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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Retribution at the holy Tihar

The death of Ram Singh within the precincts of the holy Tihar was perhaps the only death in recent times that brought smiles on the faces of many. Vicious it may sound but the fact remains that this news gladdened many hearts for the act of his suicide was perhaps the best retribution for the heinous crime that this animal had perpetrated. Maybe God intervened for want of a swift and just punishment for this heinous crime against the human race.

Mad dogs should be killed at the earliest and what better than the mad dog killing himself and in the process making it easy for the overburdened machinery. Perhaps ours must be the only country in the world where even an act of killing a top honcho or an attack on the parliament itself takes decades to be taken to the logical conclusion of punishing the perpetrator. Dispensation of justice is also perhaps as deeply tied in knots as development and education are and rightly so, we all hail from same societal structure, howsoever good or bad it may be.

The Nirbhaya case has displayed the extent to which a human being can be brutal, merely for satisfying his basic instinct. The extent of brutality perpetrated shocked not only the common man but also hard core criminals who throng the holy Tihar and regarded Ram Singh and his gang as the ultimate scum amongst scums. Newspaper reports at times highlighted the vicious treatment that the men of Tihar inflicted on all those who defiled humanity by the rape and brutal murder of Nirbhaya. To that extent the men of Tihar gained the appreciation of many of us.

The affected party in almost all instances has a different and perhaps an appropriate viewpoint, yet the rest of us impose our, the society’s viewpoint even if it may be contrary had we been directly affected. During an earlier tenure as the head honcho of a major sarkari setup, I had as always cracked down on sexual harassment within office premises and suspended and transferred the male in many cases without going through the motions of an enquiry. On being questioned by a union leader during a staff interaction, I agreed to enquiries in future provided the leader would also seek an enquiry and not demand direct action even if his daughter or wife was sexually harassed in the office she worked. He and all other armchair critics were thus suitably silenced.

I am also unable to appreciate the clamour of many arm chair enthusiasts for a humanitarian handling of the criminals who displayed animal instincts while violating the girl and worse still showed no remorse thereafter. That this is distinctly a behaviour definitely not worthy of mercy or condonation is not in doubt, yet statements seeking the protection of the juvenile interalia seeking legal rights to rape and murder by adolescents keep on doing the rounds amongst the intelligentsia. Such pseudo protectionism encourages criminal tendencies, a familiar scenario in the capital city that has juvenile act in force.

Why cannot we be like Singapore or Dubai, nations where criminals are treated like one and crime therefore makes extremely rare appearances. That sheer deterrence is indeed the remedy for such crimes is a fact that needs appreciation even amongst that section of the society that remains fairly insulated from all that affects the common citizens of the nation. It is also beyond doubt that all those who are in favour of a treating the juvenile with kids gloves and abolition of death penalty for even heinous crimes, would like a chameleon change their stance the day someone from their immediate family and friends goes through even a hundredth of what Nirbhaya experienced. 

Soft pedalling on issues and softer still on deliverance and economic growth has led our nation to such a pass that even miniscule nations cock their thumbs at us more often than acceptable, and the recent snub is a case in point. Gandhi, the father of the nation wanted to build an India based on the foundations of truth, value systems and character, yet nation building has perhaps remained the least of our concerns. 

Today morning enroute to my office I read a graffiti on an auto that said “Please don’t honk. The nation is sleeping”. How true, yet how sad!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Words of Wisdom

Rajesh Agarwal had the entire audience in a trance for almost two hours. Addressing over two hundred officers and supervisors at the motivational seminar organized by the IRSME association of the northern railway, the most important point that Rajesh emphasized was the need for a good character, the sheer absence of which is plaguing almost the entire sarkari sector cutting across states and services and the railways is no exception.

The uniqueness of such talks lies in their sheer absence as the focus of various service associations remains confined generally to organizing drink and dinner parties for their members. Welfare is never at the core or even in the fringes of the activities of such service associations. Yet my recent stress on giving a new dimension to the activities of the IRSME was overtly welcomed by almost everyone and that is ample evidence of a hidden desire for change and improvement even amongst the officer clan of the railways, of whom I have always been a silent critic all along. 

My biggest find in the over three decades of active service is that people are indeed waiting to be led to a land of milk and honey, even if it necessitates toil and sweat and also a need to be on the right side of perfect value systems. Rajesh also emphasized on the need for organizations and their constituents to lay stress on value systems that are indeed the building blocks of a good society as well as organizations. Yet in my long service, with the exception of perhaps two, I did not come across bosses who even once mentioned the need for organizations to lay stress on character and value systems. Sad the entire scenario is, yet the saving grace is the silent acceptance of the goodness that lies in being good, even by those who have crossed the fine line that defines the threshold of integrity of both the financial and professional kind.

Rajesh helped clear the cobwebs that had perhaps started forming inside my head since the last couple of weeks. He reinforced clarity on various fronts and laid at rest doubts that may have started surfacing about the need to be genuine almost always despite the entire environment being on the contrary. The sheer irrelevance of many issues that earlier kept the mind preoccupied silently dawned on me.