Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Widows of Vrindavan – Do they have to hear this as well?

"If they (widows) are not from here then there is no need for them to come here from other states. There are many famous temples in Bengal and Bihar too, where they can stay," the 65-year-old Lok Sabha BJP MP said.

MP referred here in this statement is Hema Malini, the actress turned politician; and the city referred is the temple city - Vrindavan. For ages Vrindavan attracted widows across the geographies of Northern and Eastern India. Many are spending their life in Vrindavan on their own, but I don’t believe good number of them had any other choice. 

Anyone remember the movie ‘Water’ by Deepa Metha? Widows are ending up in Vrindavan due to our old social prejudices and stigmas associated with widowhood not because widows are so happy to spend their last days away from family and closed ones.

I think even after giving life to many strong lady characters in big screen and then becoming a politician, Hema Malini failed to understand the ground reality. These types of statements are the last one we are expecting from a politician especially a female one. She needs to understand their problems first and then try to do something to stop their exploitation rather than saying something to stigmatize them further. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Timbuktu – From the middle of civilization to a tiny dot in Saharan desert

We often debate about the pain, each civil war inflicts upon common people. What we often overlook during bloody conflicts (civil wars or revolutions) is its effects on urban infrastructure. Cities and factories built over decades were destroyed in matter of minutes by IEDs, C4s and shells. Business environment and stability created over a long period of time disappears within days.

In this Guardian article, you can read the tragic story of a city located in the heart of Africa (sands of Sahara on her northern border). As terrorists and Sahara are intruding in to this city – once famous for gold and trading – people are on their final effort to survive.


GoI should restructure India's quality control (rules, implementation and inspection) system in drugs manufacturing

"Drugs manufactured at the Indian plant of Canadian generics giant Apotex came under fire from regulatory experts this week after health concerns were sparked by the revelation that the company sold prescription drugs that it knew were defective."

This is not the first time a drug manufacturing facility located in India is coming under USFDA scanner.

I am very much concerned about two things,

1. How come only US-FDA is finding all these problems? What Indian regulatory bodies are doing? Aren't they responsible for inspections?
2. If this is the quality of drugs for export to US (which have one of the toughest inspection system), Canada and EU, then can anyone imagine the quality of drugs we are consuming?

Healthcare is one of the areas where India has strong growth potential. Many of our companies championed generics and mastered global delivery systems. But, continuous failure in quality check will force them out of biggest markets like US, Canada and EU. Not only that, other countries will also view Indian drugs with suspicion only.

The faster the government acts the better.


Photo Courtesy - USFDA

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tigers on the run for life in Maharashtra

National Animal
"Preliminary findings of the 2014 tiger census and figures obtained through RTI of last year's state-level count reveal that more than more than 40 tigers have gone missing across three sanctuaries in the state as compared with 2010 estimates."

Tiger population reduced in,

Sahyadri Tiger Reserve - From 21 to 5
Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve - From 20 to 6
Bor National Sanctuary - From 12 to 4

"RTI reply admits that a tiger was poached near Ranbodi in Umred-Karhandla. Over 30 poachers have been arrested for tiger poaching, it says. The department admits that in 2013 alone, three tigers were poached but it has registered at least 15 offences of tiger poaching." - TOI

This tragedy in Maharashtra shows how vulnerable our tigers are; even after modestly successful ‘Project Tiger’. There is no point of constructing a building from one end while someone else is destructing it from another end. On the conservation front we need to be on high alert.. always.. Otherwise our national animal may once again reach the point of extinction.


"Independence of judiciary is non-negotiable" so as Individual's freedom

CJI “R M Lodha on Saturday said independence of judiciary is non-negotiable and whatever be the system for appointment of judges, the judiciary is strong enough to rebuff any kind of interference in its functioning." - TOI

With all due respect to CJI, I would like to add, individual's freedom is also non-negotiable. Courts can't sit on cases forever; trials should finish quickly and verdict should come fast. We can't have a system where under trials spend more time in jail than maximum punishment for the crime they allegedly committed. If any side is dodging the cases (no matter whether it is prosecutor, state or defendant) it is court's duty to take a strong view and put an end to those practices.

Why international agreement involving Indian companies are coming under Singapore or London courts and not under Indian courts? Is there are trust deficit?

Stakeholders of Indian Judicial system needs to introspect.


Image Courtesy: Wikipedia