Monday, June 20, 2005

Tamil Nadu - Where being Young is a crime....

A week back AMMA quashed thousands of hopes with a single G.O. when she deemed the Common Entrance Test, the TNPCEE void and that admissions to colleges would be based only on the marks obtained in the 12th board examinations. Also the Improvement scores were cancelled. All the above with immediate effect and would be followed in the future too...

AMMA's reasons:
  • The TNPCEE exerted undue pressure on the students and parents... Are we gonna entrust the future to Doctors and engineers who can't handle pressure situations?
  • TNPCEE coaching centers are making a lot of money... More than what AMMA gets under the table?
  • Rural students find themselves at a disadvantage because of the TNPCEE... The government schools they study in have such low teaching standards, Shouldn't the schools be spruced up instead?

The Actual Reason:

PMK which lacks an ideology or issues had raked up this issue and AMMA scrapped the TNPCEE so that PMK didn't gain political mileage from this....

BUT What about the thousands who spent a whole year to improve their scores? Shouldn't they have been informed last year itself?

What about the efforts of the thousands of students who studied hard for the TNPCEE?

Apart from these humanitarian Considerations....

The new ranking system is a joke!!!

The Order of Priority:

  1. Biology/Mathematics
  2. Chemistry
  3. Physics
  4. Date of Birth!!!!
  5. Lots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The statistics reveal there are 200 students who have 200/200 in the Medical ranking!!! And there are almost another 3000 students between 199.75 to 199.00.

So in medicine where there are only about 1200 seats the Oldest of the 200 scorers will get MMC while the youngest might land up in one of the not so good colleges. And someone who gets 199.50 or 199.25 might not get anything at all!!!

The CET is Objective and is not prone to human errors unlike the board examinations which are prone to the vagaries of the examiners... If the CET alone had been declared as the sole system for ranking it would have been logical BUT.... Amma gives a damn for logic! Its a pity that the educational system is being ruined by petty politics...

One things for sure.... I'm glad I cleared 12th 6 years back!!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Formula One - Misplaced Priorities

I've been a keen follower of Formula one races since the time when Michael Schumacher was the Underdog and Hakkinen was having his engineered run at the top for two successive years.

After Hakkinen's Downfall, rather after Schumacher and Ferrari returned to their winning ways there was no looking back for Schumi as he surpassed one record after another. Rain or shine his precise driving and the Ferrari stratergy bagged race after race.

Then came the spate of Rule changes...
First came the one lap qualifiers.
Then the points system was changed so that the second place finisher got 2 more points. But who could stop someone who always came first?
Then came the 2005 rule changes that curtailed tyre and engine changes and Ferrari too.

We're probably living in the era of the greatest of Formula one drivers, barring Ayrton Senna's prematurely ended career no one has come anywhere close to dominating Formula one Racing so much as this Seven time World Champion. But all Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA are worried about is their pockets because some people think F1 racing has become Monotonous and Boring due to Michael Schumacher's winning ways.
Is the FIA Justified in bringing in all these rule changes to combat dropping television viewership?

Is the spirit of the sport important or the people who pay to watch it?

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Sun Rise

I don't consider myself lazy BUT after burning Midnight Oil for 6 years of my college life, I had seen the sun rise only a few times that too during an NCC camp. I had joined the Owls, Bats and the other creatures of the night that function better at night.

I was never excepting any of this to Change when I shifted back home to Chennai after college. My increasing waistline, total lack of exercise and the hot summer prompted me to go for swimming at my dad's club pool.

Some of the Characters who frequent the pool....
  • The next 'Thorpedo' : This kid always waits for someone to come by before he crosses just ahead, and always he fails and I end up waiting for him to pas by.
  • The 'Big fat Sub' : This guy also waits for someone to cross before crossing Only he crosses underneath! Though the pool is comfortably deep Trust me its not a funny sight to see someone crossing underneath You...
  • The Bug : This kid who keeps calling me uncle! Even though I've tried explaining to him I'm not old enough :-(
  • The 'Military Dad': This guy comes along with his two kids and keeps telling them that they should swim 25 laps up and down the pool (for the 25 bucks he paid???) and keeps counting 24.. 23.. The Kids though, they keep fooling around.
  • The 'Floating Flirt': Literally this jerk floats from one gal to another and flirts... I recently read an article by a gal about 5 essentials for a guy, one among those was to carry a good book which would make good for at least two minutes of conversation with a gal. Here I found the advice being put into use real time... The only book he knows is 'The monk who sold his Ferrari' He advises the naive gals (some hardly class 8) to read Non-Fiction!!!
  • Then there are those huge fatsos who displace the water in the pool by diving in and the really sweet Kid who's hardly 4 or 5 who floats around the pool always smiling.
  • Then there are the numerous anxious parents who put a chair wherever there's shade and jump up and down every time their kid does something.

This Circus starts at 7, So I sleep before midnight, get up before six and leave the pool by 7.

But then I get to see the Sun rise daily!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Killer Stick!

Rajnikanth flicks a Cigarette in the air shoots it backhand with his pistol and when the cigarette falls down it not only lands right between his lips, its lit up and ready to smoke... The crowds go into a frenzy in the theatre, they love it that's what they came to see, Rajni's style! Vijayakanth lights match sticks on his enemies and lights up his cigarette and blurts out a punch line! And the audience start applauding...

Living in a country that churns out as many films as Hollywood, cinema has become an integral part of our life, more so with the advent of the Satellite Channels. We get exposed to Cinema at quite a young age and such antics on screen can have a deep impact on the fan who wants to mimic the macho image of his hero. Young men even boys who see their hero blowing smoke circles watch in awe and try to imitate and before they know it they're hooked on to the habit. And once they start its difficult to quit. Peer pressure is another factor.

But Reel life is mostly only a reflection of Real life mixed with a bit of the creator's imagination. Its not that a majority of the men and some women don't already smoke But if actors are a bit more responsible and desist from doing sending the wrong message across the screen it will not only help existing Smokers give up it will also stem the rising number of new smokers.

Actors definitely know the impact they've on their audience that's why we have so many actors becoming successful politicians. I'm not telling every actor should start preaching pearls of wisdom in their films But at least they can stop misleading young minds.

The government which in recent times has taken the initiative to curb the health hazard like banning smoking in public places, banning advertising tobacco products, restricting sale of tobacco products near schools and to under age boys etc has now taken the task of reforming filmdom and has banned all smoking in films to be released.

But laws are meant to be broken, for some there always loop holes!Like when the government banned advertising of Tobacco and Alcoholic products we started seeing ads for WILLS lifestyle, KINGFISHER mineral water, BACARDI cassettes and CD's, 100 pipers Pure music...

But what if a film maker wants to show someone who smokes and later succumbs to disease due to his habits? The law will Restrict the filmmakers canvass definitely But I guess he'll have to die of something else then. Or the law should have provisions to selectively allow such movies and they should be cleared on a case to case basis to prevent misuse. Don't gambling, rowdyism, violence on screen have a bad impact on the people too? Will the government try to restrict such things on screen in the future too?

I hope filmmakers and our screen idols realize their duty to the society and give the Killer stick a kick in the ass and start acting responsibly!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Adam n Eve

My favorite Channels: Headlines Today and NDTV 24X7 Partly because of my general outlook toward life to be well informed and partly because of the Set Top Box implementing a curfew on other channels in Chennai!

There have been many incidents of rape hitting the news recently, I had attributed it to my recent spurt in watching TV after a 6 year hiatus due to hostel life and to the news channels' attitude of sensationalism!

But the statistics are stunning when it hits you, where's India heading for?
One woman is raped and two kidnapped in New Delhi everyday!
AND its just 30% of the national average!!

April this year a cop in Mumbai had the audacity to Rape a schoolgirl in a police booth right in the middle of a crowded junction!Maybe because he knew the conviction rate in the country is an abysmal 4.8%!!!

But all hope is not lost for the 'weaker sex' A fast track court in Rajasthan recently handed out life sentences in just 15 days! A record of sorts by the over burdened Indian Judiciary but such isolated judgments are not enough to send a strong message to the rapists...
If there's one rape a day in New Delhi alone why cant there be one conviction a day at least? Maybe there should be harsher punishments...
Maybe all rapists should be hanged to death
OR maybe We should start stoning rapists like in Arab countries
OR maybe we should castrate these guys and cut of their dicks too!
Not only rape, Even minor acts like groping a woman shouldn't be let off so easily!

Last year Akku Yadav a serial rapist was killed in a court by a mob of women who were victimized by him! An inspiring tale to the rest of the nation... I'm not saying that the victims should take law into their own hands BUT why not if justice eludes the victim?

One things for sure if the women choose to remain silent spectators this thing is never gonna end! Learning the arts of Self defense and carrying small make shift weapons is only a temporary solution. There should be a shift in the mindset of men towards women. One way out is Sex education at school BUT what good is it when most of these guys are uneducated or are inebriated by alcohol when they commit these acts?

One thing I'm sure of Eve shouldn't have given the apple to Adam, she should have eaten it herself!!

Women Politicians!

In 2003, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government introduced the The Women's Reservation Bill which eventually lapsed due to lack of consensus. How glad I was that the bill fell through!

It's not that I'm a male Chauvinist but my opinions about Woman politicians have never been great. Taking the 13 month BJP government for instance, it was a loosely woven coalition of power hungry politicians with a wafer thin majority . And the most of important of all it constituted 3 parties that were led by women, the BSP by Mayawati, the Trinamool Congress by Mamata Banerjee and the AIADMK by our very own AMMA!

The government in New Delhi shook everytime these 3 pillars threw tantrums and some special envoy of the PM had to be sent to pacify these Women leaders. The country suffered from lack of a stable government and concrete policies and all that mattered to these women were their own personal interests. AMMA wanted to escape the law Mamata wanted a Specific ministry and Mayawati was leading another coalition with the BJP at UP. I despised the three and the collapse of the government was quite a relief to me.

Not being a great fan of the Dynasty politics in Congress I'm quite skeptical about Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka too.
Take Uma Bharathi the Sanyasin, She gave LK Advani jitters even though the BJP is not in power by threatening to quit politics if she weren't given a party post. Shouldn't she have done that when she started calling herself a Sanyasin?
And back to Mayawati, she's now threatening to pull the plug on the UPA which she supports from the outside because... The CBI is proceeding against her in the Taj heritage corridor scam.

Take Bihar, Laloo cant rule so his wife Rabri Devi is ruling the state! Leaders should set examples and an example of how a leader shouldn't be is the Pan Chewing often doped Laloo and his wife and some nine kids! How will the state ever implement family planning initiatives with these two on the top? How will the state ever improve with an ever growing population now that the mineral rich Jharkand is a separate state? With fewer sources of income and bad leadership the state is nowhere on the road to prosperity.

At Chennai where i live, my locality the seat for the councilor is reserved for women again here the Local Dada's wife is the one who faces the poll. But no prizes for guessing who's the real power around here.

My point is Not only that most of the Woman politicians we already have are driven by personal gain they are incapable of providing stability to the country. Its not that the country does not have good women leaders its just that we don't have enough to fill up 33% of our local councils, assemblies and the Parliament. The reservation will only lead to substitution by the wife or a relative who'll end up being remote controlled.

The Final word:
Even though I'm totally opposed to reservations, If there has to be a reservation for women then why not 50% in all educational institutions? Let Women develop into leaders rather than thrusting elected posts onto them with a reservation.I don't know if the future Women politicians will also be like Amma or Maya But I hope not for INDIA's sake.... Only time will tell...