Tag Archives: Mumbai

The Bigger Threat, Fanatics Or Vote Bank Politics?

I loved getting up late as a young girl and like  parents of  all good girls my parents never approved of it and conveyed it to me nearly every day. The best excuse I could come up was, the moment I open my eyes in the morning I want my newspaper, without that,  it is difficult for me to open my eyes. The only newspaper we bought was Hindustan Times and before eight o clock it belonged to my dad. He may not like the idea of my waking up late but handing me the newspaper before he read it was too much of a sacrifice and fortunately he never made it. My parents efforts to wake me continued as did my resistance. After I got married the problem of the newspaper continued. My father-in-law tried to adjust by sharing the newspaper but we had to order another newspaper because I like to read the whole thing at the same time.

Now after 24/7 news channels and internet we switch on the TV or the internet  the moment we open our eyes in the morning. We have no appetite for breakfast till we come to know what happened in the world while we were sleeping. Why is it so important to know what others are thinking, saying or doing, no matter how trivial, nonsensical or destructive. Not only that, we are also ever ready to lend our eyes and ears to the ‘experts’ offering their expert comments on the  happenings, the analysis of which takes us nowhere. We want to know what has happened, is about to happen, what can happen or what should have happened. Spending time on daily news, especially current political affairs was a complete waste of time, some of my learned friends would always tell me and I would agree with them most of the time and continue with the addiction. We may curse the media for going berserk about trivial details of our political and other celebrities but the truth is that our newspapers and news channels have opened our eyes many times to the lurking dangers in our cities.

My friends from Mumbai always used to point out that I am living in a dangerous city where people are rowdy, push each other, break the ques  and are not bothered about rules. In defense of  Delhi,  in a typical meri Dilli meri shaan style I would tell them that Delhi is a lively city, people may be loud but that is because they are large hearted (Dilli dil walon ki). Thanks to our news channels I found a lot of fodder to counter my Mumbai friends and relatives. The Thackeray clan came to my rescue. I gloated about how we in Delhi are Indians first and treat people from all over the country in the same way (North Eastern Indians please forgive, you might not agree with me). My expectation was that Mumbaikars will be apologetic about it and explain the merits and demerits of the case, I myself understand a few of these things. They could not be cowed down, Rahul Gandhi’s Mumbai visit  proved that aam Mumbaikar is as civil as they claim to be. Once armed with the greatest media story of the year, Rahul ji’s travel in the Mumbai locals and the famous ATM story,  it was the Mumbaikar’s turn to be on the offensive now.

You Delhiwallahs can never feel safe! as long as you have the likes of Digvijay Singh reside and flourish in your city, I was told. They will defend terrorists and accuse the police for killing them. Somebody tweeted yesterday “I suspect after every terrorist attack, humanrights wallahs check dead list for their own name and if its not there they get after policemen”, read Digvijay Singh instead of human rights wallahs and you will understand what we Dilliwallahs are suffering. I feel like requesting Rahul ji’s political advisor Digvijay Singh ji that vote bank politics is an acceptable fact and we have to live with it  but sometimes listen to this poet- Lazim hai dil ke pas rahe pasban-i-aql; lekin kabhi kabhi issey tanha bhi chhod dain (it is important that brain should guard the heart but sometime the heart should be left alone)  in your case forget sometimes and let the brain, rest in peace! As the elected Chief Minster of Madhya Pradesh for more than a  decade you sure understand that your voters need to survive in order to vote . Rahul Gandhi derailed the divisive and aggressive Sena without resorting to bad language and cheap tactics and you need some good advise from him. By trying to create a doubt about Batla house encounter Digvijay Singh has not only hurt Inspector MC Sharma’s family but also the Hindus, Muslims and other religions of India. When a terrorist strikes he doesn’t differentiate between a Muslim or a non- Muslim.You have embarrassed your party and hurt the law abiding citizens of India.
Mumbai, Delhi or any other city of India, we all desperately need  peace and security and mere lip service from any body across the political spectrum will not work. People need jobs, clean water, houses and other basic amenities and that is what matters most to them. A Shahid Afridi or Shoaib Tanveer is  not a threat to India but the pseudo secularists and fanatics definitely are.


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Equal Discrimination

Emraan Hashmi says that he was denied an NOC to purchase a flat in the posh Bandra locality of Mumbai because he is a Muslim. It is absolutely possible. The society which denied the NOC blames  his image of a serial kisser for the denial. The fact is  that this does not happen to the Muslim minority alone,  people from the majority community also face problems like this and there are so many reasons people have to justify this discrimination.

People don’t give flats to self employed people (I have faced this) and  advocates because it will  be difficult to get their house back when required by the landlord. Single boys and girls face problems in getting houses because they could threaten the peace of the neigbourhood. Bengalis may have problems in a non-Bengali neighbourhood because fish is their staple diet and the smell of the fish bothers people who don’t eat fish. Non-vegetarians face this problem in Jain or Marwari majority areas. People with large families or joint families find it difficult to get a house because they create a lot of noise. My friend had to spend a lot of money to soundproof  her house because she had one such family living in the apartment above. I know somebody who lied about the size of his family when he had a meeting with the landlord, claiming to have only two children when he actually had six. A senior politician hired a house in the name of his brother because nobody was willing to rent a house to him. He was asked to vacate the house after people in the area complained about the security threat because of the number of strangers coming to the locality to meet him, he vacated the house, either because he was a gentleman or he doesn’t need it now as his party in in power at the centre. There are people who won’t give their houses to Punjabis because they are considered aggressive. There are thousand and one reasons for not giving your flats to certain people or groups of people and religion is definitely not the only reason for discrimination at least in India.

Being selective when renting houses was always  prevalent in India and it is good that we are openly discussing it now, but using the minority card or the Dalit card when convenient is not going to benefit the cause of the people who are being discriminated. Azharuddin played the minority card when he was charged with match-fixing, although there were many people who faced the same charges from the majority community (Ajay Jadeja, Prabhakar and Kapil Dev). Mayawati whenever cornered for her misdeeds plays the Dalit card. A few months ago there was a news report which mentioned that a few students in IIT Delhi  who got admission through reservation were sacked because they didn’t meet the minimum qualifying criteria. The students  complained  that they were being victimized as they belong to reserved category. This sort of  opportunistic approach will not help anybody.


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A Black Day For Cricket

The carnage that has taken place in Lahore today has shocked and shaken the world. My heart goes out to young and promising cricketers like Ajantha Mendis, who has the potential to  be the next Muralidharan. He was wounded in the shoulder and his future in cricket after this injury will certainly be adversely affected. Cricketers and sportsmen cannot be expected to have very long on-field careers, all injuries have a negative impact but  injuries of this magnitude can cause grave physical and mental damage. For a senior player and a wonderful batsman like Mahela Jayawardene, time taken to recuperate might mean a final goodbye to the game itself. Thilan Samaraweera, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Mahela Jayawardene, Tharanga Paranavithana and Chaminda Vaas were all wounded in this act of madness. I wonder how Imran Khan has reacted to this. When India cancelled their tour to Pakistan, he was shouting from roof tops that cricketers were not at risk in Pakistan.

For Pakistani cricket, I feel especially bad because an incident like this means that their cricketers will not get opportunity to play too much international cricket. Who knows how many budding Wasim Akrams and Waqar Younis’ will be nipped in the bud. Pakistanis are passionate cricketers and a loss of this nature is a loss to cricket itself. They are talented cricketers and are suffering due to the incompetence of their politicians. In a country where the Prime Minister, President, Navy Chief and the Ambassador sitting in London, everybody issues contradictory statements, ordinary citizens have to suffer. They took 3 weeks to accept that Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani, that too after their own ex-Prime Minister had accepted that Kasab was a Pakistani. I was surprised to hear the IG of Lahore saying “what more could they have done to provide security?”. He was complimenting his men. I sympathize with the men who lost their lives, but the security left a lot to be desired. It is not like a suicide bombing where the venue and time is decided by the terrorists. In this case the target was known and the area which was to be secured was the area between the Stadium and the hotel where the cricketers were staying, a stretch of roughly 6 kms.

I hope this is a wake up call for Pakistan and for the world. Terrorism should be tackled not in pieces and disjointed efforts but in one unified stride against one common enemy. An attack in Mumbai, New York or on Sri Lankan cricketers should be treated the same and Pakistan should treat all the dirty fish in the pond transparently and with a strong hand. Even if it means trouble in the short term. Lakhvis, Masood Azhars and Dawood Ibrahims are a threat to everyone. Mumbai may not be everybody’s concern but terror can strike anywhere and terrorists are nobody’s friends.


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