Friday, April 08, 2011

FAQ on Anna Hazare (forwarded mail)

1. Who is Anna Hazare?

An ex-army man. Fought 1965 Indo-Pak War

2. What's so special about him?

He built a village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra

3. So what?

This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills.

In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest village in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.

4. Ok,...?

This guy, Anna Hazare was awarded Padma Bhushan and is a known figure for his social activities.

5. Really, what is he fighting for?

He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.

6. How that can be possible?

He is advocating for a Bil, The Lok Pal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman Bill), that will form an autonomous authority who will make politicians (ministers), beurocrats (IAS/IPS) accountable for their deeds.

8. It's an entirely new thing right..?

In 1972, the bill was proposed by then Law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan. Since then it has been neglected by the politicians and some are trying to change the bill to suit thier theft (corruption).

7. Oh.. He is going on a hunger strike for that whole thing of passing a Bill ! How can that be possible in such a short span of time?

The first thing he is asking for is: the government should come forward and announce that the bill is going to be passed.

Next, they make a joint committee to DRAFT the LOK PAL BILL. 50% goverment participation and 50% public participation. Because you cant trust the government entirely for making such a bill which does not suit them.

8. Fine, What will happen when this bill is passed?

A LokPal will be appointed at the centre. He will have an autonomous charge, say like the Election Commission of India. In each and every state, Lokayukta will be appointed. The job is to bring all alleged party to trial in case of corruptions within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty will be punished. Not like, Bofors scam or Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, that has been going for last 25 years without any result.

9. Is he alone? Whoelse is there in the fight with Anna Hazare?

Baba Ramdev, Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, Social Activist Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and many more.

Prominent personalities like Aamir Khan is supporting his cause.

10. Ok, got it. What can I do?

At least we can spread the message. How?

Putting status message, links, video, changing profile pics.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

For a departed friend

It has been exactly a month now since this happened for the first time in my life. A former colleague and a beloved friend of mine who had been a bundle of energy and enthusiasm in almost everything she did was silenced forever by meningitis.

I was told, she had prolonged fever and hence applied for some time off work. Following persistent fever, she had seizure that never ceased and after fighting the disease for the whole of February and for a week in March, finally lost the battle.

I never traveled to Hyderabad to visit her. I didn't do so because, I honestly thought (until one week before her death) that it was a matter of time before she recovered. But she didn't. I didn't attend her funeral because, I had to admit it... I wasn't brave enough. But I don't regret it either. I remember her smiling face and explosive laugh rather than silenced body.

But I do regret one thing, days before she was hospitalized (and when she was still well), she came up on chat and complained that I never called. I had to run then, so I promised her to call and left my number. I wish I had called her. But I didn't and now I can't.

Apart from being a good friend, she is one of the very few people who took active interest in my efforts in the social sector and was the only person who taught English to the kids whom I taught Physics. I suppose one thing I can do in her memory is to restart this effort. I will.

I have come to realize a few things, albeit the hard way from her departure. I had listed this to a friend earlier which I think is worth sharing here too.

  • Life is a gift and we are all very very lucky to have one especially because it can be snatched away brutally in a matter of minutes.
  • A healthy life is even more a precious gift. We better live it more responsibly (as per ones' own definition)
  • And Friends. I am sure all of us have friends who are as sweet as her they can't be taken for granted (she wasn't a granted for us). And they are priceless gifts. We meet them by pure stroke of luck and they end up playing such a positive, sometimes decisive role in our lives. We better treat them well. Keep in touch. Before it turns out to be too late.
  • It isn't just friends. Anyone (relatives, neighbours) whose departure may affect us as bad as her departure.