Archive for February, 2011

The Bombay High Court’s decision to reject Ajmal Kasab’s appeal against the death penalty for his involvement in the 26/11 terror attacks is indeed a major milestone in the legal history and triumph of democracy. Though evidences against the lone surviving terrorist of the 10 Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives who had carried out the attacks in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 were enormous, Kasab pleaded guilty initially, only to retract it later. Maybe he was well trained by his handlers to shift stand if caught alive to confuse investigators. But nothing worked and over 650 witnesses testified against him. Besides, there were fingerprints and DNA evidence as well as CCTV shots of him walking around the scene of the gruesome attack, with an AK-47 rifle slung on his shoulder. He frequently attempted to misguide the prosecution and investigators, changed his statements at regular intervals and even pleaded for a life term at the fag end of the trial. He reportedly never showed any remorse during his time in jail for the terrible killings he carried out. Many have felt that he should have been hanged long back and question if it is really worth to spend crores of rupees on the security of a terrorist? The same amount could have been utilised to tighten the security of the country. But one wonders if the quick closure for the incident by hanging Kasab will bring any justice to the families of the victims? If he is hanged, will he not become a hero for the fundamentalists and would be the next example for recruitment? Young children could be recruited citing his example and how brave and valiant he was. Children coming from very poor family background can easily fall prey to such elements. It is not time to make judgements based on emotions, but tell the government to act against Pakistan for harvesting terrorism. Killing Kasab will make him a martyr. Sentence him to prison, rehabilitate and let him know what he did was wrong so that he can guide other misguided people.

It is indeed a cause for concern that many teens and some even school-going kids are served drinks at Manchester United Restaurant Bar in Bangalore. These upscale establishments are commercialized to the core and whoever, adult or minor, pays the entry fee would be allowed to enter them. It is unfortunate that such establishments fail to check the IDs of schoolchildren and bar them entry. Many can easily find an entry to watering holes in the city as they do not check for IDs! The worse is when one sees children with their uniforms at such places. Consumption of alcohol during the formative years can set a pattern for later life, as alcohol will tend to have more effect on their developing bodies. The increase in the availability of “designer drinks” can be accused of making alcohol far more attractive to younger people. There is a need for the government to address the problems of underage and teenage drinking. This should involve changes in legislation, responsible marketing, effective monitoring of alcohol industry and health education. Though it is difficult to keep a tab on under-age drinking, authorities should undertake a full audit of the market and consider ways to prohibit products that either appeal to young people more than adults, or are associated with problematic drinking. Police should pay surprise checks to bars and establishments serving liquor and book cases against them, if found guilty.

Do we have more jobs and less aspirants? Is it the same country where young graduates cry for employment and a few even end their lives when they fail to get one? While the new economy is creating more jobs that never existed before, it is also transforming older, more traditional work. Earlier, secretaries and assistants took dictations, typed and filed them, but now, the same positions require an ability to work with computers and business productivity software. The result is a growing demand for a higher-skilled workforce. But there it comes with its negative aspects as well. It always poses a big challenge for low-skilled and less-educated workers. Even in a growing economy, many jobs may be inaccessible for aspirants with low levels of education. In fact, rise of the digital economy has reduced employment opportunities for less-educated world-wide and it comes as a sweet surprise that the Central Placement Cell (CPC) has more jobs to offer for not only graduates, but also to undergraduates in the State. It’s not utopia! It is indeed good news that the State has more non-tech jobs to offer. Kudos to CPC for building a bridge between the employers and the prospective employees.

It is unfortunate to learn that former captain of Orissa Ranji team, Pravanjan Mallick, assaulted his wife inside his car on V-Day. It must have been a big jolt for Sini Mohanty from the man whom she loved and married in 2002. There were differences between the duo and when the divorce case is still pending, one has to wonder what made Sini to accept her estranged husband’s invitation, as she must have been familiar with his nature and behaviour over the years. The incidents of influential and well-learned men attacking their wives over a heated exchange is on rise and the authorities concerned should tread carefully into such issues as sensitive and personal details are involved. Whatever be the cause of domestic violence, there’s a need to put a check on it. And, the police should not hesitate to take action against such culprits even if they enjoy high level immunity to send a right signal to others.