ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘ban

Ola Uber surge pricing: Paid Media decry the ban

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olauber.jpgApp based Taxi services have been charging higher during peak hours under the fancy name of ‘Surge Pricing’. There has been a lot of hue and cry by public across the country, but given the pathetic state of public transport, people could do nothing but pay often x2, x3 the fare.

Similar thing was noticed during Odd/Even days in Delhi when understandably the demand was high. People ended up paying up to x4 the fare. Then came the warning from Delhi Govt., post which the surge pricing was suspended by both Ola and Uber. What I noticed next was really funny.

Uber sent a notification to its users explaining that if they see ‘no cabs’ around, it is due to the surge pricing ban by Govt. And then there were paid lobbyists who started campaigning under the garb of ‘blogs’ on news websites. They say what Delhi Govt has done is death to free market and sends a wrong signal to innovation. They use the same fancy term, ‘Surge Pricing’ which is an ‘algorithm’ developed by these companies based on demand and supply. Let me point out why they are hypocrites.

These were the same people who used to tear up their clothes and run naked, when asked return fare by auto drivers. “These auto wallas, I tell you. Such bad people. The guy charged me half return (x1.5). The loot I say”. Those were their lines. Now they are justifying Surge Pricing. Just coz auto wallas didn’t pay them to lobby on their behalf and Ola/Uber did. Or maybe because they consider poor auto drivers perfect vehicle to vent their anger and rich taxi aggregators too premium to lambast. Or maybe they have some other convoluted justification.

If they ask for free market then why the smirk when auto unions ask for hike in auto fare? Why smirk when during peak hours auto drivers ask for x1.5 or x2. Don’t they deserve surge pricing? Or is surge pricing only applicable for those having AC cabs.

What more is, I have seen such anger at auto drivers among the so called educated people. As if auto drivers are kings and live in palaces. They are poor people and live in shoddy conditions. But no, they don’t deserve surge pricing. Only AC cabs too.

No doubt cab aggregators have made life simpler for commuters. They provide safety and security. But they should not be allowed cannibalism. First eliminate competition (autos) by making losses/providng free rides and then go for the kill (surge pricing).

I am not against surge pricing as it comes heavy on my pocket. I am against it as it is cannibalism. India has a lot of poor people who live by driving auto rickshaws. We need to protect their livelihood for the sake of humanity.

And remember all the coupons and 6/- per km rides will go away very soon. And when the prices become stable, what will remain are carcasses of auto’s and the surge pricing.

Written by arpitgarg

April 21, 2016 at 12:59 am

Posted in General/Society

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Shani Shingnapur to Sabarimala: Is it really discrimination?

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shani.jpgThe fight for entry to women in Shani Temple and Sabarimala has reached Supreme Court. SC has asked the Govt. to ensure that women have access to entire premises of Shani Shingnapur temple. It’s not an easy topic to take sides. Political correctness urges us to blindly bad mouth temples, pujaris and the blatant discrimination. But is it really discrimination? And is the movement akin to suffrage?

Even at the time of suffrage movement, there were men who reasoned why women shouldn’t be allowed voting rights. We all know it was their chauvinism coupled with skewed beliefs imbibed since childhood, speaking. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

Is this temple movement the same? Let’s try and look at it with an open mind. On the face it looks like blatant discrimination and hence I decided to do some R&D. I have been to hundreds of temples through my life along with my parents. Never was my mother not allowed in the temple. Not never, I did visit Shani Shingnapur and my mother and sister were on the outer line, away from the raised platform. As per my understanding there are 4-5 temples in all (I might be slightly wrong), out of millions, that do not allow complete access to women.

Why are they termed discriminatory? For this we have to dig into the past. For a long time, scheduled castes were not allowed entry to temples. In fact they were not even allowed to access same wells. Total social ostracization. But it was the temple discrimination that made a lot of Dalit Hindus move to other faiths. After all what good is the God that can’t stop discrimination in his own home? It took a long time to eradicate such practices. With this background, any discrimination in temples is frowned upon.

Before going any further, I would again ask to keep an open mind, as things can get muddled very easily. Is there really someone behind all those temples; all those stones? Is the concept of thousands of Gods real? For the ones who believe in the concept of humanized Gods (majority of us), what more is left not to believe? We who believe in the logically stupid concept of worshipping stones are anyway gullible enough to believe in anything.

Women are not allowed entry to certain temples due to some reasons. They might sound insane. But given the context of worshipping stones, believe me they are very much sane. We worship Shiva Lingams (penis to be exact). We can be called stupid but are we discriminatory?

Coming to Shani Temple, Shani Dev is considered ominous. Most of us fear Shani ka Prakop. A lot of pujaris earn a lot of money doing Shani Pooja to ease off Shani. It’s a throbbing industry. Women are kept away from Shani to save them. The origin is not discrimination but protection. Those who don’t know the origin cry discrimination. Shani is in contrast to Sun. Sun stands for brightness, provides fertility to women. Shani is a bad dude. Even one glance from Shani Dev can do harm to fertility of women. That is the belief. Effect on male fertility is not clear. Males do Shani Pooja to keep Shani Dev off their family. They shield the women from ills of Shani. This is the origin. Again, you can call us stupid, but we are not discriminatory. We have Kamakhya Temple, where we basically worship women sexual part. Enough said. Period.

Now over to Sabarimala, it is Lord Ayappan’s shrine. He was a lifelong Brahmachari; a celibate. There is long story as to why we worship a celibate God. For our current context, knowing that he is Brahmachari should suffice. I have read a lot of articles where they mention that menstruating women being unclean are not allowed. This is wrong as it alludes to physical impurity. Menstruation is related to reproduction. Reproduction requires sexual activity. And here is where Celibacy of Lord Ayappan comes in. Hence women are not allowed. There are other stories too about how Ayappan did not marry a woman whose love remains unrequited etc etc. But all comes back to sex and celibacy. Now you can again call us stupid for the entire belief, but please not discriminatory. After all we worship a stone, that too a celibate one.

Similarly there is handful of temples where male entry is restricted. It goes back to what we believe is the origin of that particular God. It has nothing to do with discrimination. It has to do with stupidity. Some stupid people (agitating for allowing women) are fighting other stupid people (who feel its war against tradition). Both are not smart as far as I am concerned. As soon as they started believing in all those back-stories and all those Gods, they both lost the moral right to question each other.

If we believe in God, how can we question all the associated stupidities. Logically, concept of God is the biggest façade that can ever be. Either you believe in it or you don’t. Temple is a place where we worship stones, it’s not a picnic place.

To summarize: Stupid, Not Discriminatory.

Written by arpitgarg

April 14, 2016 at 2:44 am

India’s Daughter: Phonies back in business

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blackboxControversy surrounded the documentary India’s daughter has brought all phonies back to action. With their opinions and commentary on various media platforms.

I read a piece by a self proclaimed eminent person, who was in news about controversial death of his wife till very recently. According to him, the ban embarrasses India. Cool! So a ban on a documentary by BBC embarrasses whole of India. No Sir, it’s you who feel embarrassed. You who feel economy class flight traveler are cattle. We can just imagine what you would think of Train travelers; Bus travelers. God forbid you meet a person who don’t have any money to travel, you would I am sure choke to breath the same air. You feel embarrassed as you would be asked questions by your friends across the world and probably in BBC.

Your phoniness knows know bound. Stop crying for British Broadcasting Corporation, come down to earth and do your bit for your mother India. But no, you would enjoy and feel embarrassed in the company of global elites, while we who are worse than cattle, are subjected to this torture of your blogs.

A lot of such his/her highness are raising voices across. Like all other issues in India are already resolved. Please work to make India a better nation, not to grab airwaves. I am deeply saddened by affairs of media. How have they fallen! The race for TRP has corrupted them beyond repair. I can understand actions by a foreign media channel, foreign reporter, who did things to make money at the expense of India. But why our own media wants to do the same to our own nation is beyond understanding.

I urge our national media not to fall prey to sensationalism. There are many issues in countries across the world. Find such issues and make equally outrageous documentaries about those countries. You will find me standing by you. For the sake of nation, spare your own country.

Written by arpitgarg

March 7, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with , , , ,

Akshay, Aamir, Awards: A Dilemma

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Last night a breaking news simultaneously bombarded across all the News Channels. “Akshay refused to accept the Star Screen award for the best actor in popular category”. It was said that he was miffed at it not being given to Aamir. Here’s the catch. Aamir don’t attend such award ceremonies as a policy. Would announcing Aamir the winner take the sheen away from the ceremony, given his absence? To some extend, yes. Now what can Star Screen do? I recollect similar dilemma during the time of Gadar and Lagaan. Their resounding success was of so sheer velocity that no award ceremony dare give it to some other movie or some other star. Since Sunny and Aamir both boycott these populist awards, what happened? The award functions looked pale and just a formality. This brings us to the current discussion, Was Star Screen right in not giving award to the deserving, Aamir? Well, answer might not be as simple.

One solution might be to stop nominating them. Make it a policy statement. In the past a lot many award functions have done so, including Oscars. This might in turn end up lending them, a much needed credibility.

So why haven’t they done it already? Most of the award functions are organized by private media houses who need the stars for promotional purposes. Consider a scenario, “Aamir Khan not been considered for Star Screen awards”. Given the size of egos in Bollywood, Aamir (or his well wishers), might take it as an insult. This would open the floodgates, open war b/w camps (already there are no less). No media house wants to end up at the point of no return. So they try and maintain cordial relations. Not attending the award lends the star, a high moral ground. Not being openly considered might be taken as an outright insult. The truth today is that stars such as Aamir are more powerful than any particular media house. Hence they are nominated year after year, should they ever change their mind.

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