Sunday, September 26, 2010

Commonwealth games- Goals ahead for the betrayed nation….

Loads of dirt is being thrown around for the commonwealth games. It is not only about the dirty toilets and filthy condition of the games village, it is also about the cheap talk done by officials. "What is clean to me and you is not clean to them", Lalit Bhanot had put the hygiene standard of the nation next to the drains at Kanpur. This is a complete failure on behalf of organising committee. They not only did a very poor planning of events, but also kept fooling the people. Widespread corruption only adds icing to this cake. Government of India can not shy away from its responsibilities too. They have singlehandedly tarnished India's image at the world stage beyond repair at short term at least. All of them have collectively betrayed us. Betrayed the nation… betrayed our belief and pride.

We all feared inside or suspected that something like this is coming. When I went to India last time, the games were less than 300 days away. I could sense with my very limited knowledge of construction and building that it is going to be a massive task. Still we kept on hoping and praying. Unfortunately Shiela Dixit, Delhi chief minister, did the same. Instead of taking hard action, she kept on praying that some magic would happen to salvage the game. My personal experience shows that whenever some one relies on luck and hope for something to happen correctly, rather than strong action, it often happen otherwise. To make her a laughing stock, after the foot over bridge was collapsed, Dixit said, "It was not for athletes, it was for common people". As if common people are there for her to get killed by accidents. Such a shame….

I still believe, India might still pull through a great game. Make it partial success atleast. As a nation, we have been practicing the "Last minute" stuff for a while. And, truly speaking, we have the flexibility, self belief and capability to make apparently impossible tasks a success. Talking from a FMCG product development perspective, I have seen instances where in eight colour printed laminate got developed, printed and delivered in less than a week (Standard lead time- 30-45 days). I have seen complex multi cavity mould getting into commercial production in a month (standard time 4 months). I have seen presentations written and delivered in conferences within 3-4 hours. Yes, I believe, we can still do it- if we get serious, if we take it as a matter of our pride, if we take it as if our existence and reputation would depend on this event.

Looking ahead, even if the event is not a success, it is not the end of the road for India. Yes, our Olympic dream might get ( I think has already got) a severe threat. Yes, we would face uncomfortable questions at global stage. Yes, stereotypical west would snub us for many more years to come. But we would claw back. We would have to work even harder. We have to put even more effort. As a nation, we have to run that extra mile or two, which would slowly but steadily erase this stigma. This disaster has thrown us a new challenge, a new task, more uphill and more difficult- but achievable by entrepreneural citizens of out nation.

Government by its inaction and bureaucracy has negated large part of the equity we had developed over the years. We can not to anything about it at this stage. Only options are to get over the setback, take learnings and move ahead. Let the fight back start now. Let the fight back start with ensuring a great game of sports during 3rd-14th Oct. Indian army would re-build the fallen bridge within 3 days. Let rest of the nation follow their footstep and rebuild the image of the nation in the shortest time possible. Life at times is more thrilling than the final overs of a T20 match.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

শুভ নববর্ষ

শুভ নববর্ষের অভিনন্দন

দেখতে দেখতে কতই না পাল্টে গেল বাঙালি. ধুতি থেকে এলো জিন্স, উত্তম কুমার থেকে সৌরভ গাঙ্গুলি, পিঠে পুলির বদলে পিজ্জা, পটাটো চিপস থেকে মাইক্রো চিপস. রবীন্দ্র সংগীতের সঙ্গে চায়ের আড্ডা ভুলে ব্যান্ড, চ্যাটিং আর ফেসবুক. পাড়ার ঠেক থেকে ডিস্কোঠেক. দুর্গাপুর থেকে সিঙ্গুর, ইস্টবেঙ্গল- মোহনবাগান থেকে নাইট রাইডার্স. গতকালের অপসংস্কৃতিই আজকের ফাশ্যন. বাবাও তো আজকাল ইমেল লিখছেন নিয়মিত.
তবে এত রদবলের মাঝেও রয়ে গেছে অনেক কিছু. সেই স্বপ্ন - 'সকল দেশের সেরা', সপ্তসিন্ধু ডিঙ্গায় চড়ে বাঙালির বিশ্বজয়... হয়ত সে দিন আর বেশি দুরে নয়. সেই নতুন ভবিষ্যতের দিকে তাকিয়ে সকলকে জানাই শুভ নববর্ষের অভিনন্দন.১৪১৭ সবার ভালো কাটুক.
- অল্পা অভিজিত

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Revolution of a different kind

Revolution of a different kind

Recently something revolutionary happened in India. Something that was never though of. Something- no other country in the world has been able to implement. Something- which once again proved that India is thinking about day after tomorrow. If you have not got it yet- I am talking about women reservation bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha this week.

Cut to 1999. We were in 3rd Semester of IIP. It was the time when junior batch representatives would take over as hostel president and secretary from our batch. There used to be an election. However- since the seniors were more in number- it was kind of academic. Whatever collectively senior students used to decide, would have happened. On the eve of the election, I proposed let a girl be Hostel secretary this time. And my my… it was opposed with all vehemence. “A girl? Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind? Do you have any special feeling? Etc etc”
Except a few of us, every one opposed it. People who claimed to be progressive opposed, people who had girlfriends thought it was a bad idea, people who used to talk about progressive thoughts said girls are not competent. Every one opposed it. I had thought- I would be able to get it through by a strategic supports from some sections. My friends would definitely understand my logic. Girls in the hostel would support and I would be personally influence a few opposers. Surprisingly- I was wrong. Apart from Kousik Saha most of others took it as if ut was a personal humiliation and a challenge to their masculinity. Even some of the girls were also tentative. “How can a girl face IIP management?”
At the end- I had to give up. What followed was also bitter. But it had opened my eyes on how we still doubted ability and competence of women.

Cut to present- The bill has been passed. From next election onwards- 33% of our law makers would be women. I am sure they would focus much more on development and wellbeing of the neglected half of the country. Once this fairer half starts standing tall, overall progress of India as a nation would definitely get huge acceleration. To echo what Swami Vivekananda had said 100 years back- India would only raise when women power would get completely developed. A bird can only fly only when both the wings are equally strong.
Yes- we are at the brink of that flight. The journey, which had stared in 18th century by Raja Ram Mohan Roy through abolishing of “Sati”, which got strengthened by Ishwar Chandra Vidysagar’s “widow re-marriage” and “women education” movement, has gained optimum momentum. While anticipating the grand flight with all excitement- I am happy to forget the temporary setback, which I had 11 years back, on my attempt to empowering women.