Tag Archives: Poverty

भारतीय गणतंत्र: गुंडों और अय्याशो पे टिका एक भीड़तंत्र

कवि सुदामा पाण्डेय 'धूमिल': यहां, सिर्फ, वह आदमी, देश के करीब है जो या तो मूर्ख है....या फिर गरीब है"

कवि सुदामा पाण्डेय ‘धूमिल': यहां, सिर्फ, वह आदमी, देश के करीब है जो या तो मूर्ख है….या फिर गरीब है”


कहते तो है कि भारतीय गणतंत्र बड़ी उम्मीदें जगाता है विश्व के उन कोनो में जहाँ और सरकारें तमाम तरीको के विरोधाभासों में लिपटी हुई है। उनके लिए भारत में गणतंत्र का लोप एक खतरे के घंटी से कम नहीं है। खासकर जब चीन से तुलना की जाती है तो ये जरूर दर्शा दिया जाता है कि वह पे कितनी दमनकारी व्यवस्था है जहा लोगो पे जुर्म तो होते है, लोगो को  सताया तो जाता है लेकिन सेंसरशिप की वजह से कुछ सामने नहीं आ पाता। पडोसी मुल्क पाकिस्तान में फैली अराजकता को देखे जो वैश्विक आतंकवाद का पालन पोषण करने वाला है तो अपना देश किसी स्वर्ग से कम नहीं लगता। तो क्या परिस्थितयां वाकई इस देश में इतनी सुधरी है? लगता तो नहीं है अगर हम सूक्ष्म निगाहों से देखे तो।

इसकी एक वजह ये है कि इस देश में सरकार जरूर आम लोगो के दम से बनती है लेकिन उसका आम लोगो के दुःख दर्द से इसका कोई सरोकार नहीं। एक दिखावटी लगाव जरूर है लेकिन वह मूलतः अपने को सत्ता में बनाये रखने भर का जुगाड़ भर है बस। ये कैसी बिडम्बना है कि जिस सरकार ने गरीबी हटाओ का लक्ष्य दिया उसी ने इमरजेंसी भी थोपी इस देश में। सारी संवैधानिक संस्थाओ को जानबूझकर कमजोर किया गया। ये उस सरकार के द्वारा किया गया जिसके नुमाइन्दे आज लोगो के सुरक्षा का दम भरते है। हमारी भोली जनता जनार्दन फटी शर्ट में हाथ में मोबाईल लिए ये समझती है कि हम किसी सुनहरी दुनिया में प्रवेश करने वाले है भविष्य में। इस मृग मरीचिका में भारत वासी उलझे हुए है। क्रिकेट, लौंडिया, बेतहाशा पैसा कमाने का जूनून किसी भी कीमत पर ये हमारे देश के नेशनल पैशन है। लोगो को की इस बात से परवाह नहीं है कि उनकी चमचमाती गाड़ी गाली गलौज, खुले मैनहोल और गड्ढो में सड़क पर चल रही है बढ़ी हुई पेट्रोल के कीमतों के साथ ही बढती रफ़्तार के साथ।

मार्कंडेय काटजू, भूतपूर्व सुप्रीम कोर्ट जज, लोगो को मूढ़ तो मानते है लेकिन ये जरूर दर्शा देते है कि साहब इस देश में असल शासन तो सिर्फ आम जनता का ही है। उनके हिसाब से यहाँ राजशाही नहीं प्रजातन्त्र है जहा हर अधिकारी जिसमे नेता और जज भी शामिल है आम आदमी का गुलाम भर है। ये नौकर है और आम आदमी उनका “मास्टर” है। जैसे  काटजू साहब लोगो की क्षुद्र मानसिकता पर सवाल उठाते है उसी तरह मुझे भी समझ में नहीं आता कि इनके इतने हसीन इंटरप्रिटेशन को, इतने सिम्प्लिस्टिक अप्प्रोच को किस निगाहों से देखा जाए जहा पे किसी ख़ास पार्टी के गुंडे  इसलिए पुलिस अधिकारी को अपनी जीप के पीछे लखनऊ के सडको पर घसीटते हुए ले गए थें कि उसने प्रतिरोध किया था उनके गलत तरीको का। या कोई अदना सा पुलिस का कांस्टेबल भी किसी प्रोफेसर को सडको पर माँ बहन की गालिया दे सकता है जरा सी बात पर। तो आम आदमी को क्या इज्ज़त मिलती होगी सरकारी चमचो से ये सहज ही सोचा जा सकता है। आप भी सोचे कि हमारा गणतंत्र कितना वास्तविक है जो मेरी नज़रो में अय्याशो और गुंडों पे टिका भीड़तंत्र है । धूमिल की ये पंक्तिया आज भी बहुत सटीक बैठती है:

“हर तरफ धुआं है
हर तरफ कुहासा है
जो दांतों और दलदलों का दलाल है
वही देशभक्त है

अंधकार में सुरक्षित होने का नाम है-
तटस्थता। यहां
कायरता के चेहरे पर
सबसे ज्यादा रक्त है।
जिसके पास थाली है
हर भूखा आदमी
उसके लिए, सबसे भद्दी
गाली है

हर तरफ कुआं है
हर तरफ खाईं है
यहां, सिर्फ, वह आदमी, देश के करीब है
जो या तो मूर्ख है
या फिर गरीब है”

 

जस्टिस काटजू: आम आदमी मास्टर है और सरकारी अफसर/नेता उसके ग़ुलाम है प्रजातंत्र/गणतंत्र में। कितना सही है वो वास्तविक धरातल पर?

जस्टिस काटजू: आम आदमी मास्टर है और सरकारी अफसर/नेता उसके ग़ुलाम है प्रजातंत्र/गणतंत्र में। कितना सही है वो वास्तविक धरातल पर?


Pics Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

 

Population Explosion Is More Dangerous Than Nuclear Explosion

That's Commonplace In  India!

That’s Commonplace In India!


The governments, across the globe, have become highly suspicious about the activities taking place in the world of social media. In some circles, especially among the bureaucratic class, which in my eyes are comprised of dullest minds, look with disdain at people involved in world of social media. For instance, Facebook for them is still some sort of time pass, when it has emerged as a powerful medium to shape vision of present and coming generations. It’s highly amusing that if the activities on Facebook are such harmless affair then what’s the need to monitor it? The truth is that it has become a powerful weapon to shatter the lies spread by government. It’s shattering their propaganda, with better version of any critical issue, haunting the society.

Anyway, this post is not intended to discuss about the influence of social media. It’s about one of the worst problems faced by India: Population Explosion. I am presenting the excerpts from a thought-provoking conversation that we had on Facebook. I must thank the participants that by giving way to such lively well-meaning thoughts, they added a new dimension in the stature of Facebook. Few participants expressed their views in Hindi. I have added English version of their comments, which highlights the essence of what they expressed in Hindi.

********************

Deewaker Pandey, New Delhi:

ये जनसँख्या असंतुलन देश की समस्याओं को बढ़ा रहा है केवल.. क्यूंकि संसाधन तो बढ़ नही रहे.. वो घट रहे बस और लोग बढते जा रहे.

[The growing population imbalance is merely adding new problems. Resources are decreasing but population is increasing with each passing day.]

Arvind K. Pandey, Media Analyst and Writer:

Well, one of my close friends, Carmen, living in a different nation, always feels as if she has seen/faced the worst. I ask her to visit  India and travel in over crowded compartment of train, no less than a Nazi torture cell. I am sure, after having such rough travelling experience, she would start imagining combis of her nation were better,  and she would then, definitely, run away to her nation, shedding all romantic notions aka Taj Mahal.

Nadeem Akhtar, Chief Copy Editor, The Public Agenda, Ranchi, Jharkhand:

अरविंद जी, पूरे सम्मान के साथ इस विषय पर मेरी असहमति है। मैं इस मसले को सामाजिक मानता हूं और इस पर कानून के पक्ष में नहीं हूं। आपको पता होगा कि चीन में भी जनसंख्या नियंत्रण के लिए नीति लागू हुई थी, वन चाइल्ड पॉलिसी लेकिन वहां भी सरकार ने कोई कानून नहीं बनाया था। हां, इसके बावजूद चीन में बेतरह अत्याचार हुए। एक नीति मात्र बन जाने से किस प्रकार आम जन पर अत्याचार किया जा सकता है, यह चीन की निरंकुश शासन प्रणालि के कर्ता-धर्ताओं से सीखना चाहिए। भारत, एक वैविध्य सांस्कृतिक चेतना वाला राज्य है। यहां राजसत्ता अगर ऐसे संवेदनशील मामले पर कानून का चाबुक चलायेगी, तो समाज के बिखरने का पूरा अंदेशा रहेगा। बेहतर यही होगा कि इस समस्या को नैतिक रूप से सुलझाया जाये। जैसे प्रथम मातृत्वोपरांत महिला बंध्याकरण पर माता को तीसरे और चौथे दर्जे की सरकारी नौकरी दी जाये या फिर पुरुषों की नसबंदी पर किसी भी रेलवे की परीक्षा में कट ऑफ मार्क्स पर 40 नंबर का ग्रेस दिया जाये, तो यह ज्यादा आकर्षित करेगा। कानून का चाबुक तो सिर्फ समाज में वैमनस्यता फैलायेगा। इसे इस नजरिये से भी देख सकते हैं कि हत्या के खिलाफ कड़ा कानून है, लेकिन क्या हत्याएं रुक गयी हैं?

[ Arvindji, having due respect for your views, I beg to differ. I treat this issue as a social ill and do not subscribe to the view that this can be handled well if tough laws come in origin. No specific law is needed to control growth of population. You must be aware of the fact that China implemented one child policy, but it did not give way to any tough law to execute this policy. Despite absence of law, the government agencies gave way to cruel means to make this policy attain logical culmination. The point is even a simple policy is capable of triggering such cruel gestures on part of government. That we need to learn from inhuman treatment of people at the hand of dictatorial government agencies in China. India, on the other hand, is a Pluralistic society. I am sure, a tough stand on part of government, would lead to disintegration of society. I suggest a moralistic approach, for instance, women opting for Tubectomy, after their first pregnancy, should be offered Class Three/ Class Four government jobs. Men, on other hand, opting for Vasectomy, should be given concession in cut off marks set for qualifying in Railway Examinations. The whip of law would only increase tension within the different layers of society. Let's see it from this angle: Do tough laws that we have to control murder, stopped murders?]

Arvind K.Pandey, Media Analyst and Writer:

नदीमजी पहले तो इस बात के लिए आपको धन्यवाद कि इतने दिनों के बाद कोई पुराना मित्र दमदार तरीके से वापस आया। फेसबुक को सरकार और कुछ मीडिया के लोग बड़ी तिरछी नज़रो से देखते है पर आप जैसो लोगो की उपस्थिति इस मीडियम की सार्थकता बढाती है। मुद्दे पे आते है मेरा रूख थोडा सा अलग है। चीन में लोकतंत्र नहीं है इसलिए वहा से तुलना बेमानी है। ये समस्या विकट है। क्योकि अगर आप भीड़ बढाकर काम नहीं देंगे तो समाज में जुर्म का ग्राफ बढेगा। अराजकता बढ़ेगी कि बिहारी बिहार में रहे और मराठी सिर्फ महाराष्ट्र में।आप देखिये आज जो भी समस्या है इसके मूल में जंगली घास की तरह बढती आबादी ही है। तो मेरी नज़रो में एक स्पष्ट नीति होनी ही चाहिए भले ही सख्त कानूनी स्वरूप उसका ना हो। इसके बाद भी अगर कंट्रोल मे ना आये तो सख्त कानून अनिवार्य है। आप इस देश में कर ही क्या सकते है जब एक बड़ा वर्ग इस बात को मानता है कि जितने हाथ उतना मुनाफा! उनको क्वालिटी आफ लाइफ से क्या लेना देना। आप पोलियो की ड्राप पिलाने में जूझ जाते है तो इस गंभीर समस्या को आप सिर्फ समझा बुझा के कुछ कर पायेंगे मुझे संदेह है। चलिए पहले आप के पाले में बाल डालते हुए पहले समझाने वाला, कुछ साथ में लाभ देने वाला विकल्प ही ट्राई किया जाए। ये अलग बात है कि पानी सर से ऊपर बह रहा है।

[ In the very beginning, I must thank you, Nadeem, for making your presence felt, after such a huge gap,  with such a powerful response. The government is not pretty happy with activism, which prevails on Facebook. Even many circles in traditional media make mockery of journalists involved in world of Facebook. However, I must say such a conscious take on this critical issue on Facebook, makes it clear that people targeting social media are, in actuality, afraid of its ever-increasing influence in deciding the fate of any issue. Let's come at issue at hand. I have slightly a different perspective than yours, Nadeem. China does not have a democratic set-up and so I don't think we can contrast our situation with what's happening there. This is a very serious issue. If you would not create scope for jobs, but keep on increasing the population, then it would automatically increase the crime rate. It will lead to chaotic situation as one state will start rejecting people belonging to a different state: Biharis should live in Bihar and Marathis should remain caged in Maharashtra type conflict would become order of the day! I mean analyze any issue and you would find surging population, spreading like wild grass, as its root cause. That's why in my eyes, a strict policy has become the need of the hour, whether or not you have a rigorous legal sanctity. If such a policy fails, then there is no other way left other than to give way to tough laws.

You know well that simple measures, devoid of legal force, more often than not, have failed to bear proper results in India. There is a big section in Indian society, belonging to particular community, which believes greater the number of hands, greater is the profit. They care a damn about quality of life. Let's know that government agencies faced huge difficulties in ensuring smooth  implementation of pulse polio drive, which had no controversial aspect at all. Anyway, you have made good suggestions. There is no harm in giving way to them before experimenting with tough measures. The truth is that water is already flowing above the danger mark.]

Ghanshyam Das, Medical Practitioner, U. A. E.:

Unless everybody is educated, this problem cannot be solved. We can see that thirty years back the average number of children in a middle class family was 4 or 5. And now if we see it is 2. The problem is mainly in the lower class of the society, which is uneducated, and open to accept any level of living and any work (legal/illegal), and that is the class which is a deciding factor in Indian politics. By deciding, I mean, they are easily lured by corrupt politicians, and being in large number make them an important factor. And it will take another 20-30 years, to control the rate of reproduction in this particular sector of society.

Arvind K.Pandey, Media Analyst and Writer:

Thanks for a thought provoking reply, Ghanshyam Dasji. The seriousness of the issue can be felt in exchange of views between me and Nadeem.

Since childhood, I have been reading this slogan “Hum do Humare do” (We Two, Our Two) but I don’t think it has brought any desired impact. And one reason why population graph has gone down in upper middle class, I think, it’s because of high cost of living rather than education. Still, one cannot deny educated families have better approach in this regard. Interestingly, it’s easier to convey messages in modern times. So let’s see what a vigorous campaign comes to yield. But in my eyes, we need to have a clear-cut policy in this regard. Simply messaging and giving concessions would not yield desired result.

Swami Prabhu Chaitanya, Patna, Bihar:

देश का दुर्भाग्य संजय गाँधी ने गलत ढंग से मगर अच्छी पहल की थी. संजय गाँधी की असामयिक मौत ने देश को वर्षों पीछे धकेल दिया। सारे अवसरवादी,वोट के ठेकेदार इस महान अवसर को भुनाने में लगे हैं कि  कैसे अपनी जाति बिरादरी की संख्या को अधिकतम किया जाये। जीवन की गुणवत्ता से इनका क्या वास्ता इनकी तो गद्दी सुरक्षित रहनी चाहिए। पढ़े लिखे (गधों) से इन राजनीतिज्ञों को कोई अपेक्षा नहीं। उन में से अधिकतर तो वोट देते नहीं। उन्हें TV  पर मनोरंजक चर्चाएँ /बहस आदि देखना पसंद है तो जो वोट बैंक हैं उनके उसकी संख्या को तो वे (Politician) बढ़ते देखना चाहेंगे न ?आखिर गणतंत्र (भीड़तन्त्र) चलेगा कैसे ? गुणतन्त्र की बात कोई यहाँ कैसे उठाये ?और चौथा स्तम्भ भी सुनते हैं बिक गया है। एक खास दल जिसके पास अकूत धन है शायद, तंत्र उसीके हिसाब से चलता है।

[ Ironically, Sanjay Gandhi made a good move in this direction, although appropriate methodology was not adopted. The untimely death of Sanjay Gandhi put the nation again in medieval times. The opportunists are now making all efforts to cash-in-on the chaos, which prevails in this nation on this particular issue. Let the tribe of their caste increase is their only motto. They are not interested in quality of life, being solely interested in keeping their bonhomie with power intact. They are not afraid of educated class since it never uses its voting rights, being all the time swayed by cheap thrills of life. Probably, that's why, politicians are pretty much  interested in greater number of heads in lower sections of society, who constitute their vote bank. How else mobocracy would sustain its presence? Who will dare to ensure quality of life amid this lust for power? Even the Fourth Estate has compromised with its credibility. It appears that this country is ruled by a party, which has amassed huge wealth.]

Arvind K.Pandey, Media Analyst and Writer:

जनसँख्या बढ़ेगी तो वोट बैंक बढेगा …और क्या पता बढ़ते बढ़ते एक अलग देश फिर पैदा हो जाए तो एक नया भ्रष्ट केंद्र बिंदु पैदा हो जाए। इसलिए जनसँख्या बढ़ने दो। और कम पड़ जाए तो बांग्लादेश से बुला लो।

[ Definitely, increase in population would increase the vote bank. And who knows, this ever-increasing population gives birth to another nation, which may give rise to new centers of corruption. So let the population swell! And if they still need more people, invite Bangladeshis!]

Ghanshyam Das, Medical Practitioner, U. A. E.:

Arvind K Pandey ji, you are right in stating that “it’s because of high cost of living rather than education”, but the poor section of the society is equally exposed to the same harshness of high cost of food and clothes, but they fail to realize that it’s due to less developed intellect and go on reproducing mindlessly. That’s because of lack of awareness/education (mere school certificate is not eligible to be called as education until unless it instills the mind with wisdom and intellect). And it is equally true that the population would continue to increase as long as green revolution comes to absorb all the pressure. A time will come when even the best efforts to ensure the food safety will fail to satisfy all of them, the cost of food will rise very high, and there will be no availability of the jobs/or very less paying jobs. That will compel even the lower class of the society to stop breeding further.

It is all about the minimum requirements of the life of a particular individual, which matters. For upper middle class a respectful status in the society is equally important for life as are the foods and clothes. Therefore, they stopped early. For lower section of society, the minimum need is only food and clothes, which will be under risk soon with this rate of their growth, and they will be forced to follow the middle class.

Arvind K.Pandey, Media Analyst and Writer:

One of the advantages in modern society is that messages can be spread easily. So let’s try to increase the level of awareness.

Ghanshyam Das, Medical Practitioner, U. A. E.:

True, otherwise, it will be too late. And the society may collapse. Serious consequences are in store–like increase in crime. If awareness program fails, a binding law is a wise decision. “bhay binu hohi na preeti” (fear factor is necessary to elicit love/respect). Giving way to harsh decisions to prevent a greater disaster, is right in my opinion- something that you have already mentioned above. That’s because the government has not enough resources/employment to lure them. So the alternative way as suggested by Nadeemji does not look feasible in current situation.

Arvind K.Pandey, Media Analyst and Writer:

Finally, Ghanshyamji took a big U turn and felt that “a binding law” is needed. So let’s see what the result of your way, which is recommended by Nadeem as well, yields. I have no problem with this idea, but given the way this nation functions, unless there is well regulated proper policy which supports this vision, I am apprehensive about the success of vision you both collectively share.

Ghanshyam Das, Medical Practitioner, U. A. E.:

So, finally, we arrived at the root cause of all the rot in our society: Poor governance and political scenario!

Arvind K.Pandey, Media Analyst and Writer:

Ghashyamji, you got the bottom-line! This is one of the few conversations on Facebook which took place so well with such a perfect bottom-line. No chaos and confusion in presentation of ideas at all. Hats off to all wonderful participants, for engaging in a thought-provoking discussion in such a well-coordinated manner.

 

And Life Goes On In India!!

And Life Goes On In India!!

 

Pics Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

Child Beggars: The Children Of A Lesser God !!

Nowhere To Go !

Nowhere To Go !

(A report about beggars including child beggars that I got published in Hindustan Times on Nov.16, 2000. In these past ten years since the publication of this report nothing much has changed. The Child beggars are still present in almost whole Allahabad.)   

The beggars are a common sight on the roads of Allahabad. You can locate them almost in any part of the city.  Be it railway station,theater halls,hospital, posh residential colonies or busy market you can always find one. As you alight from the train at Allahabad station,  the beggars start pestering you. And you are left with no other option but to put a penny on their hand. These beggars cannot be fixed into one fix age group but generally they are between 5 to 45 years.  On Tuesdays and Saturdays, when devotees throng in huge number at the Hanuman Temple in Civil Lines,beggars also gather there. It creates a lot of embarrassment for the devotees as the beggars block their way when they want to avoid them.

India is progressing !

India is progressing !

Here at this temple small children ,who are bare-bodied, get the job done for their families as it is for them to generate sympathy.Their innocent faces melt even the most stony hearts.The child beggars, while facing the odds of the weather, undergo every kind of exploitation. They are often harassed by the police on suspect of being involved in drug pedaling whereas girls are often sexually exploited.

During Kumbh Mela, if one happens to visit Sangam, one notices sea of beggars !! They come here with full preparations since they know that Mela (fair) stretches for more than a month. They stay here for months and slowly leave as the Mela (fair) ends.  Sources say that these beggars, who at first sight appear to be victim of vicissitudes of life,in fact, have their own bank accounts. Yet, there are many among them who really need attention and care. Many are handicapped while a few suffer from some incurable diseases which cripple their body movement.

Are you  going to ignore her at a corner ?

Are you going to ignore her at a corner ?

Thus, it becomes a hard task for them to manage two square meals. To meet unnatural death is their fate. Apart from these type of beggars,  who somehow manage to survive, there is another class of mentally deranged beggars. In Allahabad you can find them sitting at roadside.

Till now, no social organisation of the city has shown interest in their cause. At the same time, there exists no specific guidelines for rehabilitation of beggars. Unlike in other countries, where begging is an offence and governments pay monthly allowances to put them off the road, in India, it’s still a distant dream.

Thinking About Arranging The Meals !

Thinking About Arranging The Meals !

To prevent these children of lesser gods from begging, the authorities should come up with concrete plans for betterment. In Allahabad, like other cities, child beggars get trapped in flesh racket.Others seem to have devised innovative means to catch the attention of passers-by. A beggar, who sits near railway over-bridge at the Allahabad   Junction, melodiously croons latest songs. Another one,who sits at the same place, pretends to be in great pain but as the person is out of sight, he becomes normal. Later, when nobody is around,he could be seen smoking at leisure. However, the authorities need to take immediate steps to curb the ever -increasing number of beggars.
Who will ensure him  a better future ?

Who will ensure him a better future ?

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