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Friday, June 28, 2013

How Hardliners Win in Chaos?

In all revolutionary settings, Islamisicts, repeatedly cooperated with party of moderate libertarian inclination, and later have double-crossed them to capture power for themselves. Let's take an hypothetical example where Islamic Ulemas are allowed to make a list of 'ALL' the things that are wrong with society, and then suppose power center instituted EVERY social change that they demanded. Within couple of years, they will come with new list and with fierce pressure within . The drive for power is only satisfies by imposing a code of moral behavior.

Once the power-hungry and orthodox types have captured control of the movement, there are many moderate Muslims of a gentler breed who inwardly disapprove of many of the actions of the leaders, but cannot bring themselves to oppose them. They need their faith in the Islam, and because they cannot give up this faith and act against social pressure, they go along with the leaders. And those who have guts to oppose them will be physically assaulted, exiled, jailed and even boycotted with the help of the twin notions of blasphemy and apostasy. Thus the fact that many individual Muslims are personally tolerant and fairly tolerant people by no means prevents Islamic hardliners form having a totalitarian tendency to capture power.

However, the most dangerous individuals of all are True Believers. They are governed by dogmatic approach to Islamic ideology who avoid aggressive behavior but work quietly to promote collectivist values even with absolutely good intentions. But they create a society which gradually outcaste individuals with individualistic behavior, and so forth. Denial for others and blind belief are the instruments of True believers and their followers.

The funny thing is replace Islam with Left and all the logic will still appear to be true.

There was a great marxist named lenin, who did two or three million men in. That's a lot to have done in, But where he did one in, That great Marxist Stalin did ten in. - Robert Conquest.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tawang: The Hidden Paradise.

I planned to Tawang for my dreams to see Buddhist monasteries . The three musketeers (Gautam, Mriganka & Himanshu) were the travelers. We had finalized our tour itinerary for Arunachal after reading all tour reports on travel sites. We started from Bhubaneswar and reached Guwahati via Kolkata. Route to Tezpur from Guwahati was unexpectedly a plain grassland and took nearly 5 hours with state bus service. We got our permits done at Tezpur office only just before closing of the office. It seems sad to take Inner Line Permit to visit in our own country. But when we have draconian acts like AFSPA in North east India, this seems to be less of our all worries. This part of India is seeing a grave human rights violation and things will go messy in future due to our state actions today.

We took a 6 days tour package from Tezpur ASTC agent Miraz. The route from Tezpur to Tawang have patches of really bad road. Bhalukpong was the start of Arunachal Pradesh. There is a proposal of train line to Bhalukpong. 370 km route was covered in two days with a transit stay at Bomdilla. We traveled through West Kameng, home to the Sessa Orchid Wildlife Sanctuary but March was not the right season for their flowering. Tawang is a beautiful place. Local people talk about Koyla Movie shooting and 1959 escape of 14th Dalai lama to India. We were lucky to get permit to visit Bum-La Pass. The road to Bumpla Pass from Tawang is of strategic importance but badly constructed. I will assume that a certain level of corruption in this. We trekked nearly one and half km on the road to Bumla pass as our vehicle can't go due to fear of slipping on the road. It took really some effort to walk and enjoy beauty of Bumla pass situated at 15000 ft. Seeing a Madhuri lake on the return was a most calming thing on our nerves in the whole journey. We returned to Tezpur with one night stay at Derang.

Gautam and Mriganaka at Sela Pass
We @ Bum La Pass
Indian Army with Us
Madhuri lake View
Tawang Monastery
Sela Pass during snowfall

I had not talked much about tour itinerary, hotels and cuisines here. Momo and Thupka are really things to try out there. Chinese items were flooded in the market. So decide oneself what to purchase. We did learn about 1962 war through memorials of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat and Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan. Nature lovers can enjoy Rhododendron and orchid sanctuary in their flowering seasons. This trip takes us through Fall, lakes, valleys, mountains and passes with all season of Rain, snow & sunshine coming together in six days.

There are ample opportunities to develop tourism here. There is a high unemployment rate while road construction, military contracts and tourism industry are only booming ones. Irom sharmila chanu and Mary Kom are well known and represent Manipur but there is no famous personality except Dorjee Khandu in my knowledge from Arunachal Pradesh. Our drivers(companions)told us about many problems faced by NE states. They were especially extortion and kidnapping by Bodo in Assam, insurgency in Nagaland & illegal migrants of Bangladesh. They even claim (not sure) of open for sale market of AK 47 and pistols at Dimpaur. Vulgar remark about the driver and army people on their need of women wherever they go left a bad taste in my mouth.

Ethnic people consist of Nepali, Garo, Bodo with Buddhism and Christianity as emerging religion. I learn that Buddhism have different sects and even more rituals than other religions. 'Om Mani Peme Hum' is the most widely used of all Buddhist mantras. It was again told to us that Christianity is having soothing effect on tribal people (not sure of this). Muslim -Tribal tension is really building here. It seems that a lot of money is pumped by central government but there is misuse of funds by local political leaders, military and bureaucracy. North-East region has sadly turned into one of the worst-hit conflict zones in Southeast Asia.

What I like was the whole society has given more liberty to women in every aspect than their northern or southern Indian counterparts. It is a shameful and racist act to use word Chinki for them. Continuous use of that word "chinki" represents ignorance, bigotry and deep rooted callousness even in our well educated class. Now can we start respecting NE people by not calling them Chinky? While Super Mom Magnificent Mary is making India proud more than any of us, its shame Northeast women are often stereotyped as "cheap" and "easy".

I need to read more about history of NE region. Any reader can suggest me a good book. That will be helpful.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reading about B Schools

"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." - Walter Landor

The most critical issue in B schools today is that of quality. It is because of aspirations for “quality” education variously perceived by different social classes where MBA degree is often equated with “good education” by most parents as a social status symbol. The exponential growth of b-schools happened during 1995-2011 and resulted in the increased supply of MBAs or PGDMs, far in excess of actual industry demand.

As a MBA student, you end up learning several theoretical concepts through case studies, projects and field assignments. Beyond this grades will be left behind and work experience starts to matter more and more. Vijay Govindrajan, professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, says even in the US a majority of CEOs have MBA degrees. "There are three main rationales for getting an MBA: intellectual capital (knowledge), social capital (network), and legitimacy (brand name). All the three propel the best of the MBAs to reach the top," he says.

There are some changes coming in the B School world that are reported in mainstream news.

1- IIM-A Needs to Step Out Into the Real World. Read more:

2- Truth about astronomical IIM packages. Read more:

3- Never released official placement report for 2012 batch, says DMS IIT Delhi in RTI reply. Read more:

4- How do you choose a b-school when the top 10 choices seem out of reach. Read more:

5- Placements at IIMs are not an entitlement, determined by mood in corporate India. Read more:

6- Placement season: Companies prefer to recruit from top-tier B-schools than lower-ranked IIMs. Read more:

7- B School bubble burst. Read more:

Only complain that i have - Students fail to appreciate the socio-environmental issues as impacting Businesses, is because there are very few academic social science inputs in the course-work. While “Economics” (which provides a grounding in enhancing financial wealth creation) is taught, there is no “social science” dept., which provides a grounding in subjects like Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, etc. This is particularly important in India, where increasingly most students come with a science/ engineering degrees, and increasingly solving business problems requires grounding in social science disciplines.

Just for fun :- A layman’s guide to classifying MBAs!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stereotype Me !

Never forget where you came from that is what I learn all these years. It may not define you but gives a reference point to start. All of us must take an emotional journey to discover the roots, the cultural identity and constantly looking our own future course of action. I try much to write frankly, clearly and not with bitter heart. I am rooted in my local culture but I am not closed. I am aiming to be liberal while trying not be indifferent and disrespectful of the conservative surroundings. I'm not exactly as I appear as a stereotype. There is a warm loveable person inside. Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you can find a warm heart waiting for the embracement for new ideas.

Cultural entities and characteristics do require microfoundations. My grandfather was most liberal and chilled out person in my whole family. I learnt love of Nature, Urdu Couplets and Hindi Literature from my father. The zeal to read newspaper, fiction and nonfiction literature is a trait inherited by me from the parents. As I grew and traveled, I find some factors that were used to define my identity. There are few parameters that defined in both good and bad way. I can easily see mine upbringing and even behaviour belonging to certain reference groups. I marked out five attributes as per seen through lens of stereotype. Is that all there in me? Let us began to a cultural inquiry -

Religion Hindu - A grand religion whose majority exist in India. And yes they are tolerant in mind but highly illiberal in practice. Even the childhood environment around me was not religious, I was particularly attracted towards Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) books. Usually traits of the majority can never be cause of retrospection unless forced and shaken under the crisis of identity. It was the time of Babri Masjid demolition that started my journey into Hinduism through mythological and history books. I slowly understand meaning of secular. I came to believe that human progress cannot be stopped and religion is an outdated idea. While going through agnostic and atheistic path, I tried to look Hinduism as an outsider. Because, only an outsider gets closer to certain difficult truths, and is therefore likely to see the contradictions and absurdities prevailing inside the system.

High Caste - I was born in caste of Bhumihar Brahmins. For starters, Who are Bhumihars ? As per Mark Tully Book, Bhumihars were brahmins until buddhist period and then we converted to Buddhism. In the fourth and fifth century, Buddhists started converting back to Hinduism. The Brahmin said that we could return to the fold but we couldn't be priests and take money for conducting religious ceremonies, so we became the only Brahmins who tilled the soil. They were not in the league of top notch Brahmins who performed Yagnas still practicing warrior and agriculture practices. My caste has not been subjected to any oppression in the past hence, I naturally belong to a privileged caste. Few may have heard of notorious and brutal Ranvir Sena.

Social positions and roles can't fill pursuit for happiness, somehow they become instruments of discrimination. Surrender to the community pressure has inherent danger of the gradual loss of free will and independent thinking. Sometimes a taboo or resistance from family can trigger to begin the struggle to come to terms with this caste identity, reservation politics and surname. It took many years and still in process to learn about social justice in a casteist society.

English Medium Education - I was lucky to have education at primary level in Hindi Medium. Otherwise, the privilege of studying in English medium has side effects. The English books may give global values but often cut from the local realities. The collective ignorance only strengthened my conviction that the English-reading public needed to be exposed to their own mother tongue literature. Retrospecting now, it is impossible to read the book without considering the world whose values it reflects. I glanced English newspaper first time in class 9th. Currently, I am in refuge of English and isolation from Hindi is growing day by day.

Hindi speaking North Indian - At times it seems as though the cultural divide, the mental walls, are deeper and taller than any physical barrier underway. Among such issues, I feel not talk further but request you to read an intrinsic and comic stereotype of an UPite. A piece published in Tehelka as 'The Bhaiyya, the Bandit and the Bak-bak artist'.

Middle Class - To be ultra rich and feared in an unjust society is a disgrace. As per World Bank data of 2010, 96.3% live on less than $5 a day in India. [Data Source] I was sure much above this majority belonging to a middle class upbringing with good opportunities of education and health facilities. Yes today middle class, which has renamed itself aam admi is enjoying the subsidies while benefits of government schemes are not reaching to the poor class. There is a bit of notion among elite and middle class that their success is purely due to merit. But their social success apparently has nothing to do with their social background. being from the best schools and meeting the best people at the best clubs. The whole middle class has been built on some sort of subsidy, corruption, tax relief/theft and assets such as land holdings. The denial of inherited benefits runs deep in many people stereotyping these qualification.

So what is the way to break these stereotypes ? Even today, our collective attitudes and prejudices towards remain a lot similar to what they were till a few decades back. There is a wave of modernism in India yet there is no sign of liberal mentality. The ultra-conservative mindset race, caste and class reappear when people in India actually engage with difference. Sociologist Shiv Visvanathan has a phrase for him: the pragmatic conservative, who espouses zero-tolerance political morality and chalta hai expediency, who wants sex before marriage as well as a classified match.  Despite of several years of coexistence, there is an unwritten rule of not mingling through marriage of one religion or caste. Getting people out of the reference groups is only a sure way to activate human relationships.

The broadening of my studies into history showed me that rhetoric and reality go their separate ways. I often find themselves in surroundings, where I don't fit in and even know how to deal with people having backward thinking. I always find the smarter thing to do is to acknowledge the drawbacks and actively seek for ways to address them. Equality and inclusiveness are two principles through which every wrong can be put to right.

I am born and brought up with this identity and education. Self education through books, cinema and meditation was more transformational experience in the overall context of mine intellectual and emotional development. Whatever we understand and enjoy in human products instantly becomes ours, wherever they might have their origin. That is mantra of my life. The joy of flying in the sky is always more than nested life. That is why I change careers so frequently than others. So don't stereotype me. Every rebel becomes a conformist, hence my real insecurity begins now.

Lottery of birth : Raoul Martinez at TEDxWhitechapel

Saturday, June 8, 2013

That's The Way Life is

I live, I go daily through tides of emotions, I express, I learn, I figure out where I went wrong. That's what living is for me. A realm of emotional stampede to the moments of peaceful bliss. The world swings between two extreme so is the personal life of the author. Life was scarred by emotional volatility. I am at the moment, is living in the zone. I need to earn respect and freedom more than money. Respect can't be bought, it has to be earned. So, what the heck that means ? Sometimes people deserve their work rewarded through likability not monetary compensation.

Going through the season of emotional stampedes has always revealed a trait inside me something dark. I don't know what is in the air of college and office that I slowly starts to enjoy proximity to the power. I had unknowingly regraded to become more diplomatic rather than being candid and blunt.Lightning doesn't strike at same place twice but bad habits can make you repay again and again. Still, I have history of screwing up in the end good relationship with several teachers. I have always regret for such behaviour.

What's the right thing to do ? I am a person who is unwavering in his principles, but flexible and open in the practice. That has led to a strange situation where being too much flexible shows a lack of conviction but rigidity has led to the lack of creativity or even worse pride.

How can a man go wrong and not know why ? A wrong choice is necessary to know what were the right alternatives. Love cures angst, bitterness and a sense of violation and isolation. Even I gather wisdom from esteemed and forgotten peoples, I don't believe anything except love. Any feeling of revenge, pride and even moral laws contrasting love is invalid for me.

Is doing things faster will makes a life more happier ? The most important things in life: the patience ; Having patience to wait and having to deal with our urges without having them satisfied instantly is what builds character. Then what is life, full of ethical challenges.

It is tough to teach oneself discipline in the daily routine and work. I had achieved this for 2 months during class 9th. Its not demons but lethargy driving me towards abyss of procrastination. There is no solace for quitter. It takes twenty-one days to form a habit. Wake up !!!

Let us talk about relations. What a strange thing generational gap is, it changes perception about of life. One generation’s work and sacrifice always creates windows of opportunities and even over-confidence in the next. As the old Romanian saying goes, "good people always fit together", I am lucky to have good friends. I treasure friends for only they will give support in the hour of need.

These lines are not sudden realization. It has come in the moments of solitude and reflection. Every wave of personal reform creates a new pretext for the fall. But periods of introspections are necessary. An arresting article can be montage but can't be the same as an idea in action. Bottom line, as traditional wisdom always say: Good is the biggest enemy of great. My biggest risk isn't failing, it's getting too comfortable.


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