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Thursday, December 30, 2010

IRMA Barefoot Managers

Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) (founded 1979) is an autonomous institution located at Anand in Gujarat, India with the mandate of contributing to the professional management of rural organisations.

The focus of IRMA has been on strengthening the management capacities in organizations which are controlled by users of their services rather than by capital suppliers. It is this commitment which defines IRMA and gives it the identity unique among the management institutes.

Documentary film about IRMA, Course, Career path featuring some of the alumni working in the Development sector. Dr Kurien, the founding chairman of IRMA shares his vision for setting up the institute.

Those who are unable to watch the video can see @ Yahoo! Video. IRMA Barefoot Managers
I have applied for Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programme. I have qualified into the written examination of this exam; GD-PI will be happening soon and final results will be declared till end of March 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Perfect is The Enemy of The Necessary

Race vs. Class: The Future of Affirmative Action: Miller Center of Public Affairs.The debate has obvious parallels with the caste vs. class reservations :-

There may be a perfect way for solving all the problems. But there may be problem of implementation at the ground level. This should not stop us from doing what we are capable of in the required direction. Hence, despite of all merit talk, I prefer reservations and empowerment of class, caste or gender in our society. And make a statement that Perfect is the enemy of the Necessary.

Sustainable Development :

Engineering for sustainable development means providing for current human needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.The three components of sustainable development which are environmental responsibility, economic return (wealth creation), and social development.

Amartya Sen has talked of freedom as development . This means not just more consumption but more voice, access to accountability , access to influential networks and livelihood choice, access to good governance, and physical security. As math education is reduced to the calculation, the talk of development is reduced with data and statistics.

As Pakistan’s finance minister in the 1960s,a distinguished economist, Mahbub-ul-Haq was able to generate a growth rate of seven per cent. “And still people voted us out,” he acknowledged.  “It was a rude awakening for me. I then realized that a high economic rate of growth is no indicator of human development.” Mahbub-ul-Haq then gave me the memorable gem: “We were wrongly advised that we should take care of GDP and it will automatically take care of poverty. This is not correct. We need to take care of poverty and it will automatically take care of economic growth”.

The key issues of research in area of Human and Economic development include size, scope, ownership, technology, and management from the sustainability perspective. The domain is so large that it can draw concepts from anthropology, sociology, economics, ecology, public policy,  public administration, corporate social responsibility, law and governance, ethics, entrepreneurship, gender studies, and so on, necessitating a multi-disciplinary standpoint.


Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so independence and self-reliance.

Introspection is only way of exploring subjective experience depends largely upon the extraordinarily creative interplay between seeing and thinking. And no excellence is possible with a degree of self-doubt. The more people talk about these uncomfortable issues, the more comfortable you will get with being open about what is happening to you.

The correct definition of Knowledge: Developing a coherent body of ideas and creatively reaching out to the unknown with the power of critical and scientific thinking. That can be done in education sector. There is a dire need to promote technical and social innovations in all fields of life. That comes when the feeling of social, cultural and religious identity lapses to give rise to individuality.

Promotion for working at grass root level for development can be given through inclusive education. The mindset of exclusivity is antithetical to education in a democracy. One more matter to be careful of is 'Choice'. Often 'more' is not always better, particularly when we abdicate our power to filter and choose.

In the US, volunteerism is highest in high-tax Massachusetts, and lowest in low-tax Mississippi. In Europe, volunteerism is highest in high-tax Sweden, and lowest in low-tax Eastern European nations.It seems that a thriving state stimulates a thriving volunteering sector – and a shrunken, passive state encourages passivity in the population.

Humans are versatile and multidimensional in nature. That has been proven with the development of various companies. Most of our management rituals were designed (a very long time ago) to promote discipline, control, alignment and predictability—an uni- dimensional model of growth. Yet, new companies having exponential growth in little time like Google, Amazon and Apple have been built around principles like freedom, meritocracy, transparency and experimentation. They are so endlessly inventive and strategically flexible because they provide space and time to each individual.

Anarchism works in the creative destruction of the old institutes. There will always be people giving a voice to the voiceless. An anarchist is an individual with the voices of conscience. To categories dissenters as enemy of state/institutes will be an act of injustice.

Self-organization is the process where a structure or pattern appears in a system without a central authority or external element imposing it through planning. The evolution of life on Earth, language, and a free market economy have all been proposed as examples of systems which evolved through spontaneous order. The basic unit is given freedom to grow. Freedom is prerequisite for spontaneous order to take place, rather than liberty being the result of spontaneous order.

India is a divided nation in which the governors and the governed do not share a unifying worldview. While Western liberal democracies are focused on the rights of the individual, India is more concerned with the rights of groups. The politicians and extremists thrive in order to perpetuate conflict between people with the one-dimensional narratives of the problem. That leads us to the path of police state. Only rebels, not reformers are born in such atmosphere of suppression.

Still, progress of an individual without social sustainability lacks farsightedness and vision.An individual should aspire for coherence and relevance for better future of whole environment. Non-sustainable development decimates the environment, the burden of which falls on the poor and unprivileged.

Rural Management - 1

Why Rural economy is always in a poor state ?

Poverty exists in both rural and urban India. Slums are visible signs of poverty in the our cities. Slums are our failure in planning to implement an affordable housing in metros for the poor migrants at the cost of welfare state.

There is an immense migration of the landless labours in cities from the rural areas. Many reasons can be cited for this state such as failure of rural economy, regional nature of growth, absence of basic civic amenities in rural India and caste discrimination in rural India. Poor people can afford the physical torture of the slums but cannot bear the mental torture of rural habitation caused due to caste discrimination. In slums people have only class identity and not caste identity.

There is a huge connection between poverty and caste system in India. Majority of land in rural India is in the possession of minority upper castes. Hence, all the subsidies and growth in the agricultural sector is enjoyed by this minority rich and relatively more educated class. Productive assets must be created for the landless rural population.

Planning and implementation in India are very centralized. Local self-governance is dysfunctional as transparency and accountability is lacking in the institutions. Social-auditing to the rural projects are absent. Local self government Institution should be involved in planning and decision making. Rural projects of the government and working of the local self government should be brought under the purview of e-governance for transparency. But a country with a low literacy rate, e- governance is still a dream.

Poverty can be well understood by this simple example. Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India says that 46 percent of the farmers who own a mobile phone do not have a bank account.We need 'Financial Inclusion' for every citizen of this country. Financial Inclusion means, providing financial services to one and all, irrespective of their income and the place they belong to.

Five Articles on Social and Financial Issues in Rural India:-

1- Money for nothing. And misery for free : Afer a promising start, the microfinance story became one of desperate need on one side and greed and politics on the other, reports Rohini Mohan. Photographs by Vijay Pandey. Microfinance has created deeper crisis socially, about the creation of a life on credit.

MFIs typically borrow from banks at 11- 15 percent interest but charge 24-30 percent, including the operation cost of traveling to remote villages, and factoring in possible defaults. Unlike in an SHG, where the loan is given to the group, the MFI gives loans to an individual who is backed by a group guarantee.

2- Hiware Bazar: Model Village for the Nation ; A five pronged approach has been adopted for the socio-economic infrastructure of the village that includes : Free labour, Ban on Grazing, Ban on Tree Cutting, Ban on Liquor and Family Planning.

3- Tiding over farm woes: Reaping the advantage - Farmers’ unions, who only organise protests demanding higher prices, have failed to educate their members. And only way to pull out farmers from the vicious cycle of indebtedness is to push them out of the Green Revolution model of farming.

4- Living with 'installments' : Many micro-credit loans do no more than allow a family to juggle its finances for a month-to-month existance. As investors embrace this 'market', MFIs are increasingly under scrutiny. Jaideep Hardikar reports.

5- UNDERSTANDING UNTOUCHABILITY: A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages [PDF file]--- Navsarjan is one of the leading organizations working for advancement of Dalit rights. Based in the western Indian state of Gujarat,Navsarjan currently organizes more than 3,084 villages to fight the practice of "untouchability” and to improve the economic conditions of Dalits.

Development Management -1

The present economic model is premised on the centrality and openness of markets. But the market forces themselves are a function of economic power and control. In cases in which economic resources and opportunities are widely distributed, economic activity may best be left to individual, private initiative, and market forces, but in societies with a skewed distribution of natural resources and opportunities, a free play of market forces could marginalize an increasing proportion of people, without state intervention through reforms.

Development projects are being initiated and implemented in order to fight against poverty and economic stagnation. It brings to us ethical questions of an inequitable distribution of development's benefits and losses. The principle of the "greater good for the larger numbers," routinely invoked to rationalize social disruptions like forced displacements, is, in fact, abused and turned into an unwarranted justification for tolerating ills that are avoidable. Compulsory displacements that occur for development reasons embody a perverse and intrinsic contradiction in the context of development. The outcome is an unjustifiable repartition of development's costs and benefits: Elite enjoy the gains of development, while majority bear its pains. This raises major issues of social justice and equity.

People believe in aid as a form to get rid of poverty. Aid has empowered only authorities, not necessarily citizens. The Nobel Peace Prize 2006 was given to Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank because contradictory to popular economic axiom, he believes that credit is a fundamental human right despite of one's financial position. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles so they could help themselves.

Muhammad Yunus delivered his Nobel Lecture on 10 December 2006 at the Oslo City Hall, Norway. Read the full Nobel Lecture and watch a 15 minutes interview.

Mohammad Yunus gives emphasis in his noble lecture : There is a conceptual restrictions imposed on the players in the market. This originates from the assumption that entrepreneurs are one-dimensional human beings, who are dedicated to one mission in their business lives - to maximize profit. This interpretation of capitalism insulates the entrepreneurs from all political, emotional, social, spiritual, environmental dimensions of their lives. This was done perhaps as a reasonable simplification, but it stripped away the very essentials of human life.

Human beings are a wonderful creation embodied with limitless human qualities and capabilities. Our theoretical constructs should make room for the blossoming of those qualities, not assume them away.

Interview with Muhammad Yunus - Media Player at

Food Food Everywhere but not a grain to eat

It becomes imperative, therefore, to strike a balance between the economic and social functions of land. A model of development that excludes one in the favor of the other loses out on the very basic meaning and purpose of development.

Public Distribution System (PDS) :

Public Distribution System in short PDS means distribution of essential commodities to a large number of people through a network of fair price shops (FPS) on a recurring basis. The commodities are as follows:- Wheat · Rice · Sugar · Kerosene

PDS evolved as a major instrument of the Government’s economic policy for ensuring availability of food grains to the public at affordable prices as well as for enhancing the food security for the poor. It is an important constituent of the strategy for poverty eradication and is intended to serve as a safety net for the poor who number more than 330 million and are nutritionally at risk. PDS with a network of about 4.99 lakh fair price shops is perhaps the largest distribution network of its type in the world.

PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments. The Central Government has taken the responsibility for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains, etc. The responsibility for distributing the same to the consumers through the network of FPS rests with the State Governments. The operational responsibilities including allocation within the State, identification of families below poverty line, issue of ration cards, supervision and monitoring the functioning of FPSs rest with the State Governments.

India State Hunger Index

The India State Hunger Index (ISHI) is a tool to calculate hunger and malnutrition at the regional level in India. It is constructed in the same fashion as the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2008 and was calculated for 17 states in India, covering more than 95 percent of the population.

It combines three equally-weighted indicators:

1. the proportion of undernourished as a percentage of the population (reflecting the share of the population with insufficient dietary intake);
2. the prevalence of underweight children under the age of five (indicating the proportion of children suffering from weight loss and / or reduced growth); and
3. the mortality rate of children under the age of five (partially reflecting the fatal synergy between dietary intake and unhealthy environments).

Full report of INDIA STATE HUNGER INDEX Comparisons of Hunger Across States Purnima Menon, Anil Deolalikar, Anjor Bhaskar [PDF file]

Please have a look on - Land Reform in India: Issues and Challenges by Manpreet Sethi [ PDF file]

Monday, December 27, 2010

Understanding Economics - 2

Chilean Economist Manfred Max-Neef: US Is Becoming an "Underdeveloping Nation"

Never in human history has there been such an accumulation of knowledge like in the last 100 years. What was that knowledge for? What did we do with it? And the point is that knowledge alone is not enough, that we understand very little. When you’re separated, you can accumulate knowledge. And that is—that’s been the function of science. Now, science is divided into parts, but understanding is holistic.

And that happens with poverty. One understood poverty only by experience. And then you begin to learn that in that environment there are different values, different principles from—compared to those from where one is coming. Economists look at the poverty from the outside, instead of living it from the inside.

And you learn extraordinary things. The first thing you learn, that people who want to work in order to overcome poverty and don’t know, is that in poverty there is an enormous creativity. You cannot be an idiot if you want to survive.

The whole language as an economist is not coherent with those situations and conditions. The principles, you know, of an economics which should be are based in one fundamental value and principle five postulates.

The fundamental AXIOM to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.

1- The economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

2- Development is about people and not about objects.

3- Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

4- No economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

5- The economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

The Threshold Hypothesis :

In every society there is a period in which economic growth, conventionally understood or no, brings about an improvement of the quality of life. But only up to a point, the threshold point, beyond which, if there is more growth, quality of life begins to decline.

Growth is a quantitative accumulation. Development is the liberation of creative possibilities. Every living system in nature grows up to a certain point and stops growing. But we continue developing ourselves. So development has no limits. Growth has limits. And that is a very big thing, you know, that economists and politicians don’t understand. They are obsessed with the fetish of economic growth.

Economist Ha-Joon Chang on the G20 Summit, Currency Wars and Why the Free Market is a Myth

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Max-Neef Model of Human-Scale Development

Manfred Max-Neef is a Chilean economist who has worked for many years with the problem of development in the Third World, articulating the inappropriateness of conventional models of development, that have lead to increasing poverty, massive debt and ecological disaster for many Third World communities. He works for the Centre for Development Alternatives in Chile, an organisation dedicated to the reorientation of development which stimulates local needs. It researches new tools, strategies and evaluative techniques to support such development, and Max-Neef's publication Human Scale Development: an Option for the Future (1987) outlines the results of the Centre’s researches and experiences

Max-Neef and his colleagues have developed a taxonomy of human needs and a process by which communities can identify their "wealths" and "poverties" according to how these needs are satisfied.

Human Scale Development is defined as "focused and based on the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, on the generation of growing levels of self-reliance, and on the construction of organic articulations of people with nature and technology, of global processes with local activity, of the personal with the social, of planning with autonomy, and of civil society with the state." (Max-Neef et al, 1987:12)

The main contribution that Max-Neef makes to the understanding of needs is the distinction made between needs and satisfiers. Human needs are seen as few, finite and classifiable (as distinct from the conventional notion that "wants" are infinite and insatiable). Not only this, they are constant through all human cultures and across historical time periods. What changes over time and between cultures is the way these needs are satisfied. It is important that human needs are understood as a system - i.e. they are interrelated and interactive. There is no hierarchy of needs (apart from the basic need for subsistence or survival) as postulated by Western psychologists such as Maslow, rather, simultaneity, complementarity and trade-offs are features of the process of needs satisfaction.

Max-Neef classifies the fundamental human needs as: subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, recreation(in the sense of leisure, time to reflect, or idleness), creation, identity and freedom. Needs are also defined according to the existential categories of being, having, doing and interacting, and from these dimensions, a 36 cell matrix is developed which can be filled with examples of satisfiers for those needs.

Satisfiers also have different characteristics: they can be violators or destroyers, pseudosatisfiers, inhibiting satisfiers, singular satisfiers, or synergic satisfiers. Max-Neef shows that certain satisfiers, promoted as satisfying a particular need, in fact inhibit or destroy the possibility of satisfying other needs: eg, the arms race, while ostensibly satisfying the need for protection, in fact then destroys subsistence, participation, affection and freedom; formal democracy, which is supposed to meet the need for participation often disempowers and alienates; commercial television, while used to satisfy the need for recreation, interferes with understanding, creativity and identity - the examples are everywhere.

Synergic satisfiers, on the other hand, not only satisfy one particular need, but also lead to satisfaction in other areas: some examples are breast-feeding; self-managed production; popular education; democratic community organisations; preventative medicine; meditation; educational games.

This model forms the basis of an explanation of many of the problems arising from a dependence on mechanistic economics, and contributes to understandings that are necessary for a paradigrn shift that incorporates systemic principles. Max-Neef and his colleagues have found that this methodology "allows for the achievement of in-depth insight into the key problems that impede the actualisation of fundamental human needs in the society, community or institution being studied" (Max-Neef et al, 1987:40)

This model provides a useful approach that meets the requirements of small group, community-based processes that have the effect of allowing deep reflection about one's individual and community situation, leading to critical awareness and, possibly, action al the local economic level.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Wonder Years - 1

While growing up, I was scared to do anything wrong in the school or colony. Assuming and thinking hundred times that action might hurt reputation of mine parents. I was worried about everything. I am still a jerk in the social life but the environment of the school was more suffocating for me. I just didn't go up against all odds, and everything was OK for me.

I was always a model of obedience to the teachers and parents. Progressive parents surely helped me to have broaden mindset over many many things. It was an advantage over those forced to struggle from the outset with prejudices and rigid religious strictures. As the people say - हमारे यहां अपनी दिलचस्पियों के साथ वयस्‍क होने की इजाजत नहीं है। हम दूसरों की उम्‍मीदों के हमदम होते हैं और हमारी ख्‍वाहिशों का कोई मददगार नहीं होता।

I was a real nerd till the age of 19. I rebelled in the hostel life and even shed studies for the sake of starting new chapter in the life. I established a complete new 'me' in those four years. College life helped me to throw that baggage of fear and expectations. I was little frightened of the college administration in those days. The fear of submission and disciplinary action has gone now. Perhaps, because I am financially independent currently. Today, I am not worried about the colleagues and the manager.

Heart is strange thing. Once it falls for someone, it falls like apple under gravity. It does not think, what people will think or say ? And it just cares whether the beloved has heard him or not. That is Love. Once a person taste the freedom, one falls same kind of love with the liberty. And then one say the right thing at the right time in the right place.

Once a person become independent economically and socially, the society wants him/her to be married and settled. Its quite insane when society pushes girls/boys in the marriage before their thinking buds can open. A society that gives time to youth on its own expense to youth to seek their own truth prospers with the knowledge and peace.

People talk about love only and they seemed never to be touched by love. Its scary to consider gifts and lies as a sign of love. Love is a bitter experience for me !

When one observes and attempts to understand with a distancing gaze the circumstances of one's life in a constantly changing world, it gifts one a far bigger overview of the life. That is a first step towards meditation.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Banaras: A Bitter Memoir

I was reading a Jug Suraiya's column : Atheism is the best worship recently. I sunk deeply in the memories of city that I detest heavily. That city is Varanasi, notorious for touts. I will quote a paragraph here for the context :

A French sociologist has likened personal prayer and the giving of votive offerings to bribery. He has noted that in countries where the tradition of personalised God-worship is most entrenched –as in India, and in Roman Catholic Italy – the incidence of bribery in everyday life is also proportionately high. If God himself is a Babu who can be bribed to do your bidding with a prayer and a few diyas or candles, where’s the harm in slipping some currency notes to a bureaucrat or politician or policeman to do what you want done? Doesn’t God himself teach us to bribe? In which case, how can bribery and corruption be bad things, if they’re God-given?

Varanasi is the city of the old people and orthodox practices. There are lot of peoples with power and money without any sense of future. They live with same aura of timelessness that has surrounded this city from long times. The traditions and orthodox habits are only adapting comforts and avoid any drastic social changes in the veil of cultural preservation.

The scoundrel priests who extort money from the pilgrims & tourists with a blessing while reading few Sanskrit hymn and dab of powder on the forehead needs more than a few coins in return! These will be starters on the menu while main course of fraudulent nature appears gradually. One has to give up the baggage of tourist and interact with the people as of their own neighborhood to understand the minute details of the ruthless face of the town. This city always looks backwards for hope and stories. People here will always go into memories when they were somebody, who were loved and honored. Only saving grace in the city is BHU campus full of natural beauty and young students.

It is too overwhelming to see the sunsets and sunrise on the Ghats. What I found most amazing is our quality to ignore the desperate beggars, widespread poverty and flies swirling around atop a garbage heap on the edge of a river. The ancient traditions of this city fly in the face of modern rules of sanitation and public health. The filth of the daily life practices and prevailing hypocrisy in rituals in this holy city of Hindus reflect real condition of Hinduism. A religion filled with great philosophies and discriminative social culture at the same time.

It’s not the Ghats, the water or the spirit that is most breathtaking, but the corruption and deception. My stay at Varanasi is not the story of vanished moments. It is a mad tale of people asking for 'Moksha' and bribes in the same breathe. Amid chaotic and overwhelming city environment, the college life was full of relief.

In this tourist city, foreigners arrive with a certain image of India in mind, then only to have it shattered by teenage youths at the McDonald’s counter. Cultural shock for them ! A tip to pilgrims is popular as proverb in local culture.

Hindi Proverb: रांड़, सांड़, सीढ़ी संन्यासी। इनसे बचै तो सेवे काशी।।
English translation: Be on your guard against prostitute, bulls, stairs(of temples, bathing places etc., which may be very steep and dangerous), ascetic person but often a mendicant and then you may worship at Kashi (Varanasi).

I loved my college with the appreciation what life has to offer in various ways. In India when people want to die, they go to Varanasi to live there and to die there. No old man can believe that the days are good now – they were always in the past, the golden past, the good old days when things were like this and that. I also remember college days when everything was good. Now, I have become an alumni, the whole college world seems to be old and golden. But the world remains the same, only we go on changing. That I learned from that old and damned city.

Things to do in Varanasi:

1. The Sunrise along the 84 riverside ghats
2. Take a hand pulled boat ride down the Ganga River
3. The evening Ganga Aarti ceremony at Dasashwamedh ghat
4. The Burning Ghats at Harish Chandra and Manikarnika ghats
5. Ram Nagar Fort Museum across the river Ganga
6. Sarnath Museum, Ashoka pillar & Buddhist Sites
7. Chill out with students near Vishawanath Temple in the Banaras Hindu University campus.

I have seen many picasa photo albums and photo blogs of Varanasi. Best of all is : Visions Of Varanasi.

No tour of Varanasi is complete without Benarasi Paan. In the words of a foreign tourist : Be prepared to face the devastating power of Banaras Paan, a local betal nut product wrapped in a edible leaf and filled with molasses, rosewater, tutti fruiti, licorice, cloves and poisionous lime paste. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I protest !

Why there is a Julian Assange at all ? Reason: watchdog journalism is dead. The media is bought and paid for the PR work. We have to be careful to distinguish between the man and the institution since confusing the two can lead to the unfortunate mistake of shooting the messenger for delivering an unpalatable message. Its the individuals who had changed the world by creatively destroying the old institutions and building new ones.

We need more people speaking out. This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It's overrun with sheep and conformists. This country suffers from an excess of civil obedience. As Oscar Wilde said: “Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.”

The right to protest clears the path to progress and inclusion. There is a short term sacrifice of protest. Every person is the beneficiary of a long line of protesters stretching back through the centuries who has stand up for the unprivileged and oppressed. Every worker gets minimum wages, every woman reading this can vote and every pensioner gets enough to survive because protesters demanded it. What what life would be like if all those protesters through all those years had been frightened into inactivity?  We were left at the whim of an elite, whose priority is tax cuts for themselves, paid for with spending cuts for the poor.

When two entities exchange value for mutual benefit, it is symbiosis. When two entities exchange value with one gaining more than the other, it is exploitation. When two entities exchange value at the cost of the third, it is…yes, drum-roll the word we Indians love to hate, talk about and practice the most, Corruption. The measure of corruption is not just the exchange of money. It is the distance and dissimulation rulers exhibit in relation to their own governments. To be always honest and aware about ground realities is enough in the fight against corruption.

India is a nation of sheep walking in herds and try to stick as closely as possible with the caste and enclosed community with not willing or able to break rank or file for anything. Opportunists align themselves with changing beliefs to temporarily form identity-based groups in order to achieve political or economic objectives subsuming the manifest differences between their identities. This country needs large numbers of anarchists and entrepreneurs for the progress and mobility across various groups.

Examples of this unbreakable code of silence are prevalent everywhere around us. Our moral compass tends to be so tilted in the favor of strongly armed with money power than the needy. Then, we justify lack of emotions and sensibility to each other with by the name of Immunity or barbaric I ask? Ours society punishes the victims and ensure that the torturers or criminals roam free without any sense of guilt.

Our various fortune tellers think one day some of us will rise and bring about some sort of revolution led by a savior to end all our evils. Well newsflash! Saviors come from people who are determined to save themselves. They don't arise from those who keep their heads down in the rat race making sure not to be noticed, because  if someone stops them and asks, they will have to say something which will challenge the system, and then their lives will stop as they will become aware of their own soullessness because they are the system.

It's the nature of a human that when you get neglected somewhere you want to go back and prove a point. I don't give respect to do-gooders as they are idiots who actually believe that everyone is trying to do their best and don't have an intention of harm. Squeezed between well-intentioned stupid people and the essentially criminal, I am pissed. I have a foolish head that does not abide by the moral values of everyone and absurd traditions of honor. I am a emotional and over aggressive as well as because I can't cover up the truth. The power of truth and transparency will surely unveil the hypocrisy around and in us.

 It is to hard to pigeonhole the man in any identity or role as Jonathan Swift, author of the English classic Gulliver’s Travels (1726), had pithily observed that “when a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Motorcycle Diaries

I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; with the stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment, to the point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden classes of our American homeland. And I began to realize at that time that there were things that were almost as important to me as becoming famous for making a significant contribution to medical science: I wanted to help those people. — Ernesto Guevara

Spoken: August 19, 1960 to the Cuban Militia
Source: Obra Revolucionaria, Ano 1960, No. 24 (Official English translation)
Translated: Beth Kurti

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was a 23-year-old medical student who saw the plight of the poor across Latin America. It's a grim fate for a revolutionary who wanted to change the world to become only T-Shirt icon in present. Despite his political legacy and the usage of violence, I love his rebel cause to make world a better place. Paraphrasing here two best passages of his travelogue : The Motorcycle Diaries. This travelogue shows Ernesto the Medical Student developing a sense of Pan-Latin Americanism that fuses the interests of indigenous peasants with traditional adversaries like upper-middle-class Argentine intellectuals.

1- Che Guevara while treating a peasant woman dying of tuberculosis.---

"It is at times like this, when a doctor is conscious of his complete powerlessness, that he longs for change: a change to prevent the injustice of a system in which only a month ago this poor woman was still earning her living as a waitress, wheezing and panting but facing life with dignity. In circumstances like this, individuals in poor families who can’t pay their way become surrounded by an atmosphere of barely disguised acrimony; they stop being father, mother, sister or brother and become a purely negative factor in the struggle for life and, consequently, a source of bitterness for the healthy members of the community who resent their illness as if it were a personal insult to those who have to support them.

It is there, in the final moments, for people whose farthest horizon has always been tomorrow, that one comprehends the profound tragedy circumscribing the life of the proletariat the world over.

In those dying eyes there is a submissive appeal for forgiveness and also, often , a desperate plea for consolation which is lost to the void, just as their body will soon be lost in the magnitude of the mystery surrounding us. How long this present order, based on an absurd idea of caste, will last is not within my means to answer, but it's time that those who govern spent less time publicizing their own virtues and more money, much more money, funding socially useful works.

There isn't much I can do for the sick woman. I simply advise her to improve her diet and prescribe a diuretic and some asthma pills. I have a few Dramamine tablets left and I give them to her. When I leave, I am followed by the fawning words of the old woman and the family's indifferent gaze."

2-Che Guevara describe a sojourn spent working with leprosy patients in Peru.---

"Their appreciation sprang from the fact that we never wore overalls or gloves, that we shook their hands as we would shake anybody's . . . that we played football with them. It may seem like pointless bravado, but the psychological lift it gives to these poor people - treating them as normal human beings instead of animals, as they are used to - is incalculable and the risk to us extremely unlikely. "

- Che Guevara, 1952. "The Motorcycle Diaries...Notes on a Latin American Journey" .

Can an Idea change your Life ?

Can an Idea change your Life ? Yes, It can.

There are many sources to keep yourself informed about the newest innovations and the most fascinating ideas of our time, but no written word can express these ideas in the way the people involved in them can. Having the brightest minds of our time talking about the things they love and that changed their life is what TED offers to the world.

Inception movie gives fine glance over power of ideas :

What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious.
-One was possessed by an idea, just one simple idea that changed everything.
-The subject's mind can always trace the genesis of the idea.
-True inspiration is impossible to fake.
-Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate.
-An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere.

V for Vendetta movie portrays character V as the embodiment of an idea rather than an individual through V's dialogue and by depicting him without a past, identity or face.

Quote of the Movie: We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught. He can be killed and forgotten. But four hundred years later an idea can still change the world. I've witnessed firsthand the power of ideas. I've seen people kill in the name of them; and die defending them. But you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it or hold it. Ideas do not bleed, it cannot feel pain, and it does not love.

Where do ideas come from? by Seth Godin. (Thank to Nimmy)

01. Ideas don't come from watching television
02. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture
03. Ideas often come while reading a book
04. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them
05. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom
06. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
07. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
08. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner's mind. A little awareness is a good thing
09. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week
10. Ideas come from trouble
11. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they're generous and selfless
12. Ideas come from nature
13. Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence
14. Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice
15. Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we're asleep and too numb to be afraid
16. Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we're not trying
17. Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute
18. Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones
19. Ideas don't need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity
20. An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why Hindu is a Hindu ?

An odd sort of joke about Hinduism in general is that where the Western religions face up to scientific discoveries with an attitude of "That's blasphemy! You're going to Hell!", Hinduism faces up to them with an attitude of "See? I told you so! We knew it centuries before you did!"

Hinduism as a collection of schools of thoughts is extraordinary, but when you top it off with senseless rituals and practices, contradictory theories, and nationalism and Hindutva forces, it is as dangerous as any other religion. It doesn't denounce brain and have more sophisticated worldview than the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition.

It is difficult to debate Hindus because they take advantage of the fact that Hinduism is an unorganized religion. It is fragmented to the level, where one can cherry-pick the "goodies" and glorify Hinduism, but when shown the utter inconsistencies, majority easily disqualify it saying that some sects have them and not Hinduism as a whole.

And due to Hinduism's inherent nature that "Everything is God", nobody really cared what to worship and what not to worship. One thing about Hinduism is that it also embraces atheism into its fold, thus arguing with a Hindu is a pointless exercise.

Why a person follows ones religious identity ? Ask this question to a Christian, Muslim and Parsi, the answer xyz is a follower/believer of Jesus/Islam/Zoroaster. Now ask the same question to a Hindu and there is no doubt that he will be completely bewildered and would not know what to say. Why Hindu is a Hindu ?

B R Ambedkar provides an insight of this puzzling identity question ----

If he says that "I am a Hindu because I hold to the beliefs of the Hindus" his answer cannot be right for here one is confronted with the fact that Hinduism has no definite creed. The beliefs of persons who are by all admitted to be Hindus often differ more widely from each other than do those of Christians and Muhammadans. Limiting the issue to cardinal beliefs the Hindus differ among themselves as to the beliefs which arc of cardinal importance. Some say that all the Hindu scriptures must be accepted, but some would exclude the Tantras, while others would regard only the Vedas as of primary importance; some again think that the sole essential is belief in the doctrine of karma and metempsychosis.

A complex congeries of creeds and doctrines is Hinduism. It shelters within its portals monotheists, polytheists and pantheists; worshippers of the great Gods Shiva and Vishnu or of their female counterparts,.as well as worshippers of the divine mothers or the spirits of trees, rocks and streams and the tutelary village deities; persons who propitiate their deity by all manner of bloody sacrifices, and persons who will not only kill no living creature but who must not even use the word 'cut '; those whose ritual consists mainly of prayers and hymns, and those who indulge in unspeakable orgies in the name of religion; and a host of more or less heterodox sectaries, many of whom deny the supremacy of the Brahmans, or at least have non-Brahmanical religious leaders.

If he says that he is a Hindu because he observes the same customs as other Hindus do his answer cannot be true. For all Hindus do not observe the same customs.

In the north near relatives are forbidden to marry; but in the south cousin marriage is prescribed, and even closer alliances are sometimes permitted. As a rule female chastity is highly valued, but some communities set little store by it, at any rate prior to marriage, and others make it a rule to dedicate one daughter to a life of religious prostitution. In some parts the women move about freely; in others they are kept secluded. In some parts they wear skirts; in others trousers.

Again if he said that he is a Hindu because he believes in the caste system his answer cannot be accepted as satisfactory. It is quite true that no Hindu is interested in what his neighbour believes, but he is very much interested in knowing whether he can eat with him or take water from his hands. In other words it means that the caste system is an essential feature of Hinduism and a man who does not belong to a recognized Hindu Caste cannot be a Hindu. While all this is true it must not be forgotten that observance of caste is not enough. Many Musalmans and many Christians observe caste if not in the matter of inter-dining certainly in the matter of inter-marriage. But they cannot be called Hindus on that account. Both elements must be present. He must be a Hindu and he must also observe caste. This brings us back to the old question who is a Hindu? It leaves us where we are.

Is it not a question for every Hindu to consider why in the matter of his own religion his position is so embarrassing and so puzzling? Why is he not able to answer so simple a question which every Parsi, every Christian, and every Muslim can answer? Is it not time that he should ask himself what are the causes that has brought about this Religious chaos ? "

Only rigid rule defining the identity and followed by Hinduism is the caste system. And Hinduism become extremely authoritarian if you try to leave the caste or go for inter-caste marriages. As the Bible and Koran has allowed for the justification of slavery, the Hindu texts have allowed for the subjugation of a significant group of people under the caste system. It can't be denied that the Hindu texts are still used to support the caste system.

This undefined territory can only give space to people to exist as an individual and think freely. That is where I differ from Dr. Ambedkar about chaos factor. Any system or an institution will only produce followers.Organization made by human will always be incoherent and suppress the uniqueness and individuality of the participant. Nobody can regard a rag (Religious textbooks) to be binding and infallible because a philosopher or prophet came forward to lend his authority to such a proposal.

One thing become clear that Religion isn't definitely the source of all morality. And any religion and institution denying them will decay with the time.

Hail Feminism !

Halla Tomasdottir managed to take her company Audur Capital through the eye of the financial storm in Iceland by applying 5 traditionally "feminine" values to financial services. At TEDWomen, she talks about these values and the importance of balance.

Girl Desi added her touch and evolved the discussion in feminine zone. (On Google Buzz)

I was thinking the 4 points she put forward are so much feminine from the minute a woman comes to know she is pregnant (wanted pregnancy not forced).

1- Risk Awareness: Every step a pregnant woman takes she measures the risk factors to the unborn. She invests herself with awareness of risks.

2- Straight Talk: She is told in very direct words, how her every action will impact the well being of the unborn. Direct, simple and straight words. And if she miscarries she is told directly no body sings songs to her

3- Emotional Capital: She invests emotions in the unborn even when she is physically uncomfortable, she has long term stakes in the unborn... not just give birth and get over with it...

4- Profit with Principles: She plans for a future of the unborn a future she'll be able to sustain for her child.

Quote of the Day :

I encountered “Everything that rises must converge” while reading Flannery O’Connor, one of my favorite writers from the American South. It is the title of one of her books. She was quoting Teilhard de Chardin, a Catholic priest. In my own life this expression has rung quite true, though the meaning I make of it may be different than theirs. Everything I have ever worked for, rising regardless of circumstances to do my best, has led eventually to the lives of other people who are also rising – sometimes against even greater odds than mine. Embracing this reality removes fear of striking out and upward. Everyone you truly wish to encounter will be there when you arrive (you will realize you have been rising together though on separate continents, perhaps, or even during separate centuries!) or will appear shortly thereafter.

There is much joy and celebration whenever we converge, i.e. meet each other. The spirits we knew. The faces we did not. Usually. ~Alice Walker

Ten Issues - 9

1- India's Telecom Scam: How Can a Corrupt System Be Cleaned? : The telecom scam that recently forced the resignation of telecom minister A. Raja defrauded the country to the tune of nearly US$40 billion. Since telecom is an industry that links backward and forward to several others, the total economic cost could well be hundreds of billions of dollars. This scandal shows that corruption has deep roots in Indian society, but informed voters and the democratic process can help eradicate it, argues Rajesh Jain, managing director of Mumbai-based Netcore Solutions, in this opinion piece.

2- Audre Lorde’s quote “anger is loaded with information” ; When you are at the wrong end of the unjust societies, many truths that are clear to you come out loaded with information. Read complete 6 page essay on Uses of Anger. Thanks to Anu.

3-The narcissism of the neurotic by P Sainath : The Commonwealth Games were no showcase, but a mirror of India 2010. If they presented anything, it was this — Indian crony, casino capitalism at its most vigorous.

4- This is not a panel discussion : Meet four Adivasi intellectuals whose lives have changed the politics and conversations about indigenous people, says G VISHNU

5-The Burden Of Knowing By Charles Hugh Smith: Knowing what lies ahead is a great emotional burden. The knowledge that the present is unsustainable is, for many of us, a great emotional burden. It troubles our sleep, our minds, and our basic emotional well-being. Knowledge, like memory, cannot be erased at will, and thus it runs in the background of our lives, unseen by others but deeply troubling to the knower.

6- Religious Excuse of barbarity by Johann Hari: If you are engaged in an act of cruelty, there is an easy, effective way to silence your critics and snatch some space to carry on. Tell us all that your religion requires you to do it, and you are "offended" by any critical response. Erect an electric wire fence around your nastiest actions and call it "respect".

7- Microfinance is under attack. Even the normally reticent pink newspapers have now begun to bring out the inherent flaws in the microfinance model.Check some facts here- MFIs: Profiteering from poverty and Five myths about microfinance.

8- When girls fear school by Kalpana Sharma: The reasons for the high drop-out rate of girls are simple: Fear of corporal punishment, sexual abuse and the lack of basic amenities like toilets in schools.

9- Valerie Plame, YES! Wikileaks, NO! : It is the American people who should be outraged that its government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

So savor the Wikileaks documents while you can, because soon they'll be gone. And for the government criminals of the world, and for those who protect them, it will again be business as usual.
10- Meet Dr. Dani: One of the unsung heroes of our public service institutions : . Yet, there are people such as Dani in many of the small hospitals in the country, whose toils go unheard, and whose stories go unsaid.

Thought of the Day :
Julian Assange writes in his blog: “True belief is when a voice booms ‘the prisoner shall now rise’ and no one else in the room stands”.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Development is Uneven, Get Over It

Adapted from the blog post of William Easterly

This a 20 minute extemporaneous talk at UNICEF headquarters in New York on the topic of “Inclusive Growth”. After the talk, there is a question, comment, and response session with the audience.  The full video is an hour, if you are really a masochist. (Try this link if the video player above doesn’t work.)

To summarize the talk: success is intrinsically uneven, so development and growth is intrinsically uneven, not “inclusive”. (See the earlier post about the fractal stubborness of uneven geographic wealth.) In this talk, I also mention how remarkably uneven success shows up in just about every field of endeavor. One way this shows up is in a “power law”: there is such a strong negative relationship between the frequency of success and the scale of success that we have to use a logarithmic scale (i.e. a scale where every unit increase means multiplying by 10)  for both to be able to fit the extremes onto the graph, like the one below:

There is no evidence that large-scale redistribution programs can succeed without killing off growth, but targeting things like health and education to the poor has worked and could work even more. Lastly, the best thing of all you can do for “inclusive growth” is asserting the individual human rights of all, including women, gays, and religious, racial, and ethnic minorities. For more detail to fill out these ideas, please watch the video.

UPDATE: Answer to how many Beatles  hits out of 188 recorded songs on their 14 albums are hits today: 15. Even the most successful band in rock history could only produce a lasting hit about 8% of the time (please draw your own profound insights into the intrinsic unevenness of success and non-inclusive growth).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In plucking the fruit of memory one runs the risk of spoiling its bloom -Joseph Conard.

A journey back to Nanital has keep me guessing about this quotes. I have grown up in Nanital till the age of five years. There is always a sense of excitement attached to old memories. Especially, of the places where one grows up.

Memories are altered by present day reality and the sweetness is lost. We are grown up on the tales of childhood and in weaving an endearing and engaging past times. There is tale made by elders about ours association with these places. Only fogy scenes appear in the mind about childhood days when even memories were not even saving in the brain. Back then, life was blossoming with the present. Neither care for future and nor drag of yesterday.

When I want to re cherish those moments and reached to the place after twenty years, everything was changed. I was hoping for the time frozen land of my memories welcoming me with a cheer. All the landscape was different than imagined. Strangely, I met the faces who shared their time with me in long back. The passing age had taken place the effect and photographs of the memory were becoming altered with present.

I visited my LKG school back after 22 years. The school has become remain scant of the past. The walls are falling and the church appears as centuries old due to poor maintenance. The whole place appear as an archaeological site but the schooling is still continued. there. New people are there in the school and few classes have been converted to boarding. Memories have fallen into a abyss and given place to the reality.
I didn't visited my UKG school and old house due to this fear of change. A lot have been changed there. UKG school has been converted into hotel. And new constructions and roads have changed the old landscape. This was for the good for the people. I need store of memories to tell stories in the old age. Reality will tamper the timelessness of memories and tales.

May be I am in a making stage of romantic. Preservance slows down the decay yet life always looks full of energy in the past. Only youth and old can bear the risk of being romantic. One full with dreams, enthusiasm and idealism & another with experience and memories. A Realist turns into romantic is a sign of old age. My mind is aging faster than the body !

I am alone and thinking a line of Fyodor Dostoevsky : The characteristics of our romantics are to understand everything, to see everything and to see it often incomparably more clearly than our most realistic minds see it...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Complex System

Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution. Illustrating the tips and tricks for breaking down big issues, he distills an overwhelming infographic on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to a few elementary points.

I agree with the talk as understanding big terms as 'development' and 'sustainablity' is like dealing with the complex system. I have myself reached this conclusion with the help of fluid dynamics. That might sound like an unconventional explanation for the readers. When you create any index or threshold level, it is like checking turbulence and laminar in the flow of fluid. Turbulence is flow characterized by recirculation, eddies, and apparent randomness. Flow in which turbulence is not exhibited is called laminar. And therefore many conditions should be included before making any empirical formula.

This talk helps in understanding interconnectivity of the subjects and diversity needed in the education. Monitoring, managing, and coordinating the information collection and cataloging of activities of a process result in huge amount of data and interconnected sub - process. The broad spectrum can only be understand in the simpler way by going from basics to complex looking phase and returning with the simpler explanation. Now, the level of dependence of process on various parameters can be well defined and analysed.

This we often do in the Mathematics. From rockets to stock markets, many of humanity's most thrilling creations are powered by math. So why do kids lose interest in it? Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world. He presents his radical idea: teaching kids math through computer programming.

The fear of people to deal with complexity and maths hinders the establishing process to reach the estimative conclusion. Nature does not work in the mysterious way. The mystery element is little complex yet transparent for observation for everyone. We need for computing and less repetition !

Example: Key observations from the ICKM conference this year (October, 2010 ) by Nimmy,

Quote of the Day: Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein

Monday, December 6, 2010

We, the people

When an individual fights in enabling the voices of the powerless to be heard and exposes the corrupt game behind power corridors, one faces the persecution from the people in power. Julain Assange (wikileaks) commitment to transparency, peace and justice by exposing and holding governments to account for closed room deals, human rights abuses and for fearless challenges to censorship in any form is cheer worthy.

Exclusive: The Wikileaks Manifesto, by Julian Assange.
Interview of Julian Assange ;

I have also written on wikileaks before on my blog. : Why the world needs WikiLeaks !
Read more in detail and well crafted : Wikileaks is Good for You and Me

Personal Stand on Transparency:

Capitalism and Democratic political system may not be an effective model, but it provides relative more space to an individual. Nationalism has always served the regional interest of the elites. Socialism and Islam are forms of political nihilism, and that both contend that the life of the individual has no intrinsic meaning or value outside of their systems. One ascribes meaning to the individual as a unit of society and its servant, and no more than that. The other ascribes meaning to the individual as a debtor to and servant of a supreme being, and no more than that. Still, I prefer liberal-democratic discourse – rather than an ethnic-nationalist one over any system.

Even ISM is always hijacked by group in power to fulfill their own goals. Any political, social or economic institution/system made by human will always be incoherent and suppress the uniqueness and individuality of the participant. Only, an individual with the consciousness can change the world !

I stand for free and universal availability of knowledge in the public sector. The problem lies that we love escapism.We prefer the heavy dose of entertainment rather sharing our resources with the people. I will put ten points (thanks tai) on ours typical attitude toward anything.

1. We don’t push the envelope.
2. We reinforce stereotypes
3. We don’t know the ‘reality’ of the world.
4. We love to be divided and ruled.
5. We love the fact that the ‘system’ will take care of everything for us.
6. We don’t provide alternatives.
7. We dare not try to correct our system lest it open the Pandora’s box.
8. We are happy where we are. We are happy to be ignorant.
9. We love talking about being the victim of larger forces.
10. We are afraid of what our family, society even what the countless person will think and react about our actions.

People love 'entertainment'  and 'gossip' rather embracing the truth. That is one line conclusion of all this shouting. People feel helpless and timid in front of the problems. Hence, they reject mind and simply submit for numbness that gives an easy solution for all problems, EAT, WORK, PRAY and be ENTERTAINED at any cost. So the virtual cocooned world of create a self perpetuating cycle with no breakthrough for a new element. People have good intention but unable to take action due to their resignation of mind. Mainstream don’t think, it just follows like sheep' herd to the authority.

We, the people have just lost anger against unjust practices. We can't fight corruption in big issues and can help to keep it more transparent. This is the first step taken for the justice for everyone.

Meanwhile the optimists are looking for new hope in wikileaks with respect and honour, Indian media is being ashamed by Nira Radia tapes controversy (Thanks POC). This is India;

"There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy." — Joseph Pulitzer

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Year Zero – The Silent Death of Cambodia

"John Pilger's work has been truly a beacon of light in often dark times. The realities of our time he has brought to light have been a revelation, and his courage and insight a constant inspiration." -Noam Chomsky

John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia while neighboring countries, including Australia, shamefully ignored the immense human suffering and unspeakable crimes that bloodied this once beautiful country.

Year Zero – The Silent Death of Cambodia

Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia is a 1979 documentary film by John Pilger concerning first the bombing of Cambodia by the U.S. that took place in 1970, the subsequent brutality and genocide that occurred when Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge militia took over, and finally the lack of aid given by the western countries.

President Nixon and Mr. Kissinger unleashed 100,000 tons of bombs, the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas. The bombing was their personal decision; they illegally and secretly, they bombed Cambodia, a neutral country, back to the Stone Age. And I mean Stone Age in its’ literal sense.

Today, George Bush and Tony Blair are culprit in genocide. They are radical christian nut the most of tha war is raised for Oil and Arm lobby.

The most intolerant people are also the most conformist blinded by ideologoes of nationalism and religiousness . They enjoy privilege and entertainment while the world is burning with poverty, wars and hunger. I am deluded with the life and the world full of ignorant people pretending to have good intentions.That is why I read and watch pages from forgotten history to know velied barabarity of human race.

More on this Topic : The Killing Fields is a 1984 British drama film about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which is based on the experiences of three journalists: Cambodian Dith Pran, American Sydney Schanberg and Briton Jon Swain.

Ten Issues - 8

1- Media and mobs – Arundhati Roy versus the terrorists by Razarumi.

2- Fables of Nationalism by Razarumi.

3- Why Marxism Has Failed , And Why Zombie-Marxism Cannot Die & Zombie-Marxism : What Marx Got Right by Alex Knight.

What Marx Got Right : Class Analysis, Base and Superstructure, Alienation of Labor, Need for Growth, Inevitability of Crisis and A Counter-Hegemonic World-view.

What Marx Got Wrong: Linear March of History, Europe as Liberator, Mysticism of the Proletariat, The State and A Secular Dogma.

4- Copyleft and the theory of property: A bitter battle is underway between the supporters of intellectual property and those who defend the notion of the commons. Legal historian Mikhail Xifaras traces the history of the concept of "exclusive rights" and evaluates the emancipatory claims of the copyleft movement today.

5- Unlikely Stories, or the Making of an Afghan News Agency :Reporting is a challenge in Afghanistan, where power brokers are skilled at crafting politically expedient stories

6- On Social Networking: Three essays worth reading on online social networking—how it is transforming us and what to make of it.

7- Professors (and Learners) of the Year :It’s probably not unusual for junior professors to hear they should devote their time to research rather than waste it on teaching. What may be more uncommon is for one of them to do the opposite.

8- The Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode has doubled its core faculty and augmented its executive education and distance learning programmes with a vision to globalise Indian thought and showcase a humane B-school that churns out competent and compassionate managers, says its Director Debashis Chatterjee in an interview to G. KRISHNAKUMAR.

9- Land largesse for corporate universities :- When the Orissa High Court on Tuesday described the Vedanta Group’s acquisition of 6,892 acres for its university project in Puri “illegal and void”, the judges were merely articulating a widespread concern.

10- Ironies of the Left by Gurcharandas.

Quotes of the Day:
-He who reforms himself has done more toward reforming the public than a crowd of noisy, impotent patriots. – Johann Kaspar Lavater

-The good life means cherishing freedom -- in the knowledge that it is an interval between anarchy and tyranny -John N. Gray

-“For hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and block a nation’s progress to freedom and democracy. I hope therefore to be able to transcend my personal vicissitudes in understanding the development of the state and changes in society, to counter the hostility of the regime with the best of intentions, and defuse hate with love.

Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth. I do not feel guilty for following my constitutional right to freedom of expression, for fulfilling my social responsibility as a Chinese citizen. Even if accused of it, I would have no complaints. Thank you!” – Liu Xiaobo (excerpts from his “Final Statement”).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Middle of Nowhere

Let me start with a quotation by Ivan Turgenev :

"And was it his destined part
Only one moment in his life
To be close to your heart?
Or was he fated from the start
to live for just one fleeting instant,
within the purlieus of your heart."

I assume myself as a rebel living on fringes of chaotic thinking. A life full of loneliness and the inability to stop thinking.

Wishing for only a moment of bliss ! Isn't such a moment sufficient for the whole of a man's life?

I wait in the silence. The silence speaks louder than any words.

I am either in Middle of No-where or Middle of Now-Here. Who cares ?

This was supposed to be an elegy of a beautiful dream. May be the dream will never die !

When the distances grow between people with truth, nothing can bring people together.

Destiny is full of co-incidences. May be I am destined to live as an archetype of a perpetual dreamer.

Adios, my friend...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TED talk of Sunitha Krishnan

Sunitha Krishnan has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimilion-dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these young victims rebuild their lives.

Sunitha runs a NGO, Prajwala. The philosophy of Prajwala evolved based on the need of women and children who are victims of trafficking. Prajwala emerged as an anti-trafficking organization, which believes in preventing women and children from entering prostitution, which is the worst form of sexual slavery.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations

Name Office of Adviser to PM, Government of India
Location Delhi, India
Industry Presentations / Communications
About The Office of Adviser will undertake the task of reviewing, developing, utilising and scaling public information infrastructure in the country to help improve productivity, efficiency and quality of the systems and processes to deliver public services for citizen empowerment. The Office of Adviser will discuss, debate, analyse, articulate, and sensitise the need to innovate, at all levels and in all sectors in the country with a focus on inclusive growth, global competitiveness and prosperity, and create a Roadmap for a Decade of Innovation to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

View more presentations from Office of Adviser to PM, Government of India.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Interview of Ayaan Hirsi-Ali

Ayaan Hirsi-Ali was born in Somalia in 1969 and is a Dutch feminist and political writer. Ali is the daughter of the prominent Somali politican and revolutionary opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse. At the age of 8, Ali and her family left Somalia to move to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya, before Ali obtained political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. Ali is a vocal critic of Islam whose writings deal with what she sees as the subordination of women by the religion. Her work is controversial and Ali has received many death threats, leading her to live under guard. Ali's most famous books include a collection of essays called The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam and Infidel an autobiography published in 2006. Ali now lives in the Netherlands at a secret address.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Questioning Faith

I tried to explore the view that cultivating fear of an invisible external enemy usually serves internal purposes. Let us start with quote of Voltaire who had rightly remarked more than two centuries ago, “So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannise will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.”

Today, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and all organized religions are destroyed by the light of knowledge. Christianity in Europe have been diluted in their view due because once Greek and Roman civilization existed with thinkers like Aristotle, Plato and Socrates without faith based religion. Since church was not able to destroy the records of the past knowledge completely, renaissance and scientific thinking emerged from the fathoms of dark ages.

That was not the case with Islam. Islam is strongly dominated by morality derived from tribal Arab values dating from the time the Prophet. Today, extremist have been attacking whatever they consider ‘unIslamic’ according to their puritanical version of Islam. And the moderates defend Islam as pure and correct while pointing defects as old cultural norms. And this defunction of moderates to see nothing wrong with Sharia law and blaming every wrong laws on patriarchal society diminishes any chance of reform within Islam. Moderates doesn't realize that extremism does not rest after it has defeated its ideological opponents because then it goes on to destroy even those supporters whom it deems too soft or moderate.

In the end, the one who diverges from the correct path prescribed in religious scriptures have to suffer from the hands of extremist in any religion. And Islamic purist tends for stoning to death on the charges of adultery or apostasy to be punishable by death. Islamic Moderates are most likely a Taqiyya driven individual who may not commit acts of terror themselves, but will surely defend Islam and deny the problem within while Reformists will honestly see the problem within their own, do not defend Islam but attack the evil within and don't condemn anti-jihadists for pointing out the obvious. We need more Reformers not the moderates to fight evil within Islam.

Nothing that is observable in reality is exempt from rational scrutiny. Clear, rational thought, based on evaluating current circumstances and real-life issues in all their fluid complexities and contradictions, is always threatened by a stagnant dogma that single-minded sees all situations as excuses to reproduce itself in the minds of the young and vital.

No one is admitting that the fault is in the design of the Islam that is same with any other faulty religious doctrine. Religion is a minor part of the identity of an individual, not the vice versa. In the case of veil, most of us agree that women should be able to wear whatever makes them feel safe and beautiful. Still, we fail to see rules of 'Haraam' and 'Halaal' in Islam that takes choices away from an individual.

Religious scriptures didn’t articulate idea of God because they appeared true in their time and place. No. The ideas are true because Religion said them. Such is the logic. Thus, even providing correct information is no antidote to false beliefs of follower at later stages of education.

Followers of each religion attempted to transcend reality in order to fit religious doctrine, instead of transcending religious ideas in order to explain reality. If I didn’t understand what Religions were saying, it was because they were speaking to a higher truth that I couldn’t grasp with normal human mind. If their ideas were questionable, I can't remain silent spectator under such tyrannical traditions. Faith cannot exist without testing, and faith without doubt is superficial.

The distrust of other races and nations, often based not on personal experience but on conditioning and hearsay. Literalists distorted religion due to its unscientific and contradictory stands on the issues.  Religious people insist on literal interpretations of outdated dogma and thus deprive religion of universalism for the sake of purity. This has debilitated people's capacity to think, analyze and prioritize. Such religious education gives rise to unrealized individuality in a person and stultifies their reason. Thus, blind faith should be attacked and an inquiring mind for truth should be promoted at an young age of the person.

"Businesses may come and go, but religion will last forever, for in no other endeavor does the consumer blame himself for product failure”.


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