To whosoever it might concern, I am not returning any awards, no “award waapsi” for me……

I may feel frustrated, depressed, sad, yet I cannot be a part of his great festival of “award wapsi”, cannot avail this once in a life time opportunity. To begin with, no government ever considered me worthy of an award. When I say no government, I mean government of India. I have suffered rulers of different hues and colours, Congress, Janata Party, Third Front, UPA, NDA. Some that lasted for decades, others who lasted less than a month and never survived a majority test on the floor of the Parliament.

Let me start with, I didn’t protest when Bahadur Shah Zafar was sent to exile, I didn’t exist then but my great grandfather could have protested, my great grandmother wouldn’t have stepped out of the house I guess, nobody knows about her. My grandparents could have protested when Bhagat Singh and other freedom fighters were martyred. My parents never received any awards and so didn’t return any. Let us come to my story, I too had many reasons to return awards, if only I had them, nobody was magnanimous enough to let me return their awards on their behalf. The first instance I remember is when Emergency was declared, I was barely into my teens but understood what was happening around me. Like everybody else, I wasn’t happy about the murder of democracy. I remember  listening to BBC radio for updates, AIR and DD were state controlled and only “Har Har Indira” and “Har Har Sanjay” could be heard. I didn’t protest and couldn’t return any awards, didn’t have any awards and there was no social media to outrage. I had to write the 21 point programme of Indira ji and 5 point programme of Sanjay ji in my exams. I didn’t believe Indira was India and India was Indira but had no way to show my unhappiness. Then Emergency was lifted, Janata Party was formed, much like “the Mahagadhbandhan” in Bihar. Elections took place, democracy won. My role was limited to screaming “Janata Party zindabad!” when we crossed Ch. Charan Singh’s motorcade consisting of 2 jeeps; he smiled and I was delighted. When the Janata Party leaders fought for days to elect a PM from amongst themselves, I saw my heroes fail miserably, I was hurt but I didn’t protest. After a lot of tamasha and change of 2 Prime Ministers, the Janata Party government fell mid term. I was very disappointed but couldn’t and didn’t protest, I just helplessly witnessed it. Indira ji campaigned, “chuniye unhe jo sarkar chala sakain” and she was elected. When she was murdered, I was shocked, and then happened the carnage of Sikhs in Delhi. I still can’t get over that, and again I couldn’t protest. Couldn’t return any awards when Babri Masjid was demolished. There were riots/carnage in Bhagalpur, Meerut, Maleehabad, Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar, Hashimpura etc etc at different times but I didn’t return any awards or protest. There was no social media to outrage and newspapers wouldn’t have printed my articles, they wouldn’t have found me good enough.

My point of quoting all these disgusting, shocking incidents that I witnessed over the last few decades is that most people did not outrage then because they couldn’t. Many people did raise their voices, their protest wasn’t highlighted the way protests are showcased now. There were no 24 x 7 news channels, no screaming anchors to highlight/magnify incidents. No Facebook, no Twitter to outrage. This definitely does not mean that people should not express displeasure now when a Dadri/Faridabad etc etc happens. “Pehle uska sign lekar aao, phir uska sign lekar aao”, film Deewar style logic doesn’t make sense. One community did this, the other did that and both argue that they are equal and justified. Religion and caste doesn’t matter, an injustice is an injustice. The law of the land has to be respected, nobody is above the law. Everybody has a right to protest in a democracy, he or she has the liberty to decide the threshold and quantum. People returning awards are brave people, even if they are biased towards “A” Party they cannot be termed anti national or opportunist.


Filed under Artistic Freedom, award wapsi, Casteism, Dalit empowerment, Election, Electronic media., Emergency, India, journalism, news, news channels, Newspapers, Patriotism, press freedom, prime time, protests, Religion, Religious Intolerance, Television, Uncategorized

Will the Real Newsworthy Please Stand Up?

Men and women hosting Prime time talk shows on news channels enjoy popularity that editors of newspapers could never imagine. In recent days, popularity of talk show hosts/anchors seems to have hit a plateau. Anchors are themselves to be blamed, many of them have become sensationalist and deluded. Some of them have stopped to even pretend to be fair anymore: they are the judges, jury and the executioners. News channels are the new entertainment channels. Shouting anchors verbally  assaulting the panelists can be seen every night on prime time. There are some who still try to do justice to their jobs. However, finding a balance is difficult.

And then there are the panelists. Some political representatives who have never even fought an election, forget winning, are employed as spokespersons of political parties. Mostly trying unsuccessfully to defend the indefensible. They keep hopping from channel to channel, blabbering out predictable statements. Irrespective of the topic, they say what they have to. Reminds me of a story about a student not very proficient in English who had to write an essay in his exams. He had memorized an essay about a cow, the question paper asked for an essay about a mountain. This smart fellow started: there was once a cow grazing on the mountain, it had four legs, a tail… and he wrote the essay he had prepared about the cow. Ask the panelists anything, they start with the topic and continue with secularism, appeasement, corruption etc, etc. Like the kid who went to school for the first time, when the mother asked what did you do, he answered, we sang. What did you sing? I sang Baa Baa Black Sheep, don’t know what the others sang. The politicians willingly make sorry spectacles of themselves. Maintaining dignity seems to be very low on their list of priorities. Ask about monsoon deficiency in Delhi, they will talk about the weather in Rome. They don’t try to convince the opponent, their training is to shout them down. After two or three logical points they start plagiarising themselves. Repeating the same sentences over and over again. And the time they get to speak  on the show is directly proportional to the relationship with the anchor.

Why do they have only politicians as panelists, when independent experts are needed to give the right picture? Not the solution, it seems, don’t know why some so-called independent panelists even pretend to be unbiased, they pounce on anybody of the contrary view as if the bull has sighted a red flag. Nothing wrong with political opinions but at least pretend to be fair.  There is now a greater yearning for real, informed analysis and dispassionate debate. The line between  theatrics and reasonable debate is getting blurred by the day. The condescending attitude of hosts is repulsive.

Journalists, anchors, TV show hosts are the part of the society and are as good or bad as the rest of us. They have responsibilities, families to take care of, needs etc, etc but they have a special responsibility. When someone joins the army he know the risks associated with the job. The policeman before joining the job knows that his working hours would be erratic, there is the risk of life as well. In the same way journalists know the pitfalls of their profession before joining it. There would be political pressures, financial allurements and threats but their job is very important for a sane society. If they fail us now, the repercussions would be faced for a long time. “Wo waqt bhi dekha hai tareekh ki ghadiyon ne, lamhon ne khata ki thee, sadiyon ne saza payee.”


Filed under Common man, Culture, India, Indian Citizen, Indianness, Indians, intolerance, journalism, journalists, Mobocracy, news, Newspapers, Parliamentarians, Patriotism, people, press, Television, Uncategorized

Jungle ka Dastoor, Dadri Lynching, Beef Ban……..

Mob killed Akhlaq and severely wounded his son in Dadri over allegations they had eaten beef. Meat sent for forensics, sickening! Don’t know what is hurting me more, lynching of a man in the name of religion or police sending the meat for testing, whether it is beef or some other meat. What, if it was beef, will the rest of the family be handed over to the mob, they had also eaten the meat. If it was not beef  will there be an eye for an eye kind of justice or by some magical religious powers Akhlaq will be brought to life. Law of the land doesn’t permit this, how can this be justified? Might is right is usually called the jungle ka kanoon. I would not like to insult the animals or the jungle. Reminds me of this beautiful poem by Parveen Shakir-

Suna hai junglon ka bhi koi dastoor hota hai,
Suna hai sher ka jab pet bhar jaaye to woh hamla nahi karta,
darakhton ki ghani chawon main ja kar lait jaata hai
Hawa ke tez jhonkay  jab darkhton ko hilate hain to mayna apne bachche chor ke kauwe ke andon ko paron se tham leti hai.
Suna hai ghonsle se koi bachcha gir pare to sara jungal jag jaata hai,
Suna hai jub kisi nadi ke paani main baya ke ghonsle ka gandumi saya larazta hai to nadi ki rupehali machlian use parosi man leti hain
Koi toofan aa jaye, koi pul toot jaaye, to kisi lakdi ke takhte par ghilari, saanp, bakri aur cheetah saath hote hain
Suna hai janglon ka bhi koi dastoor hota hai
Khuda wanda, jaleel o mautbar, dana o beena, munsif o akbar, mere is shehr main ab junglon hi ka koi qanoon naafiz kar.
Suna hai junglon ka bhi koi dastoor hota hai.

Parveen Shakir


Filed under Common man, Communalism, Democracy, Dharma, Discrimination, Family, Humanrights, Hypocrisy, Mobocracy, Nationalism, Patriotism, Poem, Poetry, Poets, Politics, Religious Intolerance, Terrorism, Tragedy, Violence

Birds Of Delhi, a Photo Exhibition at the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi road, Delhi

Prerna Birds Poster

The exhibition is on at the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, Delhi from 1st to 31st March 2015

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Filed under Birds, Nature

Shahrukh Khan said, and I quote, “Don’t underestimate the power of the common man…..”

Elections Delhi 2015 concluded yesterday, the results declared, swearing in, on the 14 of Feb, a year after Arvind Kejriwal resigned after 49 days of assuming power. AAP got 65 per cent of the vote of the urban poor according to CSDS post poll survey, BJP got 23%. This could well be the difference which led to the decimation of  BJP and made AAP the winners. Last few weeks I have been visiting slums in Delhi, living conditions are pathetic. Unauthorised colonies are no better. Complete lack of infrastructure, no sewerage system, no water, young kids, mostly girls ferrying water from tankers parked near their colonies.These areas are very close to the posh colonies which have all the facilities one can think of in a developing Capital city. AAP has rekindled hope in the residents, somebody is finally talking about their issues. Long time back Indira Gandhi, raised the slogan “Garibi Hatao” electoral gains were massive for Congress, not much difference in the lives of the voters. Aam Admi Party talking about Bijli and pani for them now, they seem to be moving towards AAP, hope it works this time.

I don’t want to sound like a Leftist which seems to have become a bad word now but one has to strike a balance somewhere. The disparities are widening everyday, in a democratic society, on a voting day, all of us have the same power. I am deliberately not mentioning the minorities, Delhi has voted unitedly. The Hindu Godmen and Imams who tried to confuse us in the name of religion failed. The Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb of Delhi survives and thrives. Kuch baaat hai ki hasti mitati nahin humari ……



Copyright of Photographs, Prerna Jain All rights reserved worldwide

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Filed under Common man, India, Poltics

Juvenile supporters of Political Parties, kids who are not even eligible to vote in Delhi Elections




Children supporting the three main political parties in Delhi elections, AAP, BJP and Congress. None of these kids are eligible to vote, all under 18 years of age. The most excited were the AAP Party supporters, all of them came to me shook hands and sang 5 saal Kejriwal. The BJP supporters sounded happy, the kids supporting Congress seemed to have given up. I am sure all of them have seen the opinion polls.


Filed under Delhi elections, people, Politics

This should be God’s job profile

This is what God is supposed to do-
Neel gagan par baithe, kab tak chaand-sitaaron se jhaankoge,
Parvat kee oonchee chotee se kab tak duniya ko dekhoge,
Aadarshon ke band granthon mein kab tak aaraam karoge,
Meraa chhappar tapak rahaa hai bankar sooraj isse sukhaao,
khaalee hai aate ke kanastar bankar gehoon ismein aao,
Maa ka chashmaa toot gayaa hai bankar sheeshaa isse banaao,
Chup-chup hain aangan mein bachche bankar geind inhein bahlaao,
Shaam hui hai chaand ugaao perh hilaao havaa chalaao,
Kaam bahut hain haath bataao Allah miyaan
mere ghar bhee aa hee jaao Alaah miyaan……..Nida Fazli



Filed under Emotions, God, India, Nida Fazli, Poem, Religion, terature