Education System


Last when I checked, there was a drop of 15% in the number of people following any religion and turning into non-believers in England, the land that has historically been at the center of Christianity. It seems to have taken a hit because of the shift in the culture allowing the directionless (for most part) younger generation to divert to become non-believers. The recent times in the western countries including the american continent has seen the younger generation distance itself religion and concept of god. What surprized me all the more that even in the countries that are culturally inclined, are conservative and follow eastern religions, the younger population does not seem to accommodate religion into their daily lives.

I’ve always enjoyed any kind of theology, I love to discuss about the ideas and impact of religious scriptures in human life and compare the flaws of today to the results and outcomes of the diverting away from the lifestyle discussed by our ancestors and ancient philosophers, scholars and scientists. However lately it has been more and more difficult to talk about the topic amongst friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. I wonder if it is the distance from the religion or culture they maintain is the result of lack of interest or knowledge. My discussions with few very close friends have led me to come to the conclusion that the education system around us, in the country may be the reason. I am also inclined to say that had it not been the colonial era and its imposed education system, we’d be churning out leaders and visionaries year after year.

It is not merely the theology, but the basis of it that enables a young mind to be rational, analytical and instinctive.  There have been debates about advantage of current education system being advanced, forward looking and modern however the sect that argues for it are also the output of the same colonial methodological education system, who do not understand the other side and thus by no measures are qualified to disagree or talk against it.

I was lately questioned, while the world is moving towards the future, I expect everyone to go back ? A valid question I said to myself, however, then I realized that in 18 years of education, I was myself bred to become a servant. In 18 years of education, all I was taught was how to make sure I earn a hefty sum of money so that “I” earn a better life. I don’t blame my teachers, but apologetically, I do not remember a teacher who taught me to worry about the state of affairs in the country. I also do not remember any teacher who’d have taught me to live a life of self reliant. I’ve been taught to be practical, I’ve been taught to be realistic. Sure I’ve been asked to dream big, but that big wasn’t big enough. I was not taught to be a great leader nor I was taught to bring a change of any sort. Instead, I’ve been taught to accept the change and move on. Move on – is may be gist of what I’ve been taught. Move on, and look for avenues to make only “my” (or my family’s) life happy.

Result ? Corrupt practices everywhere, selfish money minded rat race, distressed family relations, child and female abuses. Youth today enjoys MTV Rodies and Splitsvilla. Our movies are like Yeh Jawani Hain Deewani and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Our young generation seems to be wasting their youth behind only how to get rich. Our parents seem to be pushing hard for them to have great future. Which may be fine, but who will care for the society and those who aren’t so able?

There was a reason behind a caste system. Although the hierarchy has marred it completely, causing oppression and rebellion and thanks to our opportunistic leadership and selfish citizens that lacked a quality education. The idea for caste system was to have a defined job for each person in the society. Nevertheless, I do not feel like getting into it at this time, but the idea of people without vision and will to work. Even the able are busy being more able, while the ones that are not so able remain so due to lack support.

If the 18 years of my education lead to being a servant, what is the point of this education ? If all it takes is 3 months training to be able to talk in a programming language why did I spend 16 years ? More over I spent 2 more years to learn to glorify it and be able to present to someone who does not understand it. I do not disagree with the university education for most of the times it is useful for enabling someone to earn a living, But an education without learning basics of how to live a life, without learning what to do as a human or even without learning how to live in a society is a likely cause of the problem in the country.

I will not blame any teacher or parents, for they too are a part of same education system, but I will most certainly blame the colonial era that brought this change in the name of advancement and modernity to gradually break the backbone of our country that mostly brings out glorified slaves and servants.

Objectified


Having been away from blogging for a really long time, I have felt the need to take a fresh stab at it once again. Over last couple of years, I have accumulated a very varied perspective of life and wish to engage myself in pouring my thoughts on this content forum. I have also given up on Facebook lately and as a result I believe I should be able to take a lot of time off from the daily routine for something I really enjoy the most, writing. I have tried to keep this blog from becoming a personal rant or a punching bag, if you will, but because of the events lately I find myself making this post to be a personal rant.

The below email is a response to a dear friend who expressed his concern about increasing numbers of rapes in the country.

Dear <Friend>,

You know I am not surprised ! Its not only the rapists to be blamed honestly, sure they are, but they are not the only one. The same news papers that flash so much about rapes etc, objectify women by posting pictures and tag them “hot”, “sexy” etc. Isn’t this disrespect to a woman ? May be not in their eyes, but if you look at a psychology of a human, they impact their psyche and lead to such horrendous incidents. More over, even if the media houses deny such posts to be demeaning, EVERY MAN IN THE MEDIA HOUSE FANTASIZE THESE WOMEN WHOSE PICTURES THEY POST ! I cannot even imagine what would be going on in their corrupt minds.

The second most impacting source for minds of the society is Films and TV. If you analyze the censorship of the movies/scenes, the tolerance to such sexual abuse on TV has become an acceptable norm in the society. Extra marital affairs are termed normal/common/no-big-deal in today’s films. Films are sold/distributed based on physically intimate scenes in the movie. Overall, women are objectified.
Parties, Advertisements, Stage shows – everywhere, audiences are attracted “using” beautiful women. Objectification once again.
Finally, women themselves. They aren’t lagging behind in getting the blamed too. Call me conservative, but showing skin, isn’t a good idea. Although for once let me assume it ok, it is their right to dress the way they like etc. Women today enjoy all the above mentioned points, at party, in media, in films, tv shows etc. Thankfully all they stop is at just before getting physical by unknowns. Their display of their body in the name of fashions is not correct either.
It also reminds me the tv shows that push young men trying to be macho, you know like Roadies etc. I understand there are a lot of of such shows. All these things together impact human psyche.
Value education is no more taught in the homes and schools. Teachers themselves indulge in such acts. I am not surprised that all these things are happening. It is bound to happen. We are too materialistic and turning into well groomed demons. We have a mediocre and spineless leadership and the society does not care about anyone but themselves. We are unfortunately turning into animals and have lost power to think right from wrong.
Regards,
Shrikant

Where Mind Is Without Fear


Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

~ Ravindranath Tagore.

I sometimes stop running aimlessly and resort to such inspiring poetries and question myself if I have lived up to the expectations of our founding fathers, teachers, thinks and philosophers. Immensely pained by yet another scam, the Coal scam, hitting India, and almost half of the nation blindly following the government for their petty selfish short term reasons, I stand helpless. I hate to criticize for I just sit here looking at what is happening. Even as I write, I just came across a new scam in making about Delhi Airport. This nothing but makes me burn from within.

Here we talk about our great country, great culture and her glorious heritage, our immensely proud past and the legendary heroes, and every morning all that falls on these ears is miserable story of selfish capitalism and abuse of democracy. All I hear is people fighting in the name of caste, regions, religions, states, language. All I hear is the government indulging in super humongous scams. There are absolutely no morals and ethics in my country. It is not just the politicians, it is also the people. No one is bothered about the country. It is all about my life, my bank account.

Where are the words of Ravindranath Tagore and likes ? Do we even remember the Bhagwad Gita and Krishna? Lately, the government has banned cartoons in the school text books. The weak leaders are unable to stand against these forces which want to sensationalize matters like cartoon..! The rupee is crumbling, and the anti-social elements stash black money in their swiss bank accounts. Where is the accountability ? The Prime Minister too unfortunately, seems to be a puppet. Chiefs of the states have so much pride for their positions. Where are we headed ?

Is it even possible to start afresh ? How many people will be taken to task, when every one of us is a culprit ? I have tears in my eyes as I write this, today, I am not proud to be an Indian.

My Fair Lady


“She should’ve been more careful”, were the words I heard when I tuned into a national news channel covering a story on sexual abuse ( I prefer calling it a sexual abuse and not rape for, rapes have become a so cliché ) in sub-urban areas of the capital city New Delhi. Only last month reported 6 cases of rapes and here we are talking about women who should be more careful, shouldn’t wear provocative or rather inappropriate ( which seems to be a better choice of word) clothing or may be not work after 8 PM. Paint me not shocked !

I love me culture. I love my traditions and values. I too personally dislike the idea of clothes that demonstrate and mock a lady’s humility, but if a lady chooses to shed the cultural barriers and adopt westernized ( or the way Indian like to call them, “modern” ) values, she cannot be blamed and this act can certainly not be a reason for her sexual abuse.

So are we solving a wrong problem here by trying to limit women wearing “inappropriate” clothes or discouraging them to work beyond 8 PM ( Interestingly a nice deadline that coincidentally also is a liquor brand ) ? So who is the culprit here ? If I think objectively, it occurs to me that some men with corrupt mind who do not value anyone but themselves and behave immorally before the beautiful lady, should be punished. But are they only one to be blamed ?

Statistics say that very few women report sexual and domestic violence as well as abuses and tend to adjust with the idea that the society is full of anti-social men. I fail to understand any social inhibitions behind, especially, sexual abuses. Frustrated, I sometimes question their seriousness to stand up against such heinous crimes. I have learnt that a woman is a symbol of power ( “Shakti” ) and per Hindu Mythology ( I hate this word, but thank you this limited non-scientific language, I have to, but stick with this word )  goddess Durga, a woman, is meant to eradicate all evils. Why have does a lady not stand up for herself ?

Pondering upon this question, for sometime now, I recall an absolutely vision-less and misleading TV show for youth on a national television. Although they claim to be respectful of women and completely demean any contestants who disrespect women, but when there are female contestants, the judges are on the different plane, especially when they are asked to entertain the judges. The females end up dancing most of the times, while the judges, drooling. Now this may seem normal, but what I’d like to point out is hypocrisy and unfortunately they are on the national television and clearly do not care about the implications on the youth.

I am a student of marketing and strategy. I understand how to influence consumers’ psychology. With constant bombardment of such television shows, music videos with beautiful women dresses scantily, and    advertisements where females are being  used as an “object” to attract consumer segment that owns a wallet in the house, men, in a society that is patriarchal and where hostesses are employed to host a show merely to hike the TRPs, how could one value a woman ?

Thus the problem is not smaller cops to citizens ratio( which is indeed very less, 1:1500 ) or late night work hours, but these immoral media which reflect the fairer sex’s use as object s of attraction and business.

But having said that, employing women and “using” them to attract consumers, to hike TRPs in a show etc happen in the west too. Even women enjoy being a part of it in the name of freedom, liberty and empowerment, but significantly less number of sexual abuses cases are reported. So what is the difference? Are the cultural perspectives are different ? My personal opinion multi-folded.

The incidents indeed reflect character of an individual to begin with but it does not end here. The media should also be accused of promoting such programs on national television (may be they do it because it is what men like to watch, but it seems more like chicken and egg), weak law enforcement on events that seem more likely to be causes of such events and finally social norms of not equating women with men. In my opinion we are moving away from our culture of respecting a lady and not being gentlemen.

Disclaimer: The author is neither feminist nor a male chauvinist, but generally concerned about society’s morals.

p.s. This marks my return after a long time. I feel happy to have removed it off my chest.

What type of leaders do we really want ? Part 2


Continued from the Part 1

Let us try to bring about an analysis of leadership in the country and in turn we discuss the problems and it’s associated solution of my opinion.

In an organization I worked for long enough to understand the processes and the philosophy behind it, I learnt that the goal, the project deliverable, is important, and should be achieved in time for late delivery 1. Does not serve the purpose, 2. Is a hinderance to the goal itself. Our country has enough judiciary system examples, a list long enough to not re- iterate.

The team Hazare is doing something similar. In my opinion, a body to fight corruption at bureaucratic and state level should be the most important for a common man. Merely going by the numbers, the police, the customs and the sales are the most corrupt department in the country. Not far behind is the rural development, where the common man is most affected. A focus and consensus should be arrived at for these four departments at both state and bureaucratic level. Instead of childishly playing a back and forth game, and not moving ahead. This where negotiations come into picture. There sure is an immature approach.

Again the problem with the people following the India Against Corruption team is they are following them are frustrated and emotionally driven.  Although it does not mean I am not emotionally driven for like me, everyone ( almost ) feels the dire need of reforms. The only difference is I am not enjoying the back and forth ping pong game any more for even as I write, stashes of INRs and USDs and Euros are being cornered somewhere on a tax haven.

Thus the question is, does the team Hazare too have leaders ? I would have to argue so much for the team Hazare, for atleast they are on my side, but Rahul Gandhi, who is a likely PM candidate thanks to family politics in the Indian political system. What is interesting is the results by the Center of Advanced Studies for India (CASI) at uPenn which are startling. 100% of the second gen MPs, who are under 35, in the parliament today are heriditary politicians. The second cadre MPs are mainly inducted from Royal Families, RSS, Student and Trade Union and Film and Cricket.

Even the 33% women reservation isn’t spared. 70% of ladies in the Parliament are wives, daughters, widows of prominent politicians. A list of statistical key points are available however, coming back to the leadership question, with the scenario just described, the leadership is either being imposed on the the country or the citizens still choose based on the popularity of the existing leaders is still an unanswered question.  Although the credentials of the some young MPs are phenomenal some are questionable too.

While young and radical may be answer to some problems generally revolving around the image of the country and her security, passionate and experienced is an answer to the most deep rooted problems of the country. Casteism, Regionalism, Religionalism, Corruption and other internal “cultural” problems need insignt and passion which is where, once again, the common man’s democratic voting rights come into play. Thus, are we choosing the right leaders ?

Source of the data:
Family Politics
Center for the Advanced Studies of India
and a dear friend, Harsh Mishra

p.s. Continued.

What type of leaders do we really want ? Part 1


In lieu of political reforms being on the agenda or at least the wish to have them on the agenda, the question remains, what type of leaders do we want? On one hand, about 500 km away from Delhi, a man stands tall against the rising dragon, who is arguably the only man on the planet to have dared to do so for 50 years, and we have some 300 movies old superstar, on the other.

I have never doubted the idea of democracy. Nor have I doubted the top cadre political leaders in the national level parties. But I have my strong doubts for the second cadre political leaders and the psyche of the society we live in, who obviously under democracy have right to choose their leader.

In my opinion, the well being of the nation lies in the understanding of citizens about the leadership and their passion for the country which has an ability to bring about a revolution if the change is inevitable. A society only requires to feel the need of revolution, for without the need of revolution, none will be successful.  Today, India “needs” revolution, a Polical, Electoral, Judicial, Bureaucratic revolution.

We are undoubtedly passing through such a phase today, where a gandhian old man led organization is trying to cleanse the system bringing about a radical change. What is more interesting is that the spiritual leaders also have started to play their part. It makes me very proud today that the social system in India which the youth only some time back, and a lot of them even now, discarded have a very important role to play. If taken a closer look, one may be able to understand the real need of spiritual leaders.

But coming back to the question on the table, what type of leaders do we want? Unfortunately our role models have moved from leaders to stars. ( I love the word star for no explainable reason, more than celebrities, may be I never got a star when my teacher checked my assignment during L.kg or S.kg) I see a lot more likes on the Facebook page of SRK, Sachin or Rahul Gandhi than the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi or CJI Kapadia. Do we seek leaders based on their popularity ? How about politicos with exceptional ideas and will to change the face of the system ? What about the spiritual leaders who bring along such huge following, who have ability and vision for both society and nation?

Sadly the all political leaders are associated with greed, corruption, power games and dirt. To some extent it sure is true, but one cannot demean the ones who are genuinely trying to bring about reforms and trying to survive in the rotten system. It thus becomes a role of citizens to ensure they get due credits. It thus becomes important that with the empowered comman man following then, it becomes inevitable for media to provide them the reach they deserve. With due respects to Sachin, SRK and likes, the media gives attention thanks to TRPs, otherwise, maestro’s like Ustad Bismillah Khan had to die in poverty while King of Pop’s death too was commercialized.

It is thus important to have a paradigm shift for the types of leaders we seek. Not because, we seek better leaders, but for better country. India dont need stars right now. Needs great leaders. She has leaders, we make them great ! So, what type of leaders do we really want ?

p.s Now that I have put forth this across, please take a look at the youtube videos on Dr. J.P. Narayan.

Where is the news ?


 

Yet again, unable to curb the urge to write even when the priority list contains critical tasks that need attention but this needed to be out of my mind to even concentrate on Final exam scheduled tomorrow.

So now that the he-who-must-not-be-named has been assassinated (1. I love this word somehow, 2. hopefully he really is.) as the world media has been boasting through the day (and night in Indian time zone) it is important to bring your attention to  a more important topic, the Royal British Wedding and Kate Middleton’s beautiful white gown which she got it hand stitched from the royal tailor. Uh… No, that is not what I want to talk about, neither Indian Premier League, nor Donald Trump joke or Lokpal committee.

Brit’s ruled my country for over 200 years, so being a part of Kate and William’s wedding’s TRP was out of question, though heartiest congratulations to the newly weds. I never followed the deceased spiritual guru Satya Sai Baba thus a I only mourn for the friends who followed him and are sad and also achieve Cricketing Nirvana this year after India won the 2011 ICC World Cup, which meant IPL was out of question.

Last night, almost the whole night, Indian news channels only “talked” of Osama, Pakistan’s role, US’s achievement, Indian agencies warnings. Few days back it was the Royal Wedding, what the honeymoon plans were and previously they only spiritual guru’s successors while all this was around not to forget IPL matches.

This isn’t merely Indian media, a whole lot of world media was on the similar lines. Where are the news ? In an event the news agencies start giving biased judgments about the incident, the basic principle of journalism is violated. Where is the principle, news, as it is ? Mixing views with news does not make sense to me. The Arunachal Pradesh CM goes missing, and there is hardly a coverage in the media. The anti-corruption movement is still on pan-India, while the media is busy covering conspiracy theories of Osama’s death. Discussing getting Dawood Ibrahim the way US got Osama, does not seem to be a smart thing to talk on the television.

Journalistic freedom surely does not mean to “impose” biased views on the citizens passively. Some may argue, about the views being imposed, but without a doubt, they are influential. Media in Pakistan draws completely different picture of any event related to terrorism and there is a completely different idea that is put forth with media in the US or EU.

How come the journalist population not on the same page ? Does this not prove a clear violation by providing biased views ? While if these are views, where is the news ?