Monthly Archives: October 2013

NOTA small thing

A revolution will always start silently, just like stillness in air before a storm. Indian politics is in such a bewildered hush now as a storm is on its way, however we are yet to witness whether it’s gonna be really a storm or a simple “storm in a cup”.

First, Supreme Court gave judgement that a convicted legislator will be disqualified immediately and unlike before, he cannot continue in post even if his appeal is pending in higher court. The party in power tried to bring an Ordinance (it’s a Presidential order which comes in effect immediately) to override the decision and in turn protect the convicted lawmakers. But thanks to the comment of “tear it into pieces” by one of the known faces of Indian Politics, this ordinance was taken back. As a result what we witness is, for the first time in the history of independent India, some of the ex-Chief Ministers, who are MPs at present, got disqualified when they were convicted in cases related to some scams in past few weeks. It is first step towards political decriminalization in India.

NOTA

In another famous case of People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs Union of India, Supreme Court has given a landmark judgement to make NOTA (None Of The Above) button mandatory in EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine) in elections from now on. This decision might seems pretty small because

  • NOTA votes count will be made public but they do not have any significance as of now,
  • Even if NOTA gets maximum votes, the person with next maximum number of votes will be declared as winner

For Ex:- If a constituency has 1000 votes and three candidates A, B, C are contesting elections. Now the voting results are something like this,

Candidate A –   150

Candidate B –   200

Candidate C –   250

                NOTA votes –   400

Total Votes                =  1000

In this case, though majority voted for NOTA, Candidate C will be declared winner.

As explained above, when there is no credible impact of NOTA on electing the right candidate, is it not a futile exercise to provide NOTA button in elections? Actually it’s not that simple. Though it seems like NOTA might not have much impact, its reverberations are yet to be experienced, like

  • As NOTA vote count is made public, Political parties will be cautious in selecting their candidate, because it will be embarrassing if NOTA votes are more than winning votes, which means majority people actually rejected all the candidates.
  • Though as of now it is not conceivable that re-elections be held in case of majority voting NOTA but may be in near future, when technological advancements make holding elections a quick and low-cost activity, we may see re-elections with fresh candidates by disqualifying all the candidates who lost to NOTA J
  • This provision of NOTA can slowly take us towards the significant “Right to Recall”. This is a right of voters using which they can disqualify a legislator (before his term is expired) by conducting election.
    • Actually this “Right to recall” has been implemented for Panchayati Raj system in Madhya Pradesh where in a village of Anuppur district the Gram Chairperson, a lady, was voted out. The ballot paper included two symbols, one chair occupied by a woman and another chair empty. As majority voters stamped over empty chair, the gram chairperson was voted out.

Now you believe, after seeing the prospective changes this NOTA button can bring, that its NOTA small change. Actually this button has a personal significance in my life. In 2009, I was excited about using electoral franchise for the first time in life and was discussing about it with a friend, he surprisingly said “I don’t want to take part in any kind of political activity in this country, it’s better to keep away from such $$^^%#”, and he was strongly supporting his argument saying, when all the politicians are criminals why should he vote to one of them and become a party of the criminalization, instead he sought to keep away from elections process. I had no way to convince him then, but with the advent of NOTA such an argument has lost its meaning now. It is time we, being responsible citizens of this world’s largest democracy, must actively participate in democratic process as “Voting is not just our Right but it is our moral duty to choose the right representative”. What say? Please share your thoughts…

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[Movie Review] Madras Cafe

“Criticizing national politics does not make you anti-national”, says the British war correspondent in SriLanka – Jaya Sahni (played by Nargis Fakhri) to the protagonist Vikram (played by John Abraham) an Indian army special officer, giving a hint to audience that this is not a movie made to praise army or blame politicians but to show the bitter truths of war. We rarely get to see any filmmaker in Bollywood making a political thriller, this film definitely stands out as its been inspired from all real incidents that brought India and SriLanka on tenterhooks, how Indian politics suddenly took a sharp turn and it paid price in form of assassination of its former Prime Minister. Interestingly director does not take sides, as he makes the conspiracy clear to the end that when two nations are confronting it is not just two forces but there are lot of other external forces acting from behind in their vested interests and how such interventions can change the world history.

 Madras_Cafe

The story is mainly based on SriLankan Civil war during 1980s which was never touched upon by Bollywood earlier. The movie begins with the disturbing scenes of war crimes and deaths in Jaffna area in the northern part of SriLanka. Then director unfolds the historic events of Indian Peace Keeping forces going to SriLanka, drives us through the political mistakes and military misunderstandings, the conspiracy woven by few foreign powers and how India fell in trap that LTF (a rebel group, inspired from LTTE) which was actually supported by India all of a sudden became its staunch enemy and started operating against Indian peace keeping forces. The LTF leader Anna Bhaskaran (inspired from LTTE Prabhakaran) is only concerned about Srilankan Tamils and he will fight till they obtain freedom, but can India afford it?

Vikram is an Indian Army officer who is chosen by RAW for a covert operation in Jaffna where the situation was going out of control. Vikram gets a team and given a mission but after going to Jaffna he realises the enemy in not outside but he may need to fight within. He meets Jaya, the British journalist, who helps him understand that the fight is not confined to few people but there are some influential people involved in the conspiracy. As Vikram tries to unravel the conspiracy of so called West, he finds about assassination plan of Indian former Prime Minister. Can he save the Prime Minister?

Casting has been chosen cleverly to make the characters look real as many were new faces or not so known except John Abraham, who carries the whole weight on him as story rotates between Jaffna, Kerala, Delhi, and Bangkok. Nargis Fakhri looks convincing as a British war correspondent, speaking only English in British accent. Other actors gave decent performances, two of them stand out – one is Rashi Khanna as Vikram’s wife Ruby who impresses both with her innocent looks and acting, other is Kannada stage actor Prakash Belawadi as Bala, Major Vikram Singh’s superior in Jaffna who succeeded to make an impression in the minds of audience in a peculiar character role.

The director Shoojit Sircar’s research gets reflected on screen in unfolding history. Movie lacks any twists or Bollywood style action sequences but still keeps you hooked with a fast paced narration. Apart from being a spy thriller, the movie makes one to ponder on how politics are actually played in international sphere that life of even national heads come at stake. Surprisingly, not just India lost its former Prime Minister but it lost the trust of its neighbour too and till now India-Srilanka relations have become no better. Though director claimed it as a work of fiction, it is known and commendable to make a movie on troublesome events of history which India would prefer to forget.

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Few reasons for being [Anti] Social Networking

Please don’t conclude by seeing the title that it is gonna be another boring lecture on anti-social networking by some orthodox. I know how much social networking has encroached into our lives today that we forgot to talk to people offline, in fact some people have completely forgot to live offline, so I can’t dare to go against it.

As a matter of fact I too have accounts in almost all social networking sites like FACEBOOK etc and I too use it for many reasons. So what’s this all about you may ask, here I’ve listed out something which mystified me about the social networking maniacs..

  •  One day I’ve seen one of my old friend posting few birthday party photos celebrated pretty grand and the link was titled “My Dog’s Birthday“. I was happy to see people started loving animals so much but was it really worthy to celebrate a dog’s birthday with a 500 bucks cake and boast it online. I wish she had used half of that money to help someone in need; they would bless her dog to live 100 years and the doggie would LIKE it 😉
  •  I never understood why people spend so much time “Growing Farms” and harvesting crops online. If they had used a little time to grow plants offline too, earth would have been a much greener and safer place to live. Recently people are catching criminals solving cases in Facebook, I suggest they join Police and help the nation too. 😛
  •  I was talking to a friend at home, HAAATTCCHHHH… he sneezed, immediately he pulled out his blackberry to update in FaceBook/Twitter “I sneezed”. Do we really need to update even trifle matters of life in our profile for the whole world to know??
  •  I find many friend requests every time I open my account in FaceBook, or any other social networking site, and it’s no surprise that most of them I’ve never met in life n I don’t think I will. Most of them (not all I say) send a request just to boast a large Number of friends they have or to peep into others life. Oh God! Why people are so much interested in others lives than their own?
  •  While stuck in traffic I saw something strange written on a bike “Don’t follow me now, follow me here – twitter/hottest-guy-in-town.com“. What a creativity 😛
  •  When someone asks “Shall we play something?” I’ll ask Indoor or outdoor, now-a-days when I ask “Shall we play something?” people ask me “Online or offline??”

By social networking I met some of my old friends with whom I lost contact long back, I’m very thankful to social networking without which it’d have been nearly impossible to meet them again. On the contrary I hate it so much because I’m losing friends in real world as many are happy to be friends online but never have time for friends in real world.

P.S: This post is just to say what I gained n lost by some websites, no offense intended. It is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental 😀

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Can u define Happiness?

Happiness, we use this word every day in several occasions, many people around me say they are still in search of happiness; some people always appear happy what may happen with the world around.

While travelling in train last Sunday, I was reading a Telugu novel ANDAMAINA JEEVITAM (literally translates to Beautiful Life), protagonist of the book asks his friend “How do you define happiness?” I just stopped reading for a moment and thought can I answer this. If someone asks me what is happiness for me what can I say, I got a few thoughts like this, happiness for me is…

–          When I just sit n chatter with best buddies for hours together and at the end no one remembers what we talked

–          Having dinner with all family members together

–          Playing with kids gang, no one more than 10 years old

–          When I see a cute kid walking with his mother/father on the road, and the kid smiles seeing me smile at her/him

–          When we all team members in office sit for a meeting and end up laughing n laughing about.. u know things at office right

–          When I meet a long lost friend and he/she says “You are still the same as you were in school/college”

–          When a close friend calls at midnight and says ”Happy Birthday” and I shout at him, “It’s not today idiot”

–          I message GOOD MORNING. HAVE A NICE WEEKEND at 2AM of Saturday and I get a reply from few night owls like me YOU TOO. LET ME SLEEP FIRST

–          An evening walk alone on a busy road, earphones on, listening to old Hindi songs

–          Playing for a competition, after losing a game when the opponent says “That was a brilliant game, bad luck you lost it”

–          After reading a good book, when I explain its greatness to a friend who has read and asked me to read it.

–          When I meet a teacher who taught me long time back, and before I say anything he/she asks “Hi Srujan, how are you?”

I wanted to ask everyone I knew how do they define happiness, but before that I thought I must know what happiness means for me so this post.

So what is happiness for U? This is my question to you, any replies..

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