Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, Blogdosts !

      It has been one hell of a year, it has! I am glad it is nearly over. 
Here's to new beginnings... hope and happiness in 2015. 
I love your comments. Do keep them coming! 
Have a glorious 2015, dear, dear Blogdosts! 
Thank you for your love and support!
       Where have all the children gone….?
I am writing this on X’Mas Eve. This is possibly the first time in several years that my mood is hopelessly down… the festive spirit has yet to touch me. I have gone through the motions, of course – the tree in the living room is fussily decorated, the front door lit up. I have the presents neatly gift wrapped and ready to distribute. Someone has sent us X’Mas cake and pudding…. someone else, champagne. We have attended five pre-X’Mas parties… there are two more to go. The weather in Mumbai is unbelievably cool and the sunlight, a pale shade of gold. On the streets there are countless Santas tapping car windows and peddling velvet reindeer horns. Along the seafront, people are lighting ‘wish lanterns’ imported from Thailand. What sort of a wish should we be making?
Ever since the Peshawar attacks on helpless children that left 132 kids dead, I have been thinking of  little else but the plight of  grieving mothers mourning  their murdered sons. Their lives will never be the same again. And while the rest of the world readies itself for a brand new year… new beginnings…. 2014 will be permanently marked as the year of grief for these unfortunate women. There can be no grief as profound, as scarring, as deep as the death of a child. Almost every other loss known to mankind  is  replaceable.  But nothing and no one can take the place of a child. I know couples who lost children under tragic circumstances more than forty years ago. But even to this day (while they  themselves confront age and death), the memory of that child remains vivid and omnipresent. Every little reminder, brings tears to the eyes…every family occasion is tinged with sorrow. The dead child’s absence is tangible – a powerful pull that touches the living more acutely than the vibrant  presence of  all the others present.
Of course, the world has moved on and away from the gruesome killings in Peshawar.  Closer to home, schools across India are tightening security and conducting emergency drills, just in case there is a repeat of that horrific terrorist attack on Indian soil. As the year draws to a close, it is time to ask ourselves what we can possibly do to combat  threats of this magnitude, involving defenseless innocents. Children are the world’s most precious resource. How can we protect them? Most mothers of slain children end up blaming themselves .Some may be thinking ‘If only I had been there, I could have saved my son and taken the bullets.” Or, “What if  I had not sent him to school that day? Why didn’t my sixth sense warn me something terrible was going to happen…” Hind sight is an awful affliction, and mothers possess more of it than needed. Unable to come to terms with the enormity of the tragedy, mothers obsessively recreate the last few hours of  the time spent together and conclude they could have prevented the tragic turn of events. A mother in grief ceases to be a rational person. It is useless trying to talk her out of flagellating herself emotionally. Perhaps that is the only healing she knows… and she should be granted the space and respect to deal with the tragedy in whichever way she chooses.
Women and children – the world takes both for granted. This is intrinsically wrong. Horribly wrong. 2015 is a good year to begin a genuine transformation, that goes beyond lip service and weak legislation. Our track record in India is abysmal on all counts. We treat women and children atrociously. Always have. 2014 was no better. But why bleat and plead and beat our breasts? Why not push for the overdue changes ourselves? Let’s begin with basics – let’s prosecute those who exploit child labour and treat the guilty like the hardened criminals they indeed are. Nobel Peace Prize winner  Kailash Satyarthi has shown us the way forward. Let’s also focus on getting our girls into schools. Malala Yousafzai… fittingly won her Nobel, for fighting this war . If 2015 is dedicated to women and children by a united world, we would have taken the first major step in the right direction. Can we afford to wait for even a day more? How many women and children do we want to lose to violence before we wake up and do something to save them…to save humanity at large?
The narrative for women and children must start now. Let’s ring in the new year on this positive note.

Thank you for sharing 2014 with me, beloved readers… I value you in my life. Here’s to a better 2015.
                                  NDTV  BLOG 18               30th Dec 2014
                     Why  Bollywood doesn’t stand by its own…
I was on a television panel discussion last night. Yup. Same one on which the anchor provides all the answers to questions asked by the nation. The topic was volatile (widespread vandalism of theatres screening the Aamir Khan starrer, ‘PK’ in Ahemdabad, Bhopal and elsewhere)  but the panelists were thanda. The panelists who were supposed to condemn the violence, that is.While the three defending the disgraceful shenanigans belonged to right wing  political/ religious outfits, the three of us representing the  ‘voice of the people’ were disappointingly muted. Well, I tried my best to be heard over the din of smug, self-appointed custodians of Hindu sentiments, but it was a frustrating and pointless exercise. I asked why the channel had not invited someone more ‘tagda’ to represent Bollywood . The reply didn’t surprise me – nobody of any importance from the movie industry wanted to speak up  - for the principle, not an individual. For the wrongness of what took place. Not for Aamir Khan. Or Raju Hirani. Or even the contents of the controversial movie. Speak up against these sort of intimidatory tactics. Speak up for our threatened freedoms. Speak up for democracy. Speak up for peaceful protests. Speak up for their own future, for heaven’s sake!
The answer is pretty obvious: Bollywood is scared.
Bolllywood  has reasons to be scared. Very scared.
And this is the real story : Bollywood is vulnerable. Perhaps, more vulnerable than any other sector in India.  It has always been this way. In earlier times, when Bolllywood itself was run in an erratic, unprofessional and disorganized fashion, it was easier for anti-social elements to exercise control over the film industry.  These ‘elements’ were dangerous and armed. They resorted to direct threat, blackmail and murder. The motive was money. Bollywood was a soft target for extortionists looking to make a killing the easy way. It was hard to stand up to these goons…and still stay alive. Some who tried to take on the underworld, paid for it heavily… and got the message fast enough. So did the others. Perhaps, this was when the term ‘setting’ was coined. It was a polite way of admitting you had done a deal with the ‘Bhais’. Yes, it was hard to handle outright threats back then. Maybe, it’s even harder now.
Today, even though the Bhais are still around, the Bollywood model of doing business has changed. Bollywood is corporatized now and run more professionally by men and women wearing Armani, not sleazeballs in polyester safari suits. But hello! the monies generated by superhits have gone through the roof, too!  ( ‘PK’ has grossed Rs.233 crores already).The vultures are still circling the big studios. But there are new players on the scene to contend with. These  people exercise  muscle power and clout as well… and as effectively.  Bollywood continues to run scared. There is no place to hide.
I don’t blame big stars, producers, directors for not jumping into the latest ‘PK’ imbroglio. They simply can’t afford the risk! There is far too much at stake and nobody wants to commit professional hara-kiri by challenging the might of shadowy outfits claiming to represent the majority.
This is such a shame. If Bollywood had indeed decided to take a joint stand and speak in one voice this time, perhaps the film industry would have benefitted in the long run. After all, this sort of wanton destruction serves no real purpose. It is not Aamir or Raju paying the price for the ‘protests’ – it is theatre owners! The movie has been cleared across the board. Leela Samson has issued a sane statement in the wake of the debate. Justice Lodha’s directives are abundantly clear. The film has been screened without any incident for 10 long days. All of a sudden there are violent reactions? Come on. 
And Bollywood has  kept mum.
Is it cowardice or good sense that dictates how Bollywood reacts to threats? I’d say it’s both. Silence has become the standard. Which in a way, implies surrender. Most stars shy away from engaging in larger issues that concern the film industry. They remain obstinately non-committal. Or genuinely indifferent. This is just so short sighted and selfish. If the big wigs in Bollywood get together and form a strong and singular body to represent their interests across the board, such attacks can be better addressed. It is not merely Aamir’s problem or Hirani’s problem. It involves everybody! Bollywood tends to segregate and compartmentalize crises, with zero show of unity when it is most required – like now.
Soon the ‘PK’ attacks will die down. But there will be more. Of that, we can be sure. What then? Will Bolllywood continue to play ostrich? Suffer amnesia and laryngitis? One hopes not…for its own sake.
There’s nothing as sinister as the silence of the lambs…
Attn: Meenal,Sudipta              Mumbai Mirror   26thDec 2014
               Chick of the year : Malala Yousefzai

Quite possibly, Malala Yousefzai is the most famous 17- year- old on the planet right now. As she well deserves to be. Her acceptance speech after winning the Nobel Prize for Peace 2014, is remarkable on several levels. It sounded like it was written by her and not drafted by a professional speech writer. It was the impassioned voice of a young woman, aware of her extraordinary position in history, and yet girlish enough to admit she still fights with her brother! Her message to the world was profound and yet, couched in simple, straight forward language. When she talked about leaders opting for tanks over text books , she received spontaneous  applause from the well-heeled, hard- nosed audience  assembled inside the magnificent palace in Stockholm. Watching her on countless television screens across the world, were millions of awe struck admirers…plus, a few powerful foes. Her voice remained as steady as her gaze.  It was hard to believe she was not yet eighteen!
What must it be like to  be Malala – a teenager who achieved global recognition the day she defied the Taliban and in return, got shot in the head for daring to challenge a diktat that forbade girls from attending school.This was in 2012 – the dramatic year that soon became a pivotal one not just for Malala, but for all vulnerable students in Pakistan. The first miracle was that she survived the gunshot. The second, was still more notable -  she carried on with her education,  and in the process became a hugely admired global icon. Where did this young girl get the courage from? What made her take on the Taliban… and emerge victorious as an international ambassador for education? I’d say, look no further than her family. Malala has  publicly acknowledged the role played by her parents in her fight to speak up on behalf of  children who are denied a fundamental right – the right to study . Ziauddin Yousefzai, her proud father, and Tor Pokai, her supportive mother, are two people who deserve to share her Nobel honour equally. Had they compelled her to rethink her decision and stay put at home after she survived the attack, perhaps the history of education for girls in Pakistan would have been different. Unfortunately, the significance of what Malala stood up to and would continue to stand up for, was completely lost on her government. Yes, a $10 million Malala Educational Fund was announced amidst great fanfare. But the tragic truth is that even after that, the number of girls who DON’T go to school  in Pakistan ,has gone up! Malala herself pretty much lives the life of an exile, unable to return to the country of her birth.  The book ‘I am Malala’ has become an international best seller, inspiring countless young people to derive strength from Malala’s incredible life. But she herself, lives away from her country, her people, in distant Birmingham
This year indubitably belongs to Malala – she is the chick of chicks. At seventeen, she has seen more life than most women at seventy. What happens to Malala next is crucial. Will she stay the course? Will she remain unswayed by all the adulation and fame? How far will her activism take her? Twenty years from now, she will be just 37- years- old  –  how will she use these two decades? She talks of becoming the Prime Minister of  Pakistan someday. Inshallah, that will happen. It’s hard to believe anyone could possess such a resolute vision of life at the tender age of seventeen. But then again, Malala is not the average teen. She possesses a maturity  -  a sense of destiny  -  that is way beyond her years.
Pakistani watchers insist the massacre in Peshawar occurred as a direct fallout of  Malala’s Nobel. It is said the Taliban wanted to send out a strong message to girls who want to follow Malala’s example. Well, they now know they risk getting their heads blown off  if they persist. If so, Malala faces an extra challenge. The safety and security of several thousand girls has been unfairly thrust on her. Malala was fortunate – she survived the gun shot. Others may not be as blessed. Malala’s crusade is pretty daunting. She is a natural born leader…. politics is but a part of natural progression. Reassuringly enough, tomorrow’s Prime Minister of Pakistan  is still kiddish enough, candid enough, to publicly confess she fights with her brother! Thank God, she does! Or else the world would have wondered if Malala was for real.
For now, it’s enough that Ms. Yousefzai is doing what millions of  students her age do – she’s studying hard, appearing for exams, and making sure the grades are good. And yes, she continues to scrap with her brother!
Here’s to 2015, dear readers. And to more Malalas across the world. Thank you for sharing this space!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The illiteracy of the Ruling Class...

What a fantastic launch! At 92, Ram Jethmalani remains one of the sharpest brains in India! Outspoken, witty and enormously charming, I really enjoyed moderating his session at the recently concluded TOI Lit Fest in Mumbai.
Sunday Times                  Politically Incorrect              5th Dec 2014
                           The ‘Illiteracy’ of the ruling class…
This week was reserved for BJP Union Minister ‘Sadhvi’ Niranjan Jyoti and her foul mouth. No amount of gargling with boric acid will cleanse that. Or her mind. She may have apologized and taken back her despicable words. But the fact that she uttered them in the first place, is shocking enough.The even more shocking aspect of this incident is this : are we really upset by what she said? As upset as we need to be under the circumstances? Or will we take her gutter language in our stride and move on? In another, equally distasteful context, will we also overlook Mamata Banerjee’s crude ‘Bamboo’ remark and put it down to yet another ‘Didi outburst’?  Are we getting so accustomed to vile language being spewed in public by prominent political players, that we no longer react to these  crude remarks with the abhorrence they demand?
The worst aspect of the ‘Sadhvi’ speech was Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s weak attempt at justifying her revolting words by explaining Niranjan Jyoti is ‘a woman from an economically weaker background who has risen without all sorts of support.” So???  Was he implying we should employ a different set of standards for individuals who rise ‘without all sorts of support’. What sort of support did he mean? He added he had ‘counselled’ her and she had ‘realised her mistake’. He put a lid on the controversy by firmly declaring, “There the matter ends’. Oh no, it doesn’t. If anything, there the matter begins!
Mamata has never needed anybody to either defend or counsel her – nobody would dare attempt it either. Nor would anything work in her case. Unlike Union Minister Niranjan Jyoti ( can you believe this 47- year- old  is Minister of State for  Food Processing Industries?), the Chief Minister of West Bengal lays claims to many impressive college degrees, and on paper at least, she is a highly educated person! Which makes one wonder what we mean by education these days! Is this the language used by ‘educated’ people? Should one start divorcing education from culture, upbringing, sensitivity, knowledge, civilized conduct?
Look at the Sadhvi’s track record -  here’s a person who has made it to this enviable position  after winning from Fatehpur, a constituency  which the erudite V.P.Singh had nurtured and  won twice. Jyoti  belongs to a community of  boatmen - seen as an important vote bank in the state. She was the only woman to be sworn into the 21 member council of ministers. It was believed she was being rewarded by the party for helping the BJP crack the Dalit and backward classes in Uttar Pradesh. All that is fine. It’s politics as usual. That her declared net worth hovers around 25 lakhs, also says something. But is that ‘something’ enough? Can her modest beginnings be exploited to condone her atrocious public abuse? Will anybody offer similar concessions to someone who comes from a less deprived background? Are we supposed to feel sorry for the abusive ‘Sadhvi’? Why?
This is yet another example of the politics of convenience and opportunism. Sure, she is an elected representative of the people and nobody can take that away from her. But did she have to be inducted into the government and given a ministerial berth she is clearly not qualified for? No, she didn’t! And if she has been placed there, either she should shape up and fit the bill, or, if she crosses all limits of decency (as she did), she must be sacked. Why should the offended people of India passively accept her programmed, hollow apology and go along with the government when it declares it a ‘closed chapter’. Who closed it? Not us!
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti calls herself a ‘Katha Vachak’. She is someone who delivers religious sermons through story telling. She also describes herself as a social worker. Most would agree her latest speech disqualifies her on both counts -  if that was her idea of a good story, sorry, it sucked. And what sort of ‘social work’ does she do apart from inciting followers? It is disingenuous to say that her speech was not made inside the Parliament, and therefore can’t be held against her. Really?  It is precisely this kind of arrogant justification of blatant wrong doing that is worrying voters. If the Sadhvi gets away with this and still hangs on to her position, it will encourage others to follow suit, test the waters of tolerance and see if they too are honourably exonerated by the powers that be. Parliamentary conduct and language be damned, we have witnessed disgraceful scenes of hoolganism indulged in by all the parties at some point of the other. The disturbing trend has to stop and strong disciplinary action taken against those who misbehave and break laws of civil conduct – within and outside the Parliament.

The root cause of the Sadhvi’s deplorable utterances is the lack of education – and by that I don’t mean getting a degree from a reputed university. People like her, irrespective of which religious group they represent, deserve to be ostracized and shunned. If she had been asked to step down, it would have sent the right signal across party lines and perhaps, deterred future hater mongers from making such inflammatory comments. But will we ever show such sense and take necessary steps in advance? Unlikely. There is too much at stake – all sorts of  nasty equations to safeguard, dubious factions to protect. That leaves the Bewildered Indian who wonders what went wrong… when… why.  We remained silent when we ought to have spoken up. People like Niranjan Jyoti don’t suddenly pop out of  nowhere. They wait… they know when to strike… because they also know who’ll protect them when they do open their mouths. It’s the Sadhvi today – who will it be tomorrow?
    Shobhaa’s Take                 27thNov2014 Asian Age
Perhaps my strong emotional response to the Ferguson case in distant St.Louis, Missouri, has a lot to do with the fact I spent a fortnight in America recently and came back with thousands of  images exploding out of my head. Most were pleasant – very pleasant. Some, not so. I was back on the West Coast after a fairly long break. The flight to Los Angeles seemed never ending – well, over sixteen hours cooped up inside an airplane is almost as bad as being strapped into an MRI machine for sixteen minutes - and equally claustrophobic. The  LAX airport looked most third world ( to be fair, massive construction is on to convert it into a swanky new terminal), and I smirked superciliously, remembering Mumbai’s glittering T2 and several other equally attractive, modern terminals across India. The entire experience on arrival in the land of milk and honey, was disheartening and gloomy ( no porters, no trolleys, poor signage, total chaos), and the long drive to the hotel over shabby flyovers and dirty streets, didn’t help the mood.
Later, much later, walking around the impossibly spread out city and talking to locals, it was pretty obvious that the great ‘Melting Pot’ of the world was showing signs of  strain and was in danger of boiling over. As it happened when Michael Brown, an 18- year- old , unarmed  African American teenager was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white cop, who was later exonerated by a grand jury. “I just did my job. I did what I was paid to do,” Wilson blandly told his interviewer on ABC News, further fuelling the wrath of protestors across the country. At the time of writing, several cities across America are burning, in what threatens to be a major polarizing moment in race relations – uneasy and troubling at the best of times. Flashpoints like the Ferguson case take place when society refuses to address ghastly truths about itself and pretends ‘all is well’ when it damn well isn’t. We, in India, are in exactly the same situation, and for the same reasons. We refuse to give our demon a name. In place of race we have religion.
 Most Americans by and large remain indifferent to what’s going on in India. And I am talking about desi Americans, too. Most are so frighteningly insular in their outlook, one wonders whether they have any other real interests and objectives beyond making money ( the primary reason most of them immigrated to America more than thirty years ago). Yes, they are vaguely curious about Narendra Modi and his government. But if you think the Madison Square Garden extravaganza impressed these folks, forget it. They took pains to point out it was precision staged by well-heeled BJP supporters in America, who efficiently managed the gushy Indian media coverage of the hoopla . According to the people I met, the average Joe didn’t know ( nor care) that a Very Important Man from India had come to America and met President Obama. What was a momentous, historic event for us back home, was apparently nothing more significant than  a  four line reference in mainstream newspapers there. In fact, the ‘Indian’  person who is occupying the mind space of our deshbhais and behens far more, is  Republican Governor of  Louisiana , Piyush         Bobby Jindal (he also holds the post of Vice Chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association), who is being described as the ultimate ‘dark horse’ with a pretty good chance of clinching the  Presidential nomination, beating Hillary Clinton and the rest in the race to the White House. Eat that!
How does race touch ‘our’ people in America? It is funny – they remain suspended somewhere in between – neither ‘idhar’ nor ‘udhar’. A little like the proverbial ‘dhobi ka kutta’. I didn’t see any real intermingling   - whether with the Whites or African Americans. If anything, Indians stick to other Indians, and largely mind their own business. Their prosperity is evident and visible, more on the West Coast than elsewhere. These are the wealthy techies who have done spectacularly well in Silicon Valley and beyond. They work hard , educate their kids at top schools, spend those green backs judiciously,  invest in decent homes… travel… and  stay out of trouble. Like the other Asians. Perhaps, that’s the best way to survive and thrive. Their kids feel American, eat American, live American, think American, dream American. Their idea of India is nebulous at best. And the only connect is via grand- parents they may meet once in two years.  Are they friends with White kids? Frankly, I can’t comment. I didn’t see much of it during my short stay.
 How do the several Indian communities living in America respond to the Ferguson saga? Do they experience the same level of outrage as African Americans demonstrating on the streets? Clearly not. But try asking them where their sympathies lie, and don’t be surprised if they defend the White cop, Darren Wilson. The thing is, we are as racist ( if not more so) than anybody else. Educated, successful, overseas’ Indians actually think they are White! Not coloured – even though that is the category they technically fit into. And that is how they are seen.  Personally speaking, going through the rather demeaning line of questioning by Immigration officials, I wasn’t all that surprised to be asked a few really intrusive / offensive questions , in  tones that dripped sarcasm. Nor was I shocked to be searched and checked for ‘gunpowder and explosives’. This is how it goes. Michael Brown paid for it with his life. Prejudice wears blinkers and sees what it wishes to.
 Often,your only crime is the colour of your skin. Whether in America or India.
             Mumbai Mirror               4th Dec  2014
                              Rohtak Sisters : Drama Queens??
 I clearly recall collaring a brute who had deliberately brushed past me outside Eros cinema, and clobbering him. Nobody had intervened or come to my defence. I must have been seventeen years old at the time.Now comes the  dramatic story of the Rohtak sisters. I  confess I fell for the uncut version myself. So impressed was I with the way Aarti(22) and Pooja (19)  fixed their tormentors in a crowded bus, I promptly hailed them as modern day Jhansi Ki  Raanis in a tweet! By then, they were all over the media, along with a beaming dad, and had also made it to CNN and the BBC World. Their stand was being applauded by countless outraged women ( and a few men) across platforms. Their quotes urging women to fight back and not take such public harassment lying down etc. were being extensively quoted. Not wishing to be left out of the narrative, the Haryana Government hastily announced  a cash award for bravery  ( since withdrawn) to be given on Republic Day!  Soon, video number two surfaced showing the girls taking on a man in a Mumbai park and thrashing him energetically. So far, three chaps (Mohit, Kuldeep, Deepak) from the bus incident have been booked. But the slightly dodgy part of the story still remains: were the beatings staged? And if so, who shot both the videos? Is it true one of the girls was overheard requesting a female co-passenger to shoot the maar-peet before the actual beating took place? Was the belt she used to flog the guy taken out of  her bag or  was she wearing it when the assault took place? These are important details that establish the motivations of the girls. Aarti has denied carrying the belt in her handbag , insisting it takes her 20 seconds to whip  it off. As for the rest, well, we shall find out soon enough.

I recall innumerable similar situations from my own life when I didn’t think twice before accosting men who had deliberately brushed past me or passed rude/ lewd remarks. I have chased down a few near Churchgate Station ( I grew up in the area) and let them have it – verbally and physically ( what are large , heavy  handbags for??). I am talking 40 years ago! Later, I did repeat the same drill if anybody ‘accidentally’ touched my daughters. Of course, such a public display of unbridled rage embarrassed the girls no end and they urged me to ‘let it go’. Absolutely not! No woman should ‘let it go’. That’s how we breed monsters in our society - desperadoes who dare to molest women in congested localities, because they believe they can get away with it.  They generally do.  And so the cycle goes on… generation after generation.
The ‘Rockstars of Rohtak’, as sections of the media have dubbed them, live in different times. They are savvy about the power of  provocative videos going viral and creating instant, overnight celebrities . It’s entirely possible both the videos are indeed accurate recordings of  two separate incidents that took place, involving the same two girls. It is also possible that both times there were obliging bystanders around who had the presence of mind to start recording these nasty incidents and nail the culprits.  But – and it’s a vital ‘but’ – what if the two girls had in fact planned the incidents to make a point? What if it was their way of sending out a strong message to other women who have suffered in silence – and ‘let it go’? The quotes one has read and heard, sound incredibly well composed and admirably calm. The girls must indeed be very mature and confident. Plus, they have the support of their father, whose quotes are equally convincing. Provided both incidents took place as seen in the videos, without any stage management, then, of course, my skepticism /cynicism is misplaced.
This is where media responsibility kicks in. In our impatience to flash a potentially ‘hot’ story, we rush in blindly, without bothering to fact check . In the process, we get had. We get used. We get exploited. Worse, we end up with egg all over our faces. Definitely not nice!
While the basic message of these two videos is laudatory (“women should fight back and not take any form of harassment lying down”), we must stop to consider the possibility of a miscarriage of justice as well. Public opinion is so ‘tagda’ ,  those boys could have been lynched had the co-passengers been aggressive and involved. As of now, they stand accused and their future looks pretty bleak.  The Rohtak sisters are heroes, basking in the unconditional admiration they have received for standing up to bullies.
As someone who hasn’t taken anything in life lying down (or standing up, or even sitting!) , I am all for the Rohtak girls showing the way. Fingers crossed they haven’t  ‘ullu bano-ed’ us for  instant fame.