Sunday, 28 December 2014

Setting off a journey almost after a year and a half was exciting me... Travelling together with my close knitted family was an experience in itself.. Time and again I recall my 18 km walk journey to the temple.. Enroute I get the chance to encounter exotic species which are just impossible to find in metros... The beautiful birds dot the cable lines,
Stars... We'll if u live in a metropolitan city, you will just find them in ur books... However, I got a special chance and I still cherish that moment as I was Travelling under the starlight sky... I could figure out some constellations too... Seriously - the polar bear....
Our sole vehicle was moving in between the vast expanse of dry land.. Specific to Rajasthan and a sheet of sparkling stars covered us... Ohhhbthe feeling was just awesome... The small shrubs, the cactus, the tree with no leaf has its own story to yell about the geography of the land..
The snake like twists and turns of the road reminds u that yes aravallis are the oldest fold mountains for.the world.. The  land covered with dust emphasizes th endpoint that u r in the desert state of India.. As my journey was progressing, I had the first hand experience Of watching the real royal Rajasthani havelis - intricate carvings on havelis...I was sooo close to the coldest place of Rajasthan-churu...
When it comes to food,I had the typical marwari spicy dishes.. The food was simply lecker that suited my taste buds... Colors - ?he vibrancy that one will find here can be found at no other place on this earth... Woo many colors on a single piece of cloth... WOW... The unlimited chatter.. Those sleepless nights..  

My Pilgrim Travelogue!!

Early Friday morning, I set off for my journey to RAJASTHAN. The simple thought of visiting Khatu Shyamji almost after a year and a half enthralled me... Travelling together with my close knitted family was an experience in itself.. As I was passing by, I could recall my 21 km walk journey to the temple from Reengus.. If you are a nature enthusiast, you will surely get the chance to encounter exotic species which are just impossible to find in metropolitan cities... You can see several beautiful birds dotting the cable lines.
Visit to khatuji was followed by a visit to Jeena Mata temple  ...

As the first day came to its end, I looked up at the universe and realized - Tranquility is not always found within.. Look up at the universe.. The sparkling twinkling stars and the shining moon can too be tranquil...

The next destined place was to visit Salasarji followed by Rani Sati ji temple...as I was passing by, I experienced rich Rajasthani terrain -

Stars... Well if u live in a metropolitan city, you will just find them in ur books... However, I got a special chance and I still cherish that moment as I was travelling under the starlight sky... I could figure out some constellations too... Seriously - the polar bear, saptarishi etc....
Our sole vehicle was moving in between the vast expanse of dry land - Specific to Rajasthan and a sheet of twinkling stars covered us... Ohhh the feeling was just awesome... The small shrubs, the cactus, the tree with no leaf has its own story to tell about the geography of the land..
The snake - like twists and turns of the road reminds one that yes aravallis are the oldest fold mountains in the world.. The  land covered with dust emphasizes the point that you are in the desert state of India.. As my journey was progressing, I had the first hand experience Of watching the real royal Rajasthani havelis - intricate carvings on them caught my imagination...
Also, I was sooo close to the coldest place of Rajasthan- Churu...

Food - When it comes to food,I had the typical marwari spicy dish which was simply lecker that suited my taste buds...

Colors - the vibrancy that one will find here can be found at no other place on this earth... Soo many colors on a single piece of cloth... WOW... The unlimited chatter.. Those sleepless nights.. Crazy photographs.  All of this made my trip all the more memorable

- Bis Mittwoch!! :-) :-D

Saturday, 22 November 2014

DIPLOMACY - PART I

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Today, I was just going through an article on DIPLOMACY (one of my favourite topics) and I just found out some real good stuff therein. I wasn’t aware until today that an Italian philosopher had such concurring thoughts with India’s one of the most brilliant statesman’s minds. Eh! Confused? Well, here I am talking about Machiavelli and Chanakya. Both of them were such great luminaries who belonged to two different eras but had similar notions when it comes to diplomacy. 

Chanakya displayed his vision and the ability of being the most remarkable statesman when he spelt out his views in Arthashastra. According to him, the King should have friendly relations not just with his immediate neighbours but beyond that to encompass the whole world. To him and Machiavelli, ambassadors were important but their main role was that of intelligence gathering. In his treatise, Chanakya has eloquently elaborated on duties and conduct in enemy’s court. They both concur on one more point which is related to the beginning of successful diplomacy. It is pertinent that before sending an envoy, the nature of the sovereign is fully taken into consideration. Apart from it, a general analysis of the political situation and the personality of the audience in the enemy state should also be considered. Both thinkers were of the view that treaties were meant to be broken. They both agreed upon to lull the enemy and to bind him into an agreement with a false sense of security. 

Coming back to Modern India phase when India just got independence from foreign rule, a major task was put on the shoulders of an aging yet strong leader – Sardar Patel. With his tact and perspicacious diplomatic style, he outmanoeuvred all. India was a fabricated union of 550+ small confederacies at that time. In fact, calling it a UNION would not be apt as the situation in some states like Hyderabad and Jammu & Kashmir was volatile. He used it all – appeasement, military, coercive, cultural, track II diplomacies and finally knit India as we see it today. 

Since then, not much has changed in this genre. With changing times, only style has changed a little bit. There are several unique forms of diplomacy as we see today. They were thus formulated because it was the need of that particular hour. Remember the Ping Pong Diplomacy which was the result of backchannel diplomacy between USA and China. Oh this was remarkable as it displayed the spirit of how estranged enemies can become friends on face using sports as a medium. 

Dollar Diplomacy was another such invention to further US’ aims in Latin America and East Asia. The term was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt and it was done to use economic power and prosper both the foreign land and the American investor. 

Track II diplomacy is now what is being used by state and non-state officials to resolve a conflict. At the moment, I can think of PM Nawaz Sharif coming to PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in spite of attack on Indian consulate in Herat, Afghanistan as the perfect example to show that Track II diplomacy negotiations followed.

After Sardar Patel and Henry Kissinger, I have found the same zeal, passion and a visionary foresight in our current PM Modi so far as diplomacy is concerned. He very well knows how to sell ‘Brand INDIA’ in a foreign land. In such a short span of about 5 months, he has made 8 foreign trips and stressed on the strength of our massive 1.2 billion population. He has also conceptualized other forms of diplomacy (which will be covered in my next blog) like Twiplomacy, Digital Diplomacy, Neighbourhood First Policy, Act East Policy, Fast Track Diplomacy and Para Diplomacy. I will cover each of these in my next blog section. 



Friday, 3 October 2014

CP - Mera Jahaan !!!



Koi waqt tha jab CP me mera jahaan basta tha...


German seekhne ke junoon ne mujhe pehli baar muje is jagah se rubaru karaya...


Wo waqt hi kuch aur tha,,, wo sama hi kuch aur tha....


Padna to sirf ek bahana tha,,,, Wahan to yaaron ka kafila tha....


Kayi dost bane fir bichad gaye... Nayi kadiyan purani se judti gayi... aur hum bhi badte gaye...


Wo chappa chappa jab us jagah ka humse waakif ho gaya to laga jannat to yehi naseeb honi hain...


ZIndagi ke sabse khushnuma aur haseen pal wahin jo bitaye the aakhir...


MMB ki canteen ke anokhe sesame toast aur cheese macaroni purane palon ki yaad dila jati hai…..


Ab to na jane kitni hi galiyan humari hasi ki khilkhilahat se waakif ho chuki hai….


Kabhi guzarte hain jab fir unhi galiyon se… Ek sama sa bandh jata hai… 


Mud chalne ke liye usi raaston par jahan CHA BAR ek bahana ho jata hai….


Wo Student Journalism ke bahane HT ki building me ghusna and wahan doston ke sath pal bitana aj b bahut yaad aata hai


Wo sard me hamari CANNING LANE (jo ab PT. Ravi Shankar Prasad Lane ban gayi) ki coffee bahut yaad aati hai


Wo Agrasen Ki Baoli me purane dino se rubaru ho jana aj bhi bahut yaad aata hai 


Wo Vakil Lane, Todar Mal Lane, Hudson Lane, Hanuman Mandir Lane aur na jane kitni hi anginat lanes usi khushi ko talaashte talaashte yaad ajati hai


Wo Bengali Market ke gol gappe aur Himachal Bhavan ka soup purani yaadein fir se jawaan kar jata hai


Wo Pragati Maidan tak paidal chalna sIrf doston ke saath kuch aur lamha guzarne ke liye bahut yaad aata hai..


Wo Rajpath aur India Gate ke galiyare bahut yaad aate hain… Kabhi hoti thi hamari bhi panchayat wahin….


Wo Janpath ki shopping, Wo Lajpat ke ek flat me yaaron ke saath hasna hasana bahut yaad aa jata hai


Wo Rau’s me 9-6 ke lectures bahut yaad aate hain…. 


Wo American Center ke din… Lambi line me khada rehkar dusron ki baatein sunna sunana bahut yaad ata hai…


Ek waqt tha jab waqt to tha par paisa nahi.. Aaj paisa hai to shayad waqt kahin gum sa gaya hai…


Kamate rehne ki is justaju me sab kitne duur nikal gaye… 


Manzilein bhi alag ho chali magar kinara duur hi raha..


Shayad yehi dastur hai… yehi dastur hai….





Friday, 5 September 2014

A Day To Pay HOMAGE to Those Who Made Me What I Am Today!!

INDIA, one of the ancient civilizations is a testimony to the teacher-pupil tradition since time immemorial. There are records preserved in the National Museum of the country that show that this tradition has been into existence for thousands of years. The documented version of this fact could be found in one of the greatest epics - Mahabharat. It was Lord Krishna who taught his friend cum disciple Arjuna the LAW OF KARMA on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 

So, what role DOES A TEACHER PLAYS INTO EACH ONE OF OUR LIVES?

In my opinion, Teaching is that exemplary profession that creates all other professions. The teachers play a remarkable role in helping, shaping, guiding and inspiring us and make us a civilized human beings. 

On this day, I would like to thank and remember all the teachers who have made me 'WHAT I AM TODAY'! It is the relentless effort of these beautiful guides who has always been there to show me 'THE RIGHT PATH'. 

My School - SOMERVILLE SCHOOL was my First Temple of Learning. Herein, I was lucky to be in the company of some of the wisest and brilliant minds. No teacher had the same temperament but each taught some of the greatest lessons of life - THE MORAL VALUES!

 It's been 7 long years now that I am out of school but even today, I thank my mentors on each achievement (regardless of how big or small the achievements are). Some of the few names that I would really want to mention here are those of Shaw Ma'am (KG), Devika Mam (IInd Std - English), Arundhati Ma'am (IIIrd Std - Hindi), Simon Sir (IIIrd, IVth, Vth - Science), Jose Sir (Vth - Maths - the strict one too), P. Kumar Mam (Maths - IVth - Again the strict one), Varghese Mam (VIIth - Maths - kind and gentle), Bent Sir (Music - throughout - children and guitar lover), Vinita Peter Mam (X - English - Teacher Class Apart), Esther Mani Mam (English - XI & XII - I owe my Academic Secretary Title to you Mam ♥♥), Devender Sir (Business Studies - How Much I Miss The Fun Eating While You Gave Lecture), Radha Devi Mam (Maths XII - Always Ready To Help).


All of you will always be a special part of my memory and my life. Two other mention are important here. James Mam (Hindi) & Lawrence Mam (History) were the most stringent teachers I had ever seen. But, attending their classes was fun though!

Moving on to College, the number reduced drastically. But I will always be obliged to NEERAJ SIR (Professor of HISTORY). It was him who acquainted me with the works of notable luminaries like Prof. Irfan Habib, Prof. Bipan Chandra, Prof. Eric Hobsbawm, Mushirul Hasan, William Dalyrymple and many of the likes. He ignited in me the spark to pursue History in depth and take it to the next level. (At school level, I hated it but under his guidance, I realized it was my forte). It was his faith which he reposed in me and I came out with shining colors throughout at the college-level pedagogy. 

The early morning lectures of Vandana Joshi Mam (History) were so mundane that I did not enjoy them then. But it was her who apprised me with the European world. The stupendous thoughts propounded by Romantics, Protestants, Anglicists, Orthodoxy and the likes instilled in me the fervour to know more. The Renaissance and the Reformation era was one of its kind.  

I cannot forget Jeevan Sir (History & Human Rights) as well. I still remember the day when I revisited the college after two years and he still called out my Name with Surname..
That one little gesture meant a lot to me.. :) :)

Next, I would like to thank my cute little Santa Sir (Dua Sir) my Travel and Tourism Management Mentor. He was always so kind and generous not just towards me but to all children. I miss his Christmas Parties  alot and the Pizza Parties that he used to organize quite often. It was soo good to be with you Sir.

Lastly, I would like to take this wonderful opportunity to thank my MAA who made me the person Who I AM TODAY!! It's her teachings and moral values and the legacy that I am taking forward. She taught me so much in such a short span of time. You were always there for me - Pushing ME. Guiding ME. Always to Succeed.

You Showed ME, When I Was Young Just How To Grow!
You Showed ME, Everything That I Should Know!
You Showed ME, Just How To Walk Without Your Hands!

 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Is 21st Century an Asian Century?

"21st Century is an Asian Century"
                                                         This dictum is doing rounds these days in the global geopolitical scenario. As the popular precept says "The Sun Never Sets in East"!!!  is somewhat sounding to be true.

 Well, I had a strong belief that this century is not apparently witnessing an emergence of Asia. Instead, it’s the re-emergence of ASIA. There used to be a time approximately two centuries ago, when INDIA & CHINA proved its mettle in the world trade and drew the attraction of Western powers at such distant lands. In the name of strengthening civilizational ties, the Westerners crossed trans-Atlantic regions to reach trans-Pacific and exploit the rich resources here. That time, Asia accounted for about 60% of total global output with both China & India leading the race. The 19th century is reckoned to be as the British century and during the 20th century, it was the Americans. After two centuries of economic decline, the world’s two great economic powerhouses are now once again becoming the engines of growth to the world economy.

It is also remarkable to observe that no other topic has received as much coverage as the question of Asian Century. This is all due to the rapid rise of Asia which has seen a major power shift in the International System shaking the “hegemon”. Asia is the world’s populous region and with a strong demographic dividend, it has become the centre for geopolitics and geo-economics.
India is pooling its resources from all major niches such as –

DEFENCE –
To prove its military might, it is emphasizing on developing indigenous arms and ammunitions. It has even allowed 49% FDI in defence which can give a boost to the sector.

INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY –
The diplomacy had taken an entirely new dimension with quick response at any crisis situation. It is leveraging its ties with its neighbors using LOOK EAST POLICY. The nation is being heard in all the crucial matters at the global stage in international forums. Also, India is trying real hard to change the power dynamics in UNSC by having itself as one of the permanent members in the Council.

TECHNOLOGY –
Under the guidance of some of the ablest minds, India is capable of developing and has already developed state-of-the-art machinery and equipment and missiles. One of the finest examples of this indigenous production is that of the AGNI V ICBM missile.

Thus, the world saw Asia’s resilience during the USA’s global financial shock of 2008 followed by a hit in major European economies (PIIGS crisis). These ‘superpowers’ were unable to handle the growth and economic mismanagement which led these countries in such a messy situation. Whereas, China & India, predominantly agricultural economies improved their GDP ratios because they initiated a planned and sustainable development. The “FACTORY ASIA” has made India as the leader in services export and China as the manufacturing hub.

Thus, a strong ASIA built on sustainable growth has the propensity to support greater levels of trade and bring prosperity to the region. Conversely, a weaker ASIA can pose a host of challenges on itself as well as for West’s future growth. Therefore, it is prudent to embrace globalization and regional cooperation to bring success to Asia. With improved governance, an “ASIAN CENTURY” is indeed plausible.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

What Life Brings To YOU, To ME & To Everyone Else?

Today, I was wondering, our lives have become so "ARTIFICIAL"!

Each one of us (YES! none of us can deny this fact) has to wear some mask or the other at some point of time in life. In this regard, I feel that 'Childhood' is the best phase of life. When we were young, we were eager to grow up to earn big bucks and now when we have become adults, we yearn for our childhood days. 

When in Office, one has to wear OFFICE MASK.
At Home, FAMILY MASK only to make your loved ones smile.
At a Party, it's PARTY MASK.
And even sometimes with Friends, one has to wear FRIENDS' MASK only to show that you are perfectly fine...... :) 

And finally after all these faces, if you are left with some energy, you get the time to BE YOURSELF!

Thankfully, I have my DIARY where I can just be ME..... :)

Long Long Way To Go !!!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

When Will All This Come To An End?!



There was a time when women were revered and worshipped as goddesses in India. Gradually, with increasing fragmentation in our society, their status reduced to a virtual slave of men folk in a patriarchal society. This oppression resulted in loss of identity and individuality. The process of degeneration of women’s status can be attributed to post Vedic or early medieval period. Indiscriminate practices against women in the name of preserving culture and tradition started. Although inhuman traditions like Sati, jauhar, devadasi, purdah, child marriage, etc. seem to be the practices of a bygone era. But the harsh reality is that they are still practiced in remote parts of our country even today. Even in 21st century, a girl child is considered a “liability” and they are discriminated at each stage. The issue was commendably discussed by the PM from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his extempore speech. With increasing rate of violence against women, the need to change the mindset has become the need of the hour.
Male violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. The United Nations General Assembly defines "violence against women" as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." This results in lack of participation of women in every sphere of life. Hence, it is a gender specific crime where only women are targeted. Sometimes it is even before birth, some times in the adulthood and in later phase of life. The unequal presence of one gender in virtually all spheres of social, economic, political and religious has led to spreading of these crimes on a wider scale. Development of Indian society can not be imagined unless the females are respected, heard and given their due share. In India thus, crimes against women are classified under two categories viz.-
           1.  Crimes under INDIAN PENAL CODE (IPC)
                 2.  Crimes under Special and Local Laws (SLL)

These together include rape, kidnapping and abduction, dowry deaths, physical and mental torture, female feticide and infanticide, molestation, sexual harassment, immoral trafficking of women, indecent representation of women, etc. Among these “rape” is the most common crime which is accentuated by norms, attitudes, and prevailing cultures. The crime rates in cities are increasing exponentially. The brutal rape and death of two sisters in Badaun, barbaric Delhi gang-rape, molestation of a girl on the streets of Assam, volleys of rape cases in Haryana, acid throwing, bride burning for want of dowry, marital rapes, stalking, sex selective abortions, honour killings in the name of protecting a family’s honour, and others  are a serious cause for concern. These crimes are further legitimized because criminals know that they can get away with their crime. Shoddy investigations which often make it easy for the culprits to get bail and walk away at the end of a trial.

The cause for such increasing crime rates can be attributed to a society wherein we have the patriarchal setup, son worshipping parents which leads to gender discrimination by birth, stressing on the “masculinity” of a man, the culture of nuclear families wherein young men are brought up by no-parent families which leads to social crisis, the obscenity in film industry which pollutes a young mind, lack of moral education, a mindset according to which  men are the protectors and women, the protectorate.


Thus, the need for a new law on sexual assault was felt as the present law does not define and reflect the various kinds of sexual assault that women are subjected to in our country. A three-member panel was constituted by the government under Justice J.S. Verma to give recommendations to protect the right to dignity, autonomy and freedom of victims of sexual assault and rape and amendments to criminal law.

In terms of the definition of rape, the committee recommended all forms of non-consensual penetration of sexual nature which also include marital rape. In conflict zones, the committee recommended an amendment in Section 6 of the AFSPA, 1958, which states that violence committed must come within the purview of criminal law. Last year, the court suggested that molestation be made a non-bailable offence which was reiterated by Justice Dharmadhikari committee.
The challenge is to address the issue at educational level (change in curriculum) in order to sensitize people. The need is to inculcate moral values to change the mindset of the community at large which can be done at the basic level through primary education. Children who are emotionally disturbed are more vulnerable from going astray. Imparting sex education in a conservative society as ours is still a matter of debate. But this has now become a necessity. With access to all sorts of popular media, children today are aware of this genre. We just need to tell them about good and bad practices.
The government announced the setting up of all women banks and all women courts (Bombay Bench has already started). Though these institutions will give them a relief from unusual gazes and inappropriate behaviour in public places, but unless the society as a whole empowers them in a gender friendly and egalitarian workspace, these exercises would be futile. Even our constitution in Article 15 underscores the right to liberty, dignity and fundamental rights of all persons irrespective of sex.
Other administrative measures includes police reforms, proper city planning, establishment of fast track courts, “Zero- tolerance” of sex offenders, name and shame policy for the offenders, Emergency women helpline number, installation of CCTV cameras at prominent places, women constables to be deployed in colleges, malls  etc. Election Commission of India is concerned that political parties give tickets to people with criminal backgrounds. But political patronage prevent speedy trials for disqualification of such “people’s representatives”.
Impact on society

The World Health Organization reports that violence against women puts an undue burden on health care services with women who have suffered violence being more likely to need health services and at higher cost, compared to women who have not suffered violence. The recently concluded U.N. Commission on the status of women in New York adopted a declaration on the elimination and prevention of violence against women and girls.
It also brings a bad name for the nation. In past days, we saw many incidences of rape and molestation with foreign travellers.  After the Delhi incidence, many foreign governments issued advisories to travel in India with caution. Consequently, this would lead to a decrease in number of tourist arrivals which would in turn impact economy.
Thus, to make world a better and safe living place, concerted efforts are required by all stakeholders.
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