The day kahaani’s promos were out on the television, everyone presumed that it will be really excellent. Probably Vidya balaan’s previous tremendous success made people say this. From the promos it seemed very unusual, so even I was very much curious to watch it. And today when I finally saw this intriguing movie, I just couldn't stop myself from eulogizing it. Vidya Balaan surely deserves a hats off for the way she played the character. She is so eloquent & original in the movie. The story revolves around Vidya Bagchi, the protagonist who is a London return pregnant woman. She is in search of her husband. It is her voyage in the ancient and one of the densely populated cities of india, Kolkata. While watching the movie it is very hard to guess, what is going to happen next. The moment one is able to grasp something, one sees totally different thing which leaves one perplexed. The climax is tremendously interesting. The city Kolkata has been portrayed in its true color. The varied, pulsating and intriguing temperament of the city completely traps the audience’s mind. There is something very captivating about the city. I would really love to visit this place one day. Amitabh bacchan has very well sung Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “ekla chalo re”. It is very much absorbing. His voice fits perfect to the song. Kudos to the movie!!!
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
“Frailty thy name is woman”,said William Shakespeare,the greatest playwright of england. Be it the dark ages or the modern ages women have always been taken for granted. They have always been associated with certain specific qualities viz. weak,fragile,tender,soft,submissive. She has always been portrayed as inferior than men. She has remained confined to the four walls of her house for long. And most of the times the so-called superior sex has expolited her, assaulted her and also has used her for their own pleasure. She has remained a mere object not a living being, an unpaid object. History does cite few examples of the powerful women, the respected women but these have always remained a handful. At some places she was put in the same category as slaves.
Just because she bores a child & suckles it, she is expected to remain confined to household chores. There has been an unwritten division of labour deeply rooted in our society. Women is to look after the home & the man has to go out and earn money so that the family can be looked after. Simone de Beauvoir, french feminist once said ‘Women are not born, they are made’. How true this statement is! All these divisions between males & females are man-made. There are numerous stupid stereotypical prejudices which humans have been following regarding women. Women has for age long bared all the atrocities laid on her. Now in the 21st century people though claim that their perception towards women has changed but few inhuman practices are still prevalent in some parts of the world. But avoiding it all, today’s woman has
become self-reliant. She is no more the same vulnerable sex as she was. She is capable enough to raise her voice on every issue. This development of women is really an achievement for our society. It should be understood that man & woman are the two essential components of any society. A healthy society could be formed only when both its essential components contribute for its development equally.
Posted by Archana Pathak at 05:45
Democracy in Abraham Lincoln’s words is a “rule for the people, of the people and by the people. It is a form of government in which supremacy of power is vested in the voters collectively and it is administered by them or the officers appointed by them. As far as Pakistan, our closest and most contentious neighbor is concerned, it came into being 64 yrs ago(they celebrate their independence day on august 14th) and it is still endeavoring to develop the institutions of politics in its society. The founding father of this nation Mohammed ali Jinnah achieved it democratically and constitutionally. Unfortunately destiny did not give him enough time to draw the socio-economic, religious & political map of this newly born state. Since its inception, the most difficult challenge Pakistan has struggled to meet has been to establish a true democratic system, which could guarantee its survival, stability and development. The plant of democracy has not taken its roots deep enough to make the country a ‘durable democratic state’. Lately there was a tussle between the pakistan’s elected government & the army and looking at the history of this nation there were predictions that army would again take over the government. Army has always remained the most important driver of pakistan’s destiny. From the very beginning Army has run a parallel government. Where government of pakistan has made it a habit to look up to United States for every assistance, army has always been anti-US. Today pakistan is neither sovereign nor independent. It is a “rentier state”, an American lackey, ill-fed, ill-governed by a corrupt, power hungry people supported by Washington. How can you have democracy in a country where people do not rule and the sovereign power of state resides elsewhere?
“We the people” are the three most important words in the American constitution and “We the people” is a phrase alien to Pakistan. From the beginning it can be noticed that almost every elected head of the state in Pakistan has not died a natural death be it Ayub khan, Zulfikar ali Bhutto or anybody else for that matter. During early 21 years of its life 1947-69 Pakistan was governed by civil-military bureaucracy under oligarchic and authoritarian traditions. This was the first chapter of dictatorship. The first general elections took place in 1970 and a unanimous constitution was passed by the Parliament. Elections are an important virtue of the government, but they are not the only virtue. Democracy does not ends with a ballot, it begins there. Creating a democracy requires a free and independent country, an inviolable constitution and sustained commitment of time and money to develop all the necessary elements. After taking abundance of assistance, Pakistan has become a mere puppet in the hands of U.S. and during all these years government has not considered it necessary to pay heed to the masses. They were left to decay in their surroundings. On the name of Islamic brotherhood, government never has felt essential to think about the issues of illiteracy, infrastructure, industry, commerce, health. Pakistani ‘awaam’ as they refer to the masses has remained cut off from the outside world unaware of what is happening across the globe. After years of military dictatorship followed by sham democracy, the situation in Pakistan has reached such a point that masses are yearning for a radical change. Their suffering is immense as people at the top continue to enrich themselves at the expense of workers & peasants, collaborating with imperialism as it ride through rough-shot over the people of Pakistan. The father of American Republic George Washington once cautioned that ‘an attachment of a small or weak towards a great & powerful nation dooms the former to be a satellite of the latter. No truer words have been spoken on this subject. Pakistan is paying and will continue to pay a very heavy price for the folly of attaching itself to America. The main causes of failure of democracy in Pakistan has been lack of regard for the country’s constitution and misuse of powers. The country’s constitution has been ignored and tampered with again and again. Another reason for the breakup of democratic rule had been the contending political ideologies propagated by political parties. The political profession is much to be blamed for playing the game of political gains and for seeking power instead of serving people and the country. The very purpose of creating Pakistan has been thrown into background. No wonder, people have lost faith in the democratic process, elections are rigged, votes are purchased, known corrupt people, tax-evaders are foistered upon poor, illiterate electorate. Elections throw up not the fittest, not the best and surely not the deserving but the scum of the community only because they are the richest or favorites of people in power. A survey of democracy in Pakistan can’t be completed without the assessing the electorate, the voters who are the makers of democracy. Democracy can never prosper in a country where half of the population is illiterate and is not able to use its votes intelligently. Feudalism, illiterate & apathetic people, self-imposed leaders and inherited policies are salient features of the wretched Pakistani political system which further weakens its constitution.
Aristotle has rightly remarked “To neglect the education of young ones is to weaken the constitution of the country”. Democracy is a function of education and it can’t be managed effectively and justly without sound education of voters and their high level of information. And for this lack of education among Pakistanis, again the government is to be blamed. They are the ones who have never felt it important to open sufficient and accessible educational institutions, thus depriving the common people of even the basic education. Thus it can be analyzed that it is not the democracy that has failed but the politicians who have failed to run the country on correct democratic principles of equality, justice & fraternity. The remedy I believe lies in the words of Lord Beveridge and “Power as a means of getting things done appeals to that men share with brutes, to fear & greed; power leads those who wield it to desire for its own sake, not for service it am render, and to seek its continuance on their own hands. Influence as a means of getting things done appeals to that which distinguishes men from brutes. The way out of world’s troubles today is to treat men as men, to enthrone influence over power and to make power revocable.”
Posted by Archana Pathak at 05:38
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Finally the BIG wait is over! The results of the elections of the largest state in india are out. Samajwadi party has emerged as a VICTOR defeating the BSP. The two biggest national parties BJP & INC have maintained there respective positions. I had followed these elections very closely. It was really interesting to watch all the parties putting so much at stake for this particular state election. From exaggerated promises on muslim reservation,playing the caste card to attracting the young generation,raising corruption & developmental issues and making BIG appealing promises. Each party had done it all. Media had termed UP elections as the semifinal for the government at centre. These results would be of very much importancein 2014 lok sabha elections. According to political experts Samajwadi party came as an alternative to the erstwhile mayawati government. SP managed to acquire most of the negative votes. By “negative votes” what they mean is because people didn’t want to see mayawati as CM again so they were not left with any option other than to vote for SP. When in 2007, BSP had got a landslide victory it was expected that because she hails from a poor family, she would understand the plight of poor people and would take the state to roads of development. But all she did was erecting statues statues and more statues.
Lately according to experts a tendency has been seen in the people of Uttar pradesh. They have started voting for parties alternately. SP then BSP then again SP. This they term as the tamilnaduisation of uttar pradesh. One of the big names in these UP elections was of Rahul Gandhi. The moment he started officially campaigning in UP the sycophants of congress started talking of a huge victory for congress which was next to impossible for a party which had not tasted power in UP for past 22 years. Media also made him the hero and he received the maximum coverage. And also the way he campaigned so agressively and took on numerous meetings it appeared that instead of the party his own image was at stake. Hard work always pays off, but it did not in Rahul’s case. Obviously there are many reasons as to why the charisma of this yuvraj who belongs to the first political family of our country did not work and why people in UP rejected him totally. Probably the controversial statements of his party colleagues from time to time,the heavy doze of expectations from him,the tag of an outsider which he bears or the common man’s lack of belief in him and his party members, causes for the failure could be many. I am sure congress would surely find a solution to this malady, as it is that they don’t let go of a single opportunity to defend him and praise him in media.
The party which occupied the third position in UP was Bhartiya Janta Party. It managed to get 47 seats thus performing worse than the 2007 elections. When the counting of votes commenced it appeared that BJP would emerge as the second largest party in UP closely following Samajwadi Party. But gradually it retained its position. After ayodhya-babri masjid case there is a polarisation of votes in Uttar Pradesh. Muslims in UP consider BJP their biggest enemy. Shocking it was to see that even in places like mathura which is considered to be the BJP’s vote area, the party managed to get just few seats. Bringing Uma bharti and Sanjay Joshi back did not really help.
Akhilesh yadav, son of SP’s chief Mulayam singh yadav and the present chief minister of UP emerged as the real champion of these elections. When he was made the chief of UP’s elections it was said that even SP was following the lines of congress and starting with the concept of one-family party, but after this huge win it seems as if he has successfully proven his worth. Political analysts say that he has given rise to a new samajwad(socialism). People probably saw in him a young leader a leader of their own state unlike rahul gandhi. Media many-a-times compared Akhilesh with Rahul. Various debates and discussion took place on this. When asked akhilesh termed it as the media-invented story while Rahul chose to remain silent. On one hand where there was a lot of hype created in th media of rahul’s public display of aggression, Akhilesh throughout his campaign distanced himself from media and handled it pretty well. There are a lot of causes as to why SP won. But after the results were announced Akhilesh indisputably outshone Rahul, atleast this time.
My congratulations to the Samajwadi party for such a grand success and I sincerely hope that they would carve up a new image for themselves and live up to people’s expecations.
India has always been subjected to the foreign rule. From Qutubuddin ai-e-bak, mughals and then ultimately to britishers, we Indians have experienced being led by almost every kind of people. Out of all these the British rule is considered to be the most exploitative because all other rulers excluding britishers did not rule over us as some foreign power, instead they became indianised, settled in our country & did not interfere in our existing institutions. They did not consider Indians inferior. Contrary to this, Britishers assumed themselves to be the most superior race in the whole wide world. They perceived Indians as uncivilized, backward & ill-mannered. The English political thinkers gave this very reason to the whole world that the britishers took over India only with the intention of civilizing people in India as the condition of people in India was more worse than that of feudalism in England. Initially they just had trade relations with our country ( India was a very rich country that time. It was called the golden bird) but gradually they started establishing their control over whole of India. And because we were not unified we just could not do anything. They divided us & ruled over us for so many years and we just remained mere spectators. Their basic aim was to drain India of its wealth and for that they took every measure possible. Dadabhai nairoji rightly said that Britishers exploited us economically & drained India of its wealth.
They arrived officially in 1765 when Lord Clive defeated Shirajudulah in the Battle of Plassey. For another 100 yrs they ruled without any major threat. Though local peasant movements arose but they were brutally suppressed. Then came the first war of independence in 1857. Many Indians participated, but with difference in objectives. It shaked the east India company because they had not expected such things from Indians. Some prominent names who contributed extensively to this revolt were mangal pandey, rani lakshmibai, tatya tope, kunwar singh, nana sahib & others. This revolt failed due to the lack of a unified objective. There was no clear goal. Though the revolt was brutally suppressed, but it surely arose the need for a better control over India’s administration among Britishers. Most importantly the power of Indian Territory shifted to the British crown from the east India Company. Many Indians did not even participate in this first revolt of independence because their interests were not violated and some of them actually helped Britishers to suppress the revolt. Our historians & freedom fighters have termed this revolt as the ‘first war of independence’ whereas the Britishers called it the ‘sepoy mutiny’. As Gandhi believed that British rule over us only because, we let them. The day we start non cooperation they will have to leave.
After the revolt of 1857, British became more alert as they were now aware that Indians were not so easy to handle. Power shifted to the British crown and now the British parliament was responsible for making laws for India. Various changes took place. Railways were introduced, supreme court was set up, new schools and colleges opened up. But one thing should be clearly understood that the intentions behind all this were purely to gratify their own interests. Historians like Dadabhai nairoji, R.C. Dutt, Justice M.G. Ranade were among the few people who did the economic analysis of British India. They came to the conclusion that colonialism was the essence of British rule in India and their main intention was exploitation. In 1885 Indian National Congress was formed under the chairmanship of A.O.Hume. Initially the moderates in congress did not want to overthrow the British rule. Their main objective was to gain equal rights for Indian people and have a say in the functioning of the government. But gradually extremists like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin chandra Pal and others started demanding for the complete abolition of British rule. The real turn in the history of Indian independence came with the advent of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in 1911. He with his principles of truth and non-violence motivated people to demand Swaraj i.e. complete freedom from British rule. It was only after his arrival that congress became a mass party. People started associating themselves with the party and Gandhi was successful in arousing patriotic sentiments in Indians. Even women began participating extensively in this quest for independence. Non-violent methods superimposed the violent ones. Gandhi was perceived as the greatest threat the British. By the 20th century with the hard-work of all the freedom fighters common people became aware of the true colors of the British. Their extent of discrimination can be understood from the simple things that a board was hung up in front of every government office which read ‘dogs and Indians not allowed’. After numerous protests, defiance and tremendous hard work we ultimately attained independence on 15th august 1947. But even the independence instead of bringing immense joy, became a traumatic experience. Due to the reluctance & undue pressure of the Muslim league led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, india had to be separated into two nations: india & Pakistan. The latter was to be an all muslim state as Muslim league had wanted. Partition caused a lot of killing, bloodshed and rage among people. Instead of becoming good neighbors, India and Pakistan became hardcore enemies which hitherto continue.
After independence, India went ahead to form its own constitution which came into existence on 26th January, 1950. Our constitution is one of the longest written constitution ever. Congress party remained in power continuously for 30 years. It was only in 1978 elections that janata party came to power. We will complete 65 years of independence this year, but there are still few things which have remained the same: plight of common man, communalism, boundary issues, facilities of all kinds(health, education & others) and the most important of all the widening gap between the rulers and the ruled. Guess some things never obtain a CURE!