Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Can India do away with the Death Penalty?

We all woke up today with a very significant news breaking out of our televisions and computers. Ajmal Kasab was hanged to death in Pune. There has been increasing demand from the human right activists to the law makers to do away with the death penalty, now as we don't have the 14 years cap on Life Imprisonment. Can India afford to do this?

India right from its independence has been witnessing the barbaric, inhumane acts of terrorism. There have been thousands of casualties which includes significant percentage of women and children. These attacks are a great threat on the sovereignty of the nation. Only death penalties can be viewed as the form of punishment which set examples to future terrorists so that they fear the Indian law. There have been many cases in which there have been inhuman attacks on women like acid attacks, sexual assault- which sometimes leads to the death of the victim. There have been gross attacks on the right to life of dalits and other backward class people wherein the victim is humiliated, beaten up, sexually assaulted, killed in many instances. The law has to take stern action not just to punish the offender but also to set an example so that the similar offenses are not repeated- which is kind of main objective.

Taking a different perspective now let us think is death the only answer to this? If we take the terrorism angle then it takes to a different paradigm in which the fellow offenders, helpers see the death as martyrdom and take it as case study to educate future offenders!! Keeping this apart, if we consider domestic offenders then we should probably think a bit more deep and try to analyze- is a sudden death or a long lousy life in captivity with no freedom more effective. Probably accused prefer sudden death than a long painful, stressful, lonely life in jail. So are we justifying the punishment given to such gruesome offenders? In a altogether separate note, we do not live in a barbaric society where death for death can be the rule.

As we see there are certain loopholes in the concept capital punishment (death penalty). India being an active democracy, well lately at-least, has to consider people sentiments and aspirations. Its high time the law makers give some time to think through this.

Monday, 13 August 2012

London 2012 Olympics- Indian Triumph

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad concluded yesterday i.e., 12th August 2012. The 17 day long sporting extravaganza came to a mind-boggling end in London. In India, it was a day of celebration as Sushil Kumar made history by winning back to back medals, first Indian to do so. India, totally, got 6 medals, gold being elusive and ended at 55th position in the events' medal tally with 204 nations participating.

India gave its best performance at the Olympics till date. Point to be noted here is India had sent the highest number of sportsperson this time, counting to 81. There were fantastic performances from the medal winners. Few missed the medals in whisker. Having said that, we expected a better performance from the contingent. Vijender failing in the QFs, Bindra not qualifying to the finals, Gutta and Ponnappa failing to reach semis were few of the hard to digest truths. The biggest of all was the first round exit of World No.1 Deepika Kumari in Women's Individual Archery event. She was definitely a gold medal hope.

Nevertheless, India did better its performance and there are lessons to be learnt especially for the sports ministry and sports administrators. The main reason for the failure of stars, probably, was the pressure of the big event and the conditions in London. Olympics is a mega event and has great significance, the thought of this might have got into the skin of lots of players who did not perform at par. Also the cold weather at London might have affected the player performance. Administration now has sit back and look at the reasons of failure and address them before its too late for Rio 2016. At the same time it should not forget to felicitate the medal winners.

Jai Ho !!
2012 Olympic Medal Winners from India

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Chandramouleshwar's Temple in Unkal, Hubli

Legends are always fascinating. Are they true or just made up to sound interesting is not the question that will be answered now. Also it does not matter.
I happened to read one such legend about Amarshilpi JAKANACHARYA. He was a flawless architect dwelt during Chalukya's period.
The legend says he left his family consisting of a wife and an unborn child in search of his calling.
He went on to become the greatest architects of all the time. In the later part of his life he encountered his son, who identified a flaw in his design. Jakanacharya had to lose his right hand in the bet to his son. Well the legend says many more interesting things like this and it is indeed fascinating to read.

The reason why I happened to hear about him was because I recently visited one of a great work of architecture near my home at UNKAL (Yes u read it right, it is in UNKAL!!),thanks to my colleague Pranesh.It is the Chandramouleshwar's temple in UNKAL. It is said to be built in 10th century by Chalukya's. The temple is beautifully built with exquisitely carved stones. The exterior of the temple has stone carvings of many Gods and Goddesses including Dancing Lord Ganesh, Lord Narsimha, Lord Vishnu etc. There are two sanctums in the temple. One of the sanctum has Chaturmukh Shiva Lingu in it- Face of Shiva is carved in Lingu in the four directions. I guess this is pretty unique. In another sanctum, a bigger Shiva Lingu has been installed. The sanctums also have four doors in respective directions.

One has to visit the temple to inhale the fragnance of beauty of the architecture. A person sitting there, probably the priest of that place, mentioned that this temple was built by the great Jakanacharya himself. I could not confirm that. He said there are three temples nearby- one in Annigeri, another in Kundagol and this one in Unkal, which were built by Jakanacharya and his associates in one single night!! Woof!! As I said earlier lets not get into the actuality of this legend. The priest also showed us 3 small openings at the top of the main door. These three openings are just visible from the inner sanctum if we see at the level of Shiva Lingu in the sanctum. He said only on the day of Chandramaan Ugadi rays of Sun fall on the Chaturmukh Shiva Lingu. If so, that's serious astronomy and geometrical knoweledge. I was amazed by the skills of the architect. I just kept staring at the Nruptunga Hill which was looking awesome from the temple door. Deep inside my mind I was still appreciating the architect.

Legends are enigmatic with some kind of truth and some kind of myth in them. Nevertheless, they tell some story of past which will be spell-bounding and knowledgeable.
Hublites should visit this temple at least once.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Finding your Calling

            I believe that we live for a reason. A reason defined, designed, designated by the GOD or any eternal force or by ourselves. It is happening to me, might have happened to many of us that we spend years to find that "reason". To say more fashionably, we will be in search for our "calling".

          GOD or the Universe helps us in finding our calling in one or the other way. It is our duty to catch the signals or the so called "omens". A person is always being guided by these omens. One who catches them and proceeds with them, leads a successful life.

         As I understand it, there is always an exchange of energy between us and the Universe. When we think something positive we emanate positive energy to the Universe. And as the law says the Universe responds back by giving out the energy in the same form around us.

        Hence, as long as we stay positive the Universe helps us, through the omens, to find our calling - no matter what stage of life we are in. I guess the one who dies unsatisfied never caught the omens or never got enough of them.

        I believe, as long as you stay positive about your calling or for that matter anything, the Universe will help you get it as soon as possible.