Saturday Musings

While reading the morning newspaper, I usually try to focus on the positive news. However today there were so many news reports that made me do a double take, that I thought I’d write a Khichdi post on them.

On Thursday,a taxi driver shot an auto driver at Sion, Mumbai. The auto driver later succumbed to his injuries.

The killing was the result of an argument over parking last month,” said Sandeep Singh, an auto driver, who claimed to be an eyewitness. “Nangre and I were sitting in his auto when Bihari came. He started arguing with Nangre over an old parking issue. Even before I could understand what was going on, he pulled out a gun and fired at Nangre. I was too shocked to react,” said Singh.

Why do we need courts? This is such an easy way to settle disputes, isn’t it?


The Indian Express informs us that “Among police personnel killed (in a Naxal ambush in the (Gadhchiroli) district) are wives and mothers”

On every such tragic occasion, the family enclosure at the gun salute function presents the familiar scene of widows wailing at the loss of their husbands. Today, while eleven widows of dead policemen wailed inconsolably, four husbands sobbed, trying hard to control their emotions.

This attitude seems highly offensive to me. Is the reporter suggesting that the male police personnel killed were not ‘husbands and fathers’, or were their lives not as valuable as those of ‘wives and mothers’?


The Indian Express says that Cabinet: Krishna’s induction reflects caste factor.

S.M.Krishna, one of the first MPs chosen to be part of the new Cabinet is described as an “urbane, suave, US educated 77-year-old”. He is a former Chief Minister.

He seems to be quite well qualified to become a cabinet minister.

But according to the reporter he has been chosen because he “belongs to the Vokkaliga community, a dominant caste in southern Karnataka who make up nearly 12 per cent of the state’s population, …… even as the Congress continues to concede space in the community to the Janata Dal (Secular) and its Vokkaliga patriarch H D Deve Gowda.”

A person’s caste is his most important qualification!

And lastly the news report that takes the cake- US students to bring clean water to Mumbai slums.

A team of engineering students from the US will visit the city later this month with an aim of bringing clean water to thousands of slum dwellers. A team from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities civil engineering class will be on a two-week trip to the financial capital starting May 26. They will assess and implement their plans for the slum areas.

The state of water supply in Mumbai is, admittedly, not ideal. However for a city this size, and with illegal slums spreading rapidly in every area, Mumbai does cope pretty well.

Half the problem would be solved if the illegal smashing holes in water pipes, to obtain water ( a widespread practice in slums) were stopped.

Technology is not really the problem. Administration is.

And if new technology is needed- I cannot believe that our IITs are unable to develop that!



  1. These are the kibnd of reports that can not only make you wonder about what’s happening but also make you think again about where Indian is headed. Is it any surprise that in 2004, BJP’s Shining India campaign flopped?


  2. Vivek Patwardhan- It is possible that there is some history to this story.We read about such incidents with increasing frequency though…Vinodji- Even if we try to keep a positive attitude, it is depressing to read such stories.I would prefer not to remember the ‘India Shining’ campaign!


  3. I find newspapers depressing and full of sensational crap.Besides,most of the newspapers carry news to suit some or other formation,which is the least expected approach they take.


  4. Sraboney- Some news about murders , corruption, etc. is understandable. But yes, when almost all the pages are filled with these negative news reports it does get depressing…BK Chowla- True, I have read that the editorial staff of most newspapers haven’t much freedom regarding what to write.


  5. Whether it is news in TV or newspaper, the negative news are printed in bold letters. So we tend to read them. It catches the eye. The journalist know that negative reporting is interesting. The daughter of my relative, participated in an essay competition from Hyderabad, about ‘Green Earth’ and came first and went to New York with 4 others who won this competition from other states. She was invited to stay there for about a week. These things never come in the newspaper.’Technology is not really the problem. Administration is.And if new technology is needed- I cannot believe that our IITs are unable to develop that!’Very true, Manju.


  6. I am listening to ‘Against the wind’ as i type this. And it resonates so well, with what you have written and my mood too.And i read somewhere somebody say… “i read the bible everyday. I read the newspaper everyday. That way, i know what both sides are upto !” Resonates well !! Well written. As usual !


  7. Sandhya- Nice story about the daughter of your relative. This type of story should be published in newspapers- other youngsters would be inspired.Kavi- “i read the bible everyday. I read the newspaper everyday. That way, i know what both sides are upto !” Great quote!


  8. Everything is automatic these days. Including peoples’ minds. Get angry, shoot. Police killings in Gadchiroli, the government announces exgratia payments and sits back. Half sensitive , language disabled reporters mindlessly report on news that needs sensitive word choice. And if I was SM Krishna, I would be mortified to know that I was chosen to checkmate a sleepy ex-PM on the basis of my caste, and never mind my administrative experience. The amazing news about Mumbai’s watersupply being done by US students in 2 weeks, reminds me about the Disaster Action Committee that only meets, but implementation is zilch. We have the knowledge, the expertise, and dedicated people. But they are all drowned out in the rush of those involvd in the power and popularity stakes. What we need is reorganization of , say Mumbai, into smaller subcities, each independently managed by people who have a stake in that area, the knowledge, and who will be directly affected by the success /failure of projects being done. Malabar hill types do not even know that there is a Mumbai beyond Dadar….But that will be an entire separate blog, and not a comment. ….:-)


  9. June Saville- Welcome here! I really enjoyed viewing your virtual exhibition!Ugich Konitari- Looking forward to a post from you on this subject…The news about the students from the US solving Mumbai’s water problems disturbed me too. We have no self-respect!


  10. Manju something that sounds very brutal and that I found at a blog yesterday…lines written by Gulzarरोज़ सुबह मेरे घरखून में लिपटा अखबार आता है…that is how at times I feel about the morning newspaper..some days are just too much so I skip reading it..I surf and watch the news on TV…


  11. i am sure there might be some project/thesis regarding water problems collecting dust in the library at IIT. manju, US has used technology that inidans have made for their border ( cheaper and far superior) when it comes to countries it should not be about self respect, but what is needed. the water problem is due to the administration problems and add to it diversification of water to other sources like pepsi/coke. in bombay even much of the water is diversiifed into where small scale industries and other industrial plants etc etc .. india will only become a better country if corruption is axed and the law of the land applies to everybody.


  12. Anrosh- Yes, all your points are right.It is frustrating to see problems (like water shortage) exist for so many years when they could be solved fairly easily!


  13. It is really depressing to read all this in the newspaper.. And I totally agree with you – ‘Technology is not really the problem. Administration is.’ If only corruption and the ‘chalta hai’ attitude could be done away with… Lots of our problems would cease to exist..


  14. Smitha- “If only corruption and the ‘chalta hai’ attitude could be done away with… Lots of our problems would cease to exist..”So true…


  15. Thank God that these musings are restricted to one solitary day in a week.If you were to consciously avoid reading newspapers for a week, you will realise at the end of it all that you have not missed anything.If you cut out politics, daily city news, business, sports and other rubbish, you have ads and a few articles worth reading.


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