Monday, January 23, 2006

Mumbai Diary

Hunter became hunted

The Mumbai Police has long been viewed as an efficient though it is corrupted. The last few years saw the dramatic decline of underworld activity in this metropolis due to the heavy crack down on these gangs by the special task force, popularly known as “Encounter specialists”. Some of the top officers hogged the headlines when they shot down many a gangsters and one of the prominent of them was Mr. Daya Nayak. He has 86 scalps to his credit! Not long ago, the officers were the heroes, the hunters of evil.
Last couple of weeks witnessed a dramatic turn of events. The hunter became hunted. Daya Nayak, the high profile encounter specialist has amassed wealth disproportionate to his known source of income. As a Police officer he earns Rs. 9000 per month. He has assets well over a billion!
It is a well known secret that police officers use ex-criminals and small time criminals to get information on big guns. But this officer is a latest example of the unholy nexus of Police and underworld. He accumulated his wealth by taking contracts to kill gang members and enemies of a particular gang. Now that’s the real policing.
He has been of late keeping a low profile foreseeing this coming his way and in hiding now. Once feared and now fearful.
He has applied for anticipatory bail claiming that if arrested the gang members lodged there would take revenge. My advice is “Don’t fear Mr. Nayak. Anyway most of your colleagues are there anyway. You can take some more contracts there and kill gangsters lodged there.

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Step Mother
Little Dhruta Kurlekar is recuperating in the hospital. Wondering who is she? She is in the news of late due to the treatment meted out to her by her step mom Vaishali Kurlekar. She made this little girl suffer too much. Burned, made to stand in cold water for hours on end, broken arm severe beatings etc.
It is beyond my comprehension that how someone could harm a little child so much. At her age she hardly understands the word hatred. But she was subjected to it too much. Are they not human? Don’t they have a thing called conscience?
The appalling thing is that what was the father doing while all this is going on? There is laws for child labor, rape and abuse but none for parental abuse. The perception is that maternal home is the safest place for a child. But this kind of incidents makes a dent in this perception.
This should be treated as a rarest of rare case and the guilty must be punished accordingly. It should be treated as a case of abuse of child and the punishment should be a lesson to all those who attempts to do it. There is a lot of kids suffer the same fate. Step moms are notorious for their treatment to their husband’s kids. But this case should act as a deterrent to them from inflicting pain on these hapless angels.
My heart goes out to little Dhruta. Get well soon angel. And don’t let one incident dent your confidence or the way you look at us. We are with you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Maneka; The Animal Police

Mumbai’s film makers are in a state of shock these days. These creative artists has long been the main stay of our society and our young generation looked up to them as role models. They have their freedom in expression and the general public was the final authority to judge their work. But recent incidents are any indicators, it is all going to change soon. So far it was all about their creativity and genius. A film maker finds a story, he shoot it and the public accept or reject it. Period.
A very public figure, a famous daughter-in-law (second only to Sonia Gandhi), and a former Cabinet minister, Maneka Gandhi, the fiery animal savior of India, is out to save all the animals of India. Her perception is that, no animal should be shown in a rude way. Recently a director conceived a story that unfolds in a jungle and has a man-eating tiger as a negative character. He send it to her for approval. Her question was “how can you show a tiger as a villain?” and told the director to look for some other story. She won’t approve it.
So tiger is pure-vegetarian animal, harms no one and should be worshipped! He is not a villain at all. Just ask the Borivili people!! In another film where rabbits where used and depicted killing them, she objected to it. But as Times Of India writer put it, it is just film ma’am. They show murders and rapes in films, and does that mean some human activists should object to it? There is a lot of gibberish she has uttered in the same manner. All this show the utter nonsensical approach towards creativity and genius. May she succeed in her ways because of lack of concern of the authorities towards the artists. After films she may turn her attention to some other fields. Just imagine the following scenario.
• Painters can’t show animals in their paintings in a rude manner.
• Newspaper can’t print their pictures because often this comes under the feet of people.
• Video games such as deer hunter, bird hunter must be banned
• All zoos must close because it has animals in captivity.
• Borivili public should shift to Palghar or Dahanu because tigers and leopards must be given first priority. (Borivili is the place where a lot of leopard attack reported due to the close proximity to National Park)
• Stray dog must be treated with respect (where street kids are dispensable)
• Slaughter houses can’t hang skinned parts as it is insult to the dead.
If her fantasy run really wide, she may imagine the following too.
• Every street dog should be provided with a home.
• Milk is meant for calves and it’s use must be banned (Same with meat, egg etc.)
And some over-eager human activist can pick her trail and demand the same with Humans. After all everybody is entitled to an opinion. But one must clearly understand the thin line between opinion and judgment.
Where are we heading? True, animals must be protected and treated with kindness, but her demands and perception is stretching it too far. Every director gets a permission to shoot from the respective boards/committees before he/she uses animals in the film. But every one has to convince her to get the approval is pure egoistic. Is she the only one concerned? Isn’t she mocking the censor board? Who is she to decide what is right and what is wrong? In a land where hero worshipping and god men prevail, she has gained a cult figure. A very adamant one.
The second one who is trying to control bollywood is our Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss. His proposed ban of Smocking on screen has attracted a lot of criticism and the new Information & Broadcasting minister, P R Dasmunshi put an end by saying “it is next to impossible to enact it.” A blanket ban on smocking was on card. Just think a film about Churchill without his cigar, a film about Devdas without drinks, a Documentary about Shah Rukh Khan without Cigarette. How would it feel?
The ignoramuses at top, at least try to, understand the complexities of film making,m specially getting a theme and putting it on paper and co-operate with them. Instead of hampering their genius by putting unnecessary roadblocks in their way. They are not barbarians who would kill for fun. They are responsible citizens who cares about their environment. May be better than you.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Lalu's cattlehouse dilemma

The new government of Bihar has issued another eviction notice to Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi. And this time too, the couple paid little heed to it. What are the motives behind the reluctance to move to their new bungalow, 10 Circular road?
For the last 15 years, Lalu was living in 1, Anne Marg, the official residence of Chief Minister. It is very difficult to leave a place where one has been living for such a long time. But the real reason behind the reluctance is something different.
Lalu has a big flock of cows, goat and such animals. He got around 200 cattle in his CM Residence., Finding a suitable accommodation for them is the first problem. The new residence offer less space and this means they have to shift their cattle to some other place.
Next thing is the defiance that is associated with this man. He is used to issue orders, not to take it. Now that he is at the other end of it, he finds it real hard to swallow and trying to create an issue out of it. That is why leaders of his party dared the government to evict them forcibly. He is adept in this kind of games and can turn a mole into a mountain and thus diverting public attention from his humiliating defeat and project himself as victimized.
Another strategy is to humiliate the CM, Nitish Kumar by not vacating the house. Nitish is stuck in no mans land. He can’t forcibly evict them. That will give Lalu an Image of a martyr, a much needed one for him. On the other hand he has to enforce the law. By not vacating, Lalu is doing more damage to this Nitish Government. He is proving that, rule or no rule, he is still above the law.
Those same bureaucrats who did all unthinkable things for Lalu has now switched ships. Lalu has bee quoted saying “The particular official who served the notice is doing tabar tod tel Malish (trying to placate) Nitish. He has been doing it for me the last 15 years”. This sums up his mood and his fear about a backlash of his own doings.
Delaying the in-evitable seems to be the mantra of the former first couple. But in the end, they had to move out from what is not theirs. This man doesn’t know how to do things honorably, it seems. The meaningless reasons such as inauspicious time and consulting astrologers is making him a laughing stock. Oh, I forgot that he IS the laughing stock of whole nation. May be it is his clownish image that keeps him doing anything with respectability.

Back in action

I am back after a couple of week's vacation in Kerala, my native place. Will be writing regularly soon. Just letting my hair down now!