Here are my Four Stray Thoughts for the day:
1. Please come to our side.. here is some money: A news article yesterday mentioned that the US had approved a budget of around 700 billion$ to fight the Taliban. It said that part of this money was to equip its commanders in Afghanistan to pay money to the Taliban to switch sides. Some of the commander’s reported that the Taliban have no ideology or purpose and are simply fighting because they are being paid. I am slowly beginning to understand why the US has still not being able to win in Afghanistan. There are so many things wrong with this. The Taliban possibly represent the worst instances of human’s on this earth and you want to do a deal with them. You want to offer candy in the form of money and tell the killers “Psst! Come over to this side, here is some money”. Let us assume for a moment that they do come over to your side, then what? Now you have a bigger problem since these people do not know of any other way to past their time then to destroy things around them. On a lighter note, young hopefuls who wish to join the Taliban must be upset at the remark of the commander that they do not have any ideology/wish etc. They are all made to believe that they would find 77 virgins in heaven if they died fighting for the cause. Sigh!
2. The laws are to be ignored : I had covered earlier how the festival of Diwali is associated with terrible amounts of noise in Mumbai. I had mentioned that there is a law that states that if you burst a firecracker above a certain decibel than you are likely to get arrested and you need to pay a fine of Rs. 1 lakh and possibly even imprisonment upto 5 years. A report in the Times Of India today thrashed all such laws out of the window. It said that the decibel levels were way above the normal prescribed ones and despite several complaints nothing was done. How many people did the police arrest? Zero. Noted lawyer, Y.P.Singh says that the Police did not arrest anyone since they are not aware of such laws. Really? As a lawyer, he should know that ignorance of the law cannot be used as an excuse. The courts repeatedly pass orders for action to be taken against people violating the laws and yet the police have not made even a single arrest. To me, ignoring the courts orders is as good as contempt of the court itself. I wonder what is to become of a city when the court passes a law and the law enabler refuses to honor it. A really sad scenario if you are a judge and a worse scenario if you are an ordinary citizen.
3. We are bird flu free : A report today mentions that India has been certified as Bird Flu free. Do we really care? And what does it mean by saying that we are certified as being Bird Flu free? I do not know. Even Swine Flu is now old news and no one is really discussing it. So I am more surprised that we wish to proclaim that we are Bird Flu free. And knowing the way we conduct any tests, you are living in a fool’s paradise if you believe our agencies reporting any such data. Swine Flu also has relatively slowed down its spread in India. I am not sure why but maybe I think I have an explanation. It has reached our shores but looking at the abysmal state of things and the million issues that we have around us, it left for greener pastures. Last that I heard the greener pasture was the US, where they have declared a Swine Flu emergency.
4. Where did the games go? : When I was growing up, playing in our building compound was a big thing. It was looked at religiously and all sorts of games were played. Cricket, Volleyball, Football, Hide & Seek and even some obscure games that I just do not know the English words for. I will use the Gujarati words “Nargolyo, Itti Gitti, etc”. I hardly see kids playing any outdoor activities now. Some of them are still mad about cricket but not all. I have a feeling that a lot of the current generation of kids hardly play any games at all. And one cannot blame just the school studies, etc. because I do see that they play video games, surf the net aimlessly, exchange Pokeman and other Super Gallactic Heroes cards, etc. I am sure that my parent’s generation played much more games than us but atleast we played some of them too. But with TV, Internet, Video game consoles – the playing grounds have shifted from your neighbourhood compounds to virtual grounds on the Internet.