Friday, April 11, 2014

Is rape a mistake? Mulayam Singh thinks so

The election carnival, the once in five year affair is tossing bizarre, unheard issues in the public domain by politicians to garner votes. This time it’s rapists, who are hogging limelight rather than the victims of the heinous crime of rape. Why? The only mission evident is-to garner votes, sympathy in the election season. Votes, sympathy that too from the rapists. Shame!!! Who cares???    

Who is rendering prominence to the rapists? The perpetrators of the heinous crime of rape should never receive sympathy as it obviously indicates encouraging rape and shielding rapists. On the top of it, it also amounts to humiliating the victims of rape, who suffer excruciatingly right from the beginning until the delivery of justice.

What is shocking is-the support has come from none other than a leading leader in Indian polity, one who is often hailed as the king maker in the corridors of politics and who envision to reign the nation as a prime minister of the nation. That gentleman is-Mulayam Singh Yadav.

While addressing an election rally Mulayam said: “Rape is a mistake. Boys commit mistake.” Really humiliating, absurd. How come the heinous crime of rape can be dubbed as a mistake? On one of the posts featuring Mulayam’s outrageous remark on rape and his open support for rapists on Facebook, Vikram Singh Gill reacted by saying: “If same things happens to Shri Mulayam Singh's family girl then will he repeat the same lines what he said.” Vikram’s take on Mulayam’s remark definitely represents the outrage his comment has been fetching.

Leading women groups and activists are criticizing Mulayam for the humiliating remark. Will he pay heed to them? I don’t think so. For Mulayam votes matter, no matter how they are garnered. Really shocking and ludicrous!!! You want to garner votes from rapists. Shame!!! I want to ask you-Mr. Mulayam Singh-is this how you will govern this nation. Your remark only depicts your medieval, regressive psyche. For you women’s body is a commodity, encroach, suppress and move on. Have you ever attempted to comprehend the trauma of the victim of brutal crime of rape? Why will you???                 

Mulayam is against capital punishment. During that infamous speech, the so called self-proclaimed patron of OBCs and Minorities, also made it crystal clear his stand on capital punishment for rape. He openly came out in the support of serial rapists sentenced to death recently in Mumbai. Even in the heinous crime of rape, this self-proclaimed future prime minister of India is implementing minority vote bank card. For me a criminal is a criminal irrespective of religion he follows.               

Here I would like to quote few lines written by leading motivational writer, Shiv Khera. Khere says: “Those we don’t trust as guardians of our children, why we make them guardians of the nation.”       

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

“With commitment and conviction challenges can be surmounted”

B. Udayalaxmi, an IAS officer of AP Cadre of 1993 batch is an embodiment of determination and perseverance.  At a first glance, she appears like any other ordinary women draped in traditional Indian saree. Once you enter into an interaction, you will find, she is not an ordinary women, she is a lady with indomitable spirit. Currently Udayalaxmi is spearheading one of the significant departments of A.P., the department of Social Welfare as Commissioner. Born in an agrarian family in Krishna district of A.P., Udayalaxmi was a meritorious scholar throughout her academics.   

Affection for philanthropy
What prompted Udayalaxmi to choose IAS as a career? An M.Sc (Zoology) gold medalist from Andhra University, this lady with a modest background had a dream of transforming the lives of people from marginalized sections of society, people who are lagging behind in development and have sporadic or no access to mainstream development. With sacrosanct objectives, she choose to combat nation’s toughest exam, Civil Services.    

Challenging assignment
In her scintillating career spanning more than 15 years, Udayalaxmi has spearheaded many a challenging and responsible assignment, including Project Director, Rural Development, District Magistrate, Prakasam, Vice Chairman, State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited and Commissioner, Social Welfare. For Udayalaxmi, her stint as District Magistrate and Collector, Prakasam district was one of her most challenging as well as satisfying assignments. When Tsunami struck coastal Andhra, Prakasam too encountered nature’s fury.

This feisty lady organized rescue and rehabilitation operations, initiated help desk to facilitate victims and address their grievances, provided rescue boats to salvage the lives of hundreds of fishermen went missing during the period. Her work fetched her appreciation from state government. “It was a herculean task with many a thing to be rolled out, monitored. Addressing grievances of victims was satisfying as the calamity rendered me opportunities to comprehend the pain, quandaries of people and live up to their expectations”, Udayalaxmi expressed.           

She was asked to deliver lecture, presentation on natural calamity and how to address the impending challenges on a many a forum.        

Current role as Commissioner, Social Welfare Department

Currently Udayalaxmi is spearheading the Department of Social Welfare as a Commissioner. The department is dedicated to the welfare of Scheduled Castes. Around 12 thousand employees discharge their responsibilities under the tutelage of Udayalaxmi, including Additional Directors, Jt Directors and Dy Directors spread across 23 districts of the state. The department has been entrusted to look into the affairs of many a critical programmes intended towards the welfare of Scheduled Castes, including the management of 2263 hostels ( Boys: 1534 and Girls: 729), pre and post matric scholarship, land for house construction and coaching centres. For the current fiscal (FY 13-14), the government has allocated Rs. 4129 crore for the department.

Landmark initiatives to curb corruption   
The desire to execute programmes flawlessly, free of corruption, motivated Udayalaxmi to come up with a set of landmark policies, she leveraged on technology. All the students and hostels have been synchronized through technology. Scholarship amount is directly transferred in the accounts of students. Money designated for other expenses like diet, uniform, and bedding material too is directly transferred into the account. This synchronization of accounts has done wonders. “From the premises of my office, I can access accounts of students and ensure that the schemes dedicated for their welfare reaches to them without corruption and any impediment”, she says. These steps have facilitated the department in bringing in accountability and transparency in operation.

“If you are competent, nobody can suppress you” 
Without mincing any word, Udayalaxmi says:  “If you are competent, knowledgeable, carries out your work with transparency, nobody can suppress you. Be strong and don’t allow others to take mileage out of you.”      

Message for aspirants
Udayalaxmi highlights on the significance of “Triple D”, while articulating her views on success in Civil Services, one of the most sought after career in India. “Focus on Discipline, Determination and Dedication, while chasing your dreams. Strike a balance among these three optimistic, critical words and reap the   harvest. Attitude is another key attribute. Your attitude decides your altitude. Maintain winning attitude and reach your desired altitude”, she expresses.  

This dynamic and versatile lady is married to an IPS officer, currently serving as S.P, Nellore
district. The couples have two children, a son and a daughter.  Both of them are pursuing engineering.      

The officers akin to Udayalaxmi are an inspiration for hundreds of people hailing from marginalized sections of society. Your tale clearly demonstrates-if you are determined to accomplish your dreams, even tides have to pave way for you.    

Appreciate Delhi's leading magazine, Forward Press for publishing this inspiring tale of a lady officer. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Open letter to Rahul Gandhi for dragging RSS and digressing from the core issues

Dear Rahul:

Greetings!!! As you know the world’s most vibrant democracy is all set to witness the spectacular democratic fair as the elections for the 16th Parliament are round the corner. Political parties are leaving no stone unearthed to reach out to the gullible people to garner their support, especially in the form of    votes.

The stage certainly is unfolding at times serious stuff, while at times raises many a grave question on the very model of canvassing to impact the people of nation. Issues certainly are: development, economic growth, unemployment, external and internal security threat among others. Do these issue matters?

The contest is definitely between the two leading national political parties-the Indian National Congress with you as de-facto prime ministerial candidate and the BJP with Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate. I want to demolish the recent diatribe taken by you (Rahul Gandhi), the scion of Gandhi family, ultimately of the Congress. At a recent political rally, you raised many a pivotal question on the very functioning of RSS. Before demolishing your argument, I want to make it clear-I am neither a member of RSS or nor a sympathizer. I am simply a nationalist, whose heart bleeds for national issues, issues that matters to the gullible people of this incredible nation.  

Do you have anything to boast in this election?     

You had called the RSS as “communal” that perpetuates hatred against other religions, especially Muslims. Your diatribe didn’t end here, you further added, “RSS spews venom and its member assassinated the Mahatma Gandhi”. I want to ask you, Mr. Rahul-are these the issues that impact our beautiful nation? Or perhaps, you don’t have anything to offer as nation has suffered massively under the UPA, headed by lame duck PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh and by Sonia Gandhi, your mother, the de-facto PM. Rampaging corruption, involving Congress man, including mother of all scam-the Coal scam, 2G and CWG, and despondent governance are not finding centre stage in your discourses. Why?
Did Nathuram Godse killed the Gandhi?

Mr. Rahul Commissions formed to enquire into the assassination of the Mahatma failed to conclude the involvement of RSS in the assassination of the Mahatma. None of the commission had indicted RSS for conspiracy theory as alleged by many at that time, including Congress leadership of that time. Perception battle was won by the dispensation of that time, and RSS was banned in the year 1948. The ban was lifted by none other than Sardar Vallabhai Patel in the year 1949 as evidence didn’t corroborate the conspiracy theory-RSS was behind the murder of the Mahatma. 

Mr. Rahul Justice Kapoor Commission set up to look into the assassination of the Mahatma in its report clearly exonerated the RSS. May I ask you humbly-when the Commission set up by the Congress dispensation of that period absolved the RSS, how come you can drag the RSS. Are you only trying to woo, fool voters as you have nothing to speak off?     

RSS was invited by Nehru on the Republic Day

The RSS was invited by none other than your great grandfather, Jawahar Lal Nehru the then prime minister of India to participate in the Republic Day commemoration of 1963. Why? Mr. Rahul, I want to educate you that Nehru applauded the role of RSS and its volunteers, called as swayamsewaks during the Indo-China war of 1962.

Mr. Rahul, RSS is not an organization that spews venom or perpetuates hatred among communities. That’s the perception created by vested interests. Rather, it’s a socio-cultural organization dedicated towards social causes, including education, rural development, tribal development, proliferating rich culture amongst youth, conversion among others.

Why are you dragging RSS in the election?

Banking on Gandhi’s assassination, and RSS, it’s quite evident you, Mr. Rahul Gandhi are digressing from the core issues, encountering this nation. Your exasperation is palpable in your hollow speeches, fraught with glorification of your lineage, the Nehru-Gandhi family. Emotional blackmailing? Instead of highlighting issues of masses, what you are trying to do is-striking emotional chord with the gullible people of India, who has been casting vote for Congress though the party has failed on many a front. Mr. Rahul, be mature, endeavor to comprehend the issues of the gullible people rather than fooling people. Best of luck, Mr. Rahul for the election.

From a nationalist, also a common man
Jai Hind!!!
Rajiv Azad

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Do we care for sweepers?

The tragic death of P Satyanarayana, 40, a sweeper, working as a contract labour has once again exposed our tall claims of safety of sweepers deployed in cleaning manhole. The victim died of asphyxiation while cleaning a 30 feet deep manhole at Minakshi Tower, Madhapur, Hyderabad on May 11. Anjanellu, 21, who tried to salvage Satyanarayana too succumb to suffocation.   

For such hazardous jobs, sophisticated equipments are a must and in prevalence, besides, the presence of one or two colleagues to support. Neither any equipment nor safety tools or colleagues were present when the tragedy occurred. Do we really care? What an irony! Compatriots who play a prominent role in keeping our surroundings’ hygienic are treated like pedestrian, unwarranted, baggage though more than 65 years of freedom have gone by.

Is this a one off case?

This is not a one-off case. Apathy towards sweepers by establishment has claimed many a life in the past too, however, we fail to learn lesson from the past mistake. Reason being, not many in the establishment depict esteem, and acceptance for compatriots hailing from deprived, weaker sections of the society, particularly those hailing from SCs and STs communities.

Some incidents wherein sweepers lost life
Identical heart-wrenching stories have been reported incessantly from the nook and corner of the nation. I am sharing some of the incidents:   
  • Jangaya, 40, died in Nov 2011, while cleaning a manhole in Chaitanyapuri, Hyderabad;     
  • Jwala Balmiki, 30 died in October 2011, while cleaning a manhole in Hazratganj, Lukcnow;
  • Ramesh and Santhosh of Nellur village, died in July 2012, while carrying out cleaning of a manhole in Hubli.

Why this indifference towards sweepers?                                               

There are issues galore, which needs to be introspected prior to reaching to any substantial conclusion. Socio-economic background, ignorance of rights and poor literacy among others are some of the reasons credited for current deplorable condition of sweepers engaged in cleaning the sewage manholes. Besides, government’s apathy and lack of any concrete strategy.

Such incidents also raises questions on governments’ policies dedicated towards the welfare of people akin to Satanarayana.   

Head hangs in shame! What an irony! People who clean, tow, amass rags, dirt, scrap, stale, stinky food, vegetables to keep our ambiance appropriate for living themselves are encountering issues galore, including caste based discrimination, poverty, and unhygienic living condition. Majority of these sanitary workers are living in oblivion, clearly indicating our so called develop, rich, cultural society still demonstrates callous, lackadaisical attitude towards them.

Merely shifting blame on government will not solve the issue…those contractors of Hindu religion should revisit their so called enriching culture and heritage. The caste system perpetuated by so called intellectuals of Hinduism is still persisting in our so called evolving society.   

Scavengers/ Sweepers reveal shocking tale

While penning down this report on this prominent issue, I had a word with some of the sweepers working with GHMC to comprehend the issue lucidly. The picture that emerged out of that discussion cast shadow on many a government establishment. Ramalu, a sweeper engaged in cleaning chocked manhole, pipelines came out with shocking revelation. “We are not on payroll of GHMC. I am contract sweeper. We receive job from supervisor. Hardly they send a support staff. Most of the time, individually, we reach the designated manhole/ pipeline and execute the sanitation plan singlehandedly.” “Who cares for our safety and future? Those sitting in GHMC wants work done”, he further added.

Denamma, a female sweeper spills the bean further. According to her: “We are living in inhuman conditions, paid meager salary of Rs. 5000 only. Most of us don’t even have our own house to reside. We take refuge in slums with minute shanties, facing scarcity of water, lavatory facilities etc, etc.

Chand Pasha, a driver responsible for towing garbage from cities to dumping ground brings forth some more heartrending issues being faced by sweepers, he said: “We are not covered by any insurance, if casualty happens; victim’s family is absolutely at the mercy of GHMC/ AP Government. They may or may not give any compensation. See what government has given to Satyanarayana’s family, mere Rs. 2 lac. We are not authorized even to take a single leave in a month.” 

Callous approach of establishment    

Establishments hardly care for people like Satyanarayana. Their lackadaisical attitude came forth when I made efforts to delve into the root cause. R. Dhan Singh, engineer-in-chief, GHMC tried to run away from the issue saying “I don’t have clear picture of the incident, speak with some other concerned people. When the incident occurred, I was on leave.”

Had a word with K. Srinath Reddy, Inspector, Madhapur police station to know whether they have registered an FIR on the tragic incident. “An FIR under 304 A of IPC has been registered, which states death due to negligence, Reddy said. “Nobody has been named in the FIR”, he further shared. 

Satanarayana is survived by his wife and three daughters. Now who will look after the family.  The case in question clearly brings GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) under the scanner.  

Once again that argument hold no or very little ground that claims-SCs, STs and those from marginalized sections have been emancipated. In fact ground zero scenarios demonstrate shocking reality. Their real freedom is still shackled though virtually they are living in a civilized nation.        

What an irony? Even mainstream media has been exposed. None of the media had time to cover this issue of the death of sweeper. Reasons are obvious. It wouldn’t give them the requisite TRP…they are engrossed in IPL, Tollywood, Bollywood and Politics. Who cares for sweepers. The issue of safety of sweepers has failed to attract the attention of concerned establishments. As and when such incidents occur, establishments’ swing into action though majority of them are mere pretentious, intended to cover up the issue. Gradually the issues, files are pushed under the carpet. High time to render the kind of space and esteem sweepers deserve in our society. 

Thanks Forward Press for rendering space to this tale of scavengers  Not many media outlet will give space to such stories.   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sachin honoured or Dhayanchand humiliated?

At the outset, enunciate that I keep Sachin Tendulkar in great esteem, his incredible contribution in the arena of cricket, unparalleled persona, aura he generates around wherever he goes deserves all accolades. The Government has aptly conferred him with the most coveted national award of the country, the Bharat Ratna award. With this momentous award in his glittering crown, he will become the first ever sportsman in the Indian history to be conferred with the nation’s highest civilian award.
A debate has also been triggered in media, society, and sports fraternity-does he deserve the Bharat Ratna as a sportsman?
I don’t desire to politicize the issue as it pertains to a person, who has been a cynosure of all eyes, brought name and fame, glory to the nation. However, by honouring Sachin, the first sportsperson to accomplish that feat, we as a nation are humiliating or to be candid, humiliated another sportsman, Dhayanchand, the wizard of Hockey.  
Sachin’s records, feats in cricket are incredible. Nobody is challenging or undermining that. The legend has aptly been described as the living legend, an individual, who has proved his mettle, worth in all forms of the game, be it longer version, the Test or shorter version, the One Day International or the ultra-fast, the Twenty20. His feats speak volume, 200 Test matches, 100 international centuries and more than 34 thousand runs in international cricket among others.                        
But Dhayanchand’s contribution in Hockey too was incredible. The fact that he was born in the era when nation’s liberty, dignity was shackled under the British regime, goes on to demonstrate the capabilities of the man.  
Dhayanchand, played a significant role in winning Gold Medal for the nation in three consecutive Olympics, 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin), the biggest spectacle of sports on the earth. In his spectacular career, he scored more than 400 goals.  
Legends have it that during the Berlin Olympics, Adolf Hitler, the then ruler of Germany applauded Dhayanchand for his mastery, magic of Hockey. He offered him Germany’s citizenship and a post of Colonel in the army spearheaded by him.               

Sachin deserves all accolades and awards in this world. However, as a sportsman Dhayanchand should have been conferred with the coveted Bharat Ratna award first.    

Friday, November 22, 2013

Why do political parties exploit Muslims for vote banks?

Muslim vote for Pasmanda benefits
The manner in which political parties are conducting themselves these days, indications are crystal clear—their actions and reactions are intended considering the upcoming 16th   parliamentary election slated in the summer of 2016. Without any skepticism, I would like to articulate—democracy is considered as the best system available at disposal to govern a nation, society, however, in a nation with pluralistic society, lack of accountability, democracy is more or less reduced to vote bank politics rather than politics of inclusive development.

Many a politicians may not like but the truth must come out and must prevail—Muslims are looked upon as a potential vote bank as they constitute about 14% of the population. A.P. is one of the states with substantial Muslim population. Close examination of policies, conduct of various local parties, including ruling Congress and opposition, TDP, clearly indicates that political parties are and have been attempting to woo, lure Muslim voters as at many a constituencies, their votes are deciding factors.

Why do Muslims trade vote?
NGOs, societies, leading scholars working towards the upliftment of Muslim community are also well versed with the fact that come election, politicos will put their anchor around them to cajole Muslims. To bargain for Muslim population in A.P., a group of about 35 leading Muslim personalities, including scholars and social activists converged in Hyderabad on June 4 to deliberate on the upcoming assembly and parliamentary election and how to further the socio-economic development of Muslims. The prominent meeting was called on the invitation of Khalid Rasool Khan, a respected social activist from Muslim community in A.P.

The discussion centered on uniting Muslim community under one umbrella and support a single party that sincerely focuses on the upliftment of Muslim community.  While addressing the audience, Khalid focused on the objective behind the convention: “Our purpose is to unite the Muslims across all 294 constituencies of the state. We will chose a   political party with potential to form the government and put forth our demand for the development of Muslims.”

Muslim United Vote Committee, a registered society has been framed to push forward the agenda of uniting Muslim under one umbrella. It remains to be seen how much this opportunistic move will be practical on ground zero.

Muslim Population in A.P
As per the latest statistics available, Muslims account for about 9.5% of the total population of A.P. The districts of Hyderabad, Karnool, Guntur, Ranga Reddy and Anantpur with a sizeable Muslim population are always at the centre stage come election to lure Muslim voters with Muslims’ centric policies.      

Given the current political scenario in A.P., in all probability all leading political parties will attempt to grab their share of pie among Muslim votes. Why? Reasons are obvious. Almost all regional parties have Muslim supporters be it ruling Congress or Opposition, TDP. Other regional parties too can’t be undermined, including TRS and MIM.          
Is this trend of trading votes justifiable?

Ever since nation attained freedom, politicos cutting across party lines are attempting to lure Muslims to garner votes, eventually to bake their political breads. At times, this vote bank politics has resulted in splitting communities, raising grave questions on the very system of vote bank politics.