Friday, November 3, 2017

आइये गंजिंग चलें


 दिलीप अवस्थी 

 

 आइये आज गंजिंग करते हैं। लेकिन उसके पहले ज़रा समझ लिया जाए कि गंजिंग आखिर है किस बला का नाम।  अगर आप सोचते  हैं कि गंजिंग निठल्लागिरि का दूसरा नाम है या फिर वेले-फुकरों का काम है तो आपने गंजिंग का कभी लुत्फ़ उठाया ही नहीं है।  हज़रतगंज को महज़ एक छोटा कनॉट प्लेस या सिर्फ एक महंगा बाजार समझने वाले कभी भी गंजिंग के गूढ़ रहस्य को नहीं समझ सकते।  

गंजिंग दरअसल मनचलों की एक नाज़ुक सी  ललित कला है जिसे सिर्फ गुरु-शिष्य परंपरा के तहत ही सीखी जा सकता है। महीनों के कड़े परिश्रम एवं अनवरत अभ्यास से ही इसमें महारत प्राप्त की जा सकती है।   सबसे जरूरी तत्व तो है आपका आत्मविश्वास और जीवन को बिंदास जीने का अंदाज़। 

गंजिंग का असली महात्म है कि इससे खरीदारी से कोई लेना-देना नहीं है।  अलबत्ता खरीदारों से जरूर है।  कैसे ? आगे समझाते हैं।  गंजिंग एक ऐसी विधा का नाम है कि जब डेढ़ किलोमीटर के हज़रतगंज क्षेत्र की परिक्रमा कुछ इस शिद्दत से की जाये कि डेढ़-दो घंटों का समय पलकों में बीत जाये। इसे एकाग्रता से अकेले में भी किया जा सकता है और छोटे समूह में भी।  इसमें सिर्फ समय ही नहीं कुछ मुद्रा का खीसे में होना भी आवश्यक है।

वैसे तो मैं 1970 से ही गंज का मुरीद था लेकिन गंजिंग के कौशल विकास में मुझे भी छह वर्ष लग गए।  वैसे तो गंजिंग पर कोई उम्र की पाबन्दी कभी नहीं रही है लेकिन  उन दिनों गंज युवक-युवतियों के नैना-चार का प्रमुख केंद्र था।  कोई ओछी छेड़छाड़ नहीं , बस विशुद्ध नयन सुख।  बगल से गुजरे तो दोस्तों में यही चर्चा कि कौन सा परफूम था या फिर किस क्लास की है जैसे सवालों में आधा घंटा तो आराम से निकल जाता था।  अगर जान-पहचान की निकली और उसने गलती से भी हेलो बोल दिया तो समझिये सारे दोस्त मिलकर आपके बटुए को शहीद कर देते थे।  और कोई अनजानी पलट कर देख ले या फिर मुस्कुरा दे तो किसी भी गंजजू का अगले 15 दिनों तक सजधज कर गंजिंग करना अनिवार्य हो जाता था । 

जब्बार या छेदी के यहाँ काफी पीने से ज्यादा लुत्फ़ आते-जाते हसीं चेहरों को ताकने में हुआ करता था। लव-लेन में कंधे से कन्धा टकराते हुआ 'आई  ऍम सारी'कहकर निकलने पर शर्तें लगा करती थीं। समय के साथ गंजिंग के स्वरुप बदले हैं लेकिन आज भी हज़रतगंज शहरवासियों के टहल्ला मारने का प्रमुख स्थान है और गंजजूओं  का मुख्य तीर्थ।  
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Is this end of the road for MAYAWATI ?

By Dilip Awasthi

By resigning her Rajya Sabha seat in a dramatic huff, Daulat Queen Mayawati could well have driven the final nail in BSP's coffin. Though only nine months remained in her term with no chances of her reelection, a politician always wants to make each day count, especially after an electoral holocaust.

Resignations often reveal the acceptance of failure from within. Mayawati anyway was never known to be a crafty, stubborn or calculating politician like so many of her contemporaries. She was thriving for more than two decades on the legacy which Kanshi Ram took decades to build or on circumstances. Each term at the Chief Minister's office only added to her megalomania which bordered dictatorship.

In 2007 Mayawati, rose to power on her own mainly because of the utter failure of Mulayam Singh Raj of 2002. Add to it circumstances in which upper castes mainly Brahmins felt alienated and had nowhere to go. Pushed to the wall, the upper castes led by Brahmins backed the BSP and a Dalit-UpperCates-Muslim combine gave Mayawati an unbelievable majority.

But her five-year rule proved a huge let down for all those who brought her to power. Forget the Dalit, Upper Castes or Muslims supporters, who initially did bask in her reflected glory, even her senior ministers would need to take prior appointments to meet her. Industrialists withdrew from Uttar Pradesh and all development work came to a standstill. There were no interactions, no interviews with the media. Like any autocrat, she was scared for her life that her house and office were turned into a fortress. In fact, she rarely attended her office in the secretariat.She stopped touring the state and also avoided making public appearances. 

Probably the only visible achievement of her regime was the huge Roman structures all over Lucknow and some other select towns. Though beautiful and imposing to look at, these structures even today have no practical use. A good Rs 50,000 crores were spent on these unproductive monuments and huge kickbacks were pocketed in the process. Dalits did admire these grand structures initially as they attended BSP's rallies in Lucknow but they soon realised that stones don't have a heart. The buildings may massage their ego but cannot give them food and jobs.  


Corruption and nepotism ruled the roost in her five-year suffocating rule. As a result, even a disgraced Samajwadi Party, this time under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav reaped a rich harvest in 2012. Despite predictions that Mayawati would return yet again, BSP was reduced to just 80 seats in 2012 from 206 seats. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections it could not even get a single seat.

Now came the annihilation of 2017 assembly elections. The party was plagued with the exodus of senior party leaders, a process which continued even much after the election results came in. Mayawati this time attempted to play the Muslim card as she curtailed fielding Upper Caste candidates. The BSP won merely 19 seats with 22.2% vote share. It faced a loss of 61 seats over 2012. The party came to a full circle as this became its lowest score since 1991, its budding stage, when it won 12 seats.

 Reviving the BSP from here would once again need a Kanshi Ram. It is simply beyond an autocrat like Mayawati who treats everybody around her as scum. Even the part of Dalits - the chamars and Jatavs, who used to swear by her, have deserted. The Muslims have clearly signalled that they do not consider BSP as an alternative to BJP. Of the 100 Muslim candidates fielded by BSP, only two could win. Upper Castes have lost whatever little faith they had in Mayawati. The ride from here on seems going nowhere.

With most of the BSP stalwarts like RK Chowdhry, Swami Prasad Maurya, Naseemuddin Siddiqui gone, Mayawati sits all alone to preside over the end of Kanshi Ram's cherished dream - the BSP.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

पहले नेताजी का रिटायरमेंट हो

दिलीप अवस्थी



चलिए इस बहस को एक नए तरीके से समझा, देखा जाये I  आखिर हम क्यों रिटायर हों? गए वक्त की बात है जब अपने समय के विख्यात बल्लेबाज़ विजय मर्चेंट में अपने जीवन का सर्वेश्रेष्ठ शतक लगाने के तुरंत बाद १९५१ में क्रिकेट से सन्यास लेने की  घोषणा कर दी I पूरा देश स्तब्ध था और जानना चाहता था की मर्चेंट ने ऐसा किन परिस्थितियों में किया I जब पत्रकारों ने उनके निर्णय की वजह पूछी तो मर्चेंट बाले, "सन्यास तो तभी लेना चाहिए जब लोग पूछें  अभी क्यों नाकि तब जब लोग कहने लगें अब कब?"

लेकिन मर्चेंट तो व्यावसायिक खिलाड़ी थे I उनके जैसे न जाने कितने और प्रोफेशनल व्यक्तियों ने ऐसी ही नजीरें रखी हैं I काफी किस्से हम सब जानते हैं और ऐसे लोगों  को याद भी करते हैं  पर बात बस यहीं पर ख़त्म हो जाती है I हम तो सिर्फ अपने नेताओं का अनुकरण करना चाहते हैं जब बात हमारे अपने रिटायरमेंट की आती है I सदियों से हमारे नेता को हमने अजर और अमर बने हुए देखा है जब तक वे पांच तत्व में विलीन नहीं हो जाते हैं I अरसे से हम ऐसे नेताओं को देखते चले आ रहे हैं जो बच्चों की तरह डगमगाते हुए मंच तक पहुँचते हैं और कई बार वहां बैठकर सो भी जाते हैं I लेकिन वे पद छोड़ने को तब तैयार होतें हैं जब घरवाले ठठरी का सामान जुटाने लगते हैं I कुछ बिरले ही नेता ऐसे हुए हैं जिन्हें देख कर देश का हौसला बढ़ा हो I

अब एक सवाल और उठाकर देखा जाये I ये नेता आखिर देश के लिए करते क्या हैं? अगर एक आम हिंदुस्तानी नेता का मानसिक चित्र खींचें तो हम एक धूर्त, शातिर और मोटी चमड़ी वाले व्यक्ति की चित्र ही सजीव करेंगे I एक ऐसा व्यक्ति जिसके पास न कोई डिग्री हैं न डिप्लोमा फिर भी अपने समर्थकों से लेकर पूरे देश को बेवकूफ बनाता रहता है I उसके पास न कोई हुनर है न ट्रेनिंग फिर भी वह चुनाव की राजनीति का मर्मज्ञ है I आमतौर पर उसे कोई वेतन नहीं मिलता है लेकिन उसकी तिजोरी हमेशा बड़े सेठों से भी ज्यादा लबालब रहती I उसे आप घपले करते रंगेहाथ  पकड़ भी लीजिये लेकिन वह अपने गुनाह दूसरों पर थोप कर  कानूनी पंजे से फिसल  जाता है I हम सब उसकी कलाकारी जानते हैं लेकिन मज़ा देखिये वह देश की राजनीति का अहम् किरदार बना ही रहता है जब तक भगवान के घर से न्योता न आ जाये I

शायद हम अपने नेताओं को अंदर से बहुत चाहते हैं और उनसे शिक्षा भी लेते हैं I तभी तो यह रिटायरमेंट जैसे मुद्दे हमेशा उन लोगों के बीच से उठते हैं जिन्हे बिना कुछ ज्यादा किये मालपानी की आदत हो जाती है I ऐसे लोग चाहे वे नौकरी देने वाले हों या करने वाले, अपनी बनाई आरामतलबी की दुनिया में ही लीन रहना चाहते हैं I अपने खोल से बहार निकल कर अपने काम , हुनर पर यक़ीन करने या किसी नए आसमान की ऊंचाईयों को परखने की उनमे हिम्मत ही नहीं होती 

आज देश भर की सरकारें रिटायरमेंट की उम्र बढ़ाने या कर्मचारियों की संख्या बल कम  करने के फैसले के बीच  झूलती नज़र आ रही हैं I जैसे ही वित्त विभाग चेतावनी देता है की उसके पास  बढ़ते वेतन, भत्ते या पेंशन देने के लिए रोकड़ा नहीं है, कर्मचारियों को जबरन रिटायर करने का फैसला ले लिया जाता है I जब कर्मचारी संगठनों की चलती है तो रिटायरमेंट की उम्र बढ़ने की बात होने लगती है I लेकिन अभी भी सरकारेंअधिकारियों -कर्मचारियों की उपियोगिता या उनकी उत्पादकता पर प्रश्नचिन्ह लगाने से कतरा रही हैं I

हमारी सरकारों के कर्णधार यह क्यों नहीं देख पा रहे हैं की हमारे सरकारी तंत्र में काम करने वाले काम और उनकी मैनेजरी करने वाले लोगों की भरमार है I चाहे काम कितना भी संजीदा हो, सरकारी फाइल का रचयिता आज भी एक क्लर्क या हेड क्लर्क होता है I इसी तरह कितना ही जघन्य अपराध हो, उसकी विवेचना आज भी एक इंस्पेक्टर यासब -इंस्पेक्टर ही करता है I मोटी तनख्वाहों वाले अधिकारी चाहे वे आईएएस हों या आईपीएस सिर्फ सुपरवाइजरी ही करते हैं I अपने अड़तीस  वर्ष के पत्रकारिता जीवन में मैंने किसी वरिष्ठ अधिकारी को न तो फाइल बनाते देखा न विवेचना करते I ये लोग सिर्फ दस्तखत पर दस्तखत बनाना जानते हैं 

मोटी  बुद्धि कहती है कि जितने वरिष्ठ आप होते जाते हैं आपको उतने ही संजीदा मामलों से  खुद निपटना चाहिए और कनिष्ठ अधिकारीयों का प्रेरणास्रोत बनानाचाहिए I क्रिकेट टीम  में अगर धोनी, विराट कोहली और युवराज सिंह आराम से बैठें और दारोमदार नए खिलाड़ियों पर छोड़ दे तो कैसे रहे ? वर्षों बाद भी आप आमिर खान की फिल्म उसकी शानदार एक्टिंग देखने के लिए ही जाते हैं I किसी भी धंधे का मूलमंत्र उसमे कार्यरत व्यक्तियों की उपियोगिता, उत्पादकता और जवाबदेही ही है I सरकारें रिटायरमेंट आयु पर चर्चा करें अच्छा है लेकिन देश को नेताओं की रिटायरमेंट उम्र पर भी गहन चिंतन करना चाहिए I वरना ये ख़ादीधारी  अगर आजीवन देश का दोहन कर सकते हैं तो फिर हम सब क्यों नहीं?

Politicians should retire first

By Dilip Awasthi

Let's start the argument all over again from the other side -  why should you RETIRE? Cricket fans were stunned when Vijay Merchant, one of the greatest Indian openers announced his retirement after scoring his highest Test score In 1951. When journalists asked him the reason, he simply said,"You should hang your boots at a stage when people ask WHY rather than WHEN."

But then Merchant was a professional sportsman. So many professionals in different fields have set such examples. We admire them but it ends there. We religiously keep following our leaders when it comes to our own retirement. For ages, our politicians have had this 'never-say-die' spirit when it has come to bowing out. We have been represented by ageing, tottering politicians of all caste and creed. Even in international forums, we have seen our 'netas' managing to reach the podium with infant-like wobbly demeanour or speaking as if it is going to be their last speech. We have seen ministers sleeping in meetings and on the stage. There have been only a paltry few whose public presence has made us proud.

What do the khadi-clad tribe of this country do? If you make a mental sketch of an Indian 'neta', you would only come across a crafty living being. He does not have a worthwhile degree but he thrives on conning his followers and people at large by making false promises. He does not have any skills but he has mastered the art of manipulating elections for himself and his party. He does not get a salary in most cases but is an expert in filling his coffers through mostly unfair means. Catch him red-handed but he can wriggle out by blaming everything on his rivals. In most cases, it will impossible to add any positive attributes especially linked to productivity in that sketch. Still, he has the last laugh as he keeps coming in and out of power till he lives. 

We believe and follow our leaders. The haggling for retirement age often comes from quarters of average performers, who want to fill their bucket till the last drop trickles. In most such cases such an attitude stems from our zest to stick to our comfort zones whether you are an employee or an employer. The will to take new challenges and explore new horizons safely rests in the cocoon we build around our respective lives in the name of security.  

Today governments everywhere in the country stay torn in choosing between increasing retirement age and retrenchment. When the Finance department raises alarm over the staggering salary bills and also the ever-increasing perks and pension, the idea of chopping off the deadwood through compulsory retirement starts looking good. But it is high time that we first figure out the usefulness of the so-called administrative system we have made. 

We just have supervisors in the bureaucratic services and no executors. Howsoever important the issue may be, the government file is created by clerks and section head clerks. Bureaucrats only sign and counter-sign these files. Similarly, an FIR is even now investigated by an inspector or sub-inspector of police. The rest of the paraphernalia including SPs, IGs and DGs just supervise. In my 38 years of journalism, I have yet not come across a senior official who has himself constructed a file or a senior IPS official has solved a case of crime.

Common sense would suggest the senior you become more is expected out of you. Can you expect a Virat Koli or Yuvraj Singh to sit back and leave the onus of performance on the younger players? You see an Amir Khan film even after so many years squarely for his performance. Linking jobs with performance and productivity can only keep you in business. While governments discuss retirement age of its employees, the country needs to decide the retirement age of its politicians. If they can work till they die, so can everybody else.



Friday, July 7, 2017

When should on RETIRE?

By Dilip Awasthi

When should one retire? Answering this question is almost like projecting an appropriate age to die. In fact, one line of thought is that a salaried person dies twice - once when he retires and the last time when he actually does. 


In this country of not only multi-cultures, races, languages, cuisines, we also have a fair sprinkling of a multiplicity of rules and regulations. In fact in many cases, we do have two sets of rules as well - one for the mighty and powerful and the other for the lesser children of God. Even after 70 years of Independence, we have not been able to thrash out weeds and worms ailing our systems.


But forget philosophy and emotions, let's stick to the brass tacks. New U.P.chief secretary Rajiv Kumar on July 6 ordered all departments to screen out officers and employees who have attained an age of 50 tears or more and who are "not fit" to perform their duties. Such screening should be complete by July 31 after which these employees will be "compulsorily" retired by giving them a three-month notice.


On the same day, the Vice-chancellors of the state university held a meeting to recommend raising the retirement age for teachers from 62 to 65 years. The retirement age for doctors has already been raised to65 years. In certain institutes of excellence like the Sanjay Gandhi PGI, the age for retirement of Professor of Eminence has been made 75 years.  Now the wait begins for some more ambitious government officials to grant themselves jobs till they die. The clause would read: "posted as ...... until death."


A confused government is unable to decide whether to back experience or new talent. And how do you decide whether a person - a professional or a clerk, is unfit to work unless he has been declared so by the doctors on health grounds? This would lead to pick and choose and personal likes and dislikes will come into play. 


Instead, why can't we have firm rule fixing the retirement age so that the productivity of the employee remains the main criteria. This has been quite successfully practised in the private sector by the companies and also by professionals who know when to hang their boots. Who told Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Narayan Moorthy (Infosys) or Rusi Modi and Cyrus Mistry (Tata) to resign.


But then either the system or the individual has to be goal-driven. Unfortunately, in government frequent political changes keep uprooting and shifting the goal-post every now and then. Productivity is possibly the last of the priorities in a government official's serving tenure. Who has ever fixed the productivity of an IAS, IPS official or for that matter that of a clerk or a peon?


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Are we headed for Press Censorship?

By Dilip Awasthi

 

Are we headed for yet another regime?of undeclared censorship? The question could be discomforting and frustrating too for the believers in freedom of expression. We have seen Indira Gandhi's dictatorial  Emergency and Mayawati's autocratic rule or even Mulayam Singh's  "halla bol" campaign wherein the media was humbled or even made redundant.

Both PM Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath in a big way owe their current towering status to the outright media support they received in their early days. Now that both feel comfortably placed as far as their respective public images are concerned, they have either started taking the media for granted or have become highly sensitive to any criticism coming their way. Both have started showing their fangs now. Either official might is being used against the media or iron curtains are being drawn to keep governmental working away from the journalists' prying eyes.

My sources in the bureaucracy reveal that senior officials have been clearly instructed to interact with media only sparingly. A "Black Hole" situation is being envisaged in the official corridors so that nothing escapes unless the government decides to share it. Officials have been told to hold their lips tight. Any of the policy decisions or instructions from the CM's office are strictly confidential and should not be shared even in bits and pieces with the media. Says a senior secretary" Nothing should leak to the media is what has been communicated." Efforts are being made by departmental heads to ensure that there is no 'adverse' publicity in the media whether it is the law and order front, power crises, farmer woes or civic issues.

To keep the media at bay, other subtle steps are also being taken. Even after six months of 2017, security passes of journalists, which allow them access to governmental corridors, have not been renewed. New accreditations are not being considered. There is a squeeze on government advertisements to make newspaper owners fall in line. Most media owners will willingly do that as they intend to use maximum space for earning revenue through advertisements or even paid news.

As it is a huge credibility question faces the media. The accountable factors include the lack of the will to deeply research issues, have the courage to bring them to the fore, remain objective and call a spade a spade, increasing commercialisation and also a moral commitment to the cause of journalism. If supposedly democratic majority governments decide to bell the institution of journalism, we could be headed for darker days. There is virtually no opposition
in the parliament or the Vidhan Sabha or even outside. If you try to choke the media,  you will have Medi Aarti and Yogi Chalisa playing all over 24 by seven.

But being the optimist that I am, I still hope that better senses will prevail.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Goodbye Tappu !

I pay my homage to Akhilesh Das, known as one of the shrewdest  politicians of recent times. Apartment from being the owner of BBD group and a real estate developer besides so many other things, Tappu as he was lovongly called by friends, was also my two years junior in Colvin Taluqedars College. I remember that we enacted in a play together for Sanchi house and won the first prize. There were occassions in my professional life that I had to write against him as a journalist but he never mixed it up with our personal relationship. He always treated me as his senior till the last. He never asked me for a favour which politicians expect with every fall of the hat. We spoke to each other during UP election campaign and decided to meet soon but that was not to be."Dilip bhai anything I can do?", was always his parting shot.  Only few would know that Tappu was an accomplished badminton player. Later he became plump like me and added a bouquet of ailments again like me because of the extra kilos. He died of a heart failure in Lucknow this morning. I have lost a sincere friend and I am feeling the void. May God rest his soul in peace. i feel like asking - Tappu can I do something for you? But I know I will get no response...
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Dilip Awasthi

Ex.Editor, Uttar Pradesh

Dainik Jagran

Lucknow, INDIA

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