Is there enough freedom of speech in India?

The title of the blog should actually be – Do all enjoy free speech in India? At times I get fed up of listening and watching the media channels misusing the free speech. The manner in which the news is reported these days is more like a drama rather than factual reporting. It is absolutely disgusting to hear the news reporters adding masala to serious news and giving their opinion instead of letting the viewers decide their take on an issue. In these cases, you wonder if there should be some controlled freedom of speech. But the latest news about Air India pilot’s rap song being such an issue for Air India makes me wonder if the commoners voices are not accepted by those in power.

Anyone who has been following news about the national airline would agree with the pilot’s frustration about the airline. The Maharaja’s downfall has been in news for years and until now the airline suffers from poor management. Why should someone not be allowed to express his dissatisfaction in the form of a song? If strikes and protests are legal then expressing one’s opinion in an art form shouldn’t be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. The song should actually be a wake up call for those on top position in the airline. It is high time that the airline starts taking some drastic steps to improve the carrier.

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From Democracy to Plutocracy

A plutocracy is a nation ruled by the rich as a matter of policy. India has moved from being a democratic nation to a plutocratic nation. It is a well known fact that Indian law favours the rich and elite. There have been so many cases in which the victim was not granted justice because the accused belonged to an influential background.

To recollect some of the examples, there was Jessica Lal murder case in which the victim was shot dead because she refused to serve alcohol to the accused. The victim’s family had to suffer for years because they were from a normal middle class background whereas the accused belonged to a rich family which had political connections. Then there was the BMW case, in which a young man who was doing driving in an inebriated state killed six labourers by his car. Last year, the Supreme Court has ruled that Delhi businessman Sanjeev Nanda will not have to be put in any more jail time for running over six people in his BMW in 1999. He is the grandson of former naval chief SM Nanda. His accident and the trial that followed became one of the cases that exemplified middle class India’s frustration with rich and powerful people being able to circumvent the law.

In India, wealth is so completely tied in with political power, and often to crime without punishment. So many scams were reported in the media but how many people associated with it have been tried so far? Law is definitely not equal for all in India.

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The Whitewashed City – Vienna in Jan 2013

I have been living in Vienna since 2006 and this was the first time when there was so much snow in the city. It looked beautiful and since I have break from office, I have lot of time to just sit inside my warm flat and watch it snow outside. It’s stunning to watch the snow spread like a blanket on the grass and the street. A cup of hot chocolate would be perfect for this weather!IMG_0344




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Chai Time

We are a chai drinking nation – no matter if it is an extremely hot day with temperature rising above 40 degrees or a chilly winter morning with 10 degrees; we need our cup/s of tea for sure! Indians have to have their cup of hot steaming tea first thing in the morning in order to stimulate their senses and refresh themselves. Equally important is the afternoon cup of tea to continue working the rest of the day. In between of course there are some more occasions to have tea. Whether it is gossiping with friends or having an important business meeting; chai has a special role to play.

Tea drinking in India dates back to 750 B.C. and could be described as serendipity when the locals used wild native plants for brewing this beverage. Today chai is more of a concept than just a beverage.

I was really fascinated to see this little booklet during my domestic flight in India last year. cover tea

inside tea

text tea

behind tea

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A Woman is Not an Object

It’s high time when women in India should stop being treated as an object by the male chauvinist society. It’s a shame to read and hear about women being raped, molested and abused each day in some part of the country. How can a country which cannot protect its women shine? Lawbreakers in India have power to be law makers. India’s judicial system is a complete failure. There are no strict laws against rapists and eve teasers.

Over the years the film industry in India has been portraying woman as a sex machine. Do we really need to see women dancing on the item songs with extremely provocative dresses in front of hundreds and thousands of men as sellable commodities? Why is the society glorifying women who are acting in movies like Dirty Picture?

Women in India do not need Fair & Lovely skin lightening cream; they need respect and dignity.

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Festival of Lights

It’s festive season again! I truly hope and pray that the lights of Diwali illuminate a new chapter in the lives of my loved ones. This is a special Diwali for my family and although we might not be celebrating it together, we are definitely excited about a new change in our lives. I wish lots of joy, good luck and good health to my family and all my well wishers.

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Stunning Display of Fall Colours

Today afternoon when I went for my regular walk in the park, I was delighted to see the spectacular colour show of the shedding leaves. All the green leaves had turned into lovely shades of yellow, orange and red. I love walking on the path which has scattered leaves of various colours. Although autumn can be icy cold in Vienna, the magnificent foliage in shades of red and gold making a backdrop can add some vibrance to the otherwise dull and grey weather.

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