30 November 2008

How will we avenge the Jalianwala Bagh that lasted for 3 days

They were dedicated, skilled and trained. They mapped their trail and were coordinated. They planned every single step. Their logistics was perfect . They belonged to an Islamic movement who believed in fulfilling their vision of Jihad. They took advantage of the many pot holes that our political, social and economic fabric inhabited. They also sought cooperation from those who believed in their vision. They were the unemployed youths who were on a mission. Their youthful instinct of becoming famous and terror makers were stimulated. They came to plunge, murder and kill. Above all they believed in themselves that they could DO. They took support from their allies. They spent time and energy and used their gray skills to accomplish a mission that they believed in steadfastly. They were sharp shooters in every sense of the word. That was what was unleashed for 3 days.

That is what the world saw - A dozen human beings accomplishing their dream of striking terror in the hearts of India and choosing Bombay as their middle ground. For 3 days they held fort and removed every obstacle that came in their way. They were successful in striking terror in a city where the spirit never dies. For the past 16 years starting from the March of 1993 bombs were planted in many cities in historical buildings, railway stations, bus stations and local trains. Every time after the bomb blast the city was cleaned, a few political briefings, media discussions and finger pointing characterized the aftermath.

And the next morning the bombayites took the train to study and work. I was one of them. We spoke about it for 2-3 days , but we put a brave face of resilience and moved on with life. We never touched an object or a box that was lying in a railway station or a bus. We never left our bag out of sight and we were alert in public places. Days passed by and we forgot what happened. We wanted to be bold and courageous and reminded ourselves that a small bomb cannot deter us from living our life. We were The bombayites ! the famous bombayites who had a bold and bindas attitude and are the role models for the rest of India. Ah ! the famous spirit – the undying spirit.During these last years the torch of resilience of a bombayite did not die Or we did not let it die.

And this torch flickered in the last 3 days. And some of my dear friends still had the audacity to take the train to VT (CST) and report to work on the 27th! Such boldness is not what we want anymore. We have the courage to protest against what happened for last 3 days. We have the strength to stand up and fight and demand from our leaders an action plan. We will be the Subhash Chandra Bose who will create an army and seek cooperation from those who believe in our vision of freedom from terror and fright.

We need to shake up from the conditioning of fear of the very leaders that we have elected who does not seem to be of much use when we need them. We should start succession planning in decision making and not keep waiting for time infinity to take orders from above or we will reach above ! We need to shake up from - what if ?, if then ?, but?, how can?, can we? We need to STOP tolerating atrocities on us. We need to be ANGRY enough to elicit an action from the governance. We are not forgiving or forgetting this time.

We need to believe that terrorism can be nuked. We need to accept that we don’t know many things and get help . We need to believe that this city is worth protecting and our country is worth protecting. We need to accept that what happened and what has been happening (innumerable deaths in Kashmir ) is UNACCEPTABLE. We need coordination and cooperation. We need better planners and strategic ones. WE need to step up. We need to climb up. We need to do it today. We need to be proactive not reactive. We also need to respond for what happened in the last 3 days and in the last few years.

We need to have value in spending money for equipping our law enforcement and security agencies with the best. Police stations should be retrained and conditioned NOT to be waiting for orders that paralyzes them. Technology should be updated and USED to bring about efficiency. Our police officers need to be protected to carry out their duty so that they shoot on sight than run away because they have outdated weapons and get scared when they sight suspicion. Conflict management should be moved out of the ivory towers to the very people on the line of duty. Above all as citizens of a country we need to have a sense of self respect and self worth of ourselves and demand accountability from the political bearers in office. All this has to be done ASAP, for if we WAIT on the sidelines there will be no ground to walk.

notes: jalianwala bagh massacre - "soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children" at jalianwala bagh in 1919

13 November 2008

call it by any other name but it is still called office politics

While the national politics and economics has been on the charts and has kept every blogger and every news channel buzzing i am instigated to write more local more near ... about office politics.

With so many institutions being "bought " and "sold " and many lay offs and firings that has been happening over the last 22 months and will continue to happen in the current quarter and the next , it is the people who have been able to win at office politics that has managed to stay in even at its breaking point.
Everybody knows that nobody is indispensable.You might be yesterdays great salesman but if you cannot deliver the goods today and more importantly if you are not the boss's right hand man, you will be asked to leave the office saying that there are budget cuts. Even when you are the best and the brightest you are logged out.
If you do not suck it up and generate revenue, you are shown the door. Are you hesitant to keep up with the technology in your field, the boss will consider you a liability.
If you are not adding value to your boss's promotion and the bonus or these days if you cannot do 3 peoples job you are shown the door.
At presentations to major clients, the person who is close to the boss's head (heart and.. ) is asked to present if you are leading the poll in office politics.

When your opinion is counted even if you are lower at the corporate rung, you are leading the polls at office politics.
when you are invited to lunch with the departmental head and higher ups evenwhen you 'really' should not be there you are ahead at office politics.
when you are asked to chair the meeting even when you should not be doing it you have a lead at the political game at the office.
Now the ultimate clincher - say if they are two identical departments during a buy in, the guy who heads the department and is the beer buddy to the final decision maker he will be asked to continue to lead and the other guy will be asked to pack up along with his workforce.

it is some kind of power that we all want to have. Call it by any other name - influence, PR, rapport, recognition, isn't that what we ultimately need to succeed at office politics. play the game and you will reign.

dear readers, take it away.

07 November 2008

Obama, World, India and Wings of fire.

I was posting a comment on Indian home makers post " why am I jealous of americans" and realised that the comment was becoming too long and hence this post.

The world is euphoric over the election of Barack Obama, presidential elect. As Vinod Sharma puts it "he is no messiah", but he is a bridge of hope. A face of reconciliation in the face of oil drinking politicians of America who ruled the world with their communist principles and violated their own constitution and came up with a book about the constitution. Just a day before Mayor Bloomberg of NY city amended the NY state constitution to run again for the third term while some citizens stood up to say that it is a bad idea while some others said it is good. However a student ( looked like she is from high school )stood before a large audience and said that the mayor is “cheating” by amending the election rules, to serve his own selfish interest.

Across the blogworld I read people from many countries honeymooning over the fact that Obama became President and wants one for their own country. Equally elated as I am for this election result I am dead sure that their was an Obaman moment and time in every country's history.

if you are from India or from Spain or France or South Africa we should know that you have your Obamas in your land. That is why you had a revolution and a renaissance in your history and freed yourself from apartheid. You marched against churches and against kings . You threw out queens who oppressed your people. But you forgot the momentous occasions and chugged on living a life and taking everything for granted and became lazy to stand up and fight in times of injustice put up by the very own government you elected. The same happened to America 8 years ago and sometimes in between. Tired, Intimidated and wounded American’s chose their Gandhi in Obama who was willing to stand up when nobody knew him.

We do not have to be envious of what America has chosen.In India we have had our Tilaks who brought the community together, Our Bhagat Singh who did not hesitate to kill the unjust, Our Bose, who thought differently from Gandhi’s methods and went out and created his own army and fought for what he believed in. Our Raja Ram Mohan Roy had the guts to marry a widow under stiff opposition from his landlord family breaking societal and cultural norms and Dr. Ambedkar who emancipated the scheduled castes and wrote the constitution. With time we forgot our moments of jubiliation.

Power corrupted British educated Nehru led and built the foundations of the Indian raj.People like Vallabhai Patel were reduced to no-nothing-phenomenon in the Indian parliament because Nehru and his croonies were scared of what he could do. Finally the dagger was put into the socialistic phenomenon of the Indian Raj and its ways by Narsimha Rao along with Manmohan Singh who finally emerged from the Nehru / Indira Gandhian pallu by liberalizing the indian economy.

India does not have to look for its Obama elsewhere. He was just there in power 2 years ago - Our 12th of President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam. He is “Our kalam”, a phenomena, like the nuclear test he and his team conducted in 1997 right in front of the eyes of the world.I first saw President Kalam and heard him in August 1996 at a convocation ceremony and realized that I was seeing one of the greatest men in the world at that very moment. In his 5 years of presidency he had a vision of and for INDIA –INDIA 2020. He is our today’s Gandhi. He is greater than Barack Obama, because he saw a vision for the largest democracy in the world to become the most powerful democracy.

President Kalam showed again that India has power and we can use it fearlessly and courageously. He stole the thunder under the feet of everybody he met and heard. I told proudly to my fellow class mates, the person who masterminded the nuclear test in India and held the world 's attention in 1997 is my president. { And if you must know the response of some of my Washingtonian classmates ( all navy, military and air force ) was, it is one of India’s most intelligent moment.}

Fearless and ruthless about possibilities President Kalam lived the phenomena in the face of contrary. As American’s rallied around their Obama, I wonder why we did not amend the constitution to extend one more term for Abdul Kalam, a scientist who studied among the portals of India's own educational institutions and became its 12th president.They say when we loose our faith we look back and when we worry we look around. India has what it needs to be the most powerful nation of the world. We failed to realize our power for many years and may be we were scared of unleashing the power when our very own nehruvian government oppressed us. And those who have realized the power are being killed, thwarted, ridiculed and put under house arrest. The country that carries the weight of intelligence and power among the millions who rallied around Gandhi in the non-cooperation moment is still the India (only better) who needs to recognize the voice and existence of President Kalam who lives among them.

We need to realize and recognize. Realization of who we are, what we are capable of and whom to choose in the government and Stand up. For five minutes in a day when we stand up to be a Gandhi and for another five minutes a day stand up to become a Bhagat Singh and for yet another five minutes a day to become Vivekananda we will have begun to create a phenomenon and recognize these phenomenon in others. And for 1 hour a day stand up and become a Abdul Kalam . If Gandhi became a “Mahatma” to the world for his Non-Violence and inspired Obama to STAND UP, President Kalam gave us ‘Wings of fire" in OUR times. The Obama that we are looking for is right here standing among our midst.

Notes: Mahatma Gandhi and Indira gandhi are not related to each other.And they are millions of miles apart of what they thought, talked and practised.

05 November 2008

notes of an historic moment

“While we breathe we hope" said Barrack Obama, the presidential elect.

Last night as the citizens and tourists were waiting in public squares and parks to hear the outcomes of an election many African Americans chimed , “We cannot believe it" after The black American had ran and fought so hard and long to oust the female blonde white democratic candidate to become the presidential nominee several months ago and now won to become the 44th president of america.(O ye of little faith). As I was flipping channels, Dianne Sawyer, a senior female blonde news anchor asked her colleagues, “how would Hillary be feeling right now?”. Screw you Ms Swayer, at one of the most defining moments when history was taking a turn and the stone was being etched, “my dreams have come true” this news anchor had the shameless nerve to even bring up such a conversation.

Freedom is never given, it is always taken. Independence and liberty to be snatched. Yesterday’s slave, today‘s president. From riding at the back of the bus to the highest office in the land to becoming the leader of the free world. For me, it was the epic point - the picture of courage of taking the responsibility of achieving ones dreams. of a promise of belief and faith in oneself. From an unknown senator 3 years ago, who could walk at the O’Hare international airport in Chicago without being recognized to the most recognizable face in the whole world. Citizens, majority of whom are whites turned out in large numbers (91% turn out in Connecticut) to vote, to remove the line of absurdity and vote rigging if the race was close. But the cows in the south just mooed as they always did. Finally last night the doors of the white house were kicked open to the voice of many who changed the color at the oval office. On the hallowed portals of the white house should be engraved, “I have a dream” (if it is not already done so) and “I believe in our dreams” by the president elect.

The effectiveness of a promise, the power of breath that is what we saw last night.

on a lighter note - have a cupcake.

02 November 2008

Nothing in particular and Why do I blog

Blogs was a happenstance to me in 2005. first was apartment therapy, when i searched for the word "apartment furniture" and from there i jumped towards reading many more blogs. some i left a comment and some i did not because i was plain lazy. with everyblog posting i walked away with something. why do i blog ? simple. so that my friends and family and neigbours do not have to hear my opinion on everything i think.

almost 4 years ago a person who met me for 3 days wrote to me that i should be putting my thoughts on paper. combing through websites, journals, databases both online and offline one walks through an overload of information that until and unless one sits down and thinks about it, a person seems to carry an unnecssary baggage of opinion, thoughts and perspectives and feels cluttered. i don't know about you, but that is how it has been for me. in also writing i found that it is a great way to analyze a pleothara of thoughts, the jumblings and the musings and walk away with something more clearer and something more solid. idealistic, uthopian, possibilities or plain old crazy wierd ideas if one were to do a brainstorming.

for someone who is always asked, how do you know this and is perplexed to answer to that question the blog seems to be the perfect answer. many a times i write impulsively behind an online name to write as true to my gut-opinions on the topic. right or wrong, extrememly pessimistic or optimistic does not matter to me. it is my way to jot down my thoughts somewhere which people can feel free to comment - agree, disagree or just do not comment. my blog is an attempt for me to clear my web of thoughts and move on to the next topic.

i have conquered fears, and anxities, gained confidence and able to assert, agree to disagree and formed new opinions. in the course people have asked me questions and sent emails even the long forwarding ones. but since my blog email is only for my blog it does not matter it just lies there in my inbox.

like everything ---blog --basically logging your thoughts online has the best or worst of both worlds. when i started surfing through the oldest browser"lynx" on a black and white monitor on a 486 i thought it was earth shaking. back then in 1995 i marvelled at colored monitors and would go to watch them because it was not available in my side of the campus. email was the clincher because we wrote emails to our friends in the universities and chatted using talk@username, we have come a long way now.

now we talk and write to people whom we think we know, but we don't. we exchange hellos and write to some bloggers when we have missed reading their posts. for some we see a face and many others we don't but we still chug on. communication has become instanteous and the social fabric of human beings to be connected is not being lost. Online or offline we want to be heard ..the nerve that makes us just human.

Having a blog as early as 2001 was a fashion till it suddenly became the rage in 2005 and now just like having many email accounts blog is just another phenomenon. Now what next after we have lost the charm. However it is amazing that how human beings will do anything to reach out and be reached..communication. Only if this kind of passion will exist to have some common sense to reach out to protect what is left of this earth. So let's subscribe to common sense, shall we?

And on a note..that is a much too familiar noise these days..

Most countries have national elections.if i am not mistaken canada's was just over ( i think ) and the world remains in bated breath to hear who will have finally emerged the winner in the US in two days. Most wait in fear that the elections will be rigged or votes will be fudged. There will be long lines at election booths, continued jibberings on the media and online ( the blogs will be fun to read at what really happened at the booths ) and many more voters will be turning out to cast their ballot to decide who will get the final job offer for becoming the US President. Finally just 2 applicants for the one of the most coveted job in the world, while many residents in this country and other parts of the world cannot get employment. Halloween was just over 2 days ago and holding that realm of thought i begin to wonder who is going to trick or treat us - obama or mc cain. But Hope is what makes a human being get out of bed next morning for a better future isn't it?

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