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Showing posts from July, 2016

Monsoons and the hills

I am not someone who is quite comfortable with the hills, but mountains somehow always remind me of them. People say one should be careful during travelling to hills due to landslides etc. The penchant of destroying our environment is so ingrained in Indians that the mountains once so lovely are now bare and crumbling. Which causes problems during monsoons. Other than that I love the mountains during rains. In plains we have so much water logging and sewage overflow. In hills, the water just flows, reminding us to keep flowing. The weather chills down but the trees and the rest of the flora comes out so fresh, so clean, you can actually breathe the freshness in. The other reason is the humidity. Somehow the humidity associated with rains, in plains or near oceans is almost absent in the hills. All the more reason to enjoy the rains without worrying about the follow on of the humid weather.

Time for Video Book Reviews has come

Over the weekend I was browsing through some video book reviews of Six Degrees. My prime interest was to know how reader's felt about our story Entangled Lives.  As I surfed through the video streaming sites, I wondered whether the time has come for video reviews. We all know the benefits of video over text. But internet speeds are quite slow in India and access still limited. Also the quality might suffer due to inadequate or obsolete recording devices. On the flip side, video reviews are super cool. You get to relate to  your readers so much better. Will this trend be a hit? I can not be sure about it. You see when you check out reviews for a book, you just skim down a list of reviews, say on the shopping site or on a review website. You don't want to spend a lot of time researching and learning about the book.

You can't police the society in Haryana

A girl from a poor family is gang-raped in Haryana by five men. That was the year 2013. Happens all the time. We don't need to panic or do anything as it did not happen in Delhi or Mumbai. It happened in Bhiwani. Why bother? Circa 2016. The same men, again gang rape the same girl. No one is shocked. The glib, English-speaking middle class is not interested. No one wants to discuss a girl from a poor background who despite being a victim of a heinous crime, was trying to rebuild her life by shifting to Rohtak and studying for her masters. Nops, no one gives a damn, especially the police. Since society never expected them to do anything, remember the riots in Rohtak for reservation a few months ago? And by living up to its expectations, the police never did anything. You really can't police the will of the people, especially if that will is deep rooted in lawlessness. We saw it during the reservation stir when police allowed a free for all rioting for every frustrated f

The Kashmir Conondrum

We have had a lot of discussion on this blog, in earlier days about   Kashmir   and the perennial problem it is for the Indian state.  Now that the central government is pumping in a INR 80,000 crore package for the Kashmiris, plus the usual flow of tax payers’ money for security reasons, they have received an excellent feedback from people of the state. By openly supporting the death of a commander of a terrorist organization, the people of Kashmir have clearly shown where their loyalties lay. And they do not look at all at par with the Indian state.  That leaves a very uncomfortable question for the Indian polity of the day. What to do with Kashmir at this stage? Is pumping money blindly and empowering the armed forced really going to work? This is plainly the strategy that everyone who has ruled in Delhi has followed. While militancy has weakened due to a strong army, hostility between the army and locals is only increasing. An army is not really

Much Needed Cabinet Reshuffle

Finally the Prime Minister has shuffled his cabinet. He kept most of his council of ministers intact, just making minor changes here and there. Key takeaways - Former Karnataka CM Sadananda Gowda is moving down steadily in political circles. From Railways to Law and now to an obscure ministry his stars are not shining. PM Modi seems to have realized the need to induct more powerful females in his council of ministers. Hence two of them have been brought in, blunting the power of other formidable women leaders. Bihar still has the maximum representation in the PM's cabinet even though the people of the state have moved towards the RJD, Congress and JDU combine. The biggest gain has been for the law ministry with two senior Supreme Court lawyers taking charge of it. Talk about expertise there. Another big gainer is the environment ministry which has now got a known environmentalist to reign it in. The government now has two very well qualified doctors on board, none of t