Mr PM, let’s defocus on corruption & start discussing honest officers! They can make Clean India with clean endeavours by clearing corruption!

demotivated-staff.jpgWhen demonetisation drive has already triggered rampant round of discussions on corrupt officials, I would like to divert the attention towards the life of honest government officials. Their agonies are unending and there is no taker for their plight. They are silent witness to lot many corrupt practices and can give a helping hand to govt machinery for smooth functioning of a nation. Let’s refer to the plight of one government official working with an autonomous body of Ministry of HRD who is paying a daily cost of being honest to his duty by losing his health, wealth, character and most important- his mental peace!

This Mr Clean officer is continuously being harassed by his seniors and co-workers, who work hand-in-gloves, to accomplish their self-seeking vested interests.

His role keeps on changing every month without giving any specifications/ reasons. His work station too keeps changing in short tenures as he disallows his employees to earn through wrong channels.

Eventually, over a period of time, he starts living on the mercy of his officials with his job description changing every month.

He often plays the role of whistleblower when he gets to know about rampant irregularities in his office, only to get penalised in his endeavour to keep his office working clean. He continues informing his authorities, senior authorities, member secretary and chairperson about such malpractices along with suitable proofs, but all in vain.

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credit :satyamev jayate+vida manejo

All through this process, his trust on Satyamev Jayate doesn’t get shaken and he continues his fight. His co-workers lure him to join their endeavour but he maintains a distance from them. This is because his values never allow him to compromise.

In return, he gets transferred from one location to other frequently, from south to west, from north to east and what not. The cost of his honesty is being paid by his family who feels tormented with such penalties. He gets trapped in concocted plans of his co-workers. Still he doesn’t lose hope and continues fighting. His seniors keep tormenting him after issuing memorandum after memorandum. And he keeps replying to them without breaking the chain. His corrupt colleagues get frequent promotions and this poor fellow is asked to make endless waits for the same.

The corrupt senior authorities take the mileage of absence of transfer policy in his office and keep scaring this poor man of the same.

His other co-workers keep luring him to earn money via illegal means to safeguard his future. But, he being strong on his principles, refuses to compromise at any cost!

With his limited saving, he takes court’s shelter too. But the power and money-hungry officials here too use their power and govt money to emerge out as winners of the game. They bring entire corrupt machinery together. They hire the best of the advocates to prove this innocent man guilty through hook or crook.

They initiate unwanted inquiries, ask their co-officials to travel from one headquarter to another to chalk out right strategy, pay hefty fee to advocates while wasting lakhs of government money.

And this common man, amid all ‘rich and royal’ officials, start dying a slow death. His blood pressure keeps fluctuating. His visits to doctor keep increasing, his medical bills continue to rise and his family’s sufferings refuse to end.

Now, Mr PM, can you please answer the following questions, as they could end the plight of such honest government officials?

What should an employee do if the entire staff is indulged in corruption?

What should he do if the senior authorities do not lend their ear to his grievances?

What should he do if all corrupt officials join hands against him?

What should he do if despite having all proofs, he still gets transferred quite frequently for one or the other reason?

What should he do if he feels demotivated and gets suicidal because there is no senior authority who takes a positive stand after listening to his grudges?

Looking forward for a reasonable solution from a man who has made a mark on global world with his prudent moves and who is looking forward to a clean India!

Why ‘No Crackers’ & Why Not ‘No ACs’, ‘No papers’? Nature has to be saved each day !

‘No crackers’ goes the message everywhere in schools. My kid comes with the message saying we won’t use crackers this time.

I felt proud. On Holi also, he had said we won’t waste water for Holi. But I wonder why teachers never teach him ‘No ACs’ or ‘No Papers’? Why they never say that let’s stop using air conditioners in summers. Why they never make them learn plant saplings around which can grow up to give them shade under scorching sun?

I also wonder why they ask them to submit tonnes of projects on paper sheets and why they never argue that let’s preserve paper!

I also wonder why they keep making choices according to their comfort and not go calculative! I see entire nation pleading for no crackers, but why no one is going to the root cause of forest depletion, drying rivers, soil erosion and so on?

Is the goal of sustenance only meant for a day or a two or is it meant for each day? I think we are confused! and I remember Mansoor Khan, Bollywood producer, who produced QSQT and JJWS, opining that schools are teaching delusions these days and here lies the problem.

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Mansoor Khan, renowned Bollywood producer in his Acres Wild Farmstay

It might be because growth is of paramount importance to us and this is why we are asked to compromise on certain parameters.

And so we obediently compromised and allowed the growth to progress at the cost of lush greenery, forest depletion, drying of rivers, depleting natural resources and vanishing soil components from ground!

But is this real growth? Are we really growing by killing our own natural resources?  Should we genuinely follow this growth model?

At a time when the brain starts asking such questions, I suddenly remember my discussion with Mansoor.

Speaking to him for one of my stories in Rail Bandhu, Rural rustic Charm, he said, “Cities form centres of cancer and tumour. They build nodes of cancer, suck everything like salt, water etc and pollute the surroundings! By killing everything, these cities take us on developed path.”

It was twenty three years back, this man left the life of Mumbai to start his living in lush green surroundings of Coonoor.

Here he is indulged in organic farming and teaches cheese making to his guests off from the city life, he has hills surrounding his residence.

According to him, it’s interesting to share knowledge, encoring people to shift ideas. His opinion is that dwelling in village life is like imparting a real education. By leaving no water, no soil, no resources, no relationships, what are we leaving for our future generations?

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 A real life lesson: Kids are happy when introduced to rural life!

On present education system, his views were quite surprising. “Schools are teaching madness, we are running after growth model and this model has failed everywhere. Name any country and see how far it has been able to sustain this growth model.”

So don’t you think it’s the time to think for long-term sustenance of resources. Let’s build eco-friendly measures not for one or two festivals but for each day or else we are going to be big losers. Let’s not allow growth to take us on de-growth path.

We need to learn from tribals who have preserved their resources despite all challenges. A time to think seriously!

As their folk music keeps fading, they sing with a pinching pain

There is an international group all set to rock the stage! While the guitarist is an Australian, the tabla player is an Indian artist residing in Australia. The other two hail from a small village in Rajasthan and are experts to engage the audience with their mastery in their folk music. The duo belongs to Langa and Manganiyar community. While the first two bask in pride of their performances, the other two folk singers sing with a pinching pain, narrating the tale of their sorrow to see their age-old folk music lying on ventilator, sighing on a death bed.

 This group comprises Jeff Lang, Asin Khan Langa Bobby Singh and Bhungar Khan Manganiyar. It was in 2011 when they introduced Maru Tarang, a music band which came into existence in Mehrangarh Fort.

All four of them are from different regions, enjoy different culture, have different roots, yet they form one entity! The local folk artists gel well with Australian artists and prove the fact that music knows no boundaries. They travel together, eat together and sing together!

When they assemble on stage, rendezvous of melodies flow with harmony of music and a feel factor is developed which keep enthralling the audience!

Despite differences of culture, they share an understanding which allows them to perform together.

Meanwhile, Asin Khan and Bhungar Khan are not well-versed in English speaking skills, but they feel one factor, which is taal factor(rhythm’) while performing on stage.

dsc_0034They sing, they sing with heart, but there is a pinching pain in their voice, a pain which narrates the sorrows of their community, of their folk music which is dying a silent death.

The two artists narrate how this art is leaving its roots as the schools who used to train them are vanishing, disappearing in want of sufficient funds from government.

They are in dire need of funds! Are the NGOs listening?

Hoping against the hopes, they have taken their art on global arena, dreaming, that some day, their art will manage to rise from abysmal depths to mark a mark on the global stage!

She comes to graze polythene everyday, but there are no rakshaks to feed her!

Amid the ongoing drama existing between the gau rakshaks and the so-called authorities concerned, I have been seeing this cow regularly visiting on a vacant plot to graze what it is called as polythene.

It was somewhere around a month back when I saw the drama related to ‘cows’ escalating and then suddenly it rose to its peak. There were fights on roads, debates in newspapers and din in our House. However, unaware and least bothered about recent happenings, this cow visits our colony twice a day to find something for her, which can fill her hungry stomach.

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Initially, it seems, she waits for someone to come and offer her an adequate diet. However, when she sees no ‘rakshak’ coming to her rescue, she simply goes to a heap of garbage, where there are sufficient number of polythene, which help her get that filling feel.

This mute animal has been totally unaware of how she has been the centre of all debates and how there have been attacks and assaults on streets with ‘she’ being the point of all discussions. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to pitch in to placate this issue, but the plight of this poor animal remains unchanged.

Even the recent case of Hingoriya where carcasses of cows were found tell the pathetic tale of the plight of our ‘mother’ in India.

It’s Janmashtami today and what I know is that Lord Krishna and cows were always together. In fact, Krishna had been a cowherd boy. Today, people are thronging to temples to offer their prayers. There, I see them bowing their heads in front of cows too. Different temples are decorated and there are cows in each and every tableau decorated. But in real world, these cows are left on their own on streets.

Are the go rakshaks listening to the sad tale of this cow? There may be many other cows who have the same story to share, but may be, they are silent, knowing there is none whom they may approach.

Despite several go raksha samities, why the plight of cows is so pathetic in India is difficult to understand. Any answers???

Another sad tale to gau mata’s chapter  in India!  sad!!!

A half told story of a Kashmiri driver!

  1. We want peace in valley, but our plight remains painful
  2. We have got saffron, we have got almonds, we have got apples, we have got tourism; we could be the most bubbling economy if we are allowed to be on our own
  3. No Madam, our girls can study, go to college, cook at home, but they can’t go to places like movie halls or restaurants.

Today when I switched on the TV, my heart went out against all those who are turning paradise into ruins, the once described heaven, it seems, has turned into hell.

Sitting inside my house, I was forced to think whether all Kashmiris are triggering this violence or it’s just a chunk of people who are getting into violent mode.

Then, I suddenly remembered one of our drivers who had shared his free, frank opinion about Kashmir during our recent trip to Srinagar.

It was my seventh month of pregnancy when I had the urge to explore paradise on earth. And we went to this paradise.

This driver had a concern to drive carefully knowing I was expecting. He was there with us for three days and believe me, these three days kept me giving shock waves ,as and when he kept sharing his thoughts with my family.

He was very clear to share with us the fact that they ( according to him all Kashmiris) want independence, independence both from India and Pak.

He was candid enough to spill out that Pak just wants to cash in on the situation which we will never let it do.

He also had an intelligent reply in store. “We have got saffron, we have got almonds, we have got apples, we have got tourism; we could be the most roaring DSC01713.JPGeconomy if we are allowed to be on our own,” he said when asked about his concern for his state.

Aren’t there any theatres, movie halls? I asked when he was taking us to Lal Chowk.

“Madam, there were eight movie halls in Srinagar and they all are burnt and damaged.”

“In Islam, girls are not allowed to go to restaurants, movie halls, pubs etc. We don’t follow the culture you people follow in India.” He was going on, may be he got an inquisitive female in his cab after years.

“Don’t you think you should come out of such thinking in modern era?” I asked him.

“No Madam, our girls can study, go to college, cook at home, but they can’t go to ‘such’ places.”

By this time, my head was aching. May be, there was too much pressure there…after listening to his views.

We cancelled off our Shikara ride as I was in no mood.

I asked him if he can come the next day a little early to take us to Gulmarg and we will go for shikara ride in the evening. He was very much ok with the idea.

However, heavy snowfall started by 10 pm which continued all through the night. Roads were blocked, and hence he couldn’t turn up the next day. But his call came expressing his disability to reach our hotel as the weather was extremely harsh.

Meanwhile, we kept ourselves packed in our rooms. There was no electricity. And the views of this driver were bumping in my head.

“If these are the views of Kashmiris, what’s going to be the fate of this state?” was my only question.

One day passed. Snowfall continued and our flight was cancelled.

A day later, he called up again, “Sirji sorry, aapko ghuma nahi saka. Mere baton ko dil pe mat lena.”

And my husband said “ok”.

I was wandering if I could get some more viewpoints, but, the story was half told or may be fully told…which I am still trying to understand.

And may be the plight of government remains the same…they too are still trying to understand the plight of so-called ‘Kashmiris’.

Poverty pays them in royal Amer Fort!

IMG-20160706-WA0013Poverty prospering and thriving in the once royal corridors of Amer Fort! Surprised..! Isn’t it? But then, it is true!

During my recent visit to Amer, I could see poverty glancing through the royal jharokhas (windows) of Amer Fort!

While taking steps to reach on top of the fort, there was this little girl, must be 8-10 years, chasing each and every tourist, to get some money.

In her endeavour to approach me, she caught my skirt and asked me, “Didi, do ek ya do rupey) (give me a rupee or two). I was surprised and I stared at her. Then because of some reasons, I started talking to her. I asked her if she was well-versed with the art of counting and she expressed her inability. She replied in denial when was asked about her school and education. And our conversation continued…

“What will you do with this money?” I asked.

“Will give it to my parents,” she replied.

“What will they do with this money?” was my next question.

“They will bring rice, aata(flour) and vegetables,” she replied with innocent eyes.

I gave a five rupee coin to her and her eyes were shining bright. On seeing this girl getting a Rs five coin, other kids, who too belonged to the ‘have not’ world, came running.

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A boy, elder to this girl, was confident enough to come to me and say, “Didi hum sab baant lenge.”

Rs five and you all will distribute? I asked.

He was really confident. “I know counting and he started counting. I always take the money and distribute.”

Survival of fittest was evident here too.

He snatched the money and the entire group of children surrounded him.

But this entire incident forced me to think are we really on the path of development? Are we really serious for child education? If yes, why these kids are not stopped when they beg daily. Why they are not enrolled to school?

Are the NGOs listening? How can we let our future beg in front of foreign tourists? Need some answers but am clueless…Any suggestions? Is another Slumdog Millionaire in the making?