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Dec 10, 2010

Why Do I Want To Be The Prime Minister Of My Country?

-->      I just watched one of the most political movies I have ever watched in my life- "Frost/Nixon".The name of the movie is nothing fancy and honestly neither is the movie, but the impact it had on me was something much much more than just fancy!Its a movie about the well known interview of Richard Nixon, the former president of the United States Of America by a British talk show host David Frost.It is relating to all the controversies that surrounded the president during his 2 year reign before resigning because of the Watergate conspiracy.Its a political drama just like any other political drama that all our countries see and more information is always found on the Internet, but the lines that Nixon says during the final moments of this epic interview is what moved me to tears almost(I am moved to tears quiet easily!).
    I was so overwhelmed by the movie that I even came back and saw the real interview on the Internet.Looking at his face one could see the regret he had for his actions that he committed or rather the abuse of power he committed being the president of his country, not only the highest position of power but also a position that is meant to serve the nation and its people, a side that most seem to forget.Looking away from the interviewer he says "I let down my friends.I let down the country.I let down our system of government, dreams of those young people that ought to get into the government but they'll think its all too corrupt and the rest".I wish that all the politicians and 'leaders' of my country would watch Nixon say these few words(If they happen to comprehend English!) and realise what does it truly mean to govern a nation or to lead a nation.If only they had the guilt for their crimes.........
    When most of my peers say I want to be a doctor, I want to be a software engineer or I want to be Miss World(and trust me they do), I with utmost pride want to say I want to be the Prime Minister of my country(atleast hope to try!!!).To all those who turn away from my country and say 'it is hopeless, nothing can be done of this country' I want to say 'No!you are wrong! there is hope and We are the hope!'.I know I sound like I belong in a patriotic movie by rakesh omprakash mehra but this is the truth.The situation in our country currently is such that nobody seems to be doing their job with honesty or loyalty but instead grabbing hold of every rupee that they do not deserve, but nothing is going to shatter my dream.Whether I have the ability to be the PM of India I do not know(most probably I don't) but no corrupt clerk at the vehicle license dept., no corrupt college looting me in the name of donations, no corrupt politician enjoying the taxes I pay for my country and certainly no minister making a joke out of my country is going to stop me from fighting for my country and its people.
     My idea for writing this article was not to start a political campaign in my name nor to show my stupidity(as most people think I am for not wanting to be an engineer or a doctor) but rather to tell those who, once in a while, realise that there is a stop to corruption and it begins with us, that you are not alone!Just to stand up for the truth, stand up for your country and stand up for yourself because it is our right!And how I wish for every man, woman and child of India to stand up and say "I want to be the PM of India and work for my nation!"

Note: This is a youtube link to the excerpt of the interview or Richard Nixon and David Frost http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkcZAB4_wd4&feature=related

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Oct 22, 2010

My Conversation With Mr.Daniel...

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama,for those who do not know yet, is the head of state and a spiritual Buddhist leader of Tibet.But what attracts me more towards him is his message of peace.He is an advent activist of human rights,the environment and universal brotherhood.His work has not only won him 84 awards and countless appreciation but also the Nobel prize in the year 1989.His never ending fight for the protection of Human rights won my respect, love and support for him.And I was instilled with the dream to meet His Holiness and work with him someday!
The Bylakuppe sera temple campus
    As if to answer my prayers the Dalai Lama scheduled his visit to Bylakuppe(a tibetan refugee camp near Mysore my home town).I took no time to plan my visit to Bylakuppe in hopes of at least catching a glimpse of him if not meeting him personally(which is totally out of question for a common-man like myself!).After finally convincing my over-protective mom that going without her with only a friend of mine is very much safe for a teenage girl,I set out on my quest for enlightenment from His Holiness.
    For a person who is of the habit of waking up as late as possible in the morning, waking up at 4 a.m in order to reach our destination was hard!Finally managing to wake up and getting ready,my friend and I,after waiting for half an hour at the bus stop,saw a typical government bus coming towards us.We thought that enquiring the bus conductor only about the destination would be enough,which we did and "bylakuppe" came the answer.With a sense of satisfaction we boarded our bus but to our dismay the bus was jam-packed!We had to journey standing up in a bus at 6 in the morning for almost half the journey with empty stomachs.In spite of all this I still got down at Bylakuppe with a smile because I knew I would be meeting with the Dalai Lama very soon.
    After searching around the 3,000 acres camp we finally found the monastery where the Dalai Lama was making his public speech.When I reached there I was utterly disappointed.The monastery had reached its maximum seating capacity and hence I had to stand out, from where the dalai lama looked as small as an ant!And to add to my disappointment His Holiness was speaking in complete Tibetan, whose head or tail I can not make out!After a few minutes standing out in the scorching sun and listening to a speech we could barely understand, I and my friend decided to leave from that place and go around to the monasteries.
Inside the beautiful sera temples holding the 80 feet statues
    No matter how sad, angry, irritated and in this case disappointed I am, when I enter a Buddhist monastery(called gumpa) I forget everything and experience true serenity.During my attempt to attain inner peace I noticed an interesting looking foreigner seated on the mats with folded legs and eyes closed and a peaceful look on his face.After a second's glance I looked away and went about my spiritual business.
    After staying inside the silent environment amongst the 80 feet golden Buddha statues to my heart's content, I stepped out only to find that foreigner outside with a few students with him.A kind smile and a small gesture ended up in a conversation with him.I, a teenager from India and Mr.Daniel(the name of the foreigner), a veteran drummer from Switzerland had quiet a lot in common than one could imagine.
Inside another temple in sera, bylakyppe
    We spoke about spirituality, French, switzerland, travel and what not!But what I take away the most from my conversation with Mr.Daniel is our discussion about human rights in India.It started off when we were talking about the prevailing attitude of Indians towards the Indian constitution.A highly impressed Mr.Daniel spoke of how beautifully thought and planned the constitution was but how Indians failed to realise its value.To this I illustrated how my "Constitution of India" teacher herself didn't respect our national anthem in my college.While I was expecting my fellow companion would nod in agreement and perhaps appreciate my patriotism, I was taken aback by his discord with my love for the national anthem.
    He went on to say how the national anthem was trivial as compared to the magnitude of human rights violation occurring in the country.Female foeticide, human trafficking and unlawful detention are only a tip of the huge iceberg he explained.I was pleasantly surprised by his argument, a side that I always knew but had never thought of.He spoke about these issues as if it were his own country,it was then that I realised humanity knows no bounds!
    With over 100 crore population and the World Health Organization coming out with facts such as  900,000 Indians dying each year from drinking contaminated water and breathing in polluted air,presence of only about 60 physicians per 100,000 people in India, it is of urgent importance that Indians start becoming sensitive towards human rights issues.Speaking with Mr.Daniel my mind was awoken to these issues.
    I do not remember for exactly how long we spoke to each other, maybe an hour or so, but I must say the amount of knowledge I gained from him in this time span was way greater than my "constitution of india" classes at college.It was not just knowledge but it was an enlightenment in a way that I attained.That evening I returned home with a smile on my face, as I knew even though I missed out on the Dalai lama's speech that I had waited so long for, my trip had proven to be worth all the pain I had been through to reach 'bylakuppe'.

Sep 15, 2010

Letter To An Editor

The trees lining the Boulevard road.

    Last year the Boulevard road became notoriously famous in Mysore.As the name suggests its a beautiful road lined with monumental trees planted by the king of mysore during the age of  imperialism in the city.The trees which are naturally divine heightened their beauty with their royal age.But as is the usual attitude of humans they just cant let go of an opportunity to kill natural beauty in the name of development!This precisely was the issue debated by thousands in the city and I was one among them.
   The case was highlighted when a drunk driver cruising on this road at inexcuseable speeds crashed against one of these trees and died,killing with him rest of the passengers.And people who professed the idea of  doing good to the society came up with a plan.They concluded that in this case the trees posed as a tremendous danger to citizens and hence the easiest and the smartest solution was to chop these 'murderous' tress off!But the influence or rather the consequence of alcohol consumption was totally ignored!!!
   There were a series of  articles by the general public published in a local newspaper supporting and appreciating this idea of cutting the trees in order to widen the roads.To my bewilderment even the editor wrote paragraphs over paragraphs justifying this decision which eventually turned into condemnation of the state government which was on the verge of pronouncing that the tress not be cut.Everyday the paper had opinions of those including the editor who thought that cutting of about 330 trees aged over a century was the only way out!
   I am an environment lover.Which meant that I most certainly disagreed with all these opinions.I am not against development or doing good for the society,but cutting of so many trees when there was a more practical way out seemed unreasonable to me.Re-routing the traffic to another highway already existing close-by and already wide enough was an idea that I supported.But the editor seemed to have turned a blind eye towards this suggestion by other environmentalists and experts in the city.And in hopes of opening his eye I wrote a letter to the editor which goes like this........
    I am very happy to note that you are so concerned about the well being of the citizens of mysore and hence are supporting the cutting of the trees on the boulevard road.Its not very often that you find such concerned and aware human beings these days...but I really wish you had cared enough to investigate both sides of the story.or rather just used ur common sense!!!
    we humans have never been able to survive without the elements of nature.and I highly doubt we have the power to do so even now.The plight of the farmers due to the dried up rivers and dams should be enough to prove my point!Atleast the frequent power cuts should help!If you read around a little bit you would find that the GLOBAL WARMING  is the cause for all this!And if you read further(if u care to) you would find that the CUTTING OF TREES is the cause for global warming.Its really hard for me to digest the fact that an educated person like you,is being so blind and ignorant.
    You are of the belief that the widening of the road will save a couple of lives.But the experts all arond the world will tell you that to save a couple of lives you are risking the lives of the people of the whole world...maybe you hav not seen people suffering from cancer and asthma.I have! it sure is not a pretty sight.wondering why I mentioned it?You cut trees and these are the consequences you face!In the past two decades the life expectancy of humans decreased rapidly from 80 to 60!!!!an eye opener?It is reducing still further....
    These facts are not pretty but its the reality.Life is not as simple as just chopping off your problems.There is a complicated and balanced cycle maintained everywhere.You chop off one element and the one to suffer ultimately is YOU!the world will heal itself over centuries but it is us humans who have to suffer!
    All I ask from you is before you think of cutting these trees please see the faces of all the kids around you.A dried up, starving and famine-struck world is what you want to leave behind?or give them what your forefathers gave you the oppotunity to enjoy.
    hope I have had a positive effect on your mind....please think about what I have to say.This is not a simple matter so understand the complexities befor jumping to such drastic decisions.
    This is a plea from the truly concerned citizens of mysore.
A view of the boulevard road.
    sincerely ,
  My letter was not published in the paper but the editor(who was obviously enraged!) wrote a full page article indirectly replying in the negative to  my opinions.
  For those curious readers who want to know the final result of this battle,the state govenment ruled that the trees not be cut and the suggested re-routing of the heavy vehicle traffic was implemented.This meant that traffic drastically reduced on the Boulevard road and hence the trees continue to live on even today....smiling in victory or maybe waiting in fear of when people might come back with another reason to end them.... 

Sep 14, 2010

The Animal Side Of Man

     Courtesy,Kindness,Respect,Gratitude;these are only some of the attributes that identify humans from the animals,or so we say.Over the past centuries we as the human species have come to think of ourselves as being different or rather wiser than the rest of the animal kingdom.How many times have we not been questioned by our elders"are you animals to be behaving this way?", therefore illustrating my observation that humans have begun to think of themselves as rather the masters of the world.
      As a person of curiosity I tend to observe people around me and their behaivour.Just the last month I happened to visit Ooty(a hill station in Tamil Nadu) with my family.We decided to hire a taxi and hence a driver also accompanied us.When we were passing through the bandipur forest we were fortunate enough to spot a lone wild Elephant.What a rare sight it is for the people of the 21st century!Our driver in his excitement to show us the animal,stopped the car closest he could to the wild animal.In spite of our presence the wild Elephant remained calm and minded its own business but to my astonishment our human driver began to make loud noises with the car's horn.I guess he expected the elephant would come out in a circus outfit and perform him tricks!It was at that moment that I wondered who really was the animal here - the wild Elephant or our Homo sapien driver?.... 
      Dogs are adored by the human kingdom for their loyalty,love and joviality.Especially their loyal nature fetched them the title ''The Best Friend to Man''.One evening, as was my routine, I took my dog out to play.When I and my pet dog were tussling with each other I got a call from my little sister,who in her early teens just began experiencing the predicaments of the teen life.From her voice I realised she had been through just one such experience and hence called upon her big sister for a little consolation.Her sob story was all about her best friend of  3 years who had gone behind her back and said unpleasant things about her to their other classmates.I understood her emotions completely as I myself had been through the same bitter experience not too many years ago.Just as her detailed explanation of the situation ended she exclaimed ''What a dog she is!".On hearing such a comparison of a back-stabbing best friend to a dog I looked at my little dog and smiled, and I thought to myself "Was calling the best friend a dog, a taunt to her or really a taunt to dogs?"......
      The hard work of a colony of ants,the responsibilities of the alpha male in a pack of wild monkeys,the dependability of a kangaroo mother in the australian outbacks,the perseverance of the penguin parents in the freezing Antarctics,the courage of the Wilder beasts of the African forests;these are only some of the natural characteristics of animals that make me spell-bound.The more animals I learn about,the more they seem human-like to me and the more humans I observe,the more animal-like they seem to me.Petty fights that lead to wars, petty differences that lead to violent discrimination,petty demands that lead to terrorism and petty misunderstandings that lead to man killing man, makes me ask myself are men really wiser than animals?Are men really the masters of the planet?
      I am neither a philosopher nor a scientist hence I wish to make no statements nor state any facts,but i am a mere observer to life.And I only wish to ask, are we humans acting like humans anymore or are we losing our human side?.....