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Our National Anthem and National Song

indexMy Face book account was flagged with Independence Day wishes since the last few days. Sure India celebrated its 68th Independence Day on 15th August. Once more we felt the Adeline rush in our blood with the tricolor flags, balloons and patriotism songs being played just about everywhere. On other times we feel it while watching the cricket match between India Vs Pakistan.

Well I sat down to blog today because something disturbed me the whole day. We went to watch a movie in a multiplex after watching the flag hosting ceremony at the police ground. We took our seat in the designated auditorium. After some teasers of forthcoming films we were asked to stand up by a promo and soon the National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” played on the screen. Like us everybody else present there stood up and sang along. My trouble started from then on. The promo said, “Rashtriya Geet”.

index1As far as I know our “Rashtriya Geet” or “National Song” is “Vande Matram” composed by poet Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and our National Anthem or “Rashtriya Gan” is “Jana Gana Mana” is composed by Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore. But in several reputed multiplexes like PVR, Glitz cinema our National Anthem is being played as “Rashtriya Geet” instead of “Rashtriya Gan”.

I could not concentrate much on the film as it disturbed me a lot. “How could such big multiplexes do this blunder?” “Why hasn’t anybody noticed it so far and if they did what did they do?” “Is it sheer ignorance that can be forgiven?” or like others I too should not write this blog.

Please for GOD’s  SAKE if we cannot do much for the society or nation at least we should respect the National Symbols of our country. At least that does not call for much hassle. Does it? Our soldiers who are serving the borders or patrolling the highways should not be the only lads of the motherland who are designated for the major chunk of patriotism. We simple citizens can also show our proud in our motherland. And remember nobody likes his own name to be misspelled. Then why should we allow these big multiplexes to give the wrong information.

It’s a plea that after reading this article if you think you can make a difference then please let others know. We don’t want someone outsider point this mistake to us someday. Maybe we could make a correction together. The promo should be rectified to “Rashtriya Gan” instead of “Rashtriya Geet”.

Thank You.

“Vande Mataram!”

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My Vote!! My Right or Responsibility?

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Right to vote” is the major advantage a citizen can enjoy in the country. In India, Article 326 clearly mentions the entire norm for “Right to vote” which makes a person eligible to execute his right. Election 2014 is a major event that will be witnessed by the entire world. Approximately, 814.5 million people, the largest electoral population in the world, will cast their vote for 16th Lok Sabha Election this year. The election will be conducted in nine phases starting from 7th April till 12th May 2014, which is also the longest polling period. The election will be the most expensive general election costing around 35 million Indian rupees.

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Today my purpose of writing this blog is to find out whether we, the electoral population, are really that keen in participating in this mega event of the country. So far my investigation shows “No”. I have seen people discussing politics flipping newspapers over tea in the morning, while taking bus or cab to their office, over regular chit-chat, in the gym, watching news analysis on TV or just about anywhere possible. Narendra Modi and Rahul Ghandhi had always been the hot topic of discussion. The social sites like Face book and Twitter are filled with updates on every event related to Election 2014 by its users.

I too discussed about this event at my level. My first interaction was with my house help. She is an old lady in mid-fifties. Her family consists of her husband, four sons, their wives and children. Bottom line is from one house there were total ten people who can cast their vote for the upcoming general election. I was quite excited to ask her about her plans for the election in the city. Her answer was very meek. According to her the upcoming Lok Sabha election had nothing to do with them and the people in her locality. They are only concerned about the State Assembly Elections. At that time, the candidates contesting the election visit them at their door step and distribute goodies like blanket, mosquito net, liquor, money to lure the voters. She said that it is the only time when they really get something for casting our vote. The parties also arrange for vehicles to ply from their locality to the polling booth during the day for the voters. But nothing of the sort is happening during the upcoming general election in her locality. So nobody is interested in casting their vote. When I questioned her why she wanted goodies for casting her vote she replied that they hardly receive the government subsidies that are announced for people like her. It usually ended up somewhere in the long chains of the babus, government officials, and there is nobody is to listen to their pleas. During State elections they raise their issues to the visiting candidates who promise to help them if they come to power but during general elections they are unable to make themselves heard as the candidates hardly campaign in their locality. I explained her that casting her vote for the centre can change a lot in the state to which she replied the people don’t know where Delhi is so why bother?

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“Why Bother??” The words kept echoing in my mind. Have we really developed the way we swear we have or just an advertisement to wave our thoughts. I met a government official who was displeased to know that he had been appointed for the election duty. He shared his thoughts for defying the order openly with me. According to him, he has served the government for considerable time and no matter how good his performance is he won’t be promoted further in his service tenure. So why should he slog in the summer heat. Also if he defies the order he will be suspended from the duty for six months which will give him much need time to build the first floor of his house for which otherwise he will never get leave. Moreover, during his suspension period he will be entitled to seventy five percent of the salary which will be enough to keep his expenses running. So he doesn’t have to worry and after six months he can join his services again on full salary. What a full proof plan!! If a person working in the government department thinks that way for the elections then why can’t the people.

Some more excuses I would love to share here. I asked my neighbor the same question and her take was she would not like to waste her child’s summer holidays. She would rather enjoy the wedding of her relative during that time. Somebody else told me what is going to change if she cast her vote. The corruption, unemployment will still remain even if she exercised her right. So what’s the point in slogging in the long queue to cast her vote? Another acquaintance replied he had been traveling so hard the last few months that taking another trip to his hometown just to vote will be a waste of his energy and money. Moreover, he said, he has been residing in another city for last few years for his career so what was the point in casting vote for his home constituency. It was correct as whatever changes the government bring to his home state he shall not be benefited. Rather he will gain from the place where he is currently residing. But he could not register for voter card in the current city as he was not sure how long he will continue his job in the same city. For better career prospects he has kept his options open and he will move out for better opportunities. I found the country losing a potential voter here for career reasons but then there are thousands like him. So are we not losing on all of them?

I spoke to another lady. She had been married recently and shifted with her husband to a new city. She was searching for a new job. When I questioned her she answered her interviews maybe lined up during that period so it would be impossible for her to fly down to her hometown to cast her vote. Like others she too did not take the agenda of “Employment for all” in the manifesto of the parties seriously. If people don’t vote, then how the agenda can be implemented remains a big question for the future of the country.

Another person very well known to me have been licking the pages of the newspaper every morning and trailing the news channel almost whole day to keep him updated about the Election 2014. Not only this, he has also been sharing his view points about the parties and their agendas with all his friends and relatives helping them make up their mind for choosing the right candidate. However, with so much homework done this person plans to travel out of the city for some official work, which he says are more important for him, on the day the election scheduled in his city. What a waste of such analysis I would say if you cannot take the responsibility when called for.

With so much said now I will share my views on Election 2014. The event is definitely going to be a major turning point in the history of our country and I am proud that I shall be a part of it. But apart from that there are few changes that I think can make a big difference in our voting system. I feel instead of several phases of polling we should have only single day voting in the entire country. It may sound irrational but then if we can take our exams on a single day in the entire country, celebrate festivals on the same day throughout the country, celebrate 26th January ,15th August, Gandhi Jayanti on the specified date all over India then why not elections. Somebody said it is not possible due to lack of manpower and security reasons but I think if the entire operation is decentralized on area basis then the load will automatically be less.

If the ward in each constituency is further subdivided then I think it will be better administered. For example, if a gathering is announced in the neighborhood rather than in a different part of the city everybody can join in easily. So there are more chances of involvement in the scenario rather than being a mute spectator on TV news. Like my ward consists of several small colonies and I know all the families in my colony. So the accountability is more in smaller areas. Single day voting will also help people in many ways like work will not hamper, people will converge down to their mandate without any further influence from outside like the opinion polls and news analysis on electronic media and election campaigns. Influences like these should be stopped on a single day throughout the country before the polling. As far as security and man power is concerned for single day voting all over the country I think disintegration will automatically impose responsibility on the people at the grass root level who otherwise feel left out during the event. Involvement in any event makes a person responsible.

Another very effective way to increase the number of vote is through online polls. Today’s generation are prone to “clicks” more than anything else be it ordering pizzas, buying movie tickets, online shopping, bill payments, banking. Think of anything and it is available online through few clicks. So why not voting?? Today due to many reasons the youth keeps changing their location. Jobs are the biggest factor. Other than that there can be some other reason too for leaving the home town. Where ever they go they do not register for voter card which means our actual mandate is losing a huge majority which mostly consists of educated youth. And if they come to cast their right I am sure India will definitely move towards progress. Our election commission have recently started online voting for the armed forces after 67 years of Independence. I wonder what took them so long. People of India should have the authority to vote from anywhere in the country rather than their polling station. But yes the vote should be counted in the respective constituency of the person where he is registered as a voter. Moreover if the entire procedure of registration can be online, why not voting then? Tapping today’s career oriented educated youth is very important if we really want to bring a change in our society.

All said for now. Happy Voting.

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I was glad that my neighborhood offered everything I needed for raising up my kid. A secure environment, friendly neighbors, wide open space for children play area , school, hospital and market place just at walking distance from my place.

What more could I have asked for after shifting to a small town from a big metro? I really liked the stretch of vacant roads which was otherwise never available in metro city. Fresh veggies from the nearby field brought by local women in the morning everyday was a boon unlike the weekly Wednesday market in the metro wherein I loaded my fridge with veggies for the whole week ahead. I also enjoyed the guava tree in the backyard and the sparrows chirping the entire day which refreshed back memories of my childhood.

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In my enthusiasm I completely overlooked the Baraat ghar (community hall) in my neighborhood    . At the very end of the children play area stood the building that hosted all sort of ceremonies throughout the year. And being one of the park facing houses we are the mock spectator of all the ceremonies that were held in this hall. Oh! Wait it’s not the hall anymore. They have started hosting lawn parties too and the venue is the children’s play area. Be it birthday party, wedding or any other function they just didn’t mind putting up a shamiana (tent) in the park and playing the loudspeaker.

I really don’t bother whether I am invited in these parties or not though the chances of invitation are rare as we have just shifted and do not have many acquaintances. However, what bothers me is the loudspeaker which keeps on banging till late nights or rather until the party is over.  We arrived here during the rainy season which lasts for couple of months and it rains like cat and dog. So we had no idea what it would be like after Diwali when the marriage season starts.

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Imagine you cannot hear your own voice in your own house when they start the Dj. Even when I am writing this the loud speaker is playing some kirtan and the time now is 11.00 pm. Well this is not the situation here alone. We Indians have a knack of doing everything loud. We love making a fish market of everything. Today one of my neighbors is having ear piercing ceremony of their six year old daughter and since the morning the punditji is performing puja chanting mantras and kirtan on the loudspeaker.

I wonder what the point of loudspeaker is in this entire ceremony other than disturbing people. Somebody must be sick, someone must be preparing for exam next day and imagine the plight of infants and old people. Can anybody sleep tonight? But why do we have this situation in our society now. Earlier whatever be the ritual loud speaker was never a part of it. I remember the loudspeaker being played only during festivals and fete to attract people. But when the rituals and celebrations are personal so what is the point of playing the sound so loud. People who are part of it enjoy while people like me who are not are only victimized.

Nowadays people just want a chance to play the loud speaker with the bollywood chartbusters the whole day and if that is not enough then after a hectic day when you come to relax at home you are tortured by the Jagratas (singing lords name in bollywood tunes). Is the God really listening? Has anybody heard of “decibel”??

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You know what, I think god is listening. Just now the police patrol team came and instructed my neighbor to switch off the loud speaker and perform their puja within themselves and not among the sleepy neighbors. So the noise pollution for the day I think has subsided till the morning. So now I can clearly think what I wanted to write.

I would like to thank you first for coming through with me this far as the noise outside was very disturbing and I could not concentrate on my thoughts. Okay so what I wanted to convey is our country has Loud Speaker Act which for some reason has failed to implement. Maybe because of our ignorance or our lethargy in taking any action. So now a little insight into the noise pollution and law as it may have affected your life as well.

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Government of India has enacted the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to control the increasing ambient noise level in public places from various sources, industrial activity, construction activity, generator sets, loud speakers, public address system, music systems, vehicular horns, and other mechanical devices. In fact loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the authorities under Rule 5. Authorities mean District Magistrate, Police Commissioner and other officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police. And it cannot be used at night (between 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.) except in closed premises for communication within, e.g. auditorium, conference rooms, conference rooms, community halls and banquet halls. According to other Supreme Court directions, even the peripheral noise level of privately owned sound systems should not exceed five A-weighted decibels. Also beating a drum or blowing a trumpet or using any sound amplifier during the eight-hour period is not permitted.

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The thing is if we do not take action then as a victim of noise pollution we should be ready to face the music in the long run. Noise does affect our body. It causes stress and increases blood pressure which ultimately affects the heart. Not having proper sleep at night can cause headache, mood swing and low performance in work. So do not blame your boss if he gives you a bad remark at work. Nevertheless if you are a pet owner then imagine the plight of your pet who could not even speak out for itself. You must have seen them take the darkest corner of your house during Diwali but they are equally tortured when someone uses the loud speaker all day long. Lately I have observed my child raising the volume of the TV whenever he watches a program. He says he is unable to listen otherwise. It is definitely an alarm for me. My next door neighbor also complaints of high pulse beat whenever the Dj plays in the baraat ghar. In spite of all these problems we still let them hurt our self.

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With so much said what can be done if somebody violates these norms. Well as the Act says they can be penalized and punished for the same. So let’s think of some peace now. After all there are so many things one can feel happy listening. So next time you suffer from noise pollution in your neighborhood make a visit there and make an appeal to them to lower the sound of the music system or loud speaker. And nothing comes out of it then feel free to dial “100” and get relieved.

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In the land of Kamasutra lies the taboo word “Sex”. Our society prohibits the use of this word openly, although Mumbai, India tops the chart in “Red Light Area” of the world. Does this figure mean anything to you?  Indian men and sex are the two different sides of the same coin. Both speak about the face value (read here Indian society).

Indian society has always been a male dominated society. A peek in history will get us close. Turning the pages of Ramayan you can read the chapters of “Sita’s Agnipariksha” (Test of fire). Ravan, the King of Lanka, had abducted Sita and to prove her sanctity to Ram, her husband, had asked her to take the test which she took and came out untouched by the fire. Even after this she was asked to leave Ram as she was captive of Ravan for more than a year. Ram was never asked to take the test.

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Chapters of Mahabharat will tell you how Draupdi was conferred as wife of five brothers and none came to her rescue when she was disgraced by one of her brother-in-law, Duryodhan, amid a court full of male members. They silently watched her as she cried for help from each member of the court and her five husbands while she was pulled up by her hair and ripped off her sari. However, they could not succeed in this act after Krishna’s intervention.

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That was an era of Hindu kings ruling India. But much later with the intervention of Muslim kings in India started another ritual, the “Sati Pratha”. Here the wives of the Indian men who lost the war and died would willingly jump alive in the burning pyre to join her husband in the after world. Earlier it was practiced by the royal women only as they did not want to be sex slave of the Muslim kings but later it became ritual of the society wherein a widow was forced to join her husband in the burning pyre alive. However, no record of men joining his dead wife over the pyre is recorded in history.

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In all these incidents that I have mentioned above you must be wondering about connection between the Indian men and sex. Of course my examples above project Indian women in a very dim light. But then it is the fact. India is one of the leading countries in gender bias. Women folk are no more than a number or figure for the survey organisations. Here I am talking about general. Some of you will not agree with me but then take a chance to look out of your face book and tabs you can easily see what I am talking about.

So in a country of biggest gender bias sex as an act can only be a tool, a tool to show power rather than an emotional need. It’s more physical fulfillment than mental.  The reason for this mentally among the Indian male is because of the Indian society. Right since childhood a male child understands that he is far more privileged than his female siblings. That enforces the power of male sentiment within him at a very early age. Playing protector to his female siblings is the first role he leans to play. Many a times, you must have seen a teenage girl accompanied by a five year boy to the neighborhood. The teenage girl is made to believe she cannot take care of herself and so she must have a male escort no matter how young he is.

When the child grows up a little more he learns the basics of protecting his own female folk while take chances with other female folk. Courtesy his hormone blast as an adolescent. While both male and female body feel this change inside their body. However, an Indian male child can follow his instincts wherein an Indian girl child learns to control. Moreover, society embarks more restriction on her making her availability very restricted. Some are forced to quit school and wedded off. So the prime time when these children should have interacted with each other they are warded off. Understanding each other would have developed the trust and much needed respect for each other which now remained buried deep under desires till it is further provoked.

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In India sex education is also a taboo. Even though schools books have chapters dedicated to human reproduction but our trained teachers are embarrassed to discuss any questions on that topic. As a result students are left to fend for themselves. So imagine the plight of a child who cannot ask question to his teacher or at home or his elders about sex. So how else could he find his answers? That’s how he turns to sex magazines, porn sites or may be to the red light areas. But that instead of answering his question craves him more. And before he could understand anything he is married to a girl of his parent’s choice and within a year is already fathering a child. And finally he is a busy family man.

 So where is sex in Indian Men’s life? Is he frustrated? Is he really satisfied?

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I believe with education the thinking in Indian society can be changed.  The gender bias has a big negativity on the Indian sex life. For a healthy relation to start respect is the foremost thing. With respect comes the love and it is not chained in a “mangalsutra” that an Indian married women tie around her neck. Love and respect cannot be forced upon you. You have to earn it and for that you need time. Just because you are embarrassed answering your child’s sex related queries does not mean that your child has grown up and needs to be married. Of course he has grown up and that is the reason he is asking. So don’t feel shy to answer him.

I have seen many parents either walk away or shoo off their children whenever there is an intimate scene on the T.V. Even I do it sometimes but my five years old ask me to put on the same channel. And I am kind of zapped what to answer him when he start throwing questions about the scene.  But if there is any sex educational programme for a teenaged child then I think parents should watch the programme with the child. If you really want your child to confide in you then you should make a rapport with him from a very early age.

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A survey last year says Indian men have least sex. It can easily be blamed to late working hours, hectic schedule, stress factor and other priorities. Another survey says India tops most in domestic violence. Now what is the connection between the two surveys? Is it frustration? Is it dissatisfaction? Is it stress? Maybe all as a whole.  Indian men are tied in a vicious circle, a circle of desire and craving for his materialistic needs. What he received is what he is giving back. He has to get out of it and create a new circle for himself full of desire and fulfilment for his emotional needs. He needs to lie on his back for a while and rethink about his role in this society. Is he doing what he has been passed on or he is doing something better than that. Then only Indian society can see a change where domestic violence, rape and gender bias see elimination.

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Today I want to share my feelings after reading a blog here. It was photo album of a tourist who had reiNamastecently visited India. His blog title caught my attention (wrongly captioned) and his uploaded pictures annoyed me. So here I am to share few things to remember while visiting India.

India is captioned as a mysterious country for generations. Of course land of snake charmers, cow
worshipers, naked sadhus from the Himalayas, self proclaimed babas, land of gods and what not. Even when you are reading this your neurons must be showing a different image at the back of your mind. Sure you are surprised that I could read your thoughts. Lols.

Leave them behind. India has traveled much beyond that. We are not justwomen dressed for the puja a land of poverty stricken illiterate people who come begging at every crossing or love to paint the walls just anywhere pissing or make pavements our home or spit on road or throw garbage as if it was made for this purpose or relief ourselves just about anywhere without worrying about hygiene. Yes India is nasty if you read this but then we are the second most populated country in the world after China and area wise much smaller. So the density is bound to be more. However we are surely not proud of this statistics and we are taking the necessary measures. We have come a long way from being the most documented street children series or chaos and crowd in our local trains and buses.

Diwali FestivalI rather wish that you visit India by learning more about its culture and people who under all the circumstances have succeeded in preserving their values. We are the country that still believes in miracles of god and look for all opportunity to worship him. Therefore every time we greet someone we fold our hands and touch our heart to say “Namste”(Namah: Aste – Sanskrit term). We still love to celebrate every occasion with color and lights to show the positivity and energy we believe in. To face the struggle of the day each morning we draw strength by touching our elder’s feet. The monument of love – Taj Mahal is a living example of how far a man can go for his love in India. And the same is with the women folk here. Amid all the strife in life she would celebrate “Karvachauth or Savitri Brath ” for her husband. It is just in India that a female deity is worshiped and some tribes
festival of colorsin North East India have matrilineal society.

Few years back news hit the headlines that an Indian couple residing in Norway had lost the custody of their two toddlers because they fed the children with their own hands rather than using a spoon and slept them in the same bed which the couple shared rather than slept them independently. Well this was shocking as in India we eat our meals with our own hands and feed the children the same way. Our affection does not allow us to let a young child sleep independently in other room. By practicing this we make a lifelong bond with our child and the role reverses as we grow old. At the peak of our age it is
our children who play the role of our parents and care for us rather than leave us independently. Such is the beauty of our relationship and values.

Godess Durga And without understanding these values and customs if you visit India all you will capture in your lens is begging street children, poverty, chaos, maddening crowd and everything that we are ashamed of ourselves. But if you really open your heart while you see India it will be different experience.

We believe “Atithi Devo Bhavo  Touching feet of elders and taking blessings    ” means (guest is god). So we greet you like god and give our best to make your stay pleasant. Yes I know you did face problem with one of us but that does not mean India as a whole is bad. While you are ready to share your woes on your blog then why not also share what really touched your heart during your India trip.

We care about our elders

In the end I want to share this link with you to say why I LOVE MY MOTHER.

Jot few lines if you find this good.

 

 

 

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