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Tirupati Balaji Temple: The richest temple with no values

19 Feb

Tirupati Balaji temple in Tirumala

Located in the hills of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh, the Balaji temple in Tirumala, most popularly known as Tirupati Balaji is the richest temple of India in terms of revenues. Just to give our readers an idea about the mindboggling collection of this temple, on April 1, 2012 the collection of Hundi (offering box) amounted to Rs 5.73 crores/1.05 million USD. Temple’s yearly revenue is somewhere around Rs 2000 crores per year. That’s a lot of money for a country where 80% of the population barely ears $1 a day. The Balaji temple is governed by TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams) trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple and oversees the operations and finances of the richest and the most visited religious centre in the world. TTD trust is also involved in various social, religious, literary and educational activities within Andhra Pradesh and India. It runs various degree colleges, junior colleges and high schools for boys and girls, in and around Tirupati. Going by amount of revenue earned by the temple, one would expect the temple to be maintained by people who really care for the thousands of devotees who pour in huge numbers each day just to get the glimpse of their respected lord Balaji, well that’s not the case at all. Here is an incident as reported by one of the devotees who visited Balaji temple for darshan on Feb 17, 2013, the day which is celebrated as ‘Ratha sapthami’ festival.

The devotee started his darshan journey around 8:00 AM in the morning from Tirupati bus stand, the bus ticket counter for the tickets to Tirumal (where the temple is situated) was crowded with people literally fighting their way to buy the tickets, no arrangements were made by the TTD to ease the process of buying bus tickets to the lords’ place. After buying the tickets, to get a place in the bus was another horrifying story, the devotee had to virtually fight it out with fellow devotees to get a place in the bus to Tirumala. Anyways the devotee finally reached the temple premises around 9:00 AM and immediately joined the long waiting darshan queue, after a long wait and snail pace through the co-called Vaikuntam Queue Complex which leads to the main temple, the devotee finally got the darshan around 4:30 PM in the evening. The temple was decorated with flowers and stuff but no arrangements had been made to ease down the waiting time for the devotees. The sad part of the story was the way the TTD security people were treating the devotees, the devotees were literally kicked by the security guys after they reached the God’s place, after waiting for six hours in the queue the devotees were not expected to even spend three seconds in front of the God, ones who dared to bow in front of the God for a second or so were pushed and thrashed by the TTD security people.

The famous Laddu Prasad line was nearly a 2 km long queue with no security officials to manage the chaos happening in the queue, people were smacking the fellow devotees who tried to barge in the line. The temple’s surrounding area was barricaded for processions of Ratha sapthami festival celebrations. Our devotee in question, after collecting the Laddus, while trying to make his way out of the temple area unknowingly entered in the area where he was humiliated and abused by the TTD security person. The devotee politely asked the security guy a way out or the way to exit the premises, but the security person in return simply humiliated and abused him for walking down in the wrong area, the security guy apart from the abusive words didn’t tell him the way out of the premises and the devotee had to actually find it out himself the way out.

It’s kind of shame that TTD even after having out of the world income from devotees donation is least bothered about the people who visit their temple, they know that whatever happens or however they treat the people, people will visit the temple for the sake of God. It’s a shame that our country’s governance takes the common people for a ride; TTD who runs so many education institutes can’t even educate their own security personals on how to treat its pilgrims. We sincerely request the people of India that do not visit Tirupati Balaji’s temple more than once a year for this temple is handled by rude authorities who in the process of taking care of God have themselves become God. It’s about time that the temple caretakers like TTD should understand the value of common people of the country who are the only reason behind their income and success of the temple. Do remember that Lord Balaji will always help the good souls, so just be good and don’t worry about the temple visits.

Do you think Tirupati Balaji temple is managed well by TTD?

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Shah Rukh Khan’s article in Outlook: King Khan’s punches to Pakistan’s reaction

30 Jan

Shah Rukh Khan's article in OutlookThe article ‘Being a Khan’ by Bollywood superstart Shah Rukh Khan appeared in the magazine Outlook Turining Points(The Global Agenda 2013). In the article King Khan wrote his heart out by explainig the controversies and incidents he unessarily get dragged into just because of his last name being ‘Khan’. The article doesne’t seem to have anything to trigger any communal controversy but unfortunately has been picked up by Pakistani leaders for all the wrong reasons. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik reacted to the article by saying “I will request the government of India to please provide him security”. Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed whom India considers as one of its most wanted terrorists, went a step further and asked Shah Rukh Khan to move to Pakistan if he does not feel safe in India. While these replies from across the border were not necessary, Shah Rukh Khan finally came out in public and replied back strongly to the Pakistani leader’s comments and rightly justified his position as a true and patriotic Indian.

Here is the article by Shah Rukh as published in the Outlook Magzine:

Being a Khan

I am an actor. Time does not frame my days with as much conviction as images do. Images rule my life. Moments and memories imprint themselves on my being in the form of the snapshots that I weave into my expression. The essence of my art is the ability to create images that resonate with the emotional imagery of those watching them.

I am a Khan. The name itself conjures multiple images in my mind too: a strapping man riding a horse, his reckless hair flowing from beneath a turban tied firm around his head. His ruggedly handsome face marked by weathered lines and a distinctly large nose.

A stereotyped extremist; no dance, no drink, no cigarette tipping off his lips, no monogamy, no blasphemy; a fair, silent face beguiling a violent fury smoldering within. A streak that could even make him blow himself up in the name of his God. Then there is the image of me being shoved into a back room of a vast American airport named after an American president (another parallel image: of the president being assassinated by a man named lee, not a Muslim thankfully, nor Chinese as some might imagine! I urgently shove the image of the room out of my head).

Some stripping, frisking and many questions later, I am given an explanation (of sorts): “Your name pops up on our system, we are sorry”. “So am I,” I think to myself, “Now can I have my underwear back please?” Then, there is the image I most see, the one of me in my own country: being acclaimed as a megastar, adored and glorified, my fans mobbing me with love and apparent adulation.

I am a Khan.

I could say I fit into each of these images: I could be a strapping six feet something – ok something minus, about three inches at least, though I don’t know much about horse-riding. A horse once galloped off with me flapping helplessly on it and I have had a “no horse-riding” clause embedded in my contracts ever since.

I am extremely muscular between my ears, I am often told by my kids, and I used to be fair too, but now I have a perpetual tan or as I like to call it ‘olive hue’ – though deep In the recesses of my armpits I can still find the remains of a fairer day. I am handsome under the right kind of light and I really do have a “distinctly large” nose. It announces my arrival in fact, peeking through the doorway just before I make my megastar entrance. But my nose notwithstanding, my name means nothing to me unless I contextualize it.

Stereotyping and contextualizing is the way of the world we live in: a world in which definition has become central to security. We take comfort in defining phenomena, objects and people – with a limited amount of knowledge and along known parameters. The predictability that naturally arises from these definitions makes us feel secure within our own limitations.

We create little image boxes of our own. One such box has begun to draw its lid tighter and tighter at present. It is the box that contains an image of my religion in millions of minds.

I encounter this tightening of definition every time moderation is required to be publicly expressed by the Muslim community in my country. Whenever there is an act of violence in the name of Islam, I am called upon to air my views on it and dispel the notion that by virtue of being a Muslim, I condone such senseless brutality. I am one of the voices chosen to represent my community in order to prevent other communities from reacting to all of us as if we were somehow colluding with or responsible for the crimes committed in the name of a religion that we experience entirely differently from the perpetrators of these crimes.

I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in india. There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighboring nation rather than my own country – this even though I am an Indian whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave my home and return to what they refer to as my “original homeland”. Of course, I politely decline each time, citing such pressing reasons as sanitation words at my house preventing me from taking the good shower that’s needed before undertaking such an extensive journey. I don’t know how long this excuse will hold though.

I gave my son and daughter names that could pass for generic (pan-Indian and pan-religious) ones: Aryan and Suhana. The Khan has been bequeathed by me so they can’t really escape it. I pronounce it from my epiglottis when asked by Muslims and throw the Aryan as evidence of their race when non-Muslims enquire.

I imagine this will prevent my offspring from receiving unwarranted eviction orders and random fatwas in the future. It will also keep my two children completely confused. Sometimes, they ask me what religion they belong to and, like a good Hindi movie hero, I roll my eyes up to the sky and declare philosophically, “You are an Indian first and your religion is humanity”, or sing them an old Hindi film ditty, “Tu Hindu banega na Musalmaan banega – insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega” set to Gangnam Style.

None of this informs them with any clarity, it just confounds them some more and makes them deeply wary of their father.

In the land of the freed, where I have been invited on several occasions to be honored, I have bumped into ideas that put me in a particular context. I have had my fair share of airport delays for instance.

I became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist who coincidentally carries the same last name as mine that I made a film, subtly titled My name is Khan (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point. Ironically, I was interrogated at the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to present the film in America for the first time. I wonder, at times, whether the same treatment is given to everyone whose last name just happens to be McVeigh (as in Timothy)??

I don’t intend to hurt any sentiments, but truth be told, the aggressor and taker of life follows his or her own mind. It has to nothing to do with a name, a place or his/her religion. It is a mind that has its discipline, its own distinction of right from wrong and its own set of ideologies. In fact, one might say, it has its own “religion”. This religions has nothing to do with the ones that have existed for centuries and been taught in mosques or churches. The call of the azaan or the words of the pope have no bearing on this person’s soul. His soul is driven by the devil. I, for one, refuse to be contextualized by the ignorance of his ilk.

I am a Khan.

I am neither six-feet-tall nor handsome (I am modest though) nor am I a Muslim who looks down on other religions. I have been taught my religion by my six-foot-tall, handsome Pathan ‘Papa’ from Peshawar, where his proud family and mine still resides. He was a member of the no-violent Pathan movement called Khudai Khidamatgaar and a follower of both Gandhiji and Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, who was also known as the Frontier Gandhi.

My first learning of Islam from him was to respect women and children and to uphold the dignity of every human being. I learnt that the property and decency of others, their points of view, their beliefs, their philosophies and their religions were due as much respect as my own and ought to be accepted with an open mind. I learnt to believe in the power and benevolence of Allah, and to be gentle and kind to my fellow human beings, to give of myself to those less privileged than me and to live a life full of happiness, joy, laughter and fun without impinging on anybody else’s freedom to live in the same way.

So I am a Khan, but no stereotyped image is factored into my idea of who I am. Instead, the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians. I have felt this love for the last 20 years regardless of the fact that my community is a minority within the population of India. I have been showered with love across national and cultural boundaries, from Suriname to Japan and Saudi Arabia to Germany, places where they don’t even understand my language. They appreciate what I do for them as an entertainer – that’s all. My life has led me to understand and imbibe that love is a pure exchange, untempered by definition and unfettered by the narrowness of limiting ideas. If each one of us allowed ourselves the freedom to accept and return love in its purity, we would need no image boxes to hold up the walls of our security.

I believe that I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience the magnitude of such a love, but I also know that its scale is irrelevant. In our own small ways, simply as human beings, we can appreciate each other for how touch our lives and not how our different religions or last names define us.

Beneath the guise of my superstardom, I am an ordinary man. My Islamic stock does not conflict with that of my Hindu wife’s. The only disagreements I have with Gauri concern the color of the walls in our living room and not about the locations of the walls demarcating temples from mosques in India.

We are bringing up a daughter who pirouettes in a leotard and choreographs her own ballets. She sings western songs that confound my sensibilities and aspires to be an actress. She also insists on covering her head when in a Muslim nation that practices this really beautiful and much misunderstood tenet of Islam.

Our son’s linear features proclaim his Pathan pedigree although he carries his own, rather gentle mutations of the warrior gene. He spends all day either pushing people asie at rugby, kicking some butt at Tae Kwon Do or eliminating unknown faces behind anonymous online gaming handles around the world with The Call of Duty video game. And yet, he firmly admonishes me for getting into a minor scuffle at the cricket stadium in Mumbai last year because some bigot make unsavory remarks about me being a Khan.

The four of us make up a motley representation of the extraordinary acceptance and validation that love can foster when exchanged within the exquisiteness of things that are otherwise defined ordinary.

For I believe, our religion is an extremely personal choice, not a public proclamation of who we are. It’s as person as the spectacles of my father who passed away some 20 years ago. Spectacles that I hold onto as my most prized and personal possession of his memories, teachings and of being a proud Pathan. I have never compared those with my friends, who have similar possessions of their parents or grandparents. I have never said my father’s spectacles are better than your mother’s saree. So why should we have this comparison in the matter of religion, which is as personal and prized a belief as the memories of your elders. Why should not the love we share be the last word in defining us instead of the last name? It doesn’t take a superstar to be able to give love, it just takes a heart and as far as I know, there isn’t a force on this earth that can deprive anyone of theirs.

I am a Khan, and that’s what it has meant being one, despite the stereotype images that surround me. To be a Khan has been to be loved and love back – that the promise that virgins wait for me somewhere on the other side.

Shah Rukh Khan

Here is how some Pakistani leaders reacted to Shah Rukh Khan’s article:

 

 

Here is how Shah Rukh reacted to all the drama created by misinterpretation of his article:

According to me, all our lives we are defined by three identities. Two of which are fortunately acquired by birth  and are a matter of unconditional love and acceptance. The first identity is acquired by where one is born. Our Motherland. That defines us. So foremost all of us here like me are proud Indians. Second the family name and upbringing that our parents give us. Mine is Khan, like some of us here. I am very proud of my parents, like all of us are here. I love them unconditionally. The third is the profession we choose that defines us. By some quirk of fate I am a celebrity… a public figure in the fields of art and media. Like most of us are here today.

As I said being an Indian and my parents’ child is an unconditional accepted truth of my life and I am very proud of both. The third… being a public figure makes me open to any kind of questioning, adjectives good and bad and or  sometimes makes me an object  of controversy  as people  use my name and statements to attach any positive or negative sentiment to it. I accept all the above  because this is the life I chose and will stand by it.  I am what I am, because of the love and admiration that comes with being who I am in my profession…so I thank everyone for making me the star I am.

Now to  address this whole issue, with regards to my Article, that has taken an unwarranted twist . I do not even understand the basis of this controversy.

Ironically the article I wrote (yes it’s written by me) was actually meant to reiterate that on some occasions my being an Indian Muslim film star is misused by bigots and narrow minded people who have  misplaced religious ideologies for small gains….and ironically the same  has happened through  this article…once again.

The reason for this primarily is….I think some of the people have not even read it and are reacting to comments of people, who in turn have also not read it. So I implore you all to first read it. Second if you read it, nowhere does the article state or imply  directly or indirectly that I feel unsafe….troubled or disturbed in India.

It does not even vaguely say that I am ungrateful for the love that I have received in a career spanning 20 years. On the contrary the article only says that in spite of bigoted thoughts of some of the people that surround us….I am untouched by scepticism  because of the love I have received by my countrymen and women.

I will paraphrase the beginning and the end of the article to clarify and substantiate my stand. “Then, there is the image I most see, the one of me in my own country: being acclaimed as a megastar, adored and glorified, my fans mobbing me with love and apparent adulation..So I am a Khan, but no stereotyped image is factored into my idea of who I am. Instead, the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians. I have felt this love for the last 20 years regardless of the fact that my community is a minority within the population of India. I have been showered with love across national and cultural boundaries, they appreciate what I do for them as an entertainer – that’s all. My life has led me to understand and imbibe that love is a pure exchange, untempered by definition and unfettered by the narrowness of limiting ideas. Sometimes, they ask me what religion they belong to and, like a good Hindi movie hero, I roll my eyes up to the sky and declare philosophically, “you are an Indian first and your religion is Humanity”, or sing them an old Hindi film ditty, “tu hindu banega na musalmaan banega – insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega” set to Gangnam style. Why should not the love we share be the last word in defining us instead of the last name? It doesn’t take a superstar to be able to give love, it just takes a heart and as far as i know, there isn’t a force on this earth that can deprive anyone of theirs. I am a Khan, and that’s what it has meant being one, despite the stereotype images that surround me. To be a Khan has been to be loved and love back….”

Please I implore everyone here to read the article and convey through your respective mediums of communications, all the good things that it expresses  to youngsters and my fellow Indians. It is a heartfelt and extremely important aspect of my life, an appreciation of love that all of you have bestowed upon me and also a point of view from my being a father of two young children.

I would like to tell all those who are offering me unsolicited advice that we in India are extremely safe and happy. We have an amazing democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environs that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life or material. As a matter of fact it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue. With respect I would like to say to anyone who is interpreting my views and offering advice regarding them, please read what I have written first.

Also some of the views that I have been made to read are just an extension of soft targeting celebs and creating an atmosphere of emotional outbursts and divisiveness based on religion…in the minds of some. I implore everyone to understand, that my article is against exactly this kind of giving in to propaganda and aggressiveness. Lets not be misled by tools which use religion as an anchor for unrest and a policy of divide and rule.

I would also like to add here, that my profession as an actor makes me, liked beyond the borders of my nation and culture. The hugs and love that I am showered upon by Nationalities all around the world, make me safe all over the globe, and my safety has genuinely never been a matter of concern to me…and so it should not be a matter of concern to anyone else either.

We are all educated and patriotic people. We do not have to prove that time and again because of divisive politics of a few. My own family and friends, are like a mini India…where all religions, professions and a few wrongs included, all are treated with tolerance and understanding and regard for each other. I only sell love…love that I have got from millions of Indians and non Indians….and  stand indebted to my audience in my country and around the world. It is sad that I have to say it to prove it, in my country, which my father fought for, during the Independence struggle.

That’s my piece and having said all this…I would like to request all of you present here….that henceforth ask me questions regarding….my next movie. The songs that I have recorded. The release date of my film. The heroines cast in it. The Toiffa awards in Vancouver, because I am an actor and maybe I should just stick to stuff that all of you expect me to have a viewpoint on. The rest of it…maybe I don’t have the right kind of media atmosphere to comment on. So I will refrain from it.

And please if you can…put all I have said on your channels, or mediums of communication, in the exact same light as I have said it and meant it in. 24 hrs of unrequired controversy is more than enough for all of us I assume. So do not sensationalize and hence trivialize matters of national interest and  religion any further and drag a movie actor  in the middle of it all…and let me  get back to doing what I do best….making movies.

Is Shah Rukh Khan's article controversial?

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Vishwaroopam: Anti-Muslim or Muslim’s Pride

29 Jan

Vishwaroopam movie wallpaperIn yet another religious controversy over a film, the Tamil Nadu government has banned the screen of Vishwaroopam in the state by fifteen days from the original scheduled date. Allegations have been made by various Islamic organizations which include the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK) stating that the movie is trying to project Indian Muslims as terrorists. TMMK says that it “targets Muslims and their beliefs”. The protesters even burned the posters of the movie and shoe-slapped Kamal Haasan’s images in front of his office in Chennai. TMMK leader Jawahirullah said “There is a danger that the public may view any Muslim with a beard as a terrorist waiting for an opportunity to plant a bomb.” Apart from Tamil Nadu, the movie also suffered protest in Andhra Pradhesh, Karnataka and Kerala. In Malaysia and Sri Lanka the film was removed out of theatres, citing the ban in Tamil Nadu.

Protest against Vishwaroopam in Chennai, India

Protest against Vishwaroopam in Chennai, India

 

The question we Indians have on our mind, is this movie really portraying bad image of Indian Muslim brothers? From the trailers of the movie it looks like the movie is focused around Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The terrorists in the movies are the Taliban and the Jihadis, not the Indian Muslims. Are those protesters on the streets agreeing with the agenda of Taliban and Al-Qaeda who kill innocent people in the name of religion? Kamal Haasan has touched upon a subject which is already much highlighted and talked about by various media across the globe, nothing new has been added to the movie to create fire or cheap publicity as it seems to be now. The fact that the Central Board of Film Certification has approved the movie and Kamal Haasan held a special screening of the movie to Muslim community proves that there is nothing wrong in the movie and it does not hurt the sentiments of any religion or community.

 

So who are the people on street protesting against the screening of Vishwaroopam? India is a diverse country with too many people having many different beliefs; this fact has been milked by various organizations and parties to their advantage. Apart from Muslims even the dalit community has been exploited by their community leaders to their advantage. Saffron terrorism, Islamic terrorism are the words been used loosely by the so called leaders who fail to understand that terrorist do not have any religion or colour.

In Kerala, the protest against the movie was facilitated by an organization called Popular Front of India (PFI) which according to the Kerala government had connections with SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), an organisation banned by the Centre. On July 4, 2010, two PFI activists were arrested in conjunction with an incident in which they allegedly chopped the hand off of a Kerala professor who had allegedly offended the religious sentiments of his students. It is alleged that the attack resulted from the ruling from one of the “Taliban-model” courts operating in the state of Kerala. Two boys were kidnapped in June 2011 from Mahajan College premises in Mysore and murdered by members of Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), who sought ransom of 5 crore rupees to raise funds for their organisation. Karnataka Forum for Dignity was merged with PFI in 2008. Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK) which is protesting against the movie is alleged to have links with SIMI and is believed to be controlled by SIMI cadres. In 2005 TMMK even urged the Government of India to lift ban on SIMI. The president of TMMK was arrested in the communal violence that triggered after the 1998 Coimbatore bombings.

It’s quite evident that the group of people agitating against the movie are nowhere related with the innocent Muslim brothers of our country, their intents are questionable and unnecessarily they are trying to use the movie to gain emotional grounds of Muslims who are deeply related with the Islam religion. The movie revolves around the terrorists who unfortunately happen to be Muslim. We Indians sincerely hope that Government of India finds a way to crack down the organizations who manipulate the innocence of Indian muslins in the name of religion.

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Shameful comments by crazy Indians on Delhi gang rape

9 Jan

Looks like there is one set of so-called ministers and elite people in the Indian society who is trying to capitalize from the sad incident of Delhi gang rape. When there are one set of people who is deeply shaken by this incident, there is another set who is trying to gain cheap popularity by passing inhuman comments. Here are few such incidents:

1. RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) chief Mohan Bhagwat in his comment criticized urban India and said rape like crimes do not happen in rural Bharat and is mainly prevalent in urban India due to western influence.

 

2. Kailash Vijayvargiya a cabinet minister in BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government of MP(Madhya Pradesh) said, those women who cross their limits, pay huge price.

 

3. Asaram Bapu a Hindu spiritual leader and the so-called guru said that the victim of the Delhi gang-rape could have saved herself by addressing the criminals as brothers and pleading for mercy.

 

4. Indian political party (Samajwadi Party) leader Abu Asim Azmi said that western culture had ruined Indian culture and led to increasing crime on women including rapes.

 

5. JD(U) (Janata Dal) party chief Sharad Yadav sparked a major controversy by endorsing ‘Taliban-style’ diktat by Khap panchayats in Haryana. Khap panchayat has been known for supporting honour killings in the name of caste and are against harsh punishments for men accused in rape.

 

Shocking Revelations from Delhi Gang Rape victim’s friend – The lone witness

5 Jan

Amanat / Damini / Nirbhaya’s friend - Delhi Gang rape victim's friend

“I wish I could have saved her”

On January 4, 2013 the first ever interview of Delhi gang rape victim’s friend who is the only witness in the shameful case was aired on Zee News. The channel identified victim’s friend as Avaindra Pratap Pandey. The ever smart Delhi police, without wasting anytime have filed a case against Zee News channel on the same telecast day of the interview. The police have charged Zee News for revealing the identity of rape victim by carrying an interview of her friend. We wish police had shown the same smartness on the incident day by at least sending the pleading victim quickly to a nearby hospital. Who knows her life might have been saved.

Here are some statements/facts by the friend of the rape victim:

1. He said no one came to help after they were thrown off the bus.

2. After the police arrived, it took over two hours to reach the hospital.

3. He said that the six accused had invited them for boarding the bus.

4. “They beat us up, hit us with an iron rod, snatched our clothes and belongings and threw us off the bus on a deserted stretch”

5. Apart from the driver and the helper, others behaved like they were passengers.

6. The victim and her friend also paid Rs 20 as fare.

7. They started teasing the victim and it led to a brawl.

8. Victim’s friend beat three of them up but then the rest of them brought an iron rod and hit him before he fell unconscious.

9. They drove the bus around for nearly two and a half hours. Victim and her friend were shouting, trying to make people hear them, but they had switched off the lights of the bus.

10. Victim tried to dial the police number 100, but the accused snatched her mobile away.

11. Before throwing victim and her friend off the bus, they snatched their mobiles and tore off their clothes.

12. After throwing victim and her friend off the bus, they tried to mow them down.

13. Victim and her friend were without clothes. They tried to stop passers-by. Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but no one stopped for about 25 minutes.

14. Someone patrolling, stopped and called the police. Three PCR (Police control room) vans arrived after 45 minutes, but wasted time in deciding under which police station’s jurisdiction the case fell.

15. Nobody, including the police, gave them clothes or called an ambulance. After repeated requests, someone gave victim’s friend a part of a bed sheet to cover the victim.

16. Instead of taking them to a nearby hospital, police took them to a government hospital (Safdarjung) that was far away.

17. No one helped victim’s friend in carrying the victim into the PCR van “the policemen didn’t help us because my friend girl was bleeding profusely and they were probably worried about their clothes”.

18. At the hospital they were made to wait and literally had to beg for clothes. Victim’s friend asked on housekeeping person to provide some clothes to which he was asked to wait, but clothes never came.

19. Victim’s friend borrowed a stranger’s mobile and called his relatives. His treatment started only after his relatives came.

20. When victim’s friend met her in the hospital, she was smiling. She was able to write and it never felt that she did not want to live.

21. Victim’s friend came to know what had happened with her only after she gave the first statement to the lady SDM (sub-divisional magistrate).

22. Victim told the magistrate that the accused should not be hanged but burnt to death.

23. Victim was coughing and bleeding while giving the statement. There was no pressure or interference at all while giving the statement. It is wrong to say that the statement was made under pressure.

24. Victim’s friend said witnesses should not be harassed so that they can go to the court to testify.

25. Victim’s friend said lighting candles cannot change the mind-set of people. “You have to help people on the road when they need help”.

26. No one from the government has contacted victim’s friend so far to ask about his treatment. He has been paying for his own treatment.

27. Victim’s friend said “They (the people) had cars, they could have taken us to the hospital. Every minute was important for us. But they didn’t. Who will change this attitude?”

28. Victim’s friend said that if his friend was “treated in a better hospital, she would have probably been alive today”.

29. Victim’s friend said that one of the police officials wanted him to say that the police were doing a good job in the case.

30. Victim’s friend said he was in the police station for four days rather than being in a hospital.

Watch the interview of Amanat / Damini / Nirbhaya’s friend, the lone witness of the shameful incident:

Should the Police and we people be equally blamed for the shameful Delhi rape incident?

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Akbaruddin Owaisi: Dividing India with his hatred speech

4 Jan

Akbaruddin Owaisi, politician or a terrorist? Image-pardaphash.comAkbaruddin Owaisi an MLA and floor leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen(MIM) in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly gave a two-hour long inflammatory speech on December 24 2012, he was addressing a rally of twenty to twenty-five thousand Muslims in the Nirmal town of Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh. On 28 December 2012, an Advocate K. Karunasagar filed a petition in a local court in Hyderabad against Akbaruddin Owaisi for hurting the sentiments of Hindus, and for making inflammatory, derogatory and offensive remarks. Karunasagar received three death threats on the night of filing the petition.

The speech definitely had clear remarks against Hindus, but for the sake of the integrity and unity of our country let us categorize this speech as against the humanity. Let’s not make Akbaruddin Owaisi the voice of Muslims as he wants to be portrayed, Muslims in India or anywhere around the world are not the supporters of terrorism so how can they support Akbaruddin Owaisi who in his speech appreciates the Mumbai bomb blasts and respects Ajmal Kasab. Akbaruddin Owaisi only represents evil which has no place in the world, he is not a Muslim or a Hindu, he just another Neta/Minister who is trying to divide India for his political motives by playing with the emotions of innocent Muslims.

It’s a shame that such self-proclaimed leaders are roaming freely in our country. Shame on the government of Andhra Pradesh that no immediate action was taken on Akbaruddin Owaisi whose provocative speech had the potential to create thousands of Ajmal Kasab on the streets of India. Director General of Police (DGP) V Dinesh Reddy blamed the Urdu speech for delay in action. He said “There may be slight delay in view of transcribing the speeches due to the language (Urdu) factor”. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy told reporters that the government had no role in the matter and it was for the police to take action as per the law. Sounds like the DGP or the Chief Minister are least bothered about what is going on in their state. It’s a shame that a chief minister like this has been given the charge to maintain law and peace in the state. Recently in Maharashtra two girls were arrested in less than 24 hours for a harmless Facebook post while this disgraceful Akbaruddin Owaisi who is currently in London is roaming free after his hatred public speech.

Here are some statements from Akbaruddin Owaisi’s hatred speech:
1. Supports Mumbai Bomb blasts by providing Babari Mosque demolition as the reason, terms the blasts as reaction to the action against Muslims.
2. Refers Ajmal Kasab as ‘Son’. Compares Kasab with Narendra Modi, asks for death penalty for Modi.
3. He says if the Muslims of India get united like Muslims of Andhra Pradesh, very soon Modi will be seen hanging.
4. He says if we Muslims leave this country we will take the Red Fort, Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar along and you Hindus will be left with the Ayodhya’s deserted Ram temple and naked statues of Ajanta and Ellora.
5. He says when Muslim dies they get buried in the land because they love the land and if Hindus die they are burnt and their ashes just disappear in air.
6. He says we Muslims are 25 crore and you Hindus are 100 crore, remove the police from streets for fifteen minutes and we will tell who is more powerful.
7. He refers Hindus as namard(impotent) and says even 1 crore impotent Hindus cannot create 1 person like Muslim.
8. He provokes the Muslims by asking them not to be afraid of police or anyone and motivates Muslims to take law in their hands if required.
9. He refers BJP as snake who can be killed by a thin stick. Refers the stick as ‘Namaz’ and ‘Quran’
10. He says, instead of microphone if he holds something else(weapon) in his hand, there will be bloodshed in India which India would have never seen like before.

Watch the hatred speech video of Akbaruddin Owaisi:

Should Akbaruddin Owaisi be banned from politics?

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December 29, 2012: The day when united India cried

31 Dec

Watch latest video of shocking Revelations from Delhi Gang Rape victim’s friend – The lone witness

In memory of Amanat, Damini, NirbhayaFinally she lost the battle and is gone forever, to a better place where God is her lone companion. She will be much happy there and wonder why she ever came on earth. She will complain to the God, why he sent her in the form of a girl and that too in a country like India. She will question God, why she was chosen for this destiny? Why wasn’t she given time to live her life like others? Why she had to leave her dreams in the mid-way? Unfortunately, even God is crying and has no answers to justify her fate.

So are the people of India, even they have no answers to the girls question.  First time, people of India stand together just for her. Everyone is crying and praying for her, they know it’s little too late for their prayers, because she is gone forever. People of India don’t want her sacrifice to go in vain, they know she is out there somewhere, smiling and waving back at millions of Indians on streets, she has opened the eyes of India and encouraged everyone to finally break their silence because she knows enough is enough. She sacrificed her life for the women of India who feel unsafe and unprotected in a country which spends millions on lady goddesses in the temples but still has no respect for women. She has created hope for the women of India to fight for their rights and has carved the path of fearless life for each and every woman of the country. She is there somewhere; she is the angel among us.

Her Father – she wanted to become a doctor

Amanat / Damini / Nirbhaya you will be always in our heart.

* We have removed the victim pictures as they had been taken from various websites on internet and we have not been able to verify its authenticity.

I pledge to respect Women

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2012: India on 94th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index

27 Dec

India is on 94th position in Corruption IndexIndia is on 94th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index. Transparency International ranks countries on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Two thirds of the 176 countries ranked in the 2012 index score below 50 – meaning they are considered significantly corrupt. India was ranked at 95th position last year, the international watchdog said it has started evaluating the positions through a different formula beginning this year and hence this cannot be compared to last year’s ranking. This year, India has a score of 36 out of 100 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). India was ranked 72 among 180 countries for the first time in 2007 and since then the country’s rankings have been showing a decline. While India was placed at 87 in 2010, the position was 95 in 2011. This year, India is ranked below neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and China. The Index, which is closely watched by investors, economists, and civil society campaigners, is based on expert assessments and data from 13 surveys from independent institutions, covering issues such as access to information, bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, and the enforcement of anti-corruption laws.

Transparency international world corruption index (1=least corrupt)
Rank, 2012 Country CPI 2012 Score Change in rank 2011 rank 2008 rank
1 New Zealand 90 0 1 4
1 Denmark 90 1 2 1
1 Finland 90 1 2 1
4 Sweden 88 0 4 9
5 Singapore 87 0 5 5
6 Switzerland 86 2 8 14
7 Norway 85 -1 6 7
7 Australia 85 1 8 5
9 Netherlands 84 -2 7 9
9 Canada 84 1 10 7
11 Iceland 82 2 13 11
12 Luxembourg 80 -1 11 12
13 Germany 79 1 14 22
14 Hong Kong 77 -2 12 16
15 Barbados 76 1 16 18
16 Belgium 75 3 19 18
17 Japan 74 -3 14 28
17 United Kingdom 74 -1 16 23
19 United States 73 5 24 23
20 Chile 72 2 22 18
20 Uruguay 72 5 25 23
22 Bahamas 71 -1 21 0
22 France 71 3 25 27
22 Saint Lucia 71 3 25 0
25 Austria 69 -9 16 14
25 Ireland 69 -6 19 12
27 Qatar 68 -5 22 16
27 United Arab Emirates 68 1 28 33
29 Cyprus 66 1 30 35
30 Spain 65 1 31 32
30 Botswana 65 2 32 36
32 Estonia 64 -3 29 26
33 Portugal 63 -1 32 36
33 Bhutan 63 5 38 36
33 Puerto Rico 63 6 39 39
36 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 62 0 36 0
37 Taiwan 61 -5 32 45
37 Slovenia 61 -2 35 31
39 Israel 60 -3 36 28
39 Cape Verde 60 2 41 58
41 Poland 58 0 41 33
41 Dominica 58 3 44 47
43 Malta 57 -4 39 0
43 Mauritius 57 3 46 47
45 Korea (South) 56 -2 43 41
46 Brunei 55 -2 44 40
46 Hungary 55 8 54 47
48 Costa Rica 54 2 50 41
48 Lithuania 54 2 50 43
50 Rwanda 53 -1 49 55
51 Seychelles 52 -1 50 47
51 Georgia 52 13 64 80
53 Bahrain 51 -7 46 55
54 Czech Republic 49 3 57 65
54 Malaysia 49 6 60 61
54 Latvia 49 7 61 52
54 Turkey 49 7 61 52
58 Jordan 48 -2 56 80
58 Namibia 48 -1 57 58
58 Cuba 48 3 61 85
61 Oman 47 -11 50 58
62 Croatia 46 4 66 72
62 Slovakia 46 4 66 62
64 Ghana 45 5 69 62
64 Lesotho 45 13 77 72
66 Kuwait 44 -12 54 54
66 Saudi Arabia 44 -9 57 45
66 Romania 44 9 75 72
69 South Africa 43 -5 64 47
69 Macedonia 43 0 69 67
69 Brazil 43 4 73 65
72 Italy 42 -3 69 67
72 Bosnia and Herzegovina 42 19 91 102
72 Sao Tome & Principe 42 28 100 138
75 Montenegro 41 -9 66 70
75 Tunisia 41 -2 73 62
75 Bulgaria 41 11 86 67
75 Liberia 41 16 91 92
79 Sri Lanka 40 7 86 72
80 China 39 -5 75 70
80 Serbia 39 6 86 80
80 Trinidad and Tobago 39 11 91 109
83 El Salvador 38 -3 80 85
83 Peru 38 -3 80 85
83 Jamaica 38 3 86 138
83 Panama 38 3 86 72
83 Burkina Faso 38 17 100 115
88 Morocco 37 -8 80 85
88 Thailand 37 -8 80 115
88 Zambia 37 3 91 92
88 Swaziland 37 7 95 80
88 Malawi 37 12 100 80
88 Suriname 37 12 100 0
94 Colombia 36 -14 80 57
94 Greece 36 -14 80 92
94 India 36 1 95 96
94 Benin 36 6 100 102
94 Djibouti 36 6 100 158
94 Moldova 36 18 112 85
94 Senegal 36 18 112 96
94 Mongolia 36 26 120 126
102 Argentina 35 -2 100 145
102 Gabon 35 -2 100 126
102 Tanzania 35 -2 100 121
105 Gambia 34 -28 77 96
105 Mexico 34 -5 100 102
105 Algeria 34 7 112 109
105 Kosovo 34 7 112 109
105 Bolivia 34 13 118 96
105 Mali 34 13 118 102
105 Armenia 34 24 129 126
105 Philippines 34 24 129 158
113 Albania 33 -18 95 85
113 Ethiopia 33 7 120 126
113 Guatemala 33 7 120 96
113 Niger 33 21 134 151
113 Timor-Leste 33 30 143 126
118 Indonesia 32 -18 100 0
118 Madagascar 32 -18 100 115
118 Egypt 32 -6 112 72
118 Ecuador 32 2 120 102
118 Dominican Republic 32 11 129 121
123 Vietnam 31 -11 112 109
123 Mozambique 31 -3 120 102
123 Sierra Leone 31 11 134 121
123 Belarus 31 20 143 151
123 Mauritania 31 20 143 134
128 Lebanon 30 6 134 134
128 Togo 30 15 143 134
130 Nicaragua 29 4 134 147
130 Uganda 29 13 143 158
130 Côte d´Ivoire 29 24 154 177
133 Iran 28 -13 120 126
133 Kazakhstan 28 -13 120 109
133 Honduras 28 -4 129 121
133 Guyana 28 1 134 96
133 Comoros 28 10 143 158
133 Russia 28 10 143 151
139 Pakistan 27 -5 134 141
139 Azerbaijan 27 4 143 147
139 Nigeria 27 4 143 141
139 Kenya 27 15 154 151
139 Nepal 27 15 154 138
144 Bangladesh 26 -24 120 126
144 Syria 26 -15 129 145
144 Cameroon 26 -10 134 151
144 Ukraine 26 8 152 166
144 Central African Republic 26 10 154 134
144 Congo 26 10 154 158
150 Eritrea 25 -16 134 85
150 Guinea-Bissau 25 4 154 147
150 Papua New Guinea 25 4 154 147
150 Paraguay 25 4 154 141
154 Guinea 24 10 164 166
154 Kyrgyzstan 24 10 164 158
156 Yemen 23 8 164 166
157 Tajikistan 22 -5 152 171
157 Cambodia 22 7 164 151
157 Angola 22 11 168 171
160 Laos 21 -6 154 151
160 Congo, Dem Rep 21 8 168 173
160 Libya 21 8 168 121
163 Zimbabwe 20 -9 154 115
163 Equatorial Guinea 20 9 172 158
165 Chad 19 3 168 173
165 Burundi 19 7 172 173
165 Venezuela 19 7 172 158
165 Haiti 19 10 175 141
169 Iraq 18 6 175 176
170 Turkmenistan 17 7 177 166
170 Uzbekistan 17 7 177 178
172 Myanmar 15 8 180 180
173 Sudan 13 4 177 166
174 Afghanistan 8 6 180 178
174 Korea (North) 8 8 182 0
174 Somalia 8 8 182 0

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Indian Government’s action on Delhi gang rape case

27 Dec

Ministers and Police against rape in IndiaIndian citizens should pat their back for forcing the Indian government to take substantial decisions regarding brutal incidents like rape in India. The 23 year female physiotherapy student was brutally raped in the Indian capital city Delhi on 16th December 2012. If the people in Delhi had not marched and protested on the streets, quite possibly this rape incident would have gone into the record books of a police station just like any other crime against women, clearly shows India is ruled by a reactive government rather than a pro-active government.

After all the protest and global criticism government has set up two enquiry commissions:

1. A three member commission headed by former Chief Justice of India JS (Jagdish Sharan) Verma has been setup to suggest amendments in law to provide quick and stringent punishment in sex assault cases. The commission has been given 30 days deadline to come up with their report. The three member committee has issued a notice seeking suggestions from the public, the suggestions can be sent by e-mail to justice.verma@nic.in or through fax at 011-23092675. Deadline for sending suggestions is 5th January 2013. Apart from JS Verma other two members are Mr. Gopal Subramanian and Mrs. Leela Seth. JS Verma was the 27th Chief Justice of India from March 25, 1997 until his retirement on January 18, 1998, he also seems to be a fan of Congress party and was never in favour of CBI and Prime Minister coming under Lokpal. Gopal Subramaniam is a supreme court lawyer  who was appointed as  Solicitor General of India and represented government in cases like  2001 Indian Parliament attack case in which the trial court’s verdict of awarding death sentence to Afzal Guru was upheld. Subramaniam resigned from the post of Solicitor General to protest the government’s decision to hire a private lawyer in a case involving Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. The third member of the committee Leila Seth was the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court and the first woman to become Chief Justice of a state High Court. Her son Vikram Seth is a writer who has confessed being a bisexual.
Formation of the committee is good news but the selection of old and retired people doesn’t make sense. The existing committee members have been part of the old laws and must have preached it with open arms during their tenure, so what will motivate them to make substantial amendments and bring changes that really matters to Indian woman. We get a feeling that old rape crime laws will still prevail will little tweaks here and there. Wish there was a common woman or better a rape victim part of the Verma commission who has gone through the painful process of fighting for justice against the corrupt and weak Indian judicial system.

2. A single person commission headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Usha Mehra has been set up to identify and investigate lapses that lead to gang rape of 23-year-old girl in New Delhi. Commission will submit a report in 90 days which will be discussed in Parliament. The commission will suggest steps to make Delhi and NCR safe for women. Again no common man is part of the commission, how can a person surrounded by security personnel understand the sentiments and common problems faced by women in India.

3. On allegations by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that police officers had interfered in the recording of statement of the rape victim, home minister has initiated an internal probe by a senior officer to look into the matter.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram appealed to public to “believe” that steps were being taken to find lasting solution to the “problem that has plagued all metropolitan cities”. Let’s hope the government comes up with some concrete steps to stop this ugly incident from happening in future.

Has Government of India taken the right steps?

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Himachal Pradesh 2012 elections: Does anyone really care about corruption?

21 Dec

Himachal Pradesh elects corrupt Virbhadra SinghPeople’s verdict is out; Congress party led by the corrupt 78 year old minister Virbhadra Singh has won 36 seats out of 68 in the Assembly elections 2012. Five months before the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, on June 26, 2012, Virbhadra Singh resigned from Union minister as a consequence of corruption charges being pressed against him. Virbhadra Singhs’ tax returns and affidavit of assets filed for nomination to the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections in 2012 came under scanner after unaccounted cash entries emerged from the documents he filed. His original I-T returns for the year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 showed the net agricultural income of Rs. 7,34,000, Rs. 15,00,000 and Rs. 25,00,000 respectively, but the revised I-T returns filed on March 2, 2012 showed increase in income for 2009, 2010, 2011 to Rs. 2,21,35,000, Rs. 2,80,92,500 and Rs. 1,55,00,000. After his account came under scrutiny of tax authorities, Virbhadra Singh admitted filing of revised I-T returns in 2012 for the year 2009, 2010, 2011 by one Anand Chauhan who manages his farms and invests the proceeds from sale of apples in government securities, Mutual Funds, LIC schemes to ensure safe and better returns. It was found that between 2008 and 2010 Anand Chauhan deposited around Rs. 5 crore in cash in his Punjab National Bank account in Shimla and also made deposits by cheque for LIC premiums totalling roughly Rs. 5 crore in favour of Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh and two children, Aparajita Kumari and Vikramaditya Singh. In October 2012 when Virbhadra Singh was questioned by media persons about these allegations against him, his reply was “I will break your cameras. Don’t you have any other work to do?”

Now the same man stands tall and can be the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. Isn’t it a real shame to see corrupt people like him coming into power. The person who should be in jail will now dictate his own terms and will enjoy his life for another five years and that too on taxpayers’ money. Who should be held accountable for such ministers coming into power? People of Himachal Pradesh who voted for him or the Congress party who even after knowing the history of Virbhadra Singh, pushed him to lead the Congress election campaign in the state. It’s really a sad moment for the people of Himachal Pradesh that they were left with no choices than voting for a tainted minister. God only knows if the votes were genuinely voted or bought? One thing is clear that corruption will probably never leave our country as the political party leaders are only interested in winning elections and not interested in providing the kind of leadership required to drive modern India.

Are Indian politicians really serious against corruption?

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