Happy Independence Day, Dear India!
India celebrates 66th Independence Day today and though we have enough reasons to worry and introspect, let’s remind ourselves Independence comes with self-responsibilty. So lets make our nation proud, let’s be honest to ourselves and the nation. Happy Independence day to all, yes the road ahead is rough and tough but together we can build a better road for our future generations. Jai Hind!
When you see an editorial picture shoot, you know Sanjiv Vakharia is on a roll. Yes, he pulled out a shoot in last minute inspite of our hectic schedules. I wonder where he gets all this energy from! Its a secret he is yet to share with me.
Models: Warren, Sharath, Shiv Prasad, Aditya
Shoot conceived & co-ordinated by: Sanjiv Vakharia
The Great Indian Tamasha
What a saga being unfolded in recent times! The messiah of aam admi, Anna, promises to weed corruption from the face of the country or is it?
Newspapers and television channels are soaring high on their TRPs. Unknown netas are suddenly becoming the mouthpiece of common men. Not to mention the Babas and Babies jumping in the bandwagon to add to the ‘Band Baja Baraat’. Whatever be the case this is one ‘Great Indian Tamasha’ that nobody can miss.
No the protagonist of this drama is no tall ,dark & handsome hero but a dark and old knight giving the birdies a run for their money. His Gandhian topi is his biggest style quotient, stylish enough to inspire even the IIT-an gen-next. ‘Fasting’ was never as cool as it is now & ‘Team Anna’ as they are popularly known couldn’t have been more famous as they are now.
Makes me wonder sometimes what makes that frail looking Gandhian reincarnation click!!!!
Take it people, we Indians are a bunch of emotional people who can sit day and night to SMS the name of the’ Indian Idol ‘or the next ’Singing sensation’ of the season. And when it comes to patriotism ,we just can go a bit overboard. That is how our essential fabric as a nation works. So when we came to know that a new freedom struggle had just begun, we were just marvelously united.
In no time, the power play shifted from the corridors of the politicians to Uncle Sharma seated in his living room. Even the neighborhood Singh aunty participated in the candle light vigil for the cause. Not to mention, our very own Raj, who was giving updates over updates about how corruption was about to have a great fall.
It’s true though that it has gobbled up your living & breathing space with no other news story to surf for. The endless traffic jams make you want to stop it all (what the heck!!!).Just the one chord, this ‘Great Indian Tamasha’ has touched amongst all is the frustration with the system. The rich become richer ,the poor become poorer and the double talking politicians richest of them all !!!
The reason….well, corruption does it all for them!!!
India now wants change….
A break from bribing the traffic policemen or the bureaucracy. A break from bribing the hospital ward boy or even paying huge sums of money to the doctor to get the right treatment for our loved ones.
We just want to do away with this entire nuisance……
I would like to end with a satire, a dialogue, from the latest flick by Pankaj Kapoor “Chala Mussadi Office Office”
“Naam (name)?” asks the policeman at his station desk.
“Mussaddi Lal,” says the accused, Mussaddi Lal (of course).
“Retired school master, Mahatma Gandhi School, Lal Ganj, Ghaziabad, India.”
And this is no tamasha!!!!!!
Delhi – Subha Swagatam
There were some ruffled egos. Hurt sentiments. And huge scandals almost knocking to spill over in other words – a total washout, but sigh! The bride is here. The reception date is fixed. Guests have arrived. I think we should bury our small and big differences and the proverbial hatchet and place our best foot forward to welcome the guests. Confused? Am I speaking of some scandalous wedding back home? Ah! No. isn’t it apparent? Yes I am speaking of the commonwealth games to be held in Delhi. Delhi – A city rich in history, culture, spirituality and the people. Well maybe the people are not rich in wealth but they have a greater wealth called spirit! Not for any lesser reason is Delhi called Dilli – Dilwalon ka Sheher (city of large hearted people or spirited people.)
So what can Ginger Chai do for you? You will find websites galore with well written articles about the history of Delhi which we won’t dare to parallel with. Neither will there be any dearth of travel guides to guide you in the web. Images! Travel Informations! Tidbits! Trivia! History! Simply put it, Delhi is flying around all over the web. Hence we in Ginger Chai have attempted a slightly different take on bringing Delhi before you. Here we will bring before you the top five recommendations of some common things as seen from the eyes of a common Delhite, A Delhite who swears by Delhi and who is constantly exploring Delhi in her own way.
Alright, Here I go! What does Delhi bring to your mind? Or rather my mind? The magnificent Red fort, Qutub minar, Raj Ghat, India Gate, The Mausoleums, Beautiful monuments, Independence day, Wide tree lined roads. Yes the same things that you have read about or heard about or may have shown or seen just like me . If you haven’t visited them yet, I am sure your host out here must be scratching their heads off trying to form an itinerary for the same. But if we for a few moments come out of the tourist trap and think like an explorer then?
Yes that’s what I will try to do but of course with the fact in mind that the exploring has to be completed within a stipulated time and my write up within stipulated word limit.
So finally you have completed your tour of the beautiful historically oriented trip to the past, marveled at the architectural wonders. Transported to the romantic magic moments of the yore, so what next? Next, there come the things that are minor yet impossible to resist when you are traveling in a new place. Like? Shopping! Hanging out? Some fun? Unique spots?
Well, so here I am to take you on a journey through my personal version of destination recommendations but before zeroing in on specific places and activities I would like to first go for my idea of top circuits or routes or areas or should I say hot spots?. Confused? Amused? Read on to understand better.
My top 5 recommended circuits are:
Coming to Delhi and leaving without visiting Connaught place will be like visiting New York and not visiting the Times Square. Situated in the heart of Delhi and built in 1931, it’s a circular formation of a parallel set of buildings which are mostly shops housing big brands. Being a parallel circular formation, it has got an inner circle, middle circle and an outer circle. The center has a beautiful park where you can rest your weary limbs after checking out the curios and shops. Just beneath the park is the famous underground market – Palika bazaar famous for electronic goods and great bargaining (not bargains, but). Post shopping, regained your stamina with that lemonade or shikanji? Good, then you can walk over to Janpath, just a few blocks away, (a market, famous for affordable mementoes), in the periphery if you walk along straight by the side of N block. You can also visit the emporiums nearby. (More on these two in the shopping section). There are numerous fine restaurants which will provide you with choices of continental food as well as Indian cuisine. Then again, if you want to catch a movie, the PVR multiplexes are just nearby. Reaching Connaught place is easy as it is well connected by the Metro and the station goes by the name of Rajiv Chowk. One can also take a bus as it is well connected to all the places.
Well that was Connaught Place in very brief for you. Now that you have covered it somewhat then you can proceed towards the India Gate Chanakya Puri area or commonly known here as the Diplomatic enclave, the Hot seat of political power. You can cover the area in a later date too. So here goes for you.
India Gate- Rajpath- Chanakya puri –
It is one of the most beautiful and planned area in Delhi and more famously known as Lutyen’s Delhi after its chief architect. The moment you drive through that area, the prosperity that it projects with neat tree lined roads, beautiful spacious houses with neatly trimmed lawns, the embassies and all, gladdens your heart. (More on that later on) The circuit has some interesting spots like the India Gate, Shanti Path, Rashtrapati Bhawan or the residence of the President of India. Ah Now Rashtrapati Bhawan! Now though I had mentioned that I will be skipping the conventional tourist attraction with historical significance, I am tempted to add some in my write up. One being our own Rashtrapati Bhawan or the Presidential palace. Situated on top of an elevation, a little less than a hill though – the Raisina hill, it has an interesting history. It was formerly known as the Viceroys palace before being converted into the Presidential Palace in 1950 and is the world’s largest residence of any head of the state. It was built by Edwin Lutyen which he said was inspired from The Pantheon in Rome and has Mughal and European influences in it. The Mughal Garden inside the palace is opened out to the public in February every year.
So that was the Presidential Palace, well now lets move a bit east from the Rashtrapati Bhawan through the Raj path and there, we are at the India Gate, a war memorial, designed again by Lutyen, a must visit in Delhi , both for its history, its location and as a beautiful tourist spot. It’s a memorial for the soldiers of the British Indian army who lost their lives for British Empire in the World War I. More famous as the Amar Jawan Jyoti – or flame of the eternal soldier. Its better to visit India Gate during the evening as the lighted silhouette casts a serene glow and makes the view more memorable. There is also a children park and boating grounds over there to while away your time. If the street sellers cannot tempt you for a bite there, than I suggest you drive on just a little further to Khan Market in South Delhi or Yashwant place in Chanakya puri. Now I would prefer you visit Khan Market as it has this interesting tag of being one of the costliest market in Delhi. But guess what! One check with Wiki and it has been named there as being India’s costliest market and world’s 16th costliest market!!! A coffee over there, with the set crowd of Bureaucrats, Diplomats, Politicians and who’s who of the glamour world will make you feel completely uplifted in an undefined manner. I would recommend you to take a cab to tour this area rather than the metro as it is quite a walk from the nearest metro stations of Pragati Maidan or Central Secretariat
Well after the two hot spots, I will be moving on to my third hot spot which is Noida sector 18. Yes these time I am leaving Delhi to move on to Noida in the NCR and the reason I am choosing Noida sector 18 over another hotspot of Gurgaon, is basically that sector 18 houses the best of some of the fun activities and that too localizing in one perimeter where as Gurgaon is uniformly vast. Good for Gurgaon, but more convenient for a visitor to have fun in Sector 18 Noida without much transportation hassles or movement. Noida Sec 18 has a central Atta market if you want to shop for bargain products and take my word, you will be spoilt for variety. If you are more comfortable shopping in the controlled glitzy environs of a Mall, well, you have two very grandiose malls in Centrestage mall and The Great India Place. It houses many top brands and fine dining restaurants and bars and movie multiplexes. If you are the one who love to have fun and frolic, there is a top of the notch Amusement park over there called Worlds of Wonder. If you are into discotheques and pubbing, then there is Elevate- probably the best night club in India and the largest – spreading over four floors and a total area of 14000 square feet. The décor, the energy, ambience and the music are simply noteworthy. So there you see all these facilities are rolled inside a common perimeter. The place is well connected with Metro and commuting is no more a problem.
South Delhi, the so called plushiest area of Delhi and if I do not include it as the hot spot, I will not be doing justice to Delhi. But again as it is vast, I am having a slight confusion where to start from. Other than some of the most famous monuments located in South Delhi, it is more famous for the up market crowd though. As expected there are great eating places and bars. It’s a shopping hub. But it has got some of the coolest hang outs for the young crowd Like the Delhi Haat, Sarojini nagar market, South ex market. It has got some great malls too as in the Select city walk, the best in Delhi at present and Ansal Plaza, the first shopping mall of Delhi… There is the PVR Saket Cineplex, one of the forerunners in the multiplex business of the country. Some of the great discotheques and night clubs are situated here. The world famous Indian designer brands of clothing have their studios in South Delhi. If you are an art and culture connoisseur then, you have the India habitat centre and the India International centre – a place where you will experience the best of theatre, arts and culture. Be sure to find some cultural show being listed at these places at any time of the year. (More on it below). The famous Fashion designers have their retail units scattered in South Delhi. So a whole day in South Delhi will not be a waste for you.
Now this is one thing where I am totally deviating from the concept of tourist hot spots but of course with a reason. The reason is, my wish to introduce you to Indian Art and culture which is totally diverse yet each unique and very much enriching. Delhi is culturally a very rich city and the numerous state of the art auditoriums present here testifies to that. The calendars of events in all of them are almost always full, showcasing regional art and music forms, dramas, seminars etc. The notable auditoriums over here are
India habitat centre near Lodhi gardens, with a range of facilities propagate their principle – to restore at every level- environment and ecological- a balanced, harmonious and improved way of life. Spread over an area of 9 acres it incorporates innovative new technologies in building management, conference systems, communication and energy conservation, creating as stated the most intelligent building in the country. Other than offices and research organizations, it also houses a club, the most comprehensive convention centre, several restaurants and performance venues for cultural activities.
India international centre- This is another non official organization and institute which attempts to play an important role in enhancing the cultural and intellectual aspect of the society by their aims and objectives. This place also offers a variety in seminars and concerts or exhibitions. If you want for a change to pursue intellectual activities then this is one of the right places to visit on a fine day which is again near Lodhi Road…
Kamani Auditorium: – Kamani Auditorium has the history of show casing the talents of the likes of Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Sharukh Khan and it is primarily a platform for promotion of Performing and Applied Arts and Theatre services. Everything about Kamani is professional including the acoustics, logistics, lights curtains and wings. It is just near the Mandi House metro station making your journey there easier. Well my suggestion- Catch a show at the Auditorium – Where legends perform, as their tag line goes.
Over and above the mentioned ones, there are also other noteworthy places like the largest Auditorium in Delhi – Sirifort Auditorium. Or the Shriram Centre for Arts and culture, their forte mostly being puppet shows and drama. You can enjoy an enriching experience culturally at any one of these places…
So these were my top five recommendations for a whole some day. There are numerous other hot spots too but I chose mine keeping in mind the over all feasibility and variety of choices offered at a featured place.
Well that was a long winded beginning to a short three part series that I hadn’t planned to be so long winded. But that is Delhi, be it just enjoying being a part of it by exploring, or by writing and speaking about it, you just get into the flow and lose track of time. In my next I will be taking you shopping and driving around the beautiful driveways of the city.
I Paid A Bribe – Have you?
Bribed? Didn’t bribe? Powerless? Victimized? Angry? Now you have a place to vent your anguish, anger, opinions and simply your story.
IPaidABribe.com is Janaagraha’s unique initiative to tackle corruption by harnessing the collective energy of citizens. You can report on the nature, number, pattern, types, location, frequency and values of actual corrupt acts on this website. Janagraha is a Bangalore based NGO that works with citizens and government to change the quality of life in India’s cities and towns. Along with the reporting stories, the website also helps you in understanding how the government setups works and how you can avoid the corruption maze.
The website is well made with neat looks and functionality. The Tell us your story link has 4 options:
• I paid a bribe
• I didn’t pay a bribe
• I didn’t have to pay a bribe
• I don’t want to pay a bribe
And the link also has the view bribe reports to browse through all the reader’s entries. I didn’t want to pay a bribe takes us to the FAQ section where it details the procedures and requirements in various department so as to enable you to avoid the bribe sharks. As of now the site FAQ are for Bangalore and even that is yet to be fully loaded with information but there is a contact us box for you to get assistance over any of your specific queries.
Ask Raghu is a section manned by a retired civil servant to bring you the view from within the “system” and help you assist in navigates through the corruption maze so that you can avoid, resist, reduce and eliminate corruption.
And then there is a Forum section for the readers to interact with one another.
Through the collective energy, inputs and citizen involvement, the NGO aims to tackle the issue through the following process:
Overall an unique concept aimed at bringing a mass awareness and to quote from the website:
Don’t put up with corruption! Know the right ways of doing things.
Together, we’ll work for changing corrupt systems.
So have you paid a bribe? or refused a bribe? Would love to read your story.
image courtesy: IPaidABribe.com
Chotu – One common story of a common boy in India
Hello Saheb ji and Madam ji,
My name is Chotu. Ma says she used to call me babu when I was just a few months old. But my boss calls me Chotu. I work in a small stall. My boss owns a stall which is a few blocks away from Bhikaji Cama Place. It’s a commercialized complex and lots of bade Sahebjis come to work. They have big and good looking cars. I wish I could drive them one day. Maybe I can. I was telling Ma that I will become a driver when I grow up because of my love for cars. I always wondered how they worked. I had once got a chance to talk to the Saheb ji of one of the cars which was parked there. He was standing while his driver was changing the punctured tire. I was called to help the driver. When I was done the Saheb ji started asking me questions and when I asked about how the car worked, he smiled and said he had no idea. I had thought that he would know since he looked well educated to me but he did not. The driver told me later that, Saheb ji was just a rich son of a rich man. He was just lucky to have been born in that family. That made me sad. I thought everyone who goes to isschool is wise. Ma also wants me to go to isschool and study but I cannot. We don’t have money. After talking to Saheb ji, I wonder if I will become a learned man. I don’t know.
The other day I saw two pretty didi’s. I called them to our stall but they told me not to pester them. While passing our stall they even used some eenglees. These days I hear many people speaking eenglees. It sounds very nice to me. I don’t know much angreji. But my boss taught me some words like hello, good morning and thank you. The didi’s while passing by the stall said they would not have anything from us because they were not sure how clean we were. I take a bath every morning before coming to work. There is a tap in our jhuggi. I don’t understand why they spoke like that. It was very strange to see that they did not stop at our stall but went a block ahead and stopped at Rakesh’s stall. Maybe they like him. I don’t know.
Rakesh sells golgappas and chaat. I think didi’s like golgappas and chaat. I have seen many didi’s there mostly in the evening. Rakesh lives in our jhuggi too. He takes bath before me under the same tap. I don’t know why the didi’s find him clean and not me. Maybe I am not as gora as him. Ma got a soap last week. I have been using it and rubbing on my face. Ma said it’s a new soap which will make you gora in less than seven days. But they showed a didi on the TV. Maybe it will not work on me. I am a boy. I don’t know.
Oh by the way, we don’t have a TV. Ma saw it in the badi kothi where she works. She washes the dishes and cleans the house. The Madam ji for whom my Ma works is very nice. She gives me some clothes to wear sometimes. Last to last Diwali she gave me a new shirt to wear. I don’t like Diwali. I generally lose all my jhuggi friends a month before Diwali. They all go to some factory to make crackers. They say it is a very tough job and they don’t like making crackers. They want to study like the other children their age. But they cannot because they don’t have any money. Sometime back there was an andolan to stop using child labor for making crackers. But there are still many who still work there. What can they do? They need daal roti to live. My Ma’s madam ji seems very well educated to me. She knows many things and how they work. She also says she doesn’t like the ghotaalaa in the politics in our country. She says she would have made our country a better place to be in if she was the Prime Minister. She says people don’t select the right people and the jhuggi people are too blind and trust any neta and vote for him. The last time, elections took place I had gone to Madam ji to ask who she thought was right to vote because Ma had to vote the next day. Madam ji said she had no interest whatsoever. She said she had a party to go to and so she would not be going out to vote. Plus it was very hot outside. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t vote. Maybe she doesn’t care. I don’t know.
These bade padhe likhe log don’t look very padhe likhe to me. Ma tells me to shut up because I don’t go to isschool. I ask her back, do the Saheb and Madam jis know? May be they do but pretend not to.Then why are only the jhuggi people called ignorant? I don’t know.
Well, it’s been a while now and I have to go. You see I have to take the Chai to our customers. We have a Chai stall and everyone here calls me Chotu- Chaiwala.
A very common story of an Indian boy. India has completed 63 years of freedom but still people question about its independence. It doesn’t have anything to with the nation but the people in it. How many of us are actually doing anything? Before submitting this article I made my friend read it, he told me we Desis in States are not good enough either. It is always easier to write and speak but rarely does anyone come ahead to do something. But is that how people back home look at all the desis abroad?? That we desis leave the country, lose the cultural touch, keep criticizing and plan never to return back home? No. I’m not one of those. I might be away but I am Proud to be who I am. An Indian.
Corruption begins at home
As various disclosures pour in about common wealth games becoming individual wealth games and the shadow of corruption taking over the spirit of the games, the nation fumes over the enormosity and blatant nature of corruption by the organising committee. From the tea stall benches to tweets the anger is simmering but what is this anger all about? The quantity of corruption or the corruption itself? Sadly, it seems to be the enormosity of corruption. If the scale of the corruption was within few crores , CWG episode would have gone unnoticed. So the simple point is – Is the anger just masking our jealousy or is it that we are insensitive to corruption to certain scale?
How many of us are corruption free? To bribe and getting bribe are crimes according to our law. People bribe their way out when caught by traffic cops, we bribe different agencies while constructing home, we bribe for reducing the property tax, we bribe to move our files in government agencies, we bribe the railway TTE to get berths and the list goes on in our day to day life. We don’t feel guilty paying bribes within our reach to get our things done. It is the same common man of India who also receives bribes and gives bribe and is the same common man of India who complaints and fumes at the blatant corruption at the higher levels. The difference seems to be only in the number of zeroes.
A common friend of mine narrated an incident with pride on how he got away from a traffic cop by bribing him with just a packet of cigaratte. He felt it as an achievement that he avoided the fine amount for driving in no-entry zone. A real estate developer once told me that he had to pay 2 million rupees to a panchayat officer to get no sanction letter for the property he was developing. He had no regret over it as though it is THE common norm. The bribe range from cigaratte packets to millions depending on the job and we have no qualms paying it if it is within our reach. I am not justifying the corruption in the CWG but as we say charity beings at home, NO to corruption should also begin at home.
Will average Shyam, Karim and Peter who has no qualms in bribing in his day to day life be clean handed when he sense an multi-million oppurtunity deal? In most cases, the answer is NO. We blame politicians, we blame bureocrats, we blame cops, we blame each and everyone. When will we blame ourselves? Its not aliens who take bribe or give bribe. Its the same society which does as well as blame. Call it split personality or sheer jealousy. If someone is really angry over the corrupt practice, they should also fight the corruption at lower level. The rot begins at roots and spread upwards. It has become convinient to blame, a habit to be cynical but unwillingness to change and fight. We all need someone else to fight on behalf of us , a super hero rather than be the hero. India does not heroes , it needs responsible citizens who will be the change rather than just doing the talks and wondering who will bell the cat?
A 2005 study done by Transparency International (TI) in India found that more than 50% of the people had firsthand experience of paying bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office. Corruption has become a way of life to a certain extend to get things done and unless society changes this outlook, the society compels the law makers to nail the law breakers, we will continue to see treadmills hired for 10 Lakh rupees and toilet tissue for 3,750 rupees all in the name of games.
Happy Independence day!
Lets uphold the spirit of Independence. Happy Independence day!
Team GingerChai wishes all Indians a happy Independence day. Road so far has been bumpy, we have faltered in steps but still managed to walk the distance. We have seen good, bad and ugly still sport the positive outlook. Lets cherish the spirit of independence and strive to make our country stronger and prosperous… The destiny of our nation is not just in the hands of ministers and bureaucrats but in the active involvement of the citizens. Lets do our bit for our country. Jai Bharat!
This fortnight we are coming up with series of articles dealing with the good, bad and ugly side of Independent India. Look forward to it.
In the picture:
Models: Sameer, Sanjiv Vakharia, Azar
Photographed by: Laxminarayan.
“Papa brought something” chintu chanted excitedly.
His wife peered inside the package eagerly- towel, stationary, crockery.
“The same things ” she muttered making a face.” Shastriji had brought home his computer”
“sometimes surprise checks happen…Can’t risk it” he replied
” What is the use of Government Service if you can’t manage this much” she countered back.
This 55 fiction format story is written by Mani Padma.
For more about 55 fiction click here
According to Transparency International, following are the stats for India.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2009:
India stands at 84th rank. The CPI score indicates the perceived level of public-sector corruption in a country/territory.
Bribe payers index:
Belgium and Canada shared first place in the 2008 BPI with a score of 8.8 out of a very clean 10, indicating that Belgian and Canadian firms are seen as least likely to bribe abroad. The Netherlands and Switzerland shared third place on the index, each with a score of 8.7. At the other end of the spectrum, Russia ranked last with a score of 5.9, just below China (6.5), Mexico (6.6) and India (6.8).
The BPI also shows public works and construction companies to be the most corruption-prone when dealing with the public sector, and most likely to exert undue influence on the policies, decisions and practices of governments.
Good,Bad and Ugly – Crime and Punishment
The world is a jungle and out there in the wilds only the rules of survival work. The survival of the fittest. – The most primal instinct being the instinct to survive.
Good thing – we are humans and possess a superior intellect to form a universal uniform code of conduct so as to survive in harmony and peace, posing minimum of danger to other humans or to other species.
But the Bad thing – It is this same superior intellect which has resulted in some Notorious characters maneuvering there way out of these rules to become demons in their own right like Chengiz Khan, Hitler,Mussolini to name a few.
Good Thing that I am an Indian, belonging to the biggest democracy in the world. Everyone is heard out here. Everyone can have a say (at least theoretically)
Bad Thing- Everyone! Means everyone! Even those who may have massacred thousands in front of your very eye! Raped and destroyed helpless kids or committed other heinous crimes.
Good thing we have a very fine judiciary system, which examines and tries cases minutely so as to ensure that no one is punished unjustly or no guilty person go unpunished.
Bad thing about it is that the process takes so long (obviously all the fine examination will take time) that by the time punishment is meted out, we tend to forget about it – what crime! Whose punishment! And there is the added concern that witnesses might disappear or the accused may during the course of time.
Good thing we have the benefit of judicial custody of accused to aid in the trial and investigations.
But Bad thing is that they have to be “imprisoned” too or put into the Jail (mind you, the accused has just been accused and not convicted yet and there is some percent of chance that he/ she might be acquitted) along with petty criminals and dreaded gangsters.
Good thing- that they are slightly differentiated from the convicts inside the prison. (In that certain rules may differ)
Bad thing is that same cannot be said about the society outside because when they are finally acquitted, much to their grief they find that the people really do not know much about the difference between accused and convict. For them a jail is a jail is a jail!
But good thing- that society is trying to open up and has embraced many prolific personalities into the mainstream.
Bad thing is that everybody does not have the good fortune of Salman khan, Sanjay Dutt or Rahul mahajan.
But good thing is that our prison system is a correctional. Preventive and punishment unit and not torture chambers as perceived by many. More over we have the benefit of NHRC (national human rights commission) to prevent any unintentional or intentional mishaps.
But bad thing how many corrections? How much prevention of crime? Whose punishment and what type of punishment? And NHRC for the same persons who have themselves violated them???!!!
Good thing we have different punishment slabs for different “crimes” depending on the intensity, situations etc
Bad thing – and a surprising thing is that most times neither the victim/ victim’s family nor the perpetrators are ultimately happy with the verdicts. I wonder why? I mean someone should have been happy, isn’t it?
A wise person said that you cannot make everyone happy, but the ugly question is “are the right persons happy?”
Good thing that here I can ask any question, comment anything, inspite of my ignorance and still get away with it as this is Democracy and a country of questioning minds.
But the Bad thing, will anyone bother to enlighten me more about all this with their comments???
Mount Abu – Memorable Moments
Hi! I am back with the next JITC for you and though our jewel is a tiny one – all of 25 sq km compared to Delhi’s 1484sq km, it is quite strategically located. The hill station, at 1220 m altitude, in the Aravallis, the only one in Rajasthan is more of an oasis and has been quite popular with the tourists from Rajasthan and Gujarat. But rather than being famous as a conventional hill station it is more famous for the Dilwara Jain temples and in recent years as a headquarter of Brahmakumari’s spiritual centre. Not to mention the World Spiritual University and of course Ekta Kapoor made it famous in her daily soap Kasamh Se
Reaching Mt Abu is no problem as it is really well connected , with butter smooth roads nor is the accommodation, with havelis turned into hotel or conventional hotels and guesthouses
As I always say, there is no lack of information of this small town, as you will always get enough both from hearsay and the net, I will just attempt to bring before you my own personal observations ( which you can say tips)
As it is a small area, it can be covered in just a day and half , so you can club it with your trip to Udaipur, the beautiful lake city just 185 kms away
The roads are simply lovely and if you are a learner (learning to drive) then the roads are best for some smooth practice.
If you are a nature person, then don’t get fooled by the Hill station tag. It is beautiful in its own way, an oasis among the sandy rugged landscape, but it is not a hill station with alpine forests and winding twisting climbing roads
The Guru Shikhar Peak is the highest peak.
Don’t be tempted by the road conditions and attempt to drive in at night as there are unconfirmed reports of robbery in the highway leading up to Mt Abu.
Dilwara temples from 11th -13th century are its primary attraction, but photography is not allowed inside.
Other than that of course, there is the hot favorite for strolling, boating and shopping – Nakki jheel or lake. It’s a point you will not miss nor can miss it.
There are other tourist points like the sunset point, the Achalgarh fort, the famous Trevor’s Tank, Adhar Devi temple and many more.
You will find the strange rock formations lining the road , an interesting sight ( some of which you will find in the slide show)
While there don’t forget to try the Dal Bati chorma – a local dish- the trademark Rajasthani dish in fact- quite unique.
Shopping for Rajasthani block print cloths and lehenga choli is a must. They are rightly priced and affordable- one that will bring a smile to the women of your family.
You can go for camel riding and have a feel of being in the Desert State.
What I found quaint was the hand carts type of thingy near the Nakki Jheel used to transport to and fro the market and up to your hotel. You can ride in one just for the experience.
Being in Mt Abu is an experience in itself, which cannot be measured in words. Here I have attempted to portray Mt. Abu through the images that struck me, while there! Other wise Mt Abu is of course much more than these.
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