Thursday, December 27, 2012

A week-end Update

The year 2012 is on the verge of ending in a few days. 21st December, the date of apocalypse came and went without the end of the world as we know it, and everyone was, albeit secretly, relieved that the Mayan prophecy had not come true. I was watching the clock quite eagerly as the time in Saudi Arabia neared 4.46 p.m., the equivalent of 11.11 a.m. GMT (London), the time at which the final disaster was to annihilate planet Earth.

In the event, the big non-event proved to be a damp squid. After this, my spirits improved too. I have been enjoying myself greatly since then, and have either been trying to cook new stuff, or watching programs and news on the TV. Most evenings, I go for my walks, and sometimes, I even see serials and films on my laptop. 

Last week, I watched, with increasing anger, the story of the 23 year old Delhi-based physiotherapist who was gang raped in a bus as she was returning home from work. The spontaneous response of people of all ages, especially youth, was, by turns, gratifying, alarming, energising, disruptive, and finally, gratifying again. These reactions occurred, respectively, when the response began, when it swelled to huge numbers, when it began to unnerve the Delhi law makers and politicians, when it turned violent, and when it finally led to some solid actions by the administration. The drama unfolded hourly, with newer and fresher events; it was heart warming to see men and women marching on the streets of New Delhi, but not just there ---- also in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Lucknow, Jammu, Varanasi, and so on. When the Delhi police retaliated on the third day of the protests with repeated rounds of lathi-charge (caning), tear-gas shelling and firing of water cannons, I cried within. The response was totally uncalled for, although one can perhaps defend their action when one knows that a section of the protesters turned violent and started rampaging and throwing stones on the police, injuring many of them.

By the fourth morning, that is by Tuesday, the situation had improved, but even as I write this on Thursday, 27th December 2012, protesters are marching in New Delhi. Usually, I watch Times Now channel, but sometimes, I switch to Zee News to see what is happening, and the scenes in both the channels were nearly the same. However, Times Now is a much better channel, both visually and in content. Its executive editor is a very sharp, brazen but disciplined and articulate man (Abhinav). A recorded version of its evening telecasts is shown in Saudi Arabia after 2-3 hours (the actual time difference being approximately equal to the difference in the time zones, which is 2.5 hours. Among its varied programs, the late evening telecast in the form of "Newshour" is very interesting indeed. This is because the chief editor coordinates and chairs a panel discussion where several people relevant to the topic under discussion are invited and drilled till they speak the truth. 

What else is happening? Nothing much, as internet access has worsened in the last few months in Al Muwayh. I have been forced to wean myself from net-surfing, or to search for free Wi-fi hotspots wherever possible. Thus, I am seen less often on Facebook and elsewhere, and this has already provoked many comments from my friends. To all my readers, I ask to please bear with my situation. I am fine, thanks. If you wish, you may email me and I will definitely answer all your questions/doubts/queries.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This crime is so sad. The poor woman died today. I can only hope that the men on that bus will spend the rest of their lives in prison. They took a young woman's life without any thought.
You, Dr. Taher, help me through this. I am glad that many people are outraged enough to challenge even the police to fight them. It is necessary to let the establishment know that such a crime can not go overlooked. Not anywhere.