Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An ideal society ?

Two cops are suspended in Etawah, UP for ruthlessly beating up a little girl, as shown in a video clip by the Indian media. http://www.in.com/news/readnews-current-affairs-cops-beat-up-a-5yearold-girl-in-etawah-835ccf457b43ce0cee50b61b0b43c754127f8abd-53504-true.html It is not for the first time that this has happened. In fact, I would say that this is no different from the way the Indian parent beats up his kid for not "behaving". This was probably the first time it was caught on camera. So, I would say that the cop was only behaving in a manner that was expected of him, from the society that hands over a six year old to him for thieving. What kind of a society, I ask, has 6-year olds thieving around instead of going to school? What kind of society makes a six year old desperate enough to steal? What kind of a society, instead of providing for its children, hands them over to the cops when they falter? And why should I bother about society, I dont live in an uneducated, impoverished Etawah? No, I do not, but that is where my driver, my maid, my plumber, my watchman, my sabziwallah and dudhwallah come from.

Oh no, I would not take this opportunity, to blame the uneducated politicians of UP, or the corrupt bureaucracy. It is the common man, you and me, who does not bother about the state of our future citizens. It is easier to blame the authorities. But what have we done to ensure that our kids get a decent education, to ensure that they get two meals a day, to ensure that they are clothed and sheltered. Instead, we are ever-ready to teach these six-year old miscreants a lesson. Arent we experts at doing that, turning a blind eye to the urchins banging at our car windows at the red signal?

Oh, but what can I do? I'm so helpless. We Indians, are experts at technology, we are experts at strategy, we are experts at multi-tasking, diplomacy, working in stressful conditions, and even ass-licking. We just feel so helpless when we see a six year old being beaten up on camera.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chingay Parade 2009

The Chingay Parade 2009 set afloat with an array of floats and performers from all over South East Asia and the Far East. Students from polytechnic institutes in Singapore, viz. Nanyang, Republic, Ngee Ann, and others put up a colourful display of brightly lit up pyrotechnic floats adorned with acrobats performing their acts. Performers from all over the region masqueraded the streets with their vibrant art and culture. Tourists and locals thronged the streets with their family and kids, trying to catch a glimpse of the masked capers.

I ran from pillar to post trying to grab the best spot I could to catch the performances. But I must say, that this was something i would never do, if i was by myself back home. Inspite of the rush to get the best spot, not once was I ever pushed or jostled by the crowds. Mobs lined the streets from City Hall to Raffles Avenue, but not one person even acidentally brushed past. Back home, we have no concept of space. For the first time I realise my sense of space and how I can respect it. Singapore does teach me basic courtesy, and I wonder where it comes from. I return home late in the night after the parade, and I feel pretty safe in this city. Not one
person staring at me as if I had committed a crime by staying out late. In fact, I love being taken for as a person, as an individual and not as a woman. The happy-go-lucky Singaporean couldnt care less about your colour, your race, your nationality or your social status.
Anyways, the fireworks were beautiful, and the street party after the parade the most happening ever. The recession-affected streets of Singapore were filled with life and joy, and not for a moment did I feel lonely in this vibrant melting pot.
It was a last minute decision for me to land up at the parade and hence these pictures from my Nokia 6233.


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