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Losing Sanity

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The sights you see will drive you mad.

George Bernard Shaw once quipped, “If there is life on other planets, they must be using earth for their insane asylum.”  While I often disagree with what Mr. Shaw said, suggesting that the world has gone mad finds me in perfect agreement.  In 1963 a flick was released called It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, featuring Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney,Buddy Hackett, and Ethel Merman.  People laughed through the film, but no one today is laughing at what’s happening in our world.

Should you check a dictionary, you would find a number of synonyms for the word mad, including insane (more psychological), crazy, and berserk.  And they all mean pretty much the same thing.

If you question that our world has gone mad, how else account for the fact that pharmaceuticals keep drug prices so high that the poor cannot afford them, or deal with the reality that there are over 15 million children in the Sub-Sahara in Africa who are orphans today, often children raising children, whose parents might yet be alive had HIV medication been priced low enough for them to acquire it.

If you question that our world has gone mad, please explain how professional athletes who can hit a ball, throw a football, or dribble a soccer ball very, very well, can knock down $100 million over a five year period of time by endorsing a particular brand of clothing or shoes.

Compare the salaries of athletes and movie stars with those of teachers and health care workers and ask yourself if the world hasn’t gone mad. Yes, I know that income disparity exists, but how much is enough?

Ours, of course, is not the first generation whose values have been skewed and that we are sharing the planet with mad individuals whose driveling insanity threatens humankind today.  In the twentieth century the capacity of those gone mad to spread the plague of insanity grew in proportion to the way technology enabled them. Adolph Hitler, someway surviving attempts to derail him, sent 6 million Jews and 8 million Gentiles to their deaths in the concentration camps of Germany.

Many would say that another kind of madness, perhaps unavoidable and even beneficent in the end, resulted in a nuclear chain reaction on December 1942 as Enrico Fermi and his colleagues at the University of Chicago unleashed the power of nuclear fission. What took place in a squash court under the football stadium on that day enabled scientists to produce “Little Boy,” the code name for the Bomb that fell from the Enola Gay, a B-29, over the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Within minutes 80,000 people died and a final toll of those dead or injured was twice that many.  A news reporter standing at Hiroshima began his broadcast at that location after the war with these words, “I am standing at the spot where the end of the world began.”

In his famous position speech at Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill, who had led Britain through the war, said, “the Dark Ages may return on the gleaming wings of science—beware, I say, time may be short.”

You may agree it’s a mad, mad world, but the issue is simple, “Can you keep your sanity in a mad, mad, world, and if so, how do you do it?”losing_sanity_by_biobaka

​Is there something about Gujaratis that makes them particularly angry with Muslims?

Is there something about Gujaratis that makes them particularly angry with Muslims?
No other state in India harbours suspicion of the Muslim and the paranoia for Pakistan you see in Gujarat.
The rule in Gujarat, I was then told by a top cop I knew from his Intelligence Bureau posting in the northeast was: every riot, every tension, anything that is contentious, ultimately takes a Hindu-Muslim colour here. This was much before the rise of the BJP here. Nobody knew Narendra Modi then.
 
Is there something about Gujaratis that makes them particularly angry with Muslims? In a 2012 pan-India opinion poll conducted by NDTV, one of the questions was whether India should have better relations with Pakistan. In Punjab, 72 per cent people said yes, and in Haryana, 80 per cent. In Rajasthan the number was 42. All three are states with a soldiering tradition and two share long borders with Pakistan.
And in Gujarat? It was just 30, the lowest in the country. What is it that makes Gujarat our angriest border state?
The communal riots of 2002 weren’t the first in Gujarat. But these were the first where Gujaratis were convinced—and with good reason—that finally the Muslims were “taught a lesson”. That belief is central to Narendra Modi’s political capital in Gujarat.
Muslims=Pakistan=mortal enemy belief, will determine the numbers on 18 December.

https://theprint.in/2017/12/11/modi-waves-red-rag-gujarat-muslims/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

The Mighty River – Mahanadi

 

India’s sixth largest river Mahanadi is now witness to a bitter political fight between its two major riparian states.

A river that is already fighting for its life because of excessive exploitation of the water by industrialization and negative impacts of climate change can hardly afford this fight.

But the states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh are fighting and it seems this will lead to a war. This war is not going to do any good for the cause it is being fought.

The current episode of the fight that started about a month back following the leaking of an internal letter from the Odisha government’s water resource department has already engulfed the entire state in a big movement against neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

Odisha’s ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has taken the lead in it and many others, including civil society and media, have joined the force.

Odisha says the upstream state is intercepting Mahanadi waters to an extent that will dry up the river and make the Hirakud Dam dysfunctional.

Chhattisgarh discards this allegation and claims it has all rights to utilise each drop of water of Mahanadi within its geographical territory.

Odisha is projecting itself as a victim in this, as all lower riparian states do in such cases.

The debate has travelled from streets to Parliament and the chief ministers of both the states have already flagged off war signals.

Responding to Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh’s claim over Mahanadi, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has said that he will fight for Mahanadi water till his last breath.

In this political slugfest what subsides is the real debate about the health and well-being of the river herself, and the millions of people and other species dependent on her.

More than a half of people in each of the states depend on Mahanadi for all their needs including drinking water, irrigation, other livelihood needs and above all for maintenance of the ecological balance of this region.

The genesis of the conflict

Ever since the Hirakud Dam was constructed in 1957, both the states (Chhattisgarh was then part of Madhya Pradesh) have been engaged in battles of discontent and differences.

There was no bipartite agreement between the two states with regard to this largest earthen multi-purpose dam project of Asia.

In various meetings organised between the two states, Madhya Pradesh kept raising the issue of utilising Hirakud dam’s catchment areas to provide ensured water supply for the rice bowl of eastern India that falls in this region.

In fact, about 87% of the dam’s catchment lies in Chhattisgarh and 88% of water at the dam site is contributed by that state.

The Chhattisgarh government has been pursuing their Mahanadi irrigation plan to utilise each drop of water and augment irrigation up to 50% in the catchment.

They have also been pushing for 5% power from the Hirakud reservoir. These issues have always remained the bone of contention between both the states but not much of a coordinated effort was ever tried out.

In 1983, the CMs of both states reached into an agreement to establish a joint control board to review the progress from time to time of survey, investigation, planning, execution and operation of joint inter-state irrigation and or power project(s) and to discuss and resolve any issues.

However, this board was never established and the states continued to manage Mahanadi in their own ways and the coordination meetings were reduced only to discussions of flood control operations of Hirakud reservoir during monsoon.

Coal curse

Mahanadi, in official terminology of both the states, has been a water surplus basin and there has virtually been a competition between them to invite investments marketing the river water as a cheaply available natural resource.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the basin is bestowed with a huge coal reserve. Following economic liberalisation, the rush for establishing coal -fired power plants has put the river to severe stress.

Studies as early as 2010 pointed out that out of the 118 proposed projects being pursued by Chhattishgarh, for which data was available, 33 plan to draw water from the Mahanadi.

The water requirement of projects drawing water from the river stands at 1,500 mcm per year. If the water requirement of projects drawing from its tributaries – Lilagarh, Hasdeo and Seonath – is added, the withdrawal jumps to 2,700 mcm, adding to the withdrawal of around 1000 mcm by existing industries.

Thermal power plants, known to guzzle water, would be drawing close to 1,500 mcm every year. The estimate is based on data of just a fragment of the projects planned.

The dependable water availability in the Mahanadi (measured at Kasdol upstream of Raipur) over the last 10 years is an average 1,528 mcm annually, according to state water resource department. With industry set to withdraw 3,700 mcm, water budgeting in the state will clearly be highly deficit.

In fact, government spokespersons including ministers of Chhattisgarh government have openly admitted that most of the dams and barrages being built upstream are meant for coal fired power plants and other industries.

Downstream, Odisha also has been committing a major chunk of Mahanadi water to such industries.

River set to die,needs urgent attention

The real issue, therefore, is the way we are treating the river.

Chhattisgarh may have the right to obstruct the flow it thinks is its due share, however, without a cumulative impact assessment of the entire river basin it would be virtually impossible to tell how much of an obstruction would not harm the Hirakud Dam and the flow downstream.

All data that both the governments are now putting up are fragmented and outdated.

While the current spurt in political fight has brought in the right attention and awareness of both the public and policy makers, the solution is in a dialogue.

And such a dialogue is only possible by rebuilding the trust, which means transparency in information sharing and cordial approach in coordination.

The governments should trust each other as well as the people and form a coordination mechanism that takes on board not only the government officials and politicians but also others who are able to help resolve this issue amicably.

“Look , isn’t she that prostitute? (A short story)

 

He used to tell her that whatever her profession may be in the past did not matter anymore…that she had left her dark days behind and that was all that matters.

He promised to love her in multiple ways..and he did keep his promises..but only initially.

As she kept becoming more and more independent…as she got a good job with a handsome earning , things started to change..He never had a problem with her job or her earning too much but with the job and prosperity came one more thing…a shortage of time..

She began returning home late at night…she was no longer able to pick all his calls..and so things started getting worse.
Once she returned very late in the night after 2 O clock..he had stayed awake till then to confront her when she comes and so he did…

Things heated up and they began to quarrel…and from a quarrel it turned into him grabbing her by her hair and slapping her..he pushed her and pinned her on the bed..in the very next moment he said something that broke her…

he said…..”I met you when you were a prostitute..and now you’re using that experience to earn so much..sleeping around with your bosses…you slut..! “

As these words escaped his mouth he wanted to take them back but it was too late…she didn’t quarrel anymore or bothered to say something..she quietly shifted to her side of the bed and closed her eyes…!

That night Nisha realised something…she told herself that whatever great she might accomplish in life…the tag of a prostitute will be with her…Nisha , the product manager of a MNC can any day be called a “Prostitute” .

At the office…at a restaurant or at some party…someone might spot her and say..

“Look , isn’t she that prostitute? what was her name?…yeah..She’s Nisha , the prostitute we celebrated our birthday with during college” ..and they’ll give her a wicked smile..

That night Nisha became the weakest creature on the planet.

Story Aditya Vikram Image Google

Padmavati Controversy: An Open Letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padmavati Padukone and Ranveer Singh Khilji

The Desi Cracked Pot

An Open Letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padmavati Padukone and Ranveer Singh Khilji.
Dear Mr. Bhansali,
I am writing this as an open letter to you because, firstly, I do not have your postal address, and secondly, who doesnt like some Likes and Shares, while riding on the popularity of others, right?
But more than that, the issue that I am writing about is of a serious concern.
Your upcoming movie Padmavati !!
As you must be knowing, the movie Padmavati has created more uproar in India, than Rani Padmavati had ever done in the last so many years, ever since the Sufi poet wrote about her folklore. Even the people who had no clue of who Rani Padmavati was, or if she was indeed there, are out there discussing your movie.
But this does not bode well for the Nation, since almost everyone is so engrossed in whether…

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Feminist Rani : A game changing event for women and men – Part 1

Young Radical Escapist with Autism

Sunday 29th October was a special day for me. I attended a feminist event for the first time ever – “Feminist Rani”, in Door No.1 Restaurant in Bandra Reclamation; at 6 30 PM. To introduce you, Feminist Rani was an event centered on the #Metoo campaign; which explored how widespread sexual harassment is, and how consent plays a big role in it. It was conducted by SheThePeople.TV, India’s biggest digital storytelling for women; dedicated to passionately championing and promoting their journeys http://www.shethepeople.tv/ . Feminist Rani was hosted by author Meghna Pant, who was joined by three amazing women – actress and comedian Mallika Dua, Supreet K Singh – Director and COO of Safecity (a platform that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data which may be anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level; and is useful for  identifying factors that…

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रोज़ रोज़ वाली

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मुझे मिलना था तुमसे आज। अंकुर के आवाज से उसके अंदर के रोष का पता चल रहा था।

नहीं आ पाई मैं, वो आज मेरा पेट बहुत दुःख रहा था। रीता का पेट दुःख रहा था या नहीं वो तो रीता जाने लेकिन दर्द तो था कुछ।

रहने दो, जब बाहर मिलना होता है तो कोई पेट में ऐंठन नहीं होती लेकिन जब घर आने को बोलता हूँ तो सौ बहाने।

फ़ोन रख दिया गया। रीता ने भी फ़ोन नीचे कर दिया।

पिछले बार का निशान अब तक नहीं गया है उसके बायें स्तन से। अनजाने में हाथ सीने पर चला गया। दर्द तो नहीं है लेकिन अभी भी ज़ख़्म हरा है।

सात महीने पहले मिली थी अंकुर से। अच्छा लगा था उसके साथ घुमना। फिर एक दिन कार पार्किंग में अंधेरे की वजह से रीता ने अंकुर को किस्स कर लिया।

वो अभी प्यार में नहीं थी लेकिन कोशिश…

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सिगरेट की क़ीमत

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ट्रेन में बैठने के बाद रोशनी की साँस धौंकनी की तरह चल रही थी। किसी तरह से मुँह पर हाथ रख कर ख़ुद को सामान्य किया।

सुमन दूसरे डब्बे में बैठा था। उसके पास जाना था लेकिन अभी नहीं जा सकती थी। मना किया था सुमन ने। एक बार ट्रेन चले तो दो तीन स्टेशन पर साथ बैठ जाएगा आकर।

प्रतापगढ के पास के गाँव में रहते थे सुमन और रोशनी और दोनों एक दूसरे बहुत पास थे।

इतने पास थे कि सिगरेट की पहली कश सुमन ने रोशनी के साथ ली थी और सुमन को रोशनी के हर माहवारी की डेट पता थी।

ये साथ वक़्त के साथ और मज़बूत हो चुकी थी। दोनो परिवार को कोई दिक़्क़त नहीं थी क्योंकि उनके लिए सुमन और रोशनी भाई बहन जैसे थे।

रोशनी कॉलेज में थी और पूरे पचीस की हो चुकी थी।

“सुमन, रोशनी को देखने के लिए लड़के आएँगे…

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