Thursday July 19, 2018
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Biased media? AAP termed ‘devil’ but no debates on LG’s moves

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By Dr. Kallol Guha

The tussle between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor has been a topic of discussion on the news channels. The discussions seem to point that people’s aspirations, rights, privileges and quality of life are not the goals of any truly independent and free nation and this has always been a ‘fundamental’ issue.  In turn, it is the role of the citizens to serve the constitution, no matter how oppressive it might be.

The so-called experts argue – some passionately, some hysterically- to establish that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is wrong, support the Lieutenant Governor, Najeeb Jung. AAP has been showered with allegations that they can’t govern and are not a team player with words like ‘inexperienced’ and ‘anarchist’ being thrown around. No debate ever bothered to emphasize on the views which AAP has been trying to communicate to the public and propose to investigate to protect the interest of the people.

There are certain questions that media should raise with respect to this tussle. AAP has claimed to have busted the racket, which controlled transfer postings of SGM in lucrative areas that were not done on the basis of public interest, but was an industry where such decisions were made through bribery. The Lieutenant Governor reportedly used his influence to get control over transfer posting. Isn’t it pertinent to ask whether Lieutenant Governor is aware of the transfer posting industry?  If posting has indeed taken the shape of an industry and influenced by bribery has AAP done anything wrong? Why does Lieutenant Governor want to take over that responsibility from AAP?

The mainstream media has failed to highlight that when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) prosecuted a constable, who was caught red- handed while taking bribe and was taken into custody, the Lieutenant Governor’s office along with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) appealed to the Supreme Court  for his bail.

Lieutenant Governor had made all preparations to transfer ACB office under its own control until the High Court ruling prevented that transfer. AAP said that Delhi Government has jurisdiction over Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB). Shouldn’t this kind of behaviour of the Lieutenant Governor be discussed in public?

While AAP claims that they have organized Mohalla Sabha and are trying to engage common people in running their day to day administration of daily life, has the Lieutenant Governor made any efforts to support such practices? Or has he tried to evaluate the public reaction to such Sabhas?

No debate or discussion has been held to check whether actions of Lieutenant Governor or AAP are helping the common man to make things easier for the common man. In one debate, a Congress spokesperson complained that areas in Delhi have no water, electricity and sewer lines and AAP has not done anything to improve such condition. No reporter, viewer or panellist bothered to point to the Congress spokesperson that ask how can she be so shameless even to ask such a question when Congress politicians were swindling and looting the nation since 1947. They did not install such basic amenities and expect others to do that in 100 days under collective siege.

Referring to the statement of a former Congress Minister who at a rare moment of honesty said during the cabinet discussion on land acquisition that for industry in tribal areas one gets the impression as if there are no habitation on the land in question, they do not even exist. This is a very significant observation. Make no mistake, in the tussle between the Lieutenant Governor and Delhi Government one may see same approach. People in the Lieutenant Governor camp might feel that people’s role is to serve Parliament, Constitution and law, no matter how oppressive or harmful that might be. Not the other way around.

Instead of these pertinent issues, flowery words are used to determine whether the water in the bottle or bottle is in the water?  These worthless wordy discussions will continue as long as they are helpful to confuse people so that common people may be distracted from identifying who is out to strangle them with a mask of “DEMOCRACY, CONSTITUTION, FREEDOM.”

Truth is no one gives your right, you have to fight for it. This truth is manifesting itself in here as well. Time has come for people to decide whether they will allow themselves to be fooled continuously or identify who are with them and who are not.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of NewsGram.

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  • Neeru Bahl

    I think media houses should read this masterpiece , may be they get some enlightenment!

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India Can Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?

A total of 548 global experts on women’s issues , 43 of them from India

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BJP Leader Asks Parents Of A Rape Victim To Express Gratitude To Them
Can India Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?. Flickr

-By Deepa Gahlot

You read with a mixture of alarm and scepticism, the poll report by the London-based Thomson Reuters Foundation that India is the most dangerous country in the world for women, beating Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

According to reports, a total of 548 global experts on women’s issues — 43 of them from India — were asked about risks faced by women in six areas: healthcare, access to economic resources and discrimination, customary practices, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and human trafficking. And shockingly, India comes out as the worst!

We see women progressing in every field in India, but, there is also the increasing violence against women and young girls reported every day; not long ago, female tourists felt safe in India; but now, women travelling solo are constantly targeted. Everyday there are reports of the rapes and murders of minor girls, often accompanied by unimaginable torture and mutilation.

There has been outrage in India, and also holes punctured in the survey that has such a small number of respondents, but can we really take an ostrich approach to the condition of women? Even as education and healthcare improve for women — at least in metro cities — the contempt for women is socially and culturally ingrained in the Indian psyche. In a city like Mumbai considered progressive and relatively safe for women, the girl child is unwanted even by many educated and wealthy families. In spite of laws being in place, female foeticide and infanticide is rampant, to the extent that there are large territories where there are no girl children and brides for the men have to be ‘imported’ from other states.  As dowry murders and rapes rise, the more unwanted the girl child becomes.  The fact is that India’s gender ratio is deplorable.

And if the male child is valued over the girl child, he grows up believing that he is special and if he is thwarted in any way, he can resort to violence. In spite of education and exposure to progressive ideas, in the case of rape or sexual violence, the tendency to blame and shame the victim persists.

To give just one small example, in the West, accusations of sexual harassment resulted in united shunning of a man as powerful as Harvey Weinstein and many others in the wake of the #MeToo movement, that helped many women speak out about their experiences.

In India, Malayalam actor Dileep, who has been accused in the abduction and rape of an actress, and was boycotted by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), was recently reinstated. This caused shock and dismay among women in the film industry.

A statement by a group of over 150 women film practitioners says it like it is, “A body that is meant to represent artistes of the Malayalam movie industry showed complete disregard for its own member who is the victim of this gross crime. Even before the case has reached its conclusion, AMMA has chosen to validate a person accused of a very serious crime against a colleague. We condemn this cavalier attitude by artistes against women artistes who are working alongside them. There is misogyny and gender discrimination embedded in this action.

“We admired and supported the Women in Cinema Collective that was formed by women film artistes in Kerala in the aftermath of the abduction and molestation of a colleague, a top star in the industry. We applaud the WCC members who have walked out of AMMA to protest the chairman’s invitation to reinstate the accused. We pledge our continued support to the Women in Cinema Collective who are blazing a trail to battle sexism in the film industry.

“Cinema is an art form that can challenge deeply entrenched violence and discrimination in society. It is distressing to see an industry that stands amongst the best in the country and has even made a mark in world cinema choose to shy away from using their position and their medium responsibly at this important moment. Today, women form a significant part of the film and media industries, we reject any attempt at silencing us and making us invisible.”

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Indian women. VOA

The preference for male children has had some unexpected ramifications. In a working paper published by the American non-profit, National Bureau of Economic Research, by Northwestern University’s Seema Jayachandran and Harvard University’s Rohini Pande (quoted in Quartz Media), finds that stunting in Indian children could also be blamed on the cultural preference for sons.

“In India, on average, the first child — if he is a son — doesn’t suffer from stunting. But, if the first — and so the eldest — child of the family is a girl, she suffers from a height deficit. And, then, if the second child is a boy, and hence the eldest son of the family, he will not be stunted. This happens because of an unequal allocation of resources to the first child”.

According to the report, “When Jayachandran and Pande compared India and Africa results through this lens, they found that the Indian first and eldest son tends to be taller than an African firstborn. If the eldest child of the family is a girl, and a son is born next, the son will still be taller in India than Africa. For girls, however, the India-Africa height deficit is large. It is the largest for daughters with no older brothers, probably because repeated attempts to have a son takes a beating on the growth of the girls.”

Also read: Has Legal Framework Turned a Blind Eye towards Under-representation of Women in Indian Politics?

In spite of all the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao rhetoric, the required shift in the male-centric attitude towards a more egalitarian one is simply not happening; or, it is a case of one step forward, two steps backward. The Thomson Reuters Foundation report may be unfair and skewed, but being known as the rape capital of the world does nothing to improve the image of India in the world or even in its own eyes. (IANS)