UNETHICAL WORK PRACTICES

 

 

Lack of understanding or interest?

 

 

DIVIDING BLOOD

why?

PATH TO SELF-DISCOVERY

coming soon!!

HAPPY PARENTS’ DAY

There are many people in our life. They are our friends, brother, sister, spouse, guru (teacher), cousins and many more who have had some impact in our life. They might have helped us in building our career, at the time of a need or building us as a complete human being. Who do you think to be the most selfless person in your life? Who do you love the most? You may say i have equal love for everybody and all of them have helped me in my development. This is true as we should not discriminate as everybody plays their role at some point in our life. Have i missed anybody here? Let’s be honest. Don’t you now think of your parents?

We celebrate parents’ day on the fourth Sunday of every July. We celebrate father’s day and mother’s day separately to express our love to them independently. But i think the concept of parent’s day is unique as it has gone one step further beyond discrimination. Their love, affection and care are unconditional and should not be compared with one another. When we reflect our memory we should remember both of them together. The fathers’ and mothers’ day too should stay independent of each other without losing its essence. Everyday has its own significance. On a father’s day you may tell your mother to wait for her turn when you gift your father. If you think of buying a gift on parents’ day I’d suggest you not to choose separate gifts. We can think of something special that will unite them with you in the bond once more. They will be happier about you and come closer to your heart.

How do you feel about your childhood? All of you must have some pleasant and few bitter memories. I have a pleasant memory I’d like to share with you. When i was kid i remember guests visiting us at our home. They used to bring sweets for everybody and chocolates for me. They often ask me who loves you the most – papa or mama? I have been asked this question on several occasions in my childhood and it made me puzzled what to reply. I just looked at them and again at my parents as they both were present and one can feel bad if i tell the other as good. I could play safe in the presence of only one of my parents. These are childhood thoughts. At that age if i am right children only look for favourable conditions, a reward/praise in return. That reward could be in the form of chocolates/sweets/stickers/colour pencils/erasure or something else that entice them.  And that time i was just looking to get chocolates and praise as reward for a decent job. Money never came into picture as i had no knowledge what those papers all about. Whenever i ask they used to say it’s coming from government and you will also get that when you grow up. I noticed my father counting money several times but always felt like he was playing with something as i used to play with paper boats.  It’s having absolutely no significance to me.

Though we should not compare our parents still some personal liking reside in our mind. Love of one should not be compared with that of another. You ask a person and she/he will reply as 50:50 to be impartial. I don’t know if we ever had any survey of this kind. If you still insist on a choice to know the person more close to one’s heart, majority may opt for their mother i guess. I too agree nobody can take the place of a mother and that’s of universal acceptance. That does not mean your father is anyway less important in your life.

My niece now five years old reminded me of my childhood on several occasion. This is probably the reason i like children the most and always try to keep myself connected with them whenever i get an opportunity. She used to be very happy finding me at home whenever i visit my sister’s place. Her first job was to search my bag if i have something for her. If she doesn’t find anything of her like she used to take my money purse form pocket and count notes and coins. I never scold her for such act and used to observe her in her act. She’d keep all that in her little purse carefully and put that in her school bag. I just tell her not to tear off those papers and she used to respect my words. When she feels satisfied with all her play, she used to return everything to me in the evening. I’ve never lost a single rupee in this process.

I’ve noticed a very caring attitude in her at an early age. She could easily trace my mood whether i am happy or sad. Whenever she felt me sad, she used to come and ask about that. If she can’t get over my mood, she used to divert my attention somewhere else to make my happy. She’d show me her notebooks, sing rhymes and used to play with me. Children love to play more and study less. They seek love, affection and above all time from their elders to spend with them. Time is too scarce these days with working people. We should never neglect children. Parent’s responsibility is to engage them in constructive activities when they are way from school and try to spend as much time as possible at home. Those are golden days when our mind is free of all impurities. Our childhood days shape our future life.

Birds and animals too love their children. Unlike human beings they attend children till a certain age and then set them free to face the difficulties in life independently. They learn to face obstacles at an early age so that they can lead a life on their own later. Mothers play a big role in this teaching process. This is a big difference to human beings who seek love and attention throughout their life. It has both good and bad repercussions. While too much love and attention can hamper their learning process, too little of it can take them away from the society. They’ll become self-centred by this process. A perfect balance is necessary so that they learn the basic skills and become responsible citizens to lead a life conducive to the society.

When our parents grow old and become dependent on others for their basic livelihood they behave much like children. They insist for things they like and get angry with us at times. We can observe this kind of behaviour if we try to remind our childhood days. I remember this sort of behaviour with my grandmother who i cared for till her deathbed. She had a very sharp memory i remember till her last days. She loved me the most in our family and often called me to talk with me about all her feelings/need. She was very humble and never shouted at me. Whenever she observed me moving here and there at home, she used to come to me to know about the cause of my tension. She was such a good friend to me who could help me solve all my problems calmly.  She had a calming effect in her talk, gesture and was an ever-pleasing personality. I was at a very young age when she passed away. During her last days i observed her losing a bit of memory but not me till the last hours of her final day when she wanted me to be with her and expressed her feelings with her body language.

Who is our creator? You may say GOD – the ultimate creator of this universe. History tells about some people to have seen and even talked to GOD like Ramkrishna Paramhamsa – The great guru of Swami Vivekananda. I’ve not seen GOD in my lifetime so far and i am not striving for that too. One thing i can say for sure. All of us who want to realize GOD can experience that in their parents. It’s often said a human body is GOD’s abode. It’s our responsibility to take care of our parents at their old age when they need it the most. They seek love, attention and care like children. Let’s pray GOD bless everybody with loving parents and caring children.

Happy Parents’ Day to all once more!!

VIRTUAL LEADERSHIP – MY THOUGHTS

Presidential poll in India tomorrow. Our new president will be elected for the next five years.

 

 

 

to be contd…

MY EXPERIENCE WITH EGO

Be aware!! It can make you blind. You may fail to realise the truth even with your eyes open.

I don’t know the correct definition of ego. I don’t even know if any definition can explain it properly. What i know is i understand that well now from my personal experience. Yes, we need to experience it. We can learn it better through experience only. Why am i saying so much about ego? Is it something new that i discovered a virtue or a vice?  It does not belong to any of these categories as i can’t term a person to be virtuous or vicious having ego. Why? This is because it’s a human characteristic that no human being can escape. Sounds strange? What do i mean by saying about certain characteristic that can’t be categorized as good or bad? There is a question in my mind. Is it necessary to classify something as good or bad? Not necessarily. It’s quite possible certain quality in a person can be both good and bad. I am writing about a human quality that can’t be termed good as it’s not completely bad.

One such evil quality is our ego. I can describe ego in short as me and myself.  It talks about our self-interest. It restricts us think about others and the social need. Egoistic people distort the famous dialogue by Abraham Lincoln to suit themselves. They understand the quote as “of me, by me, for me” and not that of people. Egotists always think about their own prosperity even at the cost of the society. They forget they are too a part of the society and they can’t grow at the cost of others. By growth if they understand as material growth they can’t enjoy that forever. The only good nature of our ego is it helps us love our own self that is quite natural. People who don’t understand love or can’t develop loving his/her own self can’t generate love for his/her society and environment. This self-love can help us if we keep that limited to 1 % only. If it’s 99 % unwanted we should rise ourselves above our ego.

Till now i have not wrote anything to give a correct understanding of ego. Later in this article I’ll give example to make it clearer. You may notice i have mentioned it to be a human characteristic. Yes, i mean it. Do animals have ego? If you ask me this question my answer would be “I don’t know”. If i think about personal experience and probability, I’d say no. I love animals like my mother. I am fortunate to have close association with our pets from my early childhood. I can say i have been brought up along with them and we grew together. I’ve not noticed such a quality in them ever. Human beings are bestowed with certain special qualities that are not found in animals and few ugly qualities too like the human ego.

Do animals understand ego? I think no. They are blessed with certain qualities that help them maintain harmony in the group. Are we devoid of such qualities? No, unlike other animals we are social animals. Animals do live in their society but not like that of human beings. We have developed certain other qualities that make us distinct to animals. Those can be in the goodwill of human beings or can cause problems in the society too.

 

Somebody argued they fight with each other for territory to prove their supremacy over others in the region. So they do have ego. I agree they compete with each other, but it can’t be characterized as their ego. I’d rather say it’s a survival mechanism. Unlike human beings they don’t fight for things they don’t need. Have you ever noticed how a tiger shares food with others in the group after a kill even though all in the group were not involved in the hunting? This is because they love each other and free from ego. They care for their need and not the want. They are more concerned about their basic need only that applies to humans too. The basic need is food, cloth and shelter. Their want is love, attention and compassion in their natural state. God have fulfilled their clothing need naturally by giving them thick skin/fur/feathers which condition them in every season as per need. They are in need of the rest two for which they are dependent on their environment. Due to human activities now they don’t find their natural environment in many regions where they can have sufficient food and shelter without intervention.

Let’s analyse few signs of ego. I am the best. What i know is the truth. What i think is the ultimate and all others are wrong. Others are responsible for something went wrong with me. These kind of thought will always cripple your mind when full of ego. We have two words in English dictionary to describe people having ego – one is an egoist and the other is an egotist. As per dictionary an egoist is someone who is self-centered or selfish, often without realizing it. An egotist is an arrogant or conceited person, always talking about himself. So an egotist practices ego with full consciousness unlike an egoist.

We come across many people in our life. It happens at home, at our study, at the workplace and even at public places. You might have noticed people talking about others and comparing themselves with their counterparts. Everybody does that. We do it with others at school, college, home, workplace and every other place where we get an opportunity. Is this quality a boon or bane for our personal growth and the growth of our society at large? To get an answer to this question we need to understand first our priority in life. For instance my priority is my personal growth so that I’ll live a happy life. Somebody else have a priority for his society and environment like “ Anna Hazare ” who works for social welfare. Such people are very rare in our society who works for people without any self-interest so that everybody can become happy and content.

The control mechanism one need to develop on his/her own from personal experience. The first and foremost is self-acceptance of what we are. Then we need to think how we should be in the best interest of our society. This is the starting point. This will open up a channel and give us direction for change. I’ll not write more on this. Let’s rediscover our own self first and do experiment with our ego. It will help us rise above our ego.

It’s not very much difficult to gain victory over ego. It’s a basic quality inherent in every human being. Though it’s not possible to get rid of it completely one can maintain a good balance. With proper understanding and work on our ego we can maintain a ratio of 99:1. Let’s wipe out that 99 % of ego in us and the rest 1 % will help us grow as a human being. It’s important not to lose our originality and stay as a human being. One shouldn’t try to become GOD but can inherit godly qualities for a better living.

Now i am a happy person. I don’t mean i was not happy before. I am happier now. I have gained good control over my ego. It will not direct me anymore. I’ll guide it to control my thoughts and act. What benefits can i derive by this? The most important i think it will help me become more responsible in every field. A responsible person only can think about others in the society and excel in life.

** I welcome your comments to improve this article further.

YET ANOTHER SOCIAL EVIL – THE ANIMAL SACRIFICE

I was quite helpless looking at the innocent animals brought for sacrifice before the deity. It was Bonalu (a Hindu festival of the Goddess of power, Mahakali, celebrated in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema in India – source: wiki) here and i was looking to go on a morning work when i caught the site. There was a mass gathering and people were waiting with the animals in a queue for their turn to come. I was looking here and there when i caught the site of a butcher at a distance under a neem tree busy with his work. It’s a Sunday morning and i thought the place to be a temporary local meat market as i never noticed such a gathering in that place before. There was a very small temple about my height at a small distance from the neem tree surrounded by a large crowd.

I was completely ignorant of the day and the festive occasion that time. My curiosity grew big and i decided to ask people about the event. When i enquired the locals here about the gathering they looked at me suspiciously and tried to inspect me first. I don’t belong to the city and there is issue with the language i speak too. Hardly anybody understands English here and i felt it’s not the right time to tell them that Hindi is our national language which could have brought another argument. I somehow managed to communicate the massage with my ‘hinglish’ ( a combination of Hindi and english). To their comfort i told about me as their neighbour and staying in that apartment pointing my finger. One of them told people gathered here for worship on the occasion of Bonalu and when asked about the animals he tried to avoid me. Few among them stared at me with surprise when a person came to the front and told they will make a feast of the animal. He explained it’s not a meat market, as you make feast in New Year along with friends we too on a festival day. I found few body parts of animals tied to the branches of the neem tree. Nobody told me the connection of the festival with the neem tree, the temple and the animals.

We are living in a time when we think ourselves as modern and responsible. How responsible are we? What to do when law keepers break the law? I noticed a cyberabad police patrolling van standing few metres away. The officials were looking happy and busy in some discussion. I approached the van and asked one among the officials if they are aware of this event and the response was a big laughter. They told we’re all invited here. They behaved as if they don’t know the law. I don’t know the deal between the locals and police officials. I just could not help myself prevent this sorry state of affairs when well-educated locals are not ready to understand the need. Who will educate the tribal? At first i thought of explaining them the difference between killing for a living and killing for fun/superstition. Even a tiger won’t kill unless it feels hungry and in need of food. After proper analysis of the situation i preferred not to enter the spot risking my life. I had my own limitations and the major one is my inability to speak in the local language. I could not stay longer and left the place. I was feeling sorry for the animals as i could not rescue any of them.

As per my understanding, the real issue is not with our ignorance of the law but our beliefs. Because of their age old beliefs they don’t respect the law. We must understand no goddess wants animal sacrifice for our growth and prosperity. Why do they refrain from law breaking activities when law keepers give them full support? Tribal people break the law without proper knowledge of the law and the law makers. It’s the responsibility of law keepers (the police officials and all well educated people) to make them understand the law and the need. We may help ourselves prevent such gory events in some parts with the use of force but there will be no real change without a correct understanding of the need. What sort of education can help us understand the need here? I welcome the government proposal to declare Bonalu as a state festival from next year as it’s the biggest in the telengana region. I urge the government to maintain law and discipline so that people can celebrate it without any animal sacrifice. Government can think to run awareness programmes with the help of NGOs too for greater success of the cause.

GOING GREEN : IDEAS FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any?
** Share yours –  I am looking for more ideas through your comments.

SAYING NO TO TOBACCO

CHILD LABOR – A CURSE FOR SOCIETY

On the eve of world labors’ day i welcome the efforts by media to spread awareness about child labor. Now we have stringent laws to curb this kind of social ill. Every child has the right to basic education. We can’t develop a healthy society if we allow our children to work as professionals at a tender age.

To be contd…

DEVELOPING A VALUE CHAIN

 What is value? Is it only associated with relationship and culture? No. It has much more to it. If we preach something and do something else then we don’t follow right values. When there is lack of trust also we lack values. People questioned me in public if we can trust Debasis? They are not wrong people, they are quite honest in their dealings and something came out of their mind as a natural flow of their thoughts which is quite true for them. Unless we understand a person we can never trust him/her completely. When there is lack of understanding, there is lack of trust too. A strong and deep rooted value system can help us here. Sometime we can’t make people understand our point because of certain obligation and constraints imposed which is beyond our control. You will loose trust of people that time. How many people have you come across in your life who can trust you blindly even they don’t know much about you? I met few people with whom I could not keep in touch out of fear of uncertainties about my career, my friend’s career and theirs too. They have shown me the way to live and maintained highest standard of trust and values. They kept their word sacrificing their own career to build me and to protect humanity and human values. They are real managers and very hard to find. How could I afford to loose them for my selfish needs? My career is not that important to me when my well wishers are in danger. My decision could give protection to few of them and not all. I must sharpen my skills here and learn new skills to understand human beings better.

We learn from our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, well wishers and all elder people whom we respect. I often learn from kids and people much younger to me. There is no learning where there is a lack of respect. In this regard we must have respect for all. Children don’t learn from there mistakes because they don’t understand what we call as their mistake. They sometimes learn out of fear and most of the time observing and imitating their elders. I know this from my past experiences and I believe all of us should have similar experiences in their childhood. People have a “who cares” attitude only because of lack of respect and knowledge. With this attitude we don’t listen to others, fail to evaluate situations correctly and unable to perform well. Sometimes it gives us extra freedom to indulge ourselves in all kind of nonsense activities because we don’t know what is right and wrong and what is appropriate for us and the humanity at large. Sometimes we prove our foolishness trying to prove our innocence.

Respect comes from within for anybody we know. It can’t be generated artificially or compulsively. We respect our parents, teachers and elders because of their values. They show us the right direction when we find ourselves lost in unproductive thoughts. Human beings are all emotional to a different degree. Some has more and few have less depending on the situation. Can we gain control over all situations that we come across? No. We may become the almighty at a particular situation and may find ourselves helpless at some other. Why does this happen? By Murphy’s Law something that is bound to happen will happen at any cost and no body can have control over that. The implication could be a little carelessness if we don’t understand it properly. My understanding is that we may not gain control over all the unpleasant situations we come across but we can act as damage controllers by taking necessary steps to prevent further damage. Also it’s required to take precautionary measures to meet or avoid similar situations in future. There is a need to gain control over emotions here which may seem unrealistic at present but there is a real possibility.

I often ask myself a question how much value I am adding to my company and people around me. Is that enough where I am at present or should I do something more about it? Again a question comes to mind can we build a company without values and trust? A company is nothing but a unit of like-minded people who work together for a common cause irrespective of their gender, cast, creed and religion and the cause is the growth of all and humanity at large. When I ask this to my friends I get a mixed response. Some say yes and for others the answer is no. People who say yes believe that there is no connection between values and building a company. They argue that different people have different values and we are all multicultural, so we can build a company taking all of them and everybody can live happily if we have respect for each other. They say trust is required but we can’t change people if they don’t trust us. It’s there problem and they are like that. We can’t do much about it. The question still remains there that how can we build a company with those people? These groups of people have less understanding of values, thy live in their present and unable to foresee their future. The other groups of people who say no have much understanding of values and they are our future leaders who can build a society. We need change everywhere to build a society for sustainable growth. In this regard we must take care of our workplace like we do that at our home. A simple example could be we keep our home clean and don’t waste resources but forget that at our workplace. This is because we don’t understand values and unable to generate a sense of belongingness and fellow feeling at workplace. We have a strong bond with people at home but fail to do that at our workplace. This is so only because of lack of trust and values. Let’s develop as much value as we can and as soon as possible for a sustainable growth of our society.

 

* First published at http://writersatchatterati.blogspot.in/ on Wednesday, 12 March 2008

UNDERSTANDING VALUES

Some people claim that they drive themselves by values and for some its there understanding, but the fact is that most of them don’t really understand values to its correct meaning. When I ask them about Indian value system they find it difficult and try to escape the situation. Once I had a discussion with an infosys guy while roaming around in a park in Bangalore on a weekend. I asked him, what do you mean by driven by values? His immediate reply was I could not get you properly, can you please explain it? Then I asked have you ever noticed your company punch line? Your company punch line shows “powered by intellect, driven by values”. He replied immediately, oh yeah you are talking about that. Then he tried to change the topic moving to some other discussion. I allowed him to do that. Again after some time when I found that the person is now comfortable talking to me, I came back to the original topic our discussion.

At that point of time the person felt miserable and when he found there is no way to escape, he started talking on that. He explained it correctly to some extent according to my perception only the first part of it that is “powered by intellect”. He had no clue about “driven by values”. Then he told I don’t remember that now, it must have some mention in our company website somewhere. I will check and tell you. Then I told him don’t worry it’s not a big issue, visit us some time we will have more discussion. I finished our discussion with a thank you note and I gave him my company business card before leaving that place.

He was not the wrong person whom I had interaction with. Let’s analyze and understand the problem here if any. What he explained was his understanding. Sometime we neglect minute details about something in our analysis as we fell that is less important for us and we have many big issues in life to confront with. This kind of negligence can create humiliating situation for us in every sphere of life. In this particular case the person must have a feeling in him that he could not represent his company well when it was most needed. Should I blame infosys management for what there employees know and what they not about there company? No, I can’t, because I don’t know there history. Is there any flaw in there administration? I can’t say. We can’t blame any management if there employees fail to meet the minimum required expectation. For a single person I can’t blame the entire management. Yes it’s required to find out the root cause and take the corrective action to prevent further damage.

It’s not enough to create big banners and generate eye catching punch lines for advertisement. What if we don’t understand that? Yes with this it is possible to bring more recognition outside and do a good business what we usually look out for. But we can never build a clean society unless we understand values to its correct meaning. We need to inculcate that into practice in our personal lives. I can say that we understand values and we follow that in practice too. So I feel like we are the best in this area where people understand and realize the importance of value system rather than claiming it which is more important according to my understanding.

Is our value system extinct under western influence or just in danger like the tiger species? If it’s true can we revive our old value system? What can we do about that? I have not provided any solution to any problem here. We need to come up with our own problem and solution and also its desired to share that with others for better understanding. These are all still open for discussion for everybody to find more knowledge in this area.

DISCLAIMER:
This writing is not intended to hurt anybody or their image as a whole but to bring the reality into picture. I urge the readers not to take it personally if they came across such a situation in their life ever. Let’s avoid all kind of controversy and view things as learning opportunities. I have not mentioned any name here for that reason. I will be happy if they can provide me with their valuable comments for better understanding and better writing.Let me know if you find this content objectionable and if so why? Do share with me if you have similar experiences. I may add something to it later after I find your comments.

 

* First published at http://writersatchatterati.blogspot.in/ on Thursday, 14 February 2008

IMPORTANCE OF MORAL & VALUE DRIVEN EDUCATION

The demon of terrorism & violence is expanding its wings very fast. Many countries around the globe are facing its heat today in some form or the other. Even powerful countries like US are no exception. And their target is innocent people. Humanity and human values are at its all time low. Even they don’t spare one year old kids. Why can’t we help ourselves in this situation rather than being a spectator and often eye witness at times? We see mass murder in the name of cast and religion. Can you ask the people who cause such acts, whom we refer as terrorists? Who are they? As better I know, they are also human beings. Terrorism is the enemy of humanity and the entire human race, not the terrorists. Can we call it a holy war killing innocent people in large numbers? There is no place for violence in any religion. God gas never created any distinction among human beings. It is we people who are responsible for this discrimination. This way we are not killing human beings but humanity as a whole. We can have a great debate on this to find out its root cause and its associated factors. I will not delve deep into it. Let’s analyze its significance in the context of our topic i.e., the importance of moral and value based education. I read somewhere that “morality is the domain of the hypocrites” written by a very well known columnist. I don’t want to name the person just to avoid controversy and i am also not blaming anybody for such contents. He is a very honorable person and a renowned writer. Only thing i can say about him from the contents of his script that he might not have understood morality in its true sense and might be lacking the requisite value based education.

We (not I) realize day by day that there is no place for good people in politics. They play dirty politics blaming each other. The only aim for them is to reach the top position someway and have absolute control and authority over others. Forget about right or wrong. Somewhere I read “everything is fair in love and war”. I’d like to add politics here. They are not worried at all even if they lose their values and conscience here. Times Of India is campaigning for “lead India” and not worried at all for its contents published in Bangalore times. I have not seen such contents in any other supplements in other leading Indian dailies. Apart from Bangalore times, I have not seen such contents from times of India in our native place. Are they playing politics with us? What I observe here is they feel such content are ok in Bangalore and not quite acceptable to people in Bhubaneswar where they are very traditional. Our young people among whom we are planning to find our future leaders are kept in darkness. The same person who has never seen such contents published in TOI, Bhubaneswar finds it shocking to see those in Bangalore. Are we looking for a global culture acceptable to everybody where all will feel safe and protected or a city based culture? The only reason I find here is to gain cheap popularity as soon as possible and be the market leader and of course to make money in that process. They forget their social responsibility in this process. I can compare media people with politicians here in this context though they do not rule us directly. But they affect a larger section of the society by their writings. They have the biggest social responsibility. Let’s ask ourselves, how are we responsible for this transition? We are also responsible when we do not raise our voice and watch quietly something going wrong as if it will not affect us and its not our business. Is it my business to generate social awareness among people and think about you? Why? Am i a fool? Am I getting any monetary benefit out of it, then why am I doing all this?

Social work is nothing more than foolishness. Degradation in human values in politics is not at all good for our country men and to the human race as a whole. Promises are like fireworks now days. They do exist at one moment and nonexistent at some other like fire crackers after they explode, only to cause smoke and sound that gives us momentary pleasure but harmful in long run. Increasing incidence of dowry deaths are like epidemic these days that we read and see in newspaper daily. We find this in our educated society among highly educated people some of whom are in top positions. Forget about illiterate village people. Is it not a misfortune for our society in this twenty first century?

Right education sharpens our attitude and behavior and helps us attain higher goals of life. It disciplines our life and gives us correct living standards rather than our standard of living. Because its very much important to live with correct standards and not to find our standard of living comparing to that of people around us in terms of money and their possessions. Unfortunately, when I see young people today, I don’t feel like they have received the right education. Is it because of our system? We can’t blame people of our young generation for this tragedy. From where do they learn? It’s from their elders, the media and their surrounding environment. Result of this kind of education among young people we see in the form of smoking, drinking, kidnapping, rape to name a few. We observe increasing incidence of physical torture to junior students from their peers in the name of ragging. Is it not a sign of degradation in moral values in our education system?

Now students want to pass their exams anyway with shortcuts. They do not think copying as a form cheating anymore. Even parents encourage them in this process. They want their children to find a place in some good college/university that can provide him a good placement somewhere after the completion of their education. That became the sole purpose and basis for education today. Forget about values and career building which was once the purpose behind any education. Can this help us attain our goals and generate moral values among our people if we fail to impart the right education? No way. This will only show them a wrong direction and they will be more and more vulnerable to dangers and challenges coming their way. They can’t face it gracefully and confidently. I don’t believe in degrees and institutes anymore. I had a conversation with one of my professors at IIM, Calcutta two months back. He told me after this discussion now i feel like you people are studying hard to learn things unlike what i find here among regular PGDM students. I could not understand anything at first and was a little curious to know more. When enquired, he told students here are more concerned about finding a good placement rather than learning a subject well. Obviously they will get good placements from here but they don’t show much interest in learning and building a career that they can get from us. We are well known worldwide only because of our faculty and the quality of education we impart to students. But students these days seem to have different career plans and choices rather than gaining knowledge. The situation was not like this some fifteen years back.

In a time like some of us feel that strong moral and value based education is the only solution to all such problems. It’s up to you to analyze the truth behind this statement. When the true purpose behind any education is character building and personality development, we someway misinterpreted it and are not in the right track. How to pass examination with good numbers became the purpose behind education now. Right education has to be imparted at school level. When we teach humanity and human values to children at school level, it can have a long lasting effect. If we fight among ourselves like the Kauravas of Mahabharata epic instead of trying to find a solution, no body can prevent our human race from extinction.

* First published at http://writersatchatterati.blogspot.in/ on Monday, 24 September 2007

India’s Choice At Oscars : “Eklavya -The Royal Guard”

India’s nomination to OSCARs this year has been in controversy now. I have not analyzed well what others say about it. I don’t know what is the cause of concern for others in this movie. Now its entry has been challenged in Bombay High Court. As I heard from others it’s because of a legal battle between two rival producers, Vidhu Vinod Chopra for “Eklavya” and Bhavna Talwar for Dharm. I don’t know what is the basis of selection. If its only by votes then as per the claim of the producer of Dharm, her film was not selected because the 11-man jury appointed by the Film Federation of India included Sudhir Mishra and Jagdish Sharma, members well known to “Eklavya” producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. She feels that since certain members of the jury were personally known to ‘Eklavya”s producer, this direct nexus could have led to a bias. “Eklavya” won the selection over “Dharm” on a six to five final vote. Vidhu Vinod Chopra said that he had no idea of the composition of the jury until after its selection had been made.

Here I am going to write about the movie and its subject as I view it and my cause of concern. I had watched that movie last year after its release in India. Before I went to watch that movie I had no idea about the subject and its content. I was quite impressed by the name of the movie as I had some knowledge on Elavya, the original disciple of guru Drona of Mahabharata from our Hindu mythology. Other motivational factor to watch that movie for me was the big banners and posters of that movie showcasing Amitabh Bachhan as Eklavya – my hot favorite actor of all time. Eklavya is in controversy over its selection for Oscars. I don’t know how it got selected as a nomination for Oscars. Let me write you something about the movie. The very beginning of that movie was quite fascinating depicting picturesque valleys and palaces of ancient Indian ethos which are quite attractive. It’s a a widely panned royal epic set against the sumptuous backdrop of a desert palace. It talks about Guru Drona and his disciple Eklavya at the beginning. We generally take interest in something that fascinates us. I found a full drama after initial few minutes of the movie and no way connected to Eklavya as the story progresses. I don’t find any value attached to the movie.

Let’s analyze the selection process as I visualize it. Should we select something because we do not have any other choice? Is it because of some bias? Should a movie for Oscars need to have a very good concept and a strong message? Unfortunately no body is talking about the values behind the movie, its lead character, what message it gives to the indian viewers and the world at large. Vidhu Vinod Chopra told that it did a very good business at overseas and was quite well acclaimed by the westerners.

It has a very strong and wrong message in it at the end. The message is “Eklavya was wrong in his approach”. If we talk only about the movie and its character, the message could be acceptable to some of the viewers but they have enough ground for controversy by telling the story of Eklavya of the epic Mahabharata. The problem arises when we compare that Eklavya with the character in the movie. The comparison now is quite natural as the viewers have been reminded of the story at the beginning of the movie.

Let’s look at it in a different angle now. Eklavya is still considered an idol among our student community which is a symbol of sacrifice and which depicts the strong devotion of a disciple to his master. He had shown us greatest form of sacrifice by donating his thumb to guru Drona. He was a master archer of his time and no body had the ability to defeat him. Eklavya was not a fool. He knew that by donating his right hand thumb, he can never practice archery. If you say that he had no idea of his master’s treachery and why he was deceiving him, then you are wrong. He had a very good knowledge of Arjuna and his relationship with Drona. Knowing everything, he sacrificed himself just to please his master who was not teaching him directly. He learnt the trade just by watching guru Drona while he was teaching Arjuna. I’d say it’s the greatest form of sacrifice. How can we compare him with a highly dramatized movie character?

When we send a message like “Eklavya was wrong”, it directly points to the person in our epic Mahabhatrata. If the only aim of the movie maker is to create a movie to do a good business, what is the need to use the name of a noble person like Eklavya? Can we retain our culture anymore if we accept the message from that movie? We should think and analyze the subject matter well before making any movie when we target a large number of viewers. I can’t express how much damage that movie caused to our value system. Consequences are many. We can easily find out the rising number of incidents of violence and deteriorating student teacher relationship now. Are we just interested to bring Oscar home someway and get recognition? How can we forget our responsibility?

I will not blame the jury members at Film Federation of India. I am worried about the selection process. Do we seek views from our viewers, I mean our general public who go and watch the movie. If you take my view I’d suggest we could have done a survey on how our people perceived that movie on a large scale. It’s high time we must raise our voice to prevent any further damage.

* First published at http://writersatchatterati.blogspot.in/ on Sunday, 28 October 2007

STEALING CHILDHOOD FROM CHILDREN

Children are our future. We need to nurture them carefully and build correct personality in them for a sustainable growth. During a table topics session at a toastmasters meeting, the Table Topics Master asked me to enact the role of a 9 yr old boy proposing his 8 yr old girlfriend studying in same class. This topic came to me on children’s day. I was not in a mood to change the topic or escape the situation after attending so many table topics session. Still I could not play the role. Not because I can’t but what I felt that time was I should not.

I ask myself often should I do something because that is the need of the situation and people are awaiting your response or should I assert myself well before any act, whether I should do that or not. My heart gives me the answer that you do something what you want to do and not under any pressure that somebody wants you to do that. Doing such an act just to have fun what message can I convey to my audience and the society at large? Some people might understand the reality and some may not. Those who can understand the situation and think laterally will find me right and those who can’t will find a fool in me. Somebody told me later that my daughter is 6 years old and she is talking about girlfriends and boyfriends. From where do children learn these things? It’s non other than their surrounding environment, I mean the media like radio, TV, newspaper, magazines, mobile phones and more over the people they interact with. This can be another topic of discussion. Let me stick on to the current topic.

There is another instance on a TV show I’d like to elaborate. It was a reality show aired on cable TV network. It was a song competition and the participants were of different age groups of which mostly are children from 7 yr olds. The judges nominated were all well known personalities from film and music industry. In one instance one of the judges told a singer that I can’t give you the top grade. Your performance is very good but it needs improvement. The child started crying. The child was curious what he did wrong. Trying to explain him the judge answered, I can understand that the song is of high quality and we can’t expect such a deep level of emotion and sensuality in your expression. It’s quite natural from you, so don’t worry. I just can’t figure out what the 7 year old might have understood from such an explanation. If that is the case, why can’t we select specific songs according to age group of participants?

In another reality show which was a song competition, the judge awarded a 7-8 year old as the best performer. As a part of congratulatory talks finally he talked to his parents. Everybody seemed to be happy including the audience. All of a sudden another judge from the panel came up with a compliment. He told the audience, you know he has four girlfriends and there was laughter all around including his parents. I’ll leave the readers to analyze such a situation and it’s after effect on the child. I’ve attended meetings where I got the privilege to listen to Dr. Ali Khwaja who is a counselor, trainer and a child specialist having a Ph.D in counseling psychology. He had authored several books of educational value on human behavior, children and counseling. I have a similar thought on education and caring for children how he writes in his books.

There is a need now to understand the reality and correct ourselves before it’s too late. My assertion about the topic goes like this. There is a definite age for maturity. It may vary over a range of time for some people. We can’t produce wonder kids by providing them with all the information before a certain age what I view as maturity. Let them live their life free from complexity of this world at least till their under graduation before they can decide their future and learn how to deal with life situations. We should not steal childhood from children.

With the advent of technology and the first changing information age, you can’t hide anything to anybody. Only we can teach children to perceive the right thing and do away with the rest.

* First published at http://writersatchatterati.blogspot.in/ on Monday, 17 December 2007

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