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Monday, November 19, 2018

Cityblog Feature: Nayakgiri: Currrent Affairs Roundup November Rains

November Rains

The change of Season sets a reflective tone all over. As the winter sets in the northern hemisphere, the mixed emotions prevail over somethings that have gone past and somethings to look forward especially as we have reached penultimate page of 2018 Calender. Grey images in the northern part of globe add to the blues as depicted in the great Guns and Roses Song, but same chill add world famous romantic and invigorating spirits (Gulabi Thandi) in Pune. Festivities of Ganapati, Navratri , Dusshera and Diwali done and dusted with we now head towards year end festivities after this small hiatus.  

Festivities of Diwali was marked  with the debate on crackers. There is a repeated pattern to kind of stigmatize Indian festivals like Diwali branding it as a source of pollution while same crackers turn into festivities for year end. Dahi handi and Ganpati to create noise pollution while ignoring all political noise, honking, marriage processions etc. Holi being source of water wastage while allowing swimming pools, loose taps to waste water 24 by 7. That does not mean we should not tamper with traditions and improve them but not through consorted agenda to shame these festivals while being silent on such flaws on other festivals. This modernization has to be done by sensible leadership, internal examples and awareness. No court can have any say in matter of faith his unless actual rituals negatively affect human life and well being, safety and legal violations financially. This awareness resulted in less pollution this year. But forget this noise, lets salute Diwali Traditions which ensure creativity through rituals like Rangoli, Illumination. Food and Miniature forts. Diwali also creates awareness of cleanliness. New trends like Diwali early morning events and concerts, Deepotsav, Tourism/Trekking are in thing in Diwali and this Diwali was no exception.

Mention of courts lead to another serious issue which has resulted in creating questions over credibility of this August institution. Apart from Indian Armed forces it was the only institution in India which had respect and which was russet by masses to have sense and ensure that things are above the board  in India. But now with some curious judgments as in Sabrimala, Crackers, and some very frivolous issues, really that credibility is at stake. As a systemic fault this institution is overloaded but that requires sense of prioritization prevail which has not as shown in midnight hearing of Afzhal Pardon, out of turn hearing in Setalwaad bail, and unnecessary delay in Haywood dispute. One feels that all these years we were made to believe in efficacy of collegium system to ensure unbiased judgement but it seems most severe form of manipulation we had been living in past regimes. With new school of thoughts having power in center and most parts of India, these fractures are exposed. With Media in their pockets , past regime had made us to believing in the fairness of system. Only time will let us know but we should have concrete plan to restore the credibility of Judiciary.

Sabrimala issue has highlighted need for sensible handling of case by Government. This issue has nothing to do with gender equality as no woman is affected legally, financially, criminally. Its matter of  faith within community. But politics plays a supreme role. Same is in the Ayodya case which is matter of faith. Few sensible leaders from both communities could have resolved issue in past but have leaders done anything but playing communal card.  The RBI Govt clash has raised fundamental questions about functioning of institutions . Why this government is at loggerheads with independence of these institutions? Is it because this government dosen't believe in autonomy or is it political clash between instituitions which in past acted politically hand in hand with past regime? But in case of CBI it is made to be believed otherwise by few states. Lot is said by media about waste of money in tallest statue in the world but had it been private venture it would have been lauded. Fundamentally Government taking up such venture is debatable and political with optics involved. Things have gone out of control in Kashmir with straight clash between local police and terrorists. Things are reaching decisive stage and our government, Army and Politicians should be shrewd and pragmatic to let tourism, economy flourish in the valley along with return of natives who have been driven out of Valley by force. Economy seems to have recovered and absorbed the burden of global issues of Oil crisis and USD rise. Festival sales records is an indicator of confidence. Banking reforms are needed but with 2019 looming its tough to see government can be as bold as in Demonetization and GST. Opposition after attempting unsuccessfully to bash government baseless on Economy, Rafale corruption, Statue are back with Demonetization and GST. Our foreign ministry is working hard to have Indian interest safe guarded due to Iran sanctions, Tariff war, Brexit, Saudi crisis. Few great things are done by Gadkari and his team on Infrastructure. Metoo movement has to be appreciated for bring issues forth which plaugues working women worldwide. Leaving aside Times of India sensationalism and Bollywood brouhaha, there is need to have strict code of conducted implemented by laws. Metoo movement has created tremors in corporate , government, sports , startup, film, media sectors. Recent Punjab terror incidence has serious tone which need to be sensibly handled. Delhi Pollution cannot be ignored as it creates worldwide negative connotations. ISRO has had some serious achievements. All these leads to 2019 where five out of nine months this column has marked. The elections in Hindi belt will be litmus test for both incumbents and opposition.

Agrarian and Water crisis looms over Maharashtra. With 2019 in picture, we should not see politics prevail over real action to resolve the crisis which is perennial and has humane angle. Already we have seen politics over religion and caste. The Urban Naxalite issue has deep roots in social divide to destroy fabric of the society. The state labour issues in local IT enabled private taxi players as well as food delivery aggregator will define course of IT enabled startups in future in the country. Politics has been at highlight in another man vs nature issue as in case of Avni Tigress. This issue has severe implications as well. Stage seems to be set for 2019 in state

Pune city which is at the center of urban Naxalite issue faces water crisis and traffic issues due to Metro and other road problems. Burst of pipeline which highlighted the inefficiencies of systems were forgotten along with the lessons learnt as well. Political and Commercial Flexes all over the city during Diwali showcases disregard that the political class has towards public safety, urban aethetics and rules. We have also forgotten the flex accident. Diwali celebrations also pointed out the disregard people have towards public cleanliness and conduct during events.

Worldwide, we have seen US at loggerheads with China, Nato allies, UN in every aspect. US also had internal political tremors due to midterm, investigations , Canada and Mexico, other optical issues. The real issues like Fires, storms ie effects of Global warming, National polarization, Gun control (massacres) have been sidelined. Economy is doing well. Job market is good. But experts predict a  crash again. Lets see. Brexit has reached conclusive stage which has global impact. Khagosshi murder has created crisis in Middle East. The Oil price rise due to Iran sanctions have been eased out. But Iran sanctions have potential to create more issues. Australian Strawberry markets have suffered due to rumors. China posturing has created unease with US, Japan, India, Asean and rest of the world. WWI memories highlighted dangers oof Nationalism. On Indian neighbors we had china influencing stability iin Srilanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal. India has to be on its toes. We also need to cash on China Pak issues in OBOR, Ports. Many more significant events happened in Africa but its a forgotten contitent as Latin America which is in severe law and order crisis.

Diwali film release of Thugs of Hindusthan was biggest dissapointment coupled by social media hype of cast involving two biggest Bollywood name. In fact we have seen negative word of mouth trigerring another social media hype. In contrast Marathi movie Ani Kashinath Ghanekardid much better despite this mega release. Marathi industry has always been overshadowed by Bollywood thanks to physical location of Bollywood in Mumbai. But now with quality contents and effective promotion it can beat Bollywood. We have already witness how good contents and filmmaking like Badhai Ho can do wonders

Our badminton stars kept us interested in following them in top tournaments so is Kabbadi league gets its loyal followers. Now we await Hockey World Cup hosted in India to give us some good hocky viewing. Go Team India.  As team India crushed WI is one sided series especially in Tests, we now await the real litmus test this December Down Under. They need to prove mettlle outside India though recently they have fought hard not as reflected in scoorelines.
Tours Down under have been etched in memories with Chanell Nine quality, early moring alarms, Chill in the air. This time though time difference will be different for this column. Maybe need to stcok lot of Coffee.

As we head to the last month of 2018, we have very important 2019 for India as a country and political milestone in History. Let the king of the months : December role in kicking out November Rains.

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