Showing posts from May, 2016

Why is nobody weeping for 24,000 dead trees and bulldozing of a historical site in Karwar in the name of ‘development’?

Nobel laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore when visited Karwar, a coastal town in south Indian state of Karnataka in 1882, dedicated a chapter in his memoirs to this town. But that was in the past. The town known mostly for its long stretched sun kissed beaches, old Portuguese remnants, Maratha past, sea food, mangrove islands and lot more has gone under the hammer of ‘development’ for some time now and remains very less about anything that would inspire another Tagore. We all are very much aware how development of any city has its own drawbacks – people get displaced, vegetation gets destroyed and lot more happens that we all have got used to for now. And most of us agree it’s fine when pros weigh down the cons of any such development plan. But consider this now. There is a plan (as you read this the work is already under progress on ground) for widening of National Highway 66 from Kundapur to Karwar to make 4 lane roads into 6 and from 2 to 4. In a RTI application filed by this wr…

From publishers asking censorship to those reviewing without reading — Who is afraid of Rana Ayyub’s Gujarat Files?

It is a fact well known that not all drafts gets published and turn into books, and how publishers choose what they will print and what they won't. Most of the times their decisions are legit and have something to do with literary value of the draft at hand but not all the time. Stories may have been already said, might be similar to what is already published, readers don't find this interesting anymore, so on and so forth. But that is for fiction, what about non-fiction? Non-fiction is not about spilling your imaginative beans but telling a compelling story about what has occurred in fact, it is about what you have seen or heard, essentially it is about retelling a story or predicting the future on the basis of past events. Now, why would that be devoid of its right to get printed? Again, there are scores of reasons from the quality of content to importance of the subject and from its relevance to hold your breath, the guts a publisher has. When I say the guts, I don't me…

Dear Kejriwal and Modi, the question wasn't if PM's degrees were fake or not but why information was denied!

On 12 October, 2005 came into force the Right to Information Act (RTI) which enables the citizens of India to ask for information from the public authority and mandates timely response to citizen’s requests for government information; the first application was given to a Pune Police station. The act was hailed by not just the activists and press inside but also outside country’s borders for easing the gap between citizens and their political masters, for bringing accountability and transparency. From then many prominent civil society members and ordinary citizens who are aware of their rights have used this tool to obtain information and question authority wherever necessary. Thanks to this, many corruption cases have been unearthed and different political parties have used this scams to charge at their opposition. Although the act was passed under Congress regime, it won’t be wrong to say that it’s the BJP, then in opposition which had reaped all its results by heaping corruption cha…

About an old lady at bus stop and what she told me..!

Railway stations, bus stops are places where you find people from across the social fabric, from middle class to ultra poor to children and to old. So yesterday when I had to board one bus from Karwar to Goa, I found one old lady or rather she found me. I had seen her before sitting myself on the bench kept for waiting travelers as she boarded off a bus but didn't noticed much. It was not any rare sight to see people in their seventies and eighties traveling alone while their children kept themselves 'busy', we have all grownup watching such scenes. So I was sitting there talking to my cousin who had given me lift on his bike till there. In the middle of that conversation she came and sat beside me. Not that I was any special but coincidentally that was the only place available. So after a minute or so, she asked me if she can use my cellphone to make a call. The thing at that time was that I had two phones, one which is not so audible but had currency to speak although on…