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A battle between truth & falsehood

A battle between truth & falsehood
People stand confused as to why this battle over power-sharing broke out despite giving a clear mandate?
According to our mythology, the Mahabharat battle ended on 18th day after its breakout. However, the battle for power in Maharashtra could not come to an end even after 18 days after the declaration of results. The voter is now shocked as to why this happened?
The voter had two options. One is the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and the other is the Congress-NCP alliance. The BJP-Sena alliance got a clear majority with 105 seats to BJP and 56 seats to Shiv Sena. The other alliance with Congress 44 and Nationalist Congress Party 54 was reduced to only 98 seats. Apparently, the voters gave a mandate in favour of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.
When results came out, everything seemed fine. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the slogan - Narendra in Delhi and Devendra in Mumbai! Devendra Fadnavis himself was also saying that he would be back as the Chief Minister. The voters were convinced that the BJP-Sena government would be back in action. Just then a so-called battle between truth and falsehood started with each of the allies accusing the other of falsehood while presenting itself as a personification of truth.
Each one adopted a holier-than-thou approach and dared each other ‘how will you form a government without our support?
First decide who is true and who is false, who is right and who is wrong! Now the question is, who should decide? There are only two actors in this drama. Between these two, one terms itself to be the truth and the other as false while the other character is calling itself true and the first one false. This kind of attitude has led to the political brinkmanship and soured the relationship between the traditional allies! Had there been a third actor, then it could decide who is heavier on the scales of truth and who has held the flag of lies! But there is no third actor! Over a period of time, these two actors have been behaving like inseparable twins but they don’t mind even pulling the other’s tail and twisting it if needed. So the matter has become a tad serious!
Well, this is a political issue and what have people got to do with it? But even in normal life, it is clear that the whole business of life runs on truth.
If it is broadcast about someone that he does not have credibility, then people stop dealing with him. Parents also teach children that one should always tell the truth. Lies should be avoided. Teachers also teach the same. So naturally the public also expects political parties that they should not rely on falsehood. However, it is ingrained in the minds of people that politicians do not speak the truth! Inspired by politicians, a poet even wrote a song – Zoot Bole Kawwa Kate, Kale Kawwe Se Dariyo. Main Maike Chali Jaungi..!
But for the first time it has happened that the matter of truth and falsehood has come to light. Devendra Fadnavis says that Uddhav Thackeray does not pick up the phone. Uddhav Thackeray accuses him of calling him a liar, so “why should I pick up the phone?” So it means that there is a battle between truth and falsehood here. The question of how the two allies came to blows is also entangled in the web of truth and falsehood. Everyone has their own sagas to narrate. Everyone has their own stuff to parade!
Now the poor voter is confused and feels that both of them should remain in power for five years and provide a stable government. The ideology is one, the thinking is the same, they share the same voter base, yet their relationship has got soured! Truth and falsehood threw cold water on the mandate of the people. What does it mean to them that the farmer is dying.
Many projects are incomplete. The economic and social situation in Maharashtra is far from satisfactory. It is important for them to call off their so-called battle on the truth and falsehood. But who should face the reality?
So this battle could not be decided and President’s rule was imposed! Even before this, President’s rule was imposed twice. In the first instance it continued for 112 days and then for 33 days. Right now the public is keeping an account of how many days this rule will last this time! The public is also looking at where the promise of solidarity of power which the alliance had promised it has gone.
The MLAs who have been elected are afraid as to what will happen to them if elections are held again? They cannot leave the capital!
If they leave for their home constituencies and if something happens here, they too will be caught in the web of truth and falsehood! The fact is that the condition of the farmers is going from bad to worse. The political bigwigs are pretending to be much concerned about the welfare of the farmers and are rushing to inspect the damage caused by the unseasonal rains.
Even those who do not know anything about farming have become the leaders of the farmers and are trotting back to their constituencies out of fear of losing sympathy and support of their voters. However, the fear of elections is haunting everyone. Jumping into the fray again and again is not a joke. One has to sweat day and night to win an election. So everyone is feeling that the government should be formed and it should sustain for five years. They don’t mind if the parties as diametrically opposed to each other as India and Pakistan come together for forming the government.
Meanwhile, the voter is singing a parody song. Uff.. Sach Aur Zoot Ne Lo Hame Maar Dala..!
Vijay Darda
Lokmat Media
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This article was published in Lokmat Times, Lokmat Samachar and Lokmat Marathi daily across the state of Maharashtra. Here are the epaper cuttings:

Cybercrime no less than terrorism

India is second in the world in terms of internet users, but it is far behind vis-a-vis cyber security
The news that the debit and credit cards of 1.3 million Indians are available for sale on a site on ‘Dark Web’ in itself is bizarre and worrisome. It is obvious that only cyber criminals will buy them and cheat or commit cyber robbery. This is not the first time this has happened. Only last year, it was reported that some 32 lakh debit/credit cards of Indians were hacked by criminals. How much loss has been caused to these card holders is not known exactly yet. Yes, it has been stated in the Norton Cyber Security Insight Report that in 2017, the Indians who were the victims of cybercrime lost $18.5 billion.
This report states that of all the people who use Internet in India, two of every five people invariably fall prey to some kind of cyber attack. They realise only after suffering the loss. The loss in India is usually not compensated. There are two reasons for this. One, there is no strong security system against cybercrime with no intensity in investigation and secondly, there is still not much awareness about insurance. There are only a few companies in the insurance sector which are offering this service. You will be surprised to know that the total cyber insurance business in India is only 1.6 per cent compared to the US. Most policies are taken by companies or institutions. Fewer people take the policy personally. This policy mainly compensates for losses due to recovery, phishing, email spoofing and unauthorised online transactions.
In America and the developed countries in Europe, the security situation seems much better. When my son Devendra was working after completing his studies in the US, the cyber criminals had withdrawn the entire amount from his bank account. After he complained to the bank, the matter was investigated promptly. You will be surprised to know that within eight days all the money was returned to the account. The situation is not so in our country even today. Although the Reserve Bank of India has issued several advisories, unfortunately there is no awareness among people.
Recently, people received an SMS saying that an amount of `80,000 is being credited to their provident fund account. It also asked people to check their names in the list. When people opened the site, the PAN card number was being asked there. Obviously, those who did not exercise caution, must have fallen victim to it. Phishing messages in the name of banks and through phone calls keep coming but what is surprising is that people get trapped! In fact, with the world going digital at a faster pace, the threat of cyber attack is also increasing with the same speed. Your data is very important and it is being stolen. It is very difficult to understand when and how it will be misused.
A few days back, IT company Cisco released a report which clearly states that in the year 2018-19, there were a large number of cyber attacks on companies working in the field of banking, finance and infrastructure in India and on an average every company suffered a loss of about `35 crore. But I believe that if cyber security is given due attention, it can be dealt with. In September this year, the first National Conference on Cybercrime Investigation and Cyber Forensics was held at CBI headquarters in New Delhi. Let’s hope a system will be put in place soon to enable India to crack down on cyber criminals.
There is an urgent need for India to be more vigilant because we are the second largest users of Internet in the world. Worldwide, 3.8 billion people use the Internet, of which 12 per cent are Indians. Even America, at eight per cent, is behind us. China is at number one with 21 per cent. We have many Apps to use for money transactions here. In such a situation, there is always a danger of cyber attack on banks. There have also been several incidents of Aadhaar data leakage. In fact, the companies to whom we give our data should also make strong security arrangements. Everyone knows the story of data leaks from Facebook. British Airways was even fined $229 million for this. Hackers are inventing new technology every day. We have to be on guard against them. I feel cybercrime is no less than terrorism by any measure. Terrorists kill people. Cyber criminals kill them financially.
And this news is worrying too that Indian politicians, businessmen, media houses, social activists, journalists and people associated with human rights are being spied through Israeli software. Congress on Sunday alleged that the party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s phone was hacked too. NCP leader Praful Patel too fell victim to such an attack. The question that arises is who is spying. The answer to this question must be found. If this question is not answered, several doubts arise. Why was such a situation of doubts created should also be deliberated upon. The government should strictly tighten the screws on numbers of such cyber criminals so that no Indian is afraid that their personal information may get stolen. The government should assure that it is there to protect them!
Vijay Darda
Lokmat Media

Met Rekhaji & interacted with her

Almost 10 months since I met Rekhaji & interacted with her on Indian dance & culture. She is not only the epitome of grace but a powerhouse of knowledge. Here's wishing you a long & healthy life Rekhaji. #HappyBirthdayRekhaji God bless you abundantly.

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Faith no doubt is important for us, but even more important for all of us is our country

Neither victory nor defeat, let communal harmony prevail
The moment for which we all waited for years has finally arrived. A legal dispute being contested for more than 134 years, has finally been decided by the Supreme Court of the country. The Constitution Bench of five judges has delivered a unanimous verdict basing it completely on scientific evidence. The right of Lord Ram’s birthplace has been given to Ram Lalla and the government has been directed to form a trust within three months for the construction of the temple. The apex court also ruled that five acres of land be given to the Muslims in Ayodhya itself for the construction of mosque.
Unquestionably, it is important to get justice, but even more important is how justice was delivered and what procedure was adopted for it. The Supreme Court considered the report of the Archeological Survey of India as the basis. It is certainly a very balanced and holistic decision. The Muslim litigant Hashim Ansari’s son and present litigant Iqbal Ansari too has described the verdict as “better” and said he does not consider it as his defeat. Now there is no dispute. I appreciate Ansariji’s feelings.
I fully agree with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat ji and welcome their statements that this verdict is neither a victory nor a defeat for anyone. There should be neither celebration nor sorrow. Modi ji has rightly tweeted that be it Ram Bhakti or Rahim Bhakti, this is the time of Bharat Bhakti for us all. I would like to appreciate Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who convened a meeting of the Congress Working Committee immediately after the decision of the apex court and spoke of respecting the verdict. She also expressed her feelings in favour of building Ram temple and appealed to the people to maintain communal harmony. I appreciate the chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and Congress-ruled states and especially Mamata Banerjee for creating an atmosphere conducive for maintaining communal harmony in their respective states and ensuring that nothing untoward happens. It is a matter of great satisfaction that police and intelligence machinery in various states performed their duty with alacrity. As a result, frenzied reactions did not come on the social media after the verdict was delivered. The social media which turns restive at the drop of hat remained silent.
I am pretty convinced that religion is our faith. We respect our faith, others respect their faith. Actually everyone’s faith should be respected. But when it comes to the country, we should rise above our respective faiths and uphold nationalism. India is fortunate in this context as the nation comes first for every citizen. We may follow any religion, believe in any mode of worship, but when it comes to the country, we are all one. The biggest reason for this unity is our communal harmony. This is our real strength. We have to maintain this strength under any circumstances.
Let me tell you a unique example of brotherhood. The Ram temple litigant Ramchandra Das Paramhans and Babri mosque litigant Hashim Ansari fought this case in the court for nearly 60 years, but both of them were very good friends. They always shared the same rickshaw while going to the court and returning back home. People would wonder but they used to say that our fight is ideological and therefore, why it should affect our friendship? Now both have passed away but the stories of their friendship in Ayodhya are still talked about. After returning home in the evening, the duo also used to play cards together, but never talked about the temple-mosque dispute. The history too is replete with stories when a Muslim ruler gave his estate for a temple or Hindus gave their land to build a mosque. In the 18th century when scores of fundamentalists had gathered to raze a temple, the Nawab of Bengal Siraj ud-Daulah had sent his army to stop them. Not only did he send his army but also eliminated hundreds of fundamentalists.
What I meant to say is that Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (culture) has been the biggest strength of this country. We have to uphold this strength. We need to be more vigilant, especially at this sensitive hour. We have to ensure that communal harmony is maintained at all costs. We have to thwart every attempt to disturb peace so that our social harmony and brotherhood is not affected adversely... and we are able to say with pride: Saare jahan se accha Hindustan hamara!
Vijay Darda
Lokmat Media

Witnessed the struggle & meteoric rise of Bachchan Sahab.

I have been fortunate to be part of the generation that witnessed the struggle & meteoric rise of Bachchan Sahab. Legends like you live as a legacy in the hearts of millions and millions of people world over forever. Wish you a long and healthy life Amit ji. #HappyBirthdayAmitabhBachchan

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