Two deaths stirred up two nations towards the end of 2012. They concerned young women, one a dentist from Karnataka, another a physiotherapist from Uttar Pradesh. One died in Ireland. Another in Singapore. One was denied the right to carry out an abortion after a miscarriage, and succumbed to septicemia and multiple-organs failure. The Irish, the British, and people in India took to the streets, shocked by the denial of treatment. The other was raped and brutalized with a rod inside a Delhi bus. Her internal organs were forever damaged and she struggled very hard to live, but couldn’t. Entire India erupted. The anger was palpable as police had to fight surging crowds with water cannons and sticks. Not even Anna Hazare’s agitation had the same intensity. Ireland is revisiting its abortion laws and has made a commitment to the world for change. India is relooking its rape laws. If the deaths of these two young women can bring change, and swift justice, then they would rest in peace. Until then, we should steel ourselves to ring in the change.
Another swift change is required, this time in India’s cricketing establishment. IPL franchise owners should not also be heading cricket boards and, therefore, influencing selections and decisions related to captaincy. Millions pay to watch cricket, they deserve transparency. The board must not only be correct, it must also be seen to be correct. India’s coaching staff need to answer why it has not delivered since our World Cup triumph nearly two years ago. Fat pay packages cannot be justified with dismal results series after series, even at home. India was soaring to the top when Gary Kirsten left. Now it is plummeting dramatically with each passing match. The board should have the powers to terminate contracts of non-performing coaching staff midway into the contracts. It is time for heads to roll. How about an Indian as a coach after this? Can’t get worse, can it?
In its present format, the NRI voting law has become a bit of a farce. It requires Indian passport holders to be present during the time of election in India. Figures available during assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala indicate that people are not willing to travel from foreign shores to merely cast a vote. It is way too expensive, time consuming, and impractical. With today’s technology and security encryptions, why is internet ballot not being adopted, like it is in other countries? The Russians just allowed their tourists in Goa to cast their vote during the last elections for Prime Minister. NRIs will only feel more buoyant and energetic if they can actually cast their votes. They would doubtless feel that they have a say in India’s democratic setup through the ballot. A law that doesn’t deliver doesn’t serve any purpose.
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