Sunday, April 16, 2006

A memorable week

Yesterday night I was just recalling all the incidents & events that occured over the past week. This post is a brief account of each of those significant incidents which took place.

'Dr. Rajkumar 1929-2006 (Image Courtesy:Wiki)'

Dr. Rajkumar, the legend of Kannada Film Industry died on Wednesday last week in Bangalore. The actor died of cardiac arrest, he was 77 years old. He was one of the most famous actors in south India's vibrant film industry. Even though I haven't watched any Kannada movies offlate, I have watched many movies of Rajkumar. I pay my tributes to the great actor & humble man who led a simple and disciplined life, may his soul rest in peace. Within minutes of his death, the news began spreading like wild-fire across the IT Captial of India & what happened later was not that suprising to many local people. Most of us - people who have lived in Bangalore during the actor's kidnapping by Veerappan - knew how worse the situation would get once the news of the actor's death reaches his fan(atic)s. Fanatics? What else would you call them when they build temples for their Filmstars & worship them like God; Am I not justified in calling them fanatics?

An hour had passed by since the actor's death, few locals [am sure they are not his fans]who approached our company and asked us to close our operations for the day. The reason stated by them on the need to shut our operations was to mourn the loss of the great actor. Sensing trouble & keeping employees saftey paramount our company decide to close by 4pm. The scenario was the same with most of the IT/Non-IT companies located across B'lore, most of the companies decided to shut their operations before regular working hours. Here is a extract from an email sent by the HR Dept of one of the IT companies loacted in ITPL,Banaglore:

Dear Colleagues,
We have heard news reports about the sudden demise of Karnataka's leading cine actor - Dr.Rajkumar around noon today. We are in touch with ITPL Security Officials as well as other Corporates in the city to assess the situation resulting out of this.

Reports indicate that certain roads such as Dr.Rajkumar Road in Rajajinagar and areas around his residence - Sadashivnagar are being blocked to traffic. Depending on the mob turning up to pay respects to the departed soul, further areas could get blocked.

In order to avoid any inconvenience and keeping your safety paramount, you are advised to plan an early safe return home.

Thanks and Best Regards,

When I reached home I didn't witness any kind of disturbance in the surrounding areas, but heard from friends who where returning from various parts of Bangalore that @ certain places the mob had blocked roads & burnt few vehicles causing inconvenience to public.

13th April 2006 was declared an holiday for all the Educational institutions & Government offices by the Government of Karnataka to mourn the death of the actor & also the cremation was to happen @ the end of the day. The IT Companies followed the same by declaring a compensatory holiday in the view of the situation; with this holiday it made a long weekend since Friday was an off on the occassion of Good Friday. Even though my company had declared an off for the day I couldn't stay at home doing nothing, so I decided to come to work on 13th as well.

Now here comes the hardest part, the cable guy across Banagalore pulls off every channel except for hand full of Kannada channels - all of whom are beaming live pictures of the final farewell paid by people from Kanteerava Stadium. Everything looked fine till few fans went bersek @ the Stadium & then police had to resort to Lathi Chagre and shoot tear gas shells @ the crowd to control them. Situtation worsened when the actor's body was taken from Kanteerava Stadium to Kanteerava Studio - the place where the actor's was cremated. During this procession, the fans out numbered the policemen & started behaving violently, they started burning police vans and attacking them. The mob even lynched a new recruit to death by stoning him, this wasn't the end of violence. When the body finally arrived @ Kanteerava Studio & the family members could not perform the final rites, as the fans didn't oblige to part with the body. That's when the police had to step in & tried to control the crowd, but when things got out of control the police decided to open fire, which resulted in death of 7 people. It really doesn't make much sense to me on why the crowd behaved in such a manner & nor did the actor deserve this kind of final farewell. End of the day 8 people had lost their lives for nothing & this makes me say that we Indians really don't value a life of an individual.

Coming back to the office scene, I wasn't the only one working on that day, was glad to see many of my colleagues working as well. Few of my colleagues asked me why I wasn't mourning the demise of a great actor by abstaining from work, I said the way I mourn death is different from what we are seeing on the television. Then couple of my colleagues started asking why we Kannadigas are behaving/reacting in such a grave manner on the demise of the actor. I don't understand how can people make such generalized statement toward all of us (kannadigas). Isn't there any difference between us & the mob - who are involved in arson, destroying public & private properties, burning vehicles, lighting 3 petrol/gas stations & Lycnhing a policemen. It really doesn't make any sense in accusing every Kannadiga of being like that, I hope such people grow up in their thinking or else I challenge them to make the same comments in the public domain if they really have the nerves.

Many things could have been planned by the government especially on how to handle the fans during funeral and how to contain violence if it occurred. I never believe in enforcing anything on anybody, but time and again it so happens in India that Freedom is often misued by people who are @ the seat of power. On 13th of April, most parts of Bangalore looked deserted as if curfew was imposed, most of the public remained indoors sensing violence, shutdown of public transport system, all the resturants & shops were closed, gas stations were closed & the Cable TV guys pulled off all non-kannada channels. Mourning the death of a beloved one has to come from within & it can't be enforced by an outside force.

Here are few pictures which were captured on our way to City Railway station.

'Advertisement signages were destroyed through out Bellary Main Road'

'The burnt vehicle in front of Aditi Technologies, Bellary Road'

'Trident Hyundai Showroom near Cavery Circle'

'Another building on Sankey Road which was stoned'

'Hero Honda Showroom on Bellary Road'

Alwar Rape Case: This was something which caught my attention early this week, I was happy with the way things proceeded & the final justice being delievred in record time of 22 days. This is very significant case which shows that the judical system & the ploice can work together and deliver justice if they really want. I hope this Case would be used a benchmark for delivering justice to hundreds of similar cases which are pending for many years. This was an high-profile case, as the guilty B H Mohanty, is the son of Orissa cadre Additional Director General of Police B B Mohanty, even this didn't stop the police & the judical system in delivering justice to the German national.

Salman Khan: The Bollwood Actor is in news most of the time not for his acting abilities but for all the scandals & controversies. This time the actor was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment and sent to the Central Jail in Jodhpur by a local court in connection with the 1998 black buck poaching case. He just spent 3 days in the jail before obtaining a bail & walking out of the jail like a free man. Sunday edition of The Times of India, had an interesting debate titled 'Is our legal system making examples of celebs?'. The debate has two interesting views from Prahlad Kakkar, Ad Filmmaker & Mahesh Bhatt, Filmmaker; I very much agree with what Prahlad Kakkar has to say. Rediff carries a special page for his controversies, click here to read more.

Soccer: The Gunners were very disappointing in their performance against the Portsmouth during the mid-week tie. Even though Thierry Henry gave the team their first goal, they ended up with a draw to take home just 1 point. There were atleast 3 chances where Arsenal could have scored and won the match, but they never converted those chances and that has been the problem with them during this season. Things were very different during the weekend fixture, where they beat West Bromwich 3-1 and have kept the chances alive of finishing 4th place in the English Premier League. I hope they carry on their winning streak for the big game on 19th April when they play Villareal during the first leg of UEFA Cahmpions League Semifinals @ Highbury.

I was happy to see Chelsea win their match against Bolton, which takes them closer to retaining the Premiership title for the second succesive year.

Cricket: India won the 7th ODI, to wrap up the series 5-1 & moved to 3rd position on ICC ODI rankings. The 3rd position happens to be all time best for Team India, since the rankings were introduced in the yera 2002. The 7th ODI was an interesting match, I enjoyed the batting of Robin Uthapa, the lad from Bangalore who plays for Karnataka made his ODI debut against England. In the very first match, he got into the record books of Indian Cricket for scoring 86 runs which happens to be the highest number of runs scored by an Indian debutant batsmen. He could have easily got his first century, only if he the had the discipline of his Captain, Rahul Dravid. I hope India win both their matches against Pakistan which is coming up on 18th & 19th April, even as these matches are being played for the benefit of the victims of Pakistan eathquake. Special on Rediff.

Wedding: Both Prithvi & Shalina, my classmates during engineering got married yesterday. I wish them a very happy journey for their rest of their married life. I happened to meet few of my classmates, some of them after 3 years & it was great to see them. There are 3 more wedding which are scheduled for this month and all the weddings happen to be that of my classmates. Looks like everyone is eager to get settled in life;)

Movies: Watched 'Crash' & 'Bandits' over the weekend. They are worth watching atleast once.

News Source: Rediff | Times of India


Rags said...

thats all i gotto say about it

kaushik said...

nicely written!

one of my friends colleagues car was burnt by the mob because he was going to work on the day after RK died! that is just horrible....
i just dont think all this was done by the fans....just some rowdies who got a chance to have some 'fun' and whole of the kannada community (some of the nicest people i've met) are being blamed as insensitive!

and ya! crash is an awesome flick!!!

Vivek Kondur said...

Rags, good to see u back on blogger & writing stuff apart from u'r usual Tech stuff:D

Vivek Kondur said...

Hey! Kaushik,

Thanks! for dropping by & u'r comments. I am very sad to know what happened to u'r friend's colleague. Unfortunately, the law of land sometimes fails @ crucial situtaions.

The storyline of 'Crash' is something which has made the difference & the director - has done a great job. I feel the movie didn't have much for actors like Sandra & Brendan.