Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Delhi High Court blast: Why I disagree with the Media's Blame Game

At 10.15 am today, Delhi High Court blast took place. This morning, I had dropped my wife at her office, reached Chamber 148, Delhi High Court at about 9.30 am and had settled in to work when I heard a deafening sound. It seemed like the High Court building was shaking for just that second. It was several minutes later, we understood it was a high intensive bomb that had killed 12 people and badly injured over 62 others.

Being there right then gives me a different perspective as compared to the media reports of the same. There seemed to be a kind of feeling generated by all media reports that I want to approach differently. So, here are the main points on which I disagree with the media reports on the Delhi blast.

Security Lapse sensationalized
I am not rationalizing the obvious security lapses but I don't believe the media is showing a balanced approach in their coverage. They are not informing, they are sensationalizing. The blast happened at the gate, not inside the High Court. There's a huge difference between the two. Is any media or expert taking the trouble to explain what the difference in terms of impact is?

Stop blaming the Delhi Police for everything that goes wrong
Today, within ten minutes of the blast, the Delhi Police were fully in charge and in control of the situation at the Delhi High Court in the context of crisis management and relief efforts. In the capital city, let's not forget that the responsibility of the Delhi Police extends not just to strategic places but to a greater acreage spanning roads, metros, bus stops, railway stations, so much more etc. Even when VVIPs turn up at these places, these are the real heroes who have to face public fury, handle security of the VVIPs, the safety of the people and even those who are in the process of seeking relief from some form of injury.

From what I saw today, I'd say "Hats off to Delhi Police. They did their best and moved very quickly, not losing time. I'd say they were nimble and responsible. They were working relentlessly to save lives and clean up the terrible, shocking incident that took lives and injured many. They didn't buckle under pressure nor did they lose precious time."

Igniting Public Anger
The saddest thing about the way Indian media is reporting events today is that everything is totally blown out of proportion. As a result, public anger is fuelled at sensitive events like this. Showing clippings that are provacative again and again - what purpose does it serve?

Igniting the anger of the people and pitching them against the govt in power is not a responsible methodology for any form of reporting. This is exactly what the terrorists want to see, it is a trap to avoid.

Even two hours after the incident, there were constant reports in visual media that no one has been found responsible and no progress has been made. How fair is that? The media wants a culprit in two hours after the incident?

Yes, it is a democracy but in a national crisis, all need to be aware that those who are the perpertrators are watching everything via the media. When you have headlines like 'terror wins,' it is a win for the perpetrators. They are getting the results they want when public anger is ignited and chaos is shown.

A more meaningful role can be played by the media in crises like this.

Delhi High Court Functioned From Afternoon
I didn't see much visual or media coverage for one important update following the Delhi blast today: there was no mention of the fact that lawyers and judges resumed work and continued as they normally do after afternoon. The reason to do so is to show that nothing can break the spirit of the judiciary and that the process of law will continue to be delivered and administered without fail. That in itself is a proud, nationalist move - a real answer to those who perpetrated this heinous attack of terrorism.

We the People must stand united
Instead of comparing with UK's security or US security procedures on a day when people of the country are shocked and in anger about what happened, the media could have highlighted positive initiatives such as efforts that were taken proactively by SC and HC lawyers to rush the injured, the extra hours and committment of the medical staff and doctors who were working tirelessly....why isn't the media interested in that? Because it doesn't incite anger. Anger raises TRPs. 

There are many days and hours after this when public temper will cool and a more objective debate can be taken up. But at least for the sake of national propriety, the media should exercise some judicious restraint and not provoke the people during a national crisis or emergency.

Last but not the least, my heartfelt thanks to all my relatives, friends, colleagues and clients who were so shaken and worried about my safety today. For the first time, I experienced considerable warmth from Twitter too where I am not very active but still I received many tweets even from people I didn't know, asking me if I am fine.

That tells me one thing - if we stand together and for each other, we can always beat the nation's enemies.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hindu Law on Gift to God

There's been so much talk about laws on 'gifts' relating to God.

In Venkatalingam case, AIR 1927 Mad 636, it has been held by the Full Bench that dedication of property to God by a Hindu does not require any document and that property can be validly dedicated without any registered instrument.

The argument is that an idol in law is recognized as a juristic person capable of holding property. Also, a gift that is given to an idol is legally held as a gift to a living person.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Travelers demand more from Mobile Technology, Airlines should Monetise

About five billion people reportedly carry some kind of a mobile device. There's even talk of 'Mobile Wallets' becoming a real convenience for travelers in the coming years.  This throws up some interesting possibilities for the airlines industry, considering the tremendous scope for airlines to monetise and leverage mobile technology to upsell and facilitate incremental sales. I am not an expert on mobile technology but I am keen to see how leveraging it will transform airline operations and bring with it several legal implications as well. 

An interesting prediction that has sparked off a debate, following an industry report that was published by Amadeus. This is coming from a travel technology partner & transaction processor of the global tourism industry. The global report is titled, ‘The always-connected traveller: How mobile will transform the future of air travel.’  The report says that emerging mobile innovations with advanced features and functionality will entirely transform a traveler's journey in a span of  three to five years.

What would be the kind of mobile technology offerings that would appeal to you if it was offered by the airlines? Would any deficiency prompt you to take legal recourse or settle it amicably? 

What are your thoughts on this?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Indian Law Proposed: Free Access to Individual's Sensitive Information

When amendments are passed, we expect a change for the better, an opportunity to improve something that earlier caused a discord in the smooth running of the system of justice. 

This year in India, new rules are being framed under the IT Amendment Act that has come under considerable criticism. Here's why:

1. It will enable the government to obtain sensitive and personal information about individuals from the companies they work for or are associated with, without the concerned person's consent and without any warrant as such.

2. Information includes a person's passwords, financial information such as bank accounts;  medical records, sexual orientation and biometric information. The information will be kept confidential from third parties.

Think about it. We all store a lot of our most vital and personal information online. The biggest danger is the most obvious one, particularly if there are no legislative provisions or in-built checks to protect the individual's privacy and dignity.

What do you think? How do you believe this rule, if passed, can pose risk/offer benefit to the nation at large?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Inspired by The Alchemist

I am not a voracious reader. If asked, I'd say there are about three or four books that I really enjoyed reading from start to finish. That's it. The rest, I've never been inclined to read.

But Paulo Coelho's book, The Alchemist, is a book that inspired me many years ago.  A lot of die-hard readers say that he has not said anything new and that what he has said was said centuries ago by Rishis and wiser persons. Since I have not read what they wrote, The Alchemist continues to inspire.

There is a conversation in particular that has always inspired me. It goes like this:

"Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him. We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed in its own direction, towards its own fate...What you need to know is that before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way.  It does this no because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved toward that dream. That's the point at which most people give up. It's the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, 'one dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'"

Another favorite -

"...a grain of sand is a moment in creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it."

Whenever I read these words or paragraphs from this book The Alchemist, it propels me to move forward and reach out to make my dreams come true, because as the book propagates, the whole spirit of the Universe can make it happen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thanks for the Versatile Blogger Award

For this Award, my thanks go to Stranger for the encouragement that's been extended to me. Thanks, friend.

Well, now as required on accepting this award, I will list seven facts about myself even though it may be of no factual relevance as such.

1.  Axess Legal Corp transformed my life. Rajeev and I first conceptualized it based on a fundamental belief of being good in an industry that is criticized largely and attributed to suffer serious trust deficit. It was just the first step towards creating trust and it worked well for us, thanks to God.

2.  I am a very private person but I have a small circle of friends that I trust 100%. I don't like advice. I dislike relationships and conversations that are superficial or deceptive. The same works on my blog too. It's not easy for me to trust or like some one out of the blue and I prefer this to be so, though its somewhat a disadvantage of sorts. 

3.  I work hard but I am not totally satisfied, I think I would like to work a lot more and be much harder on myself.

4.  There are many things I can't stand. Here are some: fanaticism, hypocrisy, lies, boasting, showing an "I know everything" attitude, freaky behavior at work, etc.

5.  Seeing my parents happy and safeguarding my client's interest with total dedication and sincerity- these two things are of utmost importance to my own happiness.

6.  The most important occasions and developments in my life have almost always happened on a Thursday.

 7.  I am most tempted to give this Award to my favorite blogger and friend, R Ramesh, whose blog is a must-visit but I think he's got so many of these awards that it would be more like a burden on his light shoulders. My request is - keep blogging the funny lines, keep us smiling.

Now, its my turn to pass the Award to those who deserve it better than I do. Wishing them great luck in blogging and for all their hard work, here goes this Award to:

SG whose posts were the first ones that I found interesting and informative when I came to the blogging world. It ranges from serious to emotional to humorous - a terrific read is what his posts always give me.

Petty Witter  for all her straight-from-the-heart book-related posts.

Mridula for inspiring me with her regular photo updates and small warm note explaining it to the readers.

Dipali Taneja for blogging in an interesting way about topics that are of relevance in today's society such as sexual abuse, blood donation and so on.

Aparna Radhakrishnan  for warm, lively and homely posts.

Now, the tough part for you: decide and share this Award with others who you believe deserve to have it!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Apologies for a Hectic Beginning

Dear Friends,

My apologies for not blogging regularly. I've had a busy start this year and a tiring one, too. I barely make time nowadays to spend with my son - so you can imagine how hectic it has become. It also has something to do with the fact that I had to ask my driver to go because he disappeared for weeks at a crucial time and without any proper explanation, and turned up out of the blue, demanding to be taken back again. Normally, I have a kind bone and tend to let these things go, but this guy 's misconduct and casual attitude to what is his 'bread and butter' irked me.  There is no way I could take back this guy who has such a careless yet demanding attitude.

I am looking out for a good driver because as a lawyer, it is necessary for me to focus on what's coming up in court that day, prepare for it, make the necessary calls, read the brief, things like that, rather than huff and puff about the traffic jams, worry about diversions, these are not the things that should occupy my mind space. However, they are, because it's now part of my schedule. Also, exhausting because there's so much that needs to get done. Oh, by the way, Axess Legal Corp won two important cases right at the beginning this year and yes, we want to leverage that to deepen the trust that our clients have for us. Thanking you, friends, for the support you've been giving us.

So, as I am telling you here, I'm on the look out to get things in place so that my schedule is more structured with the core purpose of what I am doing. Meanwhile, tell me, how's the year begun at your end?