Being Independent …

Wish You a Happy Independence Day. 🙂

Yes, we Indians are celebrating 62nd Independence Day today (15th August). It is a big day for all of us. It is a day to celebrate. British colonialism is in history books now. We are independent! Let us salute the freedom fighters; the great leaders and the aamjunta of that time. We are the citizens of their Dream India, but we hardly know whether their dream India and the present India are matching at least to some extent. Anyway, it is better to be practical and to march ahead.

Independence never comes alone, it comes with responsibility and a sense of fellow feeling. Every body wants to be independent; in studies, in job, in life.. every where .. like the free birds of the sky. No one wants to be ruled by some one else. But, in practice that does not happen always. Democracy is still a myth. It is still far from the ideal. Today’s politicians are neither the ideal leaders nor self-less individuals. In the name of democracy and independence they rule the country; by dividing the society into caste, religion, region, language and ethnicity. A narrow sense of Desivad is there everywhere — in business, in industries, in education and in political speeches. 😦 The so called leaders/politicians/… are the only independent souls in this country, who are there in order to do all kinds of corruptions, to loot the country, to say anything against any one for the shake of vote — not the aamjunta – who is still in bondage.

Even then, I would say “we are independent, but with dependence“. The dependence comes from the fact that we love to be cared and required to be disciplined by some rules and regulations. We have to deliver some thing to the society where we are living. One has to remember that nothing comes free, everything is to be paid in return of some thing or the other. So, even independence is not free. It comes with a bondage, the bondage of responsibilities, duties towards the society, hard and honest work in our day-to-day life, fighting against corruption and non-governance and above all for humanity at large.

“Who wants to be free?
Freedom is the choice of one’s own bondage”.
– From A Lecture of Dr. Dilip Naik

Instead of blaming for everything, we the aamjunta of this country can participate in nation building. To clean the system and to bring the system into its right path, some times the aamjunta has to be a part of the system. So, be a part of nation building and change the system which you feel needs to be corrected. Let’s tighten the independence with free bondage 🙂

Jai Hind

The Fear of Asking in a Class Room….

Should I ask him/her? No… What will people think of me, if I ask this? Stupid? No, I think it is a silly question? I should not ask him/her !!

Most of us must have experienced this some day or the other of our day-to-day life.

This is a common fear for most of the students in a class; be it in school, or in college. In general people don’t ask questions thinking that the question that comes in their mind might be a silly one or it might not have the worth to be asked. Some times we think that the teacher might scold or shout at us if we ask. But, by not asking the question and clearing the doubt at the right moment don’t we think we harm ourselves? increase our doubt level?

And the result is, we struggle to find out the answer and spend more time and resources. We loose our self confidence or struggle to excel in our day to day life. We should remember that questioning is a process of learning, one has to ask, either to himself or to the other in that process.

The exact opposite is seen in case of a child. If he/she does not understand, he/she will ask more than a thousand questions, “why, how, when, whom, blah blah blah…”, till you either get irritated or he/she gets satisfied with your answer. He/she will get his/her doubts cleared at any cost. But, the same kid starts feeling shy, looses self confidence once he/she grows in time.

The fear of should I or should not I, the fear of loosing (be it self confidence or something similar) starts resulting in the development of a fear or shyness to ask in day-to-day life.

For an example, one can very well experience/observe this in a typical class (lecture) where students from MTech, BTech, PhD etc. are there.The BTech students usually ask many questions, irrespective of the type and quality of the question. Most of the times they do not fear and simply ask the teacher and do not let the teacher go unless their query is answered. This is a very good sign.

Whereas in the same class, one can hardly find any question from the MTechs or the PhDs. Not that they understand every thing in the lecture; they too have doubts like any other student, but the self confidence is low, the feeling of inferiority complex is very high, and the sensitivity towards “what others will think about me” is so high that they cannot ask any thing. They just can’t come out from the should I or shouldn’t I barrier. This is quite common in the case of new entrants, 1st yearites, be in 10+2, BTech, MTech or PhD, which usually disappears over time.

Some times language creates a barrier in questioning. Those who have studied in Hindi or in any regional medium usually feel shy to ask, because they feel, that their English is not that good. In some cases the social or cultural background of the student also creates the barrier in asking. If they are in minority in the class, they do not feel comfortable and do not ask much. A good example can be in cases of female students who sometimes do not ask any question if they are out numbered.

This kind of shyness and lack of confidence can be observed in many fields and in many different places, be it in class room or in office or at home. Now the question arises how should we take this problem? In lecture/class the teacher must realize the problem of 1st year students and encourage the students to ask. May be by making the lecture more interactive and involving more students, might help to some extent.

Remember that by asking even silly questions you are not going to harm any one, but if you do not ask, you will not be able to clear your doubts in the class room premises, resulting in no clear understanding of the topic and also spend more time doing the same thing. By doing this, the barrier between should I or should not I increases. The more you fear, the more you loose. But, do we want to loose? No. Then? …

aamjunta, what do you think? Better ask and clear your doubts in the class next time 🙂 . It is better late than never.

Only God Can Help!

Even God also can’t help this country. God is also silent spectator in the country, the Supreme Court said this in the wake of a lack of governance in the country on 5th Aug, 2008.

Supreme court is right in its place and made the statement out of frustration at the state of governance. Not only governance, day-to-day life, the educational system, vote-bank/cash politics, the rise in corruption, caste-based politics etc, have brought the country to the verge of ruin. Common man has suffered the most and will suffer more in future too, unless otherwise it realizes the state of affairs and takes a remedial measure.

Though the rules are made for the benefit of the people, they are being exploited for the benefit of the party in power; not for the people in general. The ulterior motive of the so called leaders of the country is how to win vote, not to serve people. The party in power can do any thing and can go to any extent to remain in power; neither to save nor to serve the country. The opposition is no better either. They oppose only for the sake of opposing in most of the cases. Responsible opposition is just confined as a word in the dictionary only. They (both the ruling party and the opposition) just change their tune and voice the moment they go to the other side of the table. Hardly any one is concerned for the aamjunta 😦 .

On 26th July, 2008, Vijay Divas, almost every one (including the government, the opposition and the media too) of this country forgot to pay their homage to the amar Jawans’ / martyrs of our country. The reason being, terror and the bomb blasts in Bangalore. Yes, that was a big security flaw and is a matter of concern for all of us, but, don’t we think that we should also remember and pay our homage at least to the amar jawans who saved the country from intrusion and from war by sacrificing their lives? We simply forgot and were busy in our life. How selfish we are! Similarly, when Field Marshal Manekshaw died last month, hardly any one from the Union Ministry attended the funeral. The reason — un-officially the high profile ministers were busy in poaching and buying MPs for the trust vote.

It is not the defense sector only which is facing this kind of ignorance and non-governance. The non-governance and irresponsibility is there in every sector. For an example, the setting up of the new IITs and the Reservation policy of the Govt. Six IITs came up in months time this year without a single building and a faculty of its own. Opening of new IITs is required, but the manner in which these are opened is a matter of concern. All old IITs are supposed to mentor the new IITs. Yes, we should do this. But, when the old IITs are themselves facing a major faculty crunch, it is difficult to understand how can they help the new IITs? Even then, the old IITs are helping and mentoring. That is commendable. But at what cost and time? – when they are struggling with the increase in seats due to the new reservation policy in their own institutes!, when the student-teacher ratio is very high and uncontrollable? Difficult to understand the vision of our leaders.

Great… that you want more students in higher studies and need more institutions of higher learning. But what about their accommodation and their basic amenities? Create the basic amenities first and then go for this. Instead, hardly any one bothers about the present problem, the living conditions of the students in Hostels. Some of them are doubled up even in their PhD careers, forget about MTechs and BTechs and that too in very small rooms, where you can hardly stand when you put together two beds 😦 , forget about keeping chairs and tables. Accommodation is not there, faculties are not there, building is not there — where and how will they study? In open space? in Gurukul style ?? May be the government is thinking in that direction.

Still…. most of us wonder, what was the need of taking such kind of decision in a hurry? Just to show some thing to the aamjunta before election? Tough guess!

Speeding up in implementation is a rare phenomena. Some times out of the many schemes announced at Lal Qila Maidan or on the Floor of the House on various occasions, hardly 60% of them get implemented and that too in many-many years time. Most of the times, declaring new schemes and/or implementing new schemes are aimed at the forth coming elections. Some schemes get implemented without realizing the consequences. Only one thing these people understand: divide and rule policy and vote bank politics; garibiki aagme apna roti sekna. Welfare of the people is not that important for them, rather getting a Rajya Sabha/Lok Sabha/Vidan Sabha Ticket for themselves and for their family members and winning the election at any cost is their aim.

The bureaucratic hurdle, the red tapisim, the corrupt politicians, the nexus between contractors and underworld, etc. are just the means of obstruction for the development of a country. We need many researchers, engineers, doctors, scientists, farmers, jawans — not corrupt politicians, inefficient bureaucrats, criminal police officers. The youth requires to be guided in the proper direction. Research and Development should be encouraged, high class research and educational institutes should set up and higher eduction must be encouraged for this. But, that needs a lot of planning and implementation.

Most of the graduates leave this country for higher studies in a foreign university not because for the good facilities only, but mostly because of the monetary incentive they get. Higher education is quite attractive and lucrative there. Here it is just the opposite (of course the scene is changing now). Here a simple implementation on fellowship hike for the PhD scholars took more than a year and that too because of huge pressure through RTIs and meetings. But, alas… the fellowship hike is yet to be implemented for MTechs and MPhils. The funny thing is that it is not yet clear who will decide and when will the decision come into existence. Even though a group of ministers have cleared this some one year back it is still not clear what will happen to that?. Both MHRD and AICTE are acting un-professionally on this. Though both offices are situated hardly two buildings apart, they are yet to decide the matter jointly. They are just delaying this… “Just ignore and delay, people will forget very soon” – is the mantra of many offices here; but we hardly forget 🙂

When we tried from our end and put pressure on them to implement the scheme through RTIs and letters etc., we got some interesting and contradictory replies from them, even from the same officer on different occasions. First time on the reply AICTE said, “it will be implemented w.e.f, 1st April, 2007“. Second time, AICTE did not answer and third time it replied with a tag – “decision is yet to be taken”. Out of the five RTIs filed to AICTE, two RTIS were returned as no one was ready to receive our applications at AICTE. MHRD is also keeping mum on this issue and have not replied properly to our RTIs. Seems they are only busy in implementing populist schemes like reservation in Higher Education and setting up new IITs; the election is around the corner. Pathetic! No clear time frame to implement the small fellowship scheme for the MTech and MPhills of this country? What can be worse than this?

It is not fair to blame the government alone. We the people are also responsible for this kind of debacle. The media, the unions, the political parties, the intellectuals, the farmers, the jawans, the police force… all are responsible directly or indirectly for this. The media, especially the electronic media should take up the responsibility in a matured way. They should understand and realize what are they broadcasting? Every word they speak and picture they show is not taken lightly by the aamjunta. To woo the viewers and to increase the TRP, they should not get involved in broadcasting wrong, unethical, inhuman news. Some times, they show 2/3 years back archived footage along with some minor news and make that sensational. For an example, some time back they broadcasted a footage of riots while talking about some minor strike by some hooligans. That footage just created panic among the viewers and added fuel to fire and disturbances got multiplied resulting in law-and-order problem. Some times they show and present a piece of wrong news in such a way that it appears as if that has really happened. Role of media in Arushi Murder case, suicide case in Bihar where the cameraman helped the person in pouring petrol and lighting the match stick — just to show live, prostitution case in a Delhi School where the cameraman instead of the Principal of that school was involved are the eye openers. No one should believe simply on what they see in TV or what they read on news papers.

The print media should also act responsibly. Instead of making copy-paste journalism, they should publish their own articles. Some times, they simply copy and paste many things from the Internet and publish in the name of free press, without citing the sources. The news they copy and paste/edit in such a manner that it gets altered and a totally different meaning comes out of it (a perfect example is Hindustan Times, when they copied the blogs of aamjunta and published a wrong news). These things should be curbed and discouraged by the society. In the name of free speech they should not create panic and law-and-order problem and publish wrong news. If that continues, then definitely we should think of censored news channels.

The Judiciary, the government, the society and the aamjunta should discuss and take up these issues seriously at this juncture of time. If that does not happen, as supreme court rightly said, “Even God also can’t help this country”. The aamjunta must not act like a silent observer, instead should act responsibly.

I believe that the aamjunta will wake up and take up the responsibility to build the nation. I hope positively and say “Only God Can Help!”.

Jai Hind.

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