Friday, 27 November 2015

Bold & Intolerant Democracy?





If some people have issues or feel threatened with fear of intolerance, the government should address those issues. The irony is that some people react and respond in harsh language, proving their concerns right. Whether one agrees with what is being said is debatable.......


Yes, the situation in the world has changed, so also in India. The space for dissent  is shrinking. Film-makers, writers, artists and scientists have returned their awards. An award is very close to any individual and no one would like to give it back just like that. Their must be some truth in their non-violent protest. One can applaud or criticise it, but one has to respect the protest and not hound them in social media and other forums.

Those returning their awards are eminent people many of whom have no political affiliation with any party nor do they have any political ideology or ambition. One of the ways for creative people, scientists or intellectuals to express their dissatisfaction or disappointment is to return their awards. Anyone criticising the government, is targeted. It can't be - my way or no way! For some their is a sense of insecurity, despondency, intolerance and a growing disquiet. The fringe elements have raised their heads and have got a voice. A simple solution would be to engage with them and understand their concerns and address the issues.

Now coming to Amir Khan. Ever since Amir, one of the socially conscious actors spoke publicly of a private conversation he had with his wife, he has been deluged with hate messages and accusations and been branded as a traitor. Any one criticising the government or policies is not unpatriotic. It is his point of view or his thinking. His off-the-cuff statement to a question put to him. And with the hue and cry all around and with politicians jumping in, he has got the mileage worth a crore of rupees for free. His purpose is served. What is the point of hounding him on the social media, snapping off Snapdeal and boycotting others for whom he his their face to market their products. Isn't it a funny response? Harming the interests of an Indian company. What Amir said is not new. People talk of leaving the country all the time. What he implied was not very different from what Julio Rebiero had said in one article published in March this year - 'Today in my 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country.....' To aggressively besiege those who express such opinions is to impinge on free speech.

If some people have issues or feel threatened with fear of intolerance, the government should address those issues. The irony is that some people react and respond in harsh language, proving their concerns right. Whether one agrees with what is being said is debatable. Silencing voices is not the answer. If Amir had no business to say what he said, then Anupam Kher had no business to take a delegation to the President in response to award wapasi. And finally, the way the people reacted for Amir's statement, if they could have reacted similarly for corrupt politicians, India would have been on the road to progress!








MyPost



Truck drivers of India

Trucking in India is a world by itself. It is generally believed, within the truck community there is a quiet friction between drivers from the north and south India. One can barely see divers from north, mainly Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh or Rajasthan spend time or chit chat with those from Karnataka, Andhra, Kerala or Tamilnadu; may be its due to the cultural divide or a mutual suspicion. Most drivers speak or understand 2-3 languages. Dhabas or road-side hotels are the drivers’ favorite eating and resting spot.


As the trucks ply all over the country, even the remote corners, it is one of the best media or vehicle to advertise and spread social messages across the country. One of the most interesting aspects is the lines or messages painted on the back side of the truck. The most common is – Horn Please. Ok! Some lines are funny and some thought provoking. 
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Picture Post:

Mahuli temple, Shiroda, Maharastra, India
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