Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gabrielle - Dreams

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Jakarta Protests

This is going on in Jakarta today.... 

Jakarta taxi drivers protest against Uber and Grab

Not affecting me directly, though I do use Jakarta taxi's all the time, have never used Uber or Grab here, but on my India trip we did take advantage Grab, only because you couldn't get taxi's easy in the neighborhood my aunt lives in. 

I will say taxi's in Jakarta are fairly cheap and easy to find, so perhaps there are too many, which makes them very competitive for money. When we went to Singapore, we had a heck of a time with taxis, many taxis around but you couldn't hail one at all, they were all pre-booked and than when you would get one to stop on the street for you, he would decide if he wanted to go to your destination or not, sometimes he would drive off, guess didn't need the fare all that much. We never have that problem here in Jakarta. On occasion I'll take a rickshaw or motorbike for hire, while the taxis are safe, they can stuck in traffic something terrible. The motorbikes can really bob and weave; though sadly the price of a nice air conditioned taxi and a hired motorbike is the same. Crazy, no??

Hopefully, tomorrow everything will go back to normal.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Segregation of India 


The Segregation of India

In the building where I grew up, Hindus and Muslims lived side by side.


Another fascinating NYT's article. Very interesting and sad, I too remember India from my childhood being so much more secular, now it seems so divided. I mean everyone lives and works together but at any second a match could be lit, violence simmers below the surface. It was seen this summer with the death of Mohammed Aklas, when the local Hindu Priest in this tiny town said Aklas and his family had beef stored in their refrigerator, a mob went and attacked the family and killed Aklas. Modi government silent on the entire incident. Family of Aklas resigned to this being their fate, that there will be no justice for their father. 

Just sad. 

I get why politicians use these ethnic/religious divides, its for the easy win, the easy gain in power; but to be a true leader, a good leader, is to move your people forward to a sustainable future, maintaining ethnic divisions through violence and bullying is not sustainable. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Caste System

The Enduring Curse of Caste

Instead of withering away as Indian democracy matures, social discrimination has asserted itself in new ways.

How appropriate I was sent this article today, as I and family have come back from a trip to India. It has been 10 years since I've been to India. The country has exploded, even more so, if possible. But one thing I noticed this time, was the simmering tension between Hindu's and Muslims, not least fueled by the Hindu Nationalist government of India led by Mr. Modi. He has in the past referred to Muslims as 'rats.' 

The injustices in that country are bubbling and wanting to burst forth and still, I also get frustrated at this caste system in that, it is so unfair and yet all of these caste issues can easily be set aside when the powers that be call for violence against Muslims, telling the uneducated masses that all their problems are because of the Muslims and thus easily deflecting attention from the ills of the caste system.  The uneducated, poor lower castes do the killing but the wealthy upper castes, like Mr. Modi, stay in power. And nothing changes. 

While there, I saw the marked difference between the have's and the have-not's, much more pronounced than in Bosnia or here in Indonesia. India is hurtling forward to the future, a growing middle class, but it is also leaving a portion of its population behind. I just don't see how that can be sustainable or successful. Even we in America grapple with this. 

Right, sorry, didn't mean to go off on a rant, but this is front in my mind of late, I saw more and more, issues of religious divisiveness this visit (or perhaps it had always been there but I hadn't noticed because all the other times I was in India, I was a child??).