Thursday, September 17, 2009

for the sake of 'honour'

Every year 5000 females are killed in so-called ‘honour killing’

Honour killing is one of the many norms of some communities where one has to pay one’s life on violating the rules of the society. In India and some other countries, females in a family are considered the honour of the family. When such women go against the family wishes specially when they marry or eloped with their partners belonging to different caste or community ; the members of the family or the society ’ kill’ them for the sake of defending their honour.
In India alone, hundreds of women if not thousands are killed in the name of honour. 13 females per day are killed for the sake of honour worldwide, according to a UN report. However, the reports of the killings go off the record and the culprits or the perpetrators leave unpunished. Honour killings are not always committed by the kins of a family, the announcement of the brutal punishment is done by a Khap Panchayat (Prominent in western UP and Haryana) or a Caste Panchayat, a court which protects traditional norms of a particular caste in a village. Even if a household agrees to the will of their children, this panchayat does not go with the decision of the family; instead such families are asked to leave the village.
Ravinder Singh Gehlout’s family is the recent target of Khap Panchayat at Dharana village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district in which the family has been asked to leave the village as Ravinder has married a girl called Shilpa who is of his gotra. Same gotra means sibling like relationship so according to the khap, the marriage in the same category is equivalent to incest. This is one such instance in Haryana where family is being asked to vacate their house. However, in some cases like Ved Pal Maul’s case, on July 22, the man has been murdered brutally by the members of the panchayat at Singhwal, in Jind district when he came to take his wife back whom he had married to against the consent of the girl’s parents. Also, there is no trace of the well-being of the girl. In this case, there was no issue of different caste or same gotra, it was just that they opted for ‘love marriage’.
There are innumerable cases like Ved Pal’s or Ravinder Gehlout’s. If, in 2007, the murder of Manoj and Babli shocked the region, in 2004, a pregnant woman, Sonia, and her husband, Rampal, of Asanda village in Jhajjar grab the attention of the masses when they were almost forced to declare each other brother and sister. Last year, in Bhiwani, two girls were burnt alive just because they went to greet some male friends on Diwali.
Despite of knowing the consequence of such acts, there are some girls in Haryana who get married secretly in courts and never confront to their parents as they know they will be killed the very moment they open their mouth. According to a local girl, she secretly got married to her lover of different caste a year back but she is continuing to stay in her paternal house as she knows her confession about her marriage will only lend her into the worst.
These caste panchayats are illegal in nature but still people dwelling in villages continue to obey their rulings. According to P Chidambaram, Union Home Minister, “Caste panchayats are informal bodies and have no legal status as such. Often, villagers give precedence to the judgement of a caste panchayat rather than that delivered by the courts of law.”
Honour killing is not limited to Haryana only, it is prevalent in western UP and Punjab as well. In the name of tradition, the caste panchayats reward murder of a married couple or declare the man and woman as brother and sister or even sit on an indefinite protest to throw out a family from a village. These acts are done in front of everyone’s eye but nobody is taking that needed extra step to stop such a crime.
As honour killings do not come under the National Crime Bureau, there are no enough records on this dreadful act and that is why the culprits are roaming around the town without any hesitance. It is due to the lack of government’s intervention, this heinous crime is increasing day by day. The policy makers in the government knowingly stay away from these issues to satiate their political desires. They know that if they interfere in this matter, they will lose a handsome vote banks from the region. With such malice prevailing in the society, the country can hardly progress and will be unable to compete on international platform.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

‘Encountered’ Manipur

Would a judicial probe suffice Manipur’s angst?

Finally, the state government of Manipur ordered a judicial inquiry into the fake encounter of Mr. Chungkham Sanjit on August 27. The decision came after a month of turmoil with bandhs, protests and curfews in the state due to the alleged fake encounter. The judicial inquiry commission will be headed by Retired Justice, PG Aggarwal of the Gauhati High Court.
However, the Joint Action Committee or Apunba Lup, formed in connection with the killing of the youth, is of the notion that there is no need to form a commission when it is quite evident from the photographs taken by the Tehelka magazine that who all were involved in the fake encounter. The Lup is asking the government to take immediate steps without going into judicial probe by punishing all those involved in the encounter.
It is to be noted that on July 23, Ch Sanjit ,a former militant and Th Rabina, a pregnant woman were killed and five others were injured during an encounter at the busy Imphal market. Tehelka, a national news magazine exposed the fake encounter in front of the nation. Due to the Tehelka’s exposure, the truth came in front of the public and for a month now, the people of Manipur have started strong agitation by staging protests, bandhs, strikes and the like. People are protesting against the insensitive attitude of the system, they are raising slogans like ‘Stop killing innocents’, ‘ Stop fake encounters’, ‘CM should resign’, ‘Suspend the commandos’, the famous old slogan – ‘Repeal AFSPA’ and the like.
To combat the agitation, the state government imposed indefinite curfew all over the state which is still going on. Besides, security has been alerted in and around Imphal town by deploying armed forces at strategic locations. Also, during the relaxation hour of curfew, gathering of four-five people is prohibited.
In all these developments, it is the civilians of the state who are suffering and are stuck in this vicious circle of regular killings of innocent people, bombings, fight between the system and the so-called freedom fighters (insurgents) of Manipur. According to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Manipur reported the second highest number of fake encounters after Uttar Pradesh during 2008-09. A senior home ministry official said, "The rising figures could well explain the current public unrest in Manipur where people have been on the street against trigger-happy cops ever since the state witnessed the killing of two persons in an encounter on July 23.”
It is so unfortunate that today’s mainstream media do not have enough space to cover these grievous situations where 2-3 persons, mostly civilians, are killed on a daily basis in this part of the country. Instead they give importance to some potholes developed on a city road, the minor mishaps happening in a metro city, celebs’ quarrel and many such trivial issues.
It is to be observed how effective the said commission would be in probing the fake encounter; specially, when the people of Manipur have stopped believing in such commissions and the system itself. They want quick result and quick justice from a responsible government. “We demand punishment of accused police commandos”, Phulindro Konsam, Spokesman of Apunba Lup said, “otherwise we’ll launch various forms of agitations.”

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kashmere Gate

“What’s there in a name”, they say. Nevertheless, it has something to do when it comes to Kashmere Gate as it has a deep meaning in itself. Yes, Kashmere Gate, the Mughal Architecture; got its name as the royal processions used to pass through it on their trips to Kashmir during summer. Also, it is said that it has been christened like that as it faces towards Kashmir, the Heaven on Earth. And it has a great historical importance as well.
Nowadays, Kashmere Gate is not just a historical monument but a locality too. It is a well-known place in North Delhi. In its ambit, there are places like the famous St. James Church, the oldest Inter -state bus terminal (ISBT), the recent metro station, General Post Office (GPO),Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, the Chief Electoral Office, the Chief Administrative Office of Northern Railways and so on and so forth.
Talking about the Kashmere Gate , the monument; it is said that it was constructed by Shah Jahan and it forms one of the four existing gates of his empire, the other three being Ajmere Gate, Delhi Gate and Turkman Gate. All of these gateways are in fragile condition. They need an immediate attention from the concerned authorities. The structure has been greatly damaged during 1857 Uprising, the British force stormed in Delhi through this gate and the cannon holes are still visible in the structure. It serves a major historical importance as it is the symbol of the Great Mughal Empire. And it is through this gate that the Mughals used to pass by and later on by the British too for their any trips.
However, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is looking into this site for conservation purpose. According to Mr. K K Mohammed, Superintendent Archaeologist ASI, Delhi; “Conservation and preservation work is in progress in Kashmere Gate. It has to be conserved and beautified so that tourist can relish the historical significance of this site. For this purpose, we are also developing a garden as a resting place in this hustle bustle locality. We have set up railings too all around the monument to protect it. Further, we are planning to develop antique and handicraft shops as well.”
As this locality is situated near Old Delhi, one can always enjoy the rich heritage of Delhi such as the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Sunheri Masjid, Hanuman Mandir and the like.
St. James Church or Skinner’s Church is one such site worth visiting which is located in the middle of Kashmere Gate. The religious structure was built in 1836 by Colonel James Skinner. When he was lying on a battlefield, he made a promise that he would build a church if he survived. On the north is the Skinner family's burial ground. At the rear, the Tomb of Thomas Metcalfe can be seen; Metcalfe was an Agent and Commissioner during the British rule. “This church is one of the fourteen important heritages of India. And keeping Commonwealth Games 2010 in mind, renovation work will be carried out as many Britishers will be heading towards it to offer prayers”, an official of the Church mentioned.
The oldest and one of the biggest inter-bus terminals of India lies in Kashmere Gate, it is called Maharana Pratap Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT). The bus service from here operates between Delhi and other nearby states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and the like.
The place has also the privilege of not just having a metro station but a junction which serves the Red and Yellow lines. The Kashmere Gate metro station also serves as the Headquarter of Delhi Metro. With the advent of such a technologically advanced transport system, the commuters are heaving a sigh of relief for they are free from traffic jams and pollution.
General Post Office (GPO), the Chief Electoral Office and the Northern Railways Chief Administrative Office are the significant government offices that are located in this part of North Delhi. Also, Old Delhi Railway Station, the oldest railway station in Delhi city, is few metres away from this place.
Coming to the educational set-ups in this area, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) is worth mentioning. Earlier known as Indraprastha University, it was set up in 1998 by Government of NCT, Delhi. It is standing tall in the building where once Delhi Engineering College used to house. Within a span of ten years, the University has been able to well-established itself as a productive State University. It is a professional University with more than 70 professional courses being imparted in various affiliated institutes and on the university campus as well. However, there is a talk doing the rounds on shifting of this campus to Dwarka as the current campus is a temporary one. And in its place, Ambedkar University is shifting in.
Besides, there is Indraprastha College of Delhi University, which is located just 2 km away from ISBT.
With a small market called Bada Bazaar just opposite to St. James Church, people residing in and near Kashmere Gate can get anything of their choice. For the hostellers of GGSIPU, it proves worthy for their immediate need. One can avail juice, fruits and vegetables, fast food, cosmetics, electronics, clothes and many more from this market. However, if one wants to indulge in western food; this place has the solution to it as well, for Parsvnath Mall in the metro station catering to such cuisines in their outlet of Nirula’s and Mc Donald.
Besides this, Ritz Cinema fulfils the need for entertainment to the workers and labourers residing in this locality.
Keeping in mind the security of women, the Delhi Police has set up its women’s wing, Kashmere Gate for providing safety to the female residents and hostellers putting up in this area.
Accommodation for the tourists is not at all a big issue as there are lots of cheap hotel and motel available around the place. And also, Municipal Corporation of Delhi is planning to build good budget hotels for catering to the people coming to the terminus.
Despite of all the aforesaid features, Kashmere Gate area has become susceptible to deterioration with encroachment, slums, pollution, traffic jam and the likes of problem. The monument itself has been under the vigil eye of Archaeological Survey of India for some years now. ASI is planning to bring greenery around the gate on the same lines as that of India Gate. With the development doing the round in all over Delhi, the concerned authorities should take up some measures to enhance this historically significant place without damaging the old structures.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is it all about loving your parents?...

Love is the ultimate thing which binds this world into a single thread. And to be in love with the closed ones of one’s life is the best thing to happen in his or her life. Parents are one such love of one’s life that brings up and foster their children in a best possible way. The bond between a parent and his/her children is the strongest one ever existed in this mighty world. However, this inseparable tie is ought to break some or the other day due to some unavoidable reasons. One of the many reasons is the expiry of a parent or a child, another being the hassle between them and the like. Further there are several causes which turn this pious relationship into a polluted one.

A parent, particularly the father, is a person who brings his children up in the society and he is the one who looks after their well being. In present times, every progeny of him is given a quality education and all other basic necessities irrespective of the gender. We are living in the twenty first century where boys and girls are treated equally with no prejudice. But there are some exceptions where we see some kind of bias prevailing in a society. Female children‘s freedom to express themselves are curbed by their family members in some society. Even though we claim about the civilization and development our nation have attained still there are many loopholes which hinder our nation’s growth. One of the main reasons of this hindrance is the torture, be it mental or physical, done to a girl child by her own family members specially her father.

Recently, father raping his own daughter has been doing the rounds in almost all the headlines of the media. The exposure of many such tainted fathers is the order of the day. Father being a rapist of his own blood is a height ! To satiate his insatiable desires, these male parents have broken all the ethos and customs of the society and landed themselves into such a shameful act. Some people term it as incest, but it should be remembered that incest is a sexual encounter between close relatives with each other consent. So, in this case, it cannot be called as incest but a rape. Mental trauma would be the exact term which can be used for the state of mind; the victim must be going through. One can at least bear the physical torture but the mental one is intolerable !

Exploiting one’s own children is an acme. And the people indulging in this crime should be awarded crucifixion so that they can realise what sin they have committed and it’s not repeated in his lifetime. Also, the victim of such rape cases should not be hesitant and should try to come out from this vicious cycle like what has been done by the other victims from Maharashtra, Amritsar and the like. One is not destined to suffer all his/her lifetime, happy days await for everyone after every sad day. Well, it is of a great happiness that these brave victims are able to come out from this life terminating cycle but there are many more daughters who are suffering this violence silently and surrendering their lives in the hands of some parasites, their so-called fathers. They should pile up their guts and be able to break this barrier and lead a bright future ahead. The concern authorities should try and help in overcoming and uprooting this menace as soon as possible.

It is due to all these happenings that we are bound to give a second thought about the love one should have towards his/her family. Although it is impossible to think of loving a parent in the aforesaid situation, yet one is hesitant to even think of breaking the linkage with their parents. But of course, a victim of the above mentioned case would not be able to recreate that unbreakable bond that is why one of the victims of such a rape case has urged that she wants to kill his father! In spite of all this crime, one cannot stop loving one’s parents and one gets same love or more from them but it is unfortunate that some of us do not acquire the love one craves for !

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

swearing by democracy...

It is an utmost truth that democracy is of the people, for the people and by the people. But in the name of democracy, the so called representatives of people of our nation are leaving no stone unturned to fetch their vote banks in the upcoming election. All the politicos and their parties are going gaga over their plans and intentions. They are indulging in big promises, swears, proclamations and what not regarding the development of the nation. These politicians swear by their manifestoes wherein they have put down their plans, intentions, policies and many more for the betterment of the nation. However, when the time comes for the implementation of their manifestoes, they just discard them and start doing their own things of profit-making. This is an unfortunate scenario, a status quo, of our nation which lies in the hands of some parasites.

During election days, the leaders and scions of different political parties try to outwit one another to grasp the attention of the public. This is the peak season of showering lies to the public in which they are adept at. One party proclaims to be secular, another assures to uplift their community and other promises to fight for the plight of the marginalised section of the country. The formation of alliances and the breakup of the same are the common scenario during election days. Giving ‘gaalis’(rebukes) to one another before the poll and clasping the same people during post poll are the common features  in this nation. There exist many more similar features like the above mentioned. The dirty games of this sect of people to gain the control of the nation are still on the run.

Even if we, the people, know the politics designed and played by these politicos still we are not in a position to confront them. The basic cause of this is that we are left with limited options to choose from when balloting. One sees the same set of candidates contesting the election again and again, moreover, who have broken our trust for end number of times. There are restricted numbers of newcomers in this field. Although our land needs some budding and zealous leaders yet the older ones are restricting the growth of these buds. However, we cannot deny the fact that there are some quarters of youngsters and dedicated leaders in our political system that can bring about a change in a positive way. Even though the quarters are in a lesser quantity, still our citizen should try to encourage young leaders who can lead India in a far better way.

 Let us keep our fingers crossed for this upcoming Lok Sabha election and hope that this time; some apt leaders come for our rescue from the clutches of the existing parasites (withal, it is a hypothetical statement). But to hope for the best, we have to be participatory enough and this means that come what may, we should not waste our adult franchise.  At least, one has the option to choose the best among the worst !  Thus, we should try to clinch back our right to breathe freely in an open air; we must strive for the best and help one another to climb the ladder of development sooner. And last but not the least; we should try to create a system where the genuine meaning of democracy is given deference.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

conflicting feelings...

Can human exist sans feelings? Fortunately or unfortunately, man is destined to live with the feelings of various natures. These feelings are commonly known to us as emotions. And emotions can hardly be controlled .It is this trait of human which distinguishes us from any other animal. We, human beings, often tend to flow with these intense feelings. When one overflows with the emotions, one forgets one’s existence in this mighty world and starts living in one’s created world. This is where most of the people make their lives miserable.

Controlling one’s feelings towards anything or anyone is one such technique to smoothly run one’s life. Even if one knows this fact one is tempted to flow with them. Although our thinking faculty reminds us continuously about the consequences we might face yet we go with the desires created by these feelings. And there comes the conflict between one’s mind and heart. It is obvious that the brain wants to curb the emotions but the heart says the opposite. This conflict between them leaves a man in a confused state and makes him remember the phrase ‘reality bites’. As our thinking lobe always reminds us the reality and keeps conferring us to leave the platonic world but who will tell to this lonely heart?! It’s really hard for it to digest the reality. Thus, the conflict goes on and on....

By the way, what if one exist sans emotions? Well, if this was the condition, then there would be no more conflict feelings and every single being would be leading a life with no ups and downs in it. One would be governed by only logical thoughts without emotions that come out straight from one’s mind. Practically, it means telling one’s heart to indulge in an abortion of all the emotions that it might give birth to. Ultimately, becoming a callous person with no feelings of any single being existing in this planet. However sans these intense feelings, there will be no twists and turns in one’s life which indeed is the real taste of life. Even if one abominates the conflict between the two, one has to learn to live with it and has to make a choice among those conflicting feelings. And there is always a choice in life though it might hit one really hard to accept it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is this life?...

"Time is limited, live your own life ,not someone else's life", says every advisor. However, the stark reality of life has something else to say. Man as a social animal has to abide by the so-called laws of a society. And when one tries to go against this code of life, it makes hue and cry over it. Ultimately, one falls under the clutches of this cruel society and gets a cut in one's free wing .

As one gets an insight into the benefits gained by the society through trimming one's wing of freedom, one is astonished to learn that there are no such benefits which they gain. This grouping of individuals which we have named as society does nothing other than hindering in one's growth. It does such things only to hide its own shortcomings.

Despite knowing all these barbarisms of this insensitive society, yet some sect of people are unable to go against the norms of it. And if one goes against the codes set by them then he/she is being called as insensitive towards his/her family. One can tolerate anything but not a word against one's family. Family is such an institution where one has to have a second thought of any new step he/she wants to take up. It is essential to review one's thought when it comes to family . We ,Indians, like western cannot think to live on our own without family by our sides. It is this emotional attachment that one finds hard to break off from and then one feels the need to review his/her doings which may go against the family.

Saying everyone to live life on their own is not difficult but it indeed is a difficult task to live on our own. One cannot detach oneself from the bonds with the so-called society that easily even if one is willing. That is where one lives not his/her life but someone else's. And try to find his/her happiness in other's life. Living a life which is not yours is christened as a life by the society in this stage where we all perform our acts till our death . Truly, " All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players."