A blog with views on events that make news...

Friday, December 21, 2007


Past few weeks have seen channels giving footage to either teenagers taking their own life or yet others who took somebody elses life. Tragic events either way.
The media sure ensures that these events get discussed and dissected, opinions aplenty are aired freely regarding the should and should not and how the social fabric is impacting the behavioural patterns of the haves and have nots.
Somewhere deep within a voice makes me wonder whether these are all manifestations of failed or flawed parenting. Not to say that these kids were not loved or provided a caring environment at home. Perhaps they had too much of it.
Parenting and the responsibilities associated with it have changed over the years as India and Indians have evolved..with the accenture changing from providing food & shelter + values + a little bit of education when our parents were children to the times when food & shelter were a given and the focus was on quality education with a small dose on values thrown in when we were children.
As our generation starts parenting and now that quality education too is a given..have we forgetten about values? Are nuclear families, long hours spent in getting from one place to other and even longer hours spent at work leaving little time for imparting such education? Are parents putting in the right ingredients in the so called "Quality time" with the kids? Or have we failed to move ahead with the times and change the morals from "Honesty is the best policy" to "Live and Let Live"?
I hope I find some answers before my kid turns a teenager....

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Politics.. The First Refuge of Professionals???

After a bad start and an OK finish Amma is not coming back to rule TN for a second term.

If you happened to be staying in Tamil Nadu, I'm sure that counting-day scenario at your workplace must have been akin to a day when there's an India-Pak ODI taking place. People checking out the latest tally over the internet, flocking around the TV set in the cafetaria and ofcourse the post popular office past-time the chat in the corridor! It also extended to the weekend get togethers with the topic of discussion being the change in government. (Well, for once atleast the tee-totallers could join in, though not necessarily make sense.)

For good or for bad the mood was one of sympathy towards Amma.

The "bhadralok" equivalent of Chennai seem to feel that times ahead for the middle class were not going to be as good as they were during the previous regime. Some expressed concern that the new regime might in someways, affect the relative peace and security of Chennai city!!
All this support for a lady who not so long ago was the pet punching bag for all and sundry.

As is said often, public memory is short..sometimes woefully so. All seems to be forgotten about the firing of the government servants, about the dis-proportionate assets, etc. etc.

Well it's a known fact that politics and crime make convenient bedmates. So why distinguish between types of crime?? Is embezzlement any different from snatching chains?

The issue here is not one of Tamil Nadu alone..the story holds true every where, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was voted back!

Yes, the argument of there being no other options blah blah holds true. But for how long??

The counter-argument is why like minded individuals don't get together and offer a viable option.

The answer probably is "Roti Kapda aur Makaan".
I am yet to see a successful politician who's not from a well to do family. The Milind Deoras, the Jyotiraditya Scindias, the Rahul Gandhi's might be professionals in their own right with their ivy league education. But how many of them prepared for a Common entrance test or had to worry about appraisals at workplace?

Politics is not a nine-to-five job which pays you a salary.Which brings me to the point which I really want to make.

Why can't politics be a career option?
Do political parties not need talented people with myriad skills such as organising events, an understanding of economics and finance, marketing talent to create and execute promotion campaigns, or people with a law degree?

We all agree that politics today is no social work or charity. Why should we un-neccessarily glorify politics and politicians as saints who have sacrificed? Why not make it a profession?

Parties today have enough funds and for sure need talent. So why not start hiring professionals on their rolls? After all, professionals are measured by their performance at the end of the day and if they don't perform you could fire them!!

Breed professionals, grow them within your organisations and reward the performers with tickets to contest elections, for they can perform the task that an MP, an MLA or a cabinet minister is SUPPOSED to.

After all, he who has the itch can scratch best!!

Anybody listening???

Monday, May 08, 2006

Reserving Comments on Reservations

Have seen this e-mail doing rounds mocking the issue of reservations (text below). This is also an example of how views and opinions get contorted and mass opnion is sadly getting based on the same.
Here's the text of the e-mail
" I think we should have job reservations in all the fields. I completely support the PM and all the politicians for promoting this. Let's start the reservation with our cricket team. We should have 10 percent reservation for muslims. 30 percent for OBC, SC/ST like that.

Cricket rules should be modified accordingly. The boundary circle should be reduced for an SC/ST player. The four hit by an OBC player should be considered as a six and a six hit by a OBC player should be counted as 8 runs. An OBC player scoring 60 runs should be declared as a century.We should influence ICC and make rules so that the pace bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar should not bowl fast balls to our OBC player. Bowlers should bowl maximum speed of 80 kilometer per hour to an OBC player. Any delivery above this speed should be made illegal.Also we should have reservation in Olympics. In the 100 meters race, an OBC player should be given a gold medal if he runs 80 meters.There can be reservation in Government jobs also. Let's recruit SC/ST and OBC pilots for aircrafts which are carrying the ministers and politicians (that can really help the country.. )Ensure that only SC/ST and OBC doctors do the operations for the ministers and other politicians. (Another way of saving the country..)So, what do you think, huh??? "
Now, here's what I have to say...first of all the person who wrote has bad logic and reasoning….

If the fundamental concept be that Marks:Examination::Time:Race then:

An OBC candidate doesn’t get the option of answering 8 questions instead of 10 he only has to score 35 instead of 50 marks. By the same logic if the average guy takes 12 secs for 100mts then an OBC is allowed 14!!!

The relaxations proposed are for purpose of selection and not relaxations on performance….an OBC can get into IITs or other institutes of excellence through quota but he can’t get pass marks in exams b’coz of being an OBC…for critical stuff like Army/Judges selection etc. the bar is never lowered…only a space is kept vacant (which is the where the system is wrong the space should be filled by the most suitable guy in the event a suitable reserved quota candidate is not available and that’s my reason for opposing…the basis too should be economic and not genetic!!)

Therefore the analogy being drawn with shorter boundaries and slower deliveries etc is flawed…..

What say!!!
The people and powers that shape the nation try to take a shortcut. It's easier to determine caste or creed than to determine and evaluate economic status (that too in a nation where even disclosure of assets is a circus..whether it's the glorified Ms. Sonia Gandhi or Ms. J. Jayalalitha).
The crux is to identify and give opportunities based on need. The Social Security concept has to be brought in to bolster such programmes that promise upliftment.
Point I'm trying to make is let's not question the concept, let's question the execution. Merit and performance need not be compromised. Why not think of increasing seats? Would people then complain?? Let the education system endeavour to include more people, the idea of reservation should be for everyone to get a shot maybe some need proping up.
All said and done the bottomline is that performance speaks!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Next Generation

Reams of newsprint have been dedicated to this theme. However, the recent developments have forced thoughts in this

The recent passing away of Pramod Mahajan (Photo Courtesy IBN) in a rather sad manner adds to the list of people who were perceived to be the next
generation leaders.

The list includes names such as Madhavrao Scindia, Rajesh Pilot and PR Kumaramangalam all of whom were not really leaders in the conventional sense with lots of mass base. One from a princely state, one from a small town in Maharashtra, one with a political lineage and the other a man who flew in the skies but had his feet firmly planted on the ground. These individuals displayed the true multiplicity of our democracy.
What separated these individuals from the rest of the pack was their appeal and the respect they all drew across party lines.

In a sense all of them were perceived as people with calibre by the educated middle class which in the era of Mulayam, Lalloo and Paswan's really could not identify with the politics of rhetoric.

Today, the BJP has to deal with a void created by the passing away of Pramod Mahajan, the same way in which the ageing Cong(I) leadership felt at Scindia's demise. There's talk of how there's no one of the stature of an Adwani or Vajpayee for the reins to be passed on.

Well, my opinion is that leaders are created by the circumstances, sometimes even by consensus and they emerge at a time which is not really predictable. Most of our Prime Ministers are cases in example Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, IK Gujral, Charan Singh, Narasimha Rao and now Manmohan Singh.

The question is where do you find the talent and resources of a Mahajan or a Scindia? There will always be the likes of Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu on one side and Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu on the other to fill up party posts, but do they really possess the skill of a Mahajan, the resourcefullness of a Pilot, the charm of a Scindia or the candidness of a Kumaramangalam??

Fact is that India has perhaps in the past 5-6 years lost it's brightest politicians. A few individuals who perhaps stood tall amidst the ruins that politics today is. The leading lights of the next generation.

But hope as they say springs eternal.

Somewhere in the halls of parliament there's a new breed of politicians... probably, the generation after next who will rise above petty differences to take this nation forward.

Meanwhile, we hope that no other name gets added to the list.