Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Indian Democracy - Tolerant or Weak?

We feel so good and proud when we are called the world's largest democracy.Many recent developments have raised certain questions - is our democracy alive and kicking or just an excuse!

Our democracy is tolerant when we play host to Afzal Gurus and Kasabs for more than a decade and are still undecided on their future because of vote bank politics.
We are  'Democratic' and use only Diplomatic channels of Talks and Negotiations even after being repeatedly kicked and abused by all our neighbors ( size of country doesn't matter to us).Our neighbors provide safe haven to all offenders against our country and also ensure that supplies of arms and ammunition is never interrupted for anyone who is willing to take on our Republic.
Every time a news item reports such deals,it is followed by pictures of our PM or FM exchanging pleasantries with leaders of such we are (of course) a largehearted democracy.

Our never-ending legal processes and weak-kneed responses have categorized us as a nation where you can get away with anything.We always hide behind our so-called 'Democratic Legal process -where law takes its own course'.

But all is not lost,we also have a very strong and intolerant side to our Democracy.
We suddenly change colors if anyone dares to attack the MOST POWERFUL FAMILY.
The whole government machinery gets activated super-fast and harassment process starts immediately.

CBI,Income Tax and all relevant departments start working overtime to dig out cases against such 'Offenders'.

We also start banning Social Media sites and also take strong offense against Public Debates on trivial issues like 'Corruption'.
In our Democratic system any debate outside Parliament is considered as 'Insult' and 'Dangerous' to democratic institutions.

All this leads to an apt and simple graphic representation of the situation.
Just go back down the memory lane and recall the old poll symbol of Congress party...yes Cow with calf.

Now a days we are using all undemocratic measures to protect this 'old and dated' symbol of the ruling party!

Our democracy -thus is very flexible besides being the largest.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Getting Personal

I have always been in a quandary on how personal I should get with others and also vice-versa.

Getting personal with others for me implies to first put them at ease, bring them on the same plane and then talk on one-to-one basis.

On the other side,if people get very easy with you, they start taking you casually and forget the fine line dividing personal and professional relationship.

One thing I personally abhor is while getting personal, shallow people start attacking others for what they feel that 'others' lack and they have in abundance.

A supposedly stinking rich person with half baked education and values has no right to put down another person in his close circle by commenting negatively on their 'purchasing power'.

Similarly,all these so-called 'plastic beauties' who spend lakhs on enhancing their photogenic features, at times trash others for being so 'plain looking' or for repeating their dresses!!

But friends, Getting Personal is not only about negativity, it has lots and lots of positives-only the 'touch' has to be really 'personal'.

I have few simple examples from my daily life which i practice repeatedly because of the RESULTS of personal touch.

The formula is very simple-just start giving NAMES to all the faceless people you meet through the day and you will feel the difference.

I venture out of my home at 6.15 am and am greeted by a loud NAMASKAR by the colony guard and Street cleaning guy; I reply with equally vociferous NAMSKAR...their name and add kaisey ho aap?
The smile lights up their face, i am treated as royalty and street in front of my home is much cleaner than others.
Recently I had booked a Radio Taxi and got customary message from operator giving cab and driver's details.As soon as the driver called,I greeted him by taking his name and believe me I got so much respect through my 45 minute journey that cannot be bought by paying huge tip also.

If we know our boundaries, Getting Personal is an experience we surely will cherish for ever!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Arrogance = Downfall

Two recent incidents have fortified my belief that Downfall definitely follows Arrogance!
The no.1 Test Team of the world thought that they can sleep walk and still retain their ranking. Solid hammering by England must have blown away many egos and perhaps shown them that you have to work harder to retain the Top Slot.
They reached England after having tough time against not-so-fancied West Indians and after only a 3-day tour opener, they walked straight into Test matches against a side who preferred to miss many a lucrative opportunities and focused on dethroning India.
Contrast this with their last tour Down Under, where they reached much in advance, took time to get acclimatized and prepared to win the tough tour.
The lesson is clear, you have to keep on working hard, sharpen your skills, out-think and out-play opposition.
You cannot just rest on past laurels and whenever you get free time either take rest or practice instead of giving those precious hours to sponsors.
The second instance is the way UPA government has handled Anna-Ramdev-Anna recently.
While on ground all democratic norms have been totally overlooked, it is the blatant ARROGANCE of all UPA spokespersons in Media that has pained me a lot.
They seem to have forgotten that we are still a democracy and that they have been elected by us to ensure our welfare and not fill their own coffers.
The second innings of UPA and lack of credible opposition has led them to believe that they are the SUPREME POWER and the only option available.
All their spokespersons come with a distinct agenda which they follow blindly and ruthlessly. In most of the debates they either have got into tiffs with others or have used un-parliamentary language or have rebuked the correspondents.
What they have not done is to provide their voters correct and consistent information. Their stance swings like a pendulum.
With their arrogant behaviour, they now seem to have lost all respect for all democratic institutions and come across as clearly unprepared and as a party which thinks MIGHT IS RIGHT.
While our Cricket team ruled only for 20 months, it will be interesting to see when ARROGANCE will show similar fate to UPA.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Just a News Item - till it happens with us?

It is time to STOP treating such incidents (click here to read article) as NEWS ITEMS.
As long we are not affected,we at best just pause,sympathize and then move it carelessness or resilience?
Today it has happened with someone, tomorrow it could happen to anyone of us.

Do we wait for tomorrow or assert ourselves TODAY.
If we cannot be present at ICFAI,Hyderabad and join the students legitimate protest-we can certainly support the students who have lost their dear friend.

My earnest request to all the students is to STAND FIRM but remain polite and calm. Do not let your anger hand over the advantage to the callous management of ICFAI,Hyderabad.

Even after paying more than Rs.12 lacs for MBA course if basic amenities are not provided and emergencies cannot be handled:the Management of ICFAI has a lot to answer to the parents of Nihit Sinha.

Their loss can not be demeaned by diversionary tactics of management. Instead of taking concrete corrective actions, the Mangament is suppressing the students and using their contacts to correct the "LOSS OF IMAGE" so that their SHOP (read Institute ) does not looses out on future CUSTOMERS (read Students).

My heartfelt condolences to the parents of Nihit and an appeal to all (including Media) to get the Management of ICFAI and all such Institutes to take IMMEDIATE corrective actions to avoid such mishaps in future.
And the future is not distant but starts from tomorrow.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Atithi Devo Bhava - the Kasab Version

While Kasab celebrated his b’day yesterday, hundred of India families mourned over the loss of their own.

It was another BLACK day for our country.

The triple blasts not only shook India but reaffirmed the fact that weak nations get beaten up repeatedly- as there is no fear of retaliation.

For politicians- it was an extended day in the office where they dug out the repetitive sounding statements issued for previous such blast.

What will be their course of action now? I’m sure your guess is as good as mine. The predictable actions can easily be categorised as below:

Stage 1: They will mourn, sympathize, visit hospitals.

Stage 2: They will issue stern warnings to perpetrators of heinous crime from across the border which “we will not tolerate at all”.

Stage 3: Cancel all bilateral dialogues, no more cricket fixtures between two countries.

Final Stage: After a slight nudge from U.S.A, we will come back to the discussion table – after all we are a mature nation and want peace with neighbours.

Next in line are News Channels. For them it is great fodder - TRP’s are rising, business seems good – lots of BREAKING NEWS & Panel discussions (there was a dearth of masala after train accidents recently).

But the tightest slap to our mental fabric has been delivered by our honoured Atithi –Kasab ji. He has now celebrated almost 4 b’days in India.

His presence on Indian soil is a rude reminder to us that we are incapable of taking any action.

Just compare India to a relatively small country like Israel. Any terrorist incident against them is swiftly and effectively retaliated. Its neighbours/ enemies think million times before even planning any misadventure in Israel.

My appeal to our respected rulers is to ACT and act SWIFTLY because ACTION is the only deterrent to terrorism. Otherwise in future also our government will only be repeating its actions from Stage 1 to Final stage – as elicited above in this blog.

Jai Hind!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sporting Spirit

This headline pained me a lot both as a Sports lover and as a tax payer.

For a nation to be known as a truly sporting nation- it should imbibe a sporting character and also sporting spirit.

We are a country which only rises only to an Occasion (read- International Games hosted by us) and then forgets all about sports after it is over.

I think like all other things - Good and Bad - sporting spirit should start from the TOP(read - PM) and percolate downwards. But the age and profiles of our PM's and his team realistically points out to the state of Sports in our country.

The Government's contribution in sports only comes about through appointing a Sports Minister,while Inaugurating and Closing ceremonies of games,Cricket diplomacy,awarding Arjuna or Padma Shri,ordering inquiries for debacles or when doping charges are levied.

The questions that arise in minds of millions like me are:
  • Is there a Vision?
  • What is the importance that Sports carries in the mind and schemes of our government?
  • What is the basis of allocating budget for Sports?
  • Will Sports continue to be handled by Junior Ministers who neither have experience or passion?
Let's take a closer look at the ground level.Our budding sportsmen are school children.Can you imagine who are the people helping them in laying their foundation for sports.They are people who are there not out of choice but generally because they could not get through to better courses - "doctor",  "engineer" or "IAS". Most of them are highly demotivated and frustrated lot who go through the drill of organizing one Annual Sports day,parades for Republic and Independence days and ensuring discipline in school.

Can they contribute in preparing our medal hopes-I have serious doubts.

With no future in sight in Sports,the parents see a better future in Reality shows on TV and for this reason we see hordes of children with their parents at the auditions of such reality shows.

The only sport that is flourishing in India is Cricket - with zero involvement of Government.The viewers interest ensures the regular flow of money thus helping BCCI dictate to world cricket bodies.

A player need only play at IPL stage to ensure a golden future and the moolah piles in if the cricketer is good looking also.He then gets to endorse brands,can participate in reality shows or even become an expert commentator.

By only setting up inquiry commissions or changing Sports Ministers - we will not be able to compete with the best in the world.
All we need is to imbibe Sporting Spirit and put sports in Top Of Mind of our rulers.

Jai Hind!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Wild Life of a Forest Officer's Son

Imagine a 4 year old child in the jungles of U.P. way back in early 1960's

when forests were dense (with no sunlight reaching the ground)

when Dhoni's countdown for Tigers had not started

when nearest sign of civilization was a 30 minutes Jeep drive away

when for reaching the nearest cinema hall you had to cross a रेल फाटक  (where dacoits ran amok-if फाटक  was closed)

where nearest school was made of mud and was called नदी पार  as you had to cross a river to reach it.

Yes,this is a real life situation of a small child...yours truly.
I was born on a cold night of December in 1962 to an IFS officer and his very loving wife...who even in those days had graduate degree in Science.

The luxurious life style of a Forest Officer of those days was to be experienced to be believed.Besides a large bungalow in the middle of jungle on a hill top and a mandatory Jeep,he had a help for almost any errand...and even an elephant to help cross rivers and difficult terrain.

A typical day in my life began with a swim in  the पहाड़ी river atop our gardener's back.Post breakfast,my Mom taught me the alphabets and counting and then it was PLAY TIME.Going around to the houses of our gardener,driver and all other help and collecting their children & having a whale of time...climbing mountains,trees,playing pranks by the river side or just feeding milk with cotton to my baby deer (yes,our play time companion was a beautiful deer).

All of a sudden,in the midst of all this-our gardener would come running,shouting in garhwali that my Mom is is way past lunch time.

Lunch followed by siesta and then again bit of ABCD & counting in the evening - came the moment i waited the whole day for.

It was a tradition in Forest Department that the elephant would be fed by Forest Officer's son in the evening.The महावत would help me in feeding the mighty giant & i still cannot forget the love for me in elephant's  eyes. He showed his gratitude by lovingly and safely carrying me across violently flooded river on our weekly visit to the temple across the river on another hill top.

The day used to end with final check to make sure that the baby deer was safely locked to prevent wild dogs attacking him...which they eventually did.

I still remember the long waits for wedding invitations from Delhi - to have my fills of colas and ice-creams.Also,the 40 km drive on a slippery hilly road to reach the only cinema hall in Nazibabad...what excitement to even watch RAM RAJYA in black and white!!

In those days i used to feel that i am the most deprived child who did not see a proper school till i was  5 years old and small pleasures like ice-cream and colas were like Holi and Diwali festivals.

Now after more than 40 years,when i see people calling these locations exotic(like Corbett park where we lived) and they can only dream of such lifestyle - i conclude by saying that all these people are deprived while i am blessed to to be Forest Officer's son!


Friday, 1 July 2011

Losing yourself-Mid Way!

Middle age is the most interesting and most exacting time in anybody's life.It is the stage when you have reached a level professionally and to sustain it- requires more effort and time than it is required to reach that level.And if you are in Service Industry...with ever demanding clients and increasing competition you end up spending more time at work.

At this stage you also have aging parents,growing children and ever growing dhobi list of your wife.

Days,months fly by around the four pillars of your life...parents,children,wife and clients...nobody is ever satisfied-whatever you may do.Add this to ever complaining list of relatives who will always comment that you don't even call them

So,in this whole scenario where are you positioned? You find no time for yourself,for your interests/hobbies.finding yourself lost at the supposed prime of your life.