Blasts: Why Do They Keep Happening?

A decade ago Bengaluru played safe haven to an assasin and his accomplices. But then of course our security engine reached there and caught them, dead. But the mystery even today is how these assassins sneaked into Bengaluru.

Ever since then, there have been several such unexplained occasions of terror outbreak in Karnataka, and there has never been one occasion with a solid display of security being restored in the real sense. By this what we mean is a real restoration of safety and a guarantee of non-repetiton of such untoward events around us.

But of course, terror unrelenting, on Friday, Bengaluru witnessed a series of blasts, minutes apart from each other, just like they did in some other capital cities in India. And as always, the people holding the stick, are clueless and seem to be asking themselves - who could it be?! where did these terrorist come from?! how could we have prevented it?!

Experts have come up with many reasons for the dismal record of our administration in combating terrorism, these being:
  1. Lack of legislative teeth for our security agencies to combat organized terror network
  2. Lack of investment to provide for adequate infrastructure & training for our police force
  3. High corruption levels in our police force
  4. Political interference in appointment of police officials to key intelligence and investigative wings
  5. Appeasement of certain sections of society by politicians for narrow political gains
  6. Indoctrination of certain sections of society with extremist ideologies
All the above are issues that have to be addressed on a war footing to root out the scourge of terrorism.

However, one significant point missed out in this whole discourse is about the lack of a mechanism to track people who live in a particular state and those who travel in / out of that state. If each state could really have an account of all its citizens, have basic information about their whereabouts, know when someone new has entered the state, as to why he has entered the state, what is the duration of his stay there, it would greatly help the state security agencies to accomplish their job better. This mechanism will act as a major deterrent for mischief mongers who as of now can simply board a bus in (say) Chennai or Hyderabad, come to (say) Bengaluru, perpetuate a terrorist act and catch a train and travel to (say) Ahmedabad for their next terrorist act there.

Bangalore Bomb Blasts - Be Careful

Just hours ago, Bangalore was the target of 6 bomb blasts. The following areas have had blasts:
  • Madiwala check post.
  • Nayandahalli (Mysore road)
  • Koramangala area
  • Adugodi
  • Richmond, near Mallaya Hospital
  • Langford Road
CNN-IBN reports:
Bangalore: Five low-intensity blasts rocked Bangalore on Friday afternoon killing one woman and injuring several people, initial reports said.

Additional Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, Gopal Hosur confirmed that one woman has been killed in the blast.

There have been 5 blasts. One lady has died in the blast so far. There has been no damage to the property," Hosur said.

The first blast took place at Raja Ram Mohun Roy circle at around 1320 hrs IST.

The explosions shook Sirjapur Road, Nayandhalli, Madiwala checkpost, Adigudi, Rajaram and Raja Ram Mohan Rai Circle.

All the blasts took place with 15 minutes of each other.

Bomb disposal squads have been rushed to the blast sites and telephone network have been jammed to stop the spread of rumours.

According to the police gelatin sticks were used in the blasts.

Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar M Bidari said, "We are monitoring the situation and request all residents to continue with their normal routine. The bomb squad and explosives experts are on the spot. We will deal with the situation."

All the injured have been taken to Mallya Hospital.

Many have been injured and a lady by name Lakshmi has died.

Kannada FM: Truth, Damned Truth and Statistics

Vijay forwards us a UTVi video posted on YouTube which lays bare the facts behind Bengaluru's FM stations moving to Kannada, and discloses how Fever 104 FM (which started as a Hindi channel in Bengaluru in open defiance of reason) is trying its level best to make its mark on the Kannada FM channel map even in the presence of fierce competition from the likes of Big FM.

These people have to get out of the stereotype that if it's Kannada, it's downmarket. If I may be so blatant to use the word, but that's what we hear. We want to change that perception in people. Was Hindi considered hip and cool and aspirational about five or six years ago? I don't think so.

- Fever FM

Even advertisers prefer a station with a big presence among the Kannada speaking population. Like it or not, FM stations in Bangalore are likely to tune in more and more into Kannada to raken the numbers and gain the much needed revenue from the advertisers. They are going purely by the numbers thrown up by the radio audio measurement system which gives pure-play Kannada stations a clear edge.

- UTVi reporter
We told you this long ago, didn't we? It's the market which decides, baby!

'Leave Kannada at home, use Hindi in office!'

The Star of Mysore reports a Parliamentary sub committee meeting in Mysore on July 5th 2008 which was held to review the “implementation” of Hindi as per the Official Language Policy of the Government of India and give guidelines to the local units of the institutions on usage of Hindi in their official business. A display board with a Kannada slogan was seen in the meeting hall, which read: "Use Kannada at home, use Rajbhasha (Hindi) in office" (Maneya Vyavahara Kannadadalli, Karyalayada Vyavahara Raajabhasheyalli).

Although this may appear as a small news item tucked away in a corner of a local newspaper in Mysore, larger issues are bound to arise in a Kannadiga’s mind on reading this. KARNATIQUE lists a few of these and requests its readers to think about the nature & magnitude of Hindi imposition that is happening in India and its impact on the non-Hindi speaking population.
  1. Why should Hindi be the official language for transactions of the Government of India with states that are not Hindi speaking?
  2. Why can we not have translators to translate correspondence (official transactions) between Government of India & respective State Governments? Isn’t it more sensible to have translators who know Hindi & the language of the state than to train all the officers from non-Hindi speaking states, in Hindi?
  3. What is the message that is being conveyed to the people of non-Hindi speaking states by this type of Hindi imposition? In spite of Hindi speaking population of India being less 30%, why should Hindi be provided special status as one of the official language for transactions of Government of India with states that are not Hindi speaking?
  4. Why is Government of India spending precious tax-payer's money on Hindi prachar sabhas and other such sundry organizations to popularize usage of Hindi in schools, colleges & offices in non-Hindi states?
  5. Why do we have Parliamentary sub committee/s reviewing Hindi implementation (imposition) across India ? Why do we have Parliamentary sub committee/s spending precious tax-payer’s money to travel all the way to Mysore / Siliguri / Jamnagar / Itanagar to check for the implementation of Hindi in Government of India offices in those locations & to provide guidelines to the local units of the central government institutions on usage of Hindi in their official business?
  6. What type of mindset does the slogan that "Kannada at home & Rajbhaasha in office" indicate? Doesnt it indicate a mindset that Kannada as a language is deemed fit for only household communication and not for official administration? Is it not being done to reinforce the false notion in Kannadigas that Hindi is the "Rajbhaasha" and Kannada the "Aduge mane bhaashe".
Kannadigas and the rest of the non-Hindi population in India should realize the dangers of this kind of state sponsored Hindi imposition, be vigilant about both subtle & blatant attempts at Hindi imposition and oppose these acts from every forum possible.

What the Medium-of-Instruction Ruckus Betrays

The Karnataka High Court has passed its verdict on the issue of medium of instruction, giving a carte blanche to businessmen to run English medium schools if they wish to. The Indian Express reports on 3rd July:

In a significant judgment on the language policy in the primary education system of Karnataka, a Division Bench of the High Court on Wednesday scrapped portions of a 1994 Government order making Kannada or a mother tongue the mandatory medium of education in all primary schools recognised by the Government.

English media is mostly calling this as a step towards victory in a globalized world. But in reality, both English media and these "educators" have made it clear that the welfare of the state is simply absent from their list of priorities. Why? Because it is an established scientific fact that education is most effective in Kannada for Kannadigas. The goal of these "educators" and English media is not the good education of Kannadigas. They're just bent upon making a quick buck from creating an aura of sanctity around English and fooling the gullible Kannadiga parent. While the "educators" get an immediate market, the English media is assured of a market when the children start learning English, albeit slowly. The further Kannadigas go away from Kannada, the greater their profit! Also, it is only a weak mind leaning on converting the whole of Karnataka into a call-centre that can conjure up the theory that English can single-handedly take us to appalling heights in this globalized world. Stronger minds bank on real knowledge which can be provided only through one's own language. What can sustain us in the global scenario is not a cesspool of fakers trying to imitate accents, but a well-organized system of education which is possible only in our own language.

Kannada media and Kannadiga thinkers, on the other hand, are calling this whole thing as a death-blow to Kannada and doing nothing other than shedding emotional tears. This betrays their helpless feeling that Kannada can continue to exist only by the application of force. That whole thinking process is flawed. Instead, the so-called Kannadiga thinkers must seriously consider establishing the necessary high-quality institutions and training programmes to provide every kind and level of education in Kannada itself. If the Israels, the Germanys, the Japans, the Chinas of the world can do it, why can't Karnataka? One is reminded of the way the Technion in Israel started off in Hebrew-medium at a time when Modern Hebrew was being spoken by a precious few in Israel, and even lacked words needed for common day-to-day usage! The Technion is a premier institute of technology in the world, and even to this day provides top-class engineering education in Hebrew. Kannada is not in such a sorry state today as Hebrew was in 1912, not by any measure! Yet, because our thinkers and planners lack strong will-power, we Kannadigas have taken for granted that Kannada education is only for children in rural areas. Not for adults, not for urban areas. This very assumption is leading us from darkness to darkness.

One can choose to pardon the shortsightedness of the handful of petty hawkers who are creating all this hue and cry about medium of instruction to ensure the day's meal. But the Government of Karnataka cannot be pardoned for the disregard with which it is viewing education in Kannada. The Government is failing to realize that with the slow disrespect for Kannada which is creeping into the creme de la creme of Karnataka, the state is headed towards death. At least the Government should stop acting like a petty hawker looking at securing the day's meal, and invest in longer-term projects and initiatives! At least the Government should dare to dream big!

Where are the real statesmen who understand that it is Kannada which can improve the lives of Kannadigas? Where are the real statesmen who can dream like the Israelis and set up Kannada-Technions? Are they all dead? Have they all sold their souls?