Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hyderabad Blasts

I have just got back home from my office at Bowenpally in Secunderabad and have realized that there has been an explosion at Lumbini Park in Hyderabad.

Thanks to a lengthy chat that I had with my colleague Arkss I was delayed at work and therefore hitched a ride with RP up to Himayatnagar. I then happened to take the route via Koti where 15-20 minutes earlier there was another blast. This time at the well-known Gokul Chat.

While there I happened to interact with someone who was at the site when the blast took place and he mentioned that there could have been at least 20-25 people who took a direct hit and lost their lives. He talked about how people (shopkeepers, shoppers etc.) swung into action and put the injured into autorickshaws and sent them to the Gandhi and Osmania hospitals.

By the time I was walking past the site the Fire Tenders had arrived and the police had cordoned off the area. Yet I noticed that Ambulances were finding it difficult to get through because of the dense traffic and also because the bloody ordinary Hyderabadi refuses to give way even to an Ambulance. I noticed a couple of the Ambulances getting caught even as I was traveling towards Koti but obviously, at that point, did not know the gravity of the issue.
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While I was at the accident site (at the time of writing it is still not clear if the blast at Gokul Chat was caused by a cylinder explosion or by a bomb blast) I noticed that the police had more or less gained control over the situation.

But what really saddened me was the behaviour of some of the people at the site. While at the time that I passed by Gokul Chat there was not much the general citizen could have done to help the injured, surely there was no need to block the other side of the road and gawk as if there was a film-shooting going on.

This crowd was also impeding the free flow of traffic that caused a traffic pile up at the Koti Women’s College end leading to a further delay in Ambulances traveling from the Chaderghat side getting to the spot.

That we don’t do much to help our fellow citizen is bad enough (I am obviously including myself here) but if we are the reason why a badly injured person can’t be taken to hospital in double quick time then there is a problem somewhere in the way we as a community/nation behave.

I know that this post is fairly disjointed but then again I have probably not been as disturbed as I am now.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims many of whom cannot possibly be identified right away and hope they somehow find the strength to deal with this tragedy. And I really really hope that the number of fatalities does not rise over night.

But seriously this has put in perspective a lot of things for me. If I had walked past that place 20 minutes earlier then I too would have been lying in a pool of blood. And there I was an hour earlier, in office, talking about my future.
As if I control anything.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Netas & their Court Cases

It’s been a long long time since I have posted anything. In fact I should probably consider myself a newbie at blogging given the time that has elapsed since the last post. Be that as it may I thought I should get down to some serious writing, at least on the weekends. So here is the second coming.

I was at some point in time, quite long ago really, a fan of Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar and his column “Swaminomics” in the Times of India. Over the years kind of felt he was losing his grip. But a couple of weeks back he came out with a gem that puts him right on top of my favourites list once again.

In the article “Ten commandments for Dr. Singh”, Swaminathan has come out with, “Thou shalt propose a law giving seniority to all cases of elected legislators over all others.”

I think it is a brilliant suggestion. More so because of its utter simplicity. I wonder why our founding fathers did not think of this simple bit of legislation. Maybe they never imagined that a day would come when the state legislatures and also the Parliament would play host to people we would rather have behind bars.

However the situation now is that there are hordes of criminals getting into politics. We even have a situation where there are people who contest elections from behind bars.
And get elected.
Obviously these gentlemen aspire to be public representatives not out of any altruistic nature or a burning desire to serve society but because it gives them the clout to stall/halt judicial proceedings against themselves.

Now if getting elected to any official position becomes a catalyst for all the pending cases against them to be brought to the front burner, then only the most brain dead of criminals would like to be involved in the political process.

I would go further to suggest that all state legislatures and the Parliament should have a fast track court established on their premises to try the worthies who have broken the law. Why should courts be located inside State Assemblies? Can’t justice be served from the current premises of the High Courts? Of course it can. Just can’t resist the idea that as Legislators enter the Assembly they can also see the Annexe of the High Court and know for certain that they can’t escape a visit to its premises if they run foul of the law.

And for career politicians who have a lot of frivolous cases registered against them, there is nothing to despair. Because all the law would say is that, “all your cases will be fast tracked and tackled by a special court”. So in case of complaints that are completely frivolous or are obviously the result of leading an agitation against some policy of the government they could also get some judicial respite. Immediately. And such a rule should be welcomed by those politicians who claim that they are being victimized.

However if the cases are serious such as murder, rape, extortion, kidnapping and other such allied activities that some of our illustrious leaders indulge in then the law should take its own course and that too bloody quickly.

I think this would be a great way to clean up the system. Wonder if there is some way in which one can achieve this.
Any ideas folks?