Showing posts with label Alka Narula. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alka Narula. Show all posts

Saturday, May 12, 2012

GuestSpeak: When pictures speak

Carter's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph
Before I come to the point it’s important for one to understand where I am coming from. Here is an account of a relevant story that I feel would help me express my feelings and the message I am trying to convey in a better way.

"I am depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners ... I have gone to join Ken (recently deceased colleague Ken Oosterbroek) if I am that lucky" excerpts from suicide note of Kevin Carter who took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the passenger-side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carter's prize winning photograph was sold to the New York Times; the photograph first appeared on March 26, 1993. Hundreds of people contacted the newspaper to ask the fate of the girl. The paper reported that it was unknown whether she had managed to reach the feeding center. In 1994, the photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.

My inspiration to write this post came from above mentioned story, my own real experience follows -
Few years back I watched a programme on migrating animals, where an injured baby baboon unable to keep up with pace of other baboons is left behind by the mother. Towards the end of the programme they showed baby baboon being watched by some vultures while mother though concerned about the baby but left with no choice decides to move on with the rest. Being an animal lover I could not bear the thought of baby being attacked by the vultures so I immediately switched over the channel .I kept on brooding over and wondered why couldn't the camera man rescue the baby, treat him, feed him and drop him where he belonged, I cried and cried for months together finally went into acute depression. There on I am not allowed to watch discovery channel. I totally understand the law of nature and phrases like 'Survival of the fittest'. But we as human beings and an intelligent species can avert few of the tragedies that we tend to ignore.

Several times we watch a man or a woman beaten up in an inhuman way or someone run down by a vehicle bleeding to death I can cite any number of such examples that I must have watched on news channels. In each case I have simply switched over the channels for the reason that neither I can bear the inhuman act nor insensitivity of the camera person, or an anchor who takes pride in narrating the whole incident that took place in front of his or her eyes but made no effort to save a life. Their selfish concern seems to be making breaking news that goes like “murder caught on camera" and I wonder is the camera person/photographer as a human being not  morally responsible to avert such tragedies or  should they simply concentrate on what they are getting paid for ??

There is a need for all such photographers, camera men, journalists to take a lesson from Carters case that was much criticized for having not saved the child, who while on a trip to Sudan, was preparing to photograph a starving toddler trying to reach a feeding center when a vulture landed nearby. Carter reported to have taken the picture, because it was his "job title" and leaving.  He came under criticism for failing to help the girl.

The St. Petersburg Times in Florida said this of Carter: "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering, might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene."
Alka Narula (c)

Written for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point' by our guest blogger Alka Narula.
Find more information about her at Indiblogger

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

GuestSpeak: Warriors

source: The Economic Times
Lot of nonsense is being spewed on the net about the controversy involving the Army Chief. Unfortunately, the gentlemanly, week, effete and our non functional figurehead prime minister is being dragged into all this. The entire Sikh community is being maligned. Some officers and others from the chief’s camp have made this a communal issue. This is a first for a proud and secular Indian Army. The fact of the matter is that neither JJ , VK or even Bikram are officers of any great stature or brilliant and no where near outstanding. Indian Army looks back with nostalgia and yearns for officers of the caliber of Thimmaya, Manekshaw, SSP Thorat, Chotu Sen, Inder Gill, Satinder Singh,Eric Vas, Prem Bhagat, Harbaksh ( this is by no means an exhaustive list, or anywhere near it, its only representative), to make a comparison. Present day generals are just careerists. Only expectation I would make is AK Singh( present Southern army commander).

Recently, “Outlook” magazine( C S Dogra’s article), and a mossufil vernacular paper called “Chauthi Duniya”, have been writing uninformed articles about the army , the Sikh community and the present controversy. One Maj Gen Sinha has been fwd the same to army officers. And there has been an angry, hard hitting, apt,and logically reasoned  rebuttal by an officer K J Singh who is a friend of mine . I am reproducing the rebuttal and the mail fwd. by Mag Gen Sinha which i strongly feel should be made public.

Two Army Chiefs after 31st May 2012?

The current issue of Outlook has come up with the future scenario of Army’s succession: Sting in the Tail:Will There be Two Army Chiefs on May 31? by C.S. Dogra. Inspite of the cacophony to remove Genereal  V.K. Singh from the post of Chief of Armed services, both in an embedded media and the Parliament, he continues to stay and the issue of his fading away is deferring like Derridean trace. Magazine Outlook outlines how there will be two Army Chiefs on 31st May,2012 since the issue of age has still been not settled after the government withdrew its order of 30th December,2011. Another linked up news pertains to the filing of caveat by the government in the Supreme Court against  a PIL  on the issue of not making Bikram Singh as next  Chief.   The coming month is going to witness a see-saw battle between votaries of General V.K.Singh, the honest activists, the enraged nations on one side and the votaries of General J.J.Singh’s communal succession plan, the crooked, corrupt and bought-up media on the other side. General V.K.Singh’s enemies are few but powerful since they are the brokers masquerading as editors, retired generals, “stateman”like politicians and product of ‘crony capitalism”. They have singular mantra- to infect India with ‘crony governance’ which is quite evident and needs no description. But, the most powerful attempt to remover General V.K.Singh was made under the aegis of a suave gentleman  of ‘Walk the Talk’ fame, Shekhar Gupta, now nicknamed “Broker Gupta”.

The Indian Express published an intended scoop on 4th April claiming that the two troops of Army based in Hissar and Agra marched towards Delhi on 16th January night, a day when General V.K.Singh filed writ in the Supreme court on age issue. The  target was General V.K.Singh. There was obvious attempt to discredit honest Army chief by suggesting that he intended coup, and thus to pave way for his sacking. Only a week ago, a secret letter that the Army chief had written to the PM on the preparedness of armed forces was leaked and hue and cry was made by a particular lobby in media to sack the Army chief for the leakage. The government ordered an IB enquiry into the alleged leakage and it is being reported that the Army Chief has been given clean chit.

But, questions have been raised against the IB Chief, Nehchal Sandhu by Sunday Guardian.  The newspaper claims that  Sandhu is very close to former army chief, JJ Singh, the incoming army chief Bikram Singh and the retired Lt.General Tejinder Singh against whom General V.K.Singh has forwarded complaint to the CBI for attempt to offer him bribe in the year 2010.The obvious  reason is the regional and communal lobbying. It is merely the kinship, since all of them are turbaned gentlemen including the source of the story to the Indian Express .  The role of Sandhu is under scanner in escalating the controversy to discredit General V.K.Singh.

There is  growing perception in the armed forces that the Sikhs officers have usurped meritocracy within armed forces and with the access to the highest political level , indulged in nepotism and clan-kin favoritism, which has created fault-lines within armed forces.

All this started with the UPA I coming into power when Sardar Manmohan Singh Kohli was anointed the Prime Minister. There was push to appoint a Sikh General. In the preceding months, as Gen. NC Vij’s term  was coming to an end, there was speculation that JJ Singh might be superseded by Lt.-Gen. Shammi Mehta, an Armoured Corps officer. Name of Lt. General Hari Prasad and Shantanu Chaudhary too were making rounds. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabanthak Committee issued a strongly worded statement favouring JJ Singh .  Finally, Gen. JJ Singh of Maratha Light Infantry took over as Chief of the Army Staff on 1 February, 2005. He was the first ever Sikh to become the Chief of the Army. The communalization of Indian Army began from this very incidence. General JJ Singh cried before the camera in his very first press conference on 23rd November, 2004 upon receiving news of his elevation as Army Chief in Chandigarh.. That was such a sensational image.    General JJ Singh’s tenure saw the rise of corrupt Generals

Sometime in 2005, General JJ Singh  initiated the ‘look down policy’ to determine the ‘line of succession’ to the top position in the Army .He was not looking for immediate succession as he was to be succeeded by kinsman, general Deepak Kapoor. But, he  was looking to the year 2012 and found one  Sikh kinsman, Brigadier Bikram Singh from Ravva village in Amritsar. JJ Singh  realized that events and dates relating to the then Major General VK Singh, who was sure shot to become Army Chief in 2010, needed to be manipulated if Bikram Singh was to succeed him in 2012!

An operation was  started  to work out a plan to retire V.K.Singh only in May,2012 so that Bikram Singh could take over. It had to operate at two levels. All the competitors of the Brigadier were to be sidelined and General V K Singh’s term was to be reduced.  Those to be neutralized included Brigadiers Padam Budhwar and MM Chaudhary, and Major-Generals Shujan Chatterjee, AK Singh and Ravi Arora, a gold medalist from the same batch as Bikram Singh.
One also must ponder that General V.K.Singh  was born in the Army’s hospital in Poona on 10 May, 1951. MH Kirkee birth cetificate, Birth Certificate issued by the authority under Births and Deaths Act 1880 (Central Act),  Rajput Battallion  DO Pt II Order where his father, Lt. Col Jagat Singh who  was working as Major  at that time,also records this date. The birth has been verified as 10 May 1951 under the provisions of Army Order 773 of 1973.

The same date was recorded in  his matriculation certificate and General Singh's  Identity Card which is a document issued by the Academy after his commissioning. Other documents like  Passport, Voter’s Card, Driving License, PAN Card have the year 1951 as date of birth. His  each and every Annual Confidential Report (ACR) initiated since the commissioning  bears 1951 as  date of birth.
Even a confidential communication dated 1 July, 2011,(A/4501/01/GEN/MS(1) from Lt-Gen. GM Nair, Military Secretary, to the Defence Secretary, and seen by Defence Minister  A.K.Antony, categorically states that 10 May, 1951, was taken as the DOB by various Selection Boards for promotion of VK Singh to Brigadier in September 1996, to Major-General on  25 October 2001 and Lt.-General on 30th September 2005.All the honours   that General V.K.Singh has been conferred has the citation bearing 1951 as the birth year. As per Supreme Court Judgement in Feb 2010, the permissible document in DOB is birth certificate.

But, once the Operation to install another Sikh as future General started, someone   in the MS Branch ‘discovered’ VK Singh’s UPSC application form mentioning 1950 as his year of birth, which was filled not in General Singh’s handwriting, but by his teacher  Mr. BS Bhatnagara  at school, while General V.K.Singh  was legally a minor . On 3 May, 2006, the Military Secretary branch was asked to raise VK Singh’s date of birth issue based on this error .General JJ Singh and his succeeding kinsman, Deepak Kapoor forced VK Singh to accept this anomaly as his date of birth, before elevated as Army Commander without which he could not have become the Chief of the Army.

By ensuring the reduction of  VK Singh’s tenure  by 10 months and eliminating other competent Generals, the two kinsman paved way for elevation of Bikram Singh as Army Chief in May,2012. A memorandum signed by thousands of ex-servicemen, including high ranking officers of the three services, was submitted to the President in her capacity as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, to do justice with VK Singh, but the same has not disposed off.  The MoD issued an order on  30 December, 2011, and  changed the DOB of the Army Chief arbitrarily, this was the handiwork of another Punjabi kinsman, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry. The General rightly moved the supreme Court  and had to withdraw application once the government submitted to the Court that the order dated 30 December,2011 has been withdrawn.

But, then an uproar was made seeking General Singh to quit his post. Once it was not done, various lobby that included corrupt retired generals, arms dealers and kinsman of the succeeding General   planted news that the Army  was tapping the  phones of Defence minister in South Block using mobile interceptors in Raisina Hills.  Army HQ issued a press release on March 5  and charged Lt. General Tejinder Singh with planting such rumours to create rift between political and military authority. It is against this press release that Tejinder Sigh moved theDelhi Court to initiate defamation proceedings against the Army HQ.Tejinder Singh was provided ample space on English news channel controlled by same vested foreign interest who are also hands-in-gloves with arms market.

The institution of army is facing the ripples in whole controversy which is meant only to see that Bikram Singh succeeds as the Army chief. MG Devasahayam, former IAS officer and chairman of an NGO Citizens Alliance for Sustainable Living in Chennai and activist working for transparency in governance, has claimed in various writings that  TKA Nair,  is reported to have told his confidants that VK Singh had to go in May 2012 because the‘Prime Minister had assured his wife that General Bikram Singh would be the next COAS’. So, here is the clue to the controversy. Crony governance and the nepotism is happening at the very top.

Chauthi Duniya  weekly magazine was the first to report that  PM Manmohan Singh  met General JJ SINgh and Lt. General Bikram Singh at his sister’s house in Kolkata.  Further enquiry reveals that while on official trip to West Bengal on 21-22 August,2011,  PM  Manmohan Singh had dinner at his sister Govind Kaur's house inSouth Kolkata along with his nephew Ravinder Pal Singh and his wife Kuki Sahni. The surprise attendee were General JJ Singh, Governor of Arunacahal Pradesh  and architect of age prolongation of General V.K.Singh and Lt. Gen Bikram Singh, who is incumbent Chief of Army now. What transpired among them can be guessed  by any sane person!

Now, the government has announced that after General V.K.Singh, another Sikh Bikram Singh will succeed. He will be succeeded by another Sikh gentleman, Dilbagh Singh Suhag. It is not that Marathas and Bengalis and Telugus, Biharis, Tamils are less capable general. The fact is that it was a Bihari   Major General  J.N. Chaudhary who got the obstinate Nizam of Hyderabad to accede to India. It is Thimmaiya , a Manek Shaw, a General Jacobs who led India to momentous victories. While Bangladesh war was won by the brilliant acts of General Jacobs, the then Corp Commander of Eastern Command, the whole credit was taken by General Jagjit Sigh Arora, a Sikh gentleman. From 1857 onwards to 1942 movement, from 1984 dissent to nowadays open corruption in Armed forces, if a community which has to be figured for their act of compromising national interest, it is the Sikhs. But, what message is being given that out of five successive  Generals of Armed Forces, four has to be  Sikhs and many of them purely corrupt who got the virus of corruption into the most puerile institution of Armed Forces. This itself is going to cause major dissent whenever the next gentleman succeeds. The signs are already visible. General V.K.Singh has forwarded complaint from a Trinamool M.P. Ambika Banerjee against Lt. General Dilbagh Singh Suhag to the CBI. But, inspite of this fact, the MoD chose to appoint him as the next Corp commander of the eastern Command in place of Bikram Singh. A group of retired officers and bureaucrats have moved the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief on the ground that he was allegedly involved in a fake encounter in Jammu and Kashmir in 2001.

Challenging the appointment, the petitioners, including former Navy Chief Admiral Ramdas ,veteran journalist Sam Rajapa of the Statesman and former IAS, MG Devasahayam, and former Chief election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy, alleged in their PIL that Lt General Singh was involved in the fake encounter and the case is pending in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. There is another allegations of fake encounter of  the killing of five persons in Pathribal after the incident in Chattisinghpura during Bill Clinton’s visit to India in which 36 Sikhs were killed. Reports  suggest that  CBI filed the report after three years and Army HQ vide its Letter Number A/38240/MO/3A dt 30 Dec 2004 took protection  of AFSPA to ward off allegations against Bikram singh. Further while Lt Gen Bikram Singh was the Commander of the Indian contingent of UN peace keeping mission to Congo in 2008, serious allegations were made against 51 personnel of a coy of Sikh Light Regiment for rape and molestation.Lt Gen Bikram Singh had headed the Congo mission for a part of the period. The CoI ruled that  relationships with Congolese women  were  paid for or were consensual!!!

Bikram Singh’s daughter-in-law is a Pakistani. Her father is a Pakistani and mother, Central Asian .When various M.P.s complained to the government, an IB clean chit was provided. It is interesting to learn that if a government servant communicates with a foreigner particularly from enemy nations, he is liable for prosecution. One has seen the case of a junior diplomat, Madhuri Gupta who is lying in jail for having a relationship with a Pakistani gentleman while posted in Islamabad.. But, here a senior Army Officer who will be the hub of nation’s security would have a Pak national within his own courtyard. Army rules also provide that if  one has  close relative who happens to be  a citizen/national of some other country ,the same  has to be  informed  in writing. It is learnt that even this was not done in his case.

When the matters came to the light, to scuttle any controversy, the government had on March 3 announced the appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief.This smacks of subterranean reasons.  A small mistake  by General  V.K. Singh"s  teacher,Mr. BS Bhatnagar becomes a national "C" issue(Curious), but so many controversies and apparent complicity of another gentleman has to be pardoned off in the interest of the kin-clan greasing.

Since the government has not decided upon the age as of now,  no Retirement proceedings of General V.K.Singh have been  set into motion . This is done only after a Retirement Warning Letter has been issued, generally about eight months-one year  before the date of superannuation. In the absence of a “legal order” from the government following the withdrawal of government order dated 30 December,2011, the Military Secretary’s branch in the army headquarters is in a fix. The issue has turned complex after the government filed a caveat in the Supreme Court yesterday on the PIL filed by Ramdass and his colleagues upon Bikram Singh’s appointment.What if the appointment of Bikram Singh comes under legal scrutiny? What if General V.K.Singh's age does not get decided within next 30 days? What if General V.K.Singh emerges as a national icon against the corrupt bureaucracy and the  communal patrimony? (The Supreme Court has now dismissed the PIL. It is evident that the highest Court does not want to be dragged in the dirty affairs of the Executive as of now and has taken a hands off approach.)

In all probability, the government would either elevate General Singh as the CDS(Chief of Defence Staff )and let  Bikram Singh to take over as COAS or would sack  General V.K.Singh. In the second situation, V.K.Singh will emerge as a hero and would stir the nation’s imagination by joining  hands with  Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare  in the agitation scheduled for 3rd June in New Delhi. In case of his elevation as CDS, he would rather opt for not joining and declare a victory against the crooked network in the governance system and join the  civil society movement with the Army pensioners, who had already  extended support to two  movements against black money and issue of Lokpal. There are more than 15 lakh ex- Army Pensioners in the country. A strong cadre of army pensioners, Baba Ramdev’s followers and Anna Hazare’s appeal among the disenchanted, networked youth who are longing for ‘authentic’ action and not merely “clicktivism”; it would herald the beginning of purge of corrupt and goons who have glued to India’s every strategic point in governance under the worst political CEO . A political CEO who has emerged as  a Machiavellian and a Paretoan wolf  masquerading as "silent statesman"  is to be blamed for replacing   Meritocracy with communal  patrimony . He will be accused by the coming generation for heralding ‘crony governance “in India.

Dear Gen Sinha,
I am surprised that a officer of your ranking should fwd such silly , ill informed and a nonsensical mail. It is not only factually incorrect but scurrilous. You as a responsible officer should not be forwarding every crackpot ejaculation spewed by cranks. If you troll the net you come across many such absurd and far fetched tattletale blabbermouths. It is when they are given credence by a person of your rank( rank only , not standing or stature) that it encourages the riffraff and rumor mongers.

Now, my point by point rebuttal.

All right JJ was no great shake as a chief or as a Gen officer. But he was the senior most Army commander. Why should he have been superseded by Shammi Mehta or any other XYZ. This donkey ,CS Dogra has spewed venom against one community by indulging in innuendoes and hearsay.

Look down policy from Brig onwards? You serious?Arre bhai you were a Maj Gen ?

Yes, VK does have a point , in as far much as his DOB is concerned. Pune MH records. DO Pt 2 orders etc. Sterling, impeachable evidence, tenable under the evidence act in a court of law. But for Lord’s sake why the hell did he buckle under pressure /duress to give in writing twice, accepting his DOB as 1951? Does this man deserve to become COAS? Good Lord man , tomorrow he will surrender under duress. He should have stood up like a man and refused to buckle under, and taken the matter to court then. He would have definitely won hands down . He chose the easy way out. Surrendered. Now he is making a nuisance of himself . He is belittling the entire officer class. Its very very very embarrassing. Chiefs do not , I repeat do not, put up statutory complaints and ROG’s and definitely do not go to court. This man has made an Ass of himself. He lacked the courage and the will to go and seek legal redress when he should have done so as a Maj Gen and corps commander. He goes to court when he has nothing to loose, other than the reputation of the military officer class as a whole. Big Deal.

Now, some mofussil rag called Chauthi Duniya( about whom nobody has heard of) is given credence. In the PM’s sisters house in Calcutta, a conspiracy is hatched by the PM,  JJ , and Bikram. Oh Gen, come on now , grow up man.

And my dear wise guy, Gen J N  Choudhary, was from Bengal , and not Bihar. Jonny Jacob was Chief of Staff  Eastern Command and not a corps commander in 1971. Aroura, was the Army Commander Eastern Army. Now, in the Army who is responsible for success or failure, the commander or his staff officer? If the Eastern campaign had resulted in a balls up, would Jacob have taken responsibility?

All right,all right, its Dilbeer Singh Suhag and not Dilbagh Singh Suhag. DSS is not a sikh but a jat.

Bikram did not head the Congo mission . He was in the UN head quarters in Congo as adviser to the Secty Gen . He had no command over troops.

Bikram’s daughter in law has absolutely nothing to do with Pakistan . Both her parents are from Tajikistan. Both are US citizens, and so is she . Yes , she is a moslem. So?

Insinuation , that Sikhs are anti national hurts the most.


In 1849, after a series of battles namely , Chinnanwala, Ferozepur and Mudki, the Sikh army was defeated by the British ( Bengal Army, now Eastern command), commanded by Lord Dalhousie. Read in history what Dalhousie had to say about the battle of Chinnanwala ( he wrote later that he thought this was the end of the British Empire in India).The Bengal Army breakdown in the Sikh wars was as follows:

INDIAN                              ENGLISH

74 Bengal Inf Bns                 20 Inf Bns

52 Madras Inf Bns               4 Cav Regts

26 Bombay Inf bns              Total 18000 British Troops

20,000 Indian Cav

Total 103,000 Indian troops

The Sikhs were livid . They were defeated by fellow Indians(?). There was no concept of India, before the British came . It was the white man who created India. Neither Ashoka, Nor Chandara Gupta Maurya, nor Akbar ruiled over India as we know today. So, therefore, do you blame the Sikhs who did not support the mutiny just 8 years later ? Eureka, they were supposed to forget what happened just 8 years earlier and integrate themselves as Indians? Think, man think.

All right here is some more.Since 1860 onwards in the fight for freedom the British hanged Jailed killed etc. , the figures are as follows:

Total Indians killed by British 2175 , out of which 1557 were Sikhs.71.58%

Total Indians sent to Kalapani ( Celluar jail in Andamans) 2646, out of which 2147 were Sikhs.81.14%

Total hanged demanding freedom 127 out of which 91 were Sikhs.71.65

INA   total 20000 out of which 12000 were Sikhs.60%.


And out of the remainder 30,20,30 and 40%,nearly 90% were from Bengal or were punjabi mussalmans.

Your call Gen.
By the way Gen , what arm do you belong to? How much active soldering have you done? I am curious.

Hope you will fwd this to all to whom you fwd the earlier mail.

K J Singh

Written for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point' by our guest blogger Alka Narula.
Find more information about her at Indiblogger

Thursday, April 26, 2012

GuestSpeak: Do you speak English?

"Hey you need to improve your English"
I overheard an English speaking lad who sat right behind me, at the airport with his friend. “but you understood what I said, isn’t that more important? In any case English is not our language so I don't care about the accent" said she and burst out into giggles. I turned around to look at the girl; she must have been in mid thirties, beautiful looking girl who appeared to be a small town girl from north India. The young guy looked at her with disapproving eyes. I could make out he was  not too pleased with her reply but had no answer either and in my opinion she was absolutely right in what she had just said.
source: the internet

Often I come across people who either try to correct someone or look down upon someone who neither can’t speak English nor has an accent to spoken English. It’s surprising to see people address someone uneducated if he or she does not know English. In recent past we have seen the names of few states having been changed back to their original names and also witnessed enough bloodshed in the name of religion, there are people who are not willing to accept Hindi as their mother tongue but we do stand united on English. And that can happen only in our so called Incredible India. Surprisingly after years of freedom from foreign rule we still have not been able to come out of it actually made their stay linger on in our minds. There are several other countries that became colonies of imperial rule but India is one country that seems to have adapted to a foreign culture so well that it seems to have forgotten its own culture, values and life style .Adapting to good things about others is understandable but adaptability to a language to an extent that one feels superior to the other if one has a command over foreign language is quite surprising at least I am not able to understand.

My question to those who think knowledge of English language makes them a superior species, like American Hollywood Nigerians can have a Nollywood and India can have a Bollywood similarly if a British can have a Brit accent, so can an American an American accent why can’t an Indian have an Indian accent. Why do Indians have to be perfect in a foreign language? There are rare opportunities when one may have noticed some one laugh at the other or treat the other person as uneducated who does not have a good command over spoken Hindi for that matter any regional language. Nor have I come across a person say "I am uneducated as I don't know Hindi” but one often gets to hear "Saab padha likha nahin hoon is liye English nahin aati". I think it’s high time we Indians came out of the shadow of the British raj and feel proud as being Hindustanis.

This post is written for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point' by Alka Narula.

You can catch some more of Alka's posts at her blogs here and here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My GuestPost: Black or White [114/365]

My guest post for Alka was based upon a recent news article that heralded a fairness cream that can whiten a woman's vagina. Hell ya!

Find the original post written for Alka Narula's blog 'Random' here

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My GuestPost: My Name is not Khan

Alka Narula, in her own words is a self made entepreneur and Interior Designer from the magical land of Jammu. But what she does not mention is that she is a prolific poet and blogger too.
Being a former poet myself, I appreciate poets who take the time to translate their thoughts in rhyme. Writing poems can be nerve wracking! .

Anyways, having invited Alka to write a weekly post on my blog, I thought it was only fair that I write for her blog too.
So here you go:
Find the original post written for Alka Narula's blog 'Random' here

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Social Slaves [102/365]

Social networking is a double edged sword.
Millions have found their long lost school and college buddies, found their first (and second) loves online and basically done everything that they would've never done in reality.

Now, I have nothing against facebook and orkut. Truth be told, I've had the most incredible relationships with some people that I've not met until now. All online. My longest online penpal is a decade old and we have never even seen each other. We've seen each other graduate, marry and start a career in the ten years that we've met.

But a recent article online caught my eye.
I had this terrible sense of gloom reading through the article. This could be only the tip of the iceberg.
Our new guest blogger for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point', Alka Narula points out the shocking instance of incest and rape within family.
Ofcourse, considering how tight knit families are in India, elders would normally not take the victim's word when abuse happens. As a victim of abuse myself, I know of the many challenges and consequences that such an abuse will have as the victim grows up.

Click here to read Alka's post on Incest

GuestSpeak: Truth or Dare

Well this is my first guest post and I was thrilled when I was invited to be a guest blogger for 'Hold the thought, Get the point'.
I feel honored to write a post for such a notable blogger, though it took me awhile to think of a topic to write about and it struck me while watching Sach ka Saamna
One particular episode shocked me to the extent, that there was no way I wouldn't have written about it and discussed the subject with fellow bloggers.

So here goes:
photo credit: A passion to understand

She smiled through out the show while nodding her head in affirmative to all the answers except three ,Yes this was an episode of Sach ka Saamna, a reality show in which contestants are asked a few questions about their lives to which they have to answer in Yes or No and the answers are checked via a polygraph test also known as a lie detector test.
1: Were you ever molested by your father?
'Yes, but he couldn't do it', she added to rescue him from embarrassment .
He was sitting right across along with his wife, son and son-in law. The father through out the show talked about society and morals, who did not accept this girl and her husband for having eloped and getting married, a father who after so many years does not realise that what he sees as his daughter now is a personality developed by his own faults, surprisingly the mother accepted that the girl had discussed the issue with her but was kept under cover. Such mothers certainly deserve salutation. The daughter also confessed that she could never forgive her mother for not doing enough, nor she could ever forgive her for addressing her as a "prostitute" when she eloped with her lover, who is her husband now.

2: Were you ever molested by your brother?
Before she could answer the question, buzzer goes off and guess who pressed it, her own brother.
So, the question went unanswered but neither mother nor her father turned to look at their son. The rule is that if the friends/relatives of the contestant present at the show dont want to hear the answer to a particular question they can press the buzzer,this can be done only once in the entire show.

3: Have you forgiven your husband for having betrayed you? 
Yes. The answer is wrong!

Such is the state of our society. I will not say that it happens in every household but is quite common.
Why don't we talk about some law to punish such offenders? I had often heard of such cases but it was the first time I saw a victim of incest who despite having been hurt had the courage to smile and carry the burden within.
I must say it gave me shivers, but I was quite happy for her for having won a prize money of Rs 10,00,000. The best thing that could have happened to her in the show was that her husband who looked quite offended through out, hugged his wife and said 'We were paired in heaven and I am very proud of my wife'.
A happy ending but an eye opener for any one who must have watched the show but unfortunately forgotten by now.

The crux of the story, we all cry rape but there are several other social evils that plague our society and incest is one of them. Unlike a rape victim, a victim of incest suffers silently at the hands of a family member and it may continue for years . The most painful part in most of such cases, the victim is unable to disclose it to any one and even if she does the matter never gets reported to police . A punishable crime which will continue to flourish untill some awareness is brought about among girls to open up their mouth like a rape victim does.

Written for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point' by our guest blogger Alka Narula.
Find more information about her at Indiblogger

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