Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gender (IN)equality

They say “all HUMANS are equal, some are more equal than others”. Note the word humans, over men, which is normally the metaphor used for such sayings. To come to the point, I recall what happened in a bus a couple of days ago. We were all standing in the queue when the bus arrived. Just as people started getting in, a lady came in from nowhere, cut the queue, and entered the bus to a huge commotion and anger by others. She completely and conveniently ignored the whole thing, sat tight on her seat, and as is the case with everything else in this country, people gave a few angry stares, blabbered, but in the end, forgot everything and everyone lived happily ever after.
I do not want to comment too much on the controversial women reservation thing (across all walks of life), but here is the thing. Almost 60% of the seats are reserved for women in buses. The instructions clearly give women the right to their seats and men have to get up when they see a woman standing, and if he is blocking her seat. But where does it say that a lady is allowed to cut lines? Where is it mentioned that she can enter from the front door? Front doors are meant strictly for senior citizens and pregnant women.
I know I haven’t gotten to anything so far, and you will probably not read beyond this. But I have a few concerns on this thing. I totally support the concept of women’s reservation, because I think that is the biggest way to ensure their participation and convenience to them. No two ways about it. But then I have to ask a fundamental question here. How can we talk about women development and reservation in the same line? How can women ask men to “TREAT THEM EQUALLY” and at the same time ask for reservations? How can we as a society stress on the fact that women are doing equally well (which they are) and probably better than men are, but at the same time, continue to lay focus on reservations and make a bone out of it? Most women HEROES we know today- Saina Nehwal, Chanda Kochhar, Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams, and almost every other, have come out of systems where reservations are not even applicable! This is pure merit ! Then how do we go about resolving this disparity? Why are we seeing most success stories in cases, where there are in fact, no reservations?

Please do not get me wrong. Am in no mood to rake this controversy further by denying or supporting it. I am just trying to look at something that we are fundamentally missing. I still haven’t got the answer yet. As far as I go, therefore, this question remains.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010- the worst things for India in the year.

This is not a year ending blog. Am just writing this so I remember which were the events or things that messed up 2010 for India.
1) CWG- The players, the work staff and the Indian audience, gave their heart and soul for this. The players had only India’s pride in their mind, and winning, their only motto. And win they did!! The support staff had just one goal in their mind- to help the players achieve their goals. The Indian audience took these 2 to their heart, and enjoyed every moment. But what went wrong was the administration. The bad top guys and their corruption cost India 70,000 crores of rupees!! They completely rot these games, cost India big, and gave a big dent to brand India.

2) Adarsh- real estate and housing have always been at the centre of corruption and power. Adarsh, quite contrary to its name, is probably the biggest real estate related scam. Who knows how this will end, and who will LAND up where. But for now, this is a very big, very big blot on the business and commercial capital of India.

3) 2G- Not many will even understand what this is all about, barring what they have read in the media, and barring a few names. But it suffices to know that in money and impact terms, this is probably much much bigger than the previous two put together.

4) IPL: Yes, it is a big money scam. Ok, it has REVOLUTIONISED the concept of 20- 20, and even generally, cricket. It has given India, what it claims, a cricket version of EPL. But at the end , and probably at the centre of it all, is CORRUPTION.

5) CVC- Not a scam as much as a moral issue, but issue it sure is.

6) Inflation- naah, this one doesn’t help. This just doesn’t help. The problem may not be under control, but the steps to solutions are.

7) Big Boss- The WORST thing to happen to India, the television, and to its people. Period.