Voices

Voices That Matter

One of the most important topics that have come to debate in the recent past is the one where one’s culture is being influenced by the west. India is a culturally rich country having more than thousands of diversifying cultures which have their history dated back to the beginning , yet it has now fallen prey to the western influence. Thanks to globalization and education. In this forum I would like to bring to the reader’s notice that this has been written in a completely subjective note and hence it is merely voicing out my opinions.
The culture and heritage that we have inherited from our forefathers and ancestors have definitely created an identity for us, a one that has strongly established our existence in the world and making a stamp on everyone’s page signifying our importance and what we represent. There were/are some conditions and superstitions that we would question and yes we have succeeded in removing many forms of evil from our cycle. But at this junction right now, we are blatantly beginning to question the basic elements which are the roots of our culture. The questioning spirit brought about by the rise in intellectual knowledge has fuelled our inquisitiveness to an extent where we question our own identity (indirectly). Further the concept of the world as a global village has further reduced the proximity amongst the different nations thus bringing them closer. This has resulted in cultural interaction and learning one another’s culture. This interaction is very beneficial for all cultures as it educates the others and also increases their knowledge. It might also help them in a certain way to counter problems they face. However the people have now started blindly accepting the western culture without any basic questioning or logic. They have rather started to accept the culture largely because it is followed worldwide and is a pseudo trend. The world then believed that racially the westerners were superior to the rest of the world and now they believe that the lifestyle and culture of the westerners is the global standard for people and society. They however fail to realize that their own indigenous culture is the oldest and has some original meaning concealed in various layers and also it is the one which the world respects. Unlike the American culture which is borrowed from all over the world, ours is one which makes us proud.
We have seen people who forget their mother tongue to start conversing in English so that the world believes that they are educated and literates. We have seen people move on from dhotis and pajamas to jeans and t shirts. People have also moved on from roti and ragi to pizza and pepsi. Let us not forget our staple food is staple to us because it suits the climate and the weather and not because it is the only thing that we could afford. Let us remember that with questioning comes logical thinking and scientific reasoning. When 3/4th of the world respects India today, it is not because India is changing rapidly. Its because India has still managed to retain its vibrant culture even though so many centuries have gone past. Unlike what we do always we should not let our cultures go extinct and then try to revive it back. Rather let us set out on a path where we pay equal importance to all cultures and yet forget none.

safai

Safai Karmachari Andolan(SKA) is a movement to eradicate manual scavenging in India. Founded in 1994 by Bezwada Wilson along with S.R.Sankaran and Paul Divakar, it aims at total eradication of manual scavenging and rehabilitation of all scavengers for dignified occupations. Its mission is the liberation of manual scavengers from this caste-based, inhumane occupation which is spread across India. The Safai Karmachari Andolan focuses mainly on making the scavenger community aware of their rights and dignity. They also provide them with the advice regarding various legal issues.

Before having more discussion on SKA, we must first know

  • What is Manual Scavenging?
  • Who are Manual Scavengers?

Manual scavenging refers to the manual removal of raw and untreated human excreta from buckets or from the pits of simple pit latrines. According to Indian law 1993 the official definition of Manual Scavenger is:

“Manual scavenger” means a person engaged or employed, at the commencement of this Act or at any time thereafter, by an individual or a local authority or an agency or a contractor, for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of, or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in an open drain or pit into which the human excreta from the insanitary latrines is disposed of, or railway track or in such other spaces or premises, as the Central Government or a State Government may notify, before the excreta fully decomposes in such manner as may be prescribed, and the expression “manual scavenging” shall be construed accordingly.”

It often involves using the most basic of tools such as buckets, brooms and baskets. Manual scavenging is traditionally done by the members of the Dalit caste, usually from the Balmiki or Hela subcaste.

As per International Labour Organization there are three forms of Manual Scavenging in India

  • Removal of human excrement from public streets and “dry latrines”
  • Cleaning septic tanks
  • Cleaning gutters and sewers

In the year 1993 under the leadership of Narshima Rao ,the Indian Government passed The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act”.  punishes the employment of scavengers or the construction of dry  latrines with imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of Rs 2,000.  

Then in 2013 Government passed another actThe Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013″. The broad objective of the act is to eliminate unsanitary latrines and prohibit the employment of manual scavengers.

Despite progress, manual scavenging persists in India. According to the 2011 Indian Census , there are more than 2.6 million dry latrines in the country. It is most prevalent in Gujurat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Indian Railways is the biggest violator of these acts.

Thus to support them SKA was founded in 1994 by children of Manual Scavengers themselves for liberation from this ghastly occupation and dignity. Since then, it has grown progressively to become a national movement spread over 25 states of India, with the national secretariat in New Delhi.

While the primary focus is the rights of manual scavengers, SKA is also committed itself to working with all those engaged in ‘unclean’ occupations who fall within the ambit of ‘safai karmacharis’. SKA was instrumental in eradicating manual scavenging in as many as 139 districts, as of 2009.

In 2003 SKA along with its convenor filed the Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court.It was a major step in the eradication of manual scavenging.  They interestingly got an ironical pattern in the government responses. First, a total denial of existence of manual scavenging, next partial admission when they produced photographic evidence. Also they submitted a survey to the Ministy of Social Justice & Empowerment.

By 2007, the SKA felt the struggle was going too slow. The legal process had put the onus on the victims to prove manual scavenging existed. So they launched Action 2010, by which they vowed to end manual scavenging by 2010 by simply asking those engaged in the practice to leave the practice and find alternative work.

Strategic intervention’ for Action 2010
Year one – 2008 – ‘Occupational violence against Dalit women’
Year Two – 2009 – ‘stark reality of untouchability’
Year Three – 2010 – ‘Violation of Human Rights’

After the successful implementation of Action 2010, they organized Bhim Rath Yatra.

The Bhim Yatra is a journey of intolerance of the violence, discrimination and violation of our constitutional and fundamental rights. The journey is to expose the hypocrisy of the leaders and the shame of manual scavenging which is still rampant in the 21st century. It simultaneously spread Ambedkar’s ideas of social justice, liberty, equality and fraternity while proclaiming his war cry ‘educate, organise and agitate’.They also carried out Samajik Parivartan Yatra.

The Planning Commission of India constituted a sub-group on safai karmacharis with Bezwada as its convenor. The sub-group has submitted its report.

For Further details contact

Safai Karmachari Andolan
36/13 Ground Floor,
East Patel Nagar
New Delhi – 110 008
Ph: 011 – 25863166, 9311234793
Fax:011 – 25751482
Email.:[email protected]
www.safaikarmachariandolan.org

 

On November 30, 2016, the Home Ministry issued the order under Section 3, The Prevention Of Insults To National Honors Act, 1971 about the new rule of standing for the National Anthem in theaters. This new step brought with it a lot of controversies. People claimed it as dictatorship governance. They said it is a restriction to their expression and a non-democrative move. There were a lot of debates and campaigns went against it. Their opinion is we love India and we respect our national anthem. There is no need to show it. But my question to all of them is, why? What is the problem in standing merely for 52 sec for your National Anthem. If you already respect it, why can not you show it by standing for 52 sec? How can your freedom get harmed by standing for your national anthem?

This step is not to show others that you love your country and are a patriot but to show yourself that you love your country. If you observe you will realize that every small move of yours affects you psychologically. I know you love your country but love for anything is like the waves of a river, the overall potential is always the same but the depth varies here and there because of the flow. In the same way our love for the country is always equal but it’s existence in our life varies. For example, no one will disagree with this fact that on Republic Day and Independence day or any other National day, we feel more patriotic when compared to other days. It is not that you don’t love your country on the other days but it is just that you get busy with your work that you seldom get time to remember your country. Some time it happens with your family also. You miss your family’s affection very much some time whereas you miss it less some other time but if you give two to five minutes remembering your family, consequently your love for your family increases.

So this 52 sec of mandatory is made to make you remember your country everyday. And in my view no one should have a problem in this. Remembering your country at a small interval or everyday will only increase your love for your country. Neither it will question your freedom nor your democratic governmental environment.

India has more than 3,345 engineering colleges. Every year 1.5 million engineering graduates are passing out of these colleges. Nearly 33% of them run the risk of not getting a job. And for those who get a job the entry level salary is pathetically low. Most graduates are unemployable , a tragic reflection of the state of our academic institutions.

The curriculum in most engineering colleges is far behind when compared to the curriculum in other developed countries. Application oriented skills and innovative approach have not been addressed by engineering curriculum. The colleges do not involve their students in active , in-depth learning activities. Colleges continue to teach outdated concepts. Exams force students to memorize with no comprehension of basic concepts.

Even after 4 years of education in engineering colleges most students never feel connected to the subject. Most engineering graduates fail when they are asked to apply basic principles to solve practical problems. They are not able to do it and they need to be trained. The rote learning method has made the engineering students unable to think. They are unable to shift from unquestioning learners to innovators in job market.

India ranks 66th in the 2016 Global Innovation Index. Global Innovation Index is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for innovation and also success in innovation. Sundar Pichai , Satya Nadella and Shantanu Narayan are Indians. Then why is India lagging in innovation ?. Indians are capable of innovation but some factors restrict innovation in India.

Most Indians have the mindset of fulfilling basic needs , having comfortable lifestyle and being monetarily secure for future. Most people in the society are glued to ‘comfort zones’ which has resulted in job oriented frame of mind to have a comfortable future. Parents fear failure. They encourage their children to have a stable career which provides a good income. As a result engineers , doctors and MBAs are produced with the purpose of earning money. An innovator is not appreciated till he/she becomes monetarily efficient.

We lack in innovation because we are too busy earning our bread and securing our future. Indian education system kills the spirit of innovation among students. Instead of churning out engineers the colleges should empower the students to be capable of designing , developing and be more innovative.

 

“WHY I THINK BURHAN WANI’S KILLING WAS EXTRA JUDICIAL” – Kavita Krishnan’s article came up on my news feed..

The first apparent reaction and the expression i had was unknown to me until now… My first reaction was me being confused and the expression that i deciphered later on was a mix of disgust, confusion, disbelief, laughter and a phased out one.

Now i wont quote instances of Dr Shah Faesal (IAS) whoose father was killed by the Militants but still went on to become the topper or the numerous slain Army Officers and Soldiers dying everyday to achieve peace in the Area or other famous stories but a small instance that makes me believe that why Burhan Wani’s killing was just and the Army should receive Accolades for gunning the HM Commander Down.
I remember back in 2009 my father was posted somewhere in the valley (Army) where he befriended a kashmiri small time carpet merchant, now his home was in the interiors of Srinagar. The merchant very well knew who my father was what my fathers credentials were. He took us to his home deep in the interiors as we were on our way umm not in the army vehicle, neither was my father carrying a firearm nor without a Protection team neither was he dressed in the uniform, my dad confidentiality drove our tayaji’s Innova which Btw had a Punjab number. We visited his home as he invited us over. We had a Daawat. The entire family scrambled in action to arrange for our comfort.
Not that i ever thought of it at that precise moment but when i look back that if he had been the likes of anti army anti india… He could have easily handed us over to the terrorists and then that situation could’ve become the biggest news ever of an Army Officer along with his family being held hostage.
He too was facing from economic disruption poor facilities… His house and his shop were right where a small affair would lead to a curfew and where his shops would see its shutter down till gods knows of what length. He like any other father wanted better facilities. He like other humans wanted to succed. He like all of us was annoyed by the policies and promises by the govt.
He probably would’ve made alot of money the militants would give him for such a nice fish.

But he didn’t… He didn’t raise a gun he didn’t inflict blood he didn’t. He respected my dad’s friendship even though its difficult to stay where you could be BOYCOTTED, MARKED and even KILLED by the militants for having any sort of association with the Army.
That was day i realized that why Burhan Wani Like Elements can never succed can never make affects. Because amidst all those people who visited his funeral to pay homage to the Militant and those young boys who were payed a sum of Rs50 to pelt stones at the Security Forces lies one small carpet merchant trying to survive and earn a livelyhood like any of us. And is more than annoyed with the protests and riots and curfews due to which they are denied from their basic monetry income. And is annoyed to visit these funerals because if not present they would be marked by the terrorists.

Burhan Wani picked up his gun and went on to destroy the ‘n’ number of lives of the children, youth who he recruited to be a part of this deadly façade. These people were not willing to rebel he rather preyed on their weaknesses some wanted money for his mother’s operations some wanted money for his fathers broken shop some wanted for the wedding of his sister and some angry discruntled kiddo who had to much of an Ego to not let go his father’s slap in front of someone. He recruited them misguided them and streamed them into his way of thinking and lining. He manipulated them and took advantage. He disrupted peace and took lives of soldiers who have no motive to fight there because its not their native land but they laid their lives because its their MotherLand.
Burhan deserved to be killed.

Dear Britain,

Should you have voted to leave the EU by the time I wake up – don’t worry – I have a solution that should relieve both remainers and leavers equally. A moment comes, which comes but rarely, when we step from the old to the new….I’ve cracked the #Brexit conundrum!

Cameron needs to immediately apply for Britain to become a Union Territory of the Republic of India.
Whilst historically speaking it seems only right and proper to give India a chance to rule Britain for a few hundred years – it actually makes a lot of sense for the British too!

Worried about jobs? India’s economy is growing 4x faster than Europe’s and will overtake the entire EU’s sometime in the 2030s – becoming twice the size of the EU economy by 2050.

In economic terms alone every young Brit should wish to replace their garish red EU passport with a classy blue Indian one ASAP.

Worried about the future of the NHS? India already provides nearly as many Doctors to the NHS as the EU does – and that doesn’t even include those of Indian origin, born or educated, in Britain. 25,055 Indian v 30,082 EU.

Worried about diversity? With over 100 different languages spoken everyday and adherents of every religion – even Britain’s favourite materialist consumption – there truly is something for everyone here!

 

Worried about being understood? English is one of India’s two official languages – which will be a huge relief for all those have struggled to communicate with their continental neighbours for all these years.

Worried about not being part of something bigger? India has more than twice the population of the EU. Half of which are under 35, so the bonus is no more worries about an ageing population!

Worried about where to go on holiday? The Himalayas are nearly three times the height of the Alps and thousands of miles longer – there are more sandy beaches along India’s coastline than all the Costas you can dream of – and India has tropical rainforests and even a desert too! Plenty of visa free inter-railing adventures as well on the world’s largest railway network.

narendra modi

Worried about not being ruled by an unlected bureaucracy in a far away land? We’ve got that covered as well! Nowhere on the planet has perfected the shuffling of paper and writing of rules better than New Delhi – what’s more India’s civil servants salaries are more than 10x lower than Brussels. Talk about getting more for less!

British MPs, the whole of Whitehall and even the Royal Family (subject to the return of the Kohinor) can all be pensioned off at the fast expanding and internationally renowned Best Exotic Marigold Hotel chain in Jaipur.

Which would free up the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and much of Central London to become a permanent Bollywood film set. With more viewers than Hollywood this is sure to help keep London’s tourist economy going – which within a decade or two will be mostly Indians in any case.

Embrace the 21st Century. Swap Brussels for Delhi. Say Goodbye to Little Europe and Namaste to Incredible India!

Yours in waiting,
An Immigrant of British Origin,
New Delhi, India

  • U.S. makes efforts to mend ties between U.S. and Pakistan. U.S. has sent a high level delegation to Pakistan to restore the relations.
  • Members of the delegation include Peter Lavoy who is the Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the U.S. and Richard Olson who is the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • An official from The Foreign Office said that the agenda of the talks is to discuss issues pertaining to defense, done strikes and to negotiate on the Afghanistan issue.
  • The ties weakened due to divided opinions on Afghanistan peace issue. There views on India’s membership in NSG(Nuclear Suppliers Group) is also a cause of deteriorating relations between the two counties.

In the flight Two girls (seated  besides me) are Discussing about Americas elections and Mostly abut Trump

Me: hey sorry to interrupt where are you from ?

They: Hyderabad

Me: Cool,May i know who is the mayor of Hyderabad?

They : *some random names* and we don’t Remember actually.

Me: M.P or M.L.A of your Constituency?

They : (Speechless) looking into each others faces.

Me : Are you liberals?

They: Yes.
Me: you can carry-on with your discussion but kindly do know your ward counselor at least .

(The Remaining journey was completely silent )

Its not about this particular incident their are many issues from LGBT to legalizing of Weed,

if we ask why? America did therefore we should.

I like to end it with one Quote

Think Global act Local

Myth #1: Stoned driving is as bad as drunk driving.

Drunk driving kills 28 people a day in America, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Studies have not found similar results for driving while high, and it’s not even clear that marijuana even increases the number of traffic accidents.

Weed-Fever-Localize-and-Legalize

Myth #2: Marijuana causes brain damage.

This one resurfaced lately, based largely on one recent study in France. The study looked at the brains of 20 heavy cannabis users and compared them to 20 non-smokers (all participants were 18-25). Their brains showed differences in areas related to cognitive and emotional processing. The media ran with those results, claiming that marijuana reorganizes your brain. As the study authors explain, their results do not show this.And, even if cannabis use does cause changes in the brain over time, there is no evidence to show whether those changes are positive or negative.

tumblr_m14us7W3qb1r5kykt

Myth #2: You know what a pot smoker looks like.

It’s time we start baking in the likes of Justin Timberlake, George Clooney, Louis C.K., Bill Maher, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston, and Morgan Freeman. That’s just a brief sampling of celebrities who have talked about current usage.

Marijuana_is_safer_than_peanuts

Marijuana frequently gets a bad rap. How much of it is deserved? After my earlier blog, “Should Marijuana Be Legalized?” I conducted research to find out the benefits and problems linked with marijuana use. While there are many, here are ten of the health benefits attributed to marijuana and, of course, some of the problems linked to its use:

unclepot2ch0

Alzheimer’s—Marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research by the Scripps Research Institute and published in Molecular Pharmaceutics.

AnxietyHarvard Medical School found that marijuana may have anti-anxiety effects. Of course, keep in mind that high doses may increase anxiety and paranoia.

Cannabis_and_Our_Health

Arthritis—Marijuana can alleviate pain and inflammation linked to arthritis.

Cancer—Research in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics found that cannabidiol found in marijuana, turns off a gene called “Id-1,” which cancer cells use to spread.

Epilepsy—Marijuana has been shown in studies by Virginia Commonwealth University, to stop seizures in the school’s animal studies.

legalization-of-the-marijuana1

None the less, it can highly boost up our economy!

Now you say what’s your stand?

  • There are two elements to Putin – His power and his attitude.  Let’s assume he is able to bring both to the PM’s chair in India.All the ‘intolerance’ debate will end, because there won’t be any debate, except in hushed voices at Lutyens.  People will wonder if their drinks are spiked.
  • There won’t be any ‘dissent’ to speak of, and given the quality of dissent and opposition that we have currently, I think the quiet will be much welcome.
  • Pakistan will bottle up, or lose territory, lives and face, rapidly.The Defence Ministry will heave a sigh of relief, as it won’t have to be ‘considerate’ to useless, junk DRDO organizations, and be able to buy what our military needs from anywhere.
  • Kanhaiya Kumar will disappear, and I can’t say that will make me unhappy.  JNU will be very happy to have a cultural event by staging Ramayan, if they indeed call it a cultural event, the next time such tricks are pulled on us.
  • I’d hate to see Priyanka threatened, but Pappu will leave the country, and seek asylum- it won’t be in Italy.  More likely a banana republic with a runway just big enough for his private jet.
  • India will start winning more sports medals.  Indian journalists will start losing theirs.Arundhati Roy will suddenly get a spate of speaking engagements, none in India.
  • Most of all, in the Parliament, there won’t be any ruckus.He will win with a landslide if elections are held at the end of that six month term, for productive, development supporting Indians will vote for him in massive numbers and lame, lazy, protesting, freebie dependent, time wasting, ‘dissent’ oriented doofuses will claim the ballot was
    rigged.
Now we should all understand how tolerant the current BJP led government is and how all the weasels trying to undermine it are gloating despite
having zero qualifications to criticize!
This article is a answer on Quora written by Bala Senthil Kumar.

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