March 8, 2010

Reservations about women

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Today is Women's Day and there is a hullabaloo about the Women's Reservation Bill being passed in the Indian Parliament. But it makes no sense to me. Reservation has never made sense after liberalisation took place in the early 90s. About women's reservation in particular - I wonder how it will bring about any development? Politicians are politicians - whether men or women and there is no guarantee (well, I am sure) that women politicians will do nothing to uplift their kind. Take two of our greatest examples. Mayawati keeps harping on the Dalit issue (which is no issue) and Mamta Banerjee spent half the railway budget on Bengalis.

Whatever makes us think that more women in the government will lead to a better country? Can't women be cunning or hypocritical or corrupt like the rest of the political community? And I am surprised that everyone is falling for this eyewash and hailing the Women's Bill as some kind of revolution. Puhleez! Even the media is lapping it up like crazy. Sorry, but I dont share the enthusiasm. If anything, I have my own reservations about that things will get worse, with uneducated, uninformed and uninterested women using up the quota just to fill up their bank balances.

Instead, we could have announced better education and social policies for women. Educating girls should be our top priority to really make a difference. They should be given social security if there are dumped by their alcoholic husbands or indifferent children.

But instead, we are making a mockery of the whole system and filling it up with whoever gets the reservation.

Reservations should only be restricted to meritorious candidates, whether in the government or in schools and colleges. How does being from a certain caste or religion make one person more worthy of entering an institution than another who is more sincere and dedicated?

As the Bill is tabled in Parliament today, I have a feeling it may be passed by a party that wants to 'look good'. We will soon end up with a bunch of mother/daughter/sister puppets who will be sitting in the government controlled by the same bunch of morons who are messing up our country today.

March 2, 2010

Why is hockey still our national game?

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You might have heard that the Hockey World Cup is being held in New Delhi thanks to the fact that the Indian team beat Pakistan 4 to 1, hereby ensuring front page coverage in national newspapers. But you could easily be forgiven for not knowing.

Here in Delhi, there is no excitement nor encouragement for people to be part of this world event. The only noticeable change for Delhites is the increased security cover around parts of town. But it certainly looks like we are almost apologetic about hosting the event because I haven't come across a single banner which welcomes the hockey teams to the city, and no single ad encouraging people to buy tickets. Restaurants and pubs think its not even worth trying to get crowds to come and watch the matches on big screens.

It's sad that we still call hockey our national game (do today's kids even know that?) and then show it no respect whatsoever. Heck, we dont even pay our players fair compensation. Then why persist in the pretense? On second thoughts, cricket cannot be our national game either - because it's our national religion!

P.S. You can do your bit by watching a match or two. Heard the arrangements are good (thanks to the low turnout). Book tickets here: