If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream---and not make dreams your master; If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same:. If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling
We have tried to clear misconceptions surrounding communites and personalities not just in India but also worldwide.”
o quote Rudyard Kipling we have tried to walk with crowds and keep our virtue; as well as walk with kings nor lose the common touch. The Undergrad is pleased to present its second issue wherein we have tried our best to seal all the gaps we overlooked in the first. We have covered a spectrum of beats; our writers perfecting a spicy concoction of some of the most relevant subjects. Our stories are a reflection of the opinion of the youth on issues concerning contemporary India. We have also tried to clear misconceptions surrounding communities and personalities not just in India but also worldwide. Our cover story is not a story of the black and white of the Common Wealth Gold winning women’s relay quartet cheating its way to success but a closer look at it reveals the Indian system’s failure to nurture its top athletes. Through an interview with the Joint Secretary of the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), this story takes a closer look at our country anti-doping education policies for athletes and poor state of provisions by the federations. Sincerely, Arpan Chaturvedi Nupur Sonar Sumedh Natu
Yash Thakur clears the air of rumours surrounding the Osho Ashram
laced 8th on Lonely Planet’s list of 50 things to do in Pune, the Osho Meditation Resort, or popularly known as Osho Ashram was started by Osho Rajneesh in 1974. Despite being surrounded by controversies, the ashram continues to be a popular destination for travellers on a spiritual quest from across the world. Osho was an enigma and a modern day guru whose philosophy was based on independence of thought, living in the present and celebrating life. He was a powerful spiritual leader who dismissed all religions as he believed in himself and asked his followers to free themselves of all religious dogma. He propagated that selfbelief is the beginning to realising one’s true potential and finding inner peace. This is what attracted people from across the globe to his ashram. His first brush with trouble was when a series of chapters titled, “From Sex to Super Consciousness” written by him shocked the Indian public due to their blunt approach to the taboo subject. The tag of the ‘sex guru’ stuck to Osho after he first delivered his From Sex to Superconsciousness lectures for the first time in Mumbai in 1968. After he established the Shree 6
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Rajneesh Ashram in Koregaon Park, it became an abode his western disciples, psychotherapists and artists, where they were introduced to techniques created by Osho by combining western therapies and eastern techniques of meditation. There are many who point fingers at the ashram; presuming it to be a marketing ploy to lure gullible Westerners in the name of the ‘Mystic East’ and ‘Tantra’. While Kapilesh Mukherjee( name changed on request) believes that the members of the Ashram have no routine and one cannot gain spiritually from activities carried out at the ashram, software techie, Arvind Krishnan says, “It is a madhouse full of fake and miserable people. Osho ashram is a luxury resort for rich foreigners who come here for stress busters and relaxation.” Contrary to this belief, the followers of the ideology at the ashram have a routine. The day starts off with ‘Dynamic Meditation’Osho’s most popular gift to the world, where the member of the Ashram practise an intensive form of meditation in which they jump, scream, freeze, and dance . Then they proceed to
which is non-tense, no worry; so we are simply relaxed and melting.” Today, the commune no longer holds workshops for free sex. However, sex within the Ashram is still casual and out of the closet. Controversies surrounding the Osho Ashram didn’t end there. The aggressive Encounter Group Therapy hurt the ashram’s image further. There were reports of violence too. “In an Encounter Therapy session in 1978, Richard Price, co-founder of Esalen Institute and a follower of the Osho ideology back then) was injured badly. He had a broken an arm.”, says Nessy from Sweden, a follower of Osho.
Encounter Group Therapies, Kundalini Meditation, PranicChakra Meditation and the Mystic Rose, another meditative therapy. The day ends with screenings of Osho’s videotapes. Osho’s take on intercourse was bold. He propagated free, uninhibited sex and his ashram, which provided people with a space to explore this philosophy, was criticized for it. This stood in stark contrast to the then prevailing general beliefs of Indian society, where sex was considered a sacred union between a married man and woman. “In 1975, Tantra workshops required participants to strip and smell the armpits and the genitals of the opposite sex”, says Suma Varghese, a writer who was then a Osho disciple. Some residents of Pune were outraged by this liberal approach to sex and even went to the extent of demanding Osho’s removal from the city. Unlike most religions that repress sexual desire, Osho felt that suppression of sexual desire led to perversion. Osho disassociated the taboo attached to sex and felt that sex needed to be accepted just like the other natural desires such as hunger or thirst. According to him, sex is a pathway to the soul. As he put it ‘‘a door to escape into some other world-
The Encounter Therapy focused on letting go all repressed feelings and thereby meeting oneself in totality without being monitored by social constructs of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ behaviour. Participants were locked in a room for a few hours with wooden weapons. Screams and cries of agony could often be heard. Violence in therapy groups came to an end in 1979, under immense pressure from the government to do so. The ashram issued a press release stating that violence “had fulfilled its function within the overall context of the ashram as an evolving spiritual commune”. Today, the Aggression Removal Therapies are conducted in a controlled environment. Furthermore, allegations of drug use began to tarnish the ashram’s credibility. “Drugs were sold in the ashram before Osho left for the United States in 1981. They also served hard drinks to the participants in the evenings.” says Nessy. Fox, in 2002 revealed that Osho himself wasn’t involved in any of this, but it was between the sannyasis. Alcohol was actually served at the commune in the Osho Zen Bar, but it was banned in the 90s by the government. Today the commune is shedding the typical ‘Osho lifestlye’ and is reinventing itself as a spiritual spa. It now functions as a centre that aims to help strengthen one’s potential and discover transformational tools to find one’s inner self , rather just be an exclusive Osho ashram. Although Osho is no more, his influence through his literature and videos is undisputed even today. As Swami Prakashan, a disciple rightly puts it, “Osho today at the ashram is described as energy, a consciousness and not as a person.”
The Undergrad |
THE MANY FACETS OF
Rama The Ramayana Retold
Esha Vaish traces the varying interpretations of The Ramayana while she engages with a city level project, Kiski Kahani that does the same.
OPEN SPACE B - 301, 2nd Floor, Kanchanjunga Bldg, Kanchan Lane, Off Law College Road, Near Krishna Dining Hall, Pune 411 004 Phone: 25457371
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ince the days when black and white television stepped into Indian households, the Sunday morning epic, Ramayana, has been one amongst Doordarshan’s longest running successes. A dramatized version of the mythological lives of Rama and Sita, this series by Dr. Ramanand Sagar, had Indians glued to their TV sets across the nation. The craze of watching Ramayana, the world’s “most viewed mythological series” as per the 2003 version of the Limca Book of Records, might have seen a decreasing trend in the last few years, but the story itself hasn’t perished. One of the most enthralling tales that mixes fantasy with religion, the story has travelled in step with modernisation and continues to remain popular. Most narratives agree that Vishnu and Lakshmi, the protagonists of the tale are reincarnations of deities. As the story sojourns across different terrains, the legend changes. The differences are noticed even in something as fundamental as by what name the main male character should be
•City• recognised as. In the Burmese Ramayana popular in Myanmar, Rama is referred to as Yama. This name transitions to Preah Ream within the realms of Cambodia. The narrative has most popularly been passed through generations as oral tradition. Even in tribal areas, the epic has been shaped through folklore and cultural performances. These include narratives by the Muslim Manganiyar tribe in Rajasthan, as even the costume performances in traditional headgear by the Bhil tribe of Maharashtra. From dramatic performances that are staged around Dussehra, to depictions all the way on the Emerald Buddha Temple walls in Thailand, the story has continually taken many forms. The tale started turning more definitive with Valmiki’s 50000 lines of poetic Ramayana in Sanskrit. Over the years, renditions of the story have found voice in a large number of languages including Balinese, Bangla, Kahsmiri and even Thai, Sinhala, Santhali, Tamil and Pali. Mallika Sarabhai’s play ‘Sita’s Daughter’, explores the psyche of empowered women and raises a voice against rape, torture and murder of Indian women. It is a poignant representation of a modern day Sita who questions the society around her. On the other hand, the Jain version focuses primarily on the learning and devotion of Ravana. Disagreements as to which of the many versions of the Ramayana manages to capture the true happening of the decade, have often sparked debates and even stronger sentiments. Moreover, the myth has at many instances been shackled with religious subtext. However, if the epic is explored with an interest in the story itself, each separate retelling is unique and has interesting facets attached to it. In an attempt to provide a common platform for the myriad narratives, Open Space Pune, Hivos and Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS) have begun a project named Kiski Kahani. The project has been involved with exploring the narrations of the legend and stringing them together. Over 300 Ramayanas have already been documented and each day the database continues to grow. Project Coordinator, Imran Ali Khan has travelled across India to catalogue the narration of the epics. He shares that the great Mughal ruler Akbar himself was so enthralled by the Ramayana that he commissioned a Persian version of the tale to be written. This version also displays classic mogul style narrations of the popular characters, Rama and Sita. These illustrations are unlike the classical depictions of the duo. A rather innovative section of the Kiski Kahani Project deals
with understanding modern perspectives of the Ramayana. An eclectic collection of modern interpretations of the Ramayana, the site catalogues essays, stories with novel takes on the legend. Some of the stories truly manage to explore the sidelined characters of the epic, such as the devoted brother Laxman’s wife. The stories are real, grounded and manage to delve into modern day incidents in the context of the Ramayana, analysing the legend’s continual nature. Among the popular modern depictions, and one often screened at Open Space free of cost under the Kiski Kahani project, is the movie ‘Sita Sings the Blues’. A coy goddess, dressed to the hilt, accentuated in her beauty, steps out of the traditional narration to be lurched headfirst into an interpretation by free-culture activist, Nina Paley. This contemporary take on the epic can be watched online for free without any infringement concerns. It is an animated musical through which the director tries to highlight similarities between her marriage and the union of the protagonists in the Ramayana. Where the question of modern depictions arises, the 8 volume Ramayana by Ashok Banker chronicles the events of the Indian epic through a modern vision, cannot be missed. Tied by Dharma, the decisions and lives of Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Ravana are interpreted through the Banker’s understanding. In his foreword, Banker says that his versions are by no means authoritative. His books bridge the divide between modern writing and the famed tellings of the Ramayana by Tulsidas, Valmiki and Kamban by portraying the tale in a way that can be comprehended by urban audiences. Banker’s telling take significant liberties from the original Ramayana of Valmiki. The project is more than just a database of stories and versions. It manages to reach out and involves people in the unravelling of the narrative, lending a fresh outlook. Be it the multi-faceted telling through the movie Anek Ramayan by Shikha Sen, or play by storyteller Vayu Naidu of UK theatre company Divine Divas and Being Brit, Open Space brings the epic to life through performances. This way it engages the people and helps them live the culture. Further, project coordinator Imran Khan often travels across the nation to give voice and an online presence on the Kiski Kahanai website to otherwise oral trains from tribes such as the Rajasthani Manganiyars. History or mythology; the spar between contrasting beliefs continues to change the way the common man understands the Ramayana. But for the historian, the Ramayana is a flowing rivulet, inspiring generations and winding through centuries of changing understandings and perceptions. A story that truly breathes and shifts with the turn of every century, the Ramayana remains an enigma retold time and again.
The Undergrad |
like to believe that I have a keen sense of understanding people and I like observing people I come across in my life, whether I am just talking to them, or silently and critically judging them for every little thing they do. This, I would say is an acquired trait because of the numerous cities I’ve lived in across the globe owing to my father’s occupation. Having spent my entire teenage in Pune, I’ve had some of the most wonderfully endearing experiences with people belonging to the city. The Punekars, as they are famously called, are the laziest lot you’d come across. Walk into the otherwise busy and crowded shopping gallies (lanes) of the town area between one and four in the afternoon, and you are sure to get a sense of being in zombie land. With all the shutters pulled down and absolutely no sign of economic activity, the city falls into a deep slumber in the afternoon. Incidentally, the Puneri shopkeepers are also the least people-pleasing bunch of them all. Unlike the Delhi or Mumbai shopkeepers who swear by the ‘customer is god’ ideology, the ones in Pune won’t bend or budge even for God. A Punekar is sure to give you free advice about almost everything under the sun at the drop of the hat. The older he is, the more likely that he has verbal diarrhoea. While you might be entertained by their quick-witted, winding monologues, don’t be surprised if they diss you with their sharp tongues.
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Their pungent sense of humour also makes an appearance on the various signboards that punekars put up at almost every corner of the city. Be it a number of conditions that a customer needs to adhere or the whimsical signboards residents hang outside their houses for passers-by , these sign boards never fail to amuse you. “An extra amount of money will be charged to those who are seen sharing a plate of misal pav”, “Give exact change if you want cold coffee for Rs. 16”, so on and so forth. With egos as long as the traffic lines, it is amusing when lazy Punekars get impatient in the hustle-bustle of peak traffic hours. Even two-wheeler riders cut corners, maneuvering through the tiniest patch of road space narrowly avoid colliding with cars in their attempt, the car owners manage to jam their vehicles in the most impossible angles. Radio’s blare as the multi-taskers roll down their windows and expertly lace their ‘good mornings’ with abuses in marathi. Although on some days I have been thoroughly annoyed by the Puneri way of dealing with things, it has left me amused in the most unexpected situations and that is what is and always will be most endearing about Pune and its idiosyncrasies. Pune with all its quirks, remains very close to my heart.
•Business• mallu-half gujju’ accent. His conversation was strange and words such as Reliance Infra, options, liquidity and petis made multiple appearances.
Trainto Dalal Street
On a hot, sweltering afternoon a few weeks ago, I found myself in the company of an intriguing gentleman on a Churchgate bound slow train. He wore a sky blue shirt with a pair of black trousers that rode almost up to his chest with his rather large belly hanging over the edge. Four gold rings cluttered his fingers even as a thick gold bracelet adorned his hands. He was carefully guarding his brown briefcase and was juggling three high end cell phones simultaneously. As the local dawdled from one station to another, I was drawn into his conversations due to his rather peculiar ‘half-
“See, Rasik Bhai”, he bellowed into the phone, “Now all shares are online, they are not on paper anymore. They have been dematerialized. That is why you open a DEMAT (dematerialized) account. It isn’t like before when you had to have physical shares. All you need is a PAN Card, Address Proof and identity proof. Now, banks such as ICICI, Bank of India and Indian Bank are offering this service to trade on the markets online. They are all government certified. So it is safe. Once you apply with the bank within fifteen days you get a unique ID number, which is your account number. Then you can start applying for shares and start trading, all online.” With his newly acquired knowledge, Rasik Bhai would hopefully would get a little richer in the future, I thought to myself as the man hung up. Also the three phones, constant calls and use of jargon made sense to me now. The man who resembled a Bappi Lahiri in the making, without an ounce of doubt was a stockbroker. Soon enough, he was on another call discussing the ‘bearish nature’ of the current market. I tried to recall what it meant, having studied it in Civics in school. Bearish - it was the mood of the market when people felt scared to invest because they believed that the sensex would fall. As a result, people start selling their shares to stop losses and don’t buy any new shares as they believe that share prices will further drop. This chain of cynicism keeps the markets in the red till investor confidence is boosted over a long period of time. As his phone rung for the umpteenth time, he suddenly adopted a warm, friendlier tone. “Arre Jignesh beta, kya baat hai. You’re following my footsteps! I’m so proud of you.” From what I gathered, Jignesh wanted to start dabbling with the markets, just like the man whose conversations had kept me engrossed for almost 8 stations. “Paper Trading beta, start with that. It is a very good way to learn the tricks of the market. You just trade in the market without real money. You can do that on moneybhai.com and indiabulls.com. Once you understand the markets ask pappa for money and start trading. Call me, if you need any help with it.” I knew right then, that if I were to ever start trading, he was my man. Just when I had mustered enough courage to ask him for his number, the local train announced the arrival of Churchgate station. I decided, I’d ask him, sometime else. After all, I was bound to run into a colourful character like him again.
The Undergrad | 11
Shoestring Ventures Esha Vaish explores what goes behind running a successful venture on a shoe string budget
hen one starts a shoestring venture, being frugal is only second to being street smart. A conventional business allows entrepreneurs to splurge on advertising and even buy expensive machinery, but with a shoestring budget venture, bootstrapping is the way to go. Add to that a pinch of innovation like employing word-of-mouth advertising or social media marketing and the business can be kick-started. The owner of Banjaras, a store that sells and moreover promotes use of natural Indian fabrics, pioneered a business that would create a market for the sustenance of traditional Indian weavers, hand block printers and even surface ornamentation artisans. On a candid note, the owner Mrs. Neeta Deshpande says that 20 years ago, when she started Banjaras, she only had Rs. 11,500. Although, Rs 11,500 would seem like substantial capital, while pushing it beyond the realms of a shoestring venture, it was not so. Travelling across India, to villages of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat to interact with the local artisans to obtain fabric was an expensive affair. She adds, “Everything from the thread that was needed for the weave often had to be funded as the local artisans often did not have the means to purchase them on their own.” With such large expenses, the venture did struggle in its initial days. By its creation itself, the business gave a platform for the propagation of other shoestring ventures from rural locales. Today, artisans from across 12 states are able to sustain their traditional art forms
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and even make a substantial profit on their meagre budget weaving businesses due to the efforts of Banjara. Similar business and non-governmental organisation efforts to promote low budget ventures from poorer socio-economic backgrounds and rural areas are sprouting up across the nation. In urban Pune, another such organisation that supports shoestring ventures is Either Or. A tantalising display of books, jewellery, clothes, artifacts and decoratives sporting traditionally Indian techniques can be found in the shop. “Either Or has been an organic space that encourages and supports creativity. Our involvement with small scale businesses locally has emerged
as a result of young people, homemakers, designers, NGOs finding us and finding a resonance of their philosophies with our strengths and stories”, says owner, Ritika Narang Tickoo. Trusha Phulphagar, a second year student from Symbiosis Centre for Management
Studies Undergraduate (SCMS-UG), started designing her own range of hair bands in the summer following her 12th examination. With paltry finances, mostly out of her pocket money, she purchased the required raw materials. Using ribbon, cardboard, plain cheap plastic hair bands and a number of other decoratives, she along with a friend, began creating party wear hair bands. To promote the hairbands on her own accord would have been a herculean task, so instead Trusha approached Either Or to display her work. Inspiration for her shoestring venture for Trusha, came from her own venture making selling hair bands. “My business partner, Nikita gifted me one homemade hair band on my birthday and I loved it. I told her that we should make and sell hair bands. She was quite enthusiastic about the idea and that was the birth of our venture”, divulges Trusha. This coupled with her strong dislike for the hair bands being sold in shops, pushed Trusha to start making hair bands for sale. Competing with large scale Multi-national corporations with large cash infusion is never easy, but the shoestring model has its own benefits. “Although there is less money, there is more satisfaction than working with an MNC. I feel passionately about my business”, affirms Mrs. Deshpande. The hardships of staying in villages with less than adequate resources, travelling extensively to create a steady inflow of material and brainstorming endlessly to create innovative designs to cater to the urban market, may have exhausted others, but the passion that
is so critical for entrepreneurs of small businesses keeps her going. Sustenance is often a topic much debated when shoestring ventures are in question. In response to this Ritika Narang Tickoo opines, “We have a t-shirt which states: ‘If you think you can, you will’. Do something because you believe in it and others will believe it too. If your sole interest is to only make money, join a BPO .” Despite such optimism, with shoestring ventures there is a chance that the business might not make enough profit to sustain itself. However, the beauty of this model is that it allows you to effortlessly transition from one idea to another as the initial start up fund required is nominal. If the business is started with a few friends or a few like minded individuals, then there is
never a lack of dedication to making it a success. As in the case of the local artisans supported by Banjara, the artisans in Andhra Pradesh have strong community support. Run from homes, each cloth is produced by family units, with all the members working together to create each piece. Community support efforts allows these Ikat weavers to be enterprising. Small budget ventures are also often useful to create funds to eventually use in a business that requires a substantial amount of startup investment. Although Trusha’s business did not pan out, she says it taught her a lot. She remarks, “I understood more about design, got a chance to hone my creativity and even learnt how to manage money. I would buy my raw material from Aurangabad as it was half the price compared to Pune. Starting my own business taught me not only how to invest, but how to invest smartly.” Breaking free of the taboo that the ‘businesses are risky’ can be tough. The risks may run high, but the rewards of a successful venture can be magnanimous. Meera, another student who’s homemade jewellery found counter space at Either Or informs, “I made a huge profit on every piece. I made each piece of jewellery for no more than Rs. 20 as the raw material was available in the roads
of Mumbai and I sold it to Either Or for Rs. 100 for each individual piece. That’s 400% profit!” However, the perception that it is easier to just take up a job isn’t true. The creativity and freedom for exploration that a
business lends is incomparable. Neeta Deshpande is often seen to innovate. Borrowing from local weaving techniques she creates newer patterns to suit the palates of her target audience. Entrepreneurship remains about making distinct choices, even with limited means. It is about expressing your distinct personality through a venture that marks your individuality. That’s why when asked about what kind of products either Either Or keeps, Ritika says, “Any or everything that goes with the philosophy of celebrating choices with a distinct voice.” The Undergrad | 13
Yash Thakur and Samyukta Shastri explore what it means to be a young entrepreneur in India and the hardships and challenges one faces.
ast year Tata First Dot, a student startup showcase and mentoring platform, conducted its first National Competition for young entrepreneurs across India. An event powered by National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) the only body in India providing critical support for start-ups to young businessmen through entrepreneurship education, it received an overwhelming response. Indian students today are striving towards self employment than being recruited. There are many who start off early whilst in college. Today, young Indian entrepreneurs are seen carving out a niche for themselves in the Indian market and even receiving global recognition for it. Founder of an advertisement purchasing web
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portal called ‘Adapt.ly, 21 year old Nikhil Sethi ranks 9th in the Forbes Magazine’s ‘All Star Student Entrepreneurs’ list. Founded in 2010, Sethi’s business venture has provided advertising space on social media to clients such as PepsiCo, Diageo and News Corp. amongst others. 20 year old Venroy Lewis, the owner of FixFast, a computer repair and hardware store in Bangalore, says that Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs were huge inspirations when he initially thought of starting his store. He shared their passion for computers and technology and thought, “I simply couldn’t sit at home and fiddle with the wires. I wanted to take my hobby and make it into a skill”. A software developer by education, he transformed his
idea into a full fledged business venture. “I knew from a young age that I was not interested in studies. So I dropped out and pursued a course in software development,” he confesses. After facing initial opposition from parents, he won them over with his enthusiasm and grit so much so that they even helped him kick-start his business with financial aid. Another young entrepreneur whose venture was born out of a hobby is 21 year old Dhananjay Basrur. His passion for food and love for baking was what made him start Baker’s Dozen, a home run bakery almost eight months ago. A business venture that grew out of a few stray orders into a full-fledged sustainable enterprise, the bakery was funded by his parents initially. Dhananjay encourages people who to take up ideas that they are passionate about as business ventures, professing, “I love to bake. I won’t trade a hobby-based business for anything else because when you develop your hobby into a business, work never feels like a chore!” For entrepreneurs who are still in college, juggling work and academics can be quite strenuous. Mihir puts his trust in his two-point mantra, asserting: one, pick a course that allows time for entrepreneurship and secondly, learn to ‘work in a system’. Veena works in shifts to keep up with her academic pursuits while running her business. She explains, “I go to college in the morning and sit at the shop in the evenings. During my absence a worker sits at the shop. Dad too comes sometimes to check up. It is easy to balance studies and the store.” According to the National Sample Survey Organisation, a majority of Indians prefer being self employed despite obstacles that this path has. In order to have enough credibility to raise capital on one’s own, one needs to setup a sustainable business which in turn requires seed capital. 19 year old Veena Joseph, who runs a successful DVD store-cum-travel agency in Bangalore today, was guided through the loan procedure by her father. “We sat down and spoke to the manager of the bank. He understood exactly what I was trying to say and also said that the government today is providing students with funds to start up business”, she says.
Apart from being passionate and putting together finances, experts say that education in business is equally important. This is where organisations like NEN and YES come in handy. Started in 2003, NEN has a community base of 70,000 students from across 30 cities. NEN sets up on-campus Entrepreneurship Cells across cities. These cells facilitate the conducting of workshops, motivational sessions, talks by established entrepreneurs and even activities to harness the spirit of entrepreneurship in students. In correspondence with colleges across the city, through the platform of the on-campus Entrepreneurship Cells, they have even diversified into help create entrepreneurship related courses in syllabi. Furthermore, they train faculty so that the message of venture start-ups can be continually a part of curriculum and taught by those trained to impart the knowledge correctly. Sahil Khan, ex-student of Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies & Research was introduced to NEN on campus. Five years later, as a part of the alumni network he opines, “How to look at balance sheets is taught under business courses, but how to make a business plan isn’t. It is imperative for a student looking towards entrepreneurship to know this though. Since faculty isn’t equipped to teach this, NEN ensures that faculty for the same is provided. Training faculty is just an extension of that thought process.” The NEN website has an active knowledge bank to address the queries and startup issues of young entrepreneurs. Also, creating an educational platform for entrepreneurship among the youth lends it certain credibility that helps pacify unsure parents and peers. Access to these organisations is easy, and people within the organisation are extremely welcoming. The 2012 budget does not offer any good news for the budding student entrepreneurs or any slack for angel investor as tax on investment increase to 30%. But seeing the current spirit of the entrepreneurship movement taking place across the country, hopes are still high as students continue to embrace self employment openly, regardless of the budget.
The Undergrad | 15
Every year around mid March the Union Budget becomes the most talked about event on news channels. Parents talk about it, maybe even grandparents do. The local general store owner and that industrialist uncle are all interested in it.Yet, we never really figure out if it holds something of significance for us. So here we have a few pointers from the Union Budget that are relevant to us: • With 4-5% rise in the prices, soft drinks will actually make you sweat this summer. Coca Cola will increase prices of its 1.5 litre and 2 litre pet bottles over the next month. • As the Finance Minister Cigarettes will kill the buzz. Cigarettes will get dear. The finance minister has decided to impose more tax on them. • Finance Minister drove home the point that there are no free lunches. Eating outside is going to cost more from now on due to a 2% increase in service tax. • Guys will probably see their girlfriends’ true faces more often now as cosmetics prices will rise. Cosmetics price will rise due to an increase in excise duty of 1% • That classic grey suit you’ve been eyeing for a while, but didn’t have the courage to look at the tag. Well, be brave and look at it 16 | The Undergrad
now. You might just be able to afford it. Branded Clothes to get cheaper as hike in excise duty will not impact them. • If that friend from the Middle East says no to that extra box of chocolates you can tell them that Duty Free baggage allowance has been raised from 10,000 to 35,000. • All those in long distance relationships be warned, telephone services are likely to cost more now. The demand from the Industry has not been met as well. The sector wanted ultra cheap smart phones so that data costs can cover up voice. That corner seat with your girlfriend is going to be a little more affordable now as Cinema/Film industry has been exempt from service tax. • Now funding your BIG IDEA will be a little easier. The Government is setting up an India Opportunities Venture Capital fund for Rs 5000 Cr.
As the race to raisina hill draws to an end, Arpan Chaturvedi discusses the further political implications these elections can have in times ahead.
eadlines like “The Big Race”; “Race to Rashtrapati Bhawan; “Kaun Banega Rashtrapati” seemed to be the in-thing for front pages of all newspapers for nearly 2 months as the run up to the elections. With the elections coming to an end, bigger the question arises what can be the political implications of these elections will be on the future political scenario? While the election process was on a spectrum of the political class supported the idea of a politician as a president. The fierce argument put in the defense was that the 2014 Lok Sabha election in all likeliness is expected to throw a fractured verdict. Such a scenario demands a seasoned politician who is well versed with the nuances of the electoral politics. But a politician as President has its own demerits as pointed out by veteran journalist Mr. Joseph Pinto, “The Congress is becoming increasingly arrogant, thinking and hoping that it can do it alone -- without support from its allies. They are planting Pranab as a puppet President, because he is a biased and partisan politician, who will blindly toe the Sonia line if the UPA comes to power in 2014 and if the UPA loses, he will blindly oppose any non-Congress coalition that may come to power. Pranab will play along with the Congress to manipulate Governors and legislation.” Another section believed that a non-political (although the person occupying it is chosen by election, the post is accepted to be above politics) post should be occupied by a non-political personality who can uphold the trust of the people and is not seen as representative of one party. Endless rounds of discussion followed in all the camps when it came to the selection of the candidates. Secret meetings, decisions and announcements made and reversed faster than the English weather. The run up to Raisina Hill had all the ingredients of a perfect political drama. Some even predicted that these elections could be the most dramatic elections after 1969 when the then President nominee V.V Giri lost out even though he was a candidate of the ruling party. Giving her views on the elections, engineering student Stuti Prakash said “The kind of politics that played around from both the major parties-the BJP and Congress, really lowered
the expectations of the people. This was an election for a nonpolitical post. Every party appealed to other parties to rise above petty politics while they themselves kept on doing the same. That was really disappointing to see.” It can very well be a valid question that in the time when the country is on the brink of a huge economic crisis with the constant falling of rupee to the dollar and the rising prices, some of our leaders were busy in “Secret Meetings” and politics of “special packages” over a post. As put forward by SIMC (UG) student Amrita Paul, “I wish our leaders had spent that much energy and time in discussing these problems, which the country faces in much bigger proportions. The most unfortunate thing in the elections was that someone of the persona of former president APJ Kalam was also made a political pawn. I feel good that he opted out from the elections in a dignified manner.” Although have ended end with Pranab Mukherjee emerging as the new occupant of the Rasthrapati Bhavan, important developments continue to take place. The drama that unfolded in last few days is more or less believed to be a trailer of the bigger political bout that can take over in the days to come. The differences are widely apparent in both the major camps. The JD-U BJP war or the Mamata-UPA or the latest NCP - Congress tussle might just be a teaser before the bigger battle unfolds. The politics of packages is also unfolding with the states of UP and Bihar reaping the benefits of supporting the UPA nominee. A clear signal of the UPA’s effort to appease Samajwadi party and the JantaDal(U) for tougher times ahead. And now with Mamata supporting Pranab, we may soon be seeing another package being rolled out for Bengal in these times of package politics. The BJP was undoubtedly the biggest loser in these elections, especially in its bid to enlarge the size of the NDA. And while it defends the cracks in the NDA, terming them as “issue based differences” and that all is well, Mr Pinto points out, “There are NO issue based differences. All political parties are trying to gain political mileage and show off their power.” Thus, all the major parties have in all likeliness have begun to play their cards keeping in mind the race to 7RCR instead of the race to Raisina Hill.
The Undergrad | 17
18 | The Undergrad
The Hypocrisy of
DEMOCRACY? We Indians take pride in calling ourselves the largest democracy in the world.. but are we a democratic nation in the true sense? Dhruv Satija tries to explore some of the issues that threaten our freedom as a citizen of a democratic nation.
ur constitution states that a democracy is a form of government of the people by the people for the people. We are also made to believe that is the opposite of monarchies and dictatorships which are ruled by one person and not by the common will of the people. We are taught that it is the best system to govern citizens of a nation. The modern definition of democracy extends beyond governance. Human Rights, Separation of duties between the legislative, judiciary and executive, free speech which gives rise to a free and fair media, right to vote and good governance are the key elements. Without these basic elements a nation is only pretending to be a democracy. These are a few key elements that are at the core of a modern democracy. We take immense pride in calling ourselves the world’s biggest democracy. But do we understand the true meaning of a democracy? The situation is unpleasant. The common man on the street is unable to find his voice over the noise of blaring megaphones of political campaigning. The people they elect as representatives loot them, justice is delayed and the babus refuse to look beyond their table and file. People don’t find their names on Voters list; votes are bought with a bottle of hooch in return, and school yards remain deserted in remote villages. Important films like Jashn-e-azadi, Black Friday are banned by the government because they have an anti- establishment slant. Most filmmakers have had to compromise on expression due to some kind of political pressure. May it be the name of a city like Mumbai or the lyrics of a song with reference to the untouchables, all have been questioned by the moral
police. Artists like M.F. Hussain have to resort to self imposed exile because the government cannot guarantee them security. Academic books and essays like Ramanujam’s 300 Ramayanas that offer a fresh perspective are taken out of the Delhi University B.A. curriculum. Authors like Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses have to face life threats and humiliation for expressing themselves. Taslima Nasrin has been living under exile since 1994. She works to build support for secular humanism, freedom of thought, equality for women, and human rights by publishing, lecturing, and campaigning. People like them might have views which may not go down very well with certain sections of the society but that still doesn’t mean that they should be threatened with life or be asked to live in exile. Freedom of expression is a key element of democracy and in most such cases it is curtailed. Elected representatives like Suresh Kalmadi have looted the people of their money. As the CWG committee chief he misused his powers to make money for himself and his family by placing people from his family in key positions as was reported in the news. The former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Ms. Mayawati spent public money to construct parks and statues of elephants in honor of her political party The Bahujan Samajwadi Party and herself. She changed her policy to suit the upper classes and then changed them back when the Dalits showed agitation. Her political campaign of ‘Sarvajan Sukhaya, Sarvajan Hitaye’ turned out be a farce as well. All such facts about her term in UP were brought to the fore when she lost in the recent elections to Samajwadi Party, by most national dailies.
questioned in our country when elected representatives of the people work against them. Time and again our courts have given judgments which have reduced the faith in the system. 22 years back Ruchika Gehrotra committed suicide because a high ranking IPS officer Rathore was acquitted after molesting her. It took 7 years for Jessica Lal to get justice. She was shot dead when she refused to serve a drink after the bar had closed. All these years her murderer Manu Sharma, was free to do anything. Despite the evidence, the judiciary took unjustified amount of time to re-open the case and sentence Manu Sharma. Women who are working late are still not safe to do. The instances of rape in the NCR have been increasing rapidly. Denial of justice and not having the liberty to work when you have to due to security reasons is a breach of human rights. When the Neera Radia(lobbyist) scam broke out, a nexus between big corporations, media and politicians was revealed. Eminent journalists like Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi were found indulging in unethical practices. When the fourth estate of a democracy, the media and especially the news media is related to such a scam, it loses its credibility. The media is a crucial tool for the people and when it loses its credibility people lose faith in democracy. Time and again the democratic machinery has failed the Indian citizen. In a scenario where we proudly proclaim to be the world’s largest democracy but fail to see the rotting democratic setup right below our noses, we come out looking as hypocrites.
The basic ideal of a democracy stands The Undergrad | 19
The Death Of Bureaucracy Anshika Kayastha
th March 2012 was another nondescript day in the life of Narendra Kumar, Sub Divisional Officer, who was later crushed to death under the wheels of a tractor-trolley by the mining mafia in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, when he tried stopping a vehicle carrying stones. The same day, IPS officer Jaidevan, Additional Superintendent of Police was attacked with lathis and stones by alleged liquor barons in Bhind district for trying to check illegal sale of liquor. Two days hence, the Mafia fired at the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Sub-Divisional Officer in Panna district of the state. Indian parents have always pushed their children towards government jobs. Holding the position of a public servant is a matter of immense pride for everyone. Moreover, the ‘babu’(bureaucratic) system, being an integral part of the governance, ensures that there is no power and status compared to that of the administrative services. The officers hold a position of authority, politicians can’t dismiss them; and make decisions which matter. So every year thousands of young people gear up for the ultimate test of old school wisdom, to reach where they aspire. A test, that requires not just an understanding of the administration, but each factor responsible for the progress of the nation. Surprisingly then, the next thing you hear is about IAS/IPS officers being killed or involved in scandals. Stories every day about officers being suspended for involvement in high level corruption cases, make one wonder what happened to the starry eyed, inspired, talented, outspoken, UPSC aspirants who once left no stone unturned to reach this position? In November, 2011 a UP IPS officer spoke out against corruption stating that a senior IAS officer did not commit suicide but was murdered. He was declared “mentally unstable” by psychiatrists and charged with violating the Service Conduct Rules. Such incidents clearly indicate that there is either a discrepancy in how the media covers this issue, or there is an actual flaw with the administrative system. When the protecters of the system
20 | The Undergrad
are themseleves not safe, it surely raises a huge question-mark on the whole system. With the number of attacks, suicides and ‘mysterious deaths’ that have been covered over the recent past, there is a tendency to assume that the officers are being pushed into corruption. The few who have retaliated to this notion have faced the wrath of many. The ADC of Malegaon, Yeshwant Sonawane, was burnt to death in 2011 by the ‘petrol and diesel adulteration mafia’ when he went to conduct a raid. An under-investigation IAS officer, who allegedly shot dead four family members before killing himself, left behind a letter claiming his innocence against the corruption charges. IPS officer, Rahul Sharma, Superintendent of Police at Bilaspur, shot himself. His suicide note revealed mental agony at the high handedness and arrogance of his senior officer and a high court judge that led him to choose death over a life of disgrace and humiliation. All these incidents and so many more, pose a disturbing question. This does not imply that the bureaucrats are unsoiled and do not have a choice in the matter. Most officials choose to live the way they do, but also true, is that except for virtue and personal morality, there is really no reason why one would choose otherwise. We can safely presume that it does have an adverse effect on the psyche of the honest officers who try to struggle against the tide and make the right choice. The extreme question the society if being honest and alive is too much to ask of an IPS/ IAS officer. It is unfortunate that people are being punished for actually performing their duties(The death of an officer on duty is the most unfortunate rewards that the family of an IPS can receive.) This is discouraging to a huge pool of talented youth from participating in the governance of the nation. Perhaps if conditions remain the same, in the next few years we truly won’t have honest and alive officers left, by choice or by force.
Power Comes Great Volatility
Hardeepa Mangalani explains how JNPP contradicts its purpose of resolving the nation’s growing energy needs
ince its conceptualisation was made public, the proposed nuclear plant at Madban village of Ratnagiri district near Jaitapur in Maharashtra has been a subject of much debate. If built, this brain child of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) would be the largest nuclear power generating station in the world. A large group of social workers and activists are opposing the project.They claim setting up the plant would threaten lives of people living in the vicinity. The view of the government stands in contrast. Last year on April 18, the local police shot one and injured eight people revolting against the plant, stating “anti-nationalist activities” as the reason. The two core components to be used for Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP)- uranium and plutonium, make surroundings radioactive even before they’re excavated thus making people in the vicinity highly prone to genetic mutation. The measure of radioactivity that would emanate from the proposed six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur, with a capacity to produce over 9000 MW of electricity, would thus in the long run prove disastrous for the region. Mr. Hozefa Merchant, Media Officer for Greenpeace India, opines, “It is not only dangerous because of the general hazardous effects of nuclear activity, but also if anything were to go wrong in the operation, a radius of fifty to sixty kilometers from the plant (depending on the magnitude of the probable accident) would come under the aftermath of high radiation- contaminated food cycle to deformed babies. We’ve witnessed it all (before).” Following the recent nuclear disaster in Fukushima, China and Germany have shown considerable trepidation as far as harnessing nuclear energy is concerned. In a move to mitigate the possibility of such disasters, Germany has declared that it would be phasing out 17 of its reactors and complete independence from nuclear energy by 2020. Following suit, China, currently world’s largest nuclear power producer, has withdrawn from newer constructions. “After the Fukushima disaster in March, 2011, Germany and China have drifted away from having to depend on nuclear energy and have started toward discovering safer means. It’s funny to see our government embrace that, which is a reject. It is high time we set our blunders around,” adds Mr. Hozefa.
Jaitapur has been commissioned as the location of nuclear power generation because of its coastal positioning, as cooling down of reactors comes in as indispensable. However it has been overlooked that geologically, Jaitapur lies in a highly earthquake prone area, calibrated at zone 3 (and even a debatable zone 4) on the Richter scale. Coastal villages- Madban and Mithgavane, where fishing is the ubiquitously practiced occupation, fear being deprived of proper means of survival. Welfare organizations working toward protecting the fisheries- Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti and Panchkroshi Sangharsh Samiti, have been in persistent protest to the plant for little has been thought about long term efficiency of relocation of fishermen. For the disposal of nuclear waste, the proposed design of the plant by the NPCIL suggests for construction of lead or concrete containers around it, ensuring zero breakdown of the radioactive molecules for over a hundred million years. The containers would themselves become radioactive, gradually. Furthermore, nothing has been clearly defined regarding the placement of the leadconcrete dump. So much as the question of waste management hasn’t been appropriately resolved upon. Dr. Soumya Dutta, convener of the Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, spearheading protests against Gorakhpur Nuclear Plant in Haryana, spoke at a People’s Tribunal dealing with the viability of nuclear power generation, organized last year at Mumbai. Dr. Dutta asserted, “human error is inevitable and being inconsiderate about accidents, calling it ‘all safe’ is sheer stupidity.” The Three Mile Island accident in 1979, Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984, Chernobyl Disaster, 1986 and on a seemingly smaller scale- malfunction at Tarapur Nuclear plant in 1992, and 1993 fire at Narora Atomic Power Station, all stand testimony to the scope of aforementioned repercussions that human error may entail. In the wake of Jayalalitha backtracking on her promise to consider the adverse impact of the Koodankulam Power Plant and giving it a ‘go ahead’, the skepticism around Jaitapur nuclear park has only been furthered. Whether or not the anti-nuclear protests at Jaitapur go uncared for just as curtly, is the question yet to be answered. The Undergrad | 21
he victorious run of the gold winning 400m women’s relay quartet in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games brought the entire nation one step closer to resurrecting the 1984 Olympic dream. The team comprising of 6 runners – Ashwini AC, Juana Murmu, Priyanka Pawar, Sini Jose, Mandeep Kaur and Tiana Mary Thomas, were among India’s best bet for the London Olympics.
Eight months after the Commonwealth Games when six runners, three of whom were part of the gold winning relay team tested positive for steroids, it sent the entire nation, including sports organizations into a frenzy. The women athletes who had been tested for banned substances over years and had not tested positive even once, were now tainted in what went on to become one of biggest doping controversies in the country.
Today, ahead of the London Olympics, India may be gearing up to field its largest ever contingent, but without a women’s relay team. As the fate of its only Olympic women’s relay hopeful team, lies sealed in a doping controversy and in the absence of another team that could could live up to the qualifying standards, the Athletics Federation of India came to this decision just days before the Olympic Qualifying Asian All-Star meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on June 30-July 1.
The National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) which was set up in 2009 is India’s premier anti-doping agency and is responsible for promoting, coordinating, and monitoring the doping control programme in sports in all its forms in the country had conducted the tests.
But this is not just a story of how Indian athletes were busted by an international anti-doping regime or a story of the black and white of sportsmen resorting to shortcuts to success. A closer look at the turn of events reveals the Indian system’s failure to nurture its top Athletes due to negligence. 22 | The Undergrad
The Sports Authority of India (SAI), an arm of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs responsible for running all major sports institutes in the country also conducted an enquiry to document facts. When a sportsman tests positive for a substance, the AntiDoping Disciplinary Panel, that often comprises of a retired judge, a veteran sports person and a doctor, hears their case out. According to the regulations of the NADA which complies with
Not educating its Sportmen Enough After three years of doping check, it’s time National Anti Doping Agency reinvents it’s educational policy - Nupur Sonar
the World Anti-Doping Agency norms, an athlete is responsible for everything he/she ingests and they must be able to explain how a substance entered their body. Once the hearing of the Disciplinary panel began, all food supplements that the athletes were consuming were tested at the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), New Delhi. It was then found that the Ginseng supplements that the athletes were taking, were contaminated with anabolic steroids. As per the ruling of the Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel, the women had been taking many food supplements, including ginseng for several years. Ginseng is a Chinese herb is used in a variety of different medicines and is believed to enhance endurance. However it is not a banned substance and the athletes had been consuming it for several years. As stated by their coach Liuri Ogorodnik and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) enquiry report, the Athletics Federation of India had bought these supplements before the Common Wealth Games, Delhi in 2010 but they ran out of supplies in 2011. In a press conference that was held after the Indian athletes tested positive the coach went on to say, “Although the federation has
mostly provided supplements in time, and supported me and my group throughout to get results, there were times when was a delay in provision of supplements. Anticipating such a situation, I bought six bottles of ginseng at the Asian Games Village in Guangzhou, China in 2010.” A testimony at the appeal panel also stated that this phenomena is a common place after most competitions in India. The athletes were duly assured time and again that they would not be given any supplements or medicines by the coach, physician or any other official in the National Institute of Sports (NIS) which has not been authorized by the SA, which is a wing of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs responsible to the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). The athletes were also instructed not to take any medicine or nutritional supplements on their own without consulting with NISI Athletics Federation of India / SAII Coach / Medical Specialist. So, when in May 2011, the coach gave the athletes, one bottle of ginseng each, they saw no reason to differentiate between the ginseng they had received in 2010 and 2011. The girls were given a temporary reprieve with a reduction The Undergrad | 23
•Coverstory• in sentence from two years to one on grounds of exceptional circumstances. The World Anti Doping Agency appeal panel argued that the athletes should have verified the contents of the supplements provided by the coach. However in India, there is no facility for athletes to get contents of their supplements verified. In an interview to The Undergrad, Mr Rahul Bhatnagar, Joint Secretary of the National Anti-Doping Agency said “An independent athlete cannot get supplements tested on their own at the National Dope Testing Laboratory. They must approach the SAI in case of doubt,” he went on to add. “We were always told at the camp that ye sab aapki headache nahi hai. Aap bas training pe dhyan do,” Ashwini, one of the quarter milers recounts. Moreover according to the SAI report no team member can question the programme devised by SAIlAFI / coach and in the event of them not following the programme they were liable to be thrown out of the selection trial. According to the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency every athlete is responsible for any substance that he/she ingests, however, the same standard of negligence cannot be applied to Indian athletes if the sports federations in India are not able to nurture its sportsmen to shoulder that responsibility. For example in developed countries like the US, UK and Australia, sportsmen have access to a 24x7 helpline for verification of contents, wallet cards with names of commonly used products that contain banned substances and also have independent access to lab testing. The ex-chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s committee, is also reported to have said in a journal that “If your antidoping program is just testing without an aggressive education program, it’s no program at all, you need all the elements – there is no shortcut.” And in that light, taking Ashwini and co.’s case as an example, the WADA Appeal Panel too stressed the importance and the need to have an aggressive educational drive.
If your anti-doping program is just testing without an aggressive education program, it’s no program at all, you need all the elements – there is no shortcut.” - Gary Wadler , Ex Chairman of World AntiDoping Agency’s committee on prohibited substances 24 | The Undergrad
This is monumentally important in the Indian context because most athletes hail from rural farming backgrounds and a majority of them are illiterate. They neither have access to computers nor the internet. So, although an exhaustive list of banned substances and the Code for Anti-Doping are available on the WADA and its Indian counterparts’ websites, they are redundant given their inaccessibility by a majority of Indian sportsmen. Earlier, although the Code for Anti-Doping and the list of banned substances was printed by the NADA, it was only available in English. It is only during the run up to the Olympics that the National Anti Doping Agency of India thought it prescient to translate these lists and the Code for Anti-Doping into regional languages. And although these can be availed from the NADA office on request, the athletes claim that these are not distributed throughout the nation. Furthermore, in most other countries, the federations simply give out a list of common items that have banned substances in
them, in turn making it much simpler for athletes to know what to avoid. This way, their athletes are trained by their respective federations to bear the onus of responsibility. The case of of boxer Manjeet Singh who lost two years due to the negligence of a nurse at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala who applied an ointment that contained Methylhexamine on his wounds should have set off alarm bells in the Indian federations. The Anti-Doping Appeal Panel headed by Justice C.K. Mahajan wondered how at an institute like the NIS, where India’s elite athletes train, medicines containing banned substances were being kept and used. The NADA should have taken cognizance of the fact that items that contain banned substances are easily available over the counter. And this, increases the risk of accidental consumption of banned substances multi fold. On being asked about the frequency of their training programs, Mr Bhatnagar of the NADA said that these educational programs are conducted at National Institutes from time to time. Although, when his junior, Project Officer, Mr Ankush Gupta was asked for a list of educational programs that were conducted since NADA’s establishment in 2009 along with a list of participants for each program, he was only able to furnish a list of educational programmes held from June 2011. When asked about the list of participants Gupta said, “We only do what we feel is necessary.” When we pressed him further and asked him whether his statement could be regarded as a sign that the agency did not need to keep track of the attendance, even after knowing the dire need for educational training, Mr Gupta refused to comment any further.
This January, the NADA also conducted anti-doping tests at the National School Games held in Delhi and is in the process of hearing cases of the kids who were found doping. When asked whether the NADA was conducting educational programs at the school level as well Mr Bhatnagar said, “This is not NADA’s responsibility. It is the responsibility of the sports federations to facilitate this through the bodies that organize these games.” In a case of clearly passing the buck, Mr Bhatnagar said he had written letters to the CBSE and the ICSE boards on the matter, but he was clearly ignoring the fact that it is NADA’s responsibility to ensure that the various state federation’s do their job in educating athletes on doping. It is this reluctance on the part of the National Doping Authority of India that ruins careers of innocent athletes. Negligence and sheer ignorance, these are the things that hit you when one reads about how our athletes were treated. Athletes who by all accounts should be given place of pride in our society are misled and then are left to fend for themselves. With all the bravado surrounding the size of the Indian contingent going to the Olympics this year, spare a thought for those men and women who would not be getting on a plane to London this summer. They will probably miss the one tournament that is the pinnacle of sporting achievement, and sadly through no fault of their own. If India harbors any hope at all of fulfilling her potential of becoming an Olympic force to reckon with, she must get her own house in order first. Federations must protect their sports people, improve current facilities and most important of all learn from past mistakes. If not, there will be many more Manjeet Singhs and Ashwinis to come.
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Shivshankar Ranjit 26 | The Undergrad
•Sports• smile reassures the rest of the fifteen within the dressing room and the millions beyond it. Success will be his and only his.
which will be forgotten in the long term. But won’t it turn out to be a sacrilege if we consider calling him a tad too selfish?
To meticulously analyse and conclusively pick Tendulkar’s best innings is a task of sweat-inspiring difficulty. Cricket historians, former players and the general public alike chant in praise of his elegant flow of boundaries and massive ‘chakkas’, whenever he has been at his imperious best-be it his swashbuckling 248 against the minnows Bangladesh or his record partnership stand with Rahul Dravid. Spin legend Anil Kumble himself admits that he was fortunate that he bowled to him only in the nets!
Out of the 25 test matches in which Tendulkar led India, four wins was all he could ensure from a team with frontline players in top form. The 73 ODIs under the world’s most prolific player witnessed solely 23 victories. Rahul Dravid faced immense criticism back in 2004 for declaring the Indian innings at a point where Tendulkar was not out on 194 and there were 16 overs remaining in the day. India later went onto defeat Pakistan by an innings and 63 runs. Yet again, it was not the comprehensive victory under the Wall of Cricket that made the news. It was the denial of Tendulkar’s double century at the expense of the team’s performance. How can a meagre victory be held in higher regard than Tendulkar’s tally of double hundreds? Rather baseless, isn’t it? Or is it?
Who really cares if India gravely succumbs to the jaws of defeat as long as we see Don Bradman’s modern-day mirror image add one more feather to his glorious hat of tons!
e did not lose to a team called India. We lost to a man called Sachin.” Former Australian opener Mark Taylor certainly could not hold back his outpour of awe, admiration and agony after the latter’s team bowed down to a memorable blitzkrieg by the master blaster, paving the way to a resounding test victory in Chennai way back in 1998. Equipped or rather blessed with the purest technique, cricket’s God-like icon has set enough records and benchmarks for posterity. India thunders in unimaginable excitement and pride every time the Adidas bat is swayed in all directions by a content Tendulkar. His priceless
You are our pride-u, roller-coaster ride-u… seems to be the theme song today for the master blaster by the ‘Kolaveri-macha’ Dhanush. The same is a testament to the demi-god status which Tendulkar today possesses in our cricket frenzy nation. Not to sway away from the praise rituals, but among the 49 centuries which have triggered millions to chant his name with sentiments of the highest order, 14 of them have steered India to conveniently forgotten defeats. In test matches, India saw 31 defeats out of the 51 games he stacked his tons in. What’s more, Mirpur had the prestigious honour of witnessing his much awaited 100th century become a reality! For the record, Bangladesh easily chased down the target later on a fairly flat wicket. But again, the media and the fans alike chose to bask in the glory of Tendulkar’s feat more than imbibe the sad realisation that the underdogs had toppled down the 2011 World Cup champions. Upholding sensibility of the highest order, what do these stats really imply? An addition to the list of centuries makes more sense and will be accepted more than a Test victory,
Tendulkar has an impressive strike rate of 86.23 in ODIs. But the same statistics also speak about an eyebrow-raising decline of the rate as Tendulkar bats after surpassing the 80s. The boundaries dry up and are invariably transformed into slow singles till the three figure mark is in his kitty. Rather intriguing to say the least. Even more disturbing when you realise that the match has already slipped away into oblivion. His lone hundred in the action-packed IPL was against the Kochi Tuskers . Having opted to bat first, he notched up the ton in the last ball of the match by padding it down for a steady single to take Mumbai Indians to 182. On a pitch which indeed was a batsman’s paradise, a quintessential batsman would have attempted to strike it a far distance bettering the score in the best possible manner. Kochi later thrashed the home team leaving the spectators to again haul Tendulkar’s maiden ton beyond earthly measure. Yes, nothing else matters, does it?
The Undergrad | 27
Game - Sumedh Natu
f you’re a reader who has uttered this euphoric word in its real context, I’m sure you’d agree that it sums up every emotion you’ve felt brewing inside your brain in a swift punch. The glee a seasoned chess player feels at having perfected a war strategy out of the trillion possible moves using his 16 piece army is almost orgasmic. Pardon me, I’ll stamp out the ‘almost’. When I was eight years old, my mother observed my fastgrowing horizontal frame, and suggested I join a ‘class’ of some sort. I found myself being shepherded the following week for an activity my parents thought would make me interact with boys my age- Chess coaching. Luckily for me, I found myself quite at home among the cold fury of my wooden chess men. I had a picture of Gary Kasparov instead of Sachin Tendulkar in my room, something my friends still burst into helpless laughter about till date. I’d spend hours playing, and studying famous games while the others watched Shaktimaan and played tree-to-tree. On my tenth birthday as a special treat, my coach and I analysed a game that had been played on the same day more than a hundred years before I was born. A game so utterly brilliant, it bordered more on madness than genius. We chess people, know it as ‘The Immortal game’ In 1851, the first international chess tournament was held in England. Invitations were sent to some of the most renowned chess players in Europe for a knock-out style event to declare ‘the world’s chess champion.’ The foggy streets of London welcomed the likes of Adolf Anderssen , Lionel Kieseritzsky, Howard Stauton and a bunch of names I won’t bother boring you with. Anderssen was the eventual winner of the event, and went on to be regarded as one of the finest Chess players of all time. But our story isn’t about his tournament. It isn’t about his victory. It’s about a simple practise match he played against Kieseritzsky in a café on the 21’st of June, which to quote a common term‘screwed Kieser inside out’ by the time it got over. I know a majority of you won’t understand chess lingo. But to keep it simple Anderssen was playing with white. Kieseritsky chose black. Anderssen opened by offering his kingside bishop’s pawn, and used this move to gain control of the centre of the board. He slowly capitalised on this start, building his momentum to play a game that relied on an extreme amount of guesswork
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•Sports• coupled with some fabulous calculations. Around a quarter into the game Anderssen had pinned the black queen, leaving his own bishop up for grabs. What you must remember is that he wasn’t in a position where he would have surely captured the queen. He was just restricting her movement. To lose a Bishop in order to restrict the queen’s walking space was unorthodox, but Anderssen did it anyway. It was his first of four sacrifices that would shoot this game to the fame it has reached today. Anderssen had a vague outline of what he was doing, and he decided to be firm and attack whenever he could get the chance. In a crown Jewel move at half point, Anderssen used both his Rooks as a bait to set up a trap of a lifetime, blocking out the black King.
When Kieseritzsky fell for it and realised what Anderssen had done, popular legend goes that he resigned with a smile(Which was very rare, he was one of the most arrogant players back then) and continued to play just to see whether Anderssen would win the way he thought he would. Anderssen picked this up and announced the final checkmate move out loud. For a chess player, this is hilarious. It’s like saying,”Okay…So you just lost… Now let me show you how I’m about to defeat you.”
Anderssen’s genius didn’t end there. He planned the checkmate in such a way, that black was forced to take his queen as a final magnificent sacrifice, before he checkmated Kieseritzsky with his remaining Bishop, rubbing salt into his wounds. It was something like Federer nodding to Nadal and saying “I’m going to lose this point now, because I know you’re going to play a bad one the next time I serve and give me the match. There you go… Double fault! Game, Set, Match-me ” Kieseritzsky recorded this match and shared it with all the other competitors. From then on he was known till his death as ‘the immortal loser’. The world acknowledged its significance, and till date, not a match has been played that rivals its contribution to chess literature. Anderssen proved something, which has stayed with his fans for a lifetime-“Victory does not depend on the pieces that you lose. It depends entirely on the standing pieces that you can continue playing with!”
Second Generation Success The Undergrad picks its top three athletes who lived up to the bar their fathers personally set.
PAOLO MALDINI Paolo Maldini is A.C. Milan’s most capped player with 902 appearances, a record which was recently broken by Ryan Giggs. He also captained Milan and Italy to several matches including Milan’s Champions League victory in 2003, 40 years after his father, Cesare Maldini, achieved the same feat. The father-son duo has been regarded as two of the best central defenders the club has ever seen. LAILA ALI Daughter of the selfproclaimed ‘greatest’ Muhammad Ali, Laila is also considered as a legend in boxing. She retired with an impressive record of 24 – 0. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier was always a mouth-watering clasha and their daughters continued the legacy when Laila Ali faced Jackie Frazier and emerged victorious just like her father. SHAUN POLLOCK Both Peter and Shaun Pollock have been strike bowlers for their country, both capable of contributing with the bat lower down the order. Shaun needs no introduction. The leading wicket taker for South Africa was named ‘Wisden Cricketer of the year’ in 2003.
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The Beautiful Game -Sashank Khaling Rai
ootball is a game of the mind, heart and spirit. It is a game of teamwork and brotherhood. It is unique yet universal. Tracing its roots through the pages of history, it is visible that the styles one observes in today’s game have been vastly influenced by the geography and terrain of the hundreds of countries where this sport is a religion. Ranging from the close knit passing and possession technique of Spain to the blitzkrieg counter attack of Germany or the sheer physical play of the English, football has transformed into several unique styles. Football is synonymous with the boarding schools of England. It began as a game to toughen the kids later evolving into the poor man’s game. As a result, their style includes a lot of physical play with long balls. The trademark English attack or Route 1 football was typically a cross somewhere in the opponent’s half. A true English player would love to win the ball back with a hard tackle; a ball-winner being appreciated more than a dribbler by a standard coach. This style however has changed a lot since its inception.
Latin Americans traditionally do not believe in a rigid style. They play a free-flowing game. These players are brilliant dribblers as they grow up playing a lot of beach football. Futsal helps these players improve their touch and thus their dribbling. All the Latin American players guard the ball with their lives, even while defending under intense pressure. Another characteristic of their game is their quick turning. In Brazil, kids are trained to play football in tune with the Samba beats. Their life-long quest to play Joga Bonito or ‘the beautiful game’ has become a worldwide phenomenon.
The Italians developed an extremely defensive style to counter the Brazilian teams through the 60’s. It was called Catenaccio in Italian, which loosely translated to ‘Door bolt’. They believed that defence is the best form of attack. Their emphasis on an iron-wall defence line made them produce some of the best defenders in the world. Their side faced some harsh comments by critics, who called their style ‘anti-football’ owing to its defence based approach. Being extremely slow, the Italian attack relied on long balls or shots. It was the same theory that first introduced the concept of a ‘Libero’ (or Sweeper) whose job was to stop attacks, manmark opponents and clear loose balls. A Libero played between the defence line and the keeper, but was free to move anywhere in that area.
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Total Football was immortalized by the Dutch team Ajax and the legendary Johan Cruyff. He took the Netherlands to the 1984 World Cup Finals with this ingenious style of play. In Total Football, none of the players have a fixed role; anyone can be an attacker, midfielder or a defender. It requires players to be comfortable with multiple positions as players keep changing them through the
•Sports• course of the game. Success depended on the capability of the players to adapt to their new roles. The Spanish ‘Tiki Taka’ (Pass & Move) draws inspiration from this style of play, the seeds of which were planted by Johan Cruyff himself, when he became manager of the Catalan Superpower, F.C Barcelona.
Netherlands Total football
The Germans have always been influenced by the military. Their players have always been used as examples of discipline and fitness. Drawing inspiration from their Italian neighbours, the Germans believed that Catenaccio would be the best style to adopt. Their use of this style was a wild success when Franz Beckenbauer took position as a Libero. Beckenbauer cemented himself as one of the best defenders in football history when he led the Deutscher Manschaft to the finals of the world cup in 1974. Tiki-Taka(Pass and Play) , an offshoot of Total Football, was welded together by the Spanish Armada. Characterized by short passes, position swapping, slow build ups and most importantly, heavy possession of the ball, Tiki Taka involves players passing the ball, yet maintaining possession as much as possible. Since it relies on a perfect mix of defence and offence, it is tactically perfect. Contrary to belief, there is one fundamental difference between Tiki-Taka and total football. Total Football requires the ball to be rotated between the fixed positions. In Tiki taka, positions change according to the ball making it more fluid than the former. The Spanish success in Euro-2008 and the following World Cup(2010)are testaments to the brilliance of the technique. We surmise the style with the popular Catalan quote, “There is no football… without the ball!”
Football has come a long way since its creation. With time, it has evolved in many distinct and unique ways but its essence still remains intact. The fanatic crowds, wild Mexican waves and larger than life rivalries make it the most popular sport in the world. That miniscule moment of perfect silence as the ball sails into the post, broken by the bristle of the ball brushing the net will always give anyone who dares to follow the sport, the rush of his life.
The Undergrad salutes... Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer exchanged kisses with the number seven, as both tumbled into tennis history with wins at Roland Garros and the All England Club respectively this summer. Nadal had a stellar clay season, his only loss coming on the controversial blue mud in Madrid. He overcame a seven match losing streak against Djokovic to win titles at Monte Carlo and Rome, eventually breezing past the Serb at Paris for a seventh French Open win. Nadal’s conquest in France tatooed his place as the best clay court player of all time.
Roger Federer, who had been written off by most pundits, rose in a very dark knight sort of a way to reclaim his territory in the all England club. Federer mauled Andy Murray ‘like a boss’ to break a million English hearts and reclaim the world number one ranking and his 17’th Major. His win at SW19 also saw him break the record for most number of weeks as No.1. Between them, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 33 of the past 34 grand slams, a phenomenal achievement. We wish them the best for the rest of the season.
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The Truth About Dantewada This story is a product of Rishabh Kumar’s first hand encounters with the Gond tribes during his 6 week stay in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh where they have found refuge. He traces the history of conflict in the Dantewada region. His piece is an attempt to look into the issue beyond what is popularly potrayed by the government, media and Maoist spokespersons. All the names have been changed keeping in mind the dignity and safety of the Adivasis.
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he Maoist insurgency and the conflict with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the subject of one of the hottest debates in the nation today. The tribal region of Dantewada in south Chhattisgarh is at the forefront of a political showdown between the state and the Maoist insurgents. But this is not about political ideologies. This is the story of the Gond tribe, people who became pawns in this game of ideological conflict. Gond is a collective term for many tribes that speak the Gondi languages and inhabit a forested region in Southern Chhattisgarh. Before the present day Chhatisgarh split from Madhya Pradesh, the entire of Chhattisgarh was referred to as Bastar, which for generations has been the abode of the peaceful and simplistic Gond people. After the formation of Chhattisgarh, the southern tip was split into three districts – Bastar, Dantewada and Sukma. Sukma was formed in January 2012. However, in terms of Maoist insurgency all districts are collectively referred to as Dantewada. A desolate land in Central India, the heavily forested Dantewada region was never looked at as a potential ground for harnessing natural resources. This was until late 1950s when, what is now known as the state of Chhattisgarh, was developed into an industrial zone. With the setting up of the Bhilai steel plant in 1955, the exploitation in this tribal area began. The dense, inaccessible forest of Dantewada, Bastar are Sukma are amongst the richest places in terms of mineral deposits
•Society• such Iron, Tin, Corundum, Granite, Lepidolite, Marble and Kyanite. Today although the tribal lands are protected by the ‘Recognition of Forest Rights’ Act of 2006 under the Indian Constitution and United Nation’s ‘Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ of 2007’ these districts have been inflicted with the most grotesque human rights violations in the country. These laws were intended to grant the tribals autonomy and ownership of their lands. There were pre-cursor laws to these new laws too and although quite effective on paper, they failed to protect the tribal community from illegal miners and the timber mafia. The Maoist history in this region is quite interesting. According to the Adivasis, small outfits belonging to a broken down Naxalite movement from the 1960s, migrated to the dense tribal areas of Chhattisgarh in the late 80s. “They began surveying the area and the condition of the tribals who had been victimized by illegal mining and timber smuggling,” says Vanjam Suresh, a displaced Muria tribesman. As the naxalites learnt tribal ways and got acquainted with the tribals, they organized them into Self Help Groups and created opportunities for employment. “Wells were constructed to deal with the shortage of water that was a result of mining activities. Forests were cleared to make paths leading to tribal settlements. Our children were imparted with education”, he adds. According to the account of another tribal they even managed to bring in electricity by getting generators all the way into the forests. However illegal activities and the exploitation of the tribals by the timber mafia and illegal miners continued. In Fact, the Chhattisgarh government too has been alleged of aiding these malpractices. The People’s War Group, an underground communist party was hence founded in 1980 in an attempt to bring justice to the landless, exploited tribals through force. A series of clashes between the PWG and Police followed. It was in the 1990s that the Adivasis took up arms.“Naxalwadis taught our people about great leaders like Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao.” says Maddivi Shankar Rao, the chief of Urlaposa settlement in Andhra. The Naxalites came to be known as Maoists in 2004 when the People’s War Group, an underground communist party in India merged with
The Maoist Communist Center to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist), a hardliner, extremist party. The party was banned in the same year as a ‘terrorist organisation’ under the Unlawful practices (Prevention) Amendment Act of 2004. In 2005, The Salwa Judum -Purification or Peace March was allegedly introduced by the Chhattisgarh government in order to counter Naxalite violence in the region. In 2008 Dr. Nandini Sundar,Head of Departmend of Sociology, Delhi University filed a petition against the Chhatisgarh governement, that challenged the setting up of the Salwa Judum which, they alleged, was indulging in killings and committing atrocities on tribals in the guise of countering the naxal movement. They stated that the Salwa Judum was a state sponsored violent campaign to crush the voices of dissent and democracy. After a probe by the NHRC, in April 2008, the Supreme court directed the Chhatisgarh government to refrain from allegedly supporting and encouraging the Salwa Judum stating that “It is a question of law and order. You cannot give arms to somebody (a civilian) and allow him to kill. You will be an abettor of the offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.” The Chhatisgarh government had earlier denied the Salwa Judum being state sponsored movement but was asked to implement remedial measures recommended by the NHRC in its report. Yet, the grotesque inhumanities inflicted cannot be forgotten by the people of the state. “They (members from the Salwa Judum) raped my mother and daughter and then mutilated their bodies. They said that we were co-operating with Naxalwadis even when our village never had a history with them. When the chief questioned their reasoning they said it was a preventive tactic . Shortly after that the chief was shot in the face for questioning the Judum”, recounts Maddivi Mangal, from Cheemarupadu settlement. According to Human Rights Watch, a New York based Human rights organization, there was large scale displacement of the civilian population caught in the conflict between the Naxalites and Salwa Judum activists with at least 100,000 people moving to various camps in southern Chhattisgarh or fled to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. In July 2011 The Supreme Court of India declared the Salwa Judum ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ l, directed the Chhattisgarh government to recover all
arms and ammunition. Shortly after the veridict was declared, Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters in Raipur that the Salwa Judum was a ‘self-movement’ and was not started by the state. In 2009, the press reported about the government’s paramilitary operation against the Maoist rebels by the name of operation greenhunt being underway and as the press reported regularly about its progress, it prompted Home Minister P Chindambram to term the operation as a “media invention”. Himanshu Kumar who ran Vanvasu Chetna Ashram and is a Gandhian activist who worked in Dantewada for 18 years says, “The government is breaking the laws that were laid down by it in the first place.” In 2010 he was beaten up and his Ashram was ransacked and destroyed by the state police and CRPF. This happened when the anti Maoist Operation Greenhunt was in its initiation. Himanshu adds “I don’t understand why we were treated the way we were. We were a welfare organization. They just walked into my office and asked me to wrap up 18 years of work with the Adivasis and leave! On resisting they came back and beat up everyone they could catch and locked us up!” As clashes between the Maoists and the CRPF troops continued, the adivasis witnessed a kind of violence and brutality they hadn’t in two decades. Today a large number of the Gond people have moved to Andhra Pradesh. There in the jungles they made makeshift settlements. Their escapade from Dantewada makes up for amazing stories of human suffering and courage. There are three types of refugee settlements in Andhra. They are broadly classified under accessible, partially accessible and inaccessible. The accessible ones are near towns. To reach partially accessible villages one needs to travel for several kilometers into the hinterlands along meandering paths leading you away from the highway through vast cotton and green chilli fields. Inaccessible ones maybe 80-100 kilometers within the dense forests. These villages do not have access to electricity or water. Food is scarce. Most of the children are malnourished and suffer from Kwashiorkor. A 75 year old Maddivi Bheema says “when we lived in the forests we wore self made dhotis. Now children wear shirt-pants and lungi.” Thus the most striking effect of the exodus is the loss of tribal culture and traditions. Nothing shouts “Human Rights violation” more loudly. The Undergrad | 33
•Society• In an interview with Reema Khendry and Sanchita Dash, Dr. Madhavi Salunkhe, counselor at Muktangan Rehabilitation Center shares her views on how social stigma affects women in addiction
The Social Stigma Attached to Addiction in Women
n the Indian scenario, gender considerations must be kept in mind while treating substance abuse as it manifests itself differently in men and women primarily due to societal factors. “ Addiction is a disease of dependency”, says Dr Madhavi Salunkhe, counselor at the Muktangan Rehabilitation Center. She adds that the problem of substance abuse manifests itself differently in Indian men and women, primarily due to societal factors. “ In the Indian society, substance abuse of any kind by a woman has always been looked at as a ‘character flaw’”, says Madhavi. Due to this prevalent attitude, a woman addict has to overcome her fear of being labelled an ‘addict’ by society before she can even begin to battle her addiction and this prolongs her treatment. Fear of rejection from family and friends and the isolation of women addicts by their loved ones further hinders their recovery. The cause of this rejection is rooted in the prevailing societal stigma surrounding women addicts, causing them to take longer than their male counterparts to accept their state of addiction. “Women are the ones more concerned about what the society thinks of them, which is essentially why they are psychologically more affected”, says Madhavi. The resentment of society towards them causes women addicts to display a heightened sense of guilt. Furthermore, it affects their self esteem and in turn their ability to recover. “One can overcome addiction with the right amount of determination from the patient and support from his/her family. However, societal constructs about the ‘ideal woman’ automatically create a differential attitude towards male and female addicts, ” she concludes. A wish to recover for her family often helps a woman cope with societal views and take the first steps towards recovery. “Initially most women are willing to recover for their loved ones - children, husband,
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parents, and friends. They gradually understand that self-needed transformation is a priority- to avoid relapse, ” says Madhavi. Yet, this initial acceptance is just the first step in the process of recovery. There are several obstacles that lie ahead on this path. The absence of family members in counseling sessions due to societal stigma attached to addiction is seen as a huge setback as it fuels the patient’s sense of insecurity . “Women addicts, at all times, need a constant support system and the lack of it worsens the problem further as their dependency on the substance increases. This suspends the process of treatment and hence recovery ”, Madhavi reiterates. The causes of addiction and the treatment methods used are often similar but are devised on a case to case basis. Extreme emotional outbursts and varied hormonal imbalances make adjustment in a rehabilitation center more of a task for women as compared to men. Additionally, women addicts grapple with a sense of uncertainty of being accepted as ‘normal individuals’ post recovery’. The stigma associated with being addicts makes the rehabilitation center a subject of societal taboo. Thus women addicts often feel that their residence in a rehabilitation center is shameful and can cause them to lose face in society. Dealing with uncertainty and overcoming such thoughts, often lengthens the spans of their treatment. The rigidity in Indian society ensures that every child is brought up to believe that there is a ‘certain manner’ in which a woman must carry herself. This image of an ideal Indian woman is so rooted in the subconscious minds of every individual that no matter how much of an effort one makes in altering this image, Indians still make assumptions, thereby building umbrage against women addicts.
The Higher Road
Faizan Ansari explores why an increasing number of fresh graduates today are taking up fellowships in the education development sector instead of a corporate job.
rograms like the Teach for India (TFI) Fellowship and the Gandhi Fellowship (GF) are much sought after due to the prestige and repute that they are associated with. Although committing the most crucial years of one’s life to a comparatively low paying job can seem like a tough decision to make, it can be just as rewarding as it is life-changing. Most people take up full time fellowship programs in the education sector to contribute to the upliftment of the underprivileged while boosting their own professional worth. Journalism student and to-be TFI fellow, Adithya Narayanan expresses, “I have been so actively involved in social development work through my college years, that I just cannot pass up an opportunity to do real and impactful work of visible consequence.” TFI fellows strive to bring positive change in the school and home environments of kids belonging to unfavourable backgrounds and aim to make capable, thinking individuals out of them. The stark contrast between the Gandhi Fellowship and the TFI Fellowship is that while the former functions in rural areas the latter is predominantly rooted in metropolitan cities across India. Teach For India Fellows are presented an opportunity to teach in under-resourced government and private schools in urban areas. While in the programme, fellows strive to bring about a transformation not just in classroom education but also pay close attention to overall development of the students. Fellows mentor the kids and ensure active involvement of parents in the student’s emotional and intellectual growth. In dealing with people from across socio-economic backgrounds, the fellow masters conflict resolution and learns to take cynicism in his stride. At the end of the day, to know that you’ve dedicated yourself to a selfless cause, and put humanity above person, brings unbound satisfaction. On completion of his fellowship, Adithya wants to pursue a post graduation from Lady Shri Ram College or Harvard University. In the long run, he plans to become a human
rights journalist and also continue working for development in the education sector. The TFI trend seems to be a secret for success and many graduates are taking this path, primarily due to the tie-ups ‘Teach For’ organization has with esteemed institutes across the world. So, for someone like Adithya who plans to continue working in the development sector after completing his post graduation from Lady Shri Ram College or Harvard University, acquiring this fellowship fulfils to causes with a single effort. The Gandhi Fellowship (GF) program too works to achieve similar ideals but it focuses more on leadership and efficiency within a rural society. It entrusts its fellows with the administration of five schools in a rural area, providing them a platform to influence an entire generation by devising methods and policies the fellow deems fit. Such privilege comes with an immense sense of responsibility and is sure to be a gratifying experience for a graduate to undergo. To ensure discipline on the part of the Gandhi fellows, they are made to endure 15-days of rigorous meditation and two months of living and working in a village for a rural employer. Journalism student and future Gandhi fellow, Nandan Sharalaya presents a pragmatic approach to the noble cause. He reasons to the socially inclined, “Take two years to understand reality if you’re going to be working in the social sector or towards development. Else, you’ll keep striving for betterment of conditions you’ve never experienced.” Once selected, one becomes part of an effective movement led by like-minded individuals from all over the country and it is an excellent network to strive to be a part of. Nandan who wishes to someday deconstruct and devise public policy as a part of the Indian government, hopes to meet some inspiring fellow leaders during the program. The Undergrad | 35
Who’s God in Godhra?
Ten years after the Godhra riots, Noopur Patel traces the event leading up to it and the controversies surrounding it
y 10 am on the 28th February 2011, the Ahmedabad sky was lit up with flaring lights while dark clouds of smoke were billowing up in every corner. You could virtually tell Muslim ownership by the fire and arson.” says Mr. M.H Jowher, President of Society for Promoting Rationality, an NGO that works for the upliftment of the minority in Gujarat. The riots left a deep impact on the people of the state. Trishla Jhaveri, a student of Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (UG) Pune and a resident of Ahmedabad recalls, “I was 10 years old when the unfortunate incident happened. All I remember is that people were fighting. Shops were burnt, houses plundered. However, we did not know the reason behind it.” Ten years ago, Gujarat witnessed a massacre. The birthplace of M.K Gandhi, the father of our nation who famously practised non-violence had become a site of violent attacks. Smoke blew across parts of Gujarat, as marauding mobs ran across cities yearning for blood, and looting the innocent citizens of the state. The days following the Godhra train catastrophe due towhich many lost lives due to an accidental fire shook the state completely. Although the forces behind the massacre remain a topic of debate, there is a huge speculation about the involvement of the government of the state in the pogrom that followed the fire in the coach S6 of the Sabarmati Express. The train burning incident of Godhra has been classified in a court judgment as a ‘preplanned attack’. However, no leader of Gujarat could produce a justification for the riots that continued for the days after. It is an utter shame that living in a secular establishment, the citizens of the country had to face a genocide in the 21st century, 54 years after independence. As a Muslim and a victim of the riots that followed the tragedy of the burning coach-6 of Sabarmati express on 27th February 2002 in Godhra, Mr. Jowher elaborates, “Life in Gujarat for the Muslims was never the same again. Gone with the smoke and fire was their trust in the state, their faith in the society at large and alas, their self-confidence.” There were innumerable killings that succeeded the ghastly tragedy of 27th February 2002. People were burnt, tortured,
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and killed. “The Cheif Minister of the state not only gave the murderers a green flag, but also felicitated them and offered them police protection”, adds Mr. Jowher. In 2011, the then Deputy Inspector General of Police Mr Sanjeev Bhatt submitted an affidavit to the court in which he revealed that Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi instructed the police officials to “let Hindus vent out their anger against Muslims following the Sabarmati Express train burning incident in Godhra on February 27.” Following this revelation, Bhatt was suspended. Parts of Gujarat continued to burn for three consecutive days. “Heaps of broken bangles belonging to the women who were raped and killed lay on the ground. Religious fanaticism ran loose; slogans of religious communities could be heard all over the state”, laments M.H. Jowher. Naroda Patiya in Ahmedabad was one of the main sites of the genocide. As per Tehelka’s stinging expose, a Bajrang Dal leader of the state, Babu Bajrangi, was the main conspirator of the massacre in these areas. Bajrangi claimed on tape to have buried over a hundred innocent people in the well. He also happens to have claimed tMr. Modi shielded him from police for months. Yet Babu Bajrangi is still out in the open. The tragic and infamous picture of Qutubuddin Ansari, a common man and a victim of the riots joining hands, begging for mercy showed the plight of the entire community in Gujarat. What remains a major cause of concern is the looming danger of reprisal by an exasperated gang of young victims who survived the tragedy but surveyed their dear ones being done to death. It is imperative for the entire nation, and all its four pillars to act swiftly against this critical case of injustice. All that the victims of Gujarat demanded was justice. And justice is what seems to have been denied to them along with respect. Of, by and for the people seems to be futile without the inclusion of ‘people’ in it. With the completion of ten years of this incident, this is a silent prayer for all those who suffered and a tribute to all those who survived.
•Lifestyle• Music has always played a prominent role in world history. From sparking revolutions to bringing tears to the eyes of the coldest leaders, songs have featured in our lives, very much like background music in the movies. The Undergrad chooses its top five songs, responsible for creating an uproar either due to their controversial content or the influence they had on listeners.
Suicide Solution by Ozzy Osbourne
Angel of Death by Slayer
became very controversial after its release because a depressed teenager called John McCollum shot himself after listening to this song. McCollum’s parents sued Osbourne but he won the case. According to Osbourne, the song is about selfdestruction because of alcoholism but rock-buffs worldwide believe it motivates suicide.
was about the tyranny of Joseph Mengele, a doctor at the extermination camp in Auschwitz, responsible for some of the ghastliest experiments ever performed on prisoners during the Holocaust. A song from their album, ‘Reign in Blood’, ittagged Slayer as Neo-Nazis, Satanists and supporter of the Holocaust. The same song got the band a life-long ban in Israel. The band members have denied the accusations claiming that the song does not promote racism.
Darling by Prince caused a lot of tension amongst concerned parents for its sexually charged up lyrics. The song is about Prince’s encounter with a girl named Nikki who seduceshim. This song is the reason why the American Parents Music Resource Committee (PMRC)was formed, with a goal to control music sending wrong messages to children. This song is number one on the ‘Filthy Fifteen’ list, released later by the same committee. Prince’s album ‘Purple Rain’ went on to become one of the first albums to receive the ‘Parental Advisory: Explicit Content’ sticker, made popular by Tipper Gore, the co-founder of PMRC.
Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine speaks about how people in the US Government are actually in the Ku Klux Klan. The song is one of the best known anti-government songs. It has a cult status among metal fans in India who immortalized the first chorus by screaming ‘Mad*rc*od’ between ‘And now you do what they told ya’. The song’s final chorus ‘F*ck you! I won’t do what you tell me!’ is a must hear in every major metal concert.
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reat artists are immortal. They merge with the infinite physically, but their work keeps them alive till eternity. If connoisseurs of art admire Van Gogh, enthusiasts of film idolize Eisenstein, aficionados of literature venerate Shakespeare, then lovers of music live for The Beatles, so everlastingly profound has been their impact. The Beatles’ influence on popular culture has been colossal. They were the embodiment of the socio-cultural change. They changed lives through of their music. The Beatles however, could never have become a global phenomenon sans one man, Paul McCartney. Though McCartney and Lennon have been voted by many critics as the heart and soul of the band, often in the same order, a number of people have asked, ‘Is the real Paul McCartney still alive?’ for wel,l over 40 years. The controversy surrounding his death has been labelled by Beatlemanaics across the world as disturbing as well as intriguing. The theory which proposes McCartney’s death claims that during the wee hours of November 9, 1966, Paul argued with his band mates in the studio while recording for their album, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s
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Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Annoyed and irate, he left in his Aston Martin just before 5 a.m. While driving, Paul picked up a female hitchhiker who couldn’t control her excitement and hugged him, making him lose control of his car. It smashed into a stone fence and inflamed, killing them both. He was subsequently replaced by Billy Shears, winner of a Paul McCartney look-a-like contest in what is reportedly one of the biggest cover ups in music history. The supposed rumour was first circulated in college campuses in the late 1960s. Even though it was vehemently denied by The Beatles, and later by McCartney himself in a Life Magazine interview, conspiracy theorists have spun an elaborate story, involving the remaining Beatles leaving subtle clues throughout their album art and music, to mourn ‘Paulie’s’ death. It all started with the Abbey Road (1969) album cover, displaying Paul as the only one barefoot and out of step. Was he barefoot to symbolize the way corpses are buried? Some claim that Lennon, dressed in white, represented a priest, Ringo, a clergy presiding over the service, and George, a gravedigger wearing old jeans. The entire composition was akin to a funeral procession.
•Lifestyle• Moreover, an originally left handed Paul was holding a cigarette in his right hand.’ The limelight then fell on the 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles standing in the middle, seem to be overlooking a grave covered with cemetery flowers. One of the legendary clues here is also the most cryptic. It has been deciphered that if a mirror is placed horizontally across the center of the words “Lonely Hearts” in the middle of the Sgt. Pepper drum, a shocking message is spelt out: “I ONE IX HE DIE”. Between the words “he” and “die” is an arrow pointing upwards, directly at Paul. The “I ONE IX” is believed to refer to the date of Paul’s death - 11/9 - or 9’th of November. John Lennon also gave clues about Paul’s death in various songs like “A Day in the Life,” which had the lyrics “He blew his mind out in a car” and “Revolution 9”, which when played backwards, says “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him”. In the White album, John sings a song he wrote called “Glass Onion,” an unambiguous line from which states: “And here’s another clue for you all: The walrus was Paul.” In the Nordic-Viking culture a walrus is the symbol of death. In the album cover of ‘Let It Be’, all the backgrounds are white except Paul’s which is blood red, signifying his death. The most convincing piece of evidence which ‘proves’ that McCartney is dead, was forensic research conducted by two Italians in 2007 for ‘Wired Italia Magazine’. They proved post1967 Paul was an imposter using forensic Odontology (analysis of teeth) as certain features of the teeth and skull are impossible to alter even after surgery. The conundrum faced by many is that why couldn’t The Beatles’ reveal this openly? The most plausible answer is that the British Government, who largely benefited from the financial success of the band, secretly forced The Beatles to not reveal McCartney’s death and carry on with a look-a-like. Other speculations say that The Beatles did not reveal the truth about McCartney’s death to prevent mass suicides as McCartney was a rage at that time. Another set of optimists say that The Beatles purposely gave clues to the world to increase their sales and gather publicity. While most of the die-hard Beatlemaniacs staunchly deny McCartney’s death, arguing that even if Paul was replaced, his voice and talent couldn’t have been. They also have an explanation to the 1966 incident saying that there was in fact, a motorcycle accident. It left him with a chipped tooth and a scar to his lip. This is why the “Rain” and “Paperback Writer” videos feature Paul without a tooth - which was also considered evidence of him being an imposter. It would also explain any scars seen in the “White Album” photo. Despite all this, there still remains a group of skeptics who either choose to sit on the fence or believe that Paul is dead. The existing Paul McCartney has always seen the lighter side of this theory. In the album cover of his 1993 album, ‘Paul Is Live’, he is crossing Abbey Road with his son’s dog, and the Beetle in the background has the number plate “51 IS”
- saying that Paul is 51, and is alive. It is difficult to say whether we will ever know the truth behind this enigma. Maybe a diary belonging to George Harrison will be discovered one day putting an end to all conjectures, or perhaps the existing Paul McCartney is ‘the’ Paul McCartney. After all, it’s your perception that really matters.
The Undergrad | 39
Comfort food People have a habit of letting you down at your worst moments. The wallet is like a weapon that breaks down typically during war and college, well...let’s not even get to that monstrosity. During times of such hopelessness, we often find our hands edging towards those forbidden shelves in our kitchen, where lies the one saviour we can turn to no matter how dark our day
is. Comfort food. For a lazy cook like me, doing the dishes after a particularly tiring cooking session is a big turn-off. As your friendly, neighbourhood, food-Godmother, I have decided to do my good deed for the month by sharing two simple recipes that can work wonders on a bad day for a woebegone face.
Short Cut Chocolate Mousse 1.Heat the cream in a vessel. After it starts bubbling up, add the chopped chocolate and stir till it forms a smooth dark mixture. 2.Add the milk and coffee. Keep stirring. 3.Fill this mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for around an hour. 4.Top it off with chopped strawberries or any other fruit of your choice. 5.Don’t forget to lick the chocolate off the bowl!
Cheater’s Cheese Fondue
2 tbsp butter 1 Tbsp Maida 2-3 cloves garlic crushed 1 ½ cup milk ½ Grated cheese Salt 1tsp Oregano 1 tsp White wine (optional)
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100ml Fresh cream 150gms Dark Chocolate chopped 3-4 tbsp Milk 1 tbsp Coffee powder Fruit of your choice
1. Put the pan to heat on a stove. Melt the butter and fry the garlic in it for 10-15 seconds. 2. Add the maida to it and stir vigorously till it forms a smooth golden brown paste. 3. To his mixture, add one cup of milk little by little. Keep stirring this mixture till you get a white smooth paste. 4. Now, add the grated cheese, salt and oregano. After the cheese melts, add the remaining ½ cup of milk and stir. 5. Add the white wine and take the vessel off the flame. 6. Your cheater’s Cheese Fondue is now ready. Serve with pieces of bread, crackers, mushroom or anything else that you like.
- Sagar Deoskar
idden in the script of every movie that becomes a cult classic is a secret ingredient that subtly makes the buff ask ‘What if?’ after the end of the credit roll. Many a time, movies end up nudging the viewer into believing that something could have been different in the story that would have left us in peace for life, rather than making us squirm every time we re-watch the movie. How on earth did Butch forget to pack his priceless Gold watch, giving it instead to his namby-pamby, absent minded girlfriend in Pulp Fiction? Why didn’t Gandalf loan his eagle to help Frodo fly over Mordor and destroy the ring? After all, Aragorn said nothing about one not simply flying to Mordor. What if the Terminator broke into the future to save mankind there? If you’re a film fan who has spent a majority of your adult life wondering about similar possibilities, you’re in for a special visual treat - We present the Youtube channel - How it Should Have Ended(HISHE). HISHE is a popular internet phenomenon which has revolutionised the ‘what if ’ genre in every creative stream. It is a website which presents animated spoofs on movies and popular video games with alternate endings. In just a few months after it got a Youtube channel, it went viral. Its spoofs on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Spiderman have more than 17 million and 11 million views respectively. Other popular works include Harry Potter, Superman, 300, Inception and many more. The spoofs are
a light hearted, sarcastic version of the originals, which make a mockery of the characters and run between 5-10 minutes. HISHE was started by an illustrator named Daniel Baxter along with his friend Tommy Watson. The idea cropped up when the duo were joking about the ending of a film between them and started creating their own alternate endings for the movies they saw. In July 2005, How it should have ended went public and became an immediate hit. Their first satire on Star Wars was a huge success, eventually causing their website to crash as it kept running out of bandwidth. Since then, it has featured in magazines all over America and racked up awards for comedy and satire by the dozen. Their latest endeavours include a parody of Pulp Fiction, Captain America and a brilliant take on the Academy Awards where Harry Potter characters discuss the nominees. Daniel Baxter, the brain behind HISHE is a Design graduate and works as a professional illustrator. He has helped The New York times, Wall street journal, The Washington post, IBM and Microsoft with creative content. He also takes drawing classes for children. HISHE is sure to crack you up, providing you with a different perspective to the movie amidst some of the best entertainment you can hope to get online. We personally recommend Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Pulp Fiction as our top three picks. The Undergrad | 41
EDITORIAL DESK Nupur Sonar Sumedh Natu Arpan Chaturvedi •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
CREATIVE HEAD Priya Gupta COPY EDITOR | ASSITANT CREATIVE HEAD Esha Vaish •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
MARKETING DIRECTOR Faizan Shaikh ADVERTISING HEAD Kunal Pandey SPONSORSHIP HEAD Aishwarya Kar BUDGET HEAD Vashita Moondra | Saumya Gupta COPY HEAD Ahmar Zaman SALES AND PROMOTIONS HEAD Divesh Lohmorh Dhruv Satija Hardeepa M. Rishabh Kumar Sanchita Dash Amrita Paul Shivshankar Ranjit Akash Sharma Yash Thakur Noopur Patel Shruti Savanal Urvashi Bohra Sashank Rai Faizan Ansari Prabhav Tiwary
Lasya N. Reema Khendry Hamsini Hariharan Samyukta Shastri Anshika Kayastha Anamika Tewari Saiyam Wakchaure Siddhartha S. Nikhil Iyer Megh Bhatia Prannoy Jagati Iknoor Kaur Sagar Deoskar
Chitra S. Twinkle B. Abhinandan S. Rituparna Ghosal Madhur K. Shalaka Desai Shubhajit Adhikari Ridhima Chawda Reya Reji Gaurav Matai Pratiksha Mishra Shahaab Jhaveri Soham Hundekar Gunjan Menon Sakshi H.
Ayeisha D. Vishishta N. Surabhi M. Mansi C. Abhishek B. Shalaka Desai Sonali Devan Trusha Navalkar Kanksha Raina Aadhya Baranwala Aparajita Saxena Shefali Khurana Shagoon Lidhoo Mohiddin S.
Acknowledgements Milinda Natu
Images Courtesy Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons, Google images, Blogs We’ve attempted to credit every image we’ve used in the design. However, in places where the artist’s name couldn’t be established, we’ve added links to the page.
Fallacies Surrounding Osho, Dimystified- www.mysticbanana.com/ The Many Facets of Rama| The Ramayana Retold- http://kiskikahani. openspaceindia.org and Photograph by Ridhima Chawda Pune and its idosycrasies- Illustration: puneritips.com Train to Dalal Street- Illustrations by Shubhajit Adhikary Shoestring Ventures- Photographs by Hardeepa Mangalani and Ridhima Chawda
Young Entreprenuers- http:// cache1.bigcartel.com/product_ images/36783372/AmbitiousYouth_ Cover_FINAL2.jpg , inc.com, NEN Logo
co.in/search?hl=en&safe=active&sa= G&q=xavi+hernandez+wallpaper+2 012&ei=Ac0XUPjeNIzNrQeH_IGA Cw&ved=0CAsQvQ4&biw=1366&b ih=638 (Bastian Schweinsteiger)- http:// search.wn.com/ (Paolo madini)- giantbomb.com (Laila ali)- zuckerpr.com (Shaun pullock)- famoushottens. comand-eggs-with-tomato.htm The Truth about DantewadaPhotograph by Rishabh Kumar Social Stigma- Photograph by Avni Murthy Taking the Higher Road?- Photograph by Adithya Narayanan Who’s God in Godra- freepressjournal. in
NADA not Educating its Sportsmen Enough- sify.com, nada.nic.in, myroutetohelp.co.uk
Controvesial Songs(Suicide Solution)- http://2. bp.blogspot.com/_ bg4k7AD7ttQ/TI5eV4UGiwI/ AAAAAAAAArU/7hE_FxU3z3U/s1 600/7b15419d1adaade5057b32398f 4c.jpg (Darling Nikki by Prince)- http:// i170.photobucket.com/albums/u257/ djdaffy1227/100_0026.jpg (Slayer)- http://whatwhy.in/wpcontent/uploads/2011/06/Slayer_-_ Heavy_Metal_Band.jpg (Rage against time)- http://images. picturesdepot.com/photo/r/rage_ against_the_machine_band-208384. jpg (Eminem)- http://covers.a-go.in/ max/eminem_-_2000_the_marshall_ mathers_lp.jpg
And Nothing Else Mattered- www. mumbaiindians.com/
The Mccarteny Mystery- http://www. trutv.com/conspiracy/celebs/paul-isdead/gallery.all.html
The Immortal Game of Chessmaisonsdumonde.com
Comfort Food- Photographs by Madhur Khinwnsara
The Beautiful Game(Johan Cryuff)- focus.de (Xavi Spain)- http://www.google.
How It Should Have Ended- HISHE: Blockbusters - YouTube
For Your Money’s Worth- es.123rf.com The Great Race- news.outlookindia. com The Hipocrisy of DemocracyPhotograph by Ridhima Chawda Death of Bureaucracyfreepressjournal.in Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant- http://www.livemint. com/2010/02/12205645/Striker-whogot-his-goal.html
Symbiosis Institute Of Media & Communication (UG) Survey No.231, Viman Nagar, Pune â€“ 411014 Contact: +91-20-26634511/12/13/14. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.simcug.edu.in