Like my Blog on FaceBook

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WakeUp Sid !!

We have seen CM Siddaramaiah doze off on various occasions like many a inauguration ceremonies and sometimes even in the legislative assembly. It was alright if the CM was found sleeping on some occasions, but the hard truth is the Siddaramaiah Government is  seen sleeping over many issues plaguing the state of Karnataka. Be  it the drought situation in 17 districts, farmer suicides , safety and security of school kids, garbage crisis to name a few. The government is rather reactive than a proactive one. It almost feels like the CM and his government is waiting for something to happen , so that some action could be taken.

This lackadaisical attitude was clearly evident in many companies leaving the State for greener pastures in AP lured by the high tech chief minister ChandraBabu Naidu. Hero Motors pulling out of the state due to lack of response from the state is a case in point. If the govt would have responded proactively, it would have provided job oppurtunities for many youth in the state. Recently, Chief  of Bocsh Dr.Stephen Berns openly chided the Sidaramaih govt for its lazy governance in the presence of top officials and Rural Development minister. He even went to the extent of warning to pull out all the  future investments from the state , if things did not improve. This shows the level of frustration among the industry heads in that state, especially this coming from a company that was one of the earliest to setup factories in the state. The same was the case with Infosys which warned of pulling out from building a Tech Park near Devanahalli. It complained that despite money being deposited with the govt for providing basic infrastructure like road,electricity and water, the govt seem to have done nothing for the past 5 years.

Take the 'Garbage Crisis' in Bengaluru which made global headlines. CM Siddaramaiah took the lead and said a long term solution would be found to the issue. But , look at what has been done till now. Where are the long term solutions that were being discussed ? People surrounding the Garbage processing units still have the bear the overflowing leach-ate, the foul smell and off course  the diseases that come with it.

The general feeling is there is no accountability in the govt. Remember the much criticized junket by the MLAs last year. When the CM was confronted the answer was ''I dont know. Ask some one else". Have you looked at the way the CM talks to the media persons when confronted with questions. There is an overwhelming sense of ego and ''I am not answerable to anyone" tone hidden in it. The issue of his convoy creating huge traffic jams in the city made headlines recently. And what was the answer - "I am the CM and people have to bear with it". These were his exact words.

CM Siddaramaih still believes in old style politics of freebies - Anna Bhagya, Shaadi Bhagya and what not. Off course , no one can deny the benefits of the Anna Bhagya scheme which is feeding lakhs of poor people. No one is criticizing him for the schemes, but he has to rise up to the 'Development politics''. People now expect to hear about his vision for the state of Karnataka, what are his views on the issues plaguing the state and how he plans to face them. He needs to learn the new style politics from his peers in high performing states. Otherwise people will loose faith in the government . This was clearly evident in the recent BBMP elections, where people voted for the incumbent BJP despite the scams and the rampant corruption, as one commentator said - "People voted for the BJP not beacuse they were good, but they voted because the Congress was bad" .

Rise Up. Rise Up. Wake Up Sid !!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Good Samaritan Ibrahim

Last month i met with a small accident. It was like any other day, i started off from office at 7:30 PM, took the usual route back home on my 2 wheeler. I was passing through a deserted area with absolutely no street lights with no people in sight for kilometers. I was at my normal speed , when a black dog decided that it has to cross the road. It came directly under my front wheels. In panic i applied the front disc brakes and the bike came to a screeching halt, but threw me off to the front and was about to land on the ground head first. As a natural reaction, i extended both my hands to avoid getting hurt. The momentum was such that i slide with my hands still touching the ground for another 10-20 feet.

By the time i realized what had happened, i was in the middle of the road with the bike resting on my stretched left leg. I look at my palms to find that the outer skin had all peeled and the pain was unspeakable. An auto driver just behind me soon stopped the vehicle , lifted my bike ,took me to the side and offered water. I could not even take off my helmet to have a sip and neither could i  hold the bottle in my hands. It was then i realized that i had fractured both my hands. Already a group of 3-4 people had gathered around. Someone took off my helmet and made me drink water. Then a guy came forward , turned around my bike and said -"Sir. Sit down you are bleeding and i will take you to the hospital". I promptly sat down and went ahead. I was given first aid and told that both my hands were fractured. This did not come as a shock, as i already knew that it with the  pulsating pain that was going through my hands.

We came out of the hospital and the guy was ready again. "Sir. Where do you stay ? I will drop you off to your home. You are not in a position to drive". He also added -"Dont make a call home. They will unnecessarily get panicked". I simply nodded and sat down behind him. On the way home i thanked him and asked him his name . "Ibrahim" he said. "What do you do for living" i asked. "I work in a welding shop nearby" came the reply. Finally we reached home and he was hesitant to come inside.On asked further he said - "Sir. Previously i had taken home some one like you after he met with an accident. Soon after reaching home, his family thought that i was the one who had caused the accident and hit me". I was humbled and called him in. You know that emotions and the kind of reaction that you get in such situations. Even my family was very grateful to Ibrahim for his help.

It was finally time to go to the Hospital and get my hands checked from an orthopedic. " Ibrahim. Please share your mobile number with my mom. I will get in touch with you once things are settled"- i said. He simply nodded his head. On the way to the hospital, i reminded my mom who was back home to take down his mobile number, only to realize that he had already left and he declined to share his number. He had his own reasons for doing that.

After things settled down a bit, it was time for introspection. Fate had it that the dog had to cross the road, i had to fall off my bike and Ibrahim had to be passing by that area. If not him, i would be lying there on the side of the road in a deserted area in the dark, without any possibility of me calling up someone. I thanked god for not letting me in that situation, because i remember cases where we see someone who had just met with an accident and we just pass by thinking that some one else could come for help. What would happen if everyone thought the same way ?

Why did God help me then ? Is it because of the decision i had made, that if i see some accident/trouble, i would do everything in capacity to help ? Or is it my good deeds that saved me ? Some say the dog in fact saved me from a bigger trouble by making me fall and sacrificed itself by going under the wheels of a small truck that was coming from the opposite direction. I have no answers for that. All i know is that it takes a Good Human  to help another human in trouble, regardless of the religion, class and all the other distinctions that we make. All i know is a Good guy helped me out. A Good Samaritan Ibrahim.

PS : This is a real incident that happened to me some time back.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Road Safety : Why no one is talking about Bad Driving Habits ?

There has been a lot of talk about Road safety recently, especially after the death of Minister Gopinat Munde in a car crash in Delhi. India is said to be in the number one position when it comes to death on the roads due to accidents. According to some reports, 213000 people are killed every year in road accidents in India and millions of others are seriously injured. Why is it that we have so many accidents in the first place ?

Many factors are attributed for the accidents including poor road design, poor infrastructure, overcrowding, lack of enforcement of traffic laws , poor vehicle design and many more. But, the main factor that not many people are talking of is the Bad Driving behaviour. Bad driving is the root cause of all the accidents.It is an all encompassing reason for everything that happens on the roads.

Every day we see people drive like hell on the roads.They assume that driving on the road is a race that every other driver on the road is a competitor. There is no concern for the fellow driver. The overarching mindset is -” I should reach my destination by any means.Go to hell with others”. People are literally going to hell with this mindset. There is not a single journey on our roads when we do not pass by an accident that has just occurred. Some of them so bizarre, that you wonder how could this even happen.

One of the worst driving behaviour is absent minded driving. The driver is completely engrossed in his thoughts.He does not even realize that there is a huge pile up behind him.He does not even mind to look at the rear view mirror. This makes all the drivers lined up behind him start honking and try overtaking him, risking their own lives and the ones coming in the opposite direction. This idiotic behaviour by one driver causes all the other drivers violate the traffic rules and cause unnecessary stress. The same thing happens when one is busy talking on the mobile or to the co passenger.

Me First..Me First syndrome is another important behaviour that we get to see on the roads. People are not willing to wait for the others to pass. They want to have the right of the way.People do this while taking a turn in a busy intersection. Everyone wants to go first, creating a deadlock situation where none of them can move in any direction causing a huge pileup.

Bigger vehicle trying to intimidate the smaller ones is a common thing on the roads. People think that bigger vehicles always have a priority over the smaller ones.It is almost like an unwritten rule of the driving rule book. The smaller ones are always intimidated by coming way too close to the vehicle making him/her loose balance and composure.This is the resurgence of our animal instincts , i would say. When the roads are empty, people think they have to race at 80 KM even if it is a residential/School area.

Discrimination i.e treating a certain section of people in a bad way is seen on the roads as well. Pedestrians are second class citizens on the road. They have to wait until the “His Highnesses” pass through. They invariably have to hold their life in their hands and cross the roads and thank the god for not coming under the wheels of any vehicle for yet another day. Our treatment of women as being mere objects continues even on the roads. Women drivers are often given long stares in traffic signals. Women 2 wheeler riders are often chased by bastards with unsatisfied sexual cravings.

Basically, our driving behaviour highly reflects the society we are living in and level of civilized or uncivilized behaviour we have. The proposed Road Safety Bill proposes huge fines for traffic violations and bad vehicle design. It also talks of building world class infrastructure and high tech traffic management. But, it does not talk of doing anything about changing the Driving Behaviour/Mentality. There is no point in having a world class infrastructure , if we are exhibit this uncivilized and ghastly driving behaviour. As the old saying goes-”The dog will only shit, even if you make it sit on the throne”.

So, we need to sensitize people of showing courtesy and behave in a civilized way. This should be a part of curriculum while giving Driving Licenses. This skill should also be tested during the driving Tests. Passing a Driving Test should be as difficult as passing a matriculation exam. This is because , even if you fail in your matriculation exams you can take it again. But, you do not get this chance if you fail on the roads. It will either take the life of others or your own. Those not falling in line should be shamed and heavily penalized. At the end of the day people should take driving seriously.Driving is a skill that has to be improved over a period of time and not something that you acquire the skill and act foolish on the roads. Foolishness can cost lives you see and we cant be loosing 213000 people every year due to our foolishness. We will be the biggest bunch of fools in the world then.

Want to do some Social service ?

Google Groups
Subscribe to Samaj Seva
Visit this group