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A WORLD OF RECONCILIATIONS

When I am angry, disgruntled and struggling to make a point and “a restrictive word count, speech time or listening capacities” snub my views, I feel my efforts to opine are all worthless. As a journalist, I sense the tremendous responsibility I hold when a shocker hits headlines, all eyes turn to you…all of a sudden people begin to make sense of the news you supply, which otherwise they’d simply prefer to pay no heed to.
November 26, 2008 is one such day, well-etched in my memory. It was a chaotic, unpalatable and hurtful night of misfortunes. Three top cops martyred, over 175 butchered by “frozen in the head lunatics,” failure of intelligence, commandos battling to calm a city that was suddenly suffering from dysfunctional normality and unwanted political drama. All this in three nights…yes, it probably appears to be a script from some Hollywood ‘A’ rated action movie….but you’re sadly mistaken. This is reality; this is the “great Indian dream”, a nightmare that keeps interrupting our peaceful life…for which solutions cannot be found through hypnosis. “Relive this painful dream and thank your stars if you come out alive,” is all we get in reconciliation. “Ah!! I am safe, nothing happened to me this time,” we sigh, when terror strikes. Is that all that is left of us…are we just waiting to be slaughtered by a bunch of lunatics…who in the name of religion, keep crushing us time and again. “Oh!” we again sigh, “thank God, its not one of us…they were not Hindus, not Christians,” so another reconciliation. Good, our religious hypocrisy always gets the better of us.
Politicos also indulge in similar mud-slinging. The opposition pin points failure of the government, the ruling party tries to be apathetic and speaks about compensations to families and there is some bantering, blame game and wasteful media coverage (word space and air time) offered in platter to them. So, while our commandos struggle to secure hostages and nab terrorists holed up in the locales, our politician fly down from their well-protected hubs to grab some media attention and speak about all they should not. So, attention is diverted, the police tries to bodyguard our dear friends who we once voted for, instead of securing the terror stricken place. Though, I must admit, the one anti-north ridden politician made me proud this time… he refused to come out of his haven, he did not ramble…however there were smses being passed…only goes to show how much we missed him during this time of crisis. Where was he? Probably his attention seeking tactics slipped when he saw Indian soldiers battling through thick and thin…on land he claimed owned by the marathi manoos…I have a strong feeling that he is ashamed. But, well…it is just a feeling. Some people never choose to learn. But if his silence has worked in our stride…then I am glad.
So, now, as I wish to write no more and feel exhausted, dispirited and cheated by the “spirit of Mumbai” jingle, that keeps jingling from foolish mouths…this angry self, says adieu, we need to get back to work, I have another day to look forward to, another news report to cover and may be some better news to bring to you. Uh!!! Is this is another reconciliation? Probably, yes.
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Change!!!! we have…

The implausible is said to have taken place last week. Once victims of slavery and racism today hold the seat of power. The secret is simple—Yes we can and the well-worded belief — the Change we need, the two main slogans of Barack Obama’s campaign. Obama’s victory however was no mean task. The U.S may have been progressive when it came to technology; money but feminism and racism are still core issues that strike at the heart of America. However, the change that the U.S is celebrating is less about power and more about having its first “black” President. It’s surprising though that India is celebrating this change, in fact, one of my dear friends was telling me about the need for an Obama in India. Hey wait a second…Obama hasn’t even started executing his duties. In India we witnessed change decades ago. In a country where Hindu-Muslim riots are forever persistent, and where Muslims are a minority (blacks are a minority in America) we had our first Muslim President Dr Zakir Husain in 1967. India is the same country where the British Raj and reformers struggled for women emancipation, but hey…we had our first women Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1966 (A women President in America is still to see the light of day). Well, if you are still not convinced, India also had its first Dalit President, Dr A.P.J Kalam in 2002 (Dalits were once considered untouchables). So as a passing food for thought to my dear friend who wanted an Obama in India and to all my readers…I think we have always had more to celebrate than America.
Change we made in every decade after ever since we got Independence…unfortunately we chose to ignore.
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