Monday, September 28, 2009

Be SELFISH to Conquer the “RAVANA”

Dussehra is one of the most important Indian festivals. It is said that it symbolizes victory of good over evil and triumph of truth over deceit.

I am neither a religious person nor my concept of God matches with any mythological character. However, few of the childhood stories narrated to me from our epics indeed carry a great moral value. These stories relate to a different era when sons left their palatial comforts and heartily accepted a hard life for years to keep the word of their father, these days hotels have to give discounts so that sons are encouraged to take their parents and grand parents for comfortable outing once in a while.

Everywhere one turns, from wars, death and killing, to exploitation and greed, to corruption and misuse of power, in all the negatives we can find our folly at work. Good and evil have always existed but what has truly changed is the perception of human towards self. In those stories of our epics people took the responsibilities for their mistakes and punished their own self unlike our times when putting the blame and finding the mistakes in system culminates our war against demons of all evils. We are too consumed by reactions that we forget to respond and act. Most of us  don’t even react because somewhere in our heart they know that they are part and parcel of system that  represents evil..

Was Ram a sacrificer ? No, He was not. He is called “Maryada Pushotam” because “Maryada” (the ambit) refers more to self esteem than it does to sacrifice.  On his principles for life, honoring word of his father meant more than worldly comforts. This is high time that we begin to learn the true meaning of self and selfish. Let us be selfish, let us try our bit to eliminate the miseries of world because they bother us and not because to do so is in accordance with established code of altruism. A person who does service to humanity to gain applause or acceptance can never be called noble. Let us do it because in the night when we close our eyes to ponder over our day we see some acts that justify our reason for existence. Let us to do it for our self esteem and not under the pretext of helping humanity for shoddy altruism.

These things were very well projected by Ayn Rand in many of her books .Though, I am great admirer of her work but I feel characters of her books are too haughty to be humble, understanding and compassionate as these characters in their pursuit of excellence begin to look down on fellow men with scorn..They begin to forget that answer to one profound truth can be another truth .

In my opinion ,objectivity is a great philosophy which is based on reason and not on faith.. It is based on scientific method which accepts facts and rejects opinions. I honestly feel objectivity combined with spiritualism is a beautiful way of life. Objectivity raises our self esteem and teaches us to prepare our self to do everything for our need not under some pseudo tag of service to mankind or altruism but for the satisfaction of our need for self actualization . It teaches us that at center of all acts is conscious , subconscious and transcendentally conscious 'I , the self.', combined to this spiritualism teaches to look within and not to point fingers and denounce.

Let us recognize that everything either good or bad starts with self . so instead of blaming the world , let us do our bit whether or not we get any credit for it , let us do it because within us we feel it should be done .Let us do it with selfish motive  governed by inner motivation that for some flowery pretext of mild of human kindness  .Only better individuals and better citizen can pull us out of despair or we will continue to celebrate symbolic Dussehra midst the sorrowful shape of mankind in an age of great prosperity and knowledge equally along side sorrow and despair.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

But ……..the king is bare

Last week we saw the nation infatuated with stories and discussions of Sonia Gandhi’s travel in economy class and Shashi Tharoor’s remark which provoked a massive controversy from many corners, with Rajasthan Chief Minister firing salvos for the resignation of Tharoor for use of phrase “in kettle class with solidarity to all our holy cows”. News papers had it in editorials and TV and FM channels were debating over this recklessness. In too many words, the initiative for reducing the governmental expenditure was somehow lost. The essence of problem was reduced to frivolous gossip and blame game.

The question that I want to ask here is, why are we more constrained by the story behind the thing rather than the thing itself? Why are we more engrossed about the details of the person than the work of person? Why does the media want to make stories about non- issues? Why people generally are more interested in funny talks and discussions about personal chemistries than serious debate that focuses on issues, art, science, literature and philosophy.

Eleanor Roosevelt once observedGreat minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people". These very wise words obviously have had no impact on our bearing. We continue to be people- centric instead of being issue-centric. We hero worship stars and celebrities but forget their ideology and traits. Sachin’s century matters more to us than India’s win. We truly lack originality of thought and are not willing to find the truth. We eat half baked stories of irresponsible media and then belch our unsubstantiated beliefs at the slightest provocation. People in congress should not overreact just because the remarks have supposedly irked the top leadership of their party and making these noises will improve their rating in eyes of top brass.

The need of the hour is that strong educated youth enter the Indian politics, for that it is mandatory that we give them the space to live the life style they think is appropriate. If they are sensitive about the misery of a poor Indian, they will automatically abandon the shoddy display of opulence .Such a change however should be natural and not a sham. It is no way mandatory to don a khaddar kurta, to appear run of the mill and politically acceptable. I personally see no harm in having couple of well dressed politicians. Some khadi clad swindlers who claim to be messiah of the common man have done more harm by their fiscal scams and caste politics than an Armani clad Shashi tharoor who gave a tongue in cheek politically incorrect reply to the clever Kanchan Gupta , the correspondent of ‘pioneer daily’.

We can’t put the total blame on media alone. Media dangles the enticing food under readers' nostrils because people are too eager to eat that. Sensationalism sells, so they make every effort to make it spicy. We have to accept that they are here to sell their newspapers and air their channels profitably. For them the Gucci shoes of Rajiv Gandhi matter more than the path he had in mind. They can usually get away after putting the word in mouth and after quoting one out of context. It is because they know, that most of us will just read the line for the news and not for the root of the news.

We cannot change them until we become the people who can tell the difference between cheese and chalk and have insatiable quest for ultimate truth. According to Aristotle "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." That is what is truly required, the exploration of reality because true knowledge is gained by real experiments and observations.

The times have changed and we have become a democracy form dynasty and monarchy, or have we? However some of the old tales are equally relevant even today.

As the story goes “A king of a city who was very fond of clothes hired two swindlers who promised him the finest dress made from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The king and his ministers cannot see the non-existent cloth, but pretend that they can, for fear of appearing stupid. After extracting lots of gold and silk, swindlers report that the dress is finished. When the king arrives with most distinguished cavaliers they dress him in mime. The king then goes on a procession through the capital showing off his new "clothes". All his counsel members and people in the streets praise the king’s dress though no one can see it. Yet, No one wants to acknowledge, for then it would be said that one was unfit for his position or that one was stupid. However during the course of the procession, a small child cries out, "The king is naked!" The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth. The Emperor, however, holds his head high and continues the procession.

I am desperately looking for that observant and expressing child who would free at least himself from the shackles of this ignorance in action.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Corrupted by prosperity

It is everywhere, it is so promiscuously omnipresent, that it does not surprise anyone, anymore.

A government official, an engineer or a doctor getting caught red handed while accepting a bribe can hardly be considered news these days. Almost every page of newspaper has one such incident reported that we read only to check if the name mentioned is that of our acquaintance or relative. What happens subsequent to that never gets reported because nothing really happens after that .A process of departmental enquiry, temporary suspensions, a court case and reinstatement. Standing on the apex of the human greed , we are building a castle of corruption.

The recognition by the Chief Justice of India, K G Balakrishnan, that the process of investigating agencies to seek permission from higher authorities for prosecuting accused public servants is creating a "climate of impunity" is no news either; however his suggestion to enable confiscation of properties belonging to persons who are convicted of offences is very welcome. It is very appropriate and reasonable that if a public official amasses wealth at the cost of the public, then the state is justified in seizing such assets. Once president of Taiwan and his wife can be punished so severely for financial irregularities why can’t we punish pawns of bureaucracy in this country ? Why is Delhi so reluctant to do what Taipe can so vehemently execute?

The very root of corruption lies in a clear opportunity with little chance of getting caught. The lack of accountability comes primarily from lack of transparency, what causes corruption are attitudes and circumstances that make average people disregard the law. However, corruption is not just about ethics it is also about how the government is set up and managed. Corruption has its own motivations, and one has to thoroughly study that phenomenon and eliminate the foundations that allow corruption to exist.

We are so vocal about greatness of our cultural heritage and past but our code of conduct puts even the uncivilized barbarians to shame. The process of corruption starts with elections and never really ends. How true are the words of Wynton Marsalis who said “I have absolutely no idea what my generation did to enrich our democracy. We dropped the ball. We entered a period of complacency and closed our eyes to the public corruption of our democracy.”

Hope someone pays heed to chief justice and makes the corruptors suffer the hardest imprisonment and ensure that even their generations don’t get to enjoy their unearned wealth. Hang them, if you should, they have no right to make money through the chair that was assigned to them to ensure smooth functioning of democratic government…..

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Teacher’s day: Time to introspect and prospect

I am a teacher by choice and this in every sense is my Raison d'être. I am not to wax eloquence but I truly see this as reason for my existence.
In education, a teacher is a person, who educates others and as defined by Wikipedia, education in its broadest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual.
Amidst the greetings and euphoria of praise, let us look within ourselves and ask ourselves some questions .Are we the teachers doing what is in best interest of student or what is most convenient and expedient? Are we giving the child something to take home to think about besides homework? Are we putting any effort to cultivate the wish to learn? Are we doing anything to make a rational mind capable of thought or going through rituals of words on name of education? When asked for an advice do we advice what is in best interest of student or we tell him what is in our interest?
Two principles have pillared my life objectivity and spirituality. I can with full pride say that I have never treated a student like a client. I have been unwise by economical parameters many times, but this lets me assume the right to condemn those who I think are misguiding students and are clots on the name of teaching fraternity and core reasons for degradation of the moral values. I have the courage to say all this openly and publicly as I have no skeletons hidden in cupboards that should deter me from creating awareness and exposing the dirty tricks of some cheaters wearing the sheath of teachers.
Why conscience of a teacher does not bite when they give sell the dreams of IIT to a student who they know will not be capable of passing? In order to keep him in complete dark , you advice them to take admissions in schools where they have to go only to pay their fees and finally to write their exams? Doesn’t it bite your conscious when you publish results and name of students that you have never groomed? Don’t you feel like a pimp when you have to operate a coaching center from school where you have to force and catch the students to please your economic facilitator, the owner of school premises? How are you able to sleep after selling the question papers to select students? I am not saying people should not make money, teacher like any other human being wants to earn the comforts for his family. As Bob Talbert said “Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more”. So, don’t let your hunger be so strong that you are prepared to eat poison?
Last word to parents please don’t transfer your expectation to children they are a human they are not Robots that you can programmed as per your wish. How right was Louis Johannot who wisely said “The only reason I always try to meet and know the parents better is because it helps me to forgive their children”.
How can we have an honest society if the teachers are corrupt? So let us pledge to justify words of AristotleThose who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.
Chankaya was one of the best teachers of his time and his saying are relevant even today, To understand what I mean ,please watch this video that I have uploaded on you tube

Friday, September 4, 2009

Only work will show the respect

Late YS Reddy was one of the educated, dynamic and hard working young leaders of our country. Like any other Indian I am equally agonized and sad at his untimely death. YSR, a doctor by profession believed in working for society and human kind. AP and nation has lost a good leader

With all regards and prayers for the peace of departed soul, the question that disturbs me is how appropriate it is declare holidays for mourning. What relevance it has? What is more important body of person or his soul and vision? Is declaring a public holiday in Rajasthan an appropriate way to show respect to this visionary man? May I dare ask the honorable CM if he will close down the public offices on Friday giving the government servant luxury of three consecutive holidays, if the leader was CM of some state not run by congress party? Why the politics should be linked with functioning of Government.

Two small girls were running to railway station to catch a train .As they were behind the scheduled departure, one of them told other let us stop and pray almighty that train is late and we get it. Other said, it is good idea but let us run with all our power and pray while running. Once a young girl can be so rational how can our political masters be so irrational when we they are in position of power. People in power should understand the meaning and the impact of their words and deed on common man. What will happen to the cases scheduled for today in courts and offices? How will a teacher adjust for another period lost?

Work is love made visible, and the true tribute can be paid by following the vision of the leaders rather than enjoying the luxury of unearned public holidays.

The timing may be inappropriate but when we are out to describe the truth elegance does not matter. May lord give strength to aggrieved family to bear the loss…………..Amen….

Consider this friend……

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life is a constant journey and death a grinding halt, leaving footsteps behind…..


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