The vanished fizz of the Mumbai Mayhem

It’s been a year since 10 young men without soul though, shook the financial capital of India. But has anything changed yet? Have our politicians who took moral responsibility of the attack and resigned done something concrete for beefing up the security of the nation? Chuck the selfish politicians. Have people realized their duties and taken some materialistic steps to protect the dignity of our motherland? Has the “Fizz” behavior which they showed by thronging roads of Gateway of India in lakhs on December 3, 2008 led to something substantial?

Things have definitely changed in the course of time. There were waves in the political industry after the terrorist attack. Our Home minister then Mr. Shivraj Patil now only enjoys the Rajya Sabha seat unlike before where he was privileged to be our Union home minister too. And lets not forget that he is been considered as one of the candidates for Governor of Punjab’s seat too. Seems a remarkable change, huh? The renowned Deputy Chief minister of Maharashtra then Mr. R R Patil has had a rollercoaster ride. He resigned quoting he had gone by his conscience and hence decided to step down but I wonder what moral grounds made him comment then that “small incidents like this do happen in big cities.” Post 26/11 he enjoyed the cushy party head post of Maharashtra for NCP. That’s the change, where you are debarred of one postion and you get the other. On an astonishing note he has been awarded the Home ministry again after the 2009 elections of Maharashtra. A notable change that he has gone through personally is that his conscience, on grounds of which he resigned, is dead as he has accepted the Home ministry again. The Chief Minister then, Vilasrao Deshmukh, who took famous Bollywood director Ram Gopal Verma along with him to the terrorized location The Trident, so possibly that he could make a movie or probably a mockery out of the shattered lives of many, comfortably holds Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises enjoying a Cabinet Minister status. Is this the real change we are looking for? 200% the answer is NO.

We as citizens of the country expect more safety. We want modernized safety institutions which can protect our country effectively. We want more transparent system where the government is answerable to the public of its every act which probably would enhance accountability of government towards public. We demand more respect for people guarding us i.e the Army at the borders, the Police Force, the NSG, the CRPF, the SRPF, the RPF, the Navy, the Air force. Governments please wake up and provide them with modern equipments to fight terror. Please do not treat our security forces as garbage. Assign them proper accommodation unlike the SRPF jawans who are posted at the Taj and Trident since two months but have only their van where they eat, sleep, change. Will even a single elite minister survive in a van, forget around 20-30 surviving in one like them? Those people consider it their duty to guard and hence are keeping all atrocities faced by them aside. Ministers, please learn a lesson from this that duty comes first and then the self interest. Although the NSG has already landed in the island city but they are facing “N” number of hurdles to set themselves up. Can’t the process be smoothly carried out for the force protecting us risking themselves. Government it’s time you realize “All said Nothing Done” will not work. It’s high time you stop pampering Ajmal Kasab. Nail down the culprits of the nation. Rise to your responsibility.

Although I feel it’s not only government but every individual’s duty too. Rise to the call of your nation. Convert the “Fizz” behavior depicted in the road show of strength to concrete actions. Question the government for injustice then only would the government be compelled to answer. Ensure that you vote to bring the right person to power. Let’s not forget Maj. Unnikrishnan, Gajendra Singh, Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar, Tukaram Omble and 10 other policemen who sacrificed their lives in line of duty. Let’s not forget every soldier of nation who has till date always kept their personal lives on back burners against their work. Let’s rise and be one of them. If that’s not possible at least we can make sure they get due respect and recognition for their work. Every individual has the potential to make a difference however small it may be. Let’s collectively make the difference a huge one. Let’s get out of our habit of deafening ourselves at the call of a poor citizen. Let the call of justice be same for the rich and poor.

So folks at the tragic anniversary of Mumbai carnage where around 183 people died and 500 plus injured, let’s take an oath to change the face of nation. Let’s unite and pledge that the shape of our nation will be different at the carnage’s second anniversary. Let’s swear that we will together work to take our very own India to new heights every year, every day and infact every moment.

Swine Flu panic in India!

Last week, I returned from a week long vacation with my family to Mumbai, away from work pressure. Instead of cherishing the memories of a week long break I was quarreling within with “Emotional Flu”. Yes, I was down with fever and did have a travel history but were those symptoms enough to prove I had contacted Swine Flu. For my family they were more than enough to arrive at a conclusion that I had to visit the government hospital for screening.

My mother went a step ahead to buy the masks for family. And yes masks were distributed according to the need as enough N95 were not available for our joint family. My cousin who is four and I get N95’s, the only two masks which she managed to buy in black from the chemist. My pregnant Bhabhi and grand mom get a three layered mask which she managed to buy from other chemist and the rest of the members manage with masks bought at the traffic signal when my mom waited there for lights to turn green. But is my family to be blamed for there over precautious behavior? I believe they reacted in a very normal way considering the hype of “The Swine Flu” that was created by all forms of media. Any parent or in that matter any human would react this way if they see a new “Breaking News” every ten minutes on the news channels.

I wonder why the media doesn’t make 572 deaths a day due to normal flu, and large number of deaths due to Tuberculosis, Malaria, Dengue and other diseases an equally important “Breaking News”. Why doesn’t our Health minister call an urgent meeting to discuss diseases like malaria which takes a huge toll of human lives too? May be malaria patients can wait for some time longer as most of them are neither NRI’s nor they belong to elite group who can afford a vacation abroad. With Swine Flu thoughts occupying my house and slowly spreading to my neighborhood I called up my very good friend and a doctor by profession asking him how would I discriminate whether its “The Swine Flu” or normal flu. He explained to me that the Swine Flu symptoms could be towards pneumonia side and with just fever and normal cold like symptoms I should not conclude that I have contacted it. He told me to wait till two days and take normal medicines prescribed to treat normal flu as going to the hospital at the shot to screen myself would be more dangerous. There were chances I would catch the virus if I wouldn’t have till then. Luckily my phone was on loudspeaker then so my parents got some gyaan too. Two days from the whole panicky episode I have normal body temperature and am all energetically penning my experiences of the false panic we underwent. But this whole episode, taught us to stay composed as fright created was spreading faster than the Flu itself. We did not give in to false media panicky and heard the doctor treating Swine Flu, which I feel proved a boon to us.

I urge the media to give neutral reactions to the issue and not to blow the matter out of proportion as not everybody would be as lucky as I to get a doctor friend nor would every parent wait for two days as my parents did on the doctor’s advice. And for the rest of you Swine flu is not that a dreaded disease and has a death rate of seven in thousands much less compared to Normal flu, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Also the Swine flu deaths recorded so far have not been only because of the H1N1 virus but due to some other complications intermingling too. So just take normal precautions like washing your hands, drinking plenty of water, exercising and you should be away from the virus.

And my dear elected government, there was no point keeping the theatres, schools and colleges shut as this was more of emotional response from your side than on medical grounds. Your decision of shutting of schools did no good to millions of children as they enjoyed days off from school playing in the societies, as my cousin did and the college going crowd enjoyed shopping and hanging out as they had all the time in the world. Did it actually act as the isolation you had thought of? We just need better medical facilities to treat the pandemic and more awareness regarding it. Try spreading the correct word in your families, societies and we shall be better able to fight the H1N1 virus.
Prevention is better but panic is not!

Lets’ be the Change that we want to see in our Nation!

According to one of the statistics, 70 per cent of India’s population falls under the youth category ie, below 35. The questions arising at this stage is – can the country’s largely youth population, change India? The obvious answer to this is YES if one uses the ideas, has the ambition to do something, has the confidence to win, and has a righteous heart. Everywhere we hear people complaining about lack of amenities, increasing crimes, sky rocketing food prices, corruption, red tapism , terrorism, injustice etc. – but do we ponder on how can we change it all?

The 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai saw people coming to streets demanding some action. Less than a year later, we cannot even compel the government to take stern action against the culprits. Why? It’s high time every individual realises that we should raise our voices demanding action. Youth are the leaders of tomorrow, so it’s our duty to raise ourselves with the goal to serve the nation, however petty it may be. Remember each and every Indian can make a difference. You need not belong to the Gandhi family or be a descendant of the Scindias, Ambanis or the Birlas. You just need to inculcate intellectualism, human values and observe a commitment to service. With everyone following this, India will surely become more tolerant.

Our politicians are using the British policy of “divide and rule” in their selfish interests Let us remind them “United we stand and we will”. We crib of our government not providing world class solutions and facilities, but how many of us follow our fundamental duty to vote? Remember, to vote is a right and a duty. It is the building block of tomorrow. If we do not use our franchisee, we have no right to complain of corrupt people in the political arena.

It’s on account of our apathy that our farmers are dying out of debts when agriculture is said to be India’s prime sector. We keep on complaining about rising food prices but we do not give any thought that it may be due to agriculture land being converted to SEZ (Special Economic Zones). Can’t we raise our voices for thepoor, uneducated farmers rebelling against SEZ and demand irrigation facilities. Can’t there be a hundred Medha Patkars in a population of billion plus. We believe corruption is the root of most problems, but we don’t hesitate individually when we bribe a peon just to avoid long queues? We, the face of India tomorrow, should practise what we preach.

Self realisation is important to an individual and there are millions of alternatives if one wants to really do something. One can be a part of a NGO and can at least give physical support if not monetary help. Join the armed forces to protect our motherland. Create an environment of sound health facilities for those who cannot afford health facilities. Feed the poor, encourage parents to send their children to schools. Practice and preach family planning which will help keep population growth under control. IT companies can create IT solutions for upliftment of villages to reduce the urban-rural divide. Use public transport which will help India maintain environmental standards. Stop deforestation and plant more tress for a greener India. Raise voices against crimes against women, children, or anyone for that matter. Use the Right to Information (RTI) to get answers from the government. Be a law-abiding citizen. Use the media constructively. Join the IAS and be an active part of society. And there are numerous other options available.

Albert Einstein once said,“Problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them”. Youth, its time for you to wake up before it’s too late.