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Showing posts from October, 2006

Weekend Diwali !

Happy Diwali to the readers of this blog ! I called this post Weekend Diwali because of an interesting rounding off phenomenon that is present in the Indian social circle here or may be I guess it is present everywhere where your festivals and celebrations are not officially recognized. What happens is that every festival is rounded off to the nearest available weekend. So when it is celebrated here, it is either still 3-4 days away back home or it already got over 2-3 days ago.

But this year, the Diwali fell on a weekend and so it was nice to give in to the festive mood right when the fun was on. Infact I had quite a lot of fun over the weekend, more than I expected. The weekend started with a surprise half an hour fireworks show at UPitt (No, they were not celebrating Diwali but had their homecoming weekend). Since even back home I never buy firecrackers and just like to watch them, it was a nice treat. Next day we had a pooja and dinner in the SV Temple which is the main stay of mos…

I have a right to know !

Just returned from a talk by Arvind Kejriwal who is a well known social activist and works towards creating awareness for RTI act and using it to fight corruption. He gave a brief background about the RTI as to how it came about and then went on to recount several stories where they successfully used RTI to fight corruption.

Indeed the fact that an act like RTI can be passed gives me a strong reason to not loose faith. Although govt was already planning on amending the act which would have amounted to almost killing the act, a huge public uproar made it stop. Another interesting thing about RTI act is that this act was written by people themselves, those who were fighting for it and not by some bureaucrat and now government has conceded that whatever amendments will be done to it will be done by taking all the stakeholders in the loop.

Although RTI can be a big tool in the hands of those who are at the receiving end of corruption, I see its role to be much bigger than that. It is a too…

It is only the second round !

Today morning started with the much awaited news of the conviction in Priyadarshani Matoo case. I feel happy but not relieved. This was only the high court. There is still supreme court to appeal to. And while the re-trial in High Court got on the fast track because of the public out cry, I do not know what will happen in SC. May be another 5-6 years followed by a public outcry will be the cycle there also with the only difference being that SC may consider the public outcry as a interference in court's working and pass a gag order barring discussion of the matter in the public.

No, I don't think that our justice system has gone to dogs completely but I do think that our SC takes itself a little too seriously. But anyway, today's conviction should bring some cheer to the Matoo family.

I was particularly interested in this case because of another reason. To give some background, CBI filed an appeal in high court way back in 2000. And although it is not a big deal for a case t…

साथी

मृत्यु के झंझावतों के पार का व्यवहार साथी,
हाथ मैं जोडूं तो समझो कर रहा व्यापार साथी ।

मंदिरों मे घंटियां और महफ़िलों मे तालियां,
है अलग मुद्रा मगर दोनो जगह बाज़ार साथी ।

शाम सिंदूरी, हवा ठंडी, गिरे पत्ते, धुआं सा,
आज फ़िर तेरी कमी लगने के हैं आसार साथी ।

है नजर का पेंच ये, मिलती नही धरती गगन से
हमने कितनी बार झांका है क्षितिज के पार साथी।

मन की आशायें, नयन के स्वप्न, जीवन लक्ष्य तुमको
हैं समर्पित, तुच्छ सी ये भेंट हो स्वीकार साथी।

चंद किस्से, चंद नगमे भर के दामन मे अभागे,
चल पडे हैं बांध कर दिल से तुम्हारा प्यार साथी।

Gandhigiri and Genocide !

Having watched "Lage raho MunnaBhai" and "A Force more Powerful" recently, when I came across the Rawanda Genocide on wikipedia today, it was kind of a rude jolt to all the nice and cosy dreams of Gandhigiri.

Now everybody knows about "Lage raho MunnaBhai", a movie that has managed to bring Gandhian philosophy and methods back into everyday talk of everybody. Suddenly Gandhigiri is cool . Chain mails have already started describing the instances when somebody managed to fix a annoying person using the tool of Gandhigiri. Good for them !

Not everybody knows about "A force more Powerful", a documentry about various non violent struggles that happened across the globe during 20th century including सविनय अवज्ञा आन्दोलन led my Gandhi ji himself and many others. I watched only two stories, one about the civil disobedience movement in India and another one from Nashville, US that proved a major stepping stone in the civil rights movement. The stories, t…