The British ruled their colonies ruthlessly and evidence of their loot and torture in India is widely available. During my childhood I always wondered how a handful of Britishers came to India as traders and managed to take over the country and then rule it for over 130 years under the banners of East India Company and the British Empire. It made me wonder how a country with 13 million people in 1806 controlled a country with over 200 million people. And that too using just over 150000 troops with just about 25000 British soldiers and officers. Just imagine even…

I came across the term SOS when I was in school. We were told it is a distress sign usually used by people who need help. It was often associated with phrases like Save Our Souls or Save Our Ship. When I started learning Morse Code I realised it simply meant a Morse Code pattern of … — -… indicating distress. When I started working in Advertising I observed that people used SOS in a very casual way — from someone needing some inconsequential help to even indicate an urgent call of nature. …

#metoo hashtag simply exploded on my timeline yesterday with many of my friends putting it on their timelines to raise awareness about sexual harassment or assault. The stated objective of this hashtag is to give sense of the magnitude of this problem. It is indeed important to raise awareness and expose the predators but trending a hashtag on Twitter and Facebook is either naive or absurd.

Scenario 1: Women who are putting #metoo were actually harassed or assaulted:

They have the right to tell their stories and educate others. But doing it without naming and shaming the offender means nothing as these predators will be roaming around free and abusing others. I saw some comments related to workplace harassment — ‘well I didn’t speak up earlier because I didn’t have a choice’. I disagree. You always have a choice and you had one but you chose not to speak up because of some unexplained compulsions.

Scenario 2: Women who are putting #metoo are only doing it to support others:

They are simply adding to noise. Facebook is a closed network and you choose who you have on your circle of friends. If you thought any of them were offenders then you should have kicked them out — I did that with a couple of people after I heard authentic incidents from women I trust. So, if your network doesn’t have any offenders all you are doing is preaching to the converted. What is the point? If you really want to drive change then get out and do some real work with socially & economically backward communities who are often subjected to such abuses. Updating FB status while sipping your latte or red wine means very little.

I also find it hypocritical when I see supporters of Trump (who boasted about assaulting women) and supporters of Clinton (who stood by her husband while he abused women) putting out #metoo. Also hypocritical are some Indian friends love to sing/dance on Bollywood songs that are full of degrading words for women. Even worst is the fact that they encourage their kids dance on such songs. By putting out hollow #metoo you are actually insulting all those women who suffered from such abuses.

Finally, in my opinion this problem is not only related to women. Men also get harassed and assaulted. LGBT face abuses all the time. It is high time that we say NO to abuses irrespective of gender, age, orientation, race, or religion.

Addendum 1: Ririi & Shyamala identified the hashtag movement as therapeutic and a tool to heal. I believe their opinions because Ririi is an expert in the field of healing and therapy and has seen many cases and Shyamala has been active in many social initiatives. On the count of therapy and healing I stand corrected even if it helps one person.

Addendum 2: Sriram educated me that more and more people are calling out the offenders or at least providing details of how they were abused. …

Image Credit: SUXSIEQ

Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America in January 2017. He contested legally in an election process conducted as per the American Constitution and won that election. Period. I do not like Trump or for that matter Clinton but my personal likes and dislikes are immaterial. What matters now is the fact that Trump will lead USA for next 4 years and by virtue of that will play an important role in Global Politics.

Many of my dear friends are crying their heart out on Facebook and Twitter. According to them ‘Democracy Lost’. And to me it is hypocrisy because by saying Democracy Lost they are refusing to respect the democratic process and its verdict. They are hurt because they do not want to accept that nearly half of the voters have a different idea of America than the democratic supporters. And to say Clinton won the popular vote is nothing short of mockery because American Presidents are not elected by the popular vote. Clinton was running for the President and not for any talent contest where popular votes matter.

Democracy did not lose. Democratic party did. Clinton did. I’m sure democracy will thrive and learn from this experiment and hopefully be better prepared in 2020.

Image courtesy: Vanessa Lynn.

Yet another shoot out in the United States of America. Yet another day of outburst on Facebook. Yet another helpless statement from the President of the most powerful country. Yet another occasion when parents would like to hold their children tight. And frankly speaking it is nothing but yet another act of fake sympathy and concern from most human beings. Come tomorrow morning our lives will continue and soon we will forget about what happened till it happens again.

We can blame many people for this. As always we can start with the the gun lobby in the United States…

We woke up to the news of siege in Sydney on Monday and went to bed with horrifying images of barbaric attack on a school in Peshawar. While only two precious lives were lost in Sydney, Peshawar witnessed over 140 deaths (mostly children) as per the official account. All those who died during the Sydney siege made one mistake — they went to Lindt café on Monday morning but all those innocent children who died in Peshawar were paying for the mistakes of their parents and families who silently accepted terrorism as a state policy and never fought against it…

Today while putting my son to bed he asked me to sing. I was thrilled as not a single soul has ever asked me to sing as my singing skills are very limited and I have the funny distinction of winning laryngitis competitions during my university days. So in my enthusiasm I started to fish for compliments.

Me: do you like my singing?

Son: Yes

Me: do I sing well?

Son: NO

Me: then why do you like my singing?

Son: because you’re my father and I love you

He said it with such a simplicity and honesty that…

Last month my 3 years old son came back from a play date and asked me: “why are we so poor?” I asked him what he meant by that and he explained with a very sad expression on his face: “we are poor because I don’t get to play with iPhones, iPads, and laptops — and also I don’t get to watch any TV.”

My wife and I were stunned with what he asked but we decided not to let his question go unanswered. I started reasoning out that we were not poor as there were many devices in our…

Pushkar Sane

Thinking, exploring, experimenting, decoding building, failing, succeeding, learning, playing, enjoying, and appreciating life.

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