Slip of Tongue?
It refers to statement of Union Home Minister in the press-conference on 24.06.2015 wherein Rajnath Singh said that there is no system of ministers' resignation in NDA regime. Ministers are also normal human-beings coming from the society which has both good and bad persons. Otherwise also human-beings are always prone to committing errors though not intentionally, and this can be case with ministers also where some errors may become so grave as to requiring resignations/sacking from the posts. Therefore the statement made by Union Home Minister is either a slip of tongue or endorsement of BJP-veteran LK Adwani's original views on emergency (without subsequent clarification) made a few days ago.

Statement of Rajnath Singh becomes even more significant with signed documents of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje in favour of former IPL Chief Lalit Modi with some objectionable remarks like not disclosing her signed documents to Indian authorities having been subsequently public.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi

‘‘What a NuisAnce !’’
Those restaurants we patronise, the public transport by which we commute and the movie theatres we frequent, are they accessible to everyone?

Even if those steep stairs at the entrance of buildings and uneven pavements are made accessible to people with disabilities, what is to be done about the mindset of the Indian masses that consider people with disabilities as the bete noire of the society and limit their lives to 4 white walls.

As fellow human beings we have the responsibility to ring the bell and widen narrow-mindedness, let my letter in your magazine be that awakening ring.

My sister's grip on the wheelchair handles tightened as our neighbour uneasily smiled at me. I knew my neighbour's smile was not for ny good hair but to remind me I am different. My sister hurriedly albeit gently pushed me (and my wheelchair) towards the entrance of the building, away from a disabled mindset.

The squeaking sound of the wheelchair was muted by the ominous silence pervaded by the steep stairs at the entrance of the building, a conspicuous example of architectural inaccessibility inconspicuous to people without disabilities.

My sister was profusely sweating by the time we had reached our obstacle course—the pavement.

As she manoeuvred the wheelchair along an uneven and pothole-ridden pavement I heard a soft clicking sound from my wheelchair, it reminded me of a time when I used to tape a playing card on my bicycle spoke to make my bicycle sound like a motorcycle.

I looked down to see that plastic covers strewn on the pavement had gotten stuck on the wheelchair and was making the sound, before I could bring her attention to it, the wheelchair came to a halt but the pedestrians behind us didn't; they inconsiderately jolted us and almost knocked me off the pavement.

We waited for the crowd and its frenzy to abate and reached the bus stop at our own pace. The bus stop was desolate by the time a Low Floor Bus had arrived.

The bus hadn't stopped close enough to the kerb and as my sister flexed her muscles to help me get on board, I heard a commuter mutter under her breath, 'Oh! What a nuisance! I hope that thing doesn't make me late', her reaction was bittersweet because I was acknowledged as an object of nuisance but acknowledged nonetheless.

My sister wheeled me from the bus-stop to the examination centre. Prying eyes accosted me; their metaphoric crooked beaks were silhouetted against the blue sky ready to peck me apart with; their tactless questions, idle pity and patronization but I only paid attention to the squeaking sound of the wheelchair and the moment it stopped I looked up to see a flight of stairs. I closed my eyes and imagined myself nonchalantly walking up that flight of stairs.

I felt a hand on my shoulder; her fingers gently gripped my shoulders in a tacit perception of my problem. I opened my eyes, with an unwavering voice my sister asked me, "Are you ready?"

The world I KNEW had schools, theatres, restaurants that served over-priced food and over crowded buses but the world I KNOW has only 4 white walls. The door to the world outside is locked by government and public apathy, disdain and discrimination. You hold the key to that door. With awareness we can make demands, demands that will pass and implement effective laws that will make everything accessible to everyone.

When education becomes accessible, our performance becomes the only question that needs answering, the only difference that matters.

Turn the key to the right and open that door.
P M Deepak, Delhi

Vol. 48, No. 2, July 19 - 25, 2015