Friday, March 04, 2016
There are many people who feel for the oppressed, but there are a few who go out and stand for the oppressed. The ones who really work for the oppressed will never make noise, because there is so less time and there are so many lives to be uplifted. Some of the people who feel for the oppressed do help them through small gestures of spending a day or two with them or sending money to programs working for them. While there are some who just want to remain in a perpetual state of rebellion by taking the name of the oppressed, but doing little to improve the fate of the same people they are talking about.
Now the question is who are the real heroes or sheroes who work at the ground and make a real difference? They are familiar people but we just don’t visualise their great acts, because they don’t make speeches.
She is the primary healthcare worker in a village cut-off by a dam project in Odisha, where medicine supplies come only once in two months, but she has saved thousands of villagers over the last 30 years by just making them aware of malaria menace and ensuring they use mosquito net. He is the Lutheran Church father, who left his art studio life in Paris and is residing in a non-descript plateau valley of Chotnagpur teaching thousands of Oraon and Munda children English. He is the RSS worker who has brought small lift irrigation access to hundreds of villages in the same plateau valley location of Chotnagpur, without government help and has stopped migration of thousands. He is the mystical Muslim old man who sells vegetables on the highway and gives his whole month’s earnings to feed hundreds of orphaned children managed by a temple trust. Interesting all these people –The Church father, The RSS worker and The Muslim vegetable seller -- help each other when there is a drought or disease outbreak to help the oppressed people. They see each other as different people having the same mission, standing for the oppressed.
He is the US educated youngster who left start-up midway and has since helped thousands of Gondi farmers to grow mushrooms for multinational FMCG majors, thereby improving income significantly and stopping migration to brick kilns completely in hundreds of villages. She is the MIT doctorate, who after being raped in her early years in India works for the betterment of the same locality. He is the soldier, who misses all the beautiful years of his child’s life but doesn’t miss a single intruder who wants to bleed India. They are the labourer parents who slog hard to get their children a better life, a life better than theirs.
The people, who really stand for the oppressed, never have time to make speeches or big ideological statements. The people who really work for the upliftment of the oppressed don’t take time to buy faded jeans and Che Guevara T-shirts, because they themselves walk as revolutionaries they wanted to. They don’t grow beard or colour their hair white to look rebellious and intellectual because they earn it by working tirelessly and meticulously for the oppressed.
The people, who really work for the oppressed don’t want awards, don’t want political appointments, or a fellow position in some institute peddling a certain ideology in a large city. The people who really work for the oppressed don’t talk romanticism and blame the whole world while trying to impress the cute girl in the 1st year of social science department.
The people, who really work for the oppressed don’t need to get drunk and smoke 12 cigarettes to talk romanticism or sometimes give hate speeches. People who work for the oppressed don’t spend their pocket money on old monk and navy-cut cigarettes and later graduate to the finest cigars and wines. They would rather pay that money to a Birhor family of 7 for buying rice and salt for a whole year.
People who feel rebellious and people who bring real changes are two different people. While it is great to feel passionate about standing for the oppressed, it is unfair to perpetually curse the system and not doing anything worthy for the real oppressed.
In a country like India doing something for an oppressed person is easy, because the state is not able uplift the lives of millions and each of us can act for thousands of them, but preferably without making speeches.
People like me who were old monk, faded jeans rebellious and then went to the real ground working for the people we loved, but could not sustain more than a year understand how courageous are the heroes and sheroes who work isolated in non-descript locations without any recognition. Escapists like me how these wonderful would never give up what they are doing because they have become true revolutionary.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Is Arnab Goswami the next Amitabh Bachhan? It was a quiet February afternoon in central Mumbai's financial hub Lower Parel. Executives from hundreds of companies, mostly in the banking and financial services sector were busy in their offices analysing data and numbers, discussing targets, profits and career opportunities over a cup of coffee/tea post lunch. The afternoon was special at Kamala Mills, an old textile establishment which was closed a few decades ago ruining lives of many workers and is today bustling with thousands of white collar executives, with many of them making millions every year. While the millionaires and wannabe millionaires were engrossed in their glass buildings, there was growing heat outside. A red monstrous vehicle was rolling inside the compound and some of the vendors near the gate and executives strolling around could sense the presence of someone unusual. Kamala City had seen many expensive vehicles and many of the stature of Phantom, Lamborghini etc. roll inside the compound everyday, but there is someone inside this vehicle that shook them. This gentleman was wearing black rimmed glasses and sporting a white French beard.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
(Bandra-Worli Sealink, picture courtesy DNA newspaper) It is a tale of two cities Two cities that breathe different air, two cities that sleep at different hours One city has dreamers, the other has achievers The dreamers are happy because they live in imagination of a better tomorrow The achievers are unhappy because they have stopped dreaming A few years ago the achievers also came from the city that dreamt, only to lose their dreams forever The city of dreamers believe in the city of achievers But the city of achievers yearn to imagine like the city of dreamers The only problem is that the city of dreamers get to sleep at night while the city of achievers don’t Two cities crave for each other, hoping to become like the other The mirage continues in the tale of two cities Two cities that breathe different air, two cities that sleep at different hours One is Mumbai, the other is Bhubaneswar (Mumbai musings developed during a midnight journey to home in a Dombivli slow local train)
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Mountains and rivers are grand and mysterious.
They are silent with humility and trust.
Gigantic power they hold underneath.
In winter and rains they stay sensitive.
They are not to be messed with, when we know what destruction they can unleash upon us.
But we men of lower intelligence do not learn.
But we men of unfathomable greed do not learn.
We alter the course of nature with our shortsighted vision.
Every now and then we stray.
We rape the innocence of nature.
We challenge the fury of the Goddess mother.
We cry with her, in our eyes we see the fear.
But we wait again till comes back the silence of nature.
We forget the past.
We stray again, every now and then.
We rape the innocence of nature.
We challenge the fury of the Goddess mother.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Five months ago I was working as a senior editorial member at a large media group, responsible for their fixed income and Reserve Bank of India coverage in Mumbai. One winter afternoon, when I rushed into my South Mumbai-based office in one of the two-hundred-year old heritage buildings to file the first take of an important assignment at the central bank, I saw my usually cheerful boss lost in thoughts. I kept quiet till my story was published and then over a cup of coffee asked, what was bothering him? He said he is struggling to find the right kind of people for editorial operations and has little time left (not more than a month). I understood the gravity of the situation, for our newswire, which is at its inflection point fighting two international behemoths in India. Manpower is the biggest strength as well concern. We have to be quick.
I proposed we should try recruiting students from IIMC. My firm primarily recruited freshers from a Mumbai based institute run by a reputed Jesuit society, that has produced giants in journalism, cinema and advertisement world. He agreed to my suggestion purely from the belief that the few IIMCIans who work with him are the best in the industry. But there was another issue, he wanted experienced people as well as those who will be excellent reporters, writers and with analytical skills and passion for journalism. I again proposed that we should take help from the IIMC Alumni Association.
He entrusted me with the job of finding the right talent. I sought help from IIMC Alumni Association. Fellow alumnus Ritesh Verma, Harshendra Verdhan in Delhi and Suryakant Mishra, Krishna Pophale in Mumbai supported the idea and Ritesh posted the recruitment advertisement in the various alumni channels immediately despite his busy schedule.
Within a week I had 220 applications in my mail box, which I carefully sent to the editorial and human resources team. Each one was screened by the editor himself and the HR head. Many were selected for an editorial test followed by an interview. Finally 18 people were selected. Eighteen is a large number if someone understands the current media scenario. Most of them were from IIMC.
The whole operation finished in about a month.
My boss told me that IIMCians are really talented and focussed and he would love to recruit them from campus and this year as I understand they have called people from the current batch in Delhi. I have proposed such activity for Dhenkanal and Amravati branches as well.
I therefore would like extend my sincere gratitude to the alumni association for helping my company in finding the right talent. I want to tell you that young IIMCians have a great opportunity to connect with their seniors on this platform and benefit from the opportunities.
In the CVs I had received, there were many IIMCIans whom I knew-- my batch-mates, seniors, juniors and even freshers. I want to disclose that there were two IIMCIans who were related to me as well. But as we understand in the professional world, the competition and quality is what keeps you going. Both my relatives were not selected-- one was rejected in the written test and other in interview.
The point I want to make is that while IIMC Alumni Association as an umbrella body can help people get contacts, inform about opportunities but it cannot guarantee anything. Even our parents don’t guarantee our professional life unless they are billionaires and own industries.
I would request young alumni members to have faith in themselves and journalism if they really believe this is their call. Because journalism like movie industry is not meant for everyone. There is a bit of luck, competition, talent and relationship management that lands you the big job.
The alumni association will give you the desired strength and right guidance. It will tell what’s happening where. It will also provide you with some exclusive opportunities, but yet there will be competition. So have faith in yourself and the system. If one would understand the reality then one must know that the media scene in India is not at all rosy. Many businesses have shut in the recent past, the ones up are on their toes and the ones that have survived the cascading effects of the Lehman Brothers-triggered-financial crisis of 2008, are not recruiting big time. Yet the supply of fresh graduates is always there, which has painted a dark picture for many journalism aspirants in the recent years.
And I am sure every senior member on this alumni association can tell harrowing stories of their own struggle. Many of us are at very senior positions in different segments of the media industry, yet we have not got it easily. Everyone has struggled, has been humiliated and yet has kept that belief. Even today no one is ever sure about how the economy is going to do. But as true Indians we must have the enormous hope which has helped us to survive as a civilisation, sustain our multicultural society and produce unmatchable philosophy.