Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Pioneer-Dilli Billi-28th.Oct.2012-"PARENTS TO BLAME FOR AGGRESSION IN KIDS"

Siblings fighting on petty issues has become common place. The language used and the physical fights shows that being offensive has become a way of life for them.

Last week, I visited my cousin who has two sons aged five and nine. Looking at them, I realised that children today are so different from the children of yesteryear. My first impression of the two boys — there was no shyness or awkwardness and they knew what they wanted. The two were fighting with each other over a video game. The fight was aggressive and the words they were using were not very kind to anyone’s ears. I was a bit taken a back with this kind of bad behaviour.

At the end of the evening, I realised that this generation is being brought up in an environment where there is terror, violence and aggression. It is possible that they are picking up the vibes from around them. After all terrorism and violence is so much in our face. We switch on the TV and all one hears is news about rapes, murders, thefts and acts of terror. Pick up magazines and newspapers, the headlines scream of killings and violence. One watches movies for entertainment but they, too, are so full of violence.

In such a situation, how can we blame our children for being aggressive? In schools, they have to fight in sports; competition is at its peak when it comes to marks and on top of that they have to compete on who has the best of things. The children today want all the luxuries and comforts. Not that there is any harm but they need to understand that whatever comfort they are getting is because of their parents’ hard work. The children can’t demand things as if the world owes it to them. But they are impatient and in a hurry. They don’t want to work for the comforts they want. They prefer if it was provided to them.

But my generation struggled and we are at this stage because we worked hard for it. Today’s generation wants everything ‘now’. And it is this ‘now’ that is channelised into aggression and sometimes makes them take to crime. It is sad that teenagers today are taking to a life of crime so that they can ‘enjoy life now’. It is not about roti-kapda but motorcycles, latest mobiles and money to spend in night clubs to relax and chill.

Alcohol and drugs are a common phenomenon. They bully their parents into giving them expensive things and make it sound as if they are doing a favour by taking the gifts from the parents.

The abduction and murder of a five-year-old by a 19-year-old in Pune is a case in point. The toddler was kidnapped because the 19-year-old had wanted money to buy a bike.

And a majority of the blame lies with the parents. There is lack of communication and no understanding between the child and the parent. And this different is due to values given, the way a child is brought up and exposure.

It is unfortunate that our surroundings and exposure have made our new generation irresponsible and frustrated. It is impossible to reason with them. Teenagers want to wear designer clothes and drive swanky superfast cars. All this can’t be just due to peer pressure. A lot, in my opinion, has got to do with showing off. It’s a shame how they insult their parents by calling ‘values’ old fashioned and not giving in to their demands as ‘stingy’ and ‘selfish’.

It’s high time we did an introspection and made changes in how we are bringing up our children. We need to be strict and less giving however guilty we may feel that we are not providing for our children.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Pioneer-Dilli Billi-21st.Oct,2012-"CLEAN ELECTIONS & IN-YOUR-FACE-ATTACKS"


It is sad that political parties today are more interested in attacking the personal lives of leaders rather than talking about their political non-performance.

As the election campaign in two States — Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh — gain momentum, the nation watches in silence on how clean or dirty the campaign is going to be. What is astonishing are the vicious remarks made on personal lives of the politicians. It is impossible today to expect a campaign that is free of personal attacks and what a political party would do for the common man once it is in power.

However, for now, the Congress appears to be keeping away from making personal attacks. Instead, it is concentrating on its various achievements in the last two years. The party is busy undoing the negative propaganda spread by the BJP on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In fact, it is the Congress’ top priority.

Even though the Congress is doing its best to explain the economic reforms, including the FDI, which is the easiest to sell, it is finding it difficult to explain to the public why there is price rise in everything. The Opposition is united when it comes to attacking the Government on inflation even though the Government defended its reforms and price rise.

Today, politics has become a mudslinging match. It is sad when leaders like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh fight on trivial matters like travel expenses and health bills. Using bad language and attacking each other has never benefitted anyone, it always boomerangs. But these issues make no difference to the aam janta.

What makes a difference is the kind of candidate a political party fields, how it tackles corruption and controls price rise. It is unfortunate that even after 65 years of Independence, the Government can’t create enough jobs so that a man on the street can feed his family, provide shelter and educate his children. Why would a political party think that the public is interested in a leader’s personal life when he has too many problems of his own boggles the mind.

But what the common man wants to know how a man who entered politics only a decade back has managed to amass millions in such a short period. Those who enter politics are living in the lap of luxury. And it is not just them who are enjoying the benefits, their children too enjoy all the luxuries. It is interesting to see how power goes to their head. The huge bungalows, swanky cars and a lifestyle these people are leading is unbelievable. The common man is left wide-eyed. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening.

There is no concept of men being equal. It is more like the lord and his slave now. This attitude is pathetic. What is worse is that just before elections, the lord stands with folded hands in front of the slave begging him to vote for him. Of course, the latest and fastest way to lose weight and gain votes is to go on a padyatra. Once back in the drive’s seat, empty promises that were made are easily forgotten because they have a foreign trip to go on.

The elections in the two States are a precursor to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The stakes for Modi and Singh are high. For Modi it may be a step closer to the power corridors in New Delhi. For Singh, it is his last chance to prove himself. But let’s hope that despite personal agenda’s the leaders would also think about the aam aadmi’s survival.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Pioneer-Dilli Billi-14th.Oct.2012-"WHEN WILL THE WOMEN IN INDIA RISE?"

It is unfortunate that women in politics prefer to take a back seat despite the fact that they are more talented and let the men in the family dominate them.

Crime against women is rising by the day. Gangrapes have become a daily affair. Delhi is one of the most unsafe cities in the world for women. Haryana is another story. Politicians getting involved in dubious land deals, affairs with women and rapes are not looked upon as anything unusual. Last month, two educated young women like Fiza and Geetika involved with two Ministers (now former) in the Haryana Government met with a brutal end.

What is sadder still is that the society is not blaming the men. What leaves me even more confused is how the rich and the powerful manage to get away with heinous crime. I have heard many horror stories about what the poor or even the middle class women have to endure even today.

I have a friend who comes from a fairly influential background but her husband beats her up regularly. Her in-laws side with their son who is living off his father’s money. The fact that he gets away with wife bashing is an example of his father’s influence. My friend’s parents don’t want their daughter to return to them. The reason — what will the neighbours and relatives say? The fact that they don’t want to antogonise the influential in-laws is an added woe. Her two children always side with the father. He is the one who provides for their luxuries. She is smart, educated and yet hapless. There is a perpetual look of fear and sadness on her face. I see her wilting in front of my eyes and all I can do is lend her a shoulder to cry on when she visits me.

Many times, she has talked of ending her life. But the love for her children, the heavy responsibility of not maligning her father’s or in-laws’ names stops her from taking the ultimate step. I feel helpless for my friend. But then she is not the only one who finds herself in such a situation. Every third woman in India faces a similar situation.

Of course, one doesn’t get everything in life but this kind of life, where one dies a little bit everyday is not really worth living.

Today, we talk about Women’s Reservation Bill and rights for women. Until we change the mindset of our society, nothing will change. Women are taken for granted and actually treated as doormats. If a woman takes the bold step of leaving her husband, she is labeled as easy prey. It is sad that in a country where we have powerful women like Sonia Gandhi, Kiran Mazumdar, Pratibha Patil and Meira Kumar, we are still unable to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill. Elections have come and gone but women of this country are still waiting for the Bill to be passed as promised by the UPA Government many times.

Forget the Bill, even the tickets distributed by political parties, including the Congress, are not in accordance to the percentage set for the women.

Whether it is the BJP or the Congress, the Women’s Reservation Bill is not something that the leaders are interested in pushing. Men are insecure about losing their seats and, may be, the women also have a lackadaisical approach. If women do not get rights when a leader like Sonia Gandhi is at the helm, it is unlikely to ever happen.

Even women who are in politics today are wives, sisters and daughters of established political leaders. But they prefer to take a back seat even though they are more talented.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Pioneer-Dilli Billi-Oct.7th.2012-TIME TO TAKE A TOUGH STAND"

It is time for the Congress to make tough decisions. In order to win, the party would have to keep its personal relationships aside and work for the betterment of the common man.

The Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi comes into his own by taking up the Kashmir issue. He contradicted Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s statement on the death of sarpanches and panches much to the everyone’s astonishment. It has been taken for granted over the years that Rahul lets his personal friendship with Omar come in the way of how things run in the Valley. The J&K Congressmen are not happy with the party leadership at the Centre for not ticking off the National Conference over their lapses in running the Government.

It is very difficult for the State party leaders to keep the party floating when one has a Chief Minister who is an ally and to top it all, a good friend. Rahul and Omar are both young, educated and of course, have many common interests other than just politics.

Politics for them is something that the family is involved in. Their fathers, late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Energy Minister and former Chief Minister of J&K Farooq Abdullah both shared a good rapport and as did Sheikh Abdullah and Jawaharlal Nehru. But in politics nothing is forever. Hence, political ambitions and welfare of the partymen creates tension in friendship. As of now, the grassroots Congressmen in the Valley are praying that Rahul realises that the elections are fast approaching. If he doesn’t encourage his people and dissuade his ally from taking harsh decisions they will sit in Opposition. The Peoples Democratic Party is watching every move.

As it is if ‘a’ party is not in command in the State for six years their workers at the grassroots level get disappointed and frustrated as their work is never done by any official. If one wants to keep the party alive, it is a must to even stand up to your allies whose agenda may be self-centered. The State is an extremely sensitive and each death is blamed on the militants. It is a terrible signal to send to the outside world when they have just started to visit the Valley thinking it is safe. Tourism has boomed and improved the economic situation. But the Chief Minister can’t take anything for granted. The NC and the Congress are two parties who would fight the elections individually.

According to the Congressmen in the State it was a wrong decision by the Centre to make Omar the Chief Minister for so long. It was very discouraging for the workers. Under such circumstances keeping the flock together for six years is a big achievement. Omar needs seasoned and experienced leaders for better results even when he has full support of the Center.

With the elections approaching fast, if the Congress wants to gain more seats it must forget that they are an ally in the Government and must behave as a responsible party in the State that takes up every issue that is not for the welfare. It must start make a noise it the party’s agenda is not being fulfilled. Give the running of the State to local leaders who understand the problems. The Congress always gives in to its allies. If this continues it would be very difficult for it to win. The fact that the Prime Minister is going ahead with the reforms despite West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s tantrums is a good signal for the Congress and a has sent a tough message to the allies. For elections the Congress has to take more harsh decisions.