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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Books Read in 2011

Reading creates capacity for deep, linear concentration. That is one unintended positive outcome of the habit of reading. Books always touch man’s head and heart with a burning/soothing/boring sensation. I read books on cinema, consumer behaviour, leadership and culture having various overtones this year. They helped me to fight desperation, myopia and close-mindedness prevailing inside me; I have always tried to pay attention to theories that conflict with common perception, only if those theories are more driven by human behaviour than common stereotype assumptions. Books of great authors are the best tools to understand these theories.

"Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs." Quite an apt statement to start about reading tour of this year. I am enlisting the names of books read by me in 2011 with their background and my feedback. Ratings are highly personal.

My name is red by Orhan Pamuk - English - 8/10

Hitch 22 :- Christopher Hitchens - English- 8/10
Author’s intellectual trajectory over the life time

Among the Believers :- V. S. Naipaul - English- 8/10
He makes writing verse look so easy and publishes Journey that highlights the culture of few selected Islamic country.

Who moved my Cheese ? :- Spencer Johnson - English- 7.5/10
Motivational business fable about opportunities and life at work.

In custody :- Anita Desai - English- 6.5/10
Loss of Urdu language in India through the eyes of a dying poet.

Our Films Their Films :- Satyajit Ray - English- 8.5/10
A deep insight by an auteur about his films.

The man who knew Infinity:A Life of the Genius Ramanujan-: Robert Kanigel - English- 7/10
Biography of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan written with utmost details and articulation.

Something Like An Autobiography :- Akira Kurosawa - English- 8.5/10
It is a charming account of the legendary movie director's early life.

Predictably Irrational :- Dan Ariely - English- 8/10
A book written in the behavioural science field makes a rational person looking dumb.

Rinzai: Master of the Irrational :- Osho - English- 8/10
No comments to be made about Zen !

I Have A Dream :- Rashmi Bansal - English- 8/10
Inspiring Stories of the 25 social entrepreneurs from humble and diverse background.

Heart of Darkness :-  Joseph Conrad - English- 7.5/10
Unfathomable dark nature of human explored through the journey of the narrator

Winning by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch :- Jack Welch - English- 7.5/10
A comprehensive look on designing career path and taking decisions in the corporate world.

As French novelist Marcel Proust once said that the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. I hope to evolved as a Reader and to enjoy more books in the coming year. XIMB library here I come !

Thought of the Day- New year doesn't bring happiness but people do ! Enjoy 2012.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Development in a Trimester of rural management - 2

Continuing from the 1st part of the Development series in RM , I will move towards the 2nd part of the learning in the field of Rural Management.

Looking into mine MBA and engineering curriculum, I can easily conclude that it is heavily influenced by American model and lacks novelty. Despite of mine low academic orientation, I have not seen really good books from an Indian author. Most of the books are from western universities. Hence, there is dire need to dejargonise and accept superfluos nature of our education.

During this trimester of PGDM-RM (rural management) at XIMB, I asked this question again and again :- why one chooses any course or college ? Whether one prefers a brand or academic learning or mere placement records of the college for routing the career path.

Any college should have these aspects for growth : Creation of knowledge through research, Application of knowledge within the industry through commercializaion and Dissemination of knowledge through classroom lectures. I am glad that XIMB fairs a good mark in this.

There will never be a final crisis of capitalism unless there is an alternative.Similarly, until students see an alternative system in RM, the prevailing dilemma of development and management will prevail. But even this duality helps us in looking for designing an economy of well-being.

When there is a large chance of being educated in an increasingly homogenised economic/educational system, RM course provide a different overview. Here in 5 points what I learnt in 3 months:

1- We don’t tend to celebrate ‘empowerment’ because there is no glamour in it. We celebrate charity because it makes us feel good.

2- We can make people accountable by giving them ownership and concrete goals to achieve.

3- We need to listen to dissonance of the participatory of the system. It is as much true for Panchayat level to the MBA college level where stakeholders are students.

4- Excess of Knowledge and logic sometimes became anti actional in nature. It makes person cautious and should be used for planning only. This country has enough critics but only few selective solution providers.

5- India have large people with an entrepreneurial nature but they only need subsidized capacity building. It is quite paradox to 'charity driven and complex' development approaches practiced by the government.

While writing conclusion is not an easy task, I can only remember the opening lines of novel "The tale of two cities by Charles Dickens" in the times of recession and protests.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the uperlative degree of comparison only."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Personal Reading History -1

"It is good to be curious because that is how one starts the journey of inquiry... into existence; but if one simply remains curious, then there will be no intensity in it. One can move from one curiosity to another — one will become a driftwood — from one wave to another wave, never getting anchored anywhere. Curiosity is good as a beginning, but then one has to become more passionate. One has to make life a quest, not only a curiosity." --- Osho

I am now searching the root of mine reading habits and how they have changed my behavior over the span of time. Even though I was attracted towards school books, I don't remember any interest in the reading at KG level. Only memory I have of reading, it is of nursery rhyme 'Johnny Johnny Yes Papa' in the classroom. I spent most of the time listening to the old songs of Kishore Kumar and Mahendra Kumar in the cassette player.

I had started reading Children stories in Hindi newspaper 'Dainik Jagran' initially in the childhood. I was reading stories and poems in the school books. Chamapak for toddlers, Balhans for folk and patriotic stories, Nandan with tales of kings and queens and Nanhe Samrat with its Murkhistan were made available for us by our parents. I was more fond of reading comics of various desi superheroes. But the summarized five page short summary of world famous novel in Nandan was my favourite of all. Suman Saurabh and Chandamama were also there but there stories were interesting but in the discrete form dispersed over various magazine issues. But the story of Vikram Betal and Ulysses left a deep impact on me for epic novels and drama.

This was the phase of my life when I was more interested in religious texts. I had finished reading of Ramcharitmanas and Ramayan till the age of 9 years. Then, I also read a lot of Gitapress books about the life of Srikrishna. By sheer chance only, I never had opportunity to read any Amar Chitra Katha. Also, I was taught various short stanzas of Rahim, Raskhan, Dinkar, Niraala and Kabir.

Now comes mine fanatical reading of comics portion. I was avid reader of Naagraj, Super Commando Dhruv, Tausi, Doga, Parmanu, Chacha Chaudary and Ram-Rahim. I never had any chance to read english comic strips like Archie or Calvin-Hobbes.

One more subject that drew my attention was history books. Since, there were no hundered of comics available for a fast reader like me at maternal grandmother's home, I was given history book of 10th, 12th and graduation. It has most powerful impact on my memory. I was sheer delighted by the concept of revolution that happened in France and Russia. The complex name of Rousseau and Voltaire became familiar for me. It was also win win solution for everybody as it kept me engaged for a long time and I was like enjoying the dive into the world of knowledge.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ten Issues - 18

Harvard professor Larry Lessig is one of our foremost authorities on copyright issues, with a vision for reconciling creative freedom with marketplace competition.



1- The Indian state of Bihar has long been a byword for bad governance. It was however governed particularly badly between 1990 and 2005, and has since experienced something of a ‘governance miracle’. How can we account for the 1990–2005 deterioration? Through this working paper - State Incapacity by Design: Understanding the Bihar Story, we will understand that the low state capacity is often a political choice.

2- La Grande Revolution, Encore? A comparison between France of 1787 with present USA as both had financed an overseas war with borrowed money.

3- The War Dogma: This article appears in the July issue of Agenda/Infochange for the theme on the ‘Limits of Freedom’. An insight on Dantewada and Operation Green Hunt.

4- Playing fast and loose by Pratap Bhanu Mehta : A overview of tussle on Janlokpal Bill - A morally insidious vacuum in government. A self-proclaimed civil society displaying its own will to power. A media age where being off-balance gets you visibility. A public whose mood is punitive. An intellectual climate that peddles the politics of illusion.

5- A weakness born of bad intent by Siddharth Varadarajan: - The UPA government's unwillingness to act against the abuse of political and corporate power has created a vacuum which others are rushing to fill.

6- Do you want to be watched? - The new rules under the IT Act are an assault on our freedom. A report by Sunil Abraham who is the executive director of the Centre for Internet and Society.

7- "Tragedies darken when their victims refuse to understand the causes. Intellectual failure has thus been the principle deficit; which means the so-called men of intellect are to blame". Interview with Dr. Mobarak Haider, A political activist, scholar and renowned writer of English and Urdu.

8- Demystification of myths by Nadeem F. Paracha - In the last thirty years the number of people in Pakistan who pray regularly and attend collective prayers in mosques has risen three-fold. So have the number of mosques, madressas, Islamic evangelical organizations and religious programming on TV - and yet the rates of rape (including child rape), drug addiction, public humiliation of women has steadily maintained an upward trend.

9- Why dream borrowed dreams? - One of the most seductive myths that the Indian middle class and its elite believes in is that the 21st century is the Indian Century. A deep analysis of this myth by Shiv Visvanathan.

10- Disgust, Magical Thinking, and Morality : A short article on Morality and feeling of disgust.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life as I know It

Anton Chekhov once said that you must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.

There was a vacuum inside despite of huge knowledge in comparison to peers. You can't be thrilled with the life if it is full of knowledge.

One who not been able to love, or not been able to receive love. He has not been able to share his being. That’s the misery of one's existence. The worst bit is one does not know where to seek love.

People have no idea and nor do they care how a loner live and struggle. Life was rather repulsive once! Anton Chekhov once said that people who lead a lonely existence always have something on their minds that they are eager to talk about.

I was alone once yet not lonely. A development of relationship blossomed but was crushed in between. Aren't the most painful stories those where the relations are left broken yet open? Yet, I prefer silence than stories.

It takes the darkest hour of your life to find yourself. The more I know who I am and what I want in the life, the less I let things upset me. No matter what happens, i will not live with a incompatible person.

When love happens, life takes a turn. I am turning !

What one want to communicate and what one hope to communicate matches then the heart becomes full of joy. All shades of sarcasm, mysticism and sorrow sublime into thin air. Reconstruction at any age in any heart will heal the anger that shackle the bonds of love.

Does a life story need to conclude and make sense, like winning at the end of struggle, or rain after a long period of drought? Life is long and destination unseen.

I have learned all these years that life and dreams can never meet because when they meet both will loose their meaning. But, I was dead wrong. Even life is full of paradox, it seems complementary.

I have seen enough days of summer, there is autumn in my life. I am feeling happy. No matter how cool, strong or smart, every man is a fool in love. If you are in love, everything falls into line, everything falls together in a harmony, everything starts having significance.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Idea and Organisations

Red Hat Linux Commercial: Truth Happens



Most of us see this advertisement either as User oriented or expert oriented operating system from marketing point of view. [ The Fedora and Red Hat Projects were merged on September 22, 2003. Fedora 15, codenamed Lovelock, was released on May 24, 2011.]

Ideas that spread, win but just because an idea spreads doesn't mean it's good for us. LINUX is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. Since free flow of ideas makes them worth more and LINUX is product of such idealogy, I enjoy this advertisement of Linux more than others.

When the willful ignorance and avoidance of the competitor become a litmus test for the applicants, the age of fall of person/company begins with this ! You can be brilliant yet ignorant if you choose to ignore the inevitable. Any market leader will try to keep others from bringing new ideas forward but then truth happens !

1- Ideas are going to continue to become more valuable, which means that the urge to control and patrol them is going to get greater. But we should act in a boundaryless fashion - always search for and apply best ideas regardless of their source.

2- People who allow themselves to be taught will remain followers and people who learn by themselves will become leaders.

3- Innovation is bringing different elements together that fits the particular phase of solution.

4- Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence but no one is obligated to understand your need to create. One need to show patience and perseverance to find the right person to collaborate with.

5- It takes all sorts to make a team, even an invincible team. You do not pick teams to please people; you pick teams to win !

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hi There, You!

As college brings out all abilities, including incapability. There was one person in my college Rajneesh who didn't want to fit into any specific mold. He has started a website recently : Hi There, You!

Hi There, You! is a place where procrastination meets witty anonymous posts composed of choice words. All your need is a bit of dry humor and you are good to go.

Go forth, check it out and spill the beans.

'Like' Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HiThereU
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HiThere_You

Why Do I like "Hi There, You!"

-Most obvious reason, It is started by my friend.

- I love sarcasm, dry humor and wit.

- Its a great idea and all great ideas are amplified when others build on them.

- Since its anonymous, there is no censorship, ownership, regulation and control of property on our ideas.

- But Don't Pay no attention to “fancy advertising” of mine that conflict with your “common sense,” and check these theories that are driven by shear gut feeling.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Development in a Trimester of rural management

John Stuart Mill is right here: there is no development, democratic or economic, without an educated citizenry. Hence with this statement, I will shade mine myopic narrative of the last 3 months of the education. Roughly, the things I am doing out here is to fight the common perception between development and management.

During this trimester of PGDM-RM (rural management) at XIMB, the question that was constantly asked by me was how much of it is “Development” and how much “management” ? With rural India in the context, this issue becomes a divergent for many budding rural managers.

The purpose of nearly all writing is to communicate easily. Here in 10 points is what I learnt in 3 months:

1- The first lesson towards developing an understanding that development is not merely about subsidies, urbanisation and poverty but also about being sensitive to the people.

2- As an aspiring rural managers should have understanding that must encompass history, sociology and the economic factors that also shape people’s lives. Quality of a learner is never an accident. It is always result of intelligent effort.

3- Between intention and implemention, there is a step called planning that needs learning from experiences, peers, teachers and most important through insight of a common wisdom of people.

4- We as managers, leaders and adminsitrators counsel and judge people without knowing much about them. Before presuming to do so, we need to be educated about why people behave the way they do. Then ask ourselves a far more difficult question: ‘Who am I to talk to other people and advise them about their development?’

5- There is nothing called perfect system, we try to make a system perfect by adapting ourselves to the problems at hand. One has to challenge organizational culture without destroying it.

6- Intent and honesty of purpose indeed attracts the valuable talent across the strata of society. But what you want to do and why holds important parameter for the people involved in any project. The character of a person/institution can be the most powerful yet most difficult competitive advantage to develop and maintain.

7- Omission is usually a luxury of the person with many choices. That we do knowingly. But denial is the instrument used by us for avoiding grim realities and ours responsibility.

8- Money does not motivate people, people want social recognition and autonomy.

9- People have capability to become intellectually self reliant and a lot of sustainable knowledge is hidden in them. They only need facilitators like us.

10- As an engineer, I learned that there is immense need to demystify technology first for the rural populace so that they will have the confidence to use and manage it. Technology can't be monopoly of engineers and technocrats.

It is the sheer desperation and helplessness that opens the world for a miracle. But messiah appears only at the time of immense crisis and disaster. We can't wait for Anna and Gandhi to show us the path always.

Develop a vision and skills for implementation, the rest pieces of mission will fall in the right places !

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Annus Mirabilis

26 years of Life completed on 21st August. Yahoo !

Annus mirabilis is a Latin phrase meaning "wonderful year" or "year of wonders". A year where many dreams blossomed and similarly many nightmares ended. So life was never better than previous year (Though just late but not too late for me). Between the end of the illusions and the awakening as a different person.

I am missing my friends today. But now, they have all gone into parts of India -- and I remain alone here, with only their memories in my heart, and tears in my eyes.

"When the facts change, I change my mind," said Lord Keynes once. I am also doing the same while understanding the tussle, cooperation and competition between development sector and corporate sector in academic life here.

The motto of life in the busy schedules of life has changed to न दैन्यं न पलायनम् !

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ten Issues - 17

1- Why Zappos Offers New Hires $2,000 to Quit : The policy of providing a let-out after one week has gained worldwide attention. Columnist Keith McFarland explains why it makes sense.

2- Who Was Milton Friedman?: Keynesianism was a great reformation of economic thought. It was followed, inevitably, by a counter-reformation. A number of economists played important roles in the great revival of classical economics between 1950 and 2000, but none was as influential as Milton Friedman.

3- End Financial Control of European Governance : In developing countries and now in Europe, government debt allows creditors to exercise undue power over decision making. The Euro crisis is clear evidence that we need to break out of the economic straitjacket imposed by an over-powerful financial sector, says Susan George in an interview with Nick Buxton.

4- Who needs a bank? : Should we make banks better, or just make them redundant? Peer-to-peer currency schemes like bitcoin.org offer the possibility of networked money without banks. Should democrats embrace the possibilities?

5- Free Enterprise Vs. Regulation : Raghuram Rajan had seen the impact of over-regulation in an underachieving economy. Years later, he also saw the perils of under-regulation as championed during the Alan Greenspan era. The Eric J. Gleacher, Professor of Finance at the Booth School of Business discusses the question of achieving the right mix of free enterprise and sensible regulation

6- Too much information : How to cope with data overload

7- Good Ideas and Great Ideas : A worthy idea needs to be nurtured and developed, rethought and reworked, often thrown away and picked back up again. There’s a substantive difference between a passing fancy and groundbreaking concept. It is our approach to ideas that makes that difference.

8- Johann Hari: How to survive the age of distraction - As in the book The Lost Art of Reading – Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, the critic David Ulin puts it: "Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction.... It requires us to pace ourselves. It returns us to a reckoning with time. In the midst of a book, we have no choice but to be patient, to take each thing in its moment, to let the narrative prevail. We regain the world by withdrawing from it just a little, by stepping back from the noise."

9- 5 Principles of Creativity : So to compete in today’s marketplace, you have to be able to create. That’s much different than just working faster or harder or longer. The good news is that, while we can’t all be a Picasso or a Mozart, there are some simple principles we can follow that will enhance our ability originate ideas that are truly new and important.

10 - The game theory of discovery and the birth of the free-gap : Too many things to choose from, more every day. No efficient way to alert the world about your service, your music, your book. How about giving it away to help the idea spread?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ten Issues - 16

1- Great compilation of cultural article at BBC Hindi : Enjoy Reading about Hindustani Tahzeeb

2- ऑन स्‍क्रीन ऑफ स्‍क्रीन : बहुरुपिया का माडर्न अवतार आमिर खान

3-Death by Dialogue By Trisha Gupta : What does it mean for the future of Hindi cinema if most films are now in fact conceived, thrashed out and largely executed not in Hindi but in English? Will filmmakers only tell the stories of a minuscule section of the population?

4-National Film Awards : The absurdity of censorship - An open letter to Hon’ble Minister for Information & Broadcasting on July 14, 2005 by Rakesh Sharma, a prominent Indian documentary film-maker.

5- Paradoxes of memory by Helmut König: Lasting peace agreements after wars and civil wars were for a long time considered to be conditional upon damnatio memoriae – the deliberate and reciprocal forgetting of violence and injustice. However, the established amnesty clause is only realistic where certain rules were not broken during war. The First World War is beyond its scope of applicability, the extermination war of the National Socialists even more so. Where forgetting is impossible, remembering is all that remains. Such remembrance is inextricably and paradoxically linked to forgetting: only what has been remembered can actively be forgotten.

6- Fighting Mr Smith : The Indian Murdochs will not apologise. Nor will the Indian Rebekah Brooks resign. Mr Smith has spread rapidly in Indian media. There are no Neos here to challenge him. PADMAJA SHAW says the Indian ecosystem of news has imbibed some of the negatives of Murdoch’s news empire but is not about to admit culpability.

7- Philadelphia University Commencement Speech – May 15th 2011 : Steve Blank is a Silicon Valley-based retired serial entrepreneur, founding and/or part of 8 startup companies in California’s Silicon Valley.

8- Am I A Product Of The Institutions I Attended? Unstructured learning in structured learning environments: A personal view of Amitabha Bagchi

9- From Technologist to Philosopher : Why you should quit your technology job and get a Ph.D. in the humanities By Damon Horowitz. Thank You Namit Sir.

10- The Brain on Trial by David Eagleman : Today, neuroimaging is a crude technology, unable to explain the details of individual behavior. We can detect only large-scale problems, but within the coming decades, we will be able to detect patterns at unimaginably small levels of the microcircuitry that correlate with behavioral problems.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Introspection

Welcome, there is a change in the Blog outlook to make it more simple and sober. I did this after struggling with slow internet connection. I am wandering in the landscape of loneliness. Today, I writing this blog in order to comprehend, not to express myself. A paradigm shift in mine thinking !

How many memories/information can a person stand, and how many does he need? Does one need either huge academic knowledge or field work only to prove his case of merit ? What is the definition of luxury or necessity for a family (not individual)? These are some basic question that is haunting me. Leave alone these question on fate.

Despite introspection, We Are Strangers to Ourselves. Ability to be ourselves is crucial, not flowing in the shallow water of superficiality. There is inbuilt existential frustation and restlessness in humans. No person can escape from the thoughts buzzing in the mind. The difference between getting lost and finding new ways distinct achievers in the fighters.

One has to eliminate what one does not aspire for and then start search for what one aspires. When everything is at stake there is nothing to lose. The phase of learning is always unglamarous and difficult in the nature. But when inspired by inner zeal, nothing in the world can stop what must rise. There will be lot of failures and setbacks in the initial years. And a floating question : Is it worth it ? But life goes on with unanswered questions.

The paradox happens when one read something like that : Doing what you know is fun, but doesn't improve you. That really hits your instinct and challenges for uplifting your standards.

A life well lived for others and with others is mine aim. Otherwise, In the words of Anton Chekhov - "Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out." Do anyone wants such meaningless life ? I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. Need a little dose of madness to become free. One need to ask : What's next? How to improve? What's this worth? Why is this happening?

Thought of the Day : ‎"He’s freed from his loneliness by the word. Isn’t that the point of poetry? Breaking through the walls of solitude. Poetry is the great S.O.S. of loneliness." --Anna Kamienska

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Two Videos and Five Points Observed

Derek Sivers: How to start a movement

With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.) A pioneer with courage has just to stand up and do it first :)TED Video



There were five points that I came across in recent days. Each of them opened a new door of analysing the world and mine life in different manner.

1- One question recently bumped me off : Am I A Product Of The Institutions I Attended? I am caught in the web of traditional outlook of liberal, conservative, socialist, anarchist or even fascist. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is the human nature emerges as a complex patterns out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.

Much of learning is not done in the confined environment of the institute. Institutes are just facilitator for providing suitable environment for the growth of an individual. But an institution should balance insanity and genius activity of the individual. Institution that reduces risk taking ability of the student as per trade off of the luxury harms overall welfare of the society. Here, the catch is that the idea of 'luxury' and 'necessities' is subjective in nature. Institutions end up in becoming one's brand/identity for lifetime that holds opposite of the development of an individual.

2- A question is not a test of memory, but a test of understanding. That should be an ideal way of learning about new field. Exams are more oriented towards memory cramping rather than understanding. Open book test gives better idea of genius in the class :)

3- The most marketable skill in India today is the ability to abandon your identity and slip into someone else's. The loss of one's identity so easily for economic reasons appears a complex issue to me. On one hand, it proves adaptability while on other, an unsustainable way of development.

4- All heroic acts are foolish to your contemporaries! The acts may be original rather than research but society gives importance to mediocrity at any moment of time. The people who have been understood are third rate. They are understood because they are saying the same things that you already believe in. It is always better to be Socrates rather than Gandhi at any moment of life for me. It will land great part of your life in loneliness but that is another story of different aspect.

5- Decorum is linked to policing in India. Yes, the study of Indian Government will prove this right.

Why You Need to Fail - by Derek Sivers

The video shows the importance of failure - for effective learning, growth mindset, and quality through experimentation. The message of the video is inspiring and worth remembering : Doing what you know is fun, but doesn't improve you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Socha na tha....

A scarcity of availability and a ticking clock changes our perspective and the desire to take action. I have become busy in the new routine of Yem Bee Aey (MBA)college. I am not able to read and write due to busy lifestyle. I have never imagined that a day like this can come !

An advertisement (spoof) on the fact that major credit card and online payment companies have withheld over $15 Million in donations to WikiLeaks has created a buzz between liberals and youths.



Support WikiLeaks ; Inspired by Wikileaks, I have started a secret blog --- Diary of A Grass Root Manager !. I am updating this blog as per weekly basis with both positive and negative perspective of my stay here in XIMB. Nobody can access the blog now due to its sensitive nature. I will make the blog available in public realm after getting my MBA degree.

A person should have right to document his experiences and learning. I can't rely always on the history lessons presented by state or authority. Milan Kundera has famously commented in 'The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1979' : The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. My experiment with storage of my experiences and memories has started in the form of online blog diary.Wish me luck for my experiment.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Romila Thapar: India's past and present

Everyone has their beliefs as to how they fit into the world. However, only those who think for themselves, rather than blindly follow, will truly experience. A denial of one’s roots, whatever the attitudes and realities of the present, is an invitation to a crisis of identity. This is my opinion on history.

Romila Thapar: India's past and present — how history informs contemporary narrative



In conversation with IDRC President David M. Malone, historian Romila Thapar, widely recognized as India's foremost historian challenged the colonial interpretations of India's past, which have created an oversimplified history that has reinforced divisions of race, religion, and caste.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Day at CSC !



Hello Team,

I want to bid farewell to you all and today is my last day at work in CSC.  Over the span of 2 years 4 months 15 days,  I have seen many stereotyped resignation e-mails still today I can't come up with something original to say.

The decision to leave the firm was a planned one. I was selected for MBA and the bondage period of 2 years as fresher was served. For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I have known that I might one day leave this company. And now that this has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your encouragement and care.

CSC has helped me in shaping my career path and now it is the right time for me to bid adieu.   I have enjoyed working with you and I appreciate my friends and colleagues for providing support all these years. It's been great interacting and knowing each one of you.

Comrades, please do keep in touch at Facebook (Profile Link : http://www.facebook.com/Yayaver ) where I am always alive and kicking :P

Cheers,

Himanshu Rai
Information Security Engineer
CSC

"Love your job, but never fall in love with your company because you never know when company stops loving you... " --- N R Narayana Murthy

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dil jaise dhadke dhadakne do....

There are so many books, blogs and magazines in this world, nobody can read them all. Nobody is waiting for another one of them. If I didn't have to write in order to keep myself together, I wouldn't do it. I don't want to be a seasoned writer, this isn't the reason I write.

Every man dies, not every man observe how he really lives. I enjoys writing and reading but it consumes a lot of energy. I am not even replying to the comments. Such is the phase of life going on.

I am going for higher education and have faith on my talent. This job has taught me not to expect the better man to bow before the fool. To be better take more guts than average thinking. Those who can't say Fuck to their status, can't design the future.
There are people who have once survived through some life time experience and don't understand the nature of it. Experience can supply the information but even then wisdom may lack. Equally, There are people who have not gone through life time experience but have understand and written about it. I do not understand this natural world and mysterious universe of relations . I do not understand. That is why I write, because I do not understand. I just have no choice, or rather, it wasn't I who chose.

Many persons have tried to emulate IT sector top-down economic model, but most are stuck with the Indian reality. Hence, I decided to jump directly in Indian reality. Also, there is no point in doing what is not my strength.

I have became strong in the personal life as lot of past issues were closed. A lot of manipulative and playful relationships were broken. The women psyche, I started understanding a little here bit in this place. But, overall saying goodbye to friends is most difficult of all seprations..

Time to wind up memories. Time to pack up. A new chapter in life. Will miss you Hyderabad !

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fathers and Sons

One realizes one's root when every new occurrence brings back a memory and search for an identity is over. I was trying to track history of my family through relations of fathers and sons and tell a simple story. It is not summary of growing divide between the generations but a simple tale documented fist time ever.

It is a story of my family based on the values that changed with time yet remain same in core. My great grandfather had been 10+2 passed out (first in my family) in 1902. He was born in mid 1880's and joined Primary School as a teacher despite of Zamindari background. My grandfather was born in 1920's and was educated till High-school. He didn't do any job due to his Zamindari Background. Such was the difference of view between them.

My grandfather was eldest of three brothers and remain a farmer till his last breathe. His brothers went to Jharia Bihar to work in coal mines. With the Zamindari system being abolished after independence and few court cases, the family fortune declined slowly. When great-grandfather was on the verge of the death, he said only this to his sons and grandsons : Let all things fall apart but never compromise on the education of children.

I am not eligible to comment on the education of families of other grandfathers. My grandfather has three sons and one daughter. We call biggest uncle babuji and middle one chacha. My father is younger of all siblings.

There were tough days coming ahead for the family. Babuji  followed the word of his grandfather and the level education in our family gradully rises above other families in the village and community despite of financial constraint.

The economical crisis can crush the dream and a man has to compromise lesser than his talent. When it is like not to have enough, its a all different learning experience. Tough times never last, but tough people do! That was the experience of mine father and his brothers of all those years.

It is assumed now-days that person whoever expected the young to be responsible anyway lacks sense ! But a generation ahead of me struggled and achieved education and economic stability.  Today, whenever I learn anything I remember the last words of my great grandfather that changed destiny of a farmer family.

I realized that during hard times, families pull together. If I observe anything from my past and forefathers, success will come by pulling together as families and stressing good education for everyone.

It is always better to have seen a place than never to have visited it. That I always remember while visiting many places around the world. My ancestral place still gives me different feeling whenever I experience some time span there. What is a man without forefathers vision and care...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ten Issues - 15

1- Why Pandits aren't returning to roots ? : The Pandits, though, will tell you another story: of murders and village loudspeakers issuing threats. Jagmohan is rarely the central figure that Kashmiri Muslim makes him out to be.

2-Will Pakistanis put their national interest first? by Harini Calamur :If there is any country in the world that is a poster child for dictatorship, it is Pakistan. Over the last two and half decades at least, Pakistan seems to have been more stable and more prosperous under its military dictators than its “democratically” elected leaders.

3- Islamic Banking System: Threats and Opportunities --- The Islamic banking system is an important component of Islamic finance. Islamic finance has unique features because its foundation is laid on the principles and rules of Islamic law (sharia), which states that everything is owned by Allah and man has only been permitted to use it.

4- The predicament of the Islamic Republic by Hamid Dabashi. Green Movement's focus on civil rights voids it of the appeal needed to spark an Arab Spring-like revolution. Author is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

5- Argentine Free Book Movement woos readers : In Buenos Aires, the 'City of Books', a novel idea sees books left in public places for readers to pick up and enjoy.

6- A Critique of Reporting on the Middle East by Nir Rosen : Too often consumers of mainstream media are victims of a fraud. You think you can trust the articles you read, why wouldn’t you, you think you can sift through the ideological bias and just get the facts.

7- The Insularity of American Literature: Philip Roth Didn't Deserve the Booker International Prize : "There is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the center of the literary world...not the United States," Horace Engdahl, permanent secretary of the Nobel Prize jury, recently said. "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature...That ignorance is restraining."

8- The UID Project and Welfare Schemes : This article documents and then examines the various benefits that, it is claimed, will flow from linking the Unique Identity number with the public distribution system and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. It filters the unfounded claims, which arise from a poor understanding of how the PDS and NREGS function, from the genuine ones. On the latter, there are several demanding conditions that need to be met in order to reap marginal benefits. A hasty linking of the PDS/NREGA with the UID can be very disruptive. Therefore, other cheaper technological innovations currently in use in some parts of the country to fix existing loopholes in a less disruptive manner are explored.

9- Uttar Pradesh to set up 2000+ mandis : The Mayawati government proposes to reduce the distance that farmers must travel to take their produce to market to an average of seven kms. This should help farming families boost their incomes, writes Devinder Sharma.

10- Revolution U by TINA ROSENBERG : The Serbian capital is home to the Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies, or CANVAS, an organization run by young Serbs who had cut their teeth in the late 1990s student uprising against Slobodan Milosevic. Author throws light on what Egypt learns from the students who overthrew Milosevic.

Thought of the Day : Economist Paul Krugman once remarked: If [George W.] Bush said that the world was flat, the headline on the news analysis would read 'Shape of Earth: Views Differ'. It was a pithy summary of how news organizations are now so obsessed with the idea of "balance" they will give both sides of any argument equal coverage, even if one side is plainly absurd.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Passing Time in Summer

Life is going fast and I have discovered that reading poems are anytime better than economics. Summer, summer, summertime and it is time to sit back and unwind. I am spending too much time on Facebook. That is a quite worthless pleasure of addiction. Sitting on the roof-top chatting with friends is better time pass than this. I can only say that I am finding it hard to bear the unbearable separation from internet for 2 hour also, need guts to overcome!

Writing has brought a fundamental error of intellectuals in front of me. An intellectual knows what one opposes but does not seem to be sure what one proposes. Status quo challenged has no meaning until an alternative appears.
Change happens where previous appear even slightly worse than current to the people. This is a fundamental factor in determining the nature and degree of the solution to any problem.

The criticisms, ideologies and debate are the second necessary but not sufficient condition for uplift of the unprivileged ones. The first and foremost required is empathy and sensitivity. Third is the most important one and that is right action taken by detail study of the subject (however complex it may appear) . I have known only 3 steps from my experience. Ignore this stupidity and loose talks, enjoy these lines...

हर बदलते आज में, मैने कल को देखा है,
हर बीते हुए कल में, मैने आते हुए पल को देखा है.
अभी जो बीता है उस पल में कल को देखा है |

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Frog Haiku

A lonely pond in age-old stillness sleeps . . .
Apart, unstirred by sound or motion . . . till
Suddenly into it a lithe frog leaps.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Compiled Madness !

“The scale of the human socio-economic-political complex system is so large that it seriously interferes with the biospheric complex system upon which it is wholly dependent, and cultural evolution has been too slow to deal effectively with the resulting crisis.” —Paul R. Ehrlich is president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.
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Both - the US and the Islamic Republics - wish the region back to its status quo ante, where and when they much benefited from the state of war they had manufactured, and under which they both shared the control and domination of the democratic aspirations of the people in the region.

Political crises are definitive, sustained, and even beyond the structurally dysfunctional state apparatus rooted in the demographic facts of a young and restless population ruled by an outdated and obsolete theocratic ideology.

Questions about loyalty, the role of military and the potential instability are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity. Playboy turned zealot youths, foreign mercenaries and a lot of people on high dose of religion. Pity is the response that will most fully preserve our own humanity but hard for the society living long in the bad habit of self-justification.

Islamic legal scholars are related to patriarchal values and not to the principle of justice. Israel's "lawfare" against the Palestinian people is rooted in a fictitious narrative of having a "right" to exist. Open politics of the street bred and mature individuals and leader emerge from them organically rather than imposed from above by political organisations, religious groups, or gender roles.

Pakistan India and fighting terror ! what a joke. There are lot of people who are eating away their own soul and conscience and calling it faith and patriotism. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the ones who think differently

While India wrongly has thinking that development projects could persuade any people to forego their autonomy demands. There will be no Scheduled tribe in next 20 years as most of them will be killed, displaced in the name of development. What is a greatest sin in the world ? It is to be born poor and hungry ? There is no consensus by carrying with them all sections of middle class, rural and urban poor. It's plain genocide. 'Creation of conditions where survival becomes difficult for millions of people also amounts to genocide,' says Dr. Binayak Sen.
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I always feel greatest threats are internal rather than external? Civilizations, Institutions and even a person fall, not so much because of the strength of the enemy outside as through the weakness and decay withing!!!

Whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity. Facebook and Internet has turned me into some different creature.

Wolitzer describes them this way: “The generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.”

The rule of the Information Age Jungle dictates that slowing down in life is fatal and that speed is the inherent requirement for this chaotic world that we are living in. Alvin Toffler coined the term “future shock” in the article “The Future as a Way of Life” published in the Horizon magazine in 1965. In his book “Future Shock” he has described future shock as “the dizzying disorientation brought on by the premature arrival of the future. It may well be the most important disease of tomorrow.” It seems that he was true about information overload and the accelerated rate of change in society due to industrial and technological growth. This need for adapting to the accelerated change is making us send our two-and-a-half-year old children to pre-schools; this is what is making us want admissions to elite institutions of the country; this is what is making us want a job with a heavy CTC and no work at all. This is the reason why “Speed Yoga Tutorials,” “Fast Piano Lessons,” and “Guaranteed Orgasms in 30 Seconds” e-books are now available. (Thanks to Sridhar)
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It needs guts to learn. Learning means one has to be humble. Learning means one has to be ready to drop the old, one has to be constantly ready to accept the new. Just being logically more proficient does not mean you have the truth. One of the most difficult things is to change an experience into explanation, and from one language to another it becomes almost an impossible task.

Art can create environment of sensitivity in which any scrutiny or process of questioning in which it is possible to change to occur. But where are the artists ? Why make up gives to the women ? I assume it gives confidence to her. Same as the artificial sophistication is promoted in the name of culture. Unsustainable.

Violence as a source of entertainment rather than its actual meaning. I am afraid of violence and mine life. I just want a bit of solidarity with people like Julian Assange who has just told us things that we were entitled to know. The democratization of information may actually lead to real democracy.

I am caught between self-righteousness and savage reality. With each new blog post also, I am doing what they do best, copying and stereotyping. There is no vision in me and there write-ups are an insult to the originality inside me. From when and why has I have become synonymous with rationality with brainlessness and wrong spellings with avantgarde ? Regret is a misery what one did not do while remorse is sorrow what one did do. I have both regret and remorse.

I rigorously study subjects prescribed by our institute irrespective of whether feel it shall provide us any know-how to launch our career. The adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit can be awakened by downsizing the baggage of bore some studies and big student loans.

I am not a prodigy. I may be infected with disease of being acknowledged by others. This perception has modified reality. I am chasing knowledge without any reason. Its is a mental wilderness of thoughts that is making me anxious and full of fear.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Avoid Reading My Blog

Living a regular and tedious life, suddenly I started pondering over thought that whether professional and personal success are mutually exclusive. I find a certain rootlessness, a deracination. But they are only passing thoughts.

Currently, I am in mood of celebration, as the coming to power of the Trinamool Congress is a Berlin-wall-breaking moment. The last big state holding Communist is gone with the winds. The decay of Left has started on that day when the arrogance of power led them to adopt narrow, sectarian and regional politics. There was no more unconditional affiliation or ideology-based support in voting this time.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions is a proverb or aphorism. An example is the economic policies of the Bengal. That is why I stress for an individual in learning in detail at-least one aspect of society.

Clueless ‘intellectuals’ and bureaucrats are arguing all day have never created a job. Ground reality is different. Experience counts and it can't be replaced with theoretical modelling. As there is a huge gap between policy makers and beneficiaries, the conditions of people will not improve even on applying several welfare plans.

Policy framework and a honest (not clueless also ) leader is required for our country.
Reform Is not possible without knowing the truth and if one denies reality. But humans are little different. Humans, and all collections of humans, tend to take honest stock only when they hit rock bottom. Surely, left has hit the rock bottom now.

Whenever I see Naom Chomsky, I respect him immensely as compelling his criticism, breathtaking is his knowledge, persuasive is his voice, and deep runs his humanity. Naom Chomsky exposes hypocrisy of US when US don't practise what it preach in its domestic and foreign policy. Arundhuti Roy and Nadeem F Paracha are doing same for their respective nations. While other Che aspirants turning into drawing-room Pol Pots, the nation goes down in big way...

Examine here, I can't write about personal life without talking about society and politics. What a drag I am proving to be. When one declare some vow in open, and then fail. One will not be able to take same vow again. If I had gone in personal writing mission unspoken, that could have been much better. As they say even unrealized acts have more effects than deliberate attempts. Really, I am not a voice of sanity ! Avoid Reading My Blog :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Life Sahi Hai, Tension Nahi Hai

मेरे ब्लॉग पर बहुत पोस्ट हैं लेकिन सब के सब जोड़ तोड़ एंड फिर घटजोड़ कर के लिखे गए हैं. बहुत कम में स्वंय का योगदान है और अधिकतर में केवल किताबी ज्ञान और दूसरों का प्रभाव है. साले बहुत से एकदम बासी हैं कागज़ के फूलों की तरह. क्यों कागज़ के फूल, उसमें जीवन अनुभव की खुशबू कहां से आएगी ...

I am also cutting short the blogs from the reading list. most of them are not updated from long time or has diluted with respect to my reading taste. It is the person you are, rather than the knowledge you possess, that determines success. Hence, I am making blog little more personal in the nature.

My writings were becoming incoherent day by day. I am trying to mend my ways. The last post on off beat traits about me was prime example of new reformed pattern.

Recently, I was in Azamgarh. I observed hunger, poverty, corruption and unemployment. There is a lack of opportunity even after education such is the case of unemployable work force. I felt that I am going to XIMB for correct academic path. I am glad to choose this path.

Also, the split between rural management and development studies now has become more clear than ever. In rural management, it is evident that the tilt is more towards commerce and while development studies studies an effective intervention mechanism that stabilizes and corrects the imperfections of the market and participants.

Currently, life seemed to be like a dream state flowing into the solid world. Notice Period after resignation is quite relaxed period. I am not living for others as I would also expect not others to live for me. A selfish agenda for survival ! I am posting two question that is bothering me from long time :
1-What does it take to change the essence of a man?
2-How can we raise conscious of a human being ?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An off beat Post about Me

Life is chaotically complex series of events, so beautifully woven into a coherent whole. And I am writing most about worldly affairs, Today, I present an off beat weblog about me.

Writing :
First and most important, I like blogging. When I found the power to express what was in his heart, I found the love of a lifetime. A rare habit that is even continued today with full enthusiasm and pleasure. Also, there is dire need of educated persons who can not only perform better but also express better. Writing skills help one to present himself/herself before others, and also enables to think. Hence, I always encourage people to write and read.

Blog :
I speak and write a bit harsh and with irreverence in the blog. Anything and anyone is subjected to scrutiny and there should be no sacred cow in the society or nation. I uphold the fact that if an individual spends writing in praise of the authority because of the benefits this brings — as opposed to objective assessment — then the moral credibility of the person diminish later or sooner.

Blog Traffic :
I want my blog to be popular but not on the compromise of the material. Publicity means that actions are judged by reputation not the other way round. Most of the readers are interested toward those who write colorfully, look better and give an opportunity to hate/love. May be my blog is efficient but not user/reader friendly.

Blog Addiction :
I like sharing ideas, hearing opposing views, inspiring readers (mostly boring) and, maybe if I’m lucky, compelling few readers to think about problems. I can say with proud that blogging has been more rewarding than I expected, and I think more people should give it a try.

Why I read too much ?
Without understanding the why, it is virtually impossible to know what needs to be done. The pre-condition to fight material corruption and cultural dogmas is to hit hard the social inequality and mental dishonesty. Hence, I have involved deeply into various aspects of life.

Love of History :
Reading History can tell us, in a sense, why we are who we are. [What Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" did, a book that literally changed the consciousness of a generation, the same thing will be done by "India after Gandhi" by Ramchandra Guha.]

Insight on Owns Talent :
The act of measuring something has thee effect of altering the measurement Uncertainty. Hence, I always become suspicious of mine capabilities of speculation. Only clueless people imagine that their interference in the process will improve things and more knowledge always prove my ignorance.

Ambition :
I realized that in life it is important to be liked, than to be successful. Eluding success was another aspect of career but the tag as a "nice" person has been attached. There are many shortcomings and wrong deeds but I am always prepared to give away my ignorance and prejudices.

What I fear ?
I fear India turning into next Pakistan. I fear a place where there is a dominance of opinion over thought, of partisan ideology over compromise, of emotional self righteous morality over intellectual reasoning. That will surely drift into the place of bind believers.

Secular Values :
I am secular and mild atheist by practice. The deception of religion to promise Utopia/Heaven with the brainwashing of the human is most painful learned fact till today.

Morality :
Ethics is a complicated subject since morality has changed over the centuries from outlawing slavery to allowing women to vote. There is a great difficulty in explaining morality for me.

Utopia ?
I am interested in politics. But a questioning mind is an antithesis of utopia. It questions existing traditions, dogmas, practices, existing behaviours, morality, religion, god, monopoly and everything which is the established norm. Hence, this concept seems utterly ridiculous to me.

Ideology
I am yet undecided over my ideological leanings. I openly and definitely supports liberty and love. Independent minds have always transcended the ideological pigeonholes. Rather than enslavement of ideological campaigning, free learning has much advantage.

Entertainment :
It is one of the basic needs of Human life. Still those who enjoys dose of entertainment only like drugs , will always be whipped up by passions and paranoia to maintain narrow interests of few scoundrels. I am much boring person due to love of solitude and silence.

Internet Usage :
Networking is such an essential part of our lives today and it’s these forums that facilitate it the most. Hence, addicted to blogs, facebook and Orkut. I believe that filtering, not remembering, is the most important skill for those who use the Internet. 

On Youths of India :
India's neo-revolutionaries youth are a product of too much fast-food and too little knowledge of ground realities. The young do wear T-shirts that say Roadies or Be a Rebel or Che or even Bitch. But the truth is that the youth, especially in this country, is a fellowship of unaware and even confused identity .

On India :
I refuse to live in a corrupt and intolerant country like this, and I'm not leaving.
Loved this Quote : "Only the open mind can be ready to listen to something that goes against it. The closed mind can listen only to that which supports it." --- Osho

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten Issues - 14

1- How China reports the Arab world :- In a post made to his Chinese-language weblog on April 15, Ezzat Shahrour, chief correspondent for al-Jazeera Arabic in Beijing, voiced his frustration with Chinese state media reporting on the upheaval in the Arab world this year.

2- The rules of entrapment :- The noise against Tehelka after last week’s cover story was to be expected. Much more surprising was the confusion over the ethics of political baiting.

3- Haaretz prides itself on being the conscience of Israel. Does it have a future? :- by David Remnick

4- James Gosling joins Google, what can startups learn? :- Cultivating talent is not about hiring only those people who will work on assignments or wait on benches for projects that are in the sales pipeline. You also require people who are not in the thick of daily grind; those who can think up new paradigms and new ways to doing things without the pressure of how it will impact the company's next quarter's bottom-line.

5- Should you drop out to become an entrepreneur? Posted by Nikhil Kulkarni

6- What’s Left of the Left: Paul Krugman’s lonely crusade. By Benjamin Wallace-Wells

7- Top 10 Reasons Ayn Rand was Dead Wrong By Geoffrey James

8- Ambedkar, the forgotten free-market economist in Perspective by B Chandrasekaran

9- P. R. Brahmananda Memorial Lecture by Stanley Fischer Governor, Bank of Israel :- Central Bank Lessons from the Global Crisis

10- Kaushik Basu has suggested a radical solution: Paying bribes should be legal [PDF] and opposition of Jean Drèze to this idea in The bribing game.

Quote of the Day : “When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science.” - Carl Sagan

Monday, May 9, 2011

State Torture

Few things reveal a nation better than what it censors. Human societies that allow the free expression of ideas do better than those that don’t allow new ideas. The evidence is all around for us to see and judge. The renaissance was the triumph of ideas over church power after a long struggle.

The ignorance and lethargy of the poor are the direct result of the whole economic, social and political domination. It is the failure of elites and policy makers that failed in creating inclusive growth.Hence, the violence emerge from the poor neighborhood or a specific region.

State can't arm people to fight insurgency, it will only lead to legalization of violence with state backing it. The order can't be maintained by violating spirit of law in the first place. Hence, they opt for torture technique to suppress the will of people.

The other strategy to deal with challenges to legitimacy of state is by promoting and reinforcing identity politics within a system of privileges where certain groups and individuals are favored over others. In a word: divide and rule. Best of all discrimination policies used by government !

In democracy, power goes to those who've got money or people. The weak and cynical power holder people are obsessed with their status in society. Abhu Gharib and Guantanmo are prime example of insanity and savagery of the people holding power.An enhanced interrogation techniques” probably have a flawed idea of whether this constitutes torture, because few have felt the pain these methods can cause.

Authoritarian regimes or Deep State are not known for creating space where alternative political leadership grows - for if they do so, they would cease to be authoritarian. The delusional and diseased symbiosis of a person with power.

In short term, the proclamation of reforms, positive changes and greater media freedom turned out to be nothing but empty promises. So there is no major change in the political, moral, psychological, social or economic position of the people. And the game goes on...

No economic system can over-ride the mandate to preserve our life and liberty.  Each country has to find is its own political cohesiveness to carry out very painful and ugly transitions. No country or state is exception of power tussle.There is always inevitable anger  in the people against such misuse of state power which can either spark like revolution or least possibility of reform from inside government.

The media also remain in the frenzy state. The very assumption behind security state is that civilians are expendable, that there is no need to build civilian institutions because they are permanently invaded and the whole world is their enemy. Yet, rarely are the political and economic system that sustain authoritarian groups in the position of power is questioned. That led only to revolution !

Creating Wealth

History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them. ---B. R. Ambedkar

1% has been hoovering up an ever greater share of the nation's wealth. Why ?

The “seeds of decay” lay in the “disparity between rich and poor” that is growing fast in the country until middle class redefine it's role. Which is much what Chomsky states : Modern "democratic" governments exist to protect their sponsors not their people.

Is it really true that media has become the agency of politicians and burglars ? News channel works as ferocious disinformation machine aimed at convincing people to vote against their financial interests. James, Dresden has quoted : When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.

There seems to be a disconnect between our professed love of democracy. There is no outrage or even movement to oppose a dictatorship at work place. Until things get so bad that people can do nothing but protest, and then those are called revolutions. Democracy? Freedom? What the hell are you talking about? You can't have either when you have fractional economics in a society run on debt!

People have to fight for the most basic things in the life. When intelligent people cheat the masses by complex arrangements and shady deals, the masses will move towards a propaganda and slogan politician.

Redistribution is a stupid way to reduce inequality. Robbing A to pay B makes inequality persist. The correct  way to reduce inequality is to create jobs that allow B to earn his income. Do easy consumer credit and a belief in social mobility have reduced the clamor for wealth redistribution ?

Currently, there is no visible alternative economic system that beats capitalism for delivering the most wealth, happiness and fulfillment to the most people. The mechanisms whereby power is thwarted from a centralized system and redistributed, is a necessary component of a fair and representative political system.

Globalization – essentially embracing the opening of all frontiers to the free movement of capital and merchandise, but not labour. The moral undesirability of state interference in any way, and the political incapacity of the states to interfere in business will led to the free market where big players will dominate the scene. The road to free market will fail this country. Capitalism has failed just as spectacularly as Communism. There is a genuine need for a real Third Way.

“Men are born entrepreneurs not job seekers. By seeking job he is giving chance to a system to make him poor.” ‎-Muhammad Yunus

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Understanding Islamic Culture - 6

“Islam [is] a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.” - Samuel Huntington ; This quote comes to the truth several times by the most religious persons of Islam.

We have to make new perception on Islam, hence accepting that all Islam is on a par with Al-Qaeda is grotesque and dead wrong. To understand why even falsely proclaimed perfect system of rules "Islam" is failed by its own followers ? . Religious fanatics are present in every society, it does not mean that they are a part of the culture. The extremism and level of violence permitted help us to view the norms of the civil society.

Islamic scholars only look Kuran and Hadith as a pious source and reference while ignoring evidences or voices outside this. The critical mind on the other hand undermines revealed truths and subjects the scriptures to exegesis and interpretation. To confuse the two is to shift religious questions from an intellectual to a judicial level. In the religious society, every objection or joke becomes a crime. And that is why Islamic civil society is considered as most backward in the eyes of others.

It is not the contempt FOR DEMOCRACY that is dangerous, it is what earns this contempt that is the problem. With silence of moderates, the popular opinion triggers towards extreme right or left leading to a catastrophic situation. Surely, passion shouldn’t prevail over reason, or prejudice over logic; nor should one’s credibility be flogged at the altar of patriotism. History over time becomes Interpretation, and then Mythology. Then it becomes sacred where facts are no longer relevant.

1- Political Models after the Arab Revolutions : Islam, Sharia, and Democracy ---  A new loosely organised movement is earning respect among the proponents of Islamic democracy. Distancing itself from militant Islamism, the movement regards itself as a "New Centre" and aims to combine the principles of good governance with the preservation of cultural authenticity. By Gudrun Krämer.

2- Interview with Ibn Warraq : In an interview with Dirk Schönlebe, the author and Islam critic Ibn Warraq explains his views on freedom of opinion and the definition of tolerance in Islam, and the role of multiculturalism in the Western world.

3- The Young and the Old: Radical Islam Takes Root in the Balkans by Risto Karajkov.

The most important challenge for humanity is understanding people, realizing that we are all similar, regardless of which country, race or religion we came from. I rest my case here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pakistan : A Failed Islamic Experiment - 2nd View

When you talk about Pakistan, as an Indian a question simply arrives:  What do you do with a problem like Pakistan?. There are 8 steps proposed by the author need to be taken at least from Indian perspective.

I. Cause economic pain to Defence forces / related entities:
II. Offer to pay this mercenary nation for better behaviour
III. Reach out to the suffering masses
IV. Denuclearize this rabid state
V. Increase focus on fissures within Pakistan
VI. Resolve Kashmir
VII. Threaten to break all diplomatic relations
VIII. Provide a face to India’s Pakistan initiative

For (super funny) history as read by most Pakistani citizens, the two news article summary is here. Concise history of Pakistan Part– I and Part– II ; I will analyze the situation in another perspective.

Ideas did not face organized opposition till monotheistic invaders arrived into India. Since Indian Dharmas were not much organized, the blood shed and violence conflict existed in less proportions. There was fight between Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism but to a less violent level. With the passing time, the institutions of organized religions like Islam and Christianity have removed discriminatory practices a little bit but are naturally more suppressive to the new ideas contrary to unorganized religions.

Today, while observing the alliance of secular parties to minority and right wing party to religious causes, we can easily say that it is purely based on the mutual benefit and leaves no space for a common man today. This seems scalable in the world with conservatives that are in majority that includes traditional rigid individuals and zero brain using, yet tolerant citizen.

Conservatives wants to maintain the ties and traditions of the past and ignoring the evil of increasing religiosity of a moderate society. And all the support of military dictators were such people who believed them to be secular from the 'face' value. Suddenly the world changes for them after 9/11 and every bearded face of Muslim becomes a terrorist for them. Then packed with new baggage of information and conspiracy theories, a jerk reaction of Islamophobia is developed by conservatives of west towards conservatives of Afghan-Pak. Brothers in war against communist become thirsty of blood of each other.

On confronting the conservatives with any long-term social or economic problem, and they have only one response: it would go away if only we insisted on our assumptions more aggressively. This denial of reality runs deep. The armchair theorists refuse to face - the need to take sides in an imperfect world. I preferred to take sides with liberals that are imperialistic in the nature than conservatives.

So how to tackle this religious minority ? And again our lab rat nation of Pakistan comes in the scene. Nadeem F Paracha puts a brilliant theory of Radical fatigue in Smokers’s Corner: Whenever an extreme finds itself cornered and desperate, it becomes even more extreme, almost to the point of being nihilistic. Consequently, such an extreme starts facing a paradox. The brighter it burns or the louder it crackles, the quicker it starts to consume itself, until it is no more.

Liberals have been most attacked, mostly by fellow religious leaders and mobs, for voicing their secular opinions or for presenting any other perspectives than state and Mullahs. And increasing religiosity of middle class Pakistani breeds an even more dangerous form of terrorist than the ignorant, brainwashed madrassa students who do not know any better. This middle class religious jehadi is materialistic in worldy sense yet deeply regressive in tolerance level. And all this happened while it was coveted in the hindsight of the liberal and freedom of speech by mainstream parties.

Failure of Pakistan is not utterly fault of Wahabi schools. Pakistanis seem to prefer Islamic or tribal legal codes, it is not because they love stoning women to death but because the modern institutions of the police and judiciary inherited from the British are shockingly corrupt, not to mention profoundly ill-suited to a poor country.

And, same phenomenon is happening in Hindutva brand of Hinduism. Remember that when all the minorities are finished, majority will find minorities amongst themselves to prey upon.Without the ability to think, education starts to resemble indoctrination. state-sanctioned propaganda. But, the trivial point comes when the whole opinion of majority shifts to the right. What then ?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Arbit Collection

Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education



Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. [TED Talk Link Here]

So, we can see here the advantage of the online availability of learning material. That will clearly break the monopoly of the universities as a center of  knowledge.

2- A paragraph in the Review of The Namesake by Roger Ebert attracted me lot : “The Namesake” tells a story that is the story of all immigrant groups in America: Parents of great daring arriving with dreams, children growing up in a way that makes them almost strangers, the old culture merging with the new. It has been said that all modern Russian literature came out of Gogol’s “Overcoat.” In the same way, all of us came out of the overcoat of this same immigrant experience.

3-  I liked the praise of Uttar Pradesh in the words of Nida Fazli  : भारत में उत्तर प्रदेश हिंदी-उर्दू साहित्य की दृष्टि से बड़ा अमीर प्रांत है.  इसके हर नगर की मिट्टी में वह इतिहास सोया हुआ है, जिसको जाने बग़ैर न देश की सियासत को समझा जा सकता है और न इसकी संस्कृति विरासत को समझा जा सकता है.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Background of the Arab Revolution

When the Rebels become the tyrants, Revolution takes on a new meaning. We can consider Libya a perfect example of that. Still, US government is backing Libyan rebels to achieve democracy and liberty in their nation while supporting Arab league authoritarian rule in Saudi, Bahrain or Yemen. Why ? Only vested interests in Saudi and hidden agenda in Libya !

As pointed by a journalist : Libyan assets are mainly in the US and Europe, and they amount to hundreds of billions of dollars: the US Treasury froze $30bn of liquid assets, and US banks $18bn. What is to happen to interest on these assets? The absence of any specific arrangement assets are turned into a booty, an interest-free loan, in this instance, to US Treasury and US banks. And the logic of western policy is permanent support for the Saudi elite and its guarantee of “stability” and "oil"in the region.

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at Oxford University, coined the term refolution to describe the hybrid form of change that had taken place. These transformations were non-violent and pointed to the emergence of a new approach to transformation that involves reform and revolution.

We will go through Ten articles to understand the change happening in the Arab region deeply :

1- The Student Movement in 1968 : To examine the Arab student movement in 1968, Egypt and Lebanon provide the best insight because both countries saw the most sustained student activities of the era while also proving influential throughout the region because their universities enrolled students from all over the Arab world. Betty S. Anderson gives an excellent piece which helps put current movements in a longer time perspective.

2- Egyptian transformations: Mohammed Bamyeh is a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. Sociologist Mohammed Bamyeh was present at Tahrir Square throughout the Egyptian Revolution and was able to see the popular political will unfolding. Here he singles out key elements in the uprising and describes the social transformations they have brought about.

3- The West's 'double standards' in Middle East : Support for Bahraini government's crackdown on protests is a paradox as West supports Libyan rebels, activist argues.

4 - Don't Steal Our Revolution! : The Arab democracy movement sets great store by its independence and now fears that the intervention in Libya will come with a high price tag: it could rob their protest of its legitimacy. Layla Al-Zubaidi comments on the Arabs and the Libyan Intervention.

5- The Orientalist blindness and The Arab revolution and Western decline : Haaretz, A newspaper from Israel look in the matter with a new angle for most of the readers.

6- The Turkish Chimera :  Turkey's historical experience and political evolution differ in important ways from Arab countries'. As a result, the collapse of the old power structures in many Middle East countries is likely to be accompanied by considerable political turmoil and violence, writes F. Stephen Larrabee on Turkey and the ''Arab Spring'.

7- Imperial feminism, Islamophobia and the Egyptian revolution : An article by Nadine Naber who is an Assistant Professor in the Program in American Culture, Arab American Studies, and the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

8- A revolution against neoliberalism? : If rebellion results in a retrenchment of neoliberalism, millions will feel cheated. Walter Armbrust gives a detailed report. Dr. Walter Armbrust is Hourani Fellow and University Lecturer in Modern Middle East Studies at Oxford University.

9- Paradoxes of Arab Refo-lutions : A detail study on the possibility of various changes : ‘reformist change’, ‘insurrectionary model’ and ‘regime implosion’ by Asef Bayat. Dr. Asef Bayat is Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

10- Can “Leaderless Revolutions” Stay Leaderless: Preferential Attachment, Iron Laws and Networks : by Zeynep Tufekci.

"The one thing freedom lovers need is real community. Not just the community of Web yakking. Not just the community of common ideas and ideals. But a web of institutions that serve freedom's goals." — Would You Move to the State of the Free? (2001) Claire Wolfe

Monday, April 25, 2011

What an Individual deserve ?

Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self. ---B. R. Ambedkar
Individualism will loose its meaning if it becomes part of the crowd or even ignore society. Because we have to recognize the complex inter dependencies of modern life.

To become rebellious, one needs a certain understanding, a certain alertness, a certain unprejudiced mind. Even life itself is a lesser value than our individuality and our rebelliousness. When one is sacrificing oneself for something far greater and more beautiful -- for freedom, for individuality, for expression, for creativity; one is sowing seeds for future generations of liberty.

Rather than only contempt for authoritarianism, one needs sufficient wisdom to architect new system. Discontent with current regime is a sufficient, but not enough requirement for a successful revolution. More than challenge to establishment, the minimum condition for bringing new order is the necessity and importance of political and social rights. It needs a profound and thorough conviction of the justice.

One needs to exist as a person whose voice matters precisely because it can't be easily pigeonholed or ignored into a particular ideology. Values of liberty and justice are building concepts but not present the architecture and position of the designed system. But what it leads us to a basic yet profound question : What do we deserve in the life ?

Here, I will take a sudden break and redirect article to What Do We Deserve? By Namit Arora to understand this complex topic. Also, I have been advised by the author to start with his excellent Harvard undergrad lecture : Michael Sandel on Justice

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