A tipping point for change

A terrible thing happened to a girl who was trying to get back home after a movie. To not respond or speak or rage or demand change would make us less than human.

How many went to bed that night with the same questions?

What kind of human does this to another?

How could they beat her so brutally?

How brazen to think they could get away with it?

Meanwhile, the younger of my teenage daughters wants to celebrate the end of her exams by going out with friends for dinner to the same mall where the previous night the 23-year-old student had gone to see Life of Pi (did she like it? Did she get a lump in her throat in the same parts that I did.

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Roosting place for pigeons

A memorial is not just about building the tallest, biggest, grandest statue.

On the day before his death anniversary, BSP head Mayawati was disrupting Parliament to press for a memorial to Bhim Rao Ambedkar. The government was scheduled to make an announcement at noon. “Why not now?” she asked as members of her party rushed to the well of the Rajya Sabha.

When the announcement came a few hours later to hand over 12.5 acres of the defunct Indu Mills in Mumbai’s Dadar, not far from Chaitya Bhumi where Ambedkar’s ashes are interred, Mayawati was not impressed. “For a grand memorial,” she scoffed, “at least 30-40 acres of land would be required.” Continue reading “Roosting place for pigeons”

He has had the last laugh

In death, people have ceased to be objective about late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

The life-size effigies strung up on lamp-posts were terrifying – at least to a child. In the late sixties/early seventies, they symbolised the South Indians who the Shiv Sena was determined to drive out of Bombay, as the city was then called. It was a sight designed to intimidate.

Forty-odd years later, intimidation remains the party’s chief weapon. Over the years, the ‘enemy’ has changed, from South Indians to Muslims to Biharis, but the tactics remain the same.

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