Showing posts with label Dowry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dowry. Show all posts

Friday, August 01, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in July Twenty14... [Part One]

It feels like December 2012 all over again. 
Bangalore - formerly Pensioner's Paradise, Garden City and the City where violent sexual crime used to be rare is now anything but a Paradise, has more over-flowing gutters than gardens and where young children and women are being raped almost everyday. 

And this has riled up the armchair activists like sharks on a feeding frenzy. Enough is Enough! Stop talking! 
Recently on Quora, I read a question which wondered why men in Bangalore are better towards women than the men in the North. You must be kidding me!
Will one-stop Crisis centers for rape victims help? Tough to say. Even as I write this, more than 50 women would have been raped and chances are none of the perpetrators will be punished. 

Them geniuses at the Women and Child's welfare committee decided that banning mobile phones in colleges will be enough to stop rapes. My advice to them: Don't breed, please!
But if you are breeding, please produce some girls. We are running short of girls and the dwindling numbers have now reached 'emergency proportions'. On the flip side, it isn't looking good for the survivors either

Moving on to matters that won't ruffle the manicured feathers of placard-holding pseudo activists, the Met. dept announced that Monsoons will be the lowest in 52 years and a private agency declared drought. No shit!! With the way we have been chopping down those trees, I'd be surprised if we didn't face the consequences. 
Our civic authorities helpfully pointed out that we have been wasting 42% of our drinking water. 

Remember the gigantic oath-taking ceremony that our honorable new PM took in May? Well, the government spent 17.60 lakhs for it. A small price to pay for the 'acche din'.

Talking about prices, Modi came out with his maiden 'pro-reform' budget and the industry swooned, politicians had a case of sour grapes and ordinary non-smokers cheered! Biggest gainers: ITC! 
For starters, you get to save more of the peanuts you'll earn under 80c and PPF (Public Provident Fund). and Indira Vikas Patrika makes a return now. 
Good News: Unlike the previous governments, there won't be any more loan waivers for farmers who can't and won't pay and a renewed focus on infrastructure. YAY!

Every other politician cried blue murder and the Congress said it was just a copy-paste job. Well, Mr Congressman, if it was an exact replica of your budget, then why are you complaining? Arvind Kejriwal managed to get his 10 seconds of glory too. 

The US has been cozying up to Modi under the blankets and by the time you read this, Obama has sent the Welcome wagon

But petrochemical major Reliance seems to be squirming with discomfort after the government refused to revise and hike prices of gas from the Krishna Godavari basin and when GAIL was told to not pay RIL Much gas was passed.

BJP seems to be cracking the whip and in this month's 'I'm the Boss' news, Modi has warned his MPs that they are not supposed to bunk parliament

While we have an extremely fickle-minded bunch of politicians, they sure do know how to unite when it's payback time

Politicians Beware!
Amit Shah - a close confidante of Modi and a guy who doesn't really get along with politicians on the other side of the fence got elevated to become Modi's right hand, and whistle-blower IAS officer Ashok Khemka is set to have a PMO role. Did someone say 'sweet revenge'?

Our favorite 'foot-in-mouth' former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju stirred the hornet's nest by saying that politicians interfered with judicial appointments during the UPA regime. Now Mr Katju, tell us something we didn't know. 


And that's why Mr Natwar Singh, a former Sonia Gandhi confidante and 'chuddy-dost' wrote a book on Mrs G. This is what is called 'skeletons springing out of a cupboard'. Considering how the sales of these books are through the roof, I think this is just the tip of the ice-berg. 

Look out for more juice as Mrs G has announced that she will write a book too. Good year for Indian fiction.

A hop, skip and a jump away, Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal had a case of verbal diarrhea.  Well, see this is precisely the reason why I think everyone in the party has lost their marbles. They are on their way out a'la the UPA.

Meanwhile, the Scum of Maharasthra Shiv Shena got some reel-time this month when they were caught on camera force-feeding a Muslim caterer. Denial followed by an apology

In yet another aviation disaster, a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet MH-17 was shot down by Ukrainian rebels using Russian SAM. All hell broke loose
Putin flipped flopped and finally flapped.
Across the world, a small passenger plane making a second landing attempt in stormy weather crashed at an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, killing 51 people and injuring seven

But in slightly more cheerful aviation news, Air India crash-landed safely in Newark, after it developed technical issues shortly after take-off. And it won't matter to us that he saved 100s of lives and he will be forgotten soon.
Meanwhile, a Chinese airline tested in-flight WiFi. They may be the butt of cheap jokes, but they are still way ahead in innovation. 

Hollywood may like to portray otherwise but after fighting marathon battles that they don't seem to be winning, the Americans are now frustrated and fatigued

In FIFA, Neymar got kicked out. Literally. And Germany trashed the bejesus out of Brazil.
Ultimately, Germany faced Argentina and walked away with the World Cup. Not because the better team won (clearly Messi can only do so much) but because the Germans never blinked. The lonely goal that gave the Cup away couldn't have been possible if the Argentinian goalkeeper wasn't distracted for that exact second. 

Facebook announced the launch of 'Mentions', an exclusive app for people in public spotlight. I can actually see how this is going to feed on the ego and flagging self-esteem of our many celebrities, but who cares. 

Maria Sharapova didn't know who the short curly-haired former cricketer was and Indians were shocked. This from a nation of idiots who let their kabbadi, hockey and football stars fend for themselves. Bastards!

Talking about Cricket, Dhoni was lampooned by the stiff-upper lipped British press after he stood by the allegations against James Anderson in the ongoing series in Britain. Gee!
So while we were getting our butts handed to us on a platter in England, across the border in Glasgow, with 15 Gold medals, we stood a proud 5th. Bolt stole the show with a gold at
4x100 mtr relay race. He could have raked up quite a controversy but his sportsmanship is something we could all learn from.

In this month's 'I wonder why?!' section
Having lobbied for more rights up until the last year, India awed and shocked everyone when she vetoed a landmark WTO agreement which could spell disaster for the regulatory organization.

The Americans saw another round of a mass shootout in Houston. Sometimes, I wonder why the Arabs spend billions of dollars training to kill Americans. Maybe they should just let them buy more guns and kill themselves. Why the government won't rein in the powerful gun industry is a simple question of economics and will-power.
Nuclear talks with the Iranians failed. AgainWe all know the Iranians have the nukes, why can't we just leave it that way?
Eventually, I have a feeling that it won't be humans who will kill us. Nature can do the Shift+DEL even better.
Until then, we'll have unscrupulous businesses sell expired meat to fast-food conglomerates like McDonalds and KFC in China and kill thousands. 

In more Beiber trouble, neighbors in the upscale Beverly Hills complained of excessive noise from the Canadian pop star. If only he remained the cute and adorable brat that was. Sigh!

IIT- Mumbai had a feline visitor who refused to leave. The students, ofcourse took to twitter for comic relief. Well, let's hope the big cat gets a 7 point something.
And a Rhino poacher in South Africa got 77 years in prison, in what could be the harshest sentence against a poacher anywhere. If you ask me, he needs to do 77 years of community service and not prison time.

Srilanka apologized for an embarrassing article that created an uproar in Tamil Nadu. 

Reliance India made its footprint count when it bought Network18, a media conglomerate that spans news and entertainment. With a history of suppressing or being biased, this could spell doom in a nation where freedom or speech is still a myth and channels sell endless montages about the mundane and mindless entertainment 24 hours a day.

For want of a better cause to fight, PETA launched another attack on Mrs Kardashian for swimming with the dolphins in Mexico. 

Israel has been pounding the falafel out of Gaza. Now, we all know whose side the US is on, but do we really know the truth behind this conflict? Israel has been following a rule of intentional disinformation and government-sponsored propaganda to stifle and throttle the Palestinians and control the way everyone outside of the Arabian peninsula see their conflict. Now, Israel is no saint and neither is Palestine. 
But to a question - Can it be so hard for a nation to live peaceably with their neighbors? The answer lies in the will of the its politicians to be peaceful. Historically Israel has portrayed itself as the wounded nation surrounded by enemies and as a Christian, I know how the scriptures are replete with God's promise to protect a nation that is hounded. But Israel's strategy of wounding the enemy but not killing them is what keeps the world (read US) entertained and sympathetic with the Israeli 'cause'. With over a 1000 killed in a fortnight, this is a travesty of justice no matter who is on your side. The Palestinians captured an Israeli soldier and knowing how capture of its soldier affects them, this is both an Israeli weakness and the Palestinian strength. 

In 'Interesting News of the month' section, a 17 year old turkish girl was declared as the 'World's tallest female' by the Guinness Records committee.
The NY Museum of Natural History, made famous by the Ben Stiller 'A Night at the Museum' movies will host an adult sleepover on the 1st of August. 

Outraged over ongoing allegations of unauthorized snooping, Germany expelled top US diplomats. See, now this is something that Indians and rest of the world will never have the balls to do. 

In this month's 'We have money to burn' section, 
India paid up her dues to Iran and decided to wean herself off the sweet stuff. 
Air India got a very expensive shot in the arm - Rs 6500 crore expensive and tied up with Star Alliance . Much brouhaha followed.

VIP Samadhis (glorified tombs) costs us Rs 8 crores/year to maintain. Much ado about nothing!

Mamata Di gave away Rs 8 lakhs as festival bonus to its civil servants and Telangana (the wealthier twin of Andhra) roped in Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador and we all took to the streets! It looks like we are still hurt that she went and married the neighbor's son when we had 10 eligible bachelors in the family. The fact that she still chooses to play for us is patriotic enough. I can name 50 politicians who aren't 1% as patriotic as this lady who plays every match even if she knows she will lose it. 


Dubai launched the world's largest shopping mall which will also have an indoor theme park.
Looks like Dubai is getting to be the place to be if you have the money to burn..

But if you have kids or a strange fetish for Harry Potter, be sure to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which opened at Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan.

In a relief to millions of husbands who are harassed by unscrupulous wives, the Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest husbands when a dowry case is filed. Seeing as how women would file the 498a and other frivolous cases at the drop of their marital tiara, this judgement rankled the Women's organizations but the men let out a collective sigh of relief. The apex court went one step ahead and declared that women who file a frivolous case against the husband will be criminally punished if found untrue. Now, that's called justice!

At times when we are trying to rein in runaway inflation and when tomatoes cost Rs 50/kilo, the government declared hoarding of essential food will be considered a non-bailable offense. This should strike the right amount of fear in the hearts of those unscrupulous businessmen. 

Bad guys, watch out! SEBI is on a prowl.
Byrraju Ramalinga Raju (aka The man who did the Enron to Satyam) and 4 others were fined Rs 1849 crores and banned from doing any business for terms ranging from 4 to 14 years by the market regulator.
The SEBI cracked the whip with Subrata Roy and told him to do business while in custody. Screwed!

Across the pond, Pistorious was diagnosed with split personality in the trial where he is accused of intentionally murdering his paralegal girlfriend in their tony villa last year. If convicted, the 'Blade-runner' could spent a substantial amount of his life behind bars. Whatever it is, this is the end of his running days. 

In similar news, the forensic pathologist who examined Sunanda Pushkar, wife of high-flying twitterati Shashi Tharoor, testified that her death was highly suspicious and that he has been coerced to fudge her death certificate. If you ask me, I'll always known it is Shashi. If we can pass judge Aarushi's parents the way we have because of the way they are, I think we can do the same to Shashi too. I think I've seen food stay fresh longer than Shashi's remorse at his 'dear' wife's death.

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, 
Almost 10 years after it made a splash, Orkut will be given a quiet burial in September. 
Zohra Sehgal, the grand old lady of Bollywood, changed her earthly address. Respect!
21 people died in one of the worst metro accidents in Russian history. 
And Archie is dead too. RIP!


We Indians (me included) often complain at how inefficiently slow we are when it comes to developing a military equipment. And while we bask in the glory of the shame we heap on ourselves, Uncle Sam tells us how they are just as bad. The F35 Joint Strike fighter has been under development for over 20 years and will start limited trial flights soon. 
Projected to cost over $1 billion dollars a pop, I think they may have bitten off a little more than they can chew this time. 

In this month's 'Watch Out!' section, 
Be sure to watch Hercules, Dwyane The Rock Johnson sparkles and Irina Shayk strips.
... and for Part Two of And that's the cookie crumbled in July Twenty14.


Monday, April 22, 2013

While I was gone... Part 2/3 [April 2013]

Violence in prison is not a bedtime story. While there is no honor among thieves, prisoners live by an unspoken code of conduct. Politicians and Bollywood bad boys enjoy the premium cuts, rapists and mass murderers fall at the very bottom of the food chain here.

The past week saw another Delhi-16 rapist/animal experience the hospitality at Tihar. Fellow prisoners broke the arm of the bastard who starred in the most publicized gang rape in modern India. While I'll elect to send this bastard back to his misery, Indian women aren't celebrating yet. Any surprise why?
Men continued to abduct, rape and torture. Not necessarily in that order. Age no bar. Mental condition no bar. Bar no bar. Our women continued to be gang raped and depending on how many parts of their body needed to sewn up, our rapists would have raped atleast 2 children and 10 women by the time you've finished reading this post.

When we heard the gory details of December 16, we cringed. Misogynous men and certain women claimed it was because of the dress the women wear and the way they tempt. They theorized it is physically impossible to rape if the girl does not cooperate. Not so! We said. Technically, it would have made sense. But how can a girl keep her chastity safe when she is being spread apart by men with a singular mission to 'cover the face, f*ck the base and forget the case'. And so we cringe every time we read a lady is abducted and gang raped

But how do you explain when men rape children as young as 4 years old? What is the pleasure that these mother f*ckers get when they penetrate and destroy a defenseless child
How did that child tempt you?
Who do you trust your children with anymore?
More importantly, can the victims ever live a healthy life ever again?


Our politicians have the uncanny talent of churning out scams and scandals so fast that rapes and atrocities against women and children are mere commercial breaks before the next billion dollar scam. Indians in India might be forgiven for letting them off the hook but not our foreign minister

And in related rape news, Dharampal who raped and then mercilessly killed the victim and her family while on parole will be hanged. Way to go, Prez!
Another tourist was raped and killed. Thankfully, not by a lecherous, sex-starved, repressed Indian male but by another tourist who was caught fleeing. That's fodder for another episode of Banged Up Abroad!


And if you wondered why victims haven't been reporting crimes as often as they should, the ordeal a 10 year old faced when she approached the cops must convince you why we have such dismal numbers. 

Self defense doesn't work either. 

So while we are grappling with the sudden media spurt of gang rapes in India, in the good ol United States of America, girls as young as 12 will have access to 'morning-after' pills. Well, if they can't beat it, might as well celebrate it. While women's groups are hailing this landmark judgement, I can't fathom why young girls must be expected/allowed to have sex and why young boys/men must be expected/allowed to impregnate girls this young.
A recent survey revealed 60% of 8 - 12 year olds in the US have STDs. I am sure their parents are a proud lot.

An ex-Thomson Reuters employee sued his former employer over alleged discriminatory practices. Having worked in the company myself, I'd say this is not the only instance of discrimination that I've seen within. Corporate bullying, unethical managerial practices and undue favoritism are just some of the regular sins but I've said enough already. 


Tax evasion by major companies saw the Income Tax department breathing down their collars.

Death is all around us and strangely the DoT (Department of Telecom) just woke up to the realization that they should not be installing high-powered cell phone towers near residential areas. While this can be rude awakening to the risks it poses, I don't see anything changing. The DoT will continue to allow mobile operators with deep pockets to install towers in and around densely populated cities and town in India. Who cares?

It was a fortnight of famous deaths too. The Iron Lady passed away and United Kingdom was not so united after all. 

Robert Edwards, pioneer of IVF died after a long illness. Besides providing a way to procreate, he also made it possible for millions of Vicky donors around the world.

Savitha's inquest dug up a whole lot of muck and religious goo. At the end of it, I doubt if Ireland will change their laws for the sake of one dead pregnant Asian.

From car-chases, it appears that Americans have suddenly acquired a taste for guns.
In Georgia and Boston.

The United Axis of Evil delayed a missile test to avoid pushing the North Koreans over the edge. Gee! And they just realized that now?!
Thankfully, China - America's moneylender - has promised to talk to the lil Kim on a peaceful solution. Why the Americans didn't restrain themselves in the first place baffles me.



America is a funny nation.
They are neck deep in debt. Nine out of ten families live hand to mouth, millions don't have jobs or houses, nearly all of them live their entire lives on credit cards and yet they will spend trillions of dollars in military and financial aid. To add sauce to our kachori, they even increased the amount of aid they will provide to Pakistan. Yet inspite of all this, Pakistan will still remain one of the poorest countries in the planet.  Just incredible, I say!
So while your relative/friend is working their capitalist butt off in the US, you can be sure his/her tax dollars will end up fattening the next Pakistani ruler's wallet.

Talking about Pakistan, Mush came like a knight in shining armor, only to get stuck, caught and strung! The man clearly has the combined IQ of a hair comb.

Some unexpected money for Malya Senior, as he won a settlement of Rs 1.5 crore. For a man as wealthy as he is, this loose change would be enough to fuel his exotic car collection but not enough to restart his sick airline.

Hairy Baba cast his vote for the BJP. With the deluge of support for the BJP, the coming elections are looking more lopsided than any in recent history. While I don't support the countless good PR that Modi has been getting on facebook and else, if Modi is half as good as the millions say he is, then we are all in for the ride of our lives.

Some welcome news when our Pradan Mantri proposed to scrap the rule where judges get to pick their successors. Long overdue, this change I'll say. Because the recent plethora of inane and silly laws did point to a rot at its roots. 


A member of the SEAL team that captured and killed Osama was allowed to testify why he sent confidential documents to Wikileaks. His motive was simple- To expose the American military's "bloodlust" and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I thought that fact was adequately established. How naive of me!

In the past many weeks and in many parts of India, thousands of people have lost their homes. No, its not because they defaulted on loans, but because the government knows it is more convenient to displace them than to disappoint construction moguls in search of prime land. Spare a few minutes and sign the petition.

No Sunny, no. We don't want vulgarity in our songs. We just want to see you gyrate and moan in absolute ecstasy. And so we were promised that there is nothing in any of her songs. Good



Didi came, she walked, she whimpered back. I've said this many times before and I'll say it again. She is the political equivalent of Rakhi Sawant - loud and uncouth. Maybe she should change track and take some lessons from Nitish.
It looks like the former CJI Katju forgot his medication, again. This time he wants the Prez to pardon Bhullar. Why the senile old man won't give up baffles millions. I have one word for you - Bengay!

Sreeshanth: Cry baby.
..and a baby who will make you cry.

I have friends and relatives working in Infosys. Until a couple of years ago, a job there would have meant you've arrived in your career. Settled. Time to get married, buy a house, sell your stocks and retire in peace.
Not any longer. Infosys's fall from glory is a lesson in corporate money management. Infosys lost much of its shine and so did Gold.

A Boeing 737 overshot the runway and landed at sea. Human error or equipment failure, what is appalling is how most of the passengers didn't remember how to deploy the life jackets during emergency. So much for those safety lessons after boarding.

So it's proven that we love lists. In the past fortnight, we had Mila Kunis top the list of the '10 most f*ckable celebrities'. But honestly, why would we need to know that?! Are any of those who voted going to get a chance at it? You wish!
And while Hollywood would love such tags, our desi actresses who gyrate half-naked wonder aloud why the sexy tag has stuck


Another politician got his ugly over-sized feet in his mouth. He repented. Welcome to the club!
After Katju helpfully pointed out how we vote like much cattle, Jairam Ramesh, added substance to what we've been suspecting for a long time - We don't choose our leaders for their intellect. Gee! You really think so!

Online, there was much excitement and argument.
Psy released his second video - Gentleman. It sounds (and looks) like a sequel that pokes fun at his country(wo)men. By the time, you've read this post, the video would've got another 100,000 likes. Personally, I think this video lacks the punch its predecessor had but hey! those pelvic thrusts are way easier to copy and spoof.


A video that did cause a lot of uproar was of a pair of (under-aged) Keralite kids whose over indulgent parents allowed to take their million dollar Ferrari and Land Rover Vogue out for a quick spin.
While you can clearly hear how the kids have made their parents mighty proud by their driving skills, I wonder why the cops have not made an example by arresting the kids and their wealthy parents. Obviously, they might have 'bought off' every minister and cop in a 100 km radius but it is parents like these that result in a nation where children don't know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I shudder to think how many times and what else these parents have allowed their children to do what is wrong from any angle and every culture.

Natural disasters turned many parts of the world into a pile of rubble - Iran, China.

In all that has been happening in India over the past several months, this is clear - What nature left untouched, we succeeded in destroying. As news of how in-laws of a bride destroyed a two month old fetus because she didn't bring in enough dowry, the officials sprung into action. We all like to say how dowry is evil publicly, but behind closed doors the girl is sold pound for fair-skinned pound. 

About 2 years ago, when I was about to marry my then girlfriend, my mom and relatives lectured me on how it is suitable for me to expect and demand dowry from my 'to be' in-laws. On our engagement, I was again 'counseled' by my mom first and several of my 'aunts' on how dowry is necessary so that the girl's family will be held in high prestige because they gave a sizable dowry. Not that my family needed the money. I was appalled. I refused.
This is quite the predicament for any Indian man when he refuses to accept dowry for the right reasons.
You could be a political prisoner or a prisoner of your principles. Our human rights record is not something we can be proud of either.

The Sanjay Dutt mega serial continued. Why must we even negotiate anymore? Can't we see that Munnabhai actually has no intention of going without a fight? If you ask me, the Court should've just picked him up and thrown him into prison 3 weeks ago. What we got instead is 4 more weeks of this drama. Argh!

About a year ago, Samsung lost a high profile patent case in the US, it is back in the news again. For all the wrong reasons, apparently. Clearly, business ethics were given the smack-down.


Bangalore went Bang Galore!
When an IED exploded near the local office of the BJP, everybody ran like headless chicken. Foot-in-mouth politicians had their own colorful theories and we all had a good chuckle. Even as I write this post, there hasn't been a single arrest though there has been plenty of clues.
Boston -1. Bangalore - 0


And that's the way the cookie crumbles!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No honor among thieves [354/365]

Incredible India!
A 23 year old paramedic student was 'brutally' raped and is fighting for her life and suddenly every Indian has become the judge, jury and executioner.

'Hang them!' 'Castrate the Bastards' yell the placards.
Some others want the rapists to be diced into 3 or more pieces.
It is said that five of the six who were remanded to the infamous Tihar jail were assaulted by fellow prisoners who detest rapists. So this might explain why our ministers where given special cells during their stints there.

Quick Question:
Exactly when did we start dishing out judgements to the guilty?

The only way to deter future rapists (including the ones who'd have raped a women by the time I finish this post) is to make sure that the crime hits them at the root of their existence.
Men rape because they want to assert their authority over women. They want to remind women of 'her place' in society- That of a victim.
They rape because it's easier to force their penis into a vulnerable vagina than to win her love and devotion.
Men rape because they know their prey will almost never report them to authorities.
They rape because they know that they won't get convicted and even if they are convicted, they will be free in a few years.

Most importantly, they rape because they know we don't care for our women.

Our young men and women are braving water cannons and tear gases because it is fashionable to be seen. After all, we have all been inspired by images of the Arab Spring and erstwhile Corruption Quit India struggles. Will our protesting men stop their parents from demanding and accepting dowries?
Will our indignant women be bold enough to marry without a dowry?

What would castration achieve?
How would a public hanging curb crime against women?

Studies in animals have proven that castration won't really curb a male's sexual appetite.
If public execution curbed crimes, then Saudi Arabia would have been the safest place on earth.

So what could really work?
It is important to understand the inner ruthlessness of a rapist.
Strip away the visage, all rapists are unbelievably passive, impotent and cowardly. They wouldn't stand out of a crowd and they don't look villainous. Psychologically submissive, they are people that you would meet and forget.
Besides the thrill of achieving dominance over a woman's body, rapists bask in the glory of being (in)famous.
Besides the crucial act of convicting rapists expeditiously, rapists must be registered as 'convicted sex offenders' and closely monitored for the rest of their natural lives. Much like credit ratings, their criminal background must be an important factor with future employers, associates, creditors and spouses. They must be made responsible for the living expenses of the victim and her family for the rest of his life.
Convicted rapists and their families should be marginalized and made to experience every bit of the fear, trauma and pain that the victims and their families face.

By engaging the government violently, we are neither enabling an already paralyzed governing structure to heal nor creating a revolution of change for women. We are simply repeating what Team Anna did a couple of months ago - Arm twist the government to act. I wonder how arm-twisting somebody to do what you want could be productive.

Our young women and men will protest today. Their pictures will appear on newspapers and TVs.
Tomorrow, they go back to their offices and will work as meek slaves to a society driven by men.
Our men will go back to their wives, girlfriends and significant others and demand sex.
And they will all brag about how they marched for a cause for the next couple of months.

As a man whose partner is now petrified to open the doors and windows when alone, I demand action.

I want the government to sit down and think how they can fix this once and for all. For a government that mustered courage to pass the FDI as fast as it did, I ask that you take a reasonable length of time deliberating, but act.
Take our collective voice of rage as a feedback and not as a criticism. Don't let the fact that you might loose the next elections bother you. That will happen nevertheless.
This can't go on forever. We need our women as much as you want to stay in power.

The time to act is now.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Bad Day [103/365]

source: bbc.co.uk
I don't know about you, but does it strike you as strange that we've had at least two infants die out of the torture met out by their 'caretakers' in a span of just 2 months?

About 30 days after Baby Falak died, we've had another three month old infant; Baby Hina suffer an inglorious and painful death. (Read the news here)
While I can understand why Indians would not want a girl child, I can't understand why our laws seem unwilling to punish individuals who exploit the system.

What are we waiting for?
How many more Falaks and Hinas should die before the judicial system wakes up?
Long ingrained notions of how expensive it is to have a girl must be broken. The most important change that must happen is in our practice of giving and accepting dowry. Of all kinds. Very few married couples I know have not exchanged dowry. While the stigma is huge, the ignominy of sending a girl without any seed money is overwhelming.
The shame, the unscrupulous questions and the dishonor that a bride will face from her husband and in-laws is something that we need to change.
It will be difficult but not impossible.
Free and quality education, free and essential healthcare, and a welfare system that will take care of parents with girl children can be a start. Many nations in the west have a better gender ratio and female literacy rate because of the emphasis that the government puts on women.

I've always believed growing up as a girl in India is perhaps the biggest achievement that a woman anywhere can claim. If she is lucky, she will get parents who won't mind having a girl child.
She'll then have to survive a childhood where the parents will sometimes have to field questions like 'Now, you need to have a boy too' is tough for the girl. She is made to feel that she has not fulfilled her parent's requirement (wish) to have a boy.
If she is lucky, she would enjoy couple of years of education. If not, she'd end up in the kitchen, farm or in other people homes.
As she approaches 22, the parents' search for a boy to offload her becomes frantic. Most girls are made to feel they are a non performing asset if they remain unmarried at 26. Frantic calculation of dowry is also made.
Upon identification of a suitable boy, money is discussed and the sale is fixed.
Marriages being the boisterous expensive affair today, conducting it is one more liability.
Offloaded, the parents can now:
a) marry their sons off in relative peace.
b) start worrying about the next daughter in line. Any immovable property will have to be sold/mortgaged.
c) retire in poverty. Peaceful at last.
A year or two later, the daughter gives birth. If girl, repeat above cycle. If boy, everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

Until then, we will continue to hear stories of atrocities against defenseless infants and the girl child.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Daughters for Sale

Indian Weddings are big, boisterous and shit expensive.
I've seen a lot of weddings in my lifetime. Most of them have been extravagant affairs mainly to flex the money muscle and to announce to the world (or to their relatives and friends) that they've arrived.

The copious amounts of money that is spent on mantaps and jewelry would make King Solomon blush.
All this of course does not include the obscene amounts of dowry that is given.

Ofcourse, any one could justify why we'd still want dowry, an integral part of our weddings, but when I read about mysterious 'kitchen cylinder blasts' that kills or scars a new bride, or when a new bride is burned, is when I wonder why we won't raise our voices against the system.
Perhaps we are just not ready to fight a system that risks making our daughters ineligible for marriage.

Where did the tradition of a little 'seed money' go so wrong?
Dowry, money that was supposed to help our young husbands start their lives has become a vicious circle of greed, death and guilt.

Young people that I've spoken to, have agreed that dowry is a tradition that they will not indulge in. But many of them yield to the 'wisdom' of their elders who espouse dowry and are brainwashed to believe that a suitably sized dowry will give the girl and her family respect in the eyes of the boy's family and his relatives.

Vast amounts of money or assets are passed hands. For many in suburban India, societal expectation on what would constitute a suitable sized dowry would differ.
But for the girl's parents and family, this could mean money that was saved for many many years. Money that was kept aside for a home. Money that was kept aside for the aging parents.
But for the boy and his family, this is easy money. Money that he hardly worked for. Money that he would be secretly drooling for. Publicly he would be against dowry, privately a staunch supporter for dowry.

Having proven its mettle, Media must play a more strategic role in promoting anti dowry. Simple awareness about the consequences of accepting or even offering dowry should be taught at schools.
However, having said that, legislation is a double edged sword. Unscrupulous women and their families have used anti dowry laws to their advantage. In a society where marriages are planned and verbally binding decisions made in the drawing rooms of elders, unwitting men fall for the trap of women and their families who want to teach the men a bitter lesson in matrimony.

Personally, I know a dear friend who was fighting a bitter divorce that ought to have been over nearly 12 years ago. Just a written complaint from the ex and her family and the poor chap was suffering for over a decade until last year at the age of 35, he died.

Greed begets greed and dowry is something you wouldn't want to touch with a barge pole.

Are we breeding our daughters with a dread that we will have to pay, some day, a million bucks?
Are we raising our sons with the hidden delight and relief that some day, all our 'investments' will be repaid when he gets married and get a Big Fat Dowry?
Maybe it is because we have more men than women. Or maybe we need to stop female infanticide.

Fight the right to marry your soul-mate, sans the money. Of course marriages are never a piece of cake and you'll always end up stretching to make ends meet. But you'll atleast set an example when you refuse to accept or pay a dowry. Be a Man.

The question is: Are we ready to fight for the right to wed without dowry?

The Statistics are chilling.
Go Figure.


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