Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tier 2 Towns And Cities. Lets Plan Them.

Cities like Bangalore , Mumbai and other cosmopolitan cities continue to choke everyday with the huge influx of vehicles. This is a very banal topic and much has been discussed about the remedies for thid scenario. There is a silent revolution going on in most Tier 2 cities and towns of India with tremendous economic development. Civic authorities continue their planning for these towns but in the process they’ve comfortably forgotten the problems elsewhere where similar planning for cities was done.Perhaps the only flyover in the world having a traffic signal is in Bangalore !! So much for their planning.
Architects of well planned cities and countries state that one of the simplest techniques for avoiding such traffic woes would be to have huge and broad roads with several lanes . Flyovers can also be planned at the early stage of development. However, such roads, the planners argue, are not needed as there would not be a proportionate high vehicular movement. They must however remember that we are already more than 1 billion in number and are marching towards the 2 billion mark. We need to plan our roads keeping in mind the huge uncontrollable population of the future . History is not kind enough to allow us to correct our mistakes at a future date. What we plan now stays forever.

In my opinion, all roads, be it a national highway or just a street in a remote residential area have to be constructed big and with a high load factor. The Chinese with the “Great Wall” have shown that thinking and planning big never hurts. Their planning of roads and cities follows the same mentality of think big. What I have stated here about thinking big while planning cities and towns is simply what has been followed in several developing and developed nations. We cannot afford to be left behind in this aspect.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Movies and Indian Media. What a shame.

It is an important week for the film industry as two of the biggest productions of the year Saawariya and Om Shanthi Om hit the box office on the occasion of Diwali.For the film industry, it is extremely crucial for both or at least one of the movies to be successful. To achieve this, they must first draw the audience to the theatre with great publicity. So how do they achieve this? Simple: The actors of the movie use the Music and Dance shows of all TV channels as a platform for promoting their movie. This is a common phenomenon but of late News channels are being used for the promotion of movies.
The quality of a country's media speaks volumes about the intellectual level which the country has reached. As is write this , day in and day out news channels continue their propaganda for the two big releases and tend to ignore the emergency in Pakistan , the house arrest of Benazir Bhutto, the emergency in Georgia , the victory of the British Doctors for equal work permits in the UK etc. If the news channels argue that they are not interested in such international news, then why didn't anyone even report about the killing of 5 terrorists in J&K during which India lost five of her soldier sons?
Achieving a high TRP seems to have fogged the vision of the news channels. We need an intelligent media. As for glamour and glitz, well they can still be aired and propagated in news channels but probably for an hour or so in a separate section; not as a full time event. In a country where politicians have the least credibility, it would be sad it news channels join the same league. We certainly hope things change

Friday, November 9, 2007

A tribute to Pramod Mahajan

The youth of my country show great pride when they state that they do not have an interest or inclination towards any political scenario or development which may make or break their country. It is during such times that a man or woman who is capable of stirring the souls of the youth is needed. Late Shri Pramod Mahajan was one such leader.
Pramod Mahajan came from humble beginnings and took teaching as a profession. As a member of the BJP, he rose through its ranks. He was the Telecommunication minister in the NDA government and is the man who changed the face of Telecom Industry in India. From being an instrument used by the rich and the privileged, mobile phone usage spread across all sections of the society.
In the Maharashtra political scenario, he was the chief architect of the alliance between the Shiv Sena and the BJP. The credit of forming a government in Maharashtra goes to him. He is fondly remembered for his speeches during election campaigns, wherein he spoke of overthrowing the Congress government; a belief for which he was mocked at many times.
He remained as one of those few leaders who was respected by members of all the political parties. Though he was never considered as a mass leader, it is a generally accepted fact that he was one of the more intelligent politicians India has produced, a leader who could have led us well in the 21st century. He was the chief architect of the India Shining campaign of the BJP during the 2003 elections. The loss of the BJP is many a times attributed to this campaign, however statistics clearly showed that it is anti-incumbency coupled with wrong alliances which led to the party losing the assembly elections. His role in the party was questioned many a times by his fellow party members after the loss in the elections. However one must remember that elections in India, where less than half the population vote and where less than 40 percent of the educated vote, is the most unpredictable democratic event in the world. The intellectuals of the party are not as influential as the politician who distributes money or uses the name of caste to garner votes. He was shot dead in his apartment and his brother is the prime accused in this case. The judgement is underway and we do hope at least after his death Pramodji gets justice, if not during his lifetime.
Leaders like Pramod Mahajan nourished the early development of young India. Such leaders cannot be forgotten and it is our duty to groom the next generation of leaders to follow people like Pramodji , so that we are rest assured that after our life, the country is in safe hands. India might have lost one of her most beloved and loving sons and we will continue to miss him. It is certain that a developed India with a poverty free society will ensure that his soul is at peace. We certainly pray that his soul rests in peace.
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