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Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 8, February 13, 2010

Season of Goof-ups

Thursday 18 February 2010, by Humra Quraishi

Call this a season of goof-ups. Yes, one after another. If those goof-ups from R.K. Pachauri manned TERI and IPCC don’t seem to end, there is this one from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Welfare. With that full-blown advertise-ment carrying, besides others, a former Pakistani Air Force chief’s picture. Presumably one of those blunders which could see a couple of heads rolling. But what’s bothering me is: how do these full-page government advertise-ments help in curbing crimes? This particular one is meant to focus attention on female foeticide. Those disturbing, if not alarming, facts and figures centring around this crime cannot be washed clear or pushed under those dusty carpets, simply by inserting these advertisement. No, I can’t grasp the rationale. I can’t connect or, say, can’t see the connection. To control female foeticide you have to strike much harder; otherwise these murders of the unborn would continue. After all, it is one of those practices that’s been going on, unabated and unchecked, even in the middle class set-ups and in the so-called literate segments. Will Minister Krishna Tirath manning this Ministry explain how inserting these advertisements would control the killings and murder of the unborn female child!

And another goof-up could be on the Padma awards front, with controversial hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal being one of those who has been bestowed with one. Don’t want to sound cynical but let me offload this rather disturbing thought or call it one of those ongoing thoughts —that is, that entire charisma around these awards seems to be ebbing. After all, it’s just those big names of the well-established living in prime locales and metros that find a mention. Why doesn’t the establishment unearth the unsung living in far-flung sectors. I’m hundred per cent certain that there’s enough talent and a whole list of genuine doers, but the only hurdle seems that their public relations and networking isn’t good or it could be that they want to work quietly and undisturbed, far away from gaudy frills. Awards and governmental recognition don’t seem to attract them, that is, the genuine doers and heroes of the country…

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