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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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pakistan : A Failed Islamic Experiment

The idea of India is based on the diversity and inclusiveness. It requires that the Muslims stop alienating to themselves and seek more avenues of engagement with all. All the remnants of exclusivity and isolationism of any Hindu, Muslim or Sikh society should be taken out from the minds first and then from the national life.

So what is the contribution of Government ? By just allowing the minorities to pray, doesn’t mean that the government is secular. Secularism means equal opportunities at every level. It also requires not shunning away from criticism of liberal commentators. India is not doing much good in this category, but seeing the engagement of Islamic culture, it seems praise worthy.

Whenever idea of India is defined, the secession of Pakistan come in the frame. The partition based on exclusivity of perfect Islamic society is the thesis of the idea of Pakistan. I agree with the warning of cultural commentator Nadeem F Paracha. "Pakistan is one of the first examples of a fascist, faith-based dystopia."

Today, Pakistan is a country who is exceptionally sensitive towards religion and in the dream of setting up utopia of Islamic society based on Koranic values. And the result, a sharp decline of rational debates, economic collapse and intolerance of sectarian groups towards each other. Pakistan’s silent majority is tolerant but NOT fundamentally secular in the nature. 'Liberal' People are afraid for taking clear statements against extremists and the gradual cowardly behavior by law makers are signals of influence of religious extremism over public sphere. The signs of conservativeness has increased in the society despite of no visible increase in the vote shares of fundamentalist parties. Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy further analyzes this situationin detail in the interview : Pakistan awaiting the clerical tsunami.

The most educated citizens of Pakistan have lost the capacity to question the false Islamic history served to them in academics and TV evangelists. Mullahs and Army has besized the oppurtunity of spreading their laws on the masses. In the brilliant article "Curse of the ‘almost elite’", Rafia Zakaria points towards mind set of elite (rich, powerful and upper middles class) of Pakistan :
What a society emulates and anoints as the basis for power and importance is what in that context becomes sacred. It is not that Pakistanis are unique or isolated in their devoted paeans to the wealthy, an exercise found throughout the ages in all parts of the world. The inability to create a definition of success that originates solely from within or is the product of hardship is tied not only to an obsession with inherited wealth but also to mythologised ideas of historical origins.

The same effort put into the pretence of revelling in inherited wealth is also invested in the claiming of Arab, Persian or similarly exotic ancestry. Not being actually South Asian, then, is crucial to being good or privileged or socially viable, announcing to all that your presence in the current milieu is a fact not of your peasant origins but the conquering vigour of your ancestors.
Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti are dead now. Who is next, Sherry Rehman? Death threats are shouted and liberals are branded as "infidels" and heretics deserving of death. Government come on rollback the freedoms of the people to accommodate this Islam of Mullah's dreams. We know from history that appeasement of violent extremist doesn't pay, it only emboldens them. These religious extremist have no plan, policies or idea about governance. They run there campaign on the basis of religious slogan and propaganda. And it's easy to guess when structure fails, the response by religious extremist is : ‘If only ...... imposes true Islamic system, we’ll be able to get rid of the hypocrisies committed in its name.

The official lawlessness combined with cruelty has become the daily norm. Suicide Bombing, Taliban insurgents, economic collapse, the rise of extremism is not only due to sheer inability of leaders. It arrived from the movement of a nation towards old age customs of Islamic society.  This is the degrading power of Islam that it devolve society into ancient custom resembling them more with Taliban. And with all respect to all, We all know the advantage for Muslims to live "pious state of Afghanistan" over "progressive state of Turkey".

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ten Common Errors When Building a New World-Class University

ITBHU has always owe much of their success to the exceptional leadership qualities of the founder Madan Mohan Malviya: who inspired, mobilized and showed the way to the establishment of BHU with a vision. Over the long run, however, this element of strength has devolved into a limiting factor. Our institution had not make provisions for orderly transition procedures with changing times and funding of grants. hence have been pushed back by new colleges.

Achieving the ambitious result of launching a high quality is easier said than done. Conversion of IT BHU to IIT will surely give college huge fund. Almost all the structure is established one and need only few bureaucratic changes in administration. So if the entire working culture is same, then what is the difference in new IIT -BHU and old ITBHU ? Jamil Salmi's paper on Ten Common Errors When Building a New World-Class University is presented as blog post here as it is the urgent need of time to rebuild the mission and structure of  the ITBHU at par with the best institutes of the world.

1. Build a magnificent campus; expect magic to happen. The physical infrastructure is obviously the most visible part of a new university. A lot of care is usually given to the design and construction of impressive, state-of-the-art facilities, and rightly so. Good academic infrastructure is certainly an important part of the education experience of students, and researchers need adequate laboratories to carry out leading-edge scientific inquiries. But, without an appropriate governance set-up, a strong leadership team, a well-thought curriculum, and highly qualified academics, the beautiful campus will remain little more than an empty shell that embodies a waste of valuable resources. Remember the Tower of Babel!

2. Design the curriculum after constructing the facilities. It is often assumed that teaching and learning can easily adapt to the physical environment of the institution. This may be true for traditional lecture-based teaching, but innovative pedagogical practices often require equally innovative facilities.For example, interactive approaches, problem-based learning or pedagogical methods relying heavily on teamwork and peer learning are constrained by the physical limitations of conventional lecture halls or even classrooms.

Libraries and laboratories have evolved dramatically in recent years due to changes in technology. The promoters of a new university should refrain from launching into the architectural design stage of their institution until they have established not only a clear definition of the vision and mission of the new institution but have also determined some of the specific content of teaching and research. It is particularly essential (and most prudent) to prepare the academic plan of the new institution ahead of the construction of the physical infrastructure and to tailor the latter to the requirements of the former rather than the other way around. At the very least, the academic staff should be given the opportunity to influence the design of the pedagogical and research spaces of the new institution.

3. Import content from somewhere else. Why reinvent the wheel? The teams in charge of establishing new universities tend to look almost exclusively at the top-ranked institutions in industrial countries to buy or copy elements of their curriculum instead of going through the more labor-intensive process of custom designing their own programs. While this may seem expedient and practical, it is not the most effective way of building the academic culture of a new university that aims to reach high standards. The Harvards and Oxfords of this world are unique institutions that have evolved over centuries, and it is unrealistic to think that reproducing their distinctive academic model is possible or even desirable. And it is impractical to envision shopping around and bringing curricular fragments from a variety of top notch institutions across different countries / cultures, assuming that everything could easily gel together and fall in place to create an authentic learning and research culture in the new university. Curriculum development is demanding work, but it is the main mechanism that can allow a unique and innovative organizational culture to emerge.

4. Design with an OECD ecosystem in mind, implement elsewhere. Replicating the three key features that make flagship universities in industrial countries successful—concentration of talent, abundant resources and favorable governance—is a fundamental requirement, but it does not encompass the full complement of operational conditions that underpin the authorizing environment of a successful world-class institution. It is difficult if not impossible to create and maintain thriving universities when the tertiary education ecosystem within which they operate is not fully supportive. Some potentially important dimensions of a favorable ecosystem include leadership at the national level (existence of a vision about the future of tertiary education, capacity to implement reforms), the regulatory framework (legal provisions, governance structure and management processes at the national and institutional levels), the quality assurance framework, the mechanisms and pathways integrating the various types of tertiary education institutions, the financial resources and incentives, along with the digital and telecommunications infrastructure. To operate adequately, all of these require an overarching set of conditions which have to do with political and economic stability, the rule of law, the existence of basic freedoms, and a favorable location from the viewpoint of the spatial environment in which the new tertiary education institution is meant to operate (local economic, social and cultural life). The absence of even only one of these elements or the lack of alignment among these various dimensions is likely to compromise the ability of new universities to progress and endure.

Among other things, these errors point to the importance of developing an original academic and institutional culture that fits well into the local environment.

5. Delay putting in place the board and appointing the leadership team. The resolution to establish a new university is often a political decision reflecting a visionary ambition at the highest levels that a ministry or a technical project team is then charged with putting into action. This typically leads to a centrally managed design and implementation process.

Given that the establishment of a new university requires passion and drive to create a new organizational culture, it cannot be built by a disinterested committee. A project of such magnitude must be fully owned and carried out by a dynamic leadership team, working under the authority of an independent board with the capacity to offer guidance and empowerment. The first order of business of the new board has to be the identification, selection and installation of institutional leadership. Putting in place an appropriate governance framework from the outset is a key factor of success.

6. Stack the board with political appointees. Founders need to choose a governing board that brings together a range of essential expertise that can evolve over time. The governing board should start out small and grow very gradually to accommodate more expertise as needed. The common oversight is that people are appointed to boards on the assumption that they "represent" their institution or represent a constituency, when really they should represent an area of expertise needed in the management of the new and growing institution (legal expert, financial expert, infrastructure expert, academic experts, retired institutional leaders, etc.). Another, related misstep is to appoint governing board members who have too little time. It is better to have the board skewed toward recently retired university presidents or experts than to have too many members with too little time and dedication to the endeavor.

7. Plan for up-front capital costs, but pay little attention to long-term financial sustainability. The promoters of a new university usually announce with enthusiasm the huge endowment dedicated to the establishment of the new institution, but the initial capital investment is only one part of the total project. It is essential to provide adequately for the first few years of operation and to establish a thoughtful business model that allows the new institution to grow and endure in a financially sustainable manner.

The common errors presented today highlight the importance leadership along with proper sequencing in designing and implementing a new tertiary education institution.

8. Be too ambitious in enrollment targets. The leaders of new institutions sometimes think that they can rapidly enroll large numbers of students, often in the tens of thousands. This is rarely achieved without sacrificing quality. In the 1970s, E.F. Schumacher wrote in his famous book “Small is Beautiful” that successful development projects were preferably of a small size.

Small is still beautiful today, especially when it applies to setting up a new college or university. It is usually a better idea to begin with a small number of programs and student body if quality is a priority. It allows the new institution to deploy resources more prudently, to take time to develop its new academic culture, and to give precedence to quality factors over everything else. Once a strong academic culture is in place, it is easier to scale up from there.

9. Think that everything can be accomplished in eighteen months. A variant of over-ambitious planning is assuming that a new institution can be launched in a matter of months and that high quality teaching and research can be accomplished within a few years of establishing a new university. In reality, rushing through the initial phase of design and implementation can often only lead to hasty decisions that can have an adverse effect on the quality and cost of the project. Furthermore, institution-building is a long-term process that requires stable leadership, continuous improvement, and patience. This is especially true when it comes to developing the robust scientific traditions needed to produce leading edge research and technological applications.

10. Rely exclusively on foreign academics without building up local capacity. Hiring foreign academics is common practice to accelerate the launch of a new university in a country with limited capacity. Indeed, it makes good sense to bring experienced instructors and researchers to help put new programs in place; it can also be a very effective capacity-building strategy when an important part of the mission of the foreign academics is to train younger, less experienced academics from the host country. On the other hand, it can be a risky and counter-productive approach in the absence of systematic efforts to attract and retain qualified national academics. As with most plans that include reliance on outside actors and forces, the strategy of bringing on foreign academic staff should be one that complements the more fundamental aim of local capacity building.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Boring Sermon of Devil

Personal Life :-

I was recently made joke by naming me as an 'Intellectual' (a much abused word that means Boring). As for words of Christopher Hitchens :- The usual duty of the 'intellectual' is to argue for complexity and to insist that phenomena in the world of ideas should not be sloganized or reduced to easily repeated formulae. Hence, quite a pseudo character for me. There are two characteristics of mine : Irreverence and Skepticism that I cherish most. I can assure you personally that they can generate surprisingly constructive results if combined with love and compassion.

My Childhood was shaped by the parents, friends, relatives, neighbors and teachers in a quite confined surrounding of home, school and colony. As a scholar in the college, I can retrospect my life as a a simple story into a complex one with time. I was never sharp, ambitious, hard or cynical. It was a moody, dreamy character with a sincere, naive idealist, motivated more by vague yearnings than concrete plans. May be environment around me does not place ambition above all, but was philosophical, accepting and optimistic.

I started ridiculing over unjust world like everyone without even understanding the root cause . So looking for the solution was not in the picture. When inquiry for the root cause begins, it turned to be nightmare. Beyond ridiculing the most banal situations, I realized painfully the insignificance of one's existence. Then gradually, I drifted from the pleasures of life towards boring intellectual talks. There were few light moments providing with a slight relief but much time invested in gaining knowledge, vain efforts and solitude.

And then I realized that there is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. Now, I want to depict in a tangible way the solitude and morality of humans through words. I speak and write a bit harsh for the reader (Quite Middle and Elite class) there to wake them from the dream. There is a whole humanity to embrace as our own and the time is running out fast.

People are doing well, earning good money, and own a house, and so want to ‘enjoy life’ only. Then, why I am so ranting on everyone. I am fighting for improving this system only so that you can cherish and enjoy life. To make the world that I share with you a happy and peaceful place for billions of us.

Public View:-

"Distinctions between westernisation and modernisation have not touched the bulk of western educated modern Indians, who are convinced that their future lies in being exactly like Europe and North America."---Ashis Nandy

I am rooting for this modernization in order to reform our social, political and economic system, which is full of bias, inequality and discrimination that conflict with our fundamental rights. People are not modernizing with the secular, democratic, republic and liberty concepts of state. They are still divided and fighting over the religion, race and caste background. Religious agendas confuses people, engages them in the conspiracy theories, and decreases society’s collective ability to make sensible decisions.

It is apathy of well educated middle class and casual nihilistic view of the elites is letting us down. Middle-classes of India especially want to make the world a better place. Just like their drawing-rooms !

Law can't change human. The struggle at grass root level is always finished by the conscious of the masses. The society’s collective ability to make sensible decisions always have to be governed by will of the people and inclusive path laid down by wise and just people. No class should be eliminated for the sake of development and even it has to be happened for greater good. Cohesion of elite with the support middle class is needed to uplift threshold conditions of life for everyone.

Every person has a right to live and enjoy the life irrespective of his peculiar background, hobbies or choices.  While doing a job is not enough, one has to check whether the system is inclusive and providing justice or not. One has to design a system where one can at least have a shelter to meet his all requirements and opportunities to improve.

A hungry person on the streets is not going to care whether or not their nation has superpower status or not if he/she are sleeping every night on the empty stomach. The forcibly displaced people seek refuge and livelihood in the city to find themselves again evicted from their jhuggis in the name of cleaning the city and ‘development’.

It is holding on the hope of the unprivileged individual cut from all high connections that his/her life will be better through hard work and honesty one day. The day that hope will die, that will be the beginning of the night of the death of all those beneficiaries of present state. And they can never guess in their wild dreams what has triggered and caused their fall. All 'shining' and 'rising' slogan will meet a sudden abrupt revolutionary and apocalyptic end.

It leads us to basic premise of the plot : Does one can't develop without exploiting others ? A hard nut case for me to crack individually. But we all together can. And here again at the end of this section, I find myself preaching like devil to flush away the dogmas... What an asshole I am !

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Understanding Islamic Culture -5

Continuing from 1, 2 , 3 , 4 -

Women’s rights in the Muslim world is always opposed by conservative circles who constantly emphasize that behavior should follow the the Koran and the Prophet. The orthodox comprehension of the obligation to wear a dress as per the elders is a tradition in each society. In prevalent practice, it is mostly older men – learned or unlearned – who assume the right to determine how a woman should appear. And Islam is fairly in criticism over its fundamentalist approach to the feminist issues.

But a free state based on the rule of law protects a woman and gives a citizen both moral and bodily integrity. To to maintain a 'culture of silence' for honour will anyways lead to the moral corruption of the society . One has to accept that Islam itself is an human endeavor and like all human endeavors “things do fall apart.”. And there must be voice for women's legitimate claim for equality before the law and society.

1- Sixteen reasons why I object to this dangerous cover-up : A dress code for Muslim women when in public institutions would free up our faith from the grip of fanatics and reintegrate us into our country by Yasmin Alibbai-Brown.

2- Azar Nafisi, Author of an international sensation, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books . Interview as Azar Nafisi converses with Robert Birnbaum.

3-Interview with Asra Nomani : - The 44-year-old US writer Asra Nomani is viewed as a prominent representative of "Gender Jihad". For the former Wall Street Journal reporter, there is no contradiction between Islam and feminism. She spoke to Alfred Hackensberger at Qantara.

4-Encounters with the niqab by Rafia Zakaria : Women who choose to wear the niqab, an expression of their commitment to Islam, must wrestle with this thorny ethical question prior to exercising their undeniable rights. Duties and rights must be evaluated on the scales of ethical responsibilities to one’s community.;

5- Shirin Ebadi: who defines Islam? Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian human rights lawyer who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. Shirin Ebadi in conversation with Deniz ndiyoti :- "Egyptian women are lucky in one way. They have witnessed the predicament of Iranian women and seen how the Islamic state has hijacked the Iranian revolution, changed the laws and reversed women’s gains. My advice to Egyptian women is “do not give way to a government that would force you to choose between your rights and Islam”. I believe that Iran was a lesson for the women in the entire region".

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bye Bye CSC

Sometimes life gives you the finger and sometimes it gives you a gift also. Desire rather than reason governed human behavior has helped me to achieve a short term goal.

I resigned from CSC on 14th April, on auspicious Tamil New Year. Why ? I have been selected for admission to two year full time Programme for Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Management, 2011-2013 at XIMB (Bhubaneshwar). So dream of going for rural management course will be completed in XIMB, not in IRMA. Anyways, first step taken for a long term.

The era of self confinement is nearly over. This tranquil solitude has helped me to develop vigorous individuality.  I learn that : 1) Never evaluate one's success through the standards set by others. 2) Transparent character melts distrust. 3) Be alert with the trap of self persuasion.

Engineers are considered as the individuals whose ideas and expertise made possible technology-based economic output. Engineering field is quite a finished business now. The era of Mechanical Engineer by degree and Information Security Engineer by job is over. I will add little social perspective to this management programme in further studies now on.

Knowing my limit as mediocre, I will push the boundaries and extend my creative instinct. I have shortcomings that I lack the courage to be real soldier or real dissident. So will do best this time in the college now.

Thanks to Varun Grover for his tip that Irreverence will take you further than you can imagine. That was a advise that I ignored first. But finding it much true day by day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Corruption, Agitation and Wealth Creation

George F Will was referring to the US government but his words apply with greater force to India when he wrote, “The administration’s central activity — the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.” [Tincture of Lawlessness. The Washington Post, May 2009.]

Corruption: Mostly poor and partially middle class in India are victims of state indifference and corruption; The money released for subsidy and loan waiver schemes is stolen by corrupt government officials. And yet if one asks us what jobs they would like to have the number one answer is to job for the government.

The very base of your very social order – and this lie includes the need for you to be clever, jugaad, and constantly try to hinder others growth. Literacy was supposed to create a level playing field for all. However, investments in education have actually widened the gap between the English-speaking classes and the vernacular masses. The same people when complaining about corruption will vote for the most corrupt politicians because those are the politicians with the resources to protect them. Now these are the structural problems to TACKLE for the development.

As Atanu dey pointed out in Anna Hazare Goes to New Delhi that this bill is more a palliative and not curative rule change. He is is giving valid reasons on the changes necessary to the structure of government, not just adding another law in the rule book.
The license-permit-control-quota raj is at the root of the criminalization of Indian politics. The less scruples one has, the greater the loot; the greater the loot, the more intense the competition to win the position; the more intense the competition, the greater the cost of fighting elections; the greater the cost, the greater the need to recover them; the more greedy and unprincipled people in government, the greater their desire to increase the government’s choke-hold on the economy.

The root cause of corruption and the related issue of absolutely abysmal governance is our set of bad rules. India’s persistent deep-rooted poverty is due to that. Douglass C. North noted that “economic history is overwhelmingly a story of economies that failed to produce a set of economic rules of the game (with enforcement) that induce sustained economic growth.” The road out of poverty starts off with people deciding on a different set of rules.
Even awareness of systematic injustices is not enough. Here is the need of new policymakers and participation of the people in politics. The people has to evolve from typical "Operational conservative and theoretical liberal"  to "Active Liberal Participant" for a solution.That is my conclusion.

Agitation: The delay in implementing is definitely meaningless. Do we educated Indian are full of apathy and nihilism? Recent uproar for support of Anna Hazare proves me wrong.

A petition and peaceful protest has always been ignored. And the government gives in to demands — reasonable or not — when sufficient violence is employed. One wonder whether the government responds only to threats of indefinite fast and violent retreat.

While people suspecting on the motives of Anna Hazare protest, they have to know that a certain level, any act of protest is a form of blackmail. And no protest can succeed without the will of the people. The will of the people don't need impotent and parasitic government slowing down their movement. The vibrant democracy don't need to wait five years for even a small change. If the public has full fledged support, then government should listen and act on the raised concerns. Indian democracy needs volunteer like Hazare to raise their points in public.

Corruption cannot be tackled just through a non-partisan anti-corruption body though that is important but rather through transparency at all transactional levels. Every person with an opinion now has an opportunity to be heard and redesign of system will be a better start.

Wealth Creation: Does wealth have a social value? Corruption, crooked capitalism and lack of transparency has piled up to an uneven development of few. When millionaire is becoming billionaire and so on... while poor are suffering from proper transportation, rehabilitation, medical facilities, education, food security & public distribution system, there is need for a change.

Corruption is the manifestation of a systemic problem. Government power and control forms the foundation on which the massive structure of corruption is built. Visible mechanism and adequate punishment are the standards of system design, not the structure itself.

So there is a much more fundamental question is why do some elites make their money by destroying their economies and others make their money by growing their economies. It is due to having illiterate & unconscious politicians who don't think about state or nation.

The Chronicles of Wasted Time

“We do not remember days, we remember moments” – Cesare Pavese
Carefree days are most productive of our life. They may not seem apparent at first view but the reflection on your life will prove it. Traveling down the memory lane, one gets a vivid glimpse of the time enjoyed is not time wasted overall. Old ways die hard and even now in the fast-changing corporate words, some old ways die harder than others. Killing time is one of them.

It was not a time to be killed but intentionally I annihilated it. To rephrase the undertone its the look on "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love doing nothing in ITBHU ". And any resemblance to real events, to persons living or dead, is not accidental. It is intentional.

1- Lanketing : (spending time at Lanka crossing) outside the main gate of the university was the favorite pastime in the night. Bun-butter, Lassi & Pan will be taken as starters  and then enjoying the world famous ghats on the banks. If anyone has ever spend a night-out at assi ghat, the early morning view, the sunrise, you will wish to spend every night there..

2-  Food Corner: One famous heritage of BHU, VT and other landmark of our gatherings, LC. The chai samosa with remarks @limbdi corner , unforgettable. People spent their four year of life on the benches only. That is breathe of its magic affair. It was the milkshake and the peace inside temple that attracted us most at VT while an adapted post about Limbdi Corner @IT BHU written by Pablo will explain my feelings better on LC. And I am not mentioning about DG corner, Chaube Ji's Juice Shop and IT cafeteria.

3-  BC (Baat Cheet or Bakchodi) : We all debate with certain immaturity but with certain passion. Our Bakchodi starts through lengthy discussions on pending state of ITBHU conversion to IIT. Add to that the amazing series of sessions, we went through about Share Market, Cinema and Cricket with ripping apart both fiction and non fiction literature. I was growing in the mind and soul while speculating the future. Mess with parathas was one such public place of  leg pulling session . Anyways, I loved the food over there and especially zeera fried daal and rasana.

4- Party Time : Alcohol provides a slight buzz of inspiration as LSD, a psychedelic drug has provided this world with the great music, art and literature of a generation. I was not involved much but few shots and their hangover were worth remembering. To defy the parental ban on drinking, I tasted the alcohol. And suddenly know that these small revolution affirm the human nature of disobedience and protest.Thanks IT for this liberty.

5- Extra Curricular Activities : That was much dominated by LAN Games compromising of Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike, AOE and Quake . One more way of enjoying time. I never participated in music, theater and games. So mostly cut off to explain about minds of individual involved in this. I can surely say that only the time that went asleep in Varanasi was time wasted.

There was also a MBA cult where huge time was spent for preparing CAT entrance. Guys dreaming for MS were little less and mainly engaged in their affair with Baron GRE guide. So many memories of obsessive affair of ours with cricket match. The devoted crowd at the common hall in the front of 19 Inch TV set was amazing. I was a alone creature but there were many with the experience of  encounter and affairs with girls and boys (So called bluff claim or designation of gay ). There is so much to tell about ITBHU and so much vanishing memories with each day !

It was just not me who wasted time but many guys with exclusivity in a certain area. There were many ITians with there own stories and gossips. One question comes before writing all this : Do I really need to record my experiences of ITBHU here ? It may be a mediocre writing in the eyes of most people and in the realm of world blogging. Still, a fact remains. If we don’t tell our stories, then who will?

Ten Issues - 13

1- Dark side of giving: The rise of philanthro-capitalism --- Large philanthropic resources are being utilised to further the interests of business.

2-Noam Chomsky interviewed by Ajaz Ashraf and Anuradha Raman in Outlook magazine, November 1, 2010. The man NYT called “arguably the most important intellectual alive” finds the media in Pakistan more vibrant than it is in India.

3- Elections come and go. But the immigrant issue goes on forever [PDF]: A quarter century post the Assam Accord, political parties in the state still seek votes on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigration, reports Tehelka Reporter Kunal Majumdar.

4- Stan Ovshinsky’s Solar Revolution : His inventions from 50 years ago enabled cell phones, laptops, and flat-screen TVs. Now, at age 88, he’s aiming to make solar power cheaper than coal.

5- Why Do Some Countries Win More Olympic Medals? Lessons for Social Mobility and Poverty Reduction :- Not everyone in our country has equal access to competitive sports. Many are not effective participants on account of ignorance or disinterest, disability or deterrence. This analysis considers two separate arenas for enlarging the pool of effective participants, one related to sports and other to social mobility. A paper by Anirudh Krishna and Eric Haglund.

6- Scorched Earth Tactics Return To Chhattisgarh : Eric Randolph question whether the security forces really understand the basic tenets of counter-insurgency theory.

7-10 ways the government plans to keep peace in Kashmir is a mix of stern and soft measures to keep the stones away by Tehelka Reporter Iftikhar Gilani.

8- Experiments with facts by Ramachandra Guha on Joseph Lelyveld’s Great Soul ;

9- Reading and Race: On Slavery in Fiction By Edan Lepucki. A runner up of 3QD prize.

10- The price of prosperity By C. K Lal : Limits to freedom in any imperial domain are drawn where the sovereignty of the political and judicial systems begins – in highly institutionalised societies, sovereignty lies in the system rather than in the people.

Quote of the Daya : Here’s a brief passage from Hayek 1976 essay “Socialism and Science” posted a few days ago in the comments by Richard Ebeling:  “A society in which everyone is organized as a member of some group to force government to help him get what he wants is self-destructive. There is no way from preventing some from feeling that they have been treated unjustly — that feeling is bound to be wide spread in any social order — but arrangements which enable groups of disgruntled people to extort satisfaction of their claims — or in the recognition of an ‘entitlement’, to use the new-fangled phrase — make any society unmanageable.”

Thursday, April 7, 2011

India Against Corruption

Please join this Page at Facebook : India Against Corruption

First Understand :What is Lokpal bill ? and What is proposed Jan Lokpal Bill ? then only read further.

Read also Full text of Anna Hazare's letter to the PM

Politicians has drafted the Lokpal bill that would allow to provide far too many loopholes. And Anna Hazare has moral stature to challenge this corrupt government.

We can really convert Jantar Mantar to Tahrir Square. Thanks Anna for leading us today.

When India won World Cup, people were there seen everywhere with joy on the streets and now when Anna Hazare is doing fast against corruption, media vans are over-numbering protesters. I hope this Caravan does not met its demise due to IPL. And that will be real tragic for this nation.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In Limbo

It's a emotionally fragile time personally. I am developing a numbness and suffering from the lack of love and inspiration. Life is derailed.  I am thinking : Are all my problems mere perception ? I remember a couplet of 'Ahmed Faraz 'to aptly describe my condition :-

अपने सिवा हमारे न होने का ग़म किसे, अपनी तलाश में तो हम ही हम हैं दोस्तों.
कुछ आज शाम ही से है दिल भी बुझा-बुझा, कुछ शहर के चिराग़ भी मद्धम हैं दोस्तों .

I have at present no unduly demand of friends and family. They have given me enough freedom as it would for the sage. I am caught in the whirl wind of personal attachments and a dream of growth. There is a mad man inside me with a strong wish to succeed and to sacrifice everything in this attempt. Alas, wishes require determination and hard work missing in this case.

I am mentally exhausted, frustrated and on the verge of depression. When you are uncertain about the future, any work can yield satisfaction. I have decided my future career goals, now failure and delay is blowing my mind. Neither can I relax, nor enjoy. Cricket World cup has came and gone. I disliked bleeding blue or green whatsoever in the mad ocean of cricket. Just can't concentrate anywhere.

I am still sane enough to denounce a time tested Indian psychotherapy of every mental hurricane : An arranged marriage. And whenever I speak up, only harsh statements are coming out and turning unpopular. The addiction of Facebook and choking of release of emotions is destroying self belief. I don't have any special person to count upon for support. I am lured towards alcohol and cigarettes for solace. May be they are only available or cheap option that's why !

Thanks to A Serious Man, I am listening to this Song Heavily : Somebody To Love

India triumph at Cricket World Cup !

Congratulations to the Indian cricket team. The Indian cricket team wins consecutively three tough matches at Motera, Mohali and Mumbai to lift the world cup. To see India beat Australia, Pakistan and finally Sri Lanka was worth pleasure.

I am not 'ecstatic' but feeling good about it. A transitory breeze of joy is flowing within.

India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in a pulsating final to deliver World Cup glory to their cricket-mad population for the first time since 1983. Dhoni has sealed the World Cup Victory by slamming a six and it was fantastic to watch to see India perform on consistent as Aussie style of the past. A poetic century of Mahela Jayawardene was given a fierce and free verse poetic reply by performance of Indian batsman.

No body panics like 2003 final and calmness was worth proud. A sheer proof of self belief in the team. Mature India refuse to be beaten and now ex-coach Gary Kristen (Interview) has large role in this World cup win. Contribution matters, not the count!

And, M S Dhoni proves why he is the one of the best captains in the world - wins the world cup, T20, champions league, IPL and leads India to #1 in both ODI and test cricket. Indians dedicate win at Cricket World Cup to Sachin Tendulkar. This also saw end of an incredible career of Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

Enjoy priceless Sanjay Manjrekar, speaking to cricinfo and hailed Dhoni's leadership as the driving factor in the team's remarkable achievement.


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