ECI

Respected Election Commission,

It has been a week since the assembly elections were declared in 5 states and today also marks the last day of holding virtual rallies.

In this past week new COVID-19 cases in these election going states have at least doubled:

StateNew cases on 8th Jan 2022New cases on 8th Jan 2022% Increase
Uttar Pradesh6401147352.31 Times
Punjab177359393.35 Times
Goa178937282.08 Times
Manipur761552.08 Times
Uttrakhand61030055 Times

In view of the stark rise in the Covid numbers will you continue to ban physical rallies??

If yes, then how will you punish the guilty?

With an abysmal rural net penetration of 37.74% how will the candidates reach the voters?

Wouldn’t this hamper the holding of free and fair election?

Some experts have said that the elections were to be blamed for Pandemic’s second wave last year. In Tamil Nadu state your office was publicly rebuked by a court for not taking action earlier to stop big public rallies there.

“Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19,” the Madras high court had said.

You have the powers under Section 153 THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1951:-

“Extention of time for completion of election.—It shall be competent for the Election Commission for reasons which it considers sufficient, to extend the time for the completion of any election by making necessary amendments in the notification issued by it under section 30 or sub-section (1) of section 39.] to eof  can be exercised only after an election schedule has been notified.”

Under Article 324 of our Constitution you can inform the government of inability to hold polls looking at the rising Covid numbers.

Sir, these are extraordinary times – times that no one living has ever seen or imagined in their lifetimes.

As a citizen of this country, I urge and plead you to reconsider your decision to hold these elections atleast for the time being till this third wave ebbs. I would rather see people queuing up to vote for candidates of their choice than standing in the lines to have their loved ones cremated. I would rather see voters selecting their representative than having to select whether to bury their loves on banks of Ganga or to let them float away in her water.

Regards,

Deepak Sukhadia

ARTICLE 15

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ARTICLE 15

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to—

     (a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or

     (b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.

Article 15 is the second in the list of the Fundamental Rights that the Indian Constitution guarantees to its Citizens.

This movie as the name suggests is based on this very Right. Ayushman Khurana plays this young IPS officer who after graduating from St. Stephens and studying abroad returns to join the Indian Police Services to fulfil his father’s wishes and gets posted to this back and beyond of Uttar Pradesh for using the term ‘Cool Sir!!’ with Shastriji – The Home Secretary.

As he takes charge of his office the area get embroiled in the missing and eventually deaths of two teenage Dalit Girls and the search for the third one. There is the caste equation in play and the need to maintain a given Social Order for everyone to live in harmony. His girlfriend who is an activist based in Delhi who acts as his emotional – guiding anchor and shows him the way.

B.R. Ambedkar exhorted Dalits to flee the countryside and move to the cities to escape the shackles of caste. “The love of the intellectual Indian for the village community is of course infinite, if not pathetic,” wrote Ambedkar. “What is a village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness and communalism?” This is what the setting in the film epitomizes.

This movie has three main stand out heros, namely :

  1. Ayushman Khurana – The last movie I saw of his was Andhadhun and in that review I had written that he is turning into 21st Century’s Amol Palekar considering the characters he was playing, how wrong I was !! This is a film he owns the role of the anglicised Police Officer. The depth, the gravitas and the dilemma is such enacted perfectly.
  2. Anubhav Sinha – It took him nearly 17 years to find his calling in the kind of movies he wanted to make. From touching the Hindu – Muslim divide in Mulk and now handling the Caste Equations in this ones. He doesn’t sugar coat the harsh reality of today’s India. There is no holding back and and he spares no one and calls out the names as they stand.
  3. Dialogues – What crackling dialogue !! Hitting out on the political parties, the caste  system and the system, to quote a few:
  • “Main Or Tum Inhai Dekhai He Nahe Dete… Hum Kabhi Harijan Hojate Hai, Kabhi Bahujan Ho Jate Hain Bus Jan Nahe Ban Pa Rahain Hai… Ke Jan Gan Mein Hamari Bhe Ginte Ho Jai”
  • “Jo hum dete hain vahi aukaat hai sir”

jpr78646467573897193-largeWhat we see in this movie is not that happens something in some far away land, not too far from the cities we live in a Dalit Gdalitroom can’t ride on a Horse, no one wants to eat from a Dalit’s hands in schools that are supposed to remove this very idea of untouchability.

How long before the millennial old notions of social order is finally consigned to flames?

How long before we start accepting the idea of everyone being equal before even talking against reservations??

Go watch this movie for it deserves not only to be seen and but also to be imbibed.

RAID

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With kids away for a night-out, me and my wife made a plan late in the afternoon to go watch the Ajay Devgan starer RAID.  Around 5 pm when I booked the seats the hall was nearly empty with hardly 10-15 seats booked by then. We were so looking forward for a quite movie night.

So wrong we were!! As we entered the theater it was nearly full with family, children, groups and transvestite for company. Not that it made any difference but it only reflected that the it’s a hit movie and also the immense fan following of Ajay Devgan.

The movie is set in the eighties in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh where an recently posted honest Income Tax Commissioner gets a tip off on the undeclared and hidden wealth of Tauji aka Saurabh Shukla: A Member of Parliament, strongman and Mr. Money Bags contributing to the coffers of his party and how the hero does the necessary background checks and gets the permission of the Finance Ministry to raid Tauji.

The movie is all about the search of the hidden stash, the family dynamics, insider tip off, the honesty of the public servant. Besides all this it is about the heightened self image of the politician and the power he imagines he can yield and this self image is what takes him from Finance Secretary to Finance Minister to even Prime Minister Indira Gandhi amidst his threat to topple the UP Government and none coming in the way of the honest IT officials.

The movie belongs to three persons:

  • First and foremost is Ajay Devgan who plays the broopushpa759ding, honest officials who stands his grounds in front of immense pressure.
  • Second it’s the Tauji played brilliantly by Saurabh Shukl. You can feel his terrorising effect that he is so used to deliver to anyone coming in his way be it an outsider or even his family members and eventually realising that he is being betrayed by his family and also the fleeting nature of power.
  • Third is the Amma ji, the toothless mother of Tauji with an acid laced tongue.

The persons sitting next to me was so engrossed in the movie so he was literally jumping in his seats when the gold coins images (2)starts falling from the roof or when there is a confrontation scene between the main protagonists and also he completely ignored the call of his child to go the restroom.

Ohh yes !! there is a heroine too Ileana D’cruz who plays the dutiful supporting wife who by the way we are told doesn’t wear a mangalsutra (So!!) and is wasted in this minuscule role but I guess she does get to be a part of a hit A list Film.

With the running time just around 2 hours its fast paced, enjoyable and completely worth a watch.