The recent interview of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and its report in the media has created a huge controversy. As most of us know by now that Amaratya Sen is reported to have said that he is not in favor of Mr. Modi as Prime Minister. Further, he gave his reason that as C.M. he allegedly failed to protect the minority community in the state of Gujarat.
Mr. Sen’s eminence in the field of economics is undoubtedly of a high order. Whether his theories have hold any relevance for our Country is all together another question. Most of us are also aware that he does not live in India and has definitely not in Gujarat. If that is the case one wonders about the basis of his comments on the condition of minorities in that state. Does he base his opinion on media reports? Or on feedback provided by the ruling Congress? And has he tried to make any kind of assessment by actually visiting the state?
Of course, there is no doubt that Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra should not have talked about stripping Amaratya Sen of the Bharat Ratna. He has also expressed his regrets, though a bit late. But the question remains, whether Sen should have passed the comment about Mr. Modi (a democratically elected chief minister) in the first place?
The matter does not rest here. Further, Sen is said to have stated that he would return the award if former Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpee were to say so. The question that immediately comes to mind is whether Sen was aware of the condition of health of Mr. Vajpayee. And where was the question of dragging the former PM into the controversy when the highest civilian award is bestowed by the Government of India. Finally, in dragging the name of one of Modern India’s most successful leaders (at a time when he is ailing) has Mr. Sen conducted himself as a Nobel Laureate?
These are questions which need answers. I would invite your comments on this issue.
Yesterday, the 23rd of July was the birthday of Lokmanya Tilak. Born in 1856, he was a truly great leader of our freedom movement, who was conferred the title of ‘Lokmanya ‘- one who has been recognized as the People’s leader. He was the one who heralded the concept of Sampoorna Swaraj.
It is sad to note that our media, including the electronic media, which has all the time and words to sensationalize the most commonplace happenings did not lend any coverage to this great soul of our country.
I append below excerpts from his life,so gracefully published in Wikipedia for our countrymen, who like to remember this great Lokmanya leader.
In 1894 , Bal Gangadhar Tilak transformed the household worshipping of Lord Ganesha into a public event. The large community celebration .
He was an educationist. The Deccan Education Society that Tilak founded with others in the 1880s till today, runs much respected Institutions in Pune like the Fergusson College.
It was he who started ,The Swadeshi movement. This being a part of the Indian independence movement and the developing Indian nationalism, which was an economic strategy aimed at removing the British Empire from power and improving economic conditions in India by following the principles of swadeshi (self-sufficiency; Hindi: स्वदेशी svadēśī), which had some success. Strategies of the Swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes.
He, along with other leaders, coined the concept of Sampoorna Swaraj.
He was indeed a great leader.
Today is Shayani Ekadashi also known as Ashadhi Ekadashi
It is believed that Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar – cosmic ocean of milk – on Sheshanāga, the cosmic serpent. Thus the day is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi (lit. “god-sleeping eleventh”) or Hari-shayani Ekadashi (lit. “Vishnu-sleeping eleventh”) or Shayana Ekadashi. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi – eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month Kartik (October–November). This period is known as Chaturmas (lit. “four months”) and coincides with the rainy season. Thus, Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chaturmas. Devotees start observing the Chaturmas vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.
A fast is observed on Shayani Ekadashi. The fast demands abstainance from all grains, beans, cereals, certain vegetables like onions and certain spices.
This day, a huge yatra or religious procession of pilgrims known as Pandharpur Ashadi Ekadasi Waari Yatra culminates at Pandharpur, in Solapur district in south Maharashtra, situated on the banks of the Bhima River. Pandharpur is main center of worship of the deity Vithoba, a local form of Vishnu. Lacs of pilgrims come to Pandharpur on this day from different parts of Maharashtra. Some of them carry Palkhis (palanquins) with the images of the saints of Maharashtra. These pilgrims known as Warkaris, sing Abhangas (chanting hymns) of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar, dedicated to Lord Vithoba.
This is yet one more display of our rich and varied cultural heritage!
This morning I came across a queer report in the newspaper. The headline read “Wrath of the audience”. The report detailed how audiences have been tearing the theater seats to vent their anger if the film turns out to be shoddy and boring. Strangely, the report also said that children’s geometrical instruments are used by some people to make the task, of causing damage, easier.
Some of the movies responsible for irking such peculiar responses from the audience ,named in the report, are Himmatwala, Yamala Pagala Deewana 2, The attacks of 26/11, Zila Ghaziabad, Ishq in Paris, Aurugzeb, Aatma, Rangrez ,Jayantilal ki love story and I, me aur main. So many films, in a span of 4/5 months have fared so badly. Then why do they make such movies?
While there is certainly no justification for the audience to misbehave in the fashion described, there is good reason for the producers of the movies to contemplate and think.
The issue of unruly social behavior also concerns the relevant ministry of the government. I would go further and say that our education system is also flawed and needs review and requires correction. In the 21st century this kind of public behavior is almost barbaric.
A lot has been said in favour of teaching English from the first standard itself. Many states including Maharashtra have introduced English from the first grade even in government / municipal schools.
Our professional colleges like Engineering, Medical and other higher technical education colleges have English as medium of instruction. In spite of that, often the students are not able to express themselves in English confidently.
The principle of a leading college of Architecture told me recently “Our students are excellent so far as the subject of architecture is concerned. They have great imagination. They can create excellent architectural designs. But the only problem is that they are not able to express themselves in English.”
In architecture, engineering, medicine or any other discipline of higher education most books available are only in the English language. Besides, the technical terms used in these subjects are also in English. Therefore the knowledge and the ability to express in English becomes necessary for all students of higher education. Furthermore, with the coming of more and more FMCG Companies in India, the use of this language is increasing by the day. This has added to the difficulties of the employees, particularly in executive cadre. Those who cannot express themselves in English fluently and clearly are at a great disadvantage. They are good in domain knowledge and they are adept in performing their duties, yet the inadequacy of English hurts them hard.
So what is the solution? Should most of the work be done in Hindi which is our Rashtra Bhasha? Should all higher education books be translated into Hindi? Or should English training be imparted to one and all as our National Mission. Commercial organizations in this case can organize English speaking training as a part of their efficiency promotional effort. I leave you with a question. What should we do with our Rashtra Bhasha?
I thank you all who participated in our earlier discussion. Until the next posting…
Innovation is necessary not only for organisations but also for individuals!
Unless an organisation has a specific innovation policy it will stagnate and gradually die. Most cotton textile mills have met the same fate. Clothing is one of the basic needs (Roti, Kapada aur Makaan) but now a day the clothing needs are met by garments manufacturers who prefer to secure their customers by procuring cloth from small manufacturer. Mills were used to manufacture a particular quality, colour style of cloth in large quantities only. They would sell the cloth to hundreds of thousands of retailers throughout the country. But times changed. Fashion came in. Fashion Designers came to the fore. They influence consumer with their innovations. Consumer habits changed. Instead of buying cloth and getting dresses stitched, they started wearing fashion garments. Everyone on the scenario was creatively engaged in innovation. But the mills did not innovate. Result is known to everyone. Mills stagnated and died.
You might ask how should one bring innovation in one’s life. How is it important when we are talking not of an organisation but an individual? The answer is by upgrading one’s knowledge and skills. Gone are the days of rich zamindars who will remain rich and commanding position. Who will continue to treat the labourers as slaves? An ordinary worker with a desire to succeed and determination to innovate can become Dhirubhai Ambani or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Warren Buffer. Among other things innovation also requires an ability to take some risk in life. There is nothing 100 percent risk free. Once in a while in spite of all odds in your favour, you may still fail. There too your creative mind and passion for innovation will make you resilient to start another project.
Even when we are talking of personal relationships constant application of mind, innovative methods can bring back the lost love and/or effectively repair the seemingly irreparable relationship.
Use your creativity and imbibe innovation in your personality. Life will be very interesting and worth yearning for, not just living!
A gentleman’s game that once was – Cricket!
I recollect as children, we use to make scrap books by posting pictures of Gentlemen in their stylish endeavours of playing cricket. The newspaper was printed by letter press – a printing process no longer used for printing the newspaper. Unglazed newsprint carried the pictures. The quality of the printed pictures were poor. But the quality of the people who featured in these pictures was impeccable.
Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Pankaj Roy, Vijay Merchant, and Subhash Gupte – names that Cricket should never forget. There were very few victories for us in these matches, but there was heart felt appreciation for the genuine efforts these men of character invariable displayed.
Poly Umrigar was a hard hitter and Bapu Nadkarni wa the most economical bowler. Perfect length and a soft spin – these unique qualities of his bowling had made him indispensible for the Indian Eleven. Whenever Australia or the West Indies or even England teams were batting, and making fast runs, Bapu Nadkarni would rescue the team. I don’t remember a single match where he gave more than 2 runs per over.
The Indian players demonstrated genuine efforts in the 5 day test matches. Cricket fans across the country would be glued to the radio listening to the running commentary articulated by the speech stalwarts like Vizzy (Maharaja of Vijyanagaram), Anandji Dosa andChakrapani. They would offer really interesting comments and anecdotes while delivering their commentaries.
There were no endorsements and the gentlemen who played the gentleman’s game had no hunger for wealth. Rather, they valued their game and displayed love for the sport, and more importantly for the country they lived in and loved.
But, times changed, valued changed; and the game of Cricket has also changed!
No longer does it remain a gentleman’s game. Cricket has now become a common ground for the most abject and vulgar display of power and wealth. Greed has taken the place of love for the game. Players are bought and sold at auctions, along with their morals and character. Players are cheered by ‘cheerleaders’ – a motley crowd of new breed scantily clad women. The hunger for money has become so strong that elegance, character and love for the country have all been butchered. Fixers and fixes rule the roost. It is a sad demise of the Gentleman’s Game. Alas!
In my last posting, we had discussed about the relative importance of knowledge, wealth and power in achieving success. We carried out a poll which ticked votes as 527 knowledge, 66 wealth, 50 power. But I had explained that the definition of success needs to be created in one’s own individual terms.
Today, I shall talk further about success. What is success? Amassing Wealth; or becoming extremely powerful; or acquiring extensive knowledge? The common parameter for an individual’s success would be how he/she is able to achieve their goals. Indeed, when you set a goal for yourself and you achieve it you are successful. But what happens when you do not set goals? Or when you set goals which are unrealistic or unachievable? Another question that comes to mind is do you have to be successful according to your own parameters? Do you goals have to be according to your own liking and desires? Or does your family/friends and well wishers have any role to play? Should you/should you not take into account their expectations or even the current trends in the society? If one is a member of a community how can the same be totally disregarded?
One thing for sure is extremely important; that any success worth its name should bring you happiness. For me true success is achieving bit by bit my goals which I must set as under:
My health goals
My Career goals
My financial goals
My social goals
My hobby goals
My spiritual goals
It means that I need to have some kind of measure for reviewing my success. I have classified these in the order of importance so far as I am concern. But how does one go about defining these goals and setting them according to one’s own priority – well that is a subject for any discussion.
At our learning centre, we recently held a discussion on- “What is important for success- knowledge, power or wealth?”
The participants in the discussions were entrepreneurs, corporate executives, bankers and others. Different views were presented by the speakers. Some considered knowledge as most important factor. They enumerated examples of successful people who had risen from being unknown to highly rated successful individual by consistently acquiring knowledge and gainfully using it. Knowledge in such cases did not necessarily mean any university degree or such other qualification. Knowledge, here, denotes application of mind of the practical knowledge received through any medium and using the same for earning name, fame and wealth. Steve Jobs is one such example. Our own Dhirubhai Ambani is another. Even Warren Buffet’s story is no different. It is rags to riches. While academic Knowledge has also helped lots of people to become successful and famous.
The role of power in success, too, cannot be undermined. Politicians achieve power and then use the same to achieve greater power. This is how power helps them to be successful. In the present scenario, a powerful politician can introduce his/her son or daughter to become a nominated leader and in the process achieve success in politics. Many politicians, today, are following this model of leadership succession. Likewise, a powerful bureaucrat can use his power to help his friend relative to achieve success.
Wealth can buy knowledge and power. So, one may say that if you have money, you can achieve any goal by hiring people, facilities to create any large project and achieve success. But without Knowledge achieved through experience it is very difficult to see the success of a large project. Political leaders can no doubt introduce their wards in leadership succession through the power they wield, but unless they ensure that the latter gain sufficient experience, the entrant may not be successful. Knowledge acquired through experience alone will bring success to them. Here too, Knowledge gained with experience becomes important. Power alone will not work.
So, the fact of the matter is that knowledge learnt through studies or gained through experience is indeed very important in any field.
But, it needs to be remembered that the meaning of success has to be defined by each and every individual in his/her own terms.
How should one do that? That will be a subject of another post.
This morning I was listening to a programme called ‘Bhule Bisre Geet’ at old at Vividh Bharati-All India Radio. The above song sung by Talat Mahmood from the movie Ek Saal- ‘sab kuchh Luta ke hosh me aaye toh kya kiya’, caught my attention. As we all know old Hindi songs not only had melodious music, but also great poetry. These gained timeless popularity because of their thoughtful poetic expression. A poet is a thinker who contemplates on any facet of human life.
In this song the poet is describing the plight of the person who lost everything ignorantly. It emphasizes the importance of self awareness and being alert. Should you remain in slumber, you are not only likely to lose opportunities but you may also lose all that you have. The poet laments the futility of waking up after all is lost. Another point that is explained is that often we engage ourselves in useless activities. If we are self aware and consider what we are doing at a given time, probably we will not carry out any such useless activity. Sab kuchh Luta ke hosh me aaye toh kya kiya (2) Din ne agar chiraag jalaye toh kya kiya
(Burning lamps during the daylight is undoubtedly futile) Sab kuchh Luta ke hosh me aaye toh kya kiya
In the next four lines (1st. Antra) the poet describes how a person loses his/her love because of his/her own folly. But once lost, you can do nothing about it. It shows how important it is to carefully nurture important but delicate relationships. Should you make mistake casually the results can be totally out of proportions and shocking. Hum badnasib pyar kee rusawayee ban Gaye Khud hee laga ke aag tamashayee ban Gaye Daaman se apane shole bujaye toh kya kiya Sab kuchh Luta ke hosh me aaye toh kya kiya
(Unfortunate me! due to my own wrongdoing, I became a butt of laughter. Firefighting, now, is of no avail)
Now let’s look at the concluding four lines (2nd Antra) Le le ke haar phulon ke, aayee toh thee bahar Najaarien uthha ke ham ne hee, dekha Na Ek bar Aankho se abb yeh parde hataye toh kya kiya Sab kuchh Luta ke hosh me aaye toh kya kiya
(Literally, spring had come with garlands but I did not care to look at it. Removing the curtain of darkness now has no purpose)
In the above Antra we find that the person realizes that pleasant opportunities did come. But these were neither recognized nor used. Looking back at these lost opportunities is of no avail now.
The song literally teaches us the lessons taught by the great management Gurus in simple but sweet poetic language, besides being a pleasant soothing melody.