piyush kaviraj

feelings and musings…


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Indian Premier League: 5 reasons why it is right to call it India ka Tyohar!


It is beyond any doubt that Indian Premier League- the self proclaimed ‘India ka Tyohaar’ (Festival of India) is a success story. It is a money minting tool for the organizers and participating players; at the same time, it is a dose of adrenaline and excitement to the viewers and fans. Though, marred by various controversies, from match-fixing to public brawls, somehow, IPL resurfaces every year with the same fanfare. Let us leave aside the negative aspects for today and focus on the positives it has brought.

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Short-cut to glory

IPL has been a boon to less known or unknown players from different regions. One brilliant knock and a player erupts on the glorious side of fame. Sarfaraz Khan, a 17 year old teenager, hogged the limelight with a single innings of 21-ball 45. It paid off immediately with former England player David Lloyd’s tweet, urging English County teams to rope him in.

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Super entertainment in 40 overs

Whether a CEO tired of enduring corporate pressure or a research scholar who has performed failed experiments throughout the day, all need something to cheer them up by dinner time. IPL takes up that perfect slot with 40 overs of non-stop entertainment. So what if rumors of pre-fixed matches prevail. Who cares! Don’t we enjoy scripted movies and plays? Moreover, the sight of cheerleaders dancing on boundaries does cheer up gloomy faces! A tired person just wants some stress buster at the end of the day. IPL succeeds in doing that.

Image: BCCI

No Infidelity issues!

IPL is great for both – fans and general viewers. We all have one or two favorite players in each team. One can enjoy sixes of Chris Gayle in spite of being a supporter of Rajasthan Royals or Chennai Super Kings. This makes IPL unique. And one can always shift sides and start cheering for the winning team. No hard luck involved and always a win-win situation for viewers like me who stays away from fanatics.

Expanse of cricket infrastructure

With the inclusion of more teams, cricket will expand beyond big cities. This will not only provide more opportunity to local lads, but also lead to development of stadium and other infrastructure needed for the expanse of cricket.

Image: BCCL

Progress of other sports

IPL has shown how money minting and sports revolution can be carried out at the same time. The success of IPL is now being emulated in other sports and games. The success of Pro-Kabaddi and Indian Super League (Football) means that the largely neglected players from sports other than cricket can also be rewarded with money and fame. Such forays into more such games will follow soon.

The article was first published at: Indian Premier League: 5 reasons why it is right to call it India ka Tyohar!.

© piyushKAVIRAJ


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Earthquake and thenafter: DOs and DON’Ts


Nepal earthquake will likely put a huge strain on the resources of this impoverished country best known for Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The economy of Nepal, a nation of 27.8 million people, relies heavily on tourism, principally trekking and Himalayan mountain climbing.

With Kathmandu airport reopened, the first aid flights began delivering aid supplies. The first to respond were Nepal’s neighbours – India, China and Pakistan, all of which have been jockeying for influence over the landlocked nation. Nepal remains closest to India, with which it shares deep political, cultural and religious ties.

India suffered its own losses from the quake, with at least 61 people killed there and dozens injured. Sunday’s aftershock was also widely felt in the country, and local news reports said metro trains in New Delhi and Kolkata were briefly shut down when the shaking started. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/more-than-2200-confirmed-dead-in-nepal-earthquake-as-aftershocks-terrify-survivors/article24128401/)

During an earthquake:

· Keep calm and reassure others.

· During the event, the safest place is an open space, away from the buildings.

· If you are indoors, take cover under a desk, table, bed or doorways and against inside wall.

· Stay away from glass panes, windows or outside doors.

· Do not rush to go out of the building, where there are large number of people to avoid stampede.

· If you are outside, move away from building and utility wires.

· Once in the open, stay there till the vibrations stops.

· Do not use candles, matches or open flames.

After an earthquake:

· Do not spread and do not believe rumors.

· Keep stock of drinking water, foodstuff and first-aid equipment in accessible place.

· Turn on your transistor or television to get the latest information/bulletins and aftershock warnings.

· Be prepared for aftershocks as these may strike.

· Close the valve of kitchen gas stove, if it is on. If it is closed, do not open. Do not use open flames.

· Do not operate electric switches or appliances, if gas leaks are suspected.

· Check water pipes, electric lines and fittings. If damaged, shut off the main valves. Do not touch live wires of electricity.

(Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/heavy-rains-to-follow-earthquake/article7143468.ece)

List of aftershocks of earthquake that occurred in Nepal on April 25:

SN Time in IST Lat N Long E Depth (Km) Magnitude
11:41 28.1 84.6 10 7.9 Main shock
1 12:08 28.0 85.7 10 5.5
2 12:15 28.1 84.8 10 6.6
3 12:26 28.0 85.7 10 5.7
4 12:38 27.8 85.6 10 5.0
5 13:17 27.9 85.5 10 5.0
6 13:36 27.6 85.7 5 4.9
8 13:47 27.8 85.7 10 5.0
9 13:51 27.6 84.9 10 5.6
10 13:59 28.1 84.8 20 5.0
11 14:19 27.9 85.0 10 4.4
12 14:26 27.3 85.1 10 5.7
13 14:47 28.3 87.3 5 5.8
14 15:01 27.6 85.3 10 5.6
15 15:53 27.4 85.6 10 4.0
16 16:11 27.7 85.8 5 5.0
17 17:32 27.8 85.8 10 4.0
18 17:42 27.6 85.7 5 4.4
19 17:48 27.8 85.4 10 4.8
20 18:14 27.8 83.5 10 5.3
21 19:00 28.0 85.0 8 4.9
22 19:23 27.7 85.0 10 4.2
23 19:40 27.8 85.9 10 4.7
24 20:47 27.9 85.3 10 4.2
25 21:57 27.7 85.5 10 4.9
26 23:13 28.2 85.8 10 5.6
27 00:29 27.7 85.4 10 4.0
28 02:03 27.2 85.6 10 4.2
29 02:37 27.9 85.7 10 4.5
30 04:46 27.7 84.9 10 5.6
31 05:12 27.5 85.9 10 4.4
32 08:19 27.9 84.5 10 4.0
33 08:52 27.4 85.4 10 4.5
34 10:29 27.8 84.7 13 4.5
35 12:39 27.6 85.9 10 6.9


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Gandhi Bot and Respect to Gandhi


Gandhi Bot and Respect to Gandhi

We all pay homage to the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi every year on Gandhi Jayanti, celebrating it as a dry day. And one fool of a comapny in capitalist US used his name and picture on beer cans and bottles. How disgusting, disrespectful, idotic, irresponsible and shameful behavior! They have insulted Gandhi, India and the feeling of respect to our great hero, our national icon. How dare they!
To us Gandhi is as important as Goddess Lakshmi. To us, he is as important as our dignity in the society and to us, he is as important as our currency notes which give us that dignity. And they disrespected him. Thankfully, someone has filed a case against this fool of a company at Cyberabad, contending that Gandhi’s image on the alcohol cans  by the brewery is highly condemnable and punishable under Indian laws like Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, and 124-A of IPC (related to use of inflammatory words, signs or visible representation).
TO this, the company replies, “We do apologize if the good people of India find our Gandhi-Bot label offensive. Our intent is not to offend anyone but rather pay homage and celebrate a great man who we respect greatly. They go on with blatant display of shame in saying “Aromatic and fully vegetarian, Gandhi-bolt is an ideal aid for self-purification and the seeking of truth and love”
And they dont stop here. They are adding punchlines- “We hope that not only our product is consumed responsibly with fine food and friends but that they are also inspired to learn more about Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent methods of civil disobedience. So many Indian people here in American love our tribute to the great man,”
They should learn how to respect Gandhi from us, Indians.  His statues keep on biting dust, for 363 days a year, sometimes, 365.25 as well! His principles long forgotten by all except a politically retarded old man in white caps and an ‘anarchist’ chief-minister. This year was even great. People were busy taking selfies and photographs with brooms, because Gandhi believed in cleanliness. Its really great that a PM helped his citizens remember Gandhi’s cleanliness freak 77 years after his death. Thousands of roads and streets have been named after Gandhi. Do we even think twice before spitting on the same roads! We stock alcohol on 1st October to celebrate the dry next day. That’s how we respect Gandhi! Who cares for Gandhi, except for the fact that his face appears on the notes. The notes which is circulated in so many hands in a day and finally kept in wallets, near the bums. Occasionally, to avoid breathing difficulties to Gandhi, people also have to fart. This is how we celebrate the cult called Gandhigiri
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Who resorts to non-violence after drinking, except the Munna bhai saying Lage raho! Who cares to bow to any statue of him even for a second. And who walks without slippers on roads named after him!
I request Arnab Goswami, on behalf of our countrymen to raise this issue in his show so that Gandhi meets justice, as his shows have far-reaching effects.


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Whose heritage is it anyway?- An article from The Indian Express


Written by Jawhar Sircar | Posted: November 25, 2014 12:39 am

The World Heritage Week, which comes to a close today, provides an excellent occasion to introspect and reconsider our approach towards the preservation of a rich heritage that our forefathers, and nature, have bequeathed. For over one and a half centuries, the state has undertaken this task with a varying degree of success and failure. But it is now time for a mature nation to consider a broader framework of citizen-government partnership, as this heritage belongs to the entire nation and not only to its present custodians.

Let us look at our record so far. We have 32 sites, 25 of which are historic or “cultural”, on Unesco’s world heritage list, and only five countries are ahead of us — Italy, China, Spain, Germany and France. This is mainly because they were busy filing nominations in the 1970s, when the argumentative Indian and the Archaeological Survey of India were looking elsewhere. By the time we realised the importance of being on the list, the “drop gate” had come down and Unesco had restricted nominations from each country to only two per year, irrespective of its size, history or geography. But we do not seem to have succeeded even in this limited task, as the ASI could not submit even a single nomination to Unesco for several years. This “scandal” was hardly noticed either by the nation or successive directors general of the ASI, or even by culture secretaries and ministers.

When we finally got our act together, we managed to place 12 fresh sites on the tentative list that precedes the final scrutiny and listing in just four years, between 2009 and 2012, against only 12 claims listed in the preceding four decades. A part of this sudden burst of energy was owed to an advisory committee set up within the culture ministry comprising private experts, though the ASI did not seem pleased to have to give up its monopoly. Within the next two years, India filed 22 more applications, and we now have a wider choice of 50 “properties” on the tentative list from which we can select our final nominations to receive the world heritage tag. It saves us from the last-minute tension of filing dossiers on the closing day and substantiates the view that wider participation can help improve performance.

We have an inherent responsibility to protect and preserve what god has endowed us with, in the form of unique natural landscapes, seven of which find mention as “natural sites”. If one goes over the dates, one can clearly see how there were occasional bursts of energy in the ministry of environment in 1985-88 and then again in the 2010s. There are mysterious black patches when no effort was continued…

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/whose-heritage-is-it-anyway/#sthash.lQNjjUyc.dpuf


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Poetics of a nation: remembering Nehru – An article from The Hindu


Shiva Vishwanathan presents a nice introspection of Nehruvian era. Jawaharlal Nehru cannot be seen merely as an object of history, a fragment of policy. He was a dream, a hope, a claim to innocence, an aesthetic, which gave to modernity a touch of elegance. Link to the article- http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/opinion-on-jawaharlal-nehru-125th-birth-anniversary/article6600161.ece?homepage=true

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This week, India will celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru. I must confess that I hate anniversaries when they turn out to be rote affairs, when memory, which hurts like frostbite, is presented painlessly. I hate this era that measures Nehru with calipers and titrates his foreign policy. It is a dull world today when memory turns inane and history seems empty. Life must indeed be meaningless when almost two decades of the Nehru era produce less meaning than five months of a Modi regime. When memories fade, icons die, and when an icon dies, something dies in all of us.

Nehru cannot be seen merely as an object of history, a fragment of policy. He was a dream, a hope, a claim to innocence, an aesthetic which gave to modernity a touch of elegance. I think that is why Gandhi opted for him. The practical Gandhi realised that one needed the impractical Nehru to survive the first decade of Independence. It is only the impractical who survive, who understand desire, hope and dream. Words like development and planning are dull words borrowed from a dismal social science. Nehru gave them a touch of poetry and it is only the poetics of the first decade that allowed us to retain hope and dream differently.

Harnessing science

Imagine a country which suffers two genocides, the Bengal Famine and Partition. Imagine a nation littered with refugees and the bittersweet memories of displacement. Such a nation could have turned melancholic, bitter, even tyrannical. Yet with all the violence, India of the Nehruvian years had a touch of innocence. Indians felt they had done the impossible (win freedom) and now wanted to repeat it. It was Nehru who gave India that lightness of being, that childlike innocence and yet that sophistication that came with a civilisational confidence.

Nehru inspired a generation to hope and believe. In fact, it was the first decades of Independence that could be called the Indian century because Nehru made India feel that Indians were special.

We used science as an enzyme of hope, an elixir of development. Where else could a nation talk of the future as belonging to science or those who make friends with science? The concentration camps were still a stark fact and the atomic bomb had been tested over Japan.

No other nation saw science as a dream. The Russians and the West saw it as a tool of economic development. Nehru insisted science was culture, a form of playfulness, providing a sense of discovery and excitement. This was a man who felt that science would prolong his discovery of India and even the world. For Nehru, science was not about productivity. It was a way of looking at the world. In fact, if one looks at Nehruvian scientists one senses that same elegance about science, whether it was P.C. Mahalanobis, Homi J. Bhabha, K.S. Krishnan, Vikram Sarabhai or Satish Dhawan. For all of them, science was not just knowledge. It was an aesthetic for approaching the world, an insight we have lost in this dismal age of the information revolution.

One is reminded of a story about the Russian scientist, Nikolai Vavilov, who spent his student days with William Bateson at Cambridge. Vavilov was once referring to an English colleague, a nuts and bolts empiricist. Vavilov claimed that he was a good worker but insisted in his accented English that he had no-“Phi-Lo-so-phee.” Nehru provided philosophy to the first years of Independence.

I admit it had a touch of innocence. In fact, it was re-echoed in Hindi cinema by Raj Kapoor, who, like Nehru, was an incurable romantic, who saw in being Indian and nationality, a dream of a different being. When Kapoor sang “Mera¯ ju¯ta¯ hai Ja¯pani¯, ye patlu¯n Inglista¯ni¯, Sar pe la¯l topi¯ Ru¯si¯, phir bhi¯ dil hai Hindusta¯ni¯,” he was reciting one of the new anthems of the Nation, a country, a generation which believed it had a tryst with destiny.

Ideology and elegance

Even ideology had a touch of romance. Today one laughs at socialism and the dreams of the Left when one watches the dreary rhetoric of the CPI(M). But ideology in that era was an aesthetic of justice, a poetics of solidarity with people. I know the words might sound empty today but when the Indian People’s Theatre Association performed, or Nehru spoke ideology, Marxist-Socialist ideology made sense of the world. As an old Marxist explained, in India, Marxism was not just about class. It gave a touch of class to the way we thought of the world. One misses that elegance, that aesthetic of democracy when we talk of secularism today as it gets viscous with political correctness.

One must remember that the first decade was an idealistic decade. When I think of my parents or their friends, one senses the deep celebration of India. Every Indian felt his sacrifice was worth it. It was a moral, aesthetic and scientific world where character-building, nation-building and dam-building went together. There was little cynicism, a great realism about poverty and yet a hope that nation-building Nehruvian style was one of the great epics of the century. India has lost that epic quality of hope and innocence.

May be the Nehruvian era needed that touch of pragmatism we call Patel. May be Nehru could have absorbed the insights of Rajaji. At that time we had such a surplus of leaders, from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Rajendra Prasad, B.C. Roy and Rajaji that we did not realise that the first decade was a festival of leadership, with each individual adding to the richness of the Indian vision.

“India could not have been India without harvesting the achievement of the Nehruvian years.”

I remember when the Nehruvian era died. For me, as a child it was a composite of two events. India, invincible India, the India that gave us Dhyan Chand, lost in hockey at the Rome Olympics. For my biased mind, cricket, tedious cricket, only emerged into the limelight after that. Then, even more poignantly, India lost a border war with China. It was a collapse of a world view where India which had conquered colonialism was mired once again in defeat. Nehru, our immaculate Nehru, sounded old and vulnerable. There was a loneliness, a tiredness about him. When a legend is threatened, mediocre critics like termites creep out of the woodwork of history to recite his mistakes. The magic was gone and Nehru faded soon afterward. The question “after Nehru who?” popped up soon and one then senses the momentous nature of the loss. One realised that for all the mistakes, those were the last magical years of the nation.

Institution building

Today, given the mediocrity of his epigone and the autism of the Congress party, we forget that the Nehruvian era was the great period of institution building, where we initiated community development, celebrated planning, built our great IITs, revitalised our science laboratories. India could not have been India without harvesting the achievement of the Nehruvian years.

I remember my old friend and teacher U.R. Ananthamurthy. Before he died, he left behind a great manuscript, a testament, a manifesto. URA criticised the Nehruvian years but he made a more critical point. Nehru might have made mistakes but Narendra Modi is the mistake that India might regret one day in its angry backlash against the family. Nehru was a classic. Our current regime is a footnote. It can only become history if it destroys the Nehruvian years.

Today, there is an epidemic of seminars, conferences and newspaper articles about 125 years of Nehru. Writers will give Nehru the good conduct certificates he does not need and praise his concern for poverty and his interest in science. The Congress is petty enough not to invite Mr. Modi but pompously invites guests from overseas. It is an un-Nehruvian act in its aesthetics and one must condemn it. Yet, what will be even more depressing is the social science litany about a man who gave us the poetics of a nation. In our current politics, it is not memory and its poignancy we are evoking. Our anniversaries become dull timetables, empty acts of repetition. When the magic is gone, only an official catechism remains. It is simpler to open a book of photographs and travel down memory lane. I wish there was something simpler, more abstract, a simple poem that caught the magic of the man without shrinking it to nostalgia, because Nehru, our Nehru deserved much more.

(Shiv Visvanathan is a professor at Jindal School of Government and Public Policy.)

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The article can be found at:  http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/opinion-on-jawaharlal-nehru-125th-birth-anniversary/article6600161.ece?homepage=true


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A Scotland on Kashmir? – “article from The Hindu”


A Scotland on Kashmir? – The Hindu.

Many thousands of Kashmiris who live in Scotland could vote in the Scottish referendum, but they have little say in their own State

In last week’s referendum, the campaign for Kashmir’s status took a surprising turn when citizens of the State voted overwhelmingly to stay with India. With a 90 per cent turnout in virtually all districts of Jammu and Kashmir, the vote made it abundantly clear that separatist forces, fuelled by neighbouring Pakistan, had been convincingly defeated. Yasin Malik, who had supported the idea of an independent homeland for the Kashmiris, immediately asked for a recount; the vote however clearly stated that the majority of the local population wished to remain with India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had endorsed the referendum is expected to appear on national television to outline constitutional reforms, giving greater autonomy to Kashmir within the Indian union…

Sixty seven years after independence, the Indian state still struggles with such archaic ideas of nationalism; it is hard to imagine that the recent referendum for Scottish independence could ever see a similar call to some sort of partial self-rule in Kashmir.

But the comparison with Scotland is perhaps unfair, for Scotland has been part of a 300-year-old union, and its attempted withdrawal was triggered largely by issues of domestic governance. Kashmir on the other hand poses more complex issues of religious, ethnic and national identity. Without the participation of thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees, obviously no referendum on Kashmir can be fair. Moreover, unlike Scotland, Kashmir’s status as disputed territory multiplies choices, not just for independence, but whether to align with a neighbour, and if so, which neighbour.

Symbols

Separatist movements in other parts of the world have only marginally succeeded in creating autonomy, certainly not complete freedom. In the 1980 and 1995 referendum, Quebec rejected independence and chose to stay with Canada. The Flemish have campaigned long enough for a territory of their own in divided Belgium. Even separatists in Spain have been inspired by the Scottish vote; Royo-Marine, a Catalonian leader, insisting that “nothing can stop the will of people.” Doubtless Kashmiri separatists also watched the Scottish referendum closely.

At the heart of the problem lies the Indian practice of nationalism, often confused with private patriotism. The country’s status as an old civilisation and a young nation contributes to such collective insecurity and anxiety. It becomes essential to parade around all the symbol of togetherness at public functions — the national anthem, the tricolour, the Ashok Chakra, and an endless array of cultural diehard longings that make patriotic statements to others: Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations, the ‘India Day Parade’ in New York, Ram-Leela in London. The country’s touchy patriotism is also singed easily by petty cricketing loyalties. Even if long-settled Indians in England root for the Indian team, the occasional Kashmiri chant for Pakistan is a slur hard to bear. God forbid an Indian athlete accidentally holds the flag upside down, or drapes it like a lungi, or forgets to mouth the words of the anthem. To a nation unsure of its identity, these are grave, unpardonable insults.

For the most part, the rest of the world treats its national symbols with less reverence and with the banter of easy familiarity, not to be taken too seriously. The American national anthem is sometimes played as a pornographic medley on radio; ‘Stars and Stripes’ is available as underwear, socks, and bandannas. The Brazilian flag was recently converted to a football and kicked around.

Referendums on independence and flags as underwear are of course for self-assured nations that value human choice and dignity over a vague and — now in the 21st century — waning patriotism.

Liberties that matter

Who is Indian, what he eats, who he worships, what company he keeps, in which country he lives, all have little relevance in a world that no longer respects borders. Certainly at the time of independence, when the Kashmir problem was framed, nationalism was a natural sentiment, triggered as it was by anti-colonialism. At the time, it was the binding glue necessary for a country discovering its new identity. That time is long past. But as a people, perhaps, we have not progressed beyond the assertion of symbolic identity — not far enough to see that individual and private liberties may matter more. And that people in Kashmir, or the North East, or Tamil Nadu, might have real reasons to ask for certain freedoms — choices they should be allowed, in the very least, to state.

It is ironic that many thousands of Kashmiris who live in Scotland could vote in the Scottish referendum, but have little say in their own State. Obviously, a settled long-term political peace is a necessary condition for any referendum. Under the present cloud of acrimonious rhetoric, a Bilawal Bhutto screaming hoarse about Kashmiri possession, and a State reeling under a natural calamity, the Indian stance needs to be balanced by cautious wisdom. Sadly, whenever ideas of partial autonomy and greater self-rule are raised, the government puts up institutional smokescreens, and claims allegiance to archaic and oft-repeated measures and processes. A nervous nationalism quickly comes to the fore with the persistent refrain about India’s integrity, United Nations resolutions and at what level to talk with Pakistan. When the only solution sought is perpetual stalemate, the problem will never go away.

(Gautam Bhatia is a Delhi-based architect and writer.)


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Stampede Claims Lives of Patnaites in Dussehra


This Dussehra when people of Patna (Bihar) gathered at Gandhi Maidan to celebrate the festival, the event turned into a tragedy. An unfortunate stampede claimed about 35 lives and left scores injured.

Dussehra is one of the festivals Patnaites wait for every year. The fun and attraction involved with Durga Puja is simply incomparable. Children love it for they get holidays from the sixth day itself, getting time to explore a dazzling and shimmering side of Patna, something which is not available for the rest of the year. The festivities culminate on Vijaya Dashmi or Dussehra with the burning of huge effigies of Meghnaad, Kumbhkaran and Raavan in that order.

About 4 to 5 lakh people assemble at the historic Gandhi Maidan, spread over an area of 62 acres in the shape of a circle, surrounded by busy roads, in the center of the city. The whole of Patna witnesses the grand event, marred by fireworks to commemorate the victory of goodness and ‘dharma’ over evil and ‘adharma’.

The day of Dussehra has always been an eager and anxious wait for evening so that parents would be requested for a visit to ‘Raavan-dahan’ site. It would be an awesome scene with a sea of human beings gleaming in joy. Balloons, roadside chaats and other delicacies like cotton candy would be the added attractions. However, my parents never allowed me to enter inside the Gandhi Maidan during that day.

We would always watch from the other side of the road so that running away could be easy as soon as the human tsunami would erupt after Ravan dahan. We would be extra intelligent to leave as soon as Meghnaad’s effigy was burnt. Reaching home at night and a nice dinner would mark the end of the festivities. A nostalgic sadness would ensue while realizing that another Dussehra has passed.

Who knew a gloomy Dussehra was waiting for Patna this year. By evening, news of stampede was confirmed, with about 35 deaths and more than 100 injured. Sadness engulfed the city, especially for those who have suffered loss of their near and dear ones. Most of the deceased are women or children. The injured have been admitted at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).

The Prime Minister has already announced a compensation of Rupees two lakh to the nearest kin of the deceased and Rupees fifty thousand to the injured. According to witnesses, a rumor about a live wire led to a panic which resulted into a stampede in no time. Whatever may be the reason it is a horrifying incident which could have been avoided.

It is no secret that lakhs of people assemble at Gandhi Maidan on this day. Besides Dussehra, many rallies and political gatherings, book fairs and other events take place at Gandhi Maidan throughout the year. Yet enough arrangements are never made to avoid emergency situations.

The city administration doesn’t have an SOP for safe evacuation of people during any crisis and as a result, stampedes have been a common feature in the past. The administration needs to be more vigil and better prepared so that such incidents can be avoided in future.

– Piyush Kaviraj

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This article was first published at http://beyondheadlines.in/2014/10/stampede-claims-lives-of-patnaites-in-dussehra/

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