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Showing posts from January 12, 2020

Nirbhaya RIP

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By Vijaya Pushkarna


Why has Asha Devi, the gutsy mother of Nirbhaya, lost faith in the judiciary in exactly 10 days?
On Jan 7, after a Delhi courtissued death warrants for the rapists of her daughter Nirbhaya—the fearless one—Asha was happy  that she had won a 7-year long battle for justice , she said it was  victory for all women. She acknowledged there was delay, that she would have liked it fast-tracked, but reposed her faith in the judiciary.

Nirbhaya was  gangraped and left to die in Dec 2012. The brutality of it, the sadistic pleasure of a juvenile among the six rapists numbed the nation. Like Asha, many Indians wanted the harshest of punishment for them. One rapist committed suicide in the jail. One was a juvenile, whose punishment under laws __ rehabilitation__ governing the juvenile, angered many. 
 Saturday, Asha Devi was on many television channels,  at once sad and angry.She tried to reach out to  Prime Minister  Narendra Modi. “You came to power in 2014 promising safety …

The qawwali too must go on

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By Vijaya Pushkarna



The late Bharat Ratna M S Subalakshmibecame the first Indian to sing before the delegates at the United NationsGeneral Assembly on UN Dayin 1966.
The demure lady was a picture of her usual self in New York. With her trademark sparkling diamond nakshtra ear rings, the8-stoned “besari” flashing on her nose, deep hued Kanjeevaram silk saree with a contrasting border modestly draped around her shoulders, big vermillion bindi on her forehead, jasmine braid around the bun her hair was styled into , humility on her face and divinity in her voice, she began her concert with a Sanskrit prayer, that the Shankaracharya at Kancheepuram had called an “anthem of universal friendship”.
Among the songs she sang there was an English hymn composed by C Rajagopalachari. Handel Manuel, was producer of Western Music at the All India Radio in Madras. The idea had come from Gen K M Cariappa.

M S also sang a ghazal she had learnt from Begum Akhtar. Written by Mirza Ghalib, “Ishrat-e-qatra ha…

Tukde Tukde Gang and others

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By Vijaya Pushkarna



On Thursday, the really freshnews that all the news websites and social mediaflashedwas, “Home Ministry dumbfounded by RTI seeking details of ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ members.” And even as his ministry was probably wondering how to respond on something that has not been mentioned in anyof its official papers or reports, Home Minister Amit Shah used his favourite set of three words –Tukde Tukde Gang—in far away Vaishali district of Bihar.
It was not in the context in which the he had used it for the first time, probably when the Kanhaiya Kumar issue rocked the JNU. This time, it was about Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who Shah alleged was shielding the "gang". Delhi is going to polls on Feb 8.
Shah used the three words in different contexts. When other political parties came together to collectively challenge the BJP, as happened in many assembly elections, he called them the "tukde tukde gang".Over time it became apparent  that when he used tho…

Who stole our jobs?

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By Vijaya Pushkarna





When  Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met the captains of industry  it was not a routine, ahead-of-Budget 2020-21 meeting. It happened in the backdrop of the current economic gloom—the GDP figure is the lowest in six years, low credit off take and investment, high inflation, low unemployment, and a worrisome low in consumption. He is believed to have discussed with them the steps that will have to be taken to boost the economy and realize his dream of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.More importantly, he brought up the issue of job creation.
For the first time, there has been an admission, even if a veiled one, at the highest level, that lack of jobs in the economy is a serious issue. So far the government has been in a denial mode whenever the the subject was raised.

Amitabh Kant, CEO of the government think tank NITI Aaayog maintained there was no reliable data on jobs . "Currently there are three contesting narratives. First narrative is of jo…