Sunday, March 09, 2014
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
issues of NE students like Dana Sangma, Richard Loitham and many more
un-named and forgotten victims, brings to mind a rather bitter joke I
had used with my british and yank cousins to explain why we are what or
how we are -
Indian movies (especially those of 70's, 80's
and 90's) often go above the top with violence, gore and melodrama,
because for the average indian of those times, cinema was
the only vicarious release for all the frustrations endured and
inabilities silenced. It was cathartic for the normal bloke to believe
that "justice" will prevail and "revenge" can be had - usually without a
backlash and preferably with a happily everafter ending. Fact is, even
today, the entire indian film & television industry exist on the
same ideals (perhaps with a touch more sophistry).... a fact that cannot
be understood by anyone who has not spent a satisfactory amount of time
in India as an adult.
And my cousins would smile and think I was "full of myself" and a "character"....
I smile at the attempts of the media,
the rabid flailings of the students, parents and well-wishers
and KNOW that in a while, they will all disperse... today, tomorrow, soon..
I smile at the media's castigation of criminals
because I KNOW what our judicial system is like
how they will slip past if they have the money & contacts.
I smile at all the hopefuls we have,
In India and elsewhere who dream of ideals and sentiments
and KNOW that if forced to choose for their own life & living or
everything else will take a back seat... just like any
And FINALLY, I smile
because cynics like me can do no more than smile
and KNOW that I'm part of the problem in itself..... :P
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Thursday, October 20, 2011
A friend texted me the other day – if you wish to trouble someone, sue him. Both of you will get what you deserve!!!
The conduct of a lawsuit is called litigation – in essence, it means that you bring in legal processes against someone or vice-versa or as the case may be. Lawyers love defining terms and drawing inferences and interpretations, so I will stop right here and get on with this article.
Basically, getting involved in any part of a legal process could be (mis)construed as “litigation” – in India, this is a synonym for “unbelievably cruel torture”, “waste of time” and even worse. I do realise that I am possibly slandering and causing grounds for libel, but I guess that’s the better part of living in a democracy. I get to say what I want….or at least till I am not arrested. Akhil Gogoi and his histrionics give me precedent, in case I AM arrested.
It’s been over 60 odd years and the higher up courts have got all the plaudits for “judicial activism” and TV cameras, while down in the gutters, it is still might is right or rather, money and cunning is all that (legally) matters. The heart cries out for a vigilante leaping off the short roofs of Guwahati town, righting wrongs and basically looking really good in tights….guys like me can only hope for such writer’s wet dreams.
There are over 3 crore (governmental figures, don’t believe them) cases currently pending in various courts in India. In most cases, citizens stand next to nothing chances of actually getting a decree in their lifetimes, much less justice. Did I hear someone mean-mouthing our honourable court processes and declare YET another hunger strike?!!!
I went and voted today. There was an ear-splitting screech from the machine as I pressed down on technology in the voting machine which has made ballot rigging a much harder exercise. As I type this on my laptop, I am able to delete most of the text which would probably land me in jail. As most of you read this, you yourselves will possibly understand that it’s not hunger strikes which have caused this present day miracle of an angry voice unheard in the backwaters of India ranting forth on the idiocy of a technologically savvy society from not seeing what is in front of their eyes.
India has more than 791.38 MILLION mobile phone users (as on February 2011) and I just needed to type in “number of cell phone users in India” to get the Wikipedia estimate. Each cell phone is registered and one must provide due papers for accessing the mobile telephony services. No doubt there are loopholes in this process which people have exploited, but by and large, it is still an amazing process where we have managed to map the hitherto innumerable Indian masses.
Technology, in essence, says “eat dust, suckers”…..
As a card-holding member of that particular Indian group – the armchair politicians and sofa do-gooders, the TV remote is the ultimate device for assuaging whatever scrap of social conscience we have. We’d rather have aggressive news anchors sell the “public voice” tabloid style and ask “hard questions” while the “nation watches”. And then we have dinner, discuss how the country is going to the dogs and go to sleep.
The ordinary citizen can barely make it to the polling station and avoids the courts like the plague – is it any wonder that hunger strikes of octogenarians sell TRP’s ?
As the Indian colossus staggers on, riding on the heroic shoulders of a few hundred thousand technology-oriented citizens, it seems there could be answer to many of our so-called “issues” at the feet of technology I am usually accused of ranting; therefore, allow me the indulgence of a providing a case study. The Indian Judicial Services should do well as the sacrificial goat, with due reverence to our ancient customs – none intended for the IJS, just to make my point clear.
Most Indians know how to access Facebook; in fact, the DWS website informs us that as on 27th of July 2010, Facebook registered over 12 million FB users. That figure contains several magistrates and judges of the trial courts in the State of Assam, as per my personal experience and knowledge. The judicial services see fit to install computers in all lower courts at quite an expense and furthermore, the magistrates are given laptops for day to day usage. Playing solitaire during boring legal arguments must have figured mainly during this decision to invest in such infrastructure.
Our legal system has been given a car with very nice upholstery and no engine to speak of. I would not know what kind of software that said judges and magistrates are utilizing, but obviously there is no intra-net in place to any form of data mining or even run basic trend regressions. There is a point system in place; I have been informed by my legal brethren on the bench, but what formulation thereof? If the judicial system has been optimized and brought up to IT speed, why are these figures not published? What is being hidden?
My main question is – why is this data, i.e. the number of trials under processes, under-trials, pre-trials not summarized or mapped? And published!!!
My supplementary questions are – why is this data not available to the general public? Why is judicial activism only visible in the High Courts and that too as the discretion of the said High Court judges? Why are the processes not subject to review by external audit bodies?
Have you not heard of data mining or MIS (management of information systems)?
Allow me to quote Wikipedia (ever heard of it, you fossils warming those hallowed benches?) –
“Data mining (also known as Knowledge Discovery in Data, or KDD), field of computer science, is the process of extracting patterns from large data sets by combining methods from statistics and artificial intelligence with database management. With recent tremendous technical advances in processing power, storage capacity, and inter-connectivity of computer technology, data mining is seen as an increasingly important tool by modern business to transform unprecedented quantities of digital data into business intelligence giving an in a wide range of profiling practices, such as marketing, surveillance, fraud detection, and scientific discovery. The growing consensus that data mining can bring real value has led to an explosion in demand for novel data mining technologies”
“A management information system (MIS) is a system that provides information needed to manage organizations effectively. Management information systems involve three primary resources: technology, information, and people. It's important to recognize that while all three resources are key components when studying management information systems ... the most important resource is people. Management information systems are regarded to be a subset of the overall internal controls procedures in a business, which cover the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures used by management accountants to solve business problems such as costing a product, service or a business-wide strategy. Management information systems are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems”
We are discussing technology which has been around for quite a bit of time – and guess what, Indian companies lead the way in delivering the same to clients such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, Havard Med School and many more. But the gods forbid that the Indian citizen’s hard earned taxes should be spent in such frivolous expenditure. I mean, seriously, we would depriving the families of all those tout’s posing as lawyers, the clerks in the records branches and many, many more of their livelihood now, wouldn’t we?
And what if the said data WERE to be mined or the information so available is checked against census records, or even records from the telecom sectors? Would it be really possible that there would be a massive culling out of people who are dead, cases which are already time barred or worse, release prisoners who have been detained illegally?
Every VILLAGE in India now has cyber café’s – why does the average Indian litigant have to bribe the court master (peshkar) to know the next date or even submit a petition for absence? Would it be so hard to explain to our dearly beloved judicial services that it might be possible to run a basic website informing litigants of the status of their cases?
But wait, I hear people (highly placed people who sneer for a living – worse than the armchair brigade) scream about the cost. Of course there is cost – when was the last time any of you fat cats being driven in fancy white sedans with air-conditioning last understand the cost of a litigant who gives up a day’s wage to travel to the city, waits the entire day for his case to be heard and be finally informed that due to some issue (the magistrate’s grand-daughter’s birthday or the public prosecutor’s hangover) the case was deferred to the next leap year’s February the 29th.
Cost is subjective, cost is perspective – ask a man running around the courts for the last 10 years just to get a decree, much less justice, what cost really is. But in reality, hyperbole aside, the car’s been bought already, the infrastructure is in place – an engine or the right software would cost a few lacs. Certainly cheaper than the fleet of new white sedans I see every time I pass the High Court of our glorious State.
Of course – we could NEVER implement such radical processes, it would show up so many people, processes and so much else in bad light and no one really wants that.
And technology, in essence, is told “eat dust, sucker”…..
Someone get my bail money.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Allow me to start by quoting from a dictionary…..I love doing this as it irritates people to no end!!!
Chauvinist: Believing that the group one belongs to, be it of sex, creed, or color, is automatically superior to another's. Sexism is a prime example of chauvinistic ideology. (Quote Urban Dictionary)
Chivalry: Origin Old French "chevalerie", from Latin "caballarius" 'horseman'. Derivatives Chivalric (adjective). Also, the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral and social code. Again, the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honour, courtesy, justice, and a readyness to help the weak. Finally, courteous behaviour, especially that of a man towards women. For eg. Chivalry was an expected quality of an knight during the medieval period. (Quote Urban Dictionary)
If you open the door, hold the seat, be courteous i.e. whatever makes life easier for women today, you are chivalrous. However, if that same spirit extends to not being conducive to women, you’re chauvinistic – I can open my OWN door, pay for my own coffee/drink…..THANK YOU (I hate the way they say Thank You – feels like a call to arms!!)
As life gets easier, things get complicated – or so we think. Each generation feels that the other generations had it easy. The questions that each generation throws up are obviously different, but in essence quite the same. The way we deal with them is also quite the same in essence – we keep on moving ahead and over time, the questions become someone else’s headache and we cant be bothered…..or so my dad says J
This is a note, NOT in answer, but a Note to understand….a note for elucidation & elaboration for myself. No doubt it has been inspired by other near and dear ones, but the questions that are raised need answers. I don’t think I have all the answers but the years of observation allow me draw my own conclusions – conclusions I believe in though they are subject to change. I would be no better than many if I was to consider that standing my ground actually counts as being steadfast, courageous or whatever.
Virtues are a form of social conditioning and we learn them at home due to their prevalence in society and as accepted norms of behaviour. The story of the fox and the grapes is absurd if we were to think of it now, but we take the lesson from it, ONLY because we’re taught only one way to think or perceive or even reason. Take a minute to consider the story – run through it in your mind….spot the absurdity….if you don’t get it, message me J
Women of this generation are a confused lot and the men are worse – merely because our thought processes are vicarious. We are who the women in our life were or are. And before you call me an ardent feminist, read on….
Our grandparents or forebears had it better – there was a clear demarcation of roles and hence there was compromise. You got married without consent and you moved on with it. In short, lack of options made the process palatable.
This is my first issue – we have far too many options today…..confusion begins with too many options.
Who are a male and a female? Does anatomy actually demarcate gender or is it a state of mind? A girl who has to fight for her everyday bread and fight ruthlessly in an uncaring world is “masculine” in getting what she needs to survive. A boy who is cosseted and mollycoddled, unable to decide what his priorities are, is considered “effeminate” and therefore ridiculed. Are these concepts or biases? Who set up these definitions? Do they apply today……do they need to?
My second issue – definition is imperative……confusion ensues when you cant define something or someone into its correct square peg.
You disagree? Its possible to be a round hole in a square peg – also known as the chaos theory, yes?
So, what do women want? What do men want? What is it that makes us hunt endlessly over and over to attain the nirvana of happiness? In fact, what is happiness? When did you last see it? Who was responsible for it?
The taste of an ice-cream on a hot summer’s day is happiness……YOU cause it by eating the ice-cream. The happiness is therefore related to YOUR satisfaction. If it’s a beer that quenches your thirst, would water do as well? If your heart wishes for something then does a substitute actually do the job?
If you’re gay and society demands you’re straight, would that work for you? If it does not, what happens? You are either gay or happy or you’re straight and unhappy……life’s pretty much specific and the one thing it teaches is that happiness is purely a matter of perspective.
My third issue – where do we draw the line? What do we accept and work with…..and what happens when we don’t or cant accept and negotiate?
Coming to the topic at hand, why cant women – capable, smart women get the men they want? Yes, this is the main question. We men often get the women we want because we’re okay with settling for whatever works for us. But women, after generations of brutal fighting, are never satisfied till they have EXACTLY what they want. Be it 200 shops for just the RIGHT dress or climbing 6 floors of successively better men to get to that BEST IDEAL MAN till they come to an empty terrace with a sign saying “hi, you’re the 364847262826725 woman to arrive here. Just goes to show that you women can NEVER be satisfied” !!!!
Yes, that was a stupid joke, but a brilliant understanding of women. Men are accused of wanting arm candy and trophy wives – what gives women of TODAY the right NOT to have the same? ALSO, alongwith that right comes the duty of being castigated the same as us men!!!
Welcome to the world…its not a male world, its not a female world. Its YOUR world and it treats you the way you BEHAVE. You fight like mad to get to where you are, you’re successful, capable etc etc – CONGRATULATIONS….WELL DONE…..you’ve proven you have balls – now deal with it!!!
Women who are successful are no different from men who are successful. You have got the same opportunities as us and in fact sometimes more in intangible terms. And now, you don’t get men, you lot whine??!!!
Here’s a secret - men who are successful look for companions who get along with them, not someone who start’s a pissing contest with them. We’ve had a few millennia to figure out what we need and who symbolizes that for us. Its quite rare to find two equally successful people marrying and sustaining that marriage. Success is a hard cored wheel that rubs sparks off its own ilk….we get that and therefore choose companions who get along with our state of mind, rather than give us headaches.
My fourth issue - Women who are successful want even more successful men to look up to….something that’s just not going to happen J
You’ve worked your entire lives beating the odds to be PAMPERED and LOOKED AFTER??? NOW you realize that you want to be TAKEN CARE OF?? A little late, don’t you think…..
Men on the other hand are clear – they’re happy to be exactly what they are, all life long….hence less issues and we settle down fine. Women get cantankerous and ugly inside and become bitter and cynical and blame the world……but when was that a new story? Women would rather blame the world and claim they were “victimized”…..they would rather say, “its taken me SOOOOOO long to become who I am, so love me or leave me….I cant change!!!”…..Damn right we leave….we’re simple people…..we know what we want….and if you cant deliver, we’ll go elsewhere …. And you know what, it’s a damn shame.
My conclusion – make your peace with who you want to be and find contextual satisfaction……if you want everything, you’ll remain confused, upset, bitter and get uglier inside with each year till you can’t bear your own skin….
You say no? Then why even bother looking for a man? Be happy with who you are, be self-contained, isolated and comprehensively happy with the deal – why vitiate matters by bringing in other factors into the equation?
Its like my granny said – you can have one or the other…..try to be a juggler and realize that it becomes a show that’s time-bound….at some point, the balls WILL drop and the more balls you have in the air, the louder the crash, the more devastating the aftermath……
OR you can figure out what you want and more importantly, NEED and strike a sensible deal……
Like the heroine in a recent movie said, “I’m really glad and happy for all that your generation has done for mine, but I basically don’t want to be alone. I choose a home rather than a career and I’m okay with my choice. It’s a good deal for me…”
Go get that arm candy, get those trophy hubbie girls……you might have to look down on them, but you’ll still get love and care and be looked after…..or stay single and sneer at the world…….
And I’ll get some cheese if you still wanna whine!!!