Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Stock Market Scandal: Role of Banks

The Indian economy is in the throes of a recession. But its fundamentals are still strong. But the Indian stock market is not going with a steady rise and it is more or less fluctuating towards a downward trend. The forex exchange situation of the country has slid a wee bit from $30 billion to $27 billion, but that still is a strong position. Inflation is low. Interest rates are pretty low, but picking up nevertheless. Short term interest rates have hardened, which is a sign of improving economic activity. However, capital expenditure and project financing have taken a beating, chiefly because excess capacities were built up during the heady days preceding the current slowdown. Since demand has not lived up to expectation, these capacities have remained idle.
It was a paradox to observe select non-banking finance companies (NBFC) stock rising on the bourses when Reserve Bank of India unleashed tighter norms regulating these companies accepting public deposits. The outcome of the regulations would be to make the scenario more competitive and reduce the overall spreads thereby impairing profitability. On the other hand, RBI has failed to stipulate what action would be taken against those who default in repayment of fixed deposits, fail to meet the required criteria or exceed the prescribed limits. Surprisingly, fixed deposits accepted by an manufacturing companies have not been touched by the fresh set of regulations. As a result, the objective with which RBI initiated new regulations is not clear. It seems to be just to reduce the number of NBFCs in the country. Rather the objective should have been to discipline the companies accepting the fixed deposits and initiate strict punitive measures against those defaulting in repayments and those exceeding the prescribed limits. The only good step is that companies getting owe than A rating would not be allowed to access deposits from the market.
The year 1997 could probably be looked at as one of the worst years for the primary market in the recent times. During this year, only 128 number of offers could tap the market through corporates mobilized Rs. 5032 crores against 1445 issues in the year’95 which mobilized Rs. 14576 crores and 1183 issues raised Rs. 12400 crores in the year ’96. it seems to be the repercussion of plethora of issues that had tapped the market in last three years and thereafter left their investors in the lurch. All types of companies flooded the market with many issues during the last three years. Investors invested their hard earned money in hope of high returns, but contrary to their expectations there were no buyers for their investments. This resulted in no quotation of these companies today leaving aside any returns on investments. Belatedly, regulatory body awoke from its slumber and tightened the entry barriers, specifically related with finance business. Now as per the SEBI guidelines a manufacturing company needs to have three years dividend paying track record to tap the market. A new company can come to market only if it has five percent participation of FIs / Banks in their projects.
From the face of the Indian stock – market, the small investor has been virtually wiped off. It is evident from a recent survey by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce that the household’s sector investments in shares and debentures have dipped since 93 – 94 and now account for just 0.5% of the gross domestic product. Much of the apathy of the small investor can be attributed to the poor state of the country’s primary and secondary markets. While some of the basic reasons behind the decline of the primary market are macro-economic, such as the credit squeeze in the economy. In the secondary market also, excessive speculation, sharp volatility, and systemic problems played havoc with the small investors’ confidence in the capital markets.
As a direct sequel to the present debacle, record competitiveness is a persistent argument for a weaker rupee. And how, as an extreme measure, the Reserve Bank of India has hardened its stand to prevent a further downfall in the rupee. From this standpoint, it is time to look at the fundamental issues which intrinsically guide the movement of a currency, like interest rates which can affect stock markets to a greater extent. Clearly, some banks are yet to learn their lessons. In the circumstances, it would be a gross mistake to assume that the round of hikes in Prime Lending Rates is due to any lack of liquidity in the system at large. We must distinguish between what is essentially the consequence of an asset – liability mismatch in individual banks and a systemic problem for banking sector as a whole.

The United Nations

The United Nations came into existence in the year 1945 i.e. the year in which World War II came to an end. The World War Ii had caused great miseries and destruction throughout the world. Cities and towns were ruined and industries destroyed. Hundreds and thousand of people lost their lives and livelihood. Then mankind could understand that waging wars of this magnitude was the greatest folly. It became clearly evident that the next world war would be far more fierce which could destroy the whole of humanity and the world. It was thought that enormours wealth which is spent on wars could be used to bring happiness, prosperity and development for all the nations. It was this very though that gave birth to the establishment of the United Nations.
The first and foremost aim of United Nations Organisation (UNO) known as U.N. is to promote peace and security for every nation by avoiding every kind of war. UNO also made a declaration of human rights which included right of every human being to live as a free citizen and have equal rights to education, travel, worship and no discrimination based on religion or sex. The UNO has been trying very hard to implement these human rights through the active support and cooperation of the member nations. During the last fifty eight years of its existence, UNO, through its most important organ the Security Council, is trying its best to maintain peace among the member countries. It is always ready to listen to the problems of the member countries and tries to sort out them through discussions at various forums. During this period, UNICEF which another agency of UNO is helping various countries in programmes of education of children, in teacher training, in the education of disabled children etc.,
Many countries have been benefited from the works of UNICE. One such programme in India is ‘Anganwadi’ for the development of poor children for their education, health and entertainment. Another important organization of the UNO is the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is helping nations to improve their health services by preventing spread of diseases.
UNO has still on hand various problems with which it started fifty eight years back. These problems are many and varied out of which world peace and security of each nation are the basic problems. Then there are problems of poor health, lack of education, uncontrollable population growth, poverty in many countries and illiteracy. Now everything depends upon how all these problems are tackled. The UNO has taken the lead role in preventing the use of atomic and other destructive weapons. Now there are signs that the world is gradually realizing the dangers in production and piling up of destructive weapons.
The outbreak of war on various occasions has been prevented by U.N.O. A war between England and Egypt over the question of Suez Canal was prevented and it checked the Korean war & Arab – Israel war from turning into a world war. In fact, UNO is the only hope of world peace in the present scenario. It is the efforts of UNO that ceasefire could be achieved between Irag and Iran and thus a decade old war was stopped from turning into a World War. It has also tried to solve the problem of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, though this issue is still lingering on and Pakistan is trying to take advantage of everything and at the same time creating terror in the valley.
Many countries think that UNO is dominated by the US block and it is not able to work impartially. They believe that UNO could not do anything to solve the problem of Vietnam which was attacked by USA in a very severe manner. Also the genocide of East Bengal could not be stopped by it. Even Israel invaded Leabanon and massacred thousands of innocent Palestininians and UNO could not do anything. The big five countries make the working of UNO ineffective by exercising their veto power at the time of crucial decisions. It was only after twenty – five long years of efforts that Red China got its appropriate status in this organization. However, in spite of all such shortcomings, the membership of UNO is increasing with the passage of time and always more & more countries are opting to be member of the UNO. To make it a big success, it requires the help and cooperation of all the member nations. It is essential that membership of the Security Council should be increased so as to give this organization a universal look for welfare of mankind. No single country (USA) should be allowed to dominate the proceedings of this organization. This world power rather should work with a constructive and progressive attitude towards all the nations.

Terrorism The Social Evil

Terrorism has become a world wide phenomenon these days. What precisely do the terrorists prefer to call themselves when they gain nothing by attacking common, innocent people whose death or maiming does not better the strategic or tactical position of terrorists. Common man begins to hate them and is ready to denounce them as soon as he thinks it safe. Thus terrorism becomes a social evil.
Terrorist acts can hardly help their perpetrators towards realizing political plans and programmes. Unless, of course, the terrorists are funded by outside powers that have no considerations and sympathy for their slated cause but are interested in destablilising the victim nation. Today, those governments which support terrorism in adjacent areas and think that the result would develop into a Vietnam like situation, are heading for rude disillusionment.
Terrorist groups have usually sought to justify their cowardly attacks on uninvolved persons and destructions by claiming that it is done for the “patriotic purpose of freedom and sovereignty” Debate has often tended to centre on ways of looking at it. In fact, crime by one is considered as a revolution by the other. This appears to be more and more of non-sense.
The killing, maiming and kidnapping of innocent and unconcerned persons in terrorist act, such as recent bomb blasts in Delhi, is just plain crime. United Nations has also now given its seal of authorization to this view. The bomb blasts are in addition to terrorists killing by gunfire and destruction of places of worship. There is no reason for the killings other than, apparently, to create panic and instability in the local administration. Innumerable killings by gunfire or bomb explosions have taken place in Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and in other parts of the north – east, and various other cities.
The evil of terrorism has grown basically in two kinds namely political terrorism and criminal terrorism. Political terrorism seeks to achieve its political gains by spreading panic and creating fear in the hearts of people on a large scale. Their ultimate aim is to get political power through there muscle power. Then there is criminal terrorism which indulges in extracting large amounts of money as ransom by kidnappings and hijackings etc. Very often it is found that terrorists have received their training and guidance in using various weapons from various terrorists outfits. Terrorists operating in Punjab were found to have all training, weapons and other forms of material assistance from a neighbouring country. Also all terrorist groups, which are active in Jammu & Kashmir, receive their assistance in all respects from an adjoining country.
The unity and integrity fo our country has always been threatened by the forces of terrorism. For dealing with terrorists, our government passed the Anti terrorist Act which provides for deterrent punishment for terrorist acts. The Act has also provision to punish anyone indulging in “disruptive activities” which may lead to harm the sovereignty or the territorial integrity of our nation. The use of religious places for political gains, for taking shelter by anti-social elements and for creating communalism has also been prohibited by enactment of laws. Terrorists actually continuously change their hide – outs and their tactics to prevent arrest and punishment. Even if they get arrested they try to commit suicide using poisonous capsules or they are killed by their own associates so that, no information is passed on to the police under severe punishment.
The law enforcing agencies alone cannot curb the acts of terrorism. To remove this social evil, terrorism needs to be controlled through negotiations to usher in an era of co-operation instead of confrontation. The UN General Assembly also adopted a twenty – four article International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings by means of a resolution : “Criminal acts intended to provoke terror in the general public or a group of persons are unjustifiable, whatever be the considerations political, religious, ethnic or ideological.
To tackle the problem of terrorism in India, it would be worth while to identify its causes in order to work out a strategy. It is observed that terrorism is direct action not for achieving something but for quenching the fire of vengeance against those who are responsible for their misery. A conciliatory approach is the need of the hour. Confrontationist measures will not solve the problem in our contry. It is essential that the warm – blooded youth, especially those who have a tendency to take to terrorism must be involved in decision making processes. There should be quick and right decisions. No injustice should be done with anybody. Good examples of honesty and integrity will have to be set forth by the leaders themselves. Their actions must be faithful and above board in order to inspire confidence in one and all.
Our whole educational system also needs to be restructured and streamlined. It should use each ounce of energy of youth for constructive purposes so that they may not be induced to adopt violence as their creed and dead.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Failures are Stepping Stones to Success

Success and failure go hand in hand. Success gives us a sense of joy and pride and failure discourages and depresses us. But we should not forget that in the battle of life, failures do come. In that case we should not lose heart and give up trying again. Man is imperfect, so he often stumbles in life. Misfortunes try him, as fire tries gold. Failures appear to be unpleasant, but they are helpful in many other ways. They are our best instructors. Each time we fail we learn some lesson. We come to know the reason of our failure. In the next attempt we guard ourselves against committing the same mistake.
The experience we gain each time makes our path of success smooth and easy. If we give up trying as soon as we meet with failure, we remain defeated in life, though we may possess the necessary strength to reach the goal. Experience, they say, is the best teacher. We, at the same time discover our hidden powers. Every failure makes us more experienced than before. They should not be regarded as an inefficiency of the person concerned. If a man, armed with the experiences of failure picks up courage and goes on doing a thing, success will be his. So we need not feel ashamed if we fail in any undertaking.
Every one aspires for success in life. Only a few lucky persons manage to get success. Often it is failure which falls to the lot of most of the human beings. Is the failure something deplorable? Is there anything good in it? Do all successful people feel happy? Such are the questions that arise before all of us. The answer is that failures are not deplorable and every success does not contribute to perfect happiness. In fact, happiness is not the outcome of failure or success in life but it is a mental phenonmena.
In a happy mood a man tolerates a failure but in a sad mood even a success doesn’t give him any joy. Failure and success are the two relative terms. Failures provide experience. After all a man learns by experience. Failures are stepping stones to success. King Bruce of Scotland fought for the freedom of his country. He failed many times but he did not lose heart. Ultimately he was successful in his objective.
We must study the causes of our failures, and realize our defects. It will surely help us in achieving success in our attempts. Failure, therefore is not a hindrance, but a help, not a bane but a boon. Life is a sum total of experiences and failures. It adds to our experiences and opens our eyes.
Failures make a person bold, active and vigilant. Failures and defeats make a cowardly person to lose heart but these inject vigour and enthusiasm in a brave man. Failures provide a chance of self improvement. So in order to make the most of their use one should face them boldly and cheerfully.

If I Were The Principal of My College

The present educational system in India is not able to fulfil its purpose in guilding the students towards building of a strong and prosperous nation. The present system is not suitable to the needs of our country. This is perhaps because the present system was established and promoted by the British rulers to suit their objectives. They wanted the Indians to be their slaves forever. As such, immediate and appropriate steps are needed to reform this prevailing system of education. New education policy needs to be implemented at a faster pace.
If I were the principal of my college, I would try to make my college as an ideal college by introducing various reforms towards attainment of high objectives needed as on date. Firstly as on date, it is seen that the character of students is getting deteriorated. I will give proper care and personal involvement to improve the same. Only bookish knowledge will not be pumped into their heads. All efforts would be made to enhance the moral, physical, mental and emotional intellect of students so that they can be sincere to their studies. They will not treat education as an instruction only, but they will treat it as a ladder of information and knowledge to heights of success.
Another important aspect is to have highly qualified and dedicated teachers in the staff of the college. It is the hard work and goodness of teachers only which can win hearts of students and make them honest towards their studies. I would like the teachers not to be harsh and be sympathetic and they should not find fault with students. I would like my teachers to set examples by their deeds so that students get inspiration from the quality of personality of their college teachers.
I would provide the best equipments in laboratories of my college. It is not the good and vast building and costly and decorative furniture which make a good college. Rather the latest and modern technology in imparting the education should be available in the college like computers and inter net, e-mail etc. The best updated books will be provided in the libraries. The students would be encouraged to make books as their best friends and devote their extra time in libraries. Thus the students of my college will keep themselves apprised world knowledge on all topics and they will compete better with outside.
On the main bulletin – board, interesting and knowledgeable news will be displayed daily. To improve the general knowledge through entertainment medium, radio and TV may also be got installed where students can spend their vacant periods.
To keep the students physically fit and regain their lost energy in studies, sports and games will be made an important part of education. The hostel students will be asked to get up early in the morning and advised to have some exercises or do jogging and breathe fresh and pure air. The sports will not only refresh their minds but also keep the students more active and healthy. I will try to provide the complete infrastructure in my college for best sports activities. I will stress the students to take interest in Indian games like Kabaddi, wrestling as well. Participation in sports will be given due importance and weightage.
I will improve the working of administrative wing of my college. The clerical staff will be advised to be co-operative and polite with students. They will be asked to listen carefully and grievances or hardships of students and try to solve them in the best possible manner and quickly. Any unresolved problem could be brought to my notice immediately. I would also try to take care of the working hours of clerks. When they have to given extra pay for over time in addition to other regular incentives for achievements of the college. College peons will be given proper uniforms and advised to help every student wherever required.
I will not discourage election activities of the students. I will observe that they conduct fair election of their representatives or office bearers. After all, these students are the future citizens and leaders of our country. They should know how to install the best governments. I will spread prevalence of democratic spirit in the college. However, I will take very strict action if any body is found to be misusing his freedom and he would be taught the value of keeping discipline. Rules and regulations of the college whether it is class-room, auditorium, play ground or hostel will have the top most priority.
To bring about any reforms in working atmosphere of the college, I will make a phased programme. And such initiatives would be taken with the co-operation of college staff and advice of old senior members in the board of the school. The college will be made a temple of knowledge where the students pay due regards to education as well as to whose who impart them education.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hostel Life

Hostel life is entirely different from life at home. Many parents prefer to send their children to hostel so that they are away from homely pleasure and learn to live and grow on their own. Hostel life provides the most ideal atmosphere for study. The students get more time and suitable atmosphere to do their studies, to get help or guidance for anything from their class-fellows and morever, from seniors who are living close by. Even a careless or negligent student starts working hard when he sees his room mate or neighbour competing for position. Thus hostel life inspires a lesson of mutual co-operation and the spirit of healthy competition.
The greatest blessing for students away from home is the independence in hostel life. No-body is there to question them whether they go to bed late at night or get up late in the mornings. Everone is a master of his own, in spite of strict rules and regulations of the hostel. Those who love freedom, like hostel life very much. Even during vacations, such students do not wish to visit their homes. Further there is no elder to check the activities. The student does not have to live as other members of the family live and he is required to adjust on so many occasions. He is to keep in mind the convenience of others and may have to study in spite of presence of guests at home.
In hostel life, a student may learn many good qualities after coming into contact with many other students from different cultures, states and walk of life. A student can get inspiration from other mates in hostel who daily go for morning walks or exercises. A single student can set good examples for other students in a hostel. The characteristics of a good hostel life are love, co-operation and sympathy for fellow – friends. All round development of the personality is possible by living for few years in a hostel. The students are always in touch with people of their own age and who have varied aptitudes and tastes. Friends can be selected based on your own choice and liking.
In hostel life, students learn a lot from the mutual discussions. Whether it is the political scene of the country or the criticism of a latest picture seen by them or about their favourite heroine or her or about a cricket match or favourite sportspersons, every discussion becomes lively and a source of unlimited information and knowledge. Then there are holidays, special events like eating competitions and indoor or outdoor matches which make hostel life a thing of envy for others living in homes. Further whenever any student falls ill, all other students take good care of him and provide him all type of help. They try to guide him for the missed periods of study in the classroom.
Hostel life has many drawbacks also just like the two sides of a coin. Sometimes, freedom of hostel life leads them astray. They find the atmosphere entirely new and free. They start following some spoilt children of the rich class and start asking for more and more money from their parents. They make it a routine to go to cinemas and waste time in only enjoyment and merry-making. Even some students start smoking, gambling or even go to the extent of drinking. They do not care for the hard earned money sent by their parents. However, such students have to repent in later part of their lives for not learning anything in spite of the best opportunities.
Hostel life can be made free from all above harmful effects by following specific and strict rules and regulations. These rules need to be implemented and not just written down for records sake. The management of the hostel should be professional and practical in approach to achieve the ultimate success of its students.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Today's Students Tomorrow's Nation Builders

The backbone of any strong nation is its students. Students who are the youth of a country help the nation in times of emergency, drought, floods or any type of riots. Students, by virtue for their energy, are best suited for tough jobs for building the foundation of a nation. They can undergo any type of sacrifice. Students have a fund of immense knowledge which if channelised in proper direction can prove to be of great help and value. Whenever the honour and freedom of a nation is facing danger, it is students who come to the fore front and protect it at the cost of their lives.
Students are full of energy and have sufficient time for their studies. Student life is not very long. As such, it becomes the duty of students to acquire as much information and knowledge as possible during this short period. Only them, they can prove themselves to be the true and proud sons of their motherland. Students have to build a high quality character during their studies because a nation is known by the character of its citizens. The moral character has gone downwards during about three hundred years of foreign rule. Students must learn from the very beginning of their education life the lessons of self reliance and sacrifice & sympathy towards the causes of nation building. Even in the classroom, they should live with love and co-operate with their class fellows.
A nation with indisciplined youth is always in the danger of extinction and can never prosper. Indiscipline can play havoc with the social life of a nation.
Today’s students will be tomorrow’s citizens. As such, if our students today start learning and following a disciplined life, then tomorrow they will be matured and disciplined citizens of the nation. These students can pave the way for building a strong and progressive nation in future. The will be responsible and honourable leaders in assemblies and parliament. Such disciplined students will not indulge in public property damage, burning of buses and killing of innocent people.
Disciplined students become literate citizens of a nation. They understand the dirty play of politics. They know how to keep religion away from politics. They will be proved to be best voters because they know the misue of various issues by political parties to win votes. Students should also try to follow the path of non-violence because violence leads to terrorism and loss of public property. Students should participate in reforming and contributing towards political stability but not at the cost of their routine studies. It is first education. Which is essential for them to help do something for nation building. They have to prepare themselves today for the bright future of the nation.
Today’s students should equip themselves both mentally and physically so as to make themselves strong foundation of a great nation tomorrow. They can build the best work force for the upliftment of the country. Today’s students will be required to tale place of present leaders who are going to retire in future. Moreover, today’s student will be the best judges to analyse the problems of future. Students have contributed to check price-rise, un-employment and unnecessary reservation. They have the capacity to spread the message of co-operation and sportsmanship as they learn the same while playing in the sports and games at various levels of education.
Students also learn the whole nation’s diversified cultures, people, languages and ways of living under different environments. As such, these students will be best agents of national unity and integration. Students learn to adjust themselves to new conditions under various hardships and, therefore, they can play better a role towards nation building.

The Union Budget

Budget making is the process of projecting expenditure of public money. Individuals are free to spend their own money as and when they like, and in any manner they like. They are also not accountable to anyone regarding this expenditure, except to themselves. However in the case of public money, all expenses incurred by the authorities, to do so, has to be done in accordance with certain laid down rules and regulations, and they have to be in the best interests of the country’s public, to whom the money really belongs.
The union of India presents a budget every year in the month of February. This budget projects the collection of the revenues of the government under various head, through a variety of taxes. These taxes are collected from the individuals of the public, organizations, products manufactures and imports and exports. This money is collected by the government, and, is intended to be spent for the welfare of the people. This is done by the government in the form of providing civic services, expansion of civic services, maintenance of the public and the country. The internal security and defence of the country and several other allied works are also the responsibility of the government, for which it collects taxes.
Various ministers of the government looking after the different aspects of government functioning draw out a revenue collection and its expenditure programme for the coming financial year which is from April of current year to March of the next year. Some wings of the government collect more money than they can spend, and some public service wings, spend more than what they are able to collect.
The budget proposal submitted by the different ministries are consolidated by the Ministry of Finance, which also does some modifications, in consulations with the concerned Ministries. After doing this, the Ministry of Finance tries to strike a workable balance between the revenue collections and the expenditure. A surplus budget shows more revenue collection than the expenditure incurred and a deficit budget show more expenditure than the collection of money made in the year. All the money collected by way of different categories of revenue goes to the Consolidated Funds of India, and then the expenditure is planned out of this fund. For any expenditure that has to be made, an approval of the parliament is required. It is for this purpose the budget proposals are put before a specially convened session of the Parliament, called the Budget Session of the Parliament. This is normally done the end of February, for the approval of the budget.
The proposals are discussed in every detail in the Parliament, modified on the basis of views of the members of Parliament. When the budget is finally approved by the parliament, the government starts spending and collecting as per the approved budget. These budget proposals are kept as a closely guarded secret till the budget. These budget proposals are kept as a closely guarded secret till the budget is presented to the parliament. This is done in order to avoid individuals and industries from taking any advantage with the advance information.
In the year 1998 a special situation arose due to the change in the government just at the time of the budget session, thus, the regular budget for the year 1998-99 could not be passed in time by the Parliament. Which led to a special situation. When grants had to be sanctioned in lump sums, and the approval of the Parliament was missing, a special situation had arisen. The budget that is usually passed and approved by the Parliament by February, had to be presented only as late as june, when the new government took up the task of working. This budget was thus approved and passed later after stormy discussions and some modification.
This budget of the current year, 1998-99 lays special stress on the infrastructure growth in the industrial sector, primary education, health care and other basic civic amenities. Since massive funds are required for all the above mentioned programmes, and these, the government neither has, nor is able to collect through a variety of taxes, the government has stared private sector investments, and is also encouraging an inflow of money from outside India, for investment here. The result of this has been a liberalized and competitive economy at the global level, instead of state controlled economy, practiced earlier, and which also failed to give the desired results. It is now expected that, with a greater flow of money from the private sector from within, and from outside, the country’s economy should improve and that, it will be able to provide better basic services to the common man.
In India, the state governments also follow the same method of budget proposals and sanctions. Their budgets are approved by their respective State Legislatures. However, if the state is under the central rule then, its budget is approved by the Parliament.
The budget is thus the picture of the revenues and expenditures of the year gone by, and the proposals for the ensuing year.

My Priorities in Life

Life has a lot to give to each one of us but, we must at all times remember that none of us can get everything that we want nor can we get all that exists in this world. However, we all do get gifts in this life, and punishments too, but it is so very typical of us humans to want what others process and think that others have more than us. Besides, we as weak humans never realize or count all the gifts we have from life. Most of us are apt to believe that, all that we want all others have, only we are bereft of gifts from life.
This basic attitude of human beings keeps us unhappy all the while. The basic cause of this is that, we never seem to feel gifted. In order to be happy we must understand one principle issue and it is that, we definitely cannot have all the gifts life has to offer. So, let us now fix our priorities – there we must say to ourselves, we must try to get what we have to fix our priorities in life in every sphere, our preferences and choice in life. For this, we have many examples of people in different walks of life, who become our ideals and whom we would like to emulate, if possible.
As far as I an concerned my priorities in life are very clear. Regarding emotions I would prefer to be a person who is loveable rather than a person who is feared for, I prefer to work for love rather than work with fear and get work done by fear.
This one emotion I feel can create wonders in life. It can change people beyond all recongnition and with love, work can be handled for more efficiently than with the stick. My priority regarding emotions is to become a person who is loveable and so, be loved wherever I go. This single emotion breeds other delicate emotions of respect and regard which I will automatically get if I get the gift of love, which is my priority.
Regarding appearance, a beautiful face is one that reflects a beautiful interior. No amount of cosmetics and beautician’s magic can make an appearance beautiful if it lacks the internal beauty of character and conduct. I would like to appear a personality with a beautiful interior rather than machine-made modern product of attraction. This is my priority whether I achieve it or no, is a matter of God’s gift.
In respect to a profession I feel no profession is bad, if it is done with sincerity. However the profession I would love to follow is one of Mother Teresa rather than of Bill Clinton or Tony Blair. The career of Mother Teresa is one which instills in the individual a sense of giving, which I first adore. Besides, even I were to be selfish as all of us human beings are, I would love to be Mother Teresa for she will really never be forgotten by this world. While Bill Clinton and Tony Blair will only find place in history books and will be replaced. However, Mother Teresa will stay in history books and in the hearts of millions of people and their families whom she served. She will always be spoken of, as a harbinger of love while Bill Clinton and Tony Blair will only remain to be mechanically declared heads of states. Regarding attaining wealth which has top priority in the sequence of thing today, my priority is to have wealth enough to live and if I get any extra, share it with god’s other children who may be less fortunate. Thus my priorities are clear in every sphere of life. The clarity is the fountain of satisfaction and happiness within me, with this I am sure I can avoid unhappiness for myself, my family and my friends. It’s my earnest request to all, that we must fix our priorities and try to achieve them. This will surely help us out of the maze of dissatisfaction. If we all do this, we will spread greater happiness in the world around us.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The need for Prohibition

Prohibition is one thing which is undoubtedly necessary but not practical. The nuisance of drinking is well known, its hazards for the family and society are also known to all but to prohibit it is not the answer.
Prohibition has been tried in India time and again ever since our Independence but it has never been successful. Instead, whenever and wherever there is prohibition, drinking starts with a greater vengeance. Even several social reformers have tried to uproot this evil but they have also been failures. Mahatma Gandhi was also against the habit of drinking and it was due to his influence that the AICC declared that, prohibition would be its main item of social reform. As a result of this attitude several ministries in several states imposed near total prohibition. Even after these five decades of effort the message is clear that, Government in 1996 – 98 also failed. It is by now, well understood that whenever an act is enacted, the first aspect we must study is that will it be possible to implement the act. When we do not possess the machinery to implement any law, it would be better not to bring the law than, pass it, and get it abused and disrespected. Besides this, a social evil can never be scrapped by laws. An evil in society has got to be dealt with by social awareness, and not by political enforcement. Let us be clear that social evils cannot be handled by political bigwigs. Social evils can only be handled if at all, by social reformers.
When the law of prohibition is enforced through the agency of law and police, people are encouraged to make illicit liquor. Liquor making becomes a house to house affair, a cottage industry of sorts, which I think is much worse than buying a bottle from a shop and then consuming it. Nothing is bad in its entirety. What is bad about this evil of drinking is an addiction to it.
An addict has got to drink no matter how and where he does it. While he can afford it, well and good but, as soon as his pocket does not afford it, he sacrifices everything else at the altar of drinking. He now starts selling his wife’s jewellery, all his belongings, just to be able to drink. His children suffer with malnutrition, they do not go to school as now, nothing can really be afforded as, the addict has his single priority of drinking and all else has got to be given up – even the necessities of life by him, his wife and children. Herein comes the real evil aspect of drinking. At this stage, the addict becomes a nuisance not only for his family but for the society at large. With several of such addicts, what will the society crumble to, can be well assessed. However, with prohibition laws having failed to deliver the goods, what can be the remedial measures is the question to be fixed uppermost in our minds.
Since prohibition has been tried off and on and invariably failed everywhere, and all the time, it is now time to look for an alternative method. I feel that, only social awareness of the people, towards the evils of addiction to drinking can make a dent on this evil.
Besides prohibition being a futile effort, it causes a great loss to the Government revenue as, now the evil goes underground and the government loses its income on the sale of liquor which turns out to be in crores. Prohibition could be useful only if its implementation was made possible but since that cannot be achieved, we can leave thinking of prohibition, and social awareness of evils of this addiction should be spread. This may possibly lead to persons leaving the evil themselves. Social reforms are best done by Social organizations and not by the laws of the government. This is because, laws force obedience and cause rebellion, while explanation of the evil will be understood and assimilated by people. It is now high time that, the government leaves tackling such issues and give this domain totally to organizations of social welfare.
Here I am sorry to add that the government of Delhi has on the other hand started selling the liquor on government run shops, so what can ve expected from the law and the law makers? Social organizations should come forth and voice their dissent, and in their effort awaken the citizens out of their slumler.

"Experience Keeps a Dear School, But Fools Will Learn in no Other"

When we talk of experience we mean that, we have seen and understood a particular system or thing, small or big. To experience an ogbject, an incident or a style is to have seen it understood it and also developed the capacity to visualize its impact reactions or repercussions. Whenever we have a particular experience, we have had to face the traumas involved, the pleasure deciphered and all that could be a part of it. It is this wisdom to understand the reactions of a particular action which is called experience. However, it is the plight of man that he realizes that a particular action is most likely to result in a specific way, yet, each one of us, yes, each one of us wish to do the experimenting ourselves, and refuse to learn from what the others have gone through. Most of us are inclined to believe that, we will not make the same mistakes the others made and so, we will not face the failures the others have had to face.
With this attitude we all wish to jump into tangles of undesirable experiences which we could very easily avoid if we learnt to learn from the experiences of others. In the bargain we suffer, we face failures and traumas, yet we refuse to learn the easier way, i.e. by the experiences of others. We find experimenting everything ourselves the most appropriate and probably, the only way to achieve. It is in this way that, experience and probably, the only way to achieve. It is in this way that, experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. At this juncture I am reminded of a saying that, 70 per cent of us are fools and the rest of us are in the fear of getting infected. When this is the position of our foolishness, we have to learn only after personal experiences rather than the experiences of near and dear ones. We must, fools as we all are, learn at the feet of experiments in failures.
On a very large plane, a very striking example that I would like to highlight in this context is the exchange of cultures of the East and the West, which is a topic of debate at several platforms today. The East lost in the maze of all that is dazzling progress of the West is trying its level best to ape the West even at the cost of leaving far behind its very rich and tried cultural strengths. In this bargain, we are losing what was ours, what was tested through annals of History. We are doing all this notwithstanding the debacles the West is facing due to its own cultural norms. The West is repenting for example, for all the freedom of sex and otherwise. The latest example of freedom of children showing itself in an ugly performance by children of the ages of twelve and fourteen.
The children of this size were lately involved in a murder of other children, and that also in a school. Seeing this, the United States is worried about too much freedom and exposure it has been giving to its children, at the young impressionable age. However, we even after reading about it, are not at all concerned about the result of freedom and exposure our children are getting. We refuse to learn the fact that, at the impressionable age children need more of care and less of freedom. We still continue to give or even increase the possible exposure to our children, all the time, waiting to experience the evils and the traumas ourselves. Is this not foolish?
We continue to grant all the licences of freedom to all and sundry and are as if, waiting to see the results. I do wonder how and why we feel that our children will never turn out to be so troublesome. As far as I think that, put into the same circumstances, all children will surely behave the same way. We should not believe that our children will never do what the children of the West are doing for, after all they belong to the East. Yes, they do belong the East, but if they are taught things of the West, they will definitely react the same way, there is no reason of believe in anything else. I do wonder why the experience of the West is not enough for us to learn, we must as if decide to learn the hard way, i.e. by personal experience. So, here comes the truth of the saying that, “experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other”.
The next glaring example of this we find in to-day’s life is in our running after the glamour of the West. The West, yes the average common man there is sick and tired of the wealth around him as, this is not all that an individual needs to be happy. They are coming to the poor East for solace in our simplicity and prayer. They are joining our religious cults to get out of the traumas that accompany excessive wealth and affluence. They are joining our Ramakrishna Mission, they are joining our organizations like Krishna Consciousness to get away from the dazzle of money and its power. Yet, we Indians, dissatisfied with our gifts of solace and belief in God, are getting lost in the maze and glamour of excessive wealth. I suppose we are once again, just waiting for the onslaughts of financial excessiveness. We will one day realize for ourselves that satisfaction that India preaches is the only solace to man’s paining nerves. This satisfaction typical of Indian tradition will once again return to us, but not without our suffering at the hands of affluence.
On the national horizon, these are the two glaring examples of East and West exchanging each other’s way of life just to test the advantages and disadvantages of each. May be both are wiser after the bout they have with experience.
On the personal level also, all of us try to copy each other, hoping that we will never make the mistakes others made, and so will be more successful than others. Regarding personal habits also, let us take a simple habit of smoking. We hear about people suffering due to cigarette smoking, we even see some suffer because of this evil habit but, we continue to follow the tread path because we are confident that such things cannot happen to us. So, I daresay that, even on very small issues we just refuse to learn from the experiences of others. We must watch and wait for our own experience, no matter how expensive the experience may turn out to be.
Thus it is very correctly said though experiencing may cause serious debacles for us, but we foolish human beings must experience everything yes, everything ourselves to understand the intricacies. How can we ever learn from the experience of others? For, if we did this there would be so much less suffering on the individual plane and so much less of destruction of generations. We continue to strive for what, we could easily shelve, and be the wiser for it – but no we have to prove the point that, experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.

What is Aethesm

What is Aethesm – let us try to understand. Aetheism is the non – belief in God. An atheist is a person who does not believe in the existence of God. He thinks that, god is a hoax, a farce, an aberration, a creation by the weak for their own protection. This is the attitude of an aetheist for, he thinks that, seeing is believing, and so, what we cannot see we need not believe. There is no sense in believing in an apparition as it would be – God
There is, I feel no harm in believing or not believing in God, but it is an aetheist’s attitude of condescension that is uncalled for and objectionable. An aetheist sees no one as great as himself, or as much as a doer as himself. Together with this, when he firmly believes that seeing only is believing, and, when God is not a visible entity, he is no entity at all. This logic appears to be quite rational but there could be no one no more blind than a person who refuses to see, even though he has eyes. I’d say that such a person is not blind but, he is adamant and obstinate. He only uses rationale and logic to undermine the idea, but, where does his logic go, when the obvious faces him?
Let us look around, towards any direction, to any distance, we will find God’s emissaries everywhere. The proof is in the Sun, the Moon, the stars, the greenery and, above all, the miracle of man himself. When it is so easy to see and recognize God, we continue to have arguments, holding discussions, and debates on the existence of the one who is omnipresent, for us to notice and feel. This blind attitude of the aetheist is really beyond comprehension.
The very existence of the world we live in is a living proof of the existence of God, what more do we need to see to give God a clean chit of His presence. I am sure that, at this juncture, the aetheist – the man will certainly say that, the world we live in today, is definitely not the creation of the Lord. The plea taken is that, did God create the amenities we all enjoy in this world today? Did God even come to teach us all that we have learnt to do to make ourselves comfortable? No friends, God certainly did not make these items for our use, and, neither did he come to teach us all this BUT – who gave man the computer of his brain, that has done so much to make life comfortable? This was certainly we man’s contribution. This was the gift of God.
We talk of mechanization, doctors, engineers and so many more who have made all that we see but, from where did the raw material – the brain come? We talk of machines – yes, man has made great strides in making and the using of machines but, once again, may I ask my aetheist friends, who gave the iron and steel, or the raw material for the making of these machines? When we read a book, we must at least sometimes, appreciate the author, and not forget him completely, for, if the author had not written the book, how would we enjoy it? We talk of gas, water power being using by the intelligence of man, yes but, once again, who gave us all these to be used – God. When we admire our achievements, we must never forget the giver of the raw materials, without which we could not have achieved anything.
Let us for a moment think whether man created or if man is capable of creating the raw materials he uses. Yes, man’s greatness lies in his ingenuity in using all these but, could he has created all this? Man’s greatness lies in using all the gifts of God intelligently but, let us be clear in understanding that, the creator of all these is someone else – Who? That is for us to comprehend, visualize and understand.
Another aspect in which we see the existence of some power greater than that of man is in the occurrence of major natural calamities. Such calamities befall the earth off and on, why? Has not man been able to keep a check on these in spite of all his scientific and technological knowledge? In spite of all man’s creativity, ingenuity, intelligence and know how, man has not been able to over power these natural calamities. They come only to remind man and specially the aetheist of the power, the real power that happens to be above and beyond our comprehension.
If the aetheist has only one code of understanding that, only seeing is believing then, I’d ask him does he not see the waterfalls, the mountains, the beauty of the world and the calamities, all in a package, from God, or at least from somewhere. Does he not see the hand of God in death of all that is living? Death occurs, even today, in these hi-tech days in spite of all medical advancements – why? This is because there is some power visible or invisible to people, who conducts all these programmes of life and death. This power keeps the reins of final display in his hands, and seems to exist in every nook and corner of the world, only as if waiting to be noticed by an aetheist, who has eyes, ears and brain yet, neither see nor understand him.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

White Collared Crimes

Crime – what is crime? Crime is an act, which is evil and is punishable by law – such as stealing, cheating and murder for personal benefit. From times immemorial, such acts have been done by people but, they were usually done by the poor, depressed just to enable them to make their ends meet. However, today the scenario of crime has also changed like every other. Originally, the traditional occupation of the poor, has now become the occupation of the community of people already flourishing in other businesses.
The world of crime has been now taken over by the so- called elite, the white collared gentry of the society. In this modern world of advancement and education, the one time prerogative of the poor is being shared by the rich and well-to-do. The world of crime has become sophisticated and they are in their world of crime, a method of mechanical advancement. Now in the end of the 20th century, the world of crime is no more the domain of the poor, but it si a profession of the elite, the affluent. Now, the so-called white collared educated class has a hand in the pie of crimes. The crimes of the white collared are increasing, and the crime of the poor of course continue so, the crime graph is continuously on the rise. The crime is increasing and the styles getting more modern and sophisticated. To some extent we can say that, the criminal of today handles crime without using his own hand, he organizes it so well that no one can ever suspect him, and above all, he seems to run a parallel government, an entire strength and a force. Now, the poor criminal of the olden times, well known for his association with crime, is now, on the pay roll of the elite criminal, who is well equipped with all modern facilities of conducting the crimes.
With the change of hands of criminals, the style and modus operandi has become sophisticated, and so this crime comes under the new category of crime, called the white collared crime. The methodology has changed, and of course the criminal is also an individual of high rank belonging to the affluent and educated class. Crime has always existed, ever since man realized that there were good things of life which he is bereft of, but it was always the avenue of work for the people who could not eke out a living otherwise. But today, why do the rich dabble in this art of crime, is a wonder. They commit crimes by proxy, on payment to the poor criminals on their rolls, so, they never get exposed – oh! what a hi – fi style of criminalization.
The modern criminal maintains a plush office, with scores of poor people serving him on meager payments, and the promise of secrecy. The real criminal whose gameplan the crime is, is never seen by the people who work for him. This sophistication has led to the poor criminal of the old, exposed to a double threat. One threat is the obvious one that, if he is caught, he is to meet the gallows. If he does not succeed in the crime, he faces the danger of being killed by his mentor. So, the so-called worker, is now exposed to a double risk, as he works for someone else. He has a double threat of being destroyed while, when the worked for himself and by himself, he only had to encounter the danger of the police, if he was caught in the act of crime. Today, he is at the mercy of the boss, who may destroy him whenever he feels like it.
In the olden days of less advancement or backwardness in the field of crime, crime was committed to gain some wealth. Though the objective is still the same – gaining of wealth, crime covers a much larger spectrum of activities. Not only are robberies committed, crime has taken a new shape and form. The criminals are not only looting people but are indulging in duping people of their hard earned wealth, in a variety of ways. For example, those who are in need of a employment are duped by people of the white collared community of criminals by running parallel employment exchanges.
The poor unemployed get themselves registered in these exchanges, little knowing that their employment will never come into being for the exchange is itself a hoax. People in need of driving licenses, are getting forged licenses. Those who want to pass an examination, get it done by buying the papers beforehand. These and many more are the avenues of work for the sophisticated criminals, and the list of their activities goes on. With their ingenuity, their education and their wealth at their backing, they continue to thrive in every nook and corner of the country. The horizon of the criminals keeps on increasing by the day, their wealth keeps on heaping up, his manpower is high and mighty, and the world does not know of him. Aha! Why do I say that the world does not know him – the world knows him but, as a big gun, a big sahib and the one who can do no wrong. The other side or rather the real side of his face is not known to the world, he is highly respected in the society.
The brain and the back-up support of the criminal helps him to establishing a network which is more intelligent and more sophisticated than the network of the criminal catching agencies.
One can see the hand of this white collared criminal in almost every sphere of development. The latest avenue is the sale of land. He is selling through his agents, the same plot of land to scores of people, all unknown to each other, and not known to him. They all pay him the money for the land and not one of them gets the land. It appears as if the land is in the custody of the criminal as a safe deposit, he can use it whenever he needs it to make any amount of money. In this way his money power increases, his Empire expands, and the irony of it all is that, he remains incognito, so there is no danger to him at all, in spite of doing so much of wrong. He still remains a through gentleman in the eyes of the world.
Thus we see that, with the advancement in all spheres, crime efficiency has also reached an all time high. The criminal is now, an unknown entity, working on signals, buttons and computers, and the poor worker on the ground being a mere tool in the hands of the boss. He is working here either to make his two ends meet, or he has been entrapped by the class criminal to attain his object, without endangering himself. If this sophistication in crime is allowed to grow, a day will come when these criminals will be wielding all the power of the country and the country will not be able to get out of their clutches. How I wish this ingenuity, this brain and planning and money were used for fruitful purposes for the progress of the country, we would have achieved manifold success in every sphere of our existence. We would not remained in the country of the third world for so long. The pity is that the community that can really help in the progress of the country, has got itself busy in manipulating its own growth instead of contributing to the growth of the country. This white collared crime must end for, it is the cream of our society indulging in this nefarious task of working as criminals. Only god can help a country where the backbone becomes a stick, and instead of helping the country to stand, is intent upon breaking it.

To be your own Best Friend

In this context, let us first analyze as to who is really a friend. A friend is, a person who fluids you correctly, advises you in time, gives you continuous support, moral, mental and physical. In spite of all this, a friend is one who criticizes you to correct you and not to belittle you. One would wonder why, a person who criticizes can be called a friend, this is because he does not want you to do something wrong, so, he is found criticizing you. He is really your best friend because, in spite of all your flaws, and drawbacks, he loves you. In reality he is critical of you only because he loves you. This friend does not wait for you to achieve something before he can be appreciative of you, he does not wait for you to ask for help or advice, it all comes as he is a friend. If this is, in a nutshell what a friend should be and is expected to be, the next step would now be, to consider as to who could be your best friend.
In these days of human deterioration, a friend of the above description is difficult or rather impossible to find. Then what should a person do if a friend is difficult to find? Living in this tense and charged atmosphere without a friend would be no short o just torture, yes a torture. So what does one do in the present scenario when, it is impossible to live without a friend, and a friend in the real sense, is a missing number to-day.
In these circumstances then, it would be most appropriate to become your own friend. Now let us consider how to get about the task becoming your own friend. This is very easy but, a cumbersome exercise no doubt to be your own friend obviously you have to do what the friend does for you, step into his shoes and start doing just as he would do for you and to you.
The first priority should be to love yourself, just as the friend does, for, if you love yourself, it would be well near impossible to decry you, and you would have created an atmosphere most congenial for yourself to bloom. Besides this, as we said earlier that, a friend loves us as we are, and inspite of what we are. This should not be difficult for you, you just remain yourself and do not copy any one else. You must retain the characteristics of your behaviour as, only then you will be able to respect yourself as you.
Next on the list of activities of your friend, you must learn to be very critical of yourself. A friend is a person who truly criticises you to find an improvement in you. So, by very analytical and critical of all your actions, this habit will help you improve in all that you do, and yet, you will continue to love yourself. Why can’t you criticize yourself, this is not difficult if there is honesty in your actions. Your attitude and behaviour will change and improve if the actions are critically monitored by you, just as your friend did for you. In this way, there is bound to be an over all improvement in the personality and you would have been your best friend. It is only when you understand your flaws and shortcomings that you will be able to help yourself as a friend does. By now you will have developed the capacity to understand your own capacities and view your own vulnerable points, and the work of a good friend would have been done. Now when you have done so much, to analyse and appreciate what all you really are, there are no possible restrictions on the furthering of your interests, plans and achievements.
Thus it may well be understood that, there can be no friend for you, who could be better than yourself. You can be your best friend as soon as you step into the shoes of your friend. At this stage the difference would only be that, the friend would no more be another individual in another human frame but, he is one – yes one with you, your own conscience, your love, and your true understanding without any biases. Once you manage to take up this dual role of your friend within you, there could be no stopper to your progress, your happiness and your achievements.
Thus you can be your own best friend if you take up the role of your friend, and find him within your own self, and the off heard slogan that we are two bodies with one soul, becomes the slogan that we are one body one soul. It would be a wonderful day when all of us could become our own best friends for, who knows us better than ourselves, and who can check our actions and behaviours better than ourselves. The result of this would be a world of no betrayals, no disappointments and no treachery of a friend.

Natural Calamities

Natural calamities are the calamities which are inflicted by God, or Nature, on man and his world. At these calamities, the unseen hand wreaks havoc in the part of the world it chooses to act upon. On these natural activities of nature no scientific or technological developments can wield any control. They can occur as and when and where nature ordains it.
Natural calamities can be of many different kinds, but the similarity in all, is their massive destruction in the area of their occurrence. The natural disasters are of many kinds, they are drought and famine, flood, earthquake, hailstorm and a cyclone. In the wake of all these, in one sweep there is complete devastation and destruction, due to which normal life comes to a standstill. Loss of life is well nigh complete, and belongings of people get lost, blown away or swept away. The scene is one of awe, of some unknown power that appears to wreak some revenge on the people of the area. One feels that, there will never again be life in the area, there will never again come up any construction in the area. But, nature plays its part in this also,and even after the most ghastly disasters, life has come up blooming as ever as before in areas of such devastation.
A very touching scene is of a drought effected area. In any country that depends on the annual rainfall for its source of water, if there is no rain, for the water supply, the obvious famine comes in its wake. This condition of getting no rain is called drought, and with it, as its automatic corollary comes famine. For with the scarcity of water there is no vegetation and food scarcity follows. The crops get burnt up with heat, the earth gets parched for water, and all life seems to be cracking in the heat.
Just the opposite condition occurs when there is a flood. A flood is another from of a natural calamity. On the one hand, we find men dying due to want of water while on the other, in flood we see them marooned by huge expanses of water. High rise buildings start as if floating in water, men, livestock, and materials get an opportunity of floating, swimming and even drowing. If this flood is accompanied with a storm then there is no panacea for the sufferers. With the impact of the strong breeze, trees get uprooted and there appears no hope for the survival of life.
Regarding an earthquake, Oh God, the earth cracks and creeps with the huge solid face of the earth moving light as light as a cradle, moving in a loving soft breeze. However, this cradle of love is no less than a destruction of the highest magnitude, and causes massive destruction as of the other calamities. The earth appears to be crying under the weight of civilization and breaking and cracking in places with an unwarranted speed. The result of this swing like action of the earth is, the occurrence of cracks big and small in different places and, the falling of huge high rise buildings, felling of trees and complete annihilation of life and materials.
A hailstorm and a cyclone also result in absolute disaster and breakdown of lige. The latest of such tragedies has been a cyclone in the Gujarat state of India. Trees have been blown off their very roots, and houses and huge buildings have been as if dug out of their very foundation, and all life has been destroyed or dislocated.
As far as India is concerned, I feel that, nature has been very kind on the one hand and very cruel yes very cruel on the other. I say this because, not one year goes when there has been no natural disaster. However, when such calamities do occur in India, the entire Indian machinery, Governmental or non-government does fear up to provide succour to the disturbed area. The Government sanctions crores of rupees for the rehabilitation of the people in the area, food and medicines are air dropped and the entire country feels and acts together. However, it is a matter of thought that, even after 50 years of self rule, the Government has not been able to take any concrete steps to avert such natural disasters. For example in Assam every year there is a flood in the River Brahmaputra and then the machinery is geared up to take the people out of the trouble, but, no success has been achieved in averting the disaster.
It is to be thought of why we have not been able to avert the calamities which are annual. For if know of a calamity that is to come, we should be able to save ourselves from it. At this juncture, let us analyse why and how these calamities have remained unchecked even when we are so deep into civilization and development. The obvious reasons to my mind are two – one that, we are not able to, and second, we are not sufficiently interested in removing the hazard. I feel the Indian scenario is a combination of the two causes. We are not able to check them and also we are not as serious as we should be in trying to prevent these tragedies. For example in Assam, as just mentioned, every year without fail, there are floods. Though there has been instituted a Brahhmaputra Board that has done some work to clean the river, and increase the stretch of the river bed, the floods come non-stop. This proves another point that, man has no power over the will of nature. Though to-day man thinks that he can do everything and nature is now irrelevant, yet, all his efforts to counter the pangs of nature fall flat and fail. The repeated disasters that befall on earth are a continuous reminder to man that there is always a hand that can undo all that man does. For if this was not true, man would be ruling like a monarch on earth without a fear but, as we all know, this is not so. Nature plays its game off and on and gives pin pricks to this self styled monarch to remind him of his drawbacks and disabilities, and keep him in a balanced state of mind.

Atrocities On Women

From time immemorial, women have been the butt of all the fury of men which shows in atrocities on women. They have always been mere chattels, to serve and please men, but it is their misfortune that, in return they have got only discrimination, hatred and torture. It is thought provoking as to how and why this could continue unabated for centuries after centuries, and no one yes, no one ever thought of the plight that women had to farce.
To my mind the most moot point in favour of male domination for so long has been his physical strength and his being the bread winner of the family. These two together lay all the pressures of domination on women and they could do nothing so they had to succumb to the male dominance. From the time of Manu, dating to centuries past, women have always been a distant second to man, in everything. I daresay that, this is not true of only backward countries like India but, subjugation of women is a reality even in the most advanced countries of the West like Britain and United States. Even in these two so called advanced countries, women had to fight for their right to vote, and women in Kuwait, are still bereft of this right.
Atrocities on women have been manifold. Let us take a birdseye view of the normal and average woman. As a child, she is not looked after or cared for like her brothers. She is not educated, her health is no one’s concern, as, she is not important enough to look after her health. She has no rights of any kind on her father’s property, no right to education, and no right to have any a say in any family matters. All this of course if she is allow – to live at all. In this context, I would like to mention that, in several parts of India, the girl child is literally killed within three days of her birth. She is burden in birth and after birth. Thus her childhood, if at all the sees the light of day is a bundle of unhappiness where she sees here brothers being tended and she being ignored. This scenario does not improve after her marriage. The life after marriage is just an uglier extension of her early days of childhood.
When she grows, she is married to whomsoever is chosen for her. Now, her family changes, her relations increase, her horizon expands, but, her fate remains the same. She is in the new family also just a servant like relation, who is brought as if for her own good. She is there only to produce children for the family and serve as an unpaid maid for the whole family of the husband.
Here, if the husband is not considerate she is in for a living hell. Just see the irony of her fate, she becomes here the virtual backbone of the family resting upon her for all their services, but, she is of no avail to the family, and in no count in the family – what a fate is yours woman. She can be abused, tortured, beaten without immunity, and yet she can not raise an eyebrow or reduce her work. If she has brought less dowry than promised at the time of the marriage, then, Oh Lord, she has had it, and the misery in store for her cannot be imagined. She only has to wait cautiously for the fateful day when her husband and her in-laws join their malicious hands and do a small trick of soaking her in kerosene oil, and showing a small matchstick. This would end her worries but, women will continue to be tortured so. After killing her so cruely, all the in laws, go free and possibly start looking for a new bride for the poor boy left alone in his youth.
From the 18th Century onwards, the march of women towards emancipation had started, and they have taken long strides to the direction of their goal. Today we see that, women have gone a long way, they have their rights to education, to work out of the home and the right in their father’s property. All that is theirs but, still, FATE remains the same, and refuses to smile at them. She has, actually in the bargain doubled her troubles. For now, even if she is working outside on a very lucrative job, her home is hers to look after. No matter what she achieves, she continues to retain her identity as a chattel in the house. She continues to be an unpaid servant of the house and an unsung warrior in the struggle of life. At one time it was believed that, all would be well for women if they could be independent and earn a living but, that was a misnomer, she has achieved so much but to no improvement in her status at home or outside. Life still has not much to offer even to the educated and working woman.
In many ways she has added to her woes at home and outside. At home she remains at the same level of a doormat, working day and night to do justice to her home and her job in the outside world also. Women working in offices are not too welcomes, they always encounter men ogling at them, sneering and jeering at them. They are paid in most cases less than their male counterparts. I must add here to my dismay that, men probably can not see women rise from the dust they have always been and try to crush them at every step and every step ahead is disastrous for men.
I’d say that, right from the cradle to the grave, life for a woman is full of atrocities on her whether they be physical, mental or spiritual. She is crushed to the very bone and is not allowed to bloom. To add to all this there has been a latest trend in the lives of women and that is, killing them before they are even born. The latest technique the scientist, a man, has found is a method of testing the sex of an unborn child. This test is called amniocentasis, and by this test on the pregnant women the doctors can certify the sex of the child, and, obviously, if the child is a girl, she is killed forthwith. Aha – so now we can destroy the child without being born if it happens to be a girl. It may appear to be a great achievement of the scientists but, I personally feel that it is a boon for the unborn girl. She is saved from a life full of tortures, differentiations and humiliations. At this juncture I daresay that, if male chauvinists hear and understand this side of the picture they may even stop these tests as, how can they bear to see a woman to be, saved from atrocities and unkindness of this man’s world.

A Good Leader

A good leader is not a product grown in fields or on trees. He/She is born to be a leader. There are quite a number of qualities that are essential for being a good leader, and I daresay that, those qualities cannot be imbibed in persons by training or teaching, they are inherent or inborn in a person. So I’d say that leaders cannot be made, they are born or are produced since birth. Now, the next question that arises is what are the qualities that are essential for becoming a leader? Can these qualities be taught or given by training? So we concentrate on discussions as to what the qualities of good leaders ought to be.
A good leader is a person who an lead the people in the name of an obviously good cause. For attracting a following a leader has to, himself be deeply involved in the cause only then he will get a following. We Indians have a glaring example of such a leader, in Mahatma Gandhi. He was determined to be non-violent and with certainty believed in the tenets of non-violence. He showed loyalty to the cause, faced at the trials that barred his way, so, he got his due return in the great following he mustered. Had he just spoken from high pulpits about non-violence but did not follow the tenets of his own preaching of non-violence, I am sure he would not have achieved the goal he did. Only when people see the leader do what he says or preaches, they do have a mind to follow him. This is an essential quality a leader of any stature must possess.
A leader must always be genuine in his targets to be achieved. The targets he talks about must be practical and he must be seen to be working genuinely towards the goals set, only then the leader will get a following. For there also we can look up to the leadership of the Mahatma. Had he not been genuine in his efforts, his following would have receded.
Another very important quality of a good leader is that, he must identify himself with the followers. He should not sit on a high pedestal, and from there keep ordering about. He must mix with his brood and work hand in hand with them. He must be able to step into their shoes and try feel and understand their problems and difficulties, and if possible try to solve their problems. He must make it a point to be one of them and one with them only then they will reach out to be the leader. The Mahatma remained one with the masses, he partook of the minimum of food and clothing typical of the common man of the India, and that was the secret of the huge following.
Now, these few qualities are absolutely necessary for a budding of a good leader. Now, let us think if we can really imbibe these qualities in men/women? I daresay a firm NO – NOT AT ALL. These qualities are within an individual and cannot be taught by any amount of education and training, they can be copied but not imbibed. A copy as we can well imagine can never be the same as the original. However, today we find a number of leadership courses being organized in schools and colleges etc. Yes, they may be able to teach the children that, qualities are essential for leadership but, it would be an exercise in futility if we expect that such programmes would generate the mushroom growth of good leaders.
Regarding the growth of leaders I think I can say that, India excels in producing leaders. It appears that they are grown here on tree tops and can be broken for consumption raw or pipe whenever required. It is such leadership in India which is creating the havoc we see everywhere in our country. I vouchsafe that, it is not everybody’s cup of tea to become a leader.
In the final analysis, I feel that leaders are born, this is because the qualities mentioned above cannot be inculcated in individuals – they are within an individual since birth. Leaders cannot be made, and, if we do make them, as we do so in India, we can see what happens. This is because they are not genuine leaders, wedded to their causes. They are not original leaders, made to lead, they are just duplicates created to steer a ship and most probably make it sink. It is this lack of good leaders account for the overall deterioration in India for, a good leader in reality is a difficult item to find. It is God who makes leaders, and it is not man, who can train men to become leaders. This is amply proved by the fact of children like born to do great tasks and to be leaders in their own rights. Such men are real leaders and I am certain that they cannot be coined by any human efforts. The leadership qualities are inborn in them, and are visible in them from their very childhood.

If I was the Education Minister of India

If I was the education minister of India, I would make very drastic changes in the education scene of India. In the last 50 years, the government of India has changed several hands, Commissions have been formed, reports have been made and received and gathered dust, but we are in the same situation that is not all enviable.
The main thrust I would give will be on the Primary Education. This area has been grossly neglected in the last five decades, and, that is why we find that, even after 50 years of our own rule, more than 50% of our Indian population is still illiterate. I would give top priority to this and encourage free education till at least up to the level of Vth Std. my resources would also channelised accordingly. For this is because I personally feel that, only when we expand and improve our primary education, can we produce a fine younger generation. It is at this age when we can inculcate values in the children, and it is only at this time that we can teach them the values the knowledge we give them. Once this age is past, no amount of sermonizing helps to teach the bigger children any values. Since this area has been neglected for so long, we have produced a generation of ill-behaved uncouth, almost barbarians. Education must be spread in the rural areas, where real India exists. All long the 50 years of India’s independence, education has been the prerogative of the urban classes, and this is why such a huge percentage of illiterate in the rural areas. So, if I become the education minister of India, I would lay more stress on educating the masses in the rural parts of India. Teachers would be sent there or picked up from there, and given handsome incentives to work for the country there, in remote areas. Their interests would be well looked after, so that, they would like to got and reach in the rural areas of India.
Next would come under my purview, the colleges and the Universities. To this education I would put a real stopper. In the last 5 decades these institutions have had a mushroom growth, the result being creation of places for the politicians to grow, to hibernate, for crime to take its toll and above all these institutions turn out multitudes of unemployable barbarians. In order to change this atmosphere I would make college and University education very, very selective. College gates would then be opened only to those children who are really interested in studies and do not come here only to waste away time, and only learn to be villainous. The affluent would, in my time, be made to pay a heavy fees for studying in these institutions and that also only if they were found fit to study. On the other hand, the poor students who are good in studies, but do not have the finances to study, would be sponsored by the Government for studying in colleges, to improve their prospects. The rest of the chaff that is now found to be crowding colleges would be diverted to colleges of vocational studies.
As the education minister, I would establish vocational colleges where, after class XII,
Children would be sent according to their personal choices of vocations. Here also, the affluent who join, will have to pay a heavy fees and the poor be sponsored by the Government. In this way, with a combination of colleges and vocational centres we will be able to channelise the children to their respective professions. In the bargain we would be providing employability to all the young men and women turning out of the various institutions. This will help in creating a mass of people who have the potential of being employed and also avoid unnecessary rush in the colleges.
Besides these, the Medical and Engineering colleges will also be made very selective, in their choice of students joining them. The fees here also will be high, and the education here should be self supporting. I ask why should the Government spend on these children who, mostly, after acquiring skills go to serve other countries. They should be made to pay heavily for being educated here, as after this education here, they will be more than compensated by working outside the country. All these years we have been spending huge amounts of money allotted to education on the children who go away as soon as they complete studies, never to come back, and all this at the cost of the poor rural children who are left bereft of even the basics of education. How far has this been fair to be poor can be understood by one and all.
If I never become the education minister of India, my approach would be enhance the status of the primary education an it’s reaches would be felt even to the remotest areas of India. It is these areas where we really produce our raw material. If the raw material is bad, or in short supply, how then can we expect the finished product to be upto any expectation.

Has Man a Future?

It is rather difficult to prophesy what is in store for man – but, we can assess to some extent man’s future by seeing what the position of man is today. There really can be no exact prediction about man’s future but, the present is the only indication from where we can make an approximate assessment of the future. Now, in this assessment also, there are bound to be wide differences as, each individual sees the present in a different perspective, and so, the views about the future will also be different, and so, the views about the future will also be different as they come from different people. There may be people who find the scene well set for doom while others there may be who find that the world and its man is on a continuous march towards betterment of life. These views have to be divergent according to the type of people expressing the views.
As far as I am concerned, I personally feel that the present is not pointing to a very fine future for man. When we discuss about the future of man, we have to analyse the scenario in its entirety. We can not doubt the affluence and luxury man enjoys today, which shows that man has the affluence and luxury man enjoys today, which shows that man has progressed immensely from the bygone days. This would imply that, if man continues like this, there is no scope for him to have a near bad future. However, this position of affluence and luxury is man’s present, but where will this same affluence lead him to is what will make or mar his future. Now, we say that, the gifts of Science and technology have given man all the luxuries of life, this of course can not be denied by anyone, but, the other side of this same blessing of Science if considered in its true perspective, is no less than a curse. This man sitting in all the luxury of the world, is also at the same time sitting on top of a huge stock of explosives. These explosives may blast ant any time and then all the luxuries of man will be gone with the wind. I’d say that today man is sitting on just a press of a button away from complete annihilation. If this side of the picture is given its due weightage, then, I daresay, the future of man is very very dark, or rather man has no future for, what is life that is being spent in fear of destruction. To-day, entire humanity is living on the brink of destruction, and no one can fortell what future has in store for a man.
Today, we also claim to be highly educated and knowledgeable, as never before, and believe that the future will bring complete spectrum of knowledge in our arms. The first point in this is that, knowledge can never be complete, and secondly as far as I feel, if all the knowledge we acquire, fails to make us human beings and we remain to be mere beings then. I daresay that we have no future in this field also. We are laying stress on all subjects for children and adults to study but, we have forgotten the basic result that must accrue from education – the formation of character. Knowledge is undoubtedly a power but, this power is also only seen to be destroying us. I personally feel that as long as human beings do not learn to be human, all the syllabi and knowledge hold no future for him. In this context, I would like to mention an old adage that says that, if wealth is lost, nothing is lost, if health is lost, something is lost, and if character is lost, everything is lost. So, in the light of this adage, man has already lost everything, so, from where can he expect a future?
In the sphere of health also, advanced medical practices have given man the gift of longevity, but, may I ask what is the use of a long life spent in the misery of long drawn out illnesses. With the advancement of medical know how, it seems that there has been a parallel increase in the fears of maladies like Aids, Cancer and the like. Never before were such things heard of. What is use that long life of which years have to be spent in the hospitals, ailing seeing and feeling the torture that life can be. In this scenario, I daresay, it would be better for man if the medical supremos found out ways of curing illnesses rather than leaving men to be tortured at the hands of crucial illnesses which have no cures. Given such longevity I’d say is a curse rather than a blessing as we are apt to feel. I thus say that, a long life at least in India has no future. A life is life only if we can live it happily and enjoy it, and not spend years of it on our death beds. I fell that in this sphere also there is no future for man. He still languishes in hospitals, and after a long wait gets his cherished end – death.
Besides these down to earth facts that make for life, we have still another very important aspect of life that is character. In this sphere also there can be no two opinions of the fact that there is complete loss of character. This has become a missing entity in the world of today. We, have become so very depraved that, in the future there is very little chance of the revival of this essential ingredient of a good life. So, as per the old quotation mentioned above, man has already lost everything by losing hold on character so, when all is lost, what can be future, is for anyone to guess and visualize. There can be nothing except absolute hollow of darkness when the present holds what it does. The future, to me is like a mirage, appearing to be when it is not there – there is no hope.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Money is Not Everything

Money is essential that brings for man all his necessities and luxuries for his comfortable existence. Life without money is undoubtedly a virtual hell, with pangs of hunger and thirst eating into man’s very bones. However, at the same time for man to think that, money is everything, is also a great mistake. Money is necessity only in as much as, it is the thing which buys for us all we need, but, beyond that, money is a harbinger of all sorts of vices. Let us remember that money is to be considered as a means to an end, and not an end in itself. The end, is a comfortable life, and the means is money.
If we consider money as a means to our end of having a comfortable life then, we would be seeing money in its proper perspective for without money we can not live as, we are not able to buy anything if we do not have money. So much, so good but, in the present day scenario, money is no more a means to an end but, and in itself. To collect money, to hoard money and become richer and richer has become our sole aim in life. It is here in our outlook towards money that we have erred, and so the disastrous situation we are placed in, is not hidden from any one. Each individual has set a goal of hoarding money and money only, and this also not fixed to a certain amount, we just have to go on and on irrespective of how much we need, for the lust for money has become our very style of life. It is a wild goose chase that we are all indulging in, and that, at the cost of all the rest we had.
True, money gives us all that we require but money is not all the only thing that we need to keep happy and fit. There are several other things that make life beautiful and mind that these can not be purchased with any amount of money. For example, a gush of wind from where we take our very breath of life, cannot be purchased at any cost. We can wear the most glamorous dresses but, to give health to that same body, no amount of money is enough. We can buy the thickest and costliest of mattresses with money but, no amount of money can buy for us a good sound, night’s sleep. These few facts are sufficient to awake us to the fact that, there are many other important things that make for a happy life, and money is not all. We should thereby give money only its due importance and not make it all important, for, if we do that, we are certainly going to sacrifice some other vital items of a good life. Now let us analyze to some extent how this money is capable of playing havoc in life.
In reality, the position of the society today, is far from being enviable, is largely due to this money mania that has caught hold of the society. Each and every individual is busy in his/her money spinning activities. At this juncture, I would like to mention the fact that in our Hindu mythology, the Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth has an owl for her transport. This is very significant as it is believed that the pursuit of money, as it is today; make an owl of a man. I’d say that we have all become money maniacs, sacrificing every conceivable pleasure on the altar of wealth. Is this not owlish sense? When we lose our equilibrium, we become the significant owls.
Today, we have sacrificed the bliss of a happy and contented family in the guise of material luxuries which, we think are all that we need. We have no time to love each other, care for each other or, serve each other in the family because each member of the family is busy in the struggle of making money. In this unit of a family, where, at one time the love we got was an elixir for our tired nerves, is now a missing entity.
On the other hand now, we have plush carpets, foam on our beds, and a beautiful dining table with, no one at home to share our joys and worries. This is what money has done to our family succour. The parents are busy making money and have no time, to spare for the children, the husband is busy buying diamonds for his wife, but has no time even to take a glance at her when she dons them. The wife is busy in preparing the office routine, but has no time for the routine service of the family. So, in this avenue of life, mony has done more harm than good. In as much as money was essential to buy for man his necessities and to some extent even his luxuries, it was good but, as soon as it became the be all and end all of life, it wreaked havoc in life.
On the social front also, no one has any time to be even aware of about the welfare of the neighbors and colleagues, as each one is busy not only spinning money but, spinning money more than the neighbor. When such an unhealthy competition exists for the hoarding of money, where then will a society exist at all. Where no one knows anything about anyone, no does anyone care to know anything about anyone, then, where does a society exist? The society has been blown up into fragments, with each family of the society only busy raising bank balances more than the neighbor’s.
It is this money and the lust for it that has afflicted uncounted miseries on man. All the competition that persists today is only to rise above the others not in any other way than just the other’s bank balances. Man has become so very depraved in this chase of money that he can do, and he also does anything; yes anything to get hold of money. Is this what money was meant for? Family squabbles, social bickering, political gains are all managed for the sake of this money. This is why today; no one understands any language, except the language of money. For money people are killed children or even adults are kidnapped. It is for this money the modern sophisticated man has become a little less than a beast.
After having a bird’s eye view of the present scenario are we still in a position to say that money is all that we need? Yes, money is all important but, only to a limit. Once the limit of satisfaction is crossed it converts man into a mere animal, a brute and a devil. It is this excess of money that leads man to all sorts of crimes. We should realize that money is not all that we need for happiness, for, I daresay, the opposite is correct – and all the unhappiness spread in the world to-day is the obvious corollary of excess money in circulation, and the lust for it. The unhappiness and crime registered in these days of lots of money, surpasses the unhappiness of any times before this. In spite of so much progress and prosperity why is there so much of ill will, degradation and unhappiness? It is I think because we are laying too much stress on money and only money. The fact of rampant unhappiness goes to prove that, money is not all that we need to live, for, it is by now apparent that, to be happy, we need so many other things, which money cannot even buy for us. Now, the position is that, we have sacrificed all the finer needs of our happiness for this mundane money and the result is obvious and for all of us to see, and understand.
I suggest that a stage has now come when we must give up our on fighting for money and give it only the amount respect and importance it deserves, it should be treated only as a means to an end, and not an end itself, only then we will be able to strike a balance between the inputs of money and the inputs of other things we need to live a happy and satisfied life.