which is also yours, which is the supercilious capital of this limitless nation — at every traffic light, six and seven and eight-year-olds, their skins lacerated, their limbs twisted, rub our car windows for a throwaway rupee. Shining India, booming India, superpower India — these epithets are not just jokes, they are obscenities, when we cannot feed our children, or clothe them, or send them to school. I know you know this: as of now 46 percent of our children below five years of age suffer from malnutrition, with all the physical, mental and emotional impairment that comes from it. A man far greater than you, far greater than any we have known, gave us a talisman which you would do well to thrust down the throat of every person you are now anointing with power. “Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him.”

It is a curiosity of the hour that while the beacon is the future, the guiding light is still firmly the past. There is nothing that can better unveil to us the path that we must tread than the humane luminosity of the founding fathers.

In this regard, if I may say so, you are well rid of the vanity and bluster of the Left, but you might do well to hold on to some of their concerns. As you should also of the dalit queen and the Yadav overlords. They stand at the head of hapless peoples, even if they do nothing to represent them. The causes are great but the leaders are little. Reject the men; embrace the mission. The task of the reparation of centuries must proceed apace.

Inevitably then, ma’am, all this brings me to the rich. Money is a good thing. And it is no secret that we all love the rich — yes, all your partymen too. But will you please ensure that they do not make of their love a public thing. In India, all elected leaders must speak only for the poor. The rich have their money — and the media — to talk for them. Those who have the opportunity to create wealth — much or more — leave them alone to do so, and place no obstacle in their path. But instruct your worthies to focus on those who have no hope, and bring unto them a sliver.

You are well rid of the vanity of the Left, but you might do well to hold on to some of their concerns
I must stop. It is ungracious of me to deign to sermonise. That, too, at a moment of your high triumph. Let me then offer some praise. No doubt with the help of your extra god, you have done a fine job of bringing up your son. He has humility, decorum, diligence, and he takes the long and inclusive view. We do not like the idea of dynasty, but we abhor the idea of divisiveness more. In an ideal world we would do away with everything feudal and undemocratic, but for the moment let us concentrate on getting rid of the engines of hatred.

Mercifully, your boy seems more in touch with the soul of India than those who try and barter deities for votes. A man from your party once told me, disparagingly, “Sure, he is wellmeaning. He wants to help old ladies cross the street. It’s no good.” I wonder what he thinks now. Young men who help old ladies cross the street can also grow up to steer nations across rocky roads.

Can I leave you with one last quote (though it’s likely you already know it)? A man far greater than you, far greater than any we have known, once said, “To be in good moral condition requires at least as much training as to be in good physical condition.” This man was called Jawahar, the jewel. His books line your room. As freely as ye have received, freely should you give them on to your newly exuberant flock, and that of your son. The jewel’s words will make their morality robust. After all, it is still on this man’s plinth that we build our dreams.

And yes, as I bid you speed and strength, with the extra god by your side, may I make a final plea. You have given us of yourself, and of your son. Now will you kindly also give unto us your luminous daughter.

YOURS EXPECTANTLY,
TARUN

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3 Comments
Posted on Friday, September 2, 2011 8:13:53 AM
From Ravi Shankar
If courage and beauty had other names
It is surely yours - Shehla.
In a thousand ways you inspire me my friend,
A friend that I never met in person
But whose warmth and sincerity I feel
By the footprints of your actions
And the ultimate sacrifice of your life.

I will hide my tears carefully Shehla
For I do not want your vile assassins
And their accomplices explicit, complicit and implicit
To revel in your passing.
For you Shayla there is no end
You live on...
Like an eternal truth.

Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009 6:12:29 PM
From shehla masood
Written in the middle of the seventeenth century when he totally went blind .. I think he was 43?

He e speaks in images, metaphors, and allusions..brilliant way ..he searched for a solution ..

This poem gives a new slant on the timeless truth that all things work together for good to those who love God.?? and also to be content in any circumstance of life.

Milton concludes, God does not need anything anyone can do for him but rather acknowledges those individuals who most graciosly take on whatever burdens are thrust thier way..

God understands our infirmities and our limitations.
Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009 4:55:45 PM
From Raghav Chandra
Superb letter and reading.

I am reminded of some apt lines from John Milton's "On his Blindness":

"They also serve who stand and wait"


The full poem: 'On His Blindness'

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."

-- John Milton
Posted on
May
21
2009
Thu
8:38
PM
Common Sense
From shehla masood
for the BLOGGERS who have missed this.....April 18, 2009

The New York Times carried a front-page article titled, "Obama Calls for Common Sense on Executive Pay" -

to which Robert Hensler responded (An Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true):

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair; and
- Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:

I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, think. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
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2 Comments
Posted on Friday, September 2, 2011 8:14:51 AM
From Ravi Shankar
If courage and beauty had other names
It is surely yours - Shehla.
In a thousand ways you inspire me my friend,
A friend that I never met in person
But whose warmth and sincerity I feel
By the footprints of your actions
And the ultimate sacrifice of your life.

I will hide my tears carefully Shehla
For I do not want your vile assassins
And their accomplices explicit, complicit and implicit
To revel in your passing.
For you Shayla there is no end
You live on...
Like an eternal truth.

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:13:20 PM
From Raghav Chandra
Amazing!!
Posted on
May
20
2009
Wed
4:00
PM
The new Lok Sabha has the highest number of women MPs ever elected in to the Lok Sabha.
From shehla masood

Although the women's reservation Bill proposing 33% reservation for women in Parliament was not passed despite repeated attempts to table it, the new Lok Sabha has the highest number of women MPs ever elected in to the Lok Sabha.

The representation of women members has crossed the 10% mark for the first time in Indian history. However, this is still low in comparison with parliaments of the industrialized countries. For instance, UK, USA, Italy, Ireland and France have 19.3%, 16.3%, 16.1%, 14.2% and 13.9% women parliamentarians, respectively. The Sweden parliament, with 47% women MPs, has the best gender ratio in the world.

In terms of age and gender representation, the reserved category MPs have better averages than their general counterparts. There are 12.2% women MPs elected from reserved seats while only 10.2% of the general MPs are women. Similarly, the average age of the reserved category MPs is 51.8 years which is again lower than the general MPs whose ages averaged at 53.5 years.

At 58, the 15th Lok Sabha has 13 more women MPs than the last House and nine more than the previous best of 49 in the 13 Lok Sabha.
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Posted on
May
20
2009
Wed
3:10
PM
Left is left out and everybody is left out ...
From shehla masood
He may be the clear winner from Gandhinagar constituency but lost the bigger fight that his family and party members heavily overindulged in. Both -age and people of India were not on his side.

His last attempt to get nations top job in the twilight of his five-decade old career has ended even, if he has succumbed to his party men for retaining the post of the opposition leader.

The battle between the ideology has been won.??

Advani ji had lost the script somewhere in the compulsion of coalition politics that catapulted Vajpayee - the party’s moderate face - to the post of prime minister, with Advaniji as the number two. Attempts to change the position- into the secular mode- left the BJP leader with no clear identity of his own the people say.

It started off with his 2005 Pakistan visit where he praised Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The new avatar of Advaniji also put the cause of the Ram temple on the backburner….

He breathed new life given by his party and made the prime ministerial candidate due to Mr. Atal Vajpayee ill health.

Leaving no stone unturned reached out to every nook and cranny of the country, travelling more than 60,000-odd km challenging the sweltering heat nearly 40 degrees Celsius, he lifted weights and bent himself in cyberspace.

He made a made a very strong case for himself continuously out bursting against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling him weak and subservient to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. But it didn’t work…

Succumbing to the party men and claims of BJP not an individual centric party he agrees for the post of Leader of opposition.

Prime Minister in waiting .... just to think of 2011 elections we look at an 86 year old man and a 48 years old youth . He clearly failed to recreate the magic of Vajpayee who had bestride the political spectrum like a colossus.

Voters have cast their mandate. The voters have surprised the poll pundits ,exit poll experts and offcourse the media who claimed high and might. One has always failed, time and again, to appreciate the maturity of our voters.” YOUTH POWER”.

This election will be remembered for JUST ONE REASON -for making more than 200 million young voters, under the age of 25, eligible to cast their votes.
The young Turks would vote for-for an aged LK Advani, who has been clinging to his life ambition or Rahul Gandhi, a youth of not much political experience?? Today’s youth, like in all ages, look up to somebody they can identify themselves with.

With 79 MPs under 40 years of age and 36 members who are at least 70 years old, the 15th Lok Sabha is a fine blend of youth and experience.

these elections witnessed voters who are also progressively maturing.. Proving anti-incumbency is no longer a fate accompli in an era when alliances fall apart at the slightest hint of a threat.

The Delhi Assembly election, not too long back, is a case in point. Despite the Mumbai attack & anti-terrorist rhetoric from the BJP, Delhi voters elected the Government on its past. When it comes to leadership, voters again made a choice this election-it’s the ‘weak’ who shall be left the world.

Wise think no single individual can call himself strong and decisive lest it offends its coalition partners.:) The Prime Minister in waiting Belongs to an old school of politics. He undermined the role to his own team-his coalition partners and the youth... The electorate, like Omar Abdullah said, “decided that the present PM is strong enough, and that the stronger alternative portrayed by the BJP was not strong enough!”

Left is left out and everybody is left out :)

Our new Lok Sabha has a higher number of under-40 members compared with the last, the average age of the House is higher — at 53.03 years, this is the third oldest House so far.

The 13th LS was the oldest House with the average age of members being 55.5 years. By comparison, in the last LS it was 52.7 years. With members averaging just 46.5 years in age, the first LS was among the youngest. The average age has since been increasing generally, though this trend is far from uniform. For instance, the 12th Lok Sabha was the youngest House so far, with an average of just 46.42 years.

Ram Sundar Das (88), the giant-killing JD(U) MP from