My Views

Fatwa on Divorce

Posted in Religion, Society by dullar on November 16, 2010

For a Muslim wife in India it is not necessary to hear the words “talaq” three time from her husband to get divorced. A Muslim man can give her wife divorce by calling her on mobile phone and saying the word talaq three times. It doesn’t matter if the wife has listened his words or not.

Almost all of us must be quite shocked to learn this, but it is how Holy Quran says, according the learned religious interpretors of Darul Ifta of Darul Uloom, Deoband. The Deoband is one the esteemed and respected Ismalic learning centre in India. According to school –

Darul Ifta has always been centre of attraction and held great respect and trust in public and court circles. Darul Ifta, besides guiding in religio-social matters is also a very forceful means of rapport between Darul Uloom Deoband, and the common run of Muslims. The Fatwas of Darul Uloom have been highly esteemed in and outside the country; besides, the masses the law court in the country also honour them and consider them decisive. “

It shows how even the modern technologies like mobile phones are working against the women in Muslim society in India. (In the today’s information age, new electronic means like chatting, mobile, sms etc are successfully used by men to give divorce to the wives.)To any citizen of this liberal and democratic country with rule of law and right to equality as its foundation principles, this ruling will surely seem not only as regressive but utterly offensive.

Although the fatwas do not carry a binding effect on Muslims but they speak volumes about the mentality of the religious leaders of the school whose words carry a lot of weight in the Muslim society. It will frustrate Muslim women’s efforts to garner respect and equality in the society.

It will be interesting to know how the courts of law in the country take these, if any aggrieved person approaches it due to the above fatwa.

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Lahore Tremors

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Pakistan, Reality Check, Society, State, Terrorism by dullar on March 6, 2009

The aftermaths of 3/3 are slowly unfolding. And what is worst hit that cricket itself. Pakistani cricket is doomed for many years to come. Like the security personnel who have become shaheed protecting the Sri Lankan team, cricket is also going to pay its part of that shahaadat. It was yet another nail in the cricket’s coffin, and jihads have hit that nail very hard. What was conspired, has already happened in Lahore or Pakistan but its shockwaves have travelled east and we are frightened more than shocked.

The same home minister who took the charge of home affairs after the 26/11 tragedy and resolved to provide a secure and free environment to the citizens of this country who were already shaken to the core by the ghastly act, has now seems to be succumbed under the pressure. He dont want to divulge the secuirty forces to secure our cricketing avenues for the IPL. After people of this country faced the Mumbai challenge with grit and sensibility and never allowed fear to overpower our freedom, home ministry is giving signals of fatigue, more so after the Lahore attacks. Experts has cited many parellels betwen 26/11 and 3/3, but one point where two incidents stray apart is the way Indian side is seen to be going at backfoot as far as assuring for security for the sport in near future. Cricketers and cricket stadiums have always been a kind of potential target for the terrorists. The danger of same is now more real in South Asia which is already bleeding with many terrorist attacks in many major cities. The ideal way to deal with all this should be to increase the security cover, gather intelligence about the whereabouts of terrorists and their activities, and put a brave public face in the national and international media so that the public sentiments should not be hit byt the jihadi terror agenda.

A vibratnt, democratic and strong state should never put hinderances on the freedom of its people. State should gather its resources to provide best security ot its citizens. It should not shy away from such responsibility citing lack of security forces, be it General elections or IPL. Postponement of IPL for the already discussed reasons would amount to a failure of Indian state in more than one sense. It will also give signals as how government is going to provide security for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

In the name of security

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Reality Check, Society by dullar on March 5, 2009

There has always been security concerns for the much hyped and popular cricket mania summed up by the name of IPL. But this year’s edition of the sporting saga has clouded in some unprecedented security dilemnas and the talk of its postpoonement is doing rounds in the union home department. States has also shown much concern regarding the same. The reason cited is the non availability of enough security personnels who can cover general elections and IPL, both being held in the months of April and May.

Its highly unfortunate that we have concluded onthese lines. General elctions are the biggest festival of this largest democracy in the world where people celebrate their identity as free and sovereign republic and exercise their most powerful right, that is to choose their forthcoming leaders. Cricket is the next big thing that happen in this country in the modern times. The craze and enthusiasm by which this sport sweeps the entire nation is no secret to anybody. Its in this sense that watching and following cricket shows a sense of freedom for people.

Known for its one of the largest security personnels in the world, has such a day come in the life of this nation that there is not enough security for the people when they watch their most favorite sport. Can state afford to curb the freedom of its people to this level that it do not allow some twenty or thirty thousand people to assemble at a place to watch a cricket match. Now the government is mulling over these restrictions on the cricket tournament, tomorrow some other thing can come under the scanner of their twisted priorities. General elections are coming, state do not have enough security forces, so all the people are advised to be in their homes. Is this what we call the celbration of our democracy. Oh no, by the way, people can come out and attend the political rallies and election campaigns, as such events are full under the security cover. Politicians are the only heroes and vvips that we can afford to secure. Yes, they are also much qualified to provide some wuality drama and entertainment to us. Not for one day or one month, but for 5 years in and out of parliament.

Postponement of IPL for security reasons will be very sad and unfortunate precedent, if set.

Women Auto rickshaw Drivers

Posted in New Delhi, Society, Women by dullar on February 25, 2009

There is nothing new in women driving vehicles, but it is not very usual that some women take it as a profession. If we go out on Delhi roads and see a woman driving a taxi, cab or auto, it will be an only exception.
Auto rickshaws, the green and yellow three wheelers, we see around in every nook and corner of Delhi are essential and integral part of the city transport system. According to Delhi Transport Department data there are around 76,000 autos running in the city and nearly all of them are driven by men. The rules and regulations for running of autos in city have been according to Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules 1993. But how strictly there rules are followed on the Delhi roads is in the knowledge of everybody. Almost all of us have one or more bitter experiences with the auto-walas. Most of them do not go by the electronic meter, they very often deny going, they misbehave with women and elderly, they dupe foreigners and non delhities, and they fight over the charges of luggage. With fact that Delhi roads are considered very unsafe for women, these auto-walas are very much part and parcel of that environment.
Under given conditions and circumstances the concept of women auto drivers is like a fresh breath of air. It will be an instant solution for many existing problems. The possible benefits are:
   1. Woman, biggest beneficiary-there economic, social and political empowerment.
   2. It will make Delhi roads safer for women and other susceptible groups like -housewives, college girl students, working women, and school children.
   3. Economical empowerment of women drivers will lead to development of their families and it will have a positive chain effect. It can be a new tool to dent urban poverty.
   4. Women are soft spoken, friendly. Tourist, both international and national will prefer women driven autos. It will help to make Delhi more tourism friendly. When Delhi is set to organize 2010 Commonwealth Games such women auto drivers will represent a very pleasant color in its hospitality.
   5. Senior citizens will feel safer with women drivers. They are generally misbehaved by the auto-walas.
   6. In a small initially, but definite and effective way it will help curbing road rage incidents involving auto-walas..
   7. Woman auto drivers will be friendlier to general public, not rude like the present male drivers.
   8. Make social environment more women friendly. Positive impact on psyche of people, women will be received and treated more fairly in the society.
Even after having such a strong logic for women to take auto driving as a profession not much ground has been covered. Sunita Choudhary was first woman auto driver who think differently in 2003 and stepped into this largely male bastion. At the most about 20 women drivers are already on the Delhi roads driving auto/taxi. Looking at the total number of autos, the reality is way below the potential. The possible reasons for this might be one or more of these:
   1. Auto driving has been a man’s profession in Delhi or otherwise, so entering such a profession might be very difficult initially.
   2. Getting auto drivers license might take some time for women who are trained from scratch. A LMV driving license takes normally 2 and a half month to be issued from date of application. After that, a license for commercial vehicle takes 1 year to be issued.
   3. Normally price for an auto is around Rs 4.5 lakhs if purchased from a dealer. Adding its interest will increase the price beyond Rs 5.5 lakhs.
   4. Safety of woman driver herself is a big concern, especially in nights in some isolated streets/areas. So such woman driver recruits have to be first trained in self defense techniques. Certain personal safety equipments have also to be provided.
   5. Psyche of women itself is a problem. Not many might agree for the profession.
   6. Family approval is another reason.
So there is a need of some institutionalized mechanism where some organization take responsibility of sorting out such problem as defined above. A Delhi based NGO have tried to make headway into the similar direction. It is bringing together educated women from lower income groups to train them in driving and self defense. Sunita Choudhary is also planning to start a new campaign “women on wheels” and has already started to train over 200 women for taxi driving. It has to be taken into account that the initial cost of driving a four-wheeler taxi is more than starting with an auto. The driving tests for the cab/4-wheeler taxi are more rigorous. But seeing the potential, these attempts, though commendable fall short of the desirable limits. There is a need for a more organized and concerted effort in this direction. A possible approach to achieve the above said aim can be thought in this manner:
   Step 1: Existing Reality- A survey of total number of women auto drivers presently on the Delhi roads. To know there experiences, problems and motivations.
   Step 2: Recruitment of educated women willing to drive autos. (LMV license and commercial auto license requires drivers to be minimum 8th standard passed). Create awareness and motivate women to take auto driving as profession. Such women can be directly contacted in their localities or through some organization helping women in employment creation. Wives of those men who are presently driving autos can also be one option.
   Step 3: Purchasing auto – Autos can be purchased directly from the company showrooms. Cost of an auto when purchased from a dealer is around Rs4.5 lakhs (with extra cost if purchased in installments. It can be funded by the manufacturer (Bajaj auto etc), or some other corporate as part of their Corporate Social Initiative. Such funding can also be on the basis of profitability, when the cost will be repaid in installments with due interest.
   Step 4: Training – Such training will include auto driving training, training in traffic rules, training in basic communications skills (including spoken English), training in self defense, training regarding first aid in case of minor accidents. Maruti Driving Schools, Hero Honda Driving and Traffic Training Park and some other driving schools can be contacted. Basis for such collaboration can be profit, CSR initiatives, and advertisement. Delhi Police, Delhi Traffic Police can be contacted for orientation cum training in self defense and traffic rules.
   Step 5: Publicity campaigns – Media, political parties, NGOs, company sponsored publicity about the motives and goals of entire exercise is an underlying requirement at each step mentioned above.
Success of this initiative will bring about a strong message to society in Delhi particular and country in general. It will not only be a humble attempt to make Delhi roads an equal opportunity work space but go on to be a significant step in sending a strong message for the cause of women emancipation and their economic empowerment. It will be a boost to their confidence to have entered a profession which has largely been a men bastion. No doubt travelling in an auto on Delhi roads will be a entirely refreshing and comfortable experience.

Caste Determinism

Posted in Caste, Polity, Society by dullar on April 26, 2007

Determinism means — a philosophical theory holding that all events are inevitable consequences of antecedent sufficient causes; often understood as denying the possibility of free will. Caste determinism is a kind of cultural determinism according to which caste considerations take precedence against all other factors in deciding the public relations, policy making and conduct of democratic life in India. Dipankar Gupta in his enlightening piece of writing describes how caste determinism works against democracy, no matter who the beneficiaries might be. He writes,

…..Crude determinism in all forms endangers democracy. Economic determinism gave socialism a bad name and eventuallydismantled the mighty Soviet Union. Even the charismatic intellectual reputation of Karl Marxwas belittled by the dogmatic material determinismof latter -day Marxists. By the same token, let not caste slurs and sneers, and a few tarnished pieces of political silver, undermine over hard-earned democracy…..

It is well known and much debated a issue that how the caste and its social and political repercussions has grossly divided the well woven fabric of our society. Of late much politicisation of the caste issues and the whole reservation matters has gathered big storm all over the country. Reading at the lines above and the whole article of Dipankar Gupta iwould like to highlight an another fine point about “power” in society. From a deterministic stand and taking dialectic point of view of Marx and Max Weber defines power as

“that opportunity existing within a social relationship which permits one to carry out one’s own will even against resistance and regardless of the basis on which this opportunity rests”

Caste in mordern day Indian political perspective is a tool to assert the dominance of one group over the other in making concessions available to its own people. By this logic caste is inherently a divisive concept. This is the tool used by political leaders inorder to gain vote banks of any particular caste. This is the tool, which when qualified with prefix of “backward” along with term class (social grouping in economic terms) is used by people in order to gain otherwise legitimate constitutional concessions. Backwardness is a tool, it is a permanent qualification which is gained on the basis of “birth” according to Hindu Caste System, which the people are not ready to leave and in fact are fighting to attain.

There is much worry among the more enlightened and more intellectual among the learned people in this country as what should be or would be the possible solution to stop the rapidly furthering casteist divisions in the society. The answer to that lies in the process which makes the casteist affiliations redundant in order to gain political, economic, social and educational rewards. This will be done while we march steadily on the path of euitable development and also in making extending the opportunities of excelling without concessional overtones. What i mean to say here can be more understandable by the example of providing quality education at all levels. Provide equitable, well extended, quality education to each and every section of society at the primary and secondary levels so that the class/caste differences in performances and merit do not creep in at the university levels.

There is no denying to the fact that caste determinism is there in our society. And i say there is no point in discussing it. Accept it. And make efforts in ofer to challenge it in future. The acedemicia and intellectuals of our country have much to do in order to pull the efforts to their logical and desirable ends.

Its in the society, not in man!

Posted in Society by dullar on April 20, 2007

Cho Seung-hui’s is a celebrtiy but obviously for some very bad reasons. He must be a real psycho to have acted like that, killed and badly wounded so many innocent people. But from Cho’s point of view were they innocent, so they were part of a bigger society which was presumably found Cho as one who is unlikeable. Likely so, people in the campus found him weird, a psychopath.

Psychology and Sociology will be on the opposite sides in order to explain this issue. Was Cho a unusual personality in an otherwise usual society OR was he a usual guy in not so usual society from his angle. Well this is what he said to the people in US through his tape sent to NBC:

You had a hundered million ways to have avoided today. But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. This decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that’ll never wash off. “

“Your mercedez was not enough, you brats. Your golden neckleses weren’t enough, you snobs. Your trust funds weren’t enough. All your debaucheriesweren’t enough. Those weren’t enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.”

You have vandalised my heart, raped my soul and torched my consience. You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generationsof the weak and defenceless people.”

This so called crazy fellow is calling society as “you”. People around him, might have changed the circumstances around his life in certain harsh and extreme way that he acted like this. Who else can think of doing this unless he himself thinks that he has been victimised by the people and society around him that he hasn’t any other choice but to pour over his extreme angst over the people around him. The way he has killed the students and professsors in the Virginia Tech university is like an act of contempt against the people, contempt against society and contempt against whole humanity.

Well it can be argued that why were other people not effected by the so called hostile attitude of society against individuals. There i think the role of psychology comes in. There are certain individuals who are more prone to commiting criminal acts when pressed against hard. This guy has tried to project himself a victim as well as a hero at the same time. He is the victim of hedonistic socity and at the same time he is representing and making himself out a hero in front of weak people, who have kept in silence even in circumstances of extreme hostility. By his message, it may happen that other incidents of “psycho-killers” ( I am using this phrase here coz people understand and visualise such people in this way only, no matter what the reality on the other side is.) erupt in different sections of US society, or may be elsewhere.

“System must be reposible for all ,for which human is not. Human is not good by nature thats why we desperately needed a good system. In a society what u r not, is somewhat more important than what u r.”

Human Trafficking- Recent Shocker

Posted in Polity, Reality Check, Society by dullar on April 20, 2007

The recent arrest of Member of Parliament, the highest law making institution of Indian Republic, in Human Trafficking case has come as a shocker to whole nation, and the whole incident has brought disgrace to its people. When law maker are the law breakers, what example they set for others. More shocking is the fact that he couldnt not be cought till this incident. Everytime either he used to throw dust in official’s eyes, or there may be a underground conspiracy when immigration officials themselves are involved in the whole thing. They are guilty of neglegence at duty to say the least. It is also the classic example of how VIPs make use of their status in order to indulge in influential criminal acts. They are misusing their privileges in order to make short cut money in huge proportions.

The magnitude of Human Trafficking in South Asia, including the counteries of Bangladesh, pakistan, Nepal, India is so much that they figure in US’s Special Watch List on Human Traffcking in 2006. A Trafficking in Persons Report 2006 prepared by US Department of State has also raised serious concerns about the growing tentacles of this worldwide menace.But the point is why is there so much of cases in South Asia. No doubt that level of poverty in these counteries is mcuh to blame upon but individual counteries has not been able to make enough stringent laws and at the same time there are serious implementation issues. South Asian Countries were ruled by England till few decades back and millions of labourers migrated then to work in foreign counteries rules by Britishers.The legacy is still continuing in South Asian counteries when the people settled in other counteries are facilitating the migrations, both legally and illegally. People from India(states of Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, Gujarat, UP etc) are ready to do anything in order to land in offshore counteries. In Punjab being an NRI is a dream of every child. Poor are lured by middle men, that they will have a bright future in foreign counteries, they pay hefty amount of money for that, and in end they find themselves in deplorable conditions, specially women and children are worst suferes.

The solution for this problem lies in multi-pronged strategy. One is to adhere to “three P’s”- prosecution, protection, and prevention. make stringent laws, prosecute the guilty in earliest possible time, protect the people from falling trap to middle-men, and in in long term make preventive measures. These will include making people more aware, creating opportunities for them of sustainable employment or livelihoods, improving the conditions of Women etc.The report also mentions a victim-centered approach to trafficking which requires us equally to address the “three R’s”- rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration, of the victims.

Doctor’s right to strike

Posted in Society by dullar on April 13, 2007

The recent incident of resident doctor’s strike in one of the biggest hospital, LNJP Hospital, has raised serious concerns about the legal right of doctor’s to go on strike. Art 19(1)(c) gives citizens of India fundamental right to form associations. But SC has categorically mentioned that Art(1)(c) does not infer upon the citizens a fundamental right to strike. This is included in the legal right.
Second point to be noted is this that do doctor’s have legal right to go on strike where the life of so many patients are at risk. Dont this amounts to infringing upon the right to life of people according to Art 21. Recent strike by doctors in LNJP has resulted in a serious chaos in the hospital and is a nightmare for many seriously ill or injured patients, many of whom are in emergency situations. (Times of India Article) In absence of resident doctors and nurses, faculty memners and doctors of the hospital are trying to make up for them, but this is in no means adequate.
When some issues of security and other issues of misbehaviour with doctors or nurses are involved, dont out doctors realise that there can be other means to solve them. Negotiations are the best possible way to solve these isues rather than punishing innocent patients by the going on hartal or strike. I remember a famous Pink Floyd “Keep Talking“. It goes like this:

For millions of years mankind lived just like animals.

Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination.
We learned to talk……….
……..It doesn’t have to be like this.
All we need to do is make sure we keep talking

Ours is a democratic state and constitution has given each of us some fundmental ad legal rights. But in order to make our lives better, we should not infringe uponother’s rights as well. By what means, or arguments, the act of doctor’s nurses, who are in such a profesion where the matter is about life and death of patients, is justifiable. Rather than being public servants, they have acted like public masters with no sense of responsibilites towards them. This act should be strongly condemned and proper action should be taken against guily doctors and nurses who have taken the lives of people on ransom.

Apartheid vs Untouchability

Posted in Politicians Speak, Society by dullar on March 30, 2007

One of blog mentions about the statement that our PM gave about the similarities between apartheid and untouchability. Before expressing my views about the credibilty of that statement i would like to go back to dictionary and find the meanings of the two words.
Apartheid:
1(American Heritage Dictionary)
a·part·heidn.
An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.
The condition of being separated from others; segregation.
2(WordNet)
apartheid: a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against people who are not Whites; the former official policy in South Africa
3(American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition)
apartheid
The racist policy (see racism of South Africa) that long denied blacks and other nonwhites civic, social, and economic equality with whites. It was dismantled during the 1990s.
Untouchability:
1(American Heritage Dictionary)
un·touch·a·ble
adj.
Not to be touched.
Out of reach; unobtainable.
Being beyond the reach of criticism, impeachment, or attack.
Loathsome or unpleasant to the touch.
2
UntouchableA member of the class that is excluded from and considered unclean and defiling by the four Hindu castes.

The above meanings clearly shows the basic difference between the two words and the context involved. Apartheid was a political and state-backed policy of discrimination of non-whites in South Africa whereas untouchability is a social reality which has no backing whatsoever from state. Infact state has made enough laws ans provided a number of provisions inthe constitution of India where the concept and practice of untouchability is not only punishable under the law of land but also seriously denounced. Undenying th fact that it as a social practice is still pravelent in many parts of country in varied degree of severity but there is a clear fall in the same over the years. It is very clear that state do not discriminate among its citizens on the basis of caste and do not propagate it in any manner.
By comparing the two Mr PM has not only brought disgrace to constitution of India but also clearly showed how wrong his analysis. By accepting it as a major threat to the unity of Indian social fabric on an international platform he has done no justice to the cause of people to this country. He has on tarnished the image of country and proved himself as a soft PM and India as a soft state who though accepts the harsh realities of social discrimination but has done a little for that cause and is gaining hollow sympathies on the basis of false rhetoric.
Secondly as one of national news channel has published a story on its news website, what right have an international organisation got to openely challenge the image of a country challenging its policies and directing for the same. We have taken it has somebody has given us a good lecture. Though social discrimination has existed and is also present today in Indian social life but we have and are doing enough for its cause. Constitution of India and successive governments have been instrumental in improving the condition of dalits in this country. They have equal political, economic and social rights in all walks and spheres of life. Its the people of India who has to be blamed for decreasing the efficiency of the steps taken by the state. If somebody says that police as an institution of state has kept dalits devoid of their rights then we should notblame state for this. Who after-all policemen are? Are not they people of same society in which others are seeing the dalits with a distorted mentality. But the fact remains that these people are wearing khakhi wardi in case of police.
Today there is need of the seeing the rules of law same for both state and society. We rather than taking the directive of international organisations should act on ourselves to discipline our age old vedic social mentality. We should not look at outside laws of humanity and human rights, when our constitution and other legislations have tried to make us dignified humans already. We should uncover the sympathetic faces of few politicians, who are making political mileage out of their public statements and tarnishing the social harmony.

Cast(e) The Vote

Posted in Caste, Insight, Polity, Society by dullar on December 7, 2006

Is caste system real reason behind the agitation of dalits which rocked the nation from villages to parliament recently. It is not probably. The social and ritual basis of caste has become too old and sure to die a slow death, if not now, but surely in near future. In the social sphere, it is an issue, which has become very obscure and economic modernisation and process of globalization has kind of engulfed it. But in the political sphere the issue is much younger and has really become monster headed hydra with its tentackle spread all across the country. If there is common basis for the political parties and a common ideology for them, it is issue over caste and their percieved self interest under the garb of people’s conviction and interests. If Ambedkar’s presence is more felt than Gandhi and his ideas still guide the people’s actions and thinking intoday’s India then it is only because politics of this country is guided by votes and which, primarily on caste based manouvering. Reservation issue is another hot bed of caste based politics. Every repurcussion, good or bad emanates from these very basic facts. Media has a very obvious role in educating and awaring people about the whole damn issue but they too only builds fancy headlines out of all this just to make crispy stories and ready money.
It is not very long since we were basking in the romantic fancy of Gandhigiri, of Gandhi’s resurgence in 21st century, and now we have just swinged to the oppiste pole of Ambedkar and dalit politics, thanx to media driven propaganda. The very own idea that Ambedkar and Gandhi lies at opposite poles as far as idea of caste system is concerned is of limited literary value. But the truth that makes sense to realise is that both stood against untouchability, and for equality and social justice. And had either of Gandhi or Ambedkar been living today, it woudn’t have mattered to them as whose legacy is still driving the nation but all that they would have worried and mourned over was the caste based divisions in the society. Our political parties have made most when people have nothing but to loose. As sociologist Max Weber have said about ‘power’ as a zero sum game, the positives of slfish political parties is nothing but negatives of people of country. Former rules latter get ruled, former divides, latter falls apart.

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