Yet Another Outrage
Even as the Shakti Mills gang rape trial (now clubbed with one more gang rape case apart from the photojournalist’s) is heard on a daily basis, a British girl in her twenties is the latest molestation victim. While she and her friend were out to collect a dinner parcel in an auto in the western suburb of Andheri, she was allegedly groped by someone identified as Gaurav Gupta. After she screamed and locals gathered, the suspect ran away. However, the policemen, who came to see what the chaos was all about, ran after the suspect and have arrested him. Despite the state government, Mumbai police and several organisations taking active interest in making the city safer, these kind of incidents are severely damaging to the reputation of once always-awake-always-safe amchi Mumbai.
Sachin’s Test, Pawar’s Sixer
Sachin’s wish is everyone’s command. Now that he will get to play his last 200th Test at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, everyone is busy preparing for a round of felicitations. And the newly elected Mumbai Cricket Association president Sharad Pawar is not missing this golden opportunity. So the MCA will name its Kandivli cricket ground and gymkhana after Sachin Tendulkar and it will be done in grand style. The Indian and West Indian teams will go straight for the function after they arrive from Kolkata (the first test match), where the who’s who from cricket, politics and cinema will gather to wish Sachin. The club will put Sachin’s pictures to celebrate his 25-year-long illustrious, to say the least, career. Amidst this euphoria, another announcement was slipped in. A long pending demand of the Shiv Sena of naming the press box after Bal Thackeray has got a green signal and will now be formally named after Bal Thackeray.
A study of minorities, especially Muslims, done by a seven-member committee showed that they are severely under-represented in government jobs, among other things. The committee, headed by retired IAS officer Mehmood-ur-Rahman, after studying the condition of Muslims in social, economic and education sectors in Maharashtra has recommended establishing an equal opportunities commission on the lines of western countries. Instead of providing reservations, the committee suggests providing incentives and disincentives for providing funding to private sector employers and educational institutions on the basis of diversity of their workforce and representation of students. There is also a suggestion of considering incentives such as floor space index (FSI) and transfer of development rights (TDR) for builders who provide flats for Muslims in housing projects to form diverse groups of residents. While this too may be viewed as an election gimmick by some, given the hard data on the ground, the observations by the head of the committee are thought-provoking. The committee has also asked the government to look into the high number of Muslim suspects spending their time in jails as under trials in terror cases.
Not entirely unrelated from the subject at hand with the esteemed committee is a recent film Shahid. While all this may seem like an academic, political or a human rights issue and a tad too complicated, the movie is straightforward and gut- wrenching. It depicts the turbulent life and cold-blooded murder of Shahid Azmi, the spunky young lawyer from Mumbai, who successfully defended several terror suspects including Faheem Ansari in the 26/11 trial (Shahid was killed before the trial was over). While Shahid’s family continues to grieve the death of their 32-year-old son, the film poses some serious questions to our democracy.
Scams have their own rhythm of resurfacing off and on. Earlier this week, BJP leaders submitted thousands and thousands of pages of “proof” in the irrigation scam enquiry. They met the committee headed by Madhav Chitale after the government sought legal opinion and allowed the opposition leaders to depose. All this after NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar was implicated, faced the brunt, resigned and also got back after the white paper on the irrigation schemes pretty much absolved him. One would have thought this scam was out of his way. But not yet. Not so soon. Definitely not until the elections are over and done with. The committee is expected to submit its report in December. And (yes, there is more) Aam Aadmi Party member Anjali Damania reportedly claimed that the proof submitted by BJP was originally collected by AAP. Will they get credit for it?
Out With Heavy Vehicles
According to a newspaper report, soon heavy vehicles such as tempos, matadors and vans may be asked to stay off arterial roads during peak hours to help commuters. Anyone who has spent hours negotiating or just tolerating the serpentine traffic of Mumbai — be it the southern, central, western or eastern suburbs of the city— will more than welcome the move. Of course the transport union has resisted the move saying it will affect supply of vegetables, fruits etc. In the meanwhile, railways have procured new trains that will be on tracks from coming Sunday. Will it motivate more people to chuck the road, get out of the comforts of their AC cars and take the lifeline locals?
As if the October heat was not bad enough in the city, the figures given out by the civic body on Dengue in September are truly scorching. More than 700 cases of dengue were reported in September in Mumbai. Compare that to less than 600 cases recorded from January to August this year. The BMC had struggled with Malaria few years ago and after an aggressive campaign against that killer disease, it was brought under control. However, with dengue raising its ugly head and causing 11 deaths so far, doctors are urging for urgent steps. Not to forget that iconic filmmaker Yash Chopra succumbed to the same bite. While the civic body and private residential associations argue about breeding spots of mosquitoes and who should be more responsible for keeping environment free of mosquitoes, the insect seems to show no signs of slowing down. Reports of mutant variety of the disease are also doing rounds.
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Conservation Education Centre (CEC) has organized an event to vote and elect “Mumbai’s Butterfly” in order to promote butterfly watching and conservation. One can vote on the BNHS CEC Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/cec.bnhs or register for the upcoming “Breakfast with Butterflies” workshop that will take place on 27th October. The idea is to choose the most charismatic yet commonest butterfly of Mumbai. Any one of the shortlisted five species can be voted for. One can choose a butterfly for its beauty or for being the most common butterfly seen in Mumbai. The five contenders to choose from are: Plain Tiger, Common Crow, Common Mormon, Common Emigrant and Tailed Jay. And we thought the city only had social butterflies.
The issue with social interaction has always been, that a man might consider not imposing on the woman, in his sphere, because he sees a communal, or societal familiarity, and perhaps he likes the circumstance that arises. But, should a man impose on the family of the woman, if he justifies that he can marry a woman, because he can just as easily not marry her, if she so wishes?
Would Ms. Meera Kumar, want in any occasion, to want her son or daughter to marry the opposite of Mr. Chandra Bhan? Should Mr. Owasi want his son or daughter to marry any person of similar standing? What about Mr. Shivanand Tiwari, Mr. Pavan Bansal, and every similar person? We aren't making any choice free, and there is coercion in wanting to make family ties, and in freely breaking family ties. Our economy seems to be a driving force behind society, which isn't seeming very pro-society, in fact, we don't know who might be anti-social, and we don't seemingly care.
Perhaps, people like Mr. Ayaz Memon, Mr. Rohit Brijnath, and Ms. Sharda Ugra do feel that they have been aptly recognized, with the naming of the Press Box.
It seems, a diabetic can get a 500 sugar glucose count, and if the person is worried enough, he will go to a malaria infested area, and soon his problems along with him, will cease. I never knew a press box was named after anyone, at the Wankhede.
> "....has recommended establishing an equal opportunities commission on the lines of western countries. Instead of providing reservations, the committee suggests providing incentives and disincentives for providing funding to private sector employers and educational institutions on the basis of diversity of their workforce and representation of students."
That would be a step in the right direction.
"And (yes, there is more) Aam Aadmi Party member Anjali Damania reportedly claimed that the proof submitted by BJP was originally collected by AAP."
Front organisation of a front organisation while the Holding Company is enjoying the perks of an extra-constitutional authority!
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