Monday, January 26, 2009

Wish we could be better citizens………

It is republic day. The rhetoric of greetings in the form of scraps, messages and handshakes are in the air all around. It truly is time, for all us to introspect about our fundamental duties as citizen and how we have reduced the noble processes of our Constitution to the level of a carnival of cowardice, claptrap and chicanery.

A few days ago I was part of a discussion on radio about the reaction of public after the terrorist attack in Mumbai.

In this you can hear one of the anchors of the show and a young lady named Neelam who apparently had good knowledge of constitution pointing out how the constitution has failed us. The question that has been clouding my mind since then is finally forming into words on this republic day.

I ask myself whether the foundations of the Constitution are weak or it has been shaken by lack of sensitivity of our elite, the corruption of our politicians and the negligence of the common man.
I had an extra class this morning and the first question I asked the students was ‘how many of them had ever read the preamble of constitution.’? I wanted to probe their awareness about our fundamental duties but the usual ominous hush almost mocked me and I realized the stupidity of such question in what was supposed to be class of semiconductors physics. I am sure there could be a lovely discussion if I had questioned about the films that are released this Friday. This nonchalance of youth is worrying. In an Independent Sovereign Democratic Republic India, what I see that our thoughts and believes are limited to matinee idols, cricketers and of course the statues that we call Gods.

Well the preamble of the constitution talks about Justice, Liberty, Equality and fraternity.
Is it equality that a boy securing 90 percent cannot get the admission in decent college but an out and out second-rate student can have the privilege of best education just because he or she was fortunate to be born a so called Dalit? On the other hand, there are still villages in this country where dalits have to carry their foot-wear in their hands when they pass through the dusty roads of village where the upper caste Hindus live.

Is it justice that around 10 people lost their sight in neglectful eye operation camp in Pali and almost everyday we have people dying because of negligence of doctors? Was any doctor ever been convicted?

Liberty we have got but our attitude has not changed a bit, we are still slaves mentally. There is an enemy to be conquered and that enemy is WE. We have to change; we cannot afford to stand frozen on the escalator of mayhem and corruption in revulsion and apprehension.
The problems of the society cannot be solved by just having number of laws all we need are citizen who have respect for law, all we need are young people who have respect for their fellow citizens, all we need are teachers and parents who will consider making good and moral citizen rather than making a brigade of uneducated degree holders.
This poem of Gurudev Ravindra Nath  is my vision for this republic day….
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee to ever-widening thought and action -
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.
Happy Republic day

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hungry wolves in dinner jackets

Reading about the diet of Raju Ramalinga the former CEO of Satyam and the facilities he commands in jail, makes me ashamed of our spine less law system. A person who committed the economic crime of Raju’s magnitude not only manipulating the balance sheet of the SATYAM but also of robbing the faith of millions of investors who held SATYAM as one of the best three IT companies of this country.

When people like Raju and his accomplice rape the company law what can a common man do? What does an investor see? Who can a common man trust? What do you believe when Balance sheet, profit statement, cash flows are tailored with the help of auditors of international repute? What is our regulatory mechanism doing? Should these offenders be given the treatment which is offered to them in Jail now? They should be made to rot, and law should be enacted that even their coming generations does not get to enjoy the fruit of their ill produced wealth.

Having laws is one thing, their unbiased implementation is another. Our politicians and Privileged people of society with easy access to powers, have utter disdain for the law of the land and law enforcement machinery.They trust our ephemeral memory; they know that we the people will forget Raju like we have forgotten Ramesh Gailey and Ketan Parekh and many swindlers like them.

My mind is filled with anger and my heart with an awful sense of power- less ness. Famous lines of Abraham Lincoln echo in my ears “Power does not corrupt, but, when fools get in possession of power, corrupt power…….

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Emotions don’t get us out of crisis, wisdom does…

Almost all daily newspapers today carried the story of Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger , who safely brought the damaged Airbus A320 passenger plane to rest on the Hudson River saving life of 180 people performing a remarkable feat of flying.

Reading the complete story and about the man filled me with strange joy that I often experience, when I read about these real life heroes, who make the difference, by shear strength of their mind, character and courage. Some are calling it a miracle but to me it truly is triumph of human brain and its control over shoddy emotions.

Heroes are often born in an instant, the split second that it takes to recognize a potential disaster and to react to avert it marks the difference between ordinary and extra ordinary.

Shouldn’t we the teachers put every effort to develop a cool and analytical mind, rather than continuing the rhetoric of words that makes the subjects? Words procedures and theory is required but in the end what counts is the application of what is taught.

Reading more about the captain truly outlines his remarkable strength of characters. First the gentleman came out of plane after checking twice that every passenger was rescued .Later. While the media hollered praise and government leaders applauded his professionalism, it is said that, Captain Sullenberger retained his focus, avoiding the limelight analyzing with federal investigators studying what went wrong with US Airways Flight 1549. He said to reporters, in the most unaffected, humble way, ‘That’s what we’re trained to do,’

No boasting, no emotion, just natural strong character, Salute to you captain……..

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pakistan: A great pretender

Pakistan continues to pretend innocent when it in fact is dangerously vicious. It pretends to fight terrorism but practices exactly the opposite. It pretends to be a prey when it indeed is a criminal.

Right from the independence its leaders have thrived on single point agenda to somehow cultivate hatred for India to distract people’s attention from day to day problems of unemployment ,hunger and poverty .To draw a curtain on their shortcomings and to defocus public attention they have always needed an image of larger enemy in form of India.

All their leaders are opportunity chasers who want to make millions for them by fooling people. Musharraf was a master in this act who took billions of dollars in aid to fight terrorism but instead used this money to modernize its army and in upgrading terrorists’ infrastructure in its eastern borders. Zardari is a proven criminal and a sympathy monger who carries the portrait of slain wife wherever he goes to show that he is a first hand victim of terror. These weak leaders and their weak leadership has manifested in weak civil society and a weak nation on brink of disintegration.

India should act swiftly as and when there are terror attack and carry out surgical strikes and do the explanations later. This will give us a strategic advantage and will also send a message across the globe that India does have an iron hand inside the soft glove. The aim should not be a war against Pakistan’s people, the thump should be against those nasty elements operating whether from Pakistan or within India.

All in all there should be timely action as in too many words the essence of truth is always lost.


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