Tag Archives: politics

A Tragic disconnect

Our newspapers, these days, are preoccupied with things that don’t matter much in the daily lives of ordinary common people. See above. These are front pages of Hindustan Times dated 16th and 17th November 2019.

Prices of basic food items like onions and tomatoes, on the other hand, are sky rocketing and the media is not talking about it as freely as it ought to. It looks like some government person sits down with an editing pencil and orders removal of everything it finds objectionable in the pre-print newspaper copies.

And the most worrisome thing is that while the farmers, the producers, get only peanuts for their labor, 90% of the astronomical prices we pay goes into the pockets of middlemen and traders who have learnt to keep the prices high by manipulating the supplies through hoarding. Read this article. It’s quite an eye opener.

https://www.indiatimes.com/news/poor-farmers-get-only-rs-8-kg-for-onion-why-does-it-cost-us-99-kg-who-makes-all-the-profit-500229.html

While we end-consumers try to save for the rainy days by scrimping and controlling our consumption of high-priced food items, the farmers end up dumping their farm produce on the streets after having wasted their precious, hard-earned resources on their farms. Many commit suicide out of sheer desperation Very tragic indeed. Something that we common people will never forgive our government for.

We are now in the middle of November 2019 and unlike previous years, the prices of vegetables are far too high, Rs.60 per kg onwards. We are told that enough vegetables are not available as they got destroyed in excessive rains. This is a flimsy excuse, as rain disturbances are a perennial phenomenon. Something that the government needs to prepare adequately for.

Their focus, however, is only on electoral gains and the most alarming part is that they are callously allowing nation’s power and money to go into the hands of a few. We seem to be turning into an oligarchy.

We must rise up against this trend and force our government to wake up before it gets too late. Otherwise onions and tomatoes will have to be consumed like dry fruits.

Diwali 2019

Photo and Rangoli courtesy: Suroshri Chatterjee

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

Just three hours, twenty minutes left…

And Diwali 2019 will be history…the bright lights, crackers, laughter, good wishes will all be gone…

I don’t know if you will agree with me, but I feel Diwali 2019 has been quite unlike any of the previous ones.

A strange kind of uneasy calm prevails over the whole country. Though everybody is following the traditions, praying, fasting, feasting, giving, donating, celebrating, deep inside, our nerves are on edge.

With RBI and various government institutions turning into puppets, our money is no longer safe in our banks. Live frugally and save, save, save, that’s what I was taught since childhood. But with banks behaving like robbers and constantly imposing new levies and taxes to eat into savings of ordinary people, parking money in banks no longer makes sense. Common people have no idea what the central government will do next.

Who knows what the hatemongers will come up with and where the next terrorist attack will happen.

Anyway, enough of negative thoughts. Something to do with my sore throat and cough, I think. It’s lasted longer than usual this time and we Delhiites are in for worse days ahead…pollution, even-odd, etc, etc…

Well, Happy Diwali…

Official Bougainvilleas

I call them official bougainvilleas because they live and breathe inside the office premises. Their blazing, bright colors add soul, poetry, innocence, and freshness to their surroundings and inspire us to continue blooming; to be happy and creative in spite of the oppressive work life in the private sector and its inevitable politics…

These words are now part of a poem…Read it here…https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/official-bougainvilleas/?m=0

We Want Justice

Photo courtesy: Google

After reading this article (see link below) on November 1984 riots, I was completely shell shocked!

https://www.dailyo.in/politics/1984-anti-sikh-riots-1984-sikh-massacre-operation-bluestar-congress-jagdish-tytler-kamal-nath/story/1/21828.html

The article makes it quite clear that the plan to selectively massacre Sikhs was hatched much before Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. It was meticulously and systematically executed, like a highly focused corporate marketing campaign with accurate demographic data. It was not a knee jerk reaction.

A political party and a government that join hands to inflict pain and suffering on the very people they are supposed to serve have no right to exist in a democracy.

For a lay person like me with no knowledge of law, it is hard to understand why our courts are unable to punish the guilty in spite of so many witnesses and huge piles of evidence with complete details of damage caused, both to human lives and property.

The only reason we can think of is manipulation of legal records and a toothless judicial system that allows criminals and murderers to walk freely.

Already 34 years have passed since the Sikhs’ massacre and the only thing the government can do now is offer compensation! For people who saw scores of their loved ones murdered in cold blood right in front of their eyes, no compensation can be enough.

Ever since independence, our leaders have only had ulterior motives behind all new initiatives and all they seem to have done is divide and rule. Sometimes, like Hitler, they go after a certain community. In November 1984, it was the turn of Sikhs.

India takes great pride in being a nation of diversities and peaceful coexistence is the only way we can survive and prosper. By planting fears, both real and imagined, in the minds of people, our leaders force us to move with shackled feet as a nation while smaller countries like Japan, Singapore make great strides…

Come 2019 and all political parties will seek our votes. It is time to wake up and remain vigilant. Let’s bring out better people, leaders who can bring in positive change instead of unleashing bloodthirsty hounds upon us. That’s the only way to save our country.

Thank God, we have the NOTA (none of the above) option too now. It can serve as a very powerful tool in compelling political parties to pitch candidates who will work the way they are supposed to, as public servants, not as masters.

Why should netas have all the fun?

A Good Government

Sometimes your own blog post can act as a source of inspiration for a poem.

I discovered this recently when I found myself developing a poem ‘A Good Government’ from the first paragraph of my article ‘Feeling Safe.’

URL: https://jasbirchatterjeephotoblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/feeling-safe/

ThisĀ  poem is now on Poemhunter.com

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-good-government/

 

 

 

Professional Honeymoon

Whenever I move on to a new company, I always make it a point to click all the photos of the surrounding landscape in the beginning itself; because that’s the time when the bliss and peace in your heart gets transferred to the pics and the effect you achieve is absolutely amazing. Later on, when the negativity of office politics and work overload begin to seep into your system, the last thing you want to do is click photos of a hopeless place. The sooner you quit, the better it is…

Here are some of these pics…

White Hibiscus, a very uncommon variety. I never saw one before. You usually see the colored ones.

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Red Hibiscus, quite common, but gorgeous all the same…

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A collection of red roses in the pantry…

A crane-like bird. I don’t know its name yet.

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And now some pics that will always be my favorites. I clicked them when I was on my way home in the evening. They reminded me of Robert Frost’s famous lines, “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep/But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep/Miles to go before I sleep….

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Reconstruction In Uttar Pradesh

I have never been a BJP supporter and my chances of becoming one in the near future are very remote. Like every other political party, BJP also has its share of extremely aggressive fundamentalists and their tendency to saffronize every burning issue fills me with insecurity as a writer and a citizen of a secular, freethinking country.

But UP’s current Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, to my pleasant surprise, has turned out to be a big exception. A lot of positive changes are already quite visible if you go by the qualitative difference these days in a patch of land near my office.  Garbage is being removed very fast, public spaces illegally encroached upon are being freed, and so many developmental projects, both big and small, that were stagnant earlier are being revived and pushed to completion; and all this is happening very efficiently, quietly, silently, peacefully, without any clashes, loss of lives or property.

This is what India needs at this time. Sabka sath, sabka vikas (Hindi phrase meaning “Everyone’s support, everyone’s progress”) seems to be turning into a reality…We need many, many more dedicated politicians like Yogiji  in future. If development goes on at this pace for next 5 years at least, UP will probably become India’s best state…

Just take a look at these pics of the area I am talking about, clicked both before and after the elections about 2 months ago. It will help you understand what I mean.

 Before elections…Till around Jan.16…

caravan

 

After elections…Can you see the huge difference? This pic was clicked in Apr.17.

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Some more construction pics post elections…

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Can you spot 2 tiny men working inside this huge framework?

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