Dear Anna Hazare (& Team) & the Government of India,
I’d like to begin by thanking both of you for providing us some action-packed days!
While those of you at the government acted ever so stupidly (again) by arresting someone who has every right to protest, Annaji, your team has got the kind of mileage you needed. Those who were sitting on the fence are now tilted towards your side, Annaji, even as you were spending your day next to Kalmadiji. The government surely has its representatives all over the place, even in prison!
I am yet to figure out though, who among you guys are acting like total kids! In fact, you both are acting like spoilt brats throwing tantrums to get your toy!
I read the differences of opinions in both the drafts. Yes – the government draft is too weak. And yes – the Jan Lokpal is too powerful, to the point that it stops short of becoming the highest authority. But, why can’t you guys act like matured adults? You guys chose to make media your battle field. One press-conference after another where mud-slinging and aggressive words became the order of the day, with both the parties playing the game of one-upmanship! Just what my friends in the media were looking for.
While I know that some guys from both the teams can’t see each other eye-to-eye, yet if you are really serious about the country, keep your egos aside for some time and find a middle path. Sit across the table, and sort out the issue like dignified men! Sometimes, sirs, you got to sleep with your enemy to achieve the desired result. Even a certain Mr. Mahatma Gandhi (whose name has been used and abused and misused these days) had to compromise on certain things with the Britishers over the long struggle for freedom!
Dear Annaji, instead of opting to arm-twist via fasting-unto-death again, you could surely try to win friends from within the government by talking it over.
And my dear Government, just what on earth were you guys thinking? By default, no government in India is ‘popular’. In this day and age, it’s just ‘cool’ to criticize the government. And you gave them one genuine point by arresting somebody who had the support of the masses, and possibly a genuine reason too!
The concept of Lokpal is exciting! Only if it’s not too soft (Government’s version), nor too draconian (Jan Lokpal)! It ain’t easy, and it surely shouldn’t be done in haste. But it should be done! At least that guy whom I had to pay a bribe for my passport verification would now think twice. I hope.
Love,
A  fence-sitter (It’s much better here!)

read more

Are we really free?

Are we really free when residential societies allow members of only their religion to their societies?

Are we really free when certain worship places are burnt down, while others-illegally built- stay put?

Are we really free when people speaking ‘local’ language get preferential treatment over others?

Are we really free when education is based majorly on your birth than merit?

Are we really free when on one hand, we support Anna’s campaign and on the other hand compromise easily when it comes to our personal life?

Are we really free when Anna & Ramdev get more airspace and another genuine protestor who dies for the cause is taken notice only after his death?

Are we really free if protesting & armless farmers are shot dead?

Are we really free when at the name of freedom of speech, we can write crap about other communities and get away with it?

Are we really free when there are blasts every month in Assam and yet, it’s only the one in ‘major cities’ that wakes the nation?

Are we really free when we can’t click photographs of some really amazing places in Mumbai without the police coming into the picture?

Are we really free when some people are lesser equals than others?

Make no mistake. India is by far one of the best democracies & ‘freest’ nations in the world. But, are we really free?

read more