Wednesday June 26, 2019
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#SalmanVerdict: Justice meted out, time for media to shift focus

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By Gaurav Sharma

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan known for delivering blockbusters that easily supersede the works of other Bollywood hunks, has been sentenced to 5 year rigorous imprisonment for mowing down a man sleeping on a pavement, while grievously injuring four other

The judgment has drawn sharp reactions from both die-hard fans and detractors alike. No sooner was the verdict passed than the Indian media started covering Salman Khan, like bumblebees swarming over a honey-soaked flower.

Fathom this: Twitterati has flooded the social media platform with #SalmanVerdict and #Salmanfoundguilty for days on end now. Facebook status updates also invariably revolve around the judgment on the superstar.

Being a popular Bollywood star, one would assume it to be quite natural for the masses to have an opinion on their Bhai. Things are, however, taken to a whole new level when a war of words escalates between celebrities, as to who was responsible for the ‘accident’.

Celebrities seem to have eschewed their sense of equanimity while the verdict being announced. Abhijeet, a famous Bollywood singer lost his wits so much so, that he started blaming the accident victim for ‘sleeping on the road and getting killed’.

The indiscriminate coverage of the Salman Khan verdict by the media shows the shoddy level to which journalism standards have stooped in the country. From showing an emotional Aamir Khan hugging Salman after the verdict, conducting ridiculous panel discussions on the issue, to propping up images of fanatic fans refusing to eat, all the post-Salman-verdict noise has only shrouded the important issues which affect the common man.

Moreover, the media has missed the opportunity to ask the more relevant question of whether the elite should hold the life of a common man as sacred or have the right to non-chalantly crush them under their wheels, thinking they have everybody in their pockets.

A young athlete has committed suicide following alleged harassment by her seniors. The Lok Sabha has passed the Juvenile Justice Bill, the GST Bill has been steered through. These are just some of the many stories that remain veiled under the deluge of Dabanng news.

Just a handful of media channels chose to focus on the issues that matter to the man on the street. Hardly any news channel thought it pertinent to ask why it took an overwhelming 13 years for justice to be served.

It is not as if the world has come to an end with Salman being imprisoned. Truth be told, a guilty man deserves to be punished, that too at the earliest.

Salman could deny the allegations with all his heart and soul, but in the end the judgement was crystal clear in that he was inebriated at the time he was driving the SUV.

If only Being Human meant Being Humane, bhai would have thought twice before crushing someone under the wheels of his monster Land Rover.

The case is done and dusted and it is time for the guilty to serve his period. Media, please, move over.

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Women Representation in Lok Sabha as Low as 12 Percent

None of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House.

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Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha. Pixabay

Slogans of various political parties about empowering Indian women in politics seem to have remained just lip service, if one goes by the statistics.

The case in point is that in the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha, there were only 66 women members out of the total House strength of 543, which makes it just 12 per cent.

This is the situation 67 years after the first general elections.

Had the long-pending legislative proposal to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha been passed, it could have ensured at least 179 female members in the Lower House of Parliament.

In the first Lok Sabha formed in 1952, there were 24 women. The number did not change in the second Lok Sabha formed in 1957.

The number increased when the third Lok Sabha (1962-67) was formed with 37 women, according to data available on the Lok Sabha website.

There was a decrease in the numbers in the fourth, fifth and sixth Lok Sabha where 33, 28 and 21 women were elected respectively.

The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected.

When the Lok Saha was elected in 1989 for the ninth time, the number of women dropped to 28.

Since then, there has been a minor but constant increase in the number of females.

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The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected. 
Pixabay

The 10th Lok Sabha (1991-96) had 42 female members and the 11th was one less.

The 12th had 44 female MPs, while the 13th and 14th saw equal numbers at 52 females of the total 543 members.

The 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14) saw a major increase: it touched 64 females — about 12 per cent of the total House strength.

The 16th – the outgoing – Lok Sabha had 66 female MPs, two more than the previous term.

Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha.

Congress’ Meira Kumar was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha in 2009 and served till 2014. Then, Sumitra Mahajan of BJP became the second female to preside over the 16th Lok Sabha.

Congress on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state
The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. – wikimedia commons

The political parties have been promising 33 per cent reservation to females in legislatures a number of times.

Also Read: U.N. Agencies Running Out of Money for Essential Relief Activities, Yemen’s Children Continue To Suffer

The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. The BJP too made the promise in 2014 and now. The Communist Party of India-Marxist also promised the reservation in its manifestos in 1999, 2009 and 2019.

But none of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House. (IANS)