Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan, We stand by you..

One of the worst earthquakes and tsunamis seen in the history of mankind had struck Japan last Friday. When we witnessed the shake on TV, the world too shook. Japan, having suffered from the nuclear bomb during the world war, recovered but saw several earthquakes being in the earthquake prone zone. Every time, they learnt a lesson and developed better technologies to withstand earthquakes. Nature proved it is supreme. Shendai is worst hit in the whole episode. Thousands have lost their lives and million lost their homes.

This is a time when there is a need for the whole world to stand with them. Even in the heart breaking scenes, there were a few observations which did not escape my eyes. Within a few days, people of Tokyo had resumed their work. During calamity too, they used restraint and calm. Unlike many incidences in other places of the world, where, people go on stampede for getting food or medicines or fight among themselves or a few go on looting, there was discipline. Another striking thing was their media did not show gory scenes of dead bodies and body parts to create sympathy or cash on the calamity. Anywhere else, media would have done this. I have seen this in TVs including many Indian TV channels. I bow to you Japan. I am sure that you will raise up again. Japan, we stand by you.

In any calamity and untoward events, we are carried away by emotion. A little after thought will raise several issues. If such events recur, what we need to do? Can country like India can take it? The answer is clear that we are not fully prepared for this type of eventuality. This type of event can only be tackled by many expert groups. Government needs to gear up first. Medical and paramedical forces, several types of engineers, police, army, social workers, people to provide food, medicines, water, sanitation workers and the list will go on.

What is the role of civilians?  Civilians need to raise up for the occasion. Training in the areas of first aid, fire fighting, simple rescue methods, communication methods, etc., need to be taught at the school level itself. Involving the youngsters is important. There was a time, Red Cross was active in schools, now it becomes a mere formality. Homeguards were also seen on night patrol and now they are probably the endangered species. Now, we need to realize the importance for raising a Civilian Task Force, who can raise up for the occasion. Can the NGOs, think loud on this? How many altruist persons are ready to stand up for this cause?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wishes to the women all over the world

Let me wish all the women around the world a "Happy Women's Day!". I would extend my wishes specially to those in the third world countries who are discriminated in the name of gender and oppressed. Even a country like India which boasts that we are already developed nation, has not done much to the underprivileged women. How can any mature person accept female infanticide or a dowry killing?

I know today there would have been quite a many celebrations across our country too. This is the 100th Anniversary which is worth celebrating. Probably many a women would have accused men for all these and cursed them too? I am not here to argue with them. What is the need of the day is more important to us. To be very frank, I do not want to spend much time praising Indra Nooyi or Kiran Mazumdar Shaw or Pratibha Patil, for they have achieved their heights and no one can stop them. I know, in our society there are many privileged women who can achieve great heights and they keep moving ahead and many women's clubs are filled with them. My concern is about the underprivileged and those who do not know what they can and should do.

Very often I see the girls in Biosciences sacrifice their studies for the sake of marriage. About 70% of biotech students are women but among them only about 5 to 10 %  take up a career in biosciences. This is not just a loss for the women but also for the country. It is a type of Brain Drain. All education and money spent on them just go waste. Who is to blame, the students, parents, companies who do not give opportunities or our society as a whole?

On this special day, while wishing all of you, I do wish to give a few advises to the young women. Do not think, that all men are deterrent to your progress. Men and women are just part of the big humanity and they need to go together holding hands to achieve great things for the humanity. Nor, you think that all women who talk big on stages and have organizations which boast to bring changes, are going to help you ( I do have respect for the truly working NGOs who changed the life of many). Probably the men who show true concerns are also your great friends. More than anything, do not expect any sympathy or concessions and someone to come and rescue from the clutches, which many times you had put it on yourself. 

Believe in yourself and never think that womanhood is a curse. Also women should know the truth that many a times an enemy for a woman is another woman. Mother-in-law Vs. Daughter-in-law stories still sell even on TV shows but very few times you would have come across Father-in-law Vs. Daughter-in-law feuds. Yesterday's daughter-in-law is today's Mother-in-law and today's daughter-in-law is tomorrow's mother-in-law. Problems are many times due to what the society thinks as right. Illiteracy, superstitions, false religious believes and chauvinism are the cause for the problem.

To my fellow men too I need to give a few advises. Do not think in the same way as our forefathers have thought regarding women. Do not hesitate to be a rebel in opposing dowry even if you need to fight your own family. At the same time, you need not look at a woman treating them like a weakling or who needs your sympathy, but treat them as your equal.

Let us not wait for a society that great leaders and poets like Subramanya Bharathi dreamt of, but help build it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

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