Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Indian Middle Class

In any country, a society can be neatly divided into three main classes, mainly as per their financial status. The top class is the rich class which is a class by itself, absolutely unmoved and untouched no matter what happens to the economy of the country. This is because they can afford anything at any cost. This class is usually synonymous with the business class whose income seems to increase with every rise in prices. So, they are absolutely unconcerned with whatever happens to prices. The second class to whom also rise in prices and any turn of economy makes no difference. This is the poor class, and they will always remain so, no matter what happens to the economy. This class has resigned to their fate of being poor and remaining so forever.
The third class of society known as the middle class is the most important class of a society. This class comprises of the people who are neither rich nor poor. They are comfortably settled with all amenities but, they cannot squander money on frivolities. This class stays busy in maintaining a standard as they are the white collared gentry of the society.
In India also the three tier of society exist, and the rich and poor remain unruffled no matter what happens to the economy, as their financial status is sealed. It is the middle class that is seen struggling for an improvement in standard of living, and also maintain as far as possible the basic standard of character. In the last two decades the Indian middle class is seen struggling for maintenance of their standards, the price rise going sky high, the middle class is seen splitting into sections. Part of it which can leave behind scruples and tenets of character are seen joining the bandwagon of the rich. On the other hand, those who wish to maintain their classic characters cannot enter the fray and so, are left behind in the struggle. It is this specific category of the middle class that is, in India seen truly struggling for maintenance as, they are born and brought up to live well but, with the spiraling of prices they cannot afford to. It is this part of the society, a negligible portion who, should be the backbone of the society, is fighting daily bouts with everyone in every sphere of existence. This is the class which is basically honest and is the service class. This is the class that is also burdened with honest payment of all taxes, which all other categories manage to avoid. They are the ones who earn the least, are honest and are just the ones who pay all their dues to the state meticulously. Their image of white collar, has become too expensive to maintain and thus out of reach.
The middle class is not only struggling to maintain their financial status, it is this class alone that is also struggling to maintain at least a semblance of Indian culture, in the storm of Westernisation. Culturally also this is the only class seen maintaining some morals and values of the traditional Indian society. Together with morals comes religions outlook, and it is this fraction of the Indian society that is seen to be a little religious minded. This does not mean the celebration of religious festivals with pomp and show but, it is that they are still to some extent even today, upholding the great value of our religious leaders and books. The rich only show a religious bent of mind by only spending a lot of money on may be making of temples and donating a lot of money for havens etc. This is done by the rich only to become known to the masses and not because they are genuinely interested in the spread of religion and a religious way of life.
Thus it is the middle class only that maintains some semblance of decency and values in the country of rampant corruption and disharmony. However, this is the class, at least in India suffering the most and yet giving the true effect of a backbone to the crumbling country. If this sequence of decay of this section continues unabated, it will not be long before the class may get completely eliminated.

In India East Meets West Culturally

In the present century, we have seen a lot of admixture of the East and West, at least in India. Let us understand very clearly that, any country whether of the East or the West, is best known by its tradition and culture. The culture of a place, implies much more than merely its style of living. The heritage of a country that it has inherited from its ancestors, is its true culture. It is this inherent culture of a country is, the very appearance, the very identity by which a particular country is known. So, it is my earnest belief that, no matter how much we learn from others, no matter how much we adapt to others’ style of living, we must, even against all odds retain our own identity.
In India the tragedy has been that, for Centuries, we have been slaves to someone or the other. In that very long period of slavery, we have got deeply influenced by our rulers and, in the process our own cultural identity has got lost, in the various changes which have formed a haze in front of our eyes, making us blind to all realities of what we were. Whoever came to rule over us, left a mark on us something which would be natural to some extent but, we Indians are prone to be highly impressed by all that is Western. Whether it be Western ideologies, Western styles or Western outlooks, we, as a Nation stand completely dazed at all that is Western, we are all in admiration, for all that stands as Western. In this complete mesmerisation of us Indians, we have got lost somewhere on the way.
It seems that we are so very deeply impressed by all that is Western that we have started thinking that progress is, a complete aping of all that is theirs. It seems that, we are inclined to believe that the development of the West is only because of the culture that exists there. I feel it is just here that we have gone wrong for, I understand that, progress development is one thing and culture is quite different. Since we are still a developing country, and the West is by and large a developed area, we have apparently thought that, if we want to progress, we must give in totally to all that is Western. It is here I presume that, we have made a big blunder, and the result is that, the amalgamation of East and West that we see in India to-day is a picture of total chaos, and a loss of the very target ahead. Culturally and socially also, we are leaving our line and towing the line of the West.
In our extreme enthusiasm of copying the West the position as I see it to-day is that we have completely lost track of our Indian culture and have not been able to absorb completely and adjust to the culture of the West. The result is too much of frustration and loss of Indian ideals, and our inability to accept the cultural pattern of the West. At this juncture I’d love to remind ourselves, as Indians that, “East is East, and West is East, and never the twain shall meet”.
If we understand this and remember it as we are in the process of Westernising, I think that, even now the process of our disintegration as a cultural entity can still be staggered or even stopped. It seems that, we believe that, unless we take in the Western culture wholesale, we will not be able to progress as much as them. Friends I’d wlike to remind you that, culture and technological progress are two different things. We, can surely take up to their skills, learn their sterling qualities and yet retain our own traditions. In my view, only then we would be considered as a progressive nation. If we take in one aspect of progress, and lose out somewhere else, I feel we remain where we were, for it has been only an exchange not an addition to our wealth of qualities. It will thus eventually be an exchange of technical knowhow and progress for culture and tradition. And that is not as it should be. It is not the culture of the West that has led it to its advancement I’d rather say that, it is the culture of the East that has assimilated so much and yet has remained a constant subject of discussion. I dare say that, there must be something really sterling about our Indian culture that, it has stood all the odd tests of time and still survived. My suggestion would be that, we sort out what we must learn from the west, and what we must retain of the East. Only then, the result will be a miracle of God. It will become an admixture of good qualities of the East and the West. Presently what we have done, in our enthusiasm of taking all that is Western is that we have absorbed all the evils of the West, and mixed them up with the evils that we have in our stocks. For instance we had our evil of laziness, and, instead of taking in the work culture of the West, we have taken in their mechanization everywhere, and made our people even more lazier. This has been the result of adopting to their advancement.
Remember friends, at no cost should any country or any individual lose its identity at the altar of advancement or progress. The strength of a Nation lies in its culture and we should never fritter away with any tenets of culture at the altar of modernity or progress. If we do this, we will be losing more in the bargain than gaining.
To prove my point here, I’d like to give one example from our society. In the process of Westernising our society for instance, we have been able to establish the single unit family norm, just by copying the West. We however forgot that, the strongest of India’s cultural heritage has always been the strong bonds of the family. This strong fabric of our society we have almost completely broken, little realizing its impact on our parents suffer while we just try to ape the Western pattern of family. In this process, yes, the woman has gained some amount of momentum in acquiring a status but, at what cost – at the cost of losing the love and forgotten that, in the west the seniors have a number of securities while here if the parents are left by their children, they have no place to go. So, in this unplanned way, just aimlessly and blindly aping the West we have lost the bonds of love of a family and created extra problems for our children and elders. At this juncture of discussion, I’d like to know whether, the change over to the miniature family has added to our progressive image, as we seem to be thinking.
In this way, if we continue copying without a thought – we will soon be having a lot of technological progress without love and a lot of money without people on whom to spend it. Even now, not much is lost, let us try to go back to our own culture, and hand in hand, continue the technical progress. I am sure we do not have to look like the Westerners to grow like them. We must copy but do so intelligently, without loss of ourselves in any field, that would be progress.

Social Inequalities and Scocial Services

Right through the realms of human history, the core privileged group has been exploiting a large segment of the population, without much of human consideration. Over the centuries the style or method of exploitation may have changed but, the extent of exploitation has remained much the same. It is not that, our becoming civilized has led us to becoming aware of the needs of others. In reality it may be said that, the more civilized we claim to have become, the more selfish and self centred also we tend to have become.
In the early part of the history of the human race, feudalism in the form of dyanastic rule supported by groups of warriors, merchants and the intelligentsia, oppressed the majority of th e population, in the name of religious beliefs and superstitions. This oppression gave way to colonialism and now, in the modern era, technological revolution has vested a lot of manipulative economic power in the ruling class, which has contributed in the growth of the modern scenario for the rich growing richer, and the poor becoming poorer. If we analyse history, the entire canvas of political development can be traced to the panorama of struggle between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.
The position in India is that, even in the last five decades of our own democratic Governments have not been able to alter the equation between the rich and the poor, and the national wealth is in the tight grip of 10% of the population. This dehumanizing disparity has got to be removed, if the country has to progress in the real sense of the term. The solution to this disparity lies in, the ‘Haves’ accepting that they are the real cause of such a large section of ‘Have Nots’ still existing in the country. Now, it is the responsibility of the ‘Haves” to initiate action and contribute to the reversal of the economic system and causing a flow of the net wealth from the grip of he ‘Haves’ to the ‘Have nots’. This needs an attitudinal change of the ‘Haves’ as trustees of the wealth of the country. Excessive dependence of our social life on institutions of the government, without any social consciousness in the privileged group has been the basic inhibiting factor in an attempting to bridge the gap between the two classes of the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots’.
In this task, social pressure, service clubs, women’s organizations and the mass media have an important role to play in educating the ‘Haves” to appreciate and understand their responsibility of giving respect to human dignity and helping the ‘Have Nots’ to progress.
In the scenario of the modern industrialized society, the improvement of lot of the working class should be our main concern. This task of improving the lives of the people in neglected villages and the urban slums should be the aim of work for the social welfare organizations. To bring about this social upliftment is termed as social welfare, which is the work of multitudes of social welfare organizations. The raising of the standard of living in the villages, the finding of alternative occupations which would give agricultural massed an extra income, should be the target of all social endeavour. Similarly, the workers who form the backbone of any industry, should not be deprived of elementary human rights. It is now, high time for the people to realize that industry is no longer the monopoly of a single class, but of the masses.
Since education remains to be the most important work of the society, social organizations can be more effective if they can bring up mature, educated and active members of community. We see an abysmal rise in the crime rate, and this also can be mainly attributed to the curse of unemployment and exploitation of a big chunk of the masses. If social organizations could try to create hobs for the jobless, exploitation would hence be automatically checked. This would in turn bring down the crime graph. Hence, what the social welfare organizations should do, in the present scenario is first to understand the basic problems of the less privileged class, giving an impetus to all services. Sharing ideas and experiences among different organizations would enable them to evaluate the requirements, and then steps can be taken forward.
India is a country that provides for the social welfare organizations an immense scope for work and a very large spectum to be worked upon. However, more often than not, this social service is on the ground, only a pair of high sounding words. What it is in reality can be well understood when we go to the crux of the system of the working of these organizations. The work of most of the organizations can be defined in one sentence as, “saying is none thing and doing is another”. Why this aura around the social organizations, is something that we should analyse and study at some length.
It is felt that thus lacunae between saying and doing is , because most of the social welfare organizations are manned by the ‘Haves’, who, naturally do not have much insight into the depth and extent of work really required to have a dent on the ‘Have Nots’, and convert them also into the ‘Haves’. However not knowing is one thing and understandable but, not being interested in knowing is yet another. The basic cause of the social welfare organizations lagging behind is their inherent lack of interest in helping the ‘Have Nots’ in rising form the dumps. The next obvious question that now arises is that, if people are not interested in helping the downtrodden, then, why do they join such institutions, and for this, for India at least, the answer is simple. Just as all other things of modern India revolve round ‘show biz’ so does this joining these organizations, as, by doing so, we remain in the limelight, our photographs appear in magazines and we have the honour of belonging to the elite class. So if this is the hollow target of most of the members of social welfare organizations, never realizing the targets is a foregone conclusion.
It is not that these organizations are not doing any work but, not as much as they can or they should. The reason for this is that, not more than 5% to 10% members of any organization are real workers on the ground, and the rest being the category just described. With this fact coming to be realized, the targets have obviously to fall short by 90% and if this 90% would also be done then we would be able to see more prosperity. These is no dearth of sincerity and service but the hands are so few that they get lost in the oblivion, and the impression of social work done is that, most of it is a farce.
Friends, in order to scrap this poor impression of social work from the minds of the public we have to be more alert and attentive to the needs of our society. For a while, we have to forger ourselves, our families, and our homes for, all these are ‘Haves’, and we must now look towards our duties for the society, and the larger perspective of humanity. This is what we should strive for now, if we want to really dedicate ourselves to any work. Only with more positive work can we march forward in our fulfillment and thus contribute more substantially to out lesser brethren, and only then will the words ‘social service’ will have a meaning.

Friday, August 29, 2008

the code of dress in closely linked with character

The code of dress that each individual sets for himself is obviously baxsed on the tastes of the individual. In turn, we can say that, that tastes of a person are wholly or at least partly dependent on basic tenets of his character. It is in this way a man depicts or tells about his character through the medium of the dress he wears, as he wears only what is characteristic of his tastes.
At least in these modern times, we can see so many different kinds of apparels emerging from readymade shops and boutiques and all these as a whole depict the varied natures and characters blooming in today’s world. For those who love to show off and attract attention of passersby, there are the gaudy colours, gaudy prints and of course peculiar-looking clothes. Such gaudy and awkward looking clothes are chosen to be worn by those who like to invite attention. If we observe carefully, we are sure to find that people who dress gaudily are really those who like to show off.
On the other hand, there are some others who are very careless about how they dress. They are seen to wear any clothes, any shoes, clothes without ironing, shoes with laces open. This category of people are those who are not only indifferent to their clothes, but they are sure to be too lazy at home and at work.
Let us now study how the intellectual dresses. We will find that this person never dresses too attractively but he is neatly and meticulously, but simply dressed. This is because, like the gaudy man, the intelligent man does not have to attract attention by his dress, he is already attractive by his cool manners, intellectual talks and sober behaviour.
The code of dress is not only enough to study the behaviour of individuals, but it is also sufficient to study the trend of the character of a full generations, the younger, and the older generations of today. The senior generation, even when it was young, did not believe in showing off, its riches, bodies, or smartness. This is clearly indicated in the simple but neat and good dresses worn by the senior generation of today. When they were young, dresses the like jeans, short blouses, deep neck blouses, backless dresses were not prevalent. This was obviously because the generation did not like such dresses, so they did not come into being. This scenario of dress code could thus account for the character of the then younger generation. The character, at that time was thus, clean, submissive and intellectual, not interested in glorifying their bodies. It was believed then that, if we are to attract attention we should do it and could do it by so many other means like being courteous and intellectual. This is why shoeing off by gaudy dresses never found place in the dress code of the senior generation of today.
On the contrary, the younger generation of today, has obviously no sterling qualities of head and heart to boast of or to attract, so they take recourse in vulgar and gaudy dressing. So, when we study these two generations and their prevailing dress codes, we can come to a near conclusive decision that, that the way we dress does depict to a very great extent our character. Even today, the children who are intellectually sound and culturally better than the general lot, find themselves dressing in a more sober style than the others of their own colleagues.
Sobriety, should mean that a person be dressed as though outdated but, even in this there can be some standard of ethics of dressing. If fashion is to wear salwar kameez, without a chunni, it will not be considered too backward, for a girl to use a chunni, if she so likes. This will only point at her as a distinct entity, more graceful though modern.
It would be nice, if we could dress more decently and depict our clean thoughts to the people instead of showing them our bodies.

Bankruptcy of character in India

In the span of last five decades of India’s Independence, there has been a steady decline of character and eventually today we can feel ashamed to say that, as a nation, we have become totally bankrupt in character.
We have laid a lot stress on industrialization, modernization, westernization, and somewhere on our way we have caught up with criminalization. This is all because in our zest for fast progress in the context of the world, we have all completely forgotten all about character. We have, it seems, never recognized the importance of character in the present so called progressive scenario – so much so that today we find ourselves as total bankrupts in character. Our basic crisis today is lack of this very basis of good quality living.
In the days past by, we Indians were known for firmness in our characters but the impact of our struggle for progress has led us to absolute indifference towards the building or maintaining of character. The result is for all of us to see, understand and comprehend. We have become very selfish and it appears that now, our motto is ‘each one for himself’. For our personal gain, we have sacrificed everything, including the treasure of character. It is high time we remember the saying that, ‘if wealth is lost, everything is lost’. Just see the irony of our fate – we are today laying stress only on wealth, its earning at any cost, keeping it at any cost and increasing it at any cost.
Our lack of character is clearly visible even to the naked eye. There is absolutely no sphere of life where we are not corrupt, where we have not sacrificed our characters at the altar of wealth.
What concerns us the most is that the most holy and honest professions of medicine and teaching, once known to be above board because they both dealt with human lives, have also become corrupt to the core. The next area of honesty and integrity i.e. justice has also been tainted with corrupt practices. Any judgement can be taken with money. We have made corruption our style of life and attribute all our well being and progress to corruption and corrupt practices.
Is there any level from top to bottom where corruption is not prevalent? Is there any sphere of life where corruption is not visible of all activities? The answer to all this is NO. if this is the situation in India today, it is high time we should start working on foundation making i.e. character building. For, let it be known to all of us that a high-rise building no matter now modern, cannot stand for long, without a solid foundation of concrete i.e. character. There can be no real progress of the nation when character is lost.
The scenario that India presents today is one of utter disgust and shame. This is only because of our loss of credibility and honesty. We may have progressed a lot in Science and technology but where will this lead us to, when we find technical methods of swindling each other? All this can usher India into an era of real progress only if we could build up and maintain our original high standards of character and add on to it all, technical progress.
Measures taken against corruption are found to be very superficial because all in the hierarchy are involved. Unless we take to heart and head very conscientiously that we have to wipe off corruption, it will be of great surprise, if any improvement can take place in the scenario.
We must standardize like other things, our moral standards also. There should hence forth be no yielding to corrupt practices and hand in hand with this, we must start inculcating value education to our young. Then only we will be able to clean the present and build a clean future. Obviously if corruption is checkmated at higher levels, it will automatically be washed away from the scene at the lower levels. Let us remember water flows downwards and similarly corruption flows downwards. If the top strata is clean, the bottom will not dare to be dirty.
This degeneration through the media of corruption must stop forthwith or else the 21st century may see India and Indians getting annihilated as a national force.

Civic Sense

Civic Sense is that sense in an individual which makes him a civilized citizen of a country. As far as the normal understanding is concerned, it is felt that people from cultured, educated and belonging to the upper strata are more or less quite civilized and have a huge stock of civic sense. This may be true in other countries but, as far as we are concerned, what is inherently wrong with us that we, no matter which state and what background we belong to, we are utterly lacing in civic sense.
Lack of civic sense is not far to seek, we find it all pervading no matter where we go. At home, in our neighbourhood, in the colony, on the road, in the office, in a theatre, in a restaurant and everywhere we go, we have disgusting signs of uncivility. This situation was not always true of us Indians, we were never as uncivil as we are today. Why this deterioration in civic sense? The reason for this is plausible for, never are we taught to treat things that belong to others nicely, kindly and well. No where in any syllabus in a school or in a daily routing at home is civility part of the program to be instilled in us, it is instead conspicuous by its absence. We never teach the children to treat the neighbourhood, the society and public property as something meant to be maintained well. What we are teaching them is just to keep themselves, their things and their homes in order. The society is becoming no main concern. With this attitude, it is no wonder that parks, cinemas, roads are all littered, because they do not belong to anyone. We feel that the municipality is to look after these but, what about our contribution? We only contribute filth wherever we can.
We clean our homes and throw the rubbish in front of our neighbour’s home, we eat sweets and chocolates and throw wrappers here there and everywhere. A very common sight is a biscuit wrapper being flung out of a speeding car in the middle of the road. This only goes to show how very civic minded our so called creamy layer of society is. If this is the standard of the cream, the less said about others, the better it would be. One just has to go to a newly built cinema house with all the most modern gadgets but, all the walls are full of pan spit. Is this how we care for our public property? Would we destroy the walls of our homes? No definitely not, then why this indifference for public property? This is because we have become and continue becoming more and more selfish and self-centered. We only look at self and nothing else around us matters. Yet, at the same time if we do not have public amenities – we shout the loudest. What an irony? We want everything but cannot contribute to the maintenance of anything. This is the standard of our civic sense. In this, the most tragic fact about the whole affair is that we are at no stage of life taught to respect other peoples’ property or public property. It is the educated and the rich who should be the best conducted, contribute maximum to lack of civic sense.
We must make destroying of public property a punishable offence then people might be less frivolous to civilities.

Woes of India's senior citizens in the modern society

Senior citizens have always been a reality but they have never before felt so deprived and unhappy. These are the people who have had their innings successfully and are in the evening of life. In the bygone times this senior generation was never unhappy, unwanted or lonely as we find it today. This why, though the generation of senior citizens always existed it was never so much talked of. The change in this scenario for them has come together with the single unit family system finding its way in the Indian Society.
The generation of senior citizens can be divided into clearly marked into two. Those who have childrenb but no money to fall back upon. These are the people who were never doing too well but, whatever they earned, they spent on the children hoping that the children would support them in their old age. So now, with the single unit family having come, the very basis of their planning has been scuttled. The children do not want old people in their homes they say they cannot afford to keep old parents. To add to this when the lady of the house, (the housewife)also has to go for her job, who will look after the oldies. So, in this way the senior citizens of the family have been ousted by circumstances to some extent and by the vicious will of the children to add.
The second category of senior citizens is that who have done well in life, they have plenty of money to cater to all their needs but money is not all that a person needs. This group of senior citizens needs care, affection and warding off of their loneliness. In spite of having money to back them, children whom they have brought up with all care and dignity, these people feel as if they are not really required by anyone, not even their own children.
With this scenario emerging on the Indian horizon, senior citizens are in for a tough going. If they live alone, there are so many home keeping hazards that they have to face, which could be avoided if they lived with their children. For those who do not have the money as a back, up support, life is probably more than death for them. This style has been imported into India from the West. However it was never thought that, the old also need everything like the young for subsistence. In the west, the old are taken care of by the state, so for their senior citizens the only problem is loneliness. But here, when there are no old age amenities granted to senior citizens, the infiltration of the system has brought a near doom for the senior citizens.
Besides being neglected at home it appears that there has also developed a peculiar dislike for the old which never existed before. The senior citizens feel as though they are always being jeered at, by the younger generation. This makes them feel mentally dispirited. An attitude of looking down on seniors as the individuals of the past who know nothing, is another derogatory behaviour which senior citizens have to encounter in their day-today lives.
With all these feelings and realities being encountered by the senior citizens it will be a wonder if in the future anyone would like to enter the community of senior citizens. With this attitude towards senior citizens, the country will be losing an amplitude of experience, love and affection. It would do well for us if we respected, loved and nurtured our senior citizens as they did to us when we were children. This would bring back to us our cultural heritage which we are ransoming to the west.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Behavioural changes in educated women and its impact on society

Whatever we do has to have a close bearing on our behaviour and attitude. We cannot visualize doing something and not having to bear its consequences, good or bad, and as we know every coin has two sides, the good the bad. No matter how slender and paper thin a coin may be, it has to have two sides to it.
We are here to discuss the impact of education on women. This can be understood with the clear background of how much of education have women been getting in India through the centuries. Let us dare say that women who consist half of India’s population have been thoroughly neglected in India. Their growth as individuals has never been looked into and they have been taken for granted as, just tools in the hands of the superior being MAN. Now this situation has existed in India for the last several centuries and women had all this time succumbed to this fact and accepted the role of a slave to man. This situation could be well continued only because women were kept in the dark and not allowed to feed on the fruits of education, enlightenment and awareness. This kept life a easy going for men, as women also adhered to all norms of slavery and never seemed to have better. However, this situation of complacency of women on the stage of the country took a turn in the mid of 20th century, when women started women started entering the scene of education in India.
Now obviously when women got the fruits that they had never tasted earlier, there had to be a reaction. This reaction has been two-fold. On the one hand, education has made women smarter, knowledgeable but with gaining a little power. So much is good, however the second reaction has been rather disappointing. The education of girls has led them to believe that, since they are being educated as much as men, their very domain of activity and influence must be jettisoned to the extent that they get out of the precincts of their homes and fly free in the world of men.
If this reaction in their behaviour ended here then even, we would not have lost much, but for women – this is not all. The outcome of education of women has been hazardous in as far as, they have not only entered into the realm of men, they have started behaving like men. This part of the behavioural changes in women have been suicidal, for this has started having a deep negative impact on the family and the society at large.
The long loved home has become a den of woes for educated women, they do not seem to be happy in the home. They have started feeling that domestic work is below their dignity Рthe dignity of the educated clan. If this is the change in the behaviour of educated women, that day is not far when, children will be born in hospitals, grown in cr̬ches, study and live in hostels and die in hospitals. If educated women continue to behave in such an irresponsible manner, the home will become a defunct entity and the housewife a thing of the past.
Education is for enlightment and awareness and not for destruction. No matter how much education we get, we must never turn our faces from the home, as this is the place which breeds happiness and love, which only, can nurture happy citizens and which in turn can only be given by women.
Let us appeal to our better senses and try to handle both the worlds with efficiency and love, for we can be all powerful if we are educated but this power should be used to bring solace rather than doom.

Tradition is the hallmark of nation

The multi-problem scenario in every sphere is looming large on the Indian horizon and to add we can all see the fast deterioration and crumbling down of the age old traditions of India, which are blatantly giving way to a lop-sided Westernisation of the Indian.
This Westernisation, takes its birth in the homes, where we teach our children may be unwittingly, all that is of the West, without an iota of what can be truly called Indian. Id deal with this facet of the Indian scenario as, it is here that the mothers and women at large can play a vital role. It is for us to see that, when we inculcate habits and styles that are Western, we must also imbibe in the children the culture and traditions that are Indian.
It is never to be surmised that, we must abstain from learning from outsiders but, when we learn, we must sort out whether what is Indian truly needs a change for our betterment, or are we just changing because the particular style is of the West. Once we care to sort out, we will realize that everything that we are adopting in our lives is not really very necessary for our growth. Instead, most of what we are adopting and have adopted is hitting a deadly blow to our originality and our age-old culture. We must try to understand very clearly that, nation that changes beyond recognition does not deserve to be called a nation at all.
It is for the women as mothers and teachers to inculcate Indian values in the next generation as, these were our assets, and pointed at us, as being, a country apart from the common rut. It is never to be suggested that, we learn nothing from others. We must absorb whatever good we can, from anyone but, in doing so we must not lose our identity. Our assets of values have always stood us in good stead and have always stood the test of time. Sure enough they were instrinsic to our very existence. However in our zest for Westernisation we have completely lost ground, and have surely changed beyond all norms, so much so that, we have lost our identity in the world of culture. Let us remember that, when we copy the West in without a thought of its necessity, we are behaving like slaves. For it is only slaves who have nothing of their own, and all that they own is borrowed or given in charity.
We have to uphold the traditions of this ancient land stop it from completer Westernisation. If we do not stop this plague at this crucial juncture, we will be the losers as, it is we who will find ourselves misfit in the changed Western scenario. We must learn from wherever we can, but never lose our identity as, “East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet”. We should therefore, work hard in maintaining our traditions, as tradition is the hallmark of a flourishing nation. All good things are acquired with fatigue.

Panchayati Raj

Panchayati Raj was a pious dream of our great leader Mahatma Gandhi who wanted to strengthen the democracy at the grassroots level by this system. In our country, senventy percent of the population is in rural areas. As such, amidst widespread diversity and various problems, the main attention of our country is to focus on rural planning development. Thus it has become important to implement Panchayati Raj with full vigour and dedication to prepare ourselves to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Our country is spread in a vast area and it is not easy to solve the various problems being encountered by rural people. This gives rise to the need of participation by rural folks on priority basis. For this reason, Gandhiji wanted to keep the base of the ladder of growth in the rural areas and make it reach the centre through gradual process of development. So he proclaimed that India must follow the system of self-government functioning through Panchayats. His slogan of “Gram Swaraj” was most remarkable and accepted by all Indians. Everybody realized that all problems whether administrative, social, political or economical can be solved by our own participation through panchayat Raj.
As a first step in direction of Panchayat Raj, composite basic development was entrusted to the rural bodies by introduction of Community Development Programmes. This step gave rise to a network of panchayats spread almost all over the country. However, it could not help its evolution because of its functioning on the directions from the top. Then in 1956, an official committee was set up by the government of India to examine the problems related to implementation of Panchayati Raj. This committee was headed by Shri. BalwanRaj Mehta who recommended in its report the introduction of three-tier system for self-government at the grassroots levels. It also recommended transfer of more responsibility and power to these bodies. Hence, the recommendation of the Mehta Committee led to inauguration of the Panchayati Raj at Nagaur in Rajasthan on October 2, 1959. this was a great tribute on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
During the tenure of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehur, various institutions were thus established which were assigned various tasks related to administrative, political and other development activities. However, with the arrival of the regime of Smt. Indira Gandhi, other schemes relevant to “Garibi Hatao” started prevailing. There wer few incentives to promote Panchayati Raj due to superiority given to bureaucrats.
In 1978, the Ashok Mehta Committee submitted a report in which it observed that the institutions set up to promote Panchayati Raj had failed to pass the fruits of democracy to the rural sections of the society. It gave recommendations to set up Zila Parishads and Mandal Samitis at village levels inter-linked through a two-tier mechanism of Panchayat Samitis. Panchayat Raj was given constitutional legitimacy in 1993 by ratifying various state legislatures by the President of India. It provided reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women and devolution of financial and administrative powers. Gram Sabha was laid as the foundation of the Panchayat Raj System to perform functions entrusted to it by State legislature. All village Panchayats were assured a five – year tem with elections mandatory after this period of five years.
However, Panchayati Raj system cannot be called as a real decentralization of powers and authority since, it only takes away certain powers of states and gives them in turn to Panchayats. In fact, it is a took to bypass the State Governments. That is why it came under criticsm and got no support from State Government. Therefore, to make Panchayat Raj successful, real land reforms are needed. The development of rural people is of utmost importance to improve the condition of weaker sections of our society.
Today Panchayati Raj is suffering due to lack of basic reforms in socio-economic structure. With the creation of Panchayati Raj, various filthy and divisive processes have percolated to the village level. If all such minus points of Panchayati Raj are taken care, we will see that its merits may outnumber its drawbacks. Desire of self – governance assumes greater significance in rural population. The relevance of Panchayati Raj is being appreciated because of growing individualism and desire of self-rule and its role among the rural masses at all levels on account of increased awareness and spread of education.

National Integration

India has many races, nationalities, castes, subscastes and communities but so far the hear of India is concerned it is one. It is true that societies that have been integrated into bonds of unity have always enjoyed peace, stability, prosperity and permanence. And those torn by mutual distruptive tendencies among various sections of the society have always been short lived and become non- existent. The national integration is the process of uniting different people from all walks of life into a single whole. The most serious problem being faced by India in present circumstances is, how to develop an atmosphere of national consciousness among so varied a people.
Indians already have suffered for long periods, the pangs of enslavement and servitude. It is India in the whole world which has to suffer under foreign rulers for more than seven hundred years. The separatist tendencies among people and kings have always resulted in the fall of our kingdoms. Our country was always divided into large number of small kingdoms which were mostly at daggers end. There has been a lack of national consciousness. The internal disputes among the Rajput kings allowed Muslim invaders to establish their foothold here. Then the Britishers were able to create rifts between various kings and princes and thus established their supremacy. It was only overthrown when Indian nationhood joined together by unparalled acumen of some great Indian leaders who became creators of history.
There is a need to make efforts for creating emotional integration or a sense of unity. The need of the hour is national integration. It should be taught at the very beginning, in all schools and colleges all over the country that India is one and only one. The difference between various cultures are just superficial and basically it is only one. What is needed is superior interpretations, synthesis of the power of the mind that can give rise to a vision of the whole and oneness. The school and college teaching material should be suitably revised wherein importance and need of oneness should be emphasised. From one end of the country to the other end, regular long distance tours must be conducted so as to foster emotional integration among the young students of our country. Steps must be taken to see that, there are no sectional appeals so that disunity among the people does not increase manifold.
To bring about national integration, there are many techniques. It can be forced out, or can be made to strengthen from within the core of hearts. The result by way of exercise of power would always be weak, unsuccessful and it would be for a temporary phase only. But when the sense of national integration stems from within, it would be strong stable and ever-lasting.
British government brought about national integration by way of their needs. For the first time during the British rule, the whole of India came to be governed from one centre and all regions of the country from West to East and South to North obeyed instructions and advice from the central power. This was because the God of freedom was the same and realized all over the country. The national unity became more emotional when the country fought a united struggle for freedom. Emotional integration is the basic foundation on which the main structure of national integration can be created.
There is a rich cultural heritage in India. All of us are inheritors to several grand treasurers in the fields of music, dance, drama, fine arts and paintings, sculpture and theatre. Our seers and sages have left behind a tradition of piety, penance, conquest of passion and spiritual greatness. Our cultural unity is further exemplified by the great temples of the South, the caves of Khajuraho and Ajanta and Ellora which are glittering examples of proficiency of India in the field of architecture and sculpture. India classical music is built on the concept of ragas and talas. Each raga is regarded appropriage to a certain emotion, a certain mood suitable for a specified time of the day or night. In the modern times, people like Pandit Ravi Shanker have taken the Indian music to great heights in the whole world and thus have bridged the gap between the East and the West in the field of music.
Today the intellectuals of Indian society can give the right direction as the country is standing at the crossroads of failures and achievements. The intellectuals must come out of their narrow cells of detachment and awake up to their responsibilities towards the general masses. Through national integration, we will prosper and flourish and dominate the others who are characterized by divisive forces. We will carry with us, a power and strength, solidity and solidarity and an element of cohesiveness which will impart to us further permanence and stay in present struggling world.

Indian Politics Today

Today the Indian political culture has touched a new low and the struggle for power has assumed an ugly aspect. As a result, there are daily splits, new alignments and misalliances and turn – abouts. It is an occasion that we must now think for a close scrutiny of the dialectic of desertions and darknesses that makes nonsense of not only the electoral code and ethics but also of the spirit of our constitution. Undoubtedly, the politics involves worsening of the human sensibility and moral erosion cannot be avoided except in those rare cases where a visionary leadership helps slow down the process of prosperity and integrity of the country. It is the black consciousness which creates the nexus between power and evil. In the recent years, a phenomenonal growth of black money is seen which is the result of the dead consciousness.
Most political parties, despite their track record of corruption and skull duggery, manage to deviate into a show authenticity with rhetoric and a suitable agenda to extract the best out the particular occasion. Under such an atmosphere, the innocent people before they go to vote, are offered a feast of half-truths and equivocal dreams as also a whole plate of platitudes and rationalizations. Of course, the darkness and the plague spots are kept hidden so as to be out of the public vision those evil practices and policies which the other party in power had converted into an electoral art.
There is a new political turn to the play of politics with the requirements of the times. A perverse kind of transparency in the politics of manipulation, double deals, wild ambitions and treachery has emerged. Those who are bent upon capturing power at the centre would not stop at nothing and moreover, would drop all the fig-leaves of the earlier postures and pretenses. This can be described as the politics of utter shamelessness. It would promote political profligacy and promiscuity. As on date one party has lost its dynamics, and even its primal impulse and the Indian scene now demands a culture of coalition. As such, the scramble for numbers in a hung Parliament is generating political promiscuity where the lust for power will drive scores of members of parliament into new liasions again and again. Under such circumstances, strong rules under the constitution are needed to stop coalition governments from turning into a circus of political dissolutions. In fact, it is a matter for the political pundits to ponder upon. If time and again such scenarios emerge and precipitate a similar crisis, then the only way out is a change in the constitution towards establishing a strong but accountable presidency.
Moral principles and parliamentary codes are a luxury for the political parties these days and they can forego all this in the face of hard realities. They are proclaiming faith in pragmatism which is a philosophy to bypass the question of ends and means and concentrate on the practical side of things. But the expression in relation to politics has acquired a certain kind of acceptability. Real deals are needed and not the theories of dreams to run the present governments. If the chaos that is cooking now and threatens to overwhelm our polity is to be avoided the low type of pragmatism has to be countered well in time. And intelligentia (serious about the matter) have to see that they do not follow the easy going route to power but honour their own known credentials. They should get into the strenuous mood and face the ordeals of labouring spirit.
Now is the time of crying need of honest polarization. The people are divided between those who stand for nationalism and those who advocate regionalism, between those who propagate casteism and those who don’t, between those who want to change India into a strong Nuclear force and those who want to knowtow to the West. Also the people seem to be divided between those who want economic emancipation for the masses and those who wish economy for the MNC. Instead of polarization on these extremely vital issues, there is a single issue how to grab power. The politicians and parties have brought about a fraudulent philosophy. Aided by a class of penpushers and professional theorists, this is unfolding of a great new era, an era of colitions in which ideologists and one party governments have no place, it is also called true federalism where regional parties, even one man outfits, must rule over one thousand million people.
It is true that in the end, the Indian culture and heritage would prevail over every type of circumstances, in case accountable presidencies come to be established in our country. It may not be forgotten how the Gandhi dynasty has been shown the door twice in a most crushing manner. But cost meanwhile could be very high in terms of an interregnum of regressions, retreats and repression on a massive scale. Though corporate consciousness asserts its power in the end and it seldom creates a state of vigilant opinion on its own. And that is precisely where the nation’s intelligentsia, academicians, writers and the media persons come in to play their respective roles. They have to create the nation’s new consciousness. The inherent energies of the people and their instinctive longing for the justice and equality would do the rest.

Democracy in India

Democracy in India, according to Abraham Lincoln, is measured as a two – thirds democracy only. In India, we have a government of the people and by the people but it is not for the people. For a full – fledged democracy in India, there are three things need. Firstly, the citizens must be educated and literate to understand the politics so the government is really effective. Secondly, the government must be transparent. And lastly, the citizens must have the freedom of information and access to that information.
If Indian democracy has to be really on these lines we have to build the National Information Infrastructure. Every public call office must provide access to the data with the government both at the Centre and in the states freely, and also, all this data must be available in Indian languages. But to achieve this meaningfully and also the type of growth rates the Asian Tigers achieved, despite the recent temporary setback on the currency fron,t education is the key. A nation which is half illiterate cannot face the challenges of the 21st century. Education is the route for a variable democracy as well as the economic development of the country. We need to focus on the spread of the primary education for all the masses living in remote areas of the country. But in today’s scenario, it is seen that there is a close linkage between the local politicians and vested interests. Starting from the appointment of the teachers and their transfers to the required places of interest, it is evident that in many states, primary education and perhaps the secondary education too is highly politiczed. We find that even though attractive salaries are given to the primary school teachers, many of the single teacher schools are not at all effective in creating interest in people towards need of education. At the same time, there are reports that even the poor parents want their children to go to public school and study. They are prepared to pay even higher fees for the same.
In a democratic country like India, nothing happens unless there is a political will. The government must think definitely at this point. The Indian democracy will get organized only under two circumstances. The first one is if there is acrisis. The second situation is when there is a perceived and immediate advantage in terms of electoral gains. After all, unemployment is a national problem and to the extent we are able to provide avenues for removing unemployment, it will be a politically popular vote gathering measure. It is seen that under the various employment generation and poverty alleviation schemes like Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana and the Integrated Rural Development Programme, thousands of lakhs of rupees are being spent. Instead of spending such huge amounts without any effective results, the educated youth can become teachers and give tuitions to the poor masses in the villages and they can be given the same amount available under various schemes. In this way, the funds will be better utilized and there will also be a direct link between efforts for the removal of unemployment and illiteracy. All this would be best to establish a good democracy in India.
Parliamentary democracy all over the world has become largely Prime ministerial systems of governance and are in effect quasi presidential. Prime ministers now tend to be a great deal more than first among equals. As an inevitable consequence of rise of political parties as the key to electoral systems, the focus of real power has shifted from parliament to the cabinet and from the cabinet to the Prime Minister. Today bureaucracy has wielded real power behind what may be called the cloak of cabinet dictatorship. Historically, the greatest contribution of our struggle for independence was to give India a strong political and democratic sense of nationhood. The constitution of India was based on that sense of one nation. That is why the preamble of the constitution speaks of “We the people of India” with a singular solidarity; that is why the lok sabha and the rajya sabha are based on demographic proportions and not on the basis that the India union is some confederal alliance of states; that is why Union Parliament was meant to be the grand inquest of the nation. That is why the distribution of powers between the states and the centre tends to learn decisively in favour of the Centre.
Over the years, it has been endeavoured to find functionally better democratic federal balance without impairing the one nation concept. The institution of the prime minister and his or her election by the majority in the lok sabha is an institutional expression of that concept. Freedom of inter-state commerce throughout India and freedom of movement and residence anywhere in India is the hallmark of our common citizenship.

Indian Political Scenario

India was declared a Sovereign free State in the year 1950, and, the patriots who had struggled for this event could, never have visulaised that, after fifty years of that great event, India would be in such a dilapidated political shape as it was, in the year 1998, till now.
The year 1998 presented a spectacular change in the political scenario of the country by outsing the erstwhile century old single political party of the country, the Indian National Congress. This ouster is, on the one side an indication of the disgust people harbour for the party, and, on the other hand, it is indicative of the public’s estimation of the achievements of the party. The long spell of fifty years has brought this political party to such a low level of degradation, that, this reality could not be hidden from the electorate any further.
This of course was a good symptom which showed that, the hitherto blind electorate had begun thinking and reflecting. This in turn meant that, the electorate had now come of age. However, the tragedy of this welcome turn of events was that, the electorate could not wisely turn out one single party to replace the Congress. This has led to an unprecedented and absolute mess in the political arena of the country. The Bhartiya Janta Party has come to power but, with clipped wings and tainted eyes.
It came with so many partners in action that, there can never be a genuine consensus on anything or any point. Each party is, expects its own ‘pound of flesh’, and, in this effort, the very entity of the Government gets lost, and its functioning becomes problematic. No matter how much the B.J.P. may want to undo the evils of yesteryears but, it just can’t as, it has to wait for 18 nods (24 nods at preserved) and in this only, all matters get dissolved and lost. This, in turn brings out a blurred picture of the B.J.P. It is no wonder that strong steps just can not be taken in any sphere, when views differ, targets are varied, and commitments unclear. Thus the present scenario of the Government is rather chaotic and pathetic with everyone, the partners, and the opposition ogling with their ugly eyes at the working of the B.J.P. looking for flaws in their fabric. Everyone, yes everyone seems to be intent upon dislodging the Government, which has given the country a little bit of a change from the monotony of the fifty years of Congress.
It is wonderful that people when they vouchsafe that, Coalition has come to stay, but it means that, a mess deal has come to stay. It is true that there are many countries where Coalition Governments are a reality but, then, why not in India? To these protagonists of Coalition Governments it is said that, Coalitions can work only among people with an understanding for each other, people who are interested in letting the Government work, and above all, among people who are disciplined and educated. But all these qualities essentials for an efficient Coalition are lacking among our Indian politicians, then how can a Government of this kind ever be expected to deliver the goods to the public. It is thus, out of all practicality for India to have a successful Coalition Government through, but still it exist.
The various scenes at the Parliament and the State Assemblies show how very immature and childish our politician still is. The politician is not interested in any work but is always found to be using all his energies in how to defame the working party, how to pull the carpet from under the feet of the ruling party, and I dare to say that, yes, all his energies and time are continuously being used in these nefarious activities. Besides this, specially the Congress who has of governance for so long just can not imagine and adjust to the idea of being on the other side of the fence, and is so, busy trying to malign the Government. So, the position as it stands in 1998, till now after the latest election is that, the Opposition is always opposing, and the now 24 partners are looking for advantages only. With this situation, what can the ruling party be expected to do except just try to justify its actions and try to maintain the chair. Thus, the scene is of no more than confusion and no one is getting the time to do what they are meant to be doing. How can we expect politicians worse that street urchins, to sit in harmony and deliver the goods. If we keep on experimenting with Coalitions, the day is not far to seek when, India will be a body without a head for, we will not allow any head to function, as, heads there are many but, all without the qualities of heads and hearts. To – day, each politician has his own axe to grind so, we will be living in a ‘Fool’s Paradise’ if we except the modern politician to do anything worthwhile for the public which has gifted them this office of service and respect.
The best Government for India, will be, at the present juncture a very strict dictatorship, provided the dictator is a man of the three Cs – caliber, character and conduct. The present politicians all, yes all, lack these qualities, of the three Cs. Thus if we can be concluded that, a dictatorship is not a viable proposition for India and it is not destined to work, as, for one, the country is too large, an alternative would be a healthy Bi-Party system. It is said ‘Healthy’, because, at present, only to contradict whatever the Government does, or puts up to them, is the work of the Opposition. It seems that our politicians are taking the meaning of the word opposition in its verbal sense, and they seem to feel that they just have to oppose, and that is all. This is a fractured attitude towards the Government, and a good Opposition can be effective only if it is friendly with the Government, and only brings to light what the Government might have missed. Discussions must be friendly, positive and result oriented rather than just destructive or negative. Only with such a healthy Opposition can there be a meaningful rapport between the Government and the Opposition. If this can be considered by the people who matter then, perhapse India may have a chance of getting out of the woods.
The political scenario to-day is thus one of utter disgust and chaos bad behaviour with a blend of corruption is the summary of the present scene. With a singular motto displacing the Government, all the parties are working, and, if this continues for any more length of time, the law makers will have no face to make laws – as, they are the best and the maximum number of law breakers. As far as I can see, the 1998, till now political scenario is very dismal, and in its womb is hidden the ultimate collapse of the fabric of independent India. If the freedom fighters of the yesteryears were to see this unhappy scene, they would turn in their graves and wonder why they did so much for such an underserving people. In the last if one say Govt exists, it exists at least in India as the hung Government (of many nods) still continueing.

A Novel Dictatorship

It is believed by all and sundry that dictatorship is a thing of the past and now, all countries of the world can bask in the sunshine of freedom and liberty. However, to me this appears to be quite a misnomer in the present day world scenario. This is because of the simple reason that man is essentially dominating and his desire to dominate others who are less priviledged shall never diminish. The shape and the system of domination may have changed, but in principle, the desire remains, and can be seen very clearly. True it is that today, most of the countries have a democratic form of Government thus alleging the presumption of the principle of ‘live and let live’ motto however, is it true in reality or not is a thing to be looked into.
Let us analyse how truly and really we are living in a free world, with the right to do what we like. Is it not true that the United Nations Organisation was instituted to see that the world continues to have peace and the smaller and weaker countries get their share of prosperity with the help of the richer brethren? Yes the purpose was magnanimous and t a very great extent has also served the purpose ever since the inception of the United Nations. However, what can be clearly seen is that, the elder brothers are not helping the youngones without a sheen of dictatorship. They are taking upon themselves a queer mantle of a shrouded dictatorship rather than selfless service to the poor nations. The five permanent members of the Executive seem to wield all the power of the activities of the world. It is they who decide what has to be done, who is to be punished, who is to be exonerated of all his punishments. Is this not a sort of dictatorship in the garb of patronizing?
The latest example of this unique dictatorship is the annoyance of the United States our eldest brother who showed very sharp reactions to India’s nuclear tests at Pokhran. For one thing, it thus appears that India is not even free enough to look to its own safety as best as it feels. Besides, does it not sound odd that a country that itself has huge dumps of nuclear arsenals is resenting to India’s minor nuclear test, and worse so, punishing the smaller brother by imposing upon it sanctions. Is this not more or less, a dictatorship of a novel kind? The elder brother seems to forget that the best way of teaching the young is by putting an example and not punishing. Is this not dictatorship that, a country is helped in every way but, the moment it tries to flap its wings to take a flight, the wings are clipped? By this behaviour of the rich countries the very Charter of the United Nations is being flouted. Where is the much espoused slogan of equality, where are equal opportunities for all countries, and the like proclaimed by the said charter? So much for the dictatorship on the world scenario, back home let us take a bird’s eye view of the so called – democracy in the garb of a limited dictatorship in the country.
There is no obvious dictator, and it is the choice of the masses that rule the country – the largest democracy of the world. However, are n’t all the politicians of the last two decades virtually dictators? They dictate the very channel of working of the Government, they dictate the very election of the politicians of their choice at gunpoint. So much so they dictate the very essence of life, i.e. they are the ones who decide who will live, and who will not be allowed to live, who will prosper and who will not be allowed to come out of abject poverty. If need arises, such are the monarchs that they even decide who will be killed and when. Is this any less than any dictatorship? Rather it the ugliest form of dictatorship. It is ugly because it thrives under the garb of a flourishing democracy.
Let us take the days of the late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. What was her regime? Was it any less or any better than any dictatorship? And it finally did end in an emergency. What are the rulers like Laloo Prasad Yadav or Ms. Jayalalitha. Are n’t they exponents of a limited democracy? The very fact that in the days of a mature democracy, having such a massive following without any prosperity to their credit, is indicative of the seeds of dictatorship within the framework of a democracy. The following can be there, if a lot has been done for the masses, but in state where there is no prosperity, a following can be understood only in the face of the gun. This is the so-called democracy in some of our states.
Thus we see that, though we are shouting from the pulpits that we are emerging as a free democratic world, but the shadowed presence of a peculiar dictatorship can be sensed in every act of the country and the world. Glaring examples of such peculiarly – veiled dictatorships are not difficult to find.

Lessons we learn from history

History is one subject in the galaxy of subjects that teaches its readers not only the subject, but also a lot of wisdom. Most people hold the view that history is just a list of events that have occurred and put only in a chronological order. True history is a chronological list of events. But, if we study it only as that we are missing on it and we are not giving the subject its correct status.
This subject has such a large perspective of things that, no other subject that is studied ever can be without its history. Science has a history, technological development has a history, religion has a history. No subject of any significance is without a history, then how can we say that history is trash. If man had not discovered that fire can be produced by rubbing two stones, how would the theory of creating of fire come into being. If the ancient man would not have produced the wheel, how could we know to the present uses of the wheel. If the Hindu religion did not have the division of castes, how would the present situation f castes come into being. So we can say that the very essence of man’s progress is based on history and its study.
The evolution of man itself is based on history, his progress and most of his scientific and technological developments are all the results of man’s history, of the History of evolution had not been confined into history books, and if we had not read these books, how would we know about our past, and how would we maintain the tempo of development and progress. Man learnt from his mistakes, his experiences, the shortcomings of his ancestors, and continued to progress. Is this not a contribution of history? Does this not make the study of history important for us? The one single subject that had contributed so immensely to the constant and continuous growth of civilization is the history.
Another plea for not studying this drab subject is when people say history is just what passed away people have done. In this regard we must remember that we are not only studying what they did but, in the process, we are trying to understand what mistakes have they committed, and why? It has often been said that, history repeats itself. This means that if we repeat the same mistakes we will reach the same disasters. Is this very little an advantage of study of the subject that, as people, as a community, as a country, we realize the mistakes of our ancestors, and we do not commit the same mistakes and get the same results? So, here comes the wisdom imparted by this lone subject. It is only after the study of history that we can assess the mistakes of the preceding generations. It is from history the Britishers have learnt the imperialism cannot continue for ever. It is from history that Indians have learnt that we have to remain united to keep the country one single unit, to keep it safe and strong. It is the study of history that makes the modern world shudder to think of another nuclear holocaust.
The memory of Nagasaki and Hiroshima is still fresh in the minds of the world and so the fear of repetition of this keeps us aware and cautious. If we had not studied all these facts written in our history books, our reservoir of knowledge would have been much less, and we would not have been so well aware of the results of certain actions. Is this not enough of a gift to the world, of just one single subject?
If there would not have been this subject, how would we ever be able to assess how much man has progressed from the animal he was, to the highly sophisticated creation of God that he is today? How would we ever know about our own India’s rich cultural heritage, and so also how would we have been able to assess how and why we a have become a third world country as we are today? Again, all this because of our study of history.
The differences of culture in different parts of the world are also brought to our knowledge by the history of the world. It is only through the study of history that we come to know about the social, political and educational systems of the world, and we can adapt them to our country, if we feel the need. History! Besides gaining knowledge, this subject teafches us wisdom of life and teaches causes and effects of different actions. If we continue to learn from our history we shall never make the same mistakes again – and that would be quite a step forward. Like science, history also gives us formulae. Science gives formulae for progress of elements and history gives us formulae of success. If we learn from History, we humans will certainly continue to forge ahead, and become a more and more disciplined and cultured force.
Besides the big lessons that we learn from History, it also teaches us how to behave in our day-to-day lives. We learn how discipline helped the forces of Alexander the Great to overcome Indians, and how at the same time and venue, the indisciplined forces of India surrendered to them. We learn how with their service to India through missionaries, the British could steadily spread their wings through the length and breadth of India. We learn from history how love for mankind made saints of Vivekanand, Gautam Buddha and Mahavira. We learn from history how, man’s desire to dominate others result in the ultimate break up of the British Empire in India. The greatest lesson that history has taught us Indians is the lesson we learnt from our struggle for independence, i.e. we learnt how much we can achieve if we stand united and have flare for nationalism.
Thus, this single subject which often faces the – ridicule of students and elders provides us with a sea of knowledge, insight and wisdom. It also teaches what the finer feelings of love and service can do for man. This one subject teaches us to become human and of course, it is the alma mater of all other subjects, as the history of any subject is taught before starting the study of the subject itself. It may be said that history is the mother of all other subjects, and should not be considered as, only a chronology of events, of the world, it is much more than just that. It is this subject that gives us the understanding of all countries that we can assess our position vis – a vis others, and then continue on our path of progress.
When we study the biographies of great men, we learn how to follow their footsteps and try to achieve at least a semeblence of their greatness. These biographies teach us the qualities of great men which we can emulate and try to be achievers. This single subject makes such an enormous contribution that it will not behave any of us to talk of it in a jocular tone, on slight it. It teaches us to be good humans. It teaches us what actions are likely to have what reactions. It brings to light our rich heritage and also teaches us how the other countries are progressing. So we can say that history is a great teacher.

Secularism in India

What is Secularism, and what is a secular State? As far as India is concerned, it seems that these definitions are even not much clear to the Government itself, or, it is trying to maintain the enigma that secularism is, what the Government wants it to be. As far as the general knowledge about the word is that, all religions must get an equal status in a country, and that, there should be no differentiation on the single basis of religion. A secular state is one that has no state religion, and all religions are allowed to develop in their own way, without any interference from the State. This, in a nutshell should mean that the State has nothing to do with religion. This is to be an absolutely personal affair of each individual in the country. However, what makes it an issue in India, enough to play havoc, is the misinterpretation of Secularism in India.
In the last fifty years of India’s Independent existence, our leaders heading Government has made a mess of the very essence and message of Secularism. Our Constitution states very clearly its secular perception of religion – Art – 25 says that, “all persons are equally entitled to the freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess practice and propagate religion. “However, this right to religious freedom is subject to certain restrictions, and the State may regulate it in the interests of public order, morality and health. The important point to be noted here is that, this right to religious freedom has been subjected to norms of social reforms. Finally there is a provision in the Constitution regarding attending religious institutions. Art – 28 says that, “no religious instructions should be provided in any educational institutions, wholly maintained out of State funds. “Besides this, the Constitution very clearly states what religious education means. For instance, teaching the philosophy of Gur Nanak or Vivekanand cannot be considered as religious instruction. Religious instruction is what “is imparted for inculcating the tenets, the rituals …………. Of a particular sect”.
Even as the Constitution is very clear on the subject regarding its secular nature – the Government of the last fifty years have made an absolute and complete mess of the tenets of the Constitution. The tenets have not been strictly followed yet, the music from housetops of the secular nature of the State has been loud and clear. When the Government has not to do anything with any religion, it is not understood why do Governmental authorities encourage or rather involve themselves in functions that pertain to any religion. There can be grand celebrations at Rashtrapati Bhavan, but, why in the name of Diwali, Id or Christmas? Even in this, the Government is not being truly loyal to the tenets of the Constitution. When the Government is not to consider any religion, why does it celebrate religious festivals in the Government premises, and that also on Government account.
Art – 25 is openly flouted and the professing propagating of any religion is not taken cognizance of, as it should be. Art – 28 is again flouted as, in all missionary schools Christianity is taught, and in all Madrasas Islamic tenets are taught. May be some of these institutions and not State aided but, when some are doing it, all others also follow suit.
In reality, the biggest hassle created about religion in India is by the politician and the Government itself. The politicians for their own political gains have been, through these years pampering a few minor religious sects., and that also ironically in the name of religion only, which is supposed to be taboo for the Government. Religion which should not at all be the concern of the Government, has been the main plank on which the previous Governments have survived. So, secularism in India has been very conveniently distorted to suit and benefit the politician in his game. The cajoling of the minorities on the very basis of religion has completely destroyed the political fabric of the country. It has left the common man wondering what the magic word of Secular really implies. On the one hand there is a loud talk of being secular and on the other, in the same breath, the same tool – religion is used to place the politician in a comfortable position. Thus, in India at least, Secularism is a farce, a tool and a convenient handmaid of the politician just to be used for his political gains. Wherever possible this religion is used to concoct issues to the benefit of the people who matter.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Reservation for a certain section of society in independent India, has become a major issue of discussion, dissension, debate and bitterness. When India got its freedom from the British yoke in 1947, the framers of the Indian Constitution made these reservations for that section of our society which had been long neglected and disparaged. The purpose was well thought of and in all fairness, in order to enable the downtrodden, improve their status and enter into the mainstream of the country’s developmental works.
The basic idea was undoubtedly superb as, it was in all good intent, meant to build up to a certain level those sections of the Indian society which had hitherto been left uncared for. Besides, this was originally to be fixed for only the first fifteen years of independence. This was done so, with the expectation that, one single generation would be turned out in fifteen years and would become capable of joining the others and forging a march ahead. The programme as visualized, was rather good, but, what shape it has taken in the last fifty years is for all of us to see, and appreciate. The system has been misused by one and all, just for the betterment of each one’s fancy.
The Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes were, originally the only ones who were given this reservation, and that too for fifteen years. It was for this specific period only because, it was expected that, one generation would be helped to rise in this period. However, as we see it today, the policy of reservation has been completely changed in the span of the last fifty years. There has been unlimited extension of the policy for, no one knows how long, it appears as though the policy has come to stay for ever and its extension is also as though unlimited, with several more sections joining the bandwagon of the privileged reservationists.
A series of backward classes have now been included to be termed as the OBCs, and the latest category include in the list is of women. There are about than 50% or more of seats reserved everywhere for these classes, and where will all this end up, and, where will the so-called advantaged majority go, if reservations keep rising at this pace no body knows.
Reservations have come up in educational institutions, in jobs, in state assemblies, in parliament, in every feasible sphere. It will a wonder if this system is really going to help us raise our standards in any sphere at all, or will this become just a tool in the hands of a few, to forward their own interests, as has been upto this juncture. The reservation has been fitted only few families of any weaker section and not the mass in general. The reservation must be restricted to provide education to some state and give employment to one only one. After employment he should not be given any other facility and should be left to raise his family on his soldiers it self. Why a minister’s, chief minister’s or Deputy Commissioner’s sam be treated as poor and be given reservation once he is able to raise his family of its own.
Being of a reserved category should give a normal being a feeling of being someone less than others, but, in our present day scenario, it seems we take pride in being one of a reserved category, which shows an absolute lack of self respect in us Indians. Is reservation something we should hanker for, is it not charity that we want to progress upon? If we are a self respecting community, we should never want any reservation for ourselves. However, we seem to take pride and feel privileged when we are among the reserved class.
Reservation should not be based on caste colour or creed as it is now. The only plausible basis for reservations should be economic status of an individual. Those who cannot afford to be educated in Institutions of repute, and are really interested, should be allowed entry free in order to encourage them to follow their educational pursuits. They should be allowed to grow with the others, and not allowed any lenience in their passing, for, once they have the same educational background as all others, and not allowed any lenience in their passing, why should they have any further advantage over the others. Any lenience to them in the marking schedule etc., destroys the basic standards of our education, and beyond that, the standard of our workers.
Only economic backwardness should be the yardstick for anything like reservation. This policy in its present shape must be scrapped altogether, as, it is leading to more of heart burning than any progress of the backward classes. It is creating more and more confusion on the planning side and more cracks are seen to appear among different sections of society. By this policy what we are in reality achieving is, much too negative a prospect to be of any utility at this point of time. Most of the time we see that, in this process the brilliant children of the upper classes get stranded in their pursuits of education or job hunting because the vacancies are reserved for only the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. This puts in the mids of these good students a hatred for these classes, and this not wrongly so. So, instead of doing away with the class evil, the system is making the demarcation still deeper. It gives a sense of frustration to the upper classes and at the same time, an unwanted boost in the aspirations of the Scheduled Classes. They begin to feel that, their’s are the reserved seats so, they do not have to make any effort. In this way, the reservation policy is helping to widen the gap between the two classes instead of bridging it, for which the policy was originally meant. On the work front also, when we put in less capable people just because the job is reserved for them, the work bound to suffer.
Regarding this policy, if at all it has to be maintained indefinitely, it should be reservations only for the economically backward, and not based on any other criteria. Besides, reservations should be only for education and that also, only for those who are economically weak. There should be no reservations for anyone at all in jobs, for, when all have had the same education, they are all equally capable to enter any competition in the open job market, and all at par so no reservations are required. For this system, the education has to be spread even to the poorest of the poor and this education of the best quality must be provided to all free of cost to all people of all castes, creeds and then they should all enter the job hunting spree on their merit. Only if merit is the only criteria we can aspire to get the best quality of individuals getting the best.
Once when a person gets what he deserves, he will have no qualms about favouritism etc. It has often been seen that, all the cream of our children coming out of educational institutions are going out of the country. Of course money they get outside is one aspect for going out, but another important criteria for this is a feeling of frustration among them while in India. This is because, the good students do not really get in India what they truly deserve, for, in several places, the obviously less worthy are placed higher than them due to the very reservation policy. This can and is very detrimental in our achievement of quality.
The reservation has therefore become more of a hoax and a vote catching device rather than serving as a booster to the lower sections of society, and help them rise to any worth while levels. The policy was very well meaning in its original setting but, as time has passed, the policy has become as if a convenient cash crop for the politicians in the last five decades. This has been done just to serve their own ends and not to serve the backward classes. Like any other policy of India, this has also become a sham and deceit throughout.

Democracy and public oponion

Since democracy has been defined as, “the Government of the people, by the people and for the people,” the crucial role of public opinion cannot be underestimated. It is the public which gives its views about a government by exercising its franchise in the ballot box.
In theory yes, a democracy is a form of Government in which the people have a say in the day-to-day functioning of the Government through the representatives it sends to the Parliament. The very existence of such a Government is well-dependent on the people. So much so good, but, for the people to have some views on subjects of national importance, it is imperative that the public be of some standard of intelligence and knowledge. Public opinion plays a decisive role in making or breaking a government but the public whose opinion is so very important for the very government but the public whose opinion is so very important for the very existence of the government has got to be of some level so as to be able to hold the reins of the government, to the advantage of the nation. If this is not so, as we see in India, public opinion can be held for a price, it can be bought for a gift, then does such a public opinion have any value or relevance? If a purchased public opinion is to form a government then, Only God may bless or save the fate of the country. It is also quite appropriately said that, a people get the Government they deserve. This is but natural in a democracy for, the people vote to power, types of their own liking and standards, so if the public is uneducated, ignorant and fickle, what result oriented Government can it provide to the country. In such a case, public opinion cannot be really trusted, for, its opinions have been bought by the politicians or political parties for a price. An opinion so made can hardly be expected to last for long, for, it was never a well thought of opinion, it was just a purchased one. Moreover, such an opinion has also the inherent danger of being re-purchased by a higher bidder.
Besides being bought, an uneducated public can also be very easily misguided or, emotionally worked up, in order to get votes at the ballot box. Now, votes got in this way have to be maintained also in the same way, and so this business of give and take goes on endlessly, and the poor illiterate public is taken for a ride. They vote for people for their face value, and taking their speeches as gospel truth but, as soon as the politicians take command of their gains, the voters are clearly and unfortunately forgotten. Thus, the politician only exploits the ignorant and uneducated voters, and make them act as per their own ends. This sort of a picture of democracy is so truly prevalent in India because, our masses are ignorant, uneducated and emotional. They get carried away by the high sounding words, patriotic speeches, and they achieve no goals. The picture is such that, no matter who wins in the fray, the poor common man, who is the backbone of the democracy, gets noting in the bargain. He continues to remain where he was, just to be satisfied with imaginary power in the set up of the Government, and to be remembered only after five years when, once again he will be the all important hand in the formation of the new Government. He will once again see rosy pictures of his future, and the politicians of the highest price will keep ruling. This misrule of our Indian democracy continues to persist because the backbone is very weak being misappropriated. How can a strong body stand straight and firm on a weak backbone?
However, today, after fifty years of misrule, the Indian electorate has somehow become a little alert and has started realizing that, he has been used and exploited by the politican for his own ends, but, since he is uneducated, the poor voter does not understand how he can get out of this rut of being misused. He does understand the misdeeds of the people in power, but he still does not have the insight of how to remedy the present ills of the country. The voter has at last realized that, he has been used as a pawn all these years, and has got no gain in the bargain. At times now, the common man also raises a voice but, again his being uneducated becomes a handicap, for, he usually raises a stir on irrelevant issues which just get brushed aside. He fights for non-issues, this again just because he does not know what to raise a stir for, and how to get about the tackling of issues like inefficiency corruption and other misdeeds of political big wigs.
In such a situation, it can be really said that, a democracy gets converted into a mobocracy, and, public opinion, the backbone of the democracy a mere sham. Getting public opinion has just become as style and eyewash for, what the politicians have been doing for so many years is only imposing there own opinion on the illiterate public.
For awareness and arousal of public opinion, the Television and the press can play a very dominant role. They can help in building public opinion and explaining problems to the masses. However, in India, the politician has managed to get such a tight grip on the media also that this is also mostly tainted, unbelievable and even wrong. With such an aura how will we ever have the correct public opinion built up, on any issue of national importance. This is just propped up by speeches of politicians and tainted media, and, when this works upon the uneducated masses, a messy decoction is the result, as is so evident in India.
Public opinion which is the very essence of a democracy is a hollow farce made up by tales workings on the illiterate masses. Thus, it is very clear that, democracy is meant for a highly educated country where the masses can understand, think, and view all issues and then give their consent. Besides, a democracy is meant for a highly disciplined country where, the masses know that, all rules and laws are meant to be followed and strictly obeyed. A country where the general public is highly illiterate indisciplined, and in a permanent readiness to break any law made, is, absolutely unfit for a democracy. The opinion of such a public can be of no use for the improvement and progress of the country. To cap it all, where, the highest rung of the ladder, the politician is corrupt and unmeaning, the face of the democracy is destroyed and public opinion is not more than just the view of a few selfish politicians, who only work up sentiments and get the desired opinion.
Thus, we can see that, India is the most unfit country for a democratic set up, and its public hardly fit enough to have any opinion. Above all, the politician here is the most corrupt class, and has intentionally kept the masses uneducated for five decades as, he can play merry hell only when, and till the masses are unaware. The democracy of India is in shambles as, the backbone is too weak to hold the system its full lease. To summarise, the democracy, in India, the twins of democracy and public opinion are both dead, or at least taking their life breaths from some internal strengths.

Are we National?

When we talk of being national, we mean to measure our love for our country. Let us peep into ourselves and find out whether we really love our country. Each state that makes up the country, has its own and old culture. This is why the people of each State owe allegiance to their State before they owe anything to the country. Doing this, they seem to forget that, the state that they call theirs, belongs to India and has no significance of its own. Each integral state, they forget is an part of India and cannot exist on its own without India. It is for all to understand that, it is India that is an entity in the sequence of the world and not any individual state.
What nationalism or a feeling of love for the Nation can do, can be well ascertained when we study our National Movement for Independence. This is the most glovious example of India an National which escalled as the Golden Age of India’s Nationalism, and a Golden Chapter in Indian History. Besides this great saga of events of an Era, India has never before or after depicted the same spirit of Nationalism, and least of all we find it in the present day scenario. It is obvious that we lack the spirit of nationalism because if we had the spirit, India would not have been such as easy target for multitudes of invaders in the past. Even the Muslim and British regimes in India could be a reality in India because we lacked the inherent discipline and feeling of oneness among ourselves, and love for the country.
As far as the present scenario is concerned, even when we have entered the 21st century we still have no love or loyalty for our nation. If there was love for the motherland, so many Indians would not go and settle in foreign lands, just because there they are more comfortable. If we were really loyal to the nation we would learn from other countries, come back, and improve our own.
A very glaring example for us to learn from is that of what the British did in India. They came here, ruled over us, and, in the process made their own country richer with our riches but, they never left their country to settle here. On the other hand we, not having any love for own country, allowed them to do what they wanted to, because we were never proud of our nation country and in bargain, the British looted all that we had, and then went back home. This is what love for one’s country is all about. We see a large brain drain to the West, because they are good paymasters and there working conditions are congenial. They can take the reins in their hands, and create the congeniality and economy here. This would help in the prosperity and progress of their country also. But, they prefer to go and settle in foreign lands because obviously they have only love for themselves. There own prosperity and the love for the country has no place in their sentiments.
We would do better in trying to help in the march ahead of our own country to progress rather than just ourselves. This happens because of lack feeling called nationalism, within us. What we could have achieved if we had the blood of nationalists like the one who gave us the gift of independence. That was just once, yes, just once when Indians showed their unity to become one and that we love our country. This shows that we do have an inherent or built-in oneness among people which has come out to stand the tests of time. This feeling is lying dormant somewhere within us, and we just need an energizer or a leader like Gandhiji, who could steer us together.
We have no national feeling, we take no pride in being Indians, which goes to depict the extent of bankruptcy of nationalism in us Indians. We have completely lost our identity, and got merged with the West. India is known all the world over by its own heritage, and if we lose that, we will lose our identity in the community of nations. We should rise up from just residents of states and realize our selves as residents of India. Only if we do this we may have a rich breed of nationalists. If we had a feeling of Nationalism our politicians would happily serve the teaming millions, instead of building empires for themselves.
Thus, it is so sad for us that this lack of one sentiment in us is ruining us and uprooting all that was the best in us. Vow to give it up.