Posted in Economic

Where there is no level playfield

Sometime back I read a post on difference between CBSE education and State board education.

I have these to say.

I and my friends attended only LS, the famous girls’ school in Mylapore. I still remember my 6th standard school fees. It was a total of twenty six rupees for one academic year, that’s all. It was paid by my mother in cash. In my 7th standard, we paid Rs.33/- for one whole academic year.

Finally in standard XII I guess I paid Rs.150/- as per prevailing cost of living conditions then, being annual fees. Apart from this, I guess we paid exam fees to the board of perhaps 5/-rupees nothing more, to my memory.

Look at what we paid for schooling and what the privileged kids paid for theirs. In what way today we are inferior to the CBSE school products.

My school/classmates have gone on to become medicos, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, lawyers, teachers etc in every corner of the world. My mother too was an alumnus of my school.

Dr. Shantha of the Cancer Institute of Adyar passed away today. She was a renowned alumnus of ours. Playback singer Vani Jayaram and actor Lakshmi are our proud alumna.

My education was heavily subsidized. Max fees I paid was for my math undergrad degree in private college – which came to 750 rs per annum which was deemed very expensive in those days. My PG fees was Rs.500/- pa being Univ of Madras govt dept. Through out school, I received my father’s office scholarship as he worked for central govt undertaking which came to Rs.600/- pa much more than what we paid as fees. For class 11 & 12, I received cheque for Rs. 900/- pa from my father’s office because I scored over 90% in all classes. The scholarships were awarded for scoring 90% marks in previous annual exams by the children of the employees.

My husband and his brothers attended Tamil medium schools in villages as my FIL was posted in rural Tamil Nadu. Only for class 6 they came to Madras. The boys went on to still become school toppers in English stream in state board schools and also in their respective colleges and are leading professionals in their chosen fields ever since. Until now their grammar may not be perfect but my hubby claims, he and his bros have what we call ‘technical brain’ which can understand maths and physics and chemistry effortlessly that comes by birth. The other brain is what we call the artistic brain that can enable some of us in becoming artists-artisans in creative fields such as literature, art, costume designing, performing arts such as theatre, music etc.

Until today this is the greatest plus for the brothers as I can see the same trait even in my son. To them equations and numbers and formula are too very simple and not at all confusing or complicated. But for my husband anything literary is very complex. Writing an essay or even 3-4 lines at one go is … not really a problem but never appealing if I can put it that way. Anything artistic is too out of the way so I wonder how he is reasonably a good amateur artist still. Perhaps that is why my son is a mix of both literary and math brains. Rarely we see such a combo.

I gave homeschooling to my son from 3 years to 6 years in Malaysia. I took the text books with me. Here in good old Madras, he had just started school and was starting to write alphabets.

In standard 3 at the age of 7 years he was turned down for admission by every single school in Chennai as he did not have record of formal education. Indian school system sucks!

Finally a matric school in Anna Nagar dared to give him admission as I was nearing the end of my wits running from pillar to post frantically trying to secure admit for him in any school. The correspondent of the school simply opened the school diary and asked my son to read the national pledge. My son read it fluently and comfortably. He was given spot admission. Two years later I switched school for him when the correspondent got irked. In these 2 years, I received many notifications from the school that was pulled up by state govt authorities that sought records for my son’s formal education upto class 2. We had not a single paper and I was forced to get a signed declaration from a retired teacher in Malaysia claiming that she taught him at home. Only then he was allotted an admission number. It never mattered to the board or any authority that my son was already topping the school almost having had no formal schooling at all until his 7th year.

So I wonder what is wrong with our education.

In Malaysia, our PC was my son’s blackboard and I taught him upto class 2 at home at our own leisure. I had educational CDs from ‘Pasar malams’ the famous nightmarkets of Malaysia that played a vital role in his education. We did playfully and joyfully the numbers and rhymes and even short stories. My son also did attend a play school with Malay and Chinese kids for an year but regular schooling for kids started in the south east Asian country only by 7 years. When we were back in Chennai, my son could comfortably read the latest Harry Potter over other kids who had had regular schooling right here in the city. So I guess it is merely a matter of how much your ward can absorb irrespective of what or how much you can impart. Or that is how I see it. Kids brains are like sponges. Of various levels of absorption. Some drink in more whereas some imbibe moderate. Learning can be from outside world exposure as in my son’s case.

CBSE syllabus is undoubtedly good I am not denying that, but state board kids pay far less for education compared to the central school kids. For what we paid at least in my generation, what we received in return was immense. In my opinion which stream you study is hardly important. State board kids are far more street smart. Finally it’s a question of affordability in India, which school you attend and which university you graduate from. It is very cruel to compare the better-off kids attending CBSE schools with the rural state run school attendees who have to walk miles to go to school.

Contrary to what I read from the post on CBSE vs State schools by this friend, when my son joined engineering stream, most failures in his class were from CBSE who were overconfident. As the state board kids were learning engineering physics, chem, maths, engg drawing for the first time, they worked diligently and secured a pass.

But CBSE students definitely have the best edge in national level entrances especially when it comes to IIT, II of maths, physics, science etc. Aspirants for these streams need to take up only CBSE syllabus and nothing less.

One has to remember here that Sundar Pichchai still attended Jawahar Vidyalaya only and not PSBB even if later he went on to graduate from IIT-IIM. The other stalwart CEO of Microsoft from India, Satya Nadella, isn’t even from a pricey engineering university reportedly. Not an IITian.

Finally it is all upto the individual. How well you capitalize what resources are available to you. How well you hone your skills. How you apply your knowledge and skills acquired in 2 dimensions to a practical 3 dimension. As we say in Tamil, ‘yettu suraikkai karikku udhavaadhu.’

My husband says, whenever they secure mammoth industrial project contracts, as project head he thinks ahead by years – in 3 D – from raw material and manpower procurement and execution phase to complete profit projection. Most importantly cannot allow idling of resources which will be billed on the project. He can visualize the entire concept and finalize the designs (steel design structures) in his mind and order of phases of execution. For instance, in the case of even basic demolition, one has to start from roof top not from rock bottom. That’s how you go about things. He says for this logical thinking you have to be street smart with hands on experience. Text book knowledge is insufficient. Translating your book knowledge to field acumen is the secret. That is how filmy directors work. That is how director Shankar made his Robot starring Rajnikanth. What kind of schooling can teach you this kind of critical thinking, planning and execution.

My simple state board school had National Geographic stacked in our library and that is how I got to know of the journal in my middle-school. We were obviously subscribing to such world class editions at a time before we had satellite tvs that beamed in these foreign channels right into our living room.

My school taught me to respect elders, to be responsible, to be polite, to be humble…. and more than all I mixed with middle-class girls which is what makes me what I am today … for better or for worse. As not much came from text books, we girls learnt a lot from other outside sources, from life experiences etc.

I don’t know how good state board schools are faring presently. For the first time I believe a christian lady is HM in my girls school now which is nothing sort of a revolution. Such a Hindu school which is the main reason I was enrolled in this school. Obviously the world has come a long, long way.

It is heartless to criticize the state board kids or syllabus because they are not there by choice. They are in state board only because that’s what their families could afford.

The lapse is on part of the Indian state. Such a disparity in education. I think I have blogged on this in the past. A kid’s destiny is decided right at the time of his/her KG admission. There simply cannot be comparison between a corporation/panchayat school kid who learns in local language (Tamil) and a urban upper middle class kid attending creamy school in the metro with access to (global) English (language) text books to study materials. In which other country in the world is education so divided and unequally distributed as in India.

In Malaysia, there was only one board. You attended school that was closest to you. Admission denied in any school over 2 km range. I was stunned to see the uniformity of education there all those years back. Which is why Malaysian Indian (Tamils) community mostly as well as the Chinese community were doing so good. Admissions to universities had quota system favouring the Malays. Down at school level, everyone was on equal footing with equal opportunities available to all. Those who are questioning reservation in India today are precisely from the creamiest section ironically. Yes, you can do that provided you have the guts and honesty to enroll your kid in corporation school. Let all of us start life on equal footing. Then we will earn the moral rights to phrase and question the formulated practices of justice in the nation.

Now that brings us back to the question of NEET. This is why NEET is NOT justified in rural India where poorest rural children grow up right from the start at a disadvantage. Center expects them to compete with CBSE kids with sound economic and academic background. Whereas these creamy kids will go on to work with only Fortis and Apollo, the rural kids on quota basis who attend medical schools will go back to their native villages to work for the poorest and tribal communities. What they may lack by book knowledge, they learn with valuable hands-on experience handling hundreds of OP as well as in-patient cases every single day in their public health centers/govt hospitals. It needs no mention that the swanky city hospitals today have book-thumping medicos with not great experience. The effects of our current NEET entrance will be known after a generation or two when the present serving physicians as we know them in health care industry will take retirement. Then we will pay for the mistakes of willfully neglecting the aspirations of poor malnourished rural kids who dreamt of one day going back to their native villages to serve their local communities. After all, how many Tamil films have had this single plot for storyline ?! In their place we will have super sophisticated English speaking medical professionals over-dependent on machinations and lab test results without instinctive diagnosis skills that can come with experience alone.

Posted in Political

India rolls out Covid 19 Vaccine to Public today.

Despite the opposition scheming and despite the media junkies criticizing the govt and spreading false information, India is rolling out the local manufacture Moderna vaccine today for Covid 19 all across the nation. The frontline warriors in health sector and those serving the community such as the police service will be receiving the first batch of shots. Later on, the vaccination will be available to public on demand. I don’t need media guys telling me what to do and when to do. These are the least fit na-layaks to certify anything good and/or worthwhile. My friend who is a experienced medico practising in the US took two shots of Pfizer vaccine and developed (expected) symptoms after the second doze administered after a 28 day gap. She is asking me to go for both dozes that are modified for both the strains of covid-19, and I need no other prescription than this to go for the vaccination. Will do it as and when time permits. Whether we have co-morbid health conditions or not, once you cross 45 or 50 years, I feel we are in a vulnerable age already. Some of us attract infections easily. Women especially have a weaker immune in my thinking. I may or may not be right. I am taking Kabasura kudineer on weekly basis, lemon-ginger-tulsi-garlic-amla concoctions everything which I have been taking all my life, not just because of corona scare. Only now all this is suddenly projected so much as immunity builder to us Indian families. We are doing it for ages. Turmeric, cinnamon, cloves – can’t imagine life without these.

Hopefully we leave 2020 psych totally behind with the vaccine and start fresh life once again. Heartening to read our Vice President Shri Venkaiah Naidu’s address to the nation on the launch of the vaccine to Indian public. I will do a copy-paste job.

“COVID Vaccination DriveToday is a red-letter day for the people of the country. India has scripted history by touching a new milestone in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic with the Prime Minister, Shri Narendrabhai Modi launching the world’s largest vaccination drive. Two Indian manufactured vaccines, cleared for emergency use, will inoculate an estimated 3,00,000 healthcare workers with the first dose today. This is a proud moment for every Indian and I would like to convey my deepest appreciation to all the scientists for the remarkable speed with which the vaccines were developed in a record time. It is pertinent to point out here that it takes several years before a vaccine rolls out to reach people at large, after the successful completion of all trials at all the stages.In recent memory, there was no other medicine or vaccine for which the entire world waited with such anxiety and restlessness as it did for the vaccines for Sars-Cov2, which are being rolled out in some countries.I am happy that the Union Government and all the States are coordinating this immunization programme in a truly ‘Team India’ spirit as more than 1.65 crore doses of #Covishield and #Covaxin have been allocated to the States and Union Territories in accordance with their requirements. The Centre and the States worked in a mission mode to complete the dry runs and take care of the logistics and the required infrastructure.The Centre and States deserve our compliments and appreciation for this synergy and for working in sync to ensure smooth completion of this mammoth task. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, India like the rest of the world had faced massive disruption to the economy and the livelihoods of people, even as the novel coronavirus claimed thousands of lives and stretched healthcare systems of the most developed countries, as also ours, to their limits. Hopefully, the days of uncertainty and anxiety will end soon. Motivated by the ‘Atma Nirbhar’ Bharat call given by the Prime Minister, our scientists have risen to the occasion. Their efforts were ably complemented by our frontline COVID warriors- healthcare workers, sanitation workers, police and others who never gave up and walked the extra mile to protect all of us. Today, their patience and hard work have paid off. The country, as a whole, will soon reap the benefits of the efforts of these patriotic men and women. Around 3 crore health and other frontline workers will be covered in this phase—they include doctors, nurses, paramedics and other support staff. Apart from them, police personnel and paramilitary personnel, Home Guards, Disaster Management volunteers, municipal workers, Revenue Officials and other Jawans involved in the containment of the virus will be vaccinated. The same vaccine will be given as the second dose after 28 days. In the second phase, people above the age of 50 and those with co-morbidities will be vaccinated. Apart from them, people living in areas with high infection rates will be vaccinated in this phase. While the launch of the immunization drive is a big morale booster, I would like to appeal to the people, including those vaccinated, to not lower the guard in the fight against COVID-19. Everyone must continue with the ‘social vaccine’- of wearing masks, washing hands regularly, and maintaining a safe distance from others.I would also like to urge all the officials involved in the administration of the vaccine to strictly follow the comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts to avoid any untoward incident. The instructions include specifications regarding dosage, cold chain storage requirements, contra-indications and minor AEFIs (Adverse event following immunisation). As mentioned earlier, vaccine development entails a prolonged scientific process as it has to pass through all the stages of clinical and human trials involving thousands of volunteers. It is truly a feat worthy of our appreciation that the government acted with remarkable speed in completing various aspects like prioritizing the target groups, conducting dry runs, preparing the database of healthcare workers, training the vaccinators, delivering the vaccinations to the final administering sites safely, storing the vaccines in cold storages, and evaluating and monitoring the situation on a real-time basis through the Co-WIN network and central helpline. Undoubtedly, tireless efforts have gone into ensuring smooth operations till the last mile. My heartfelt regards to the field workers, health professionals, scientists, volunteers and the officials for their indefatigable efforts in fast-tracking the entire process and bringing to fruition the two Indian manufactured vaccines.India has developed a reputation as a world leader when it comes to immunization. The latest experience in developing a vaccine in record time only adds to that legacy. We have already done a fantastic job in the export of medical equipment to fight COVID-19- from PPE kits, N-95 masks and ventilators to other countries. It is not just the developing world, but the developed world too which looks up to us now as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’.We must build on this momentum and become the vaccinators for the world too in the true Indian spirit of treating the entire world as one family—‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. We have already offered support to our neighbouring countries with COVID-19 vaccine. Soon, as the domestic demand is met and with ramping up of production, we can match and deliver to the global demand too. I am sure that today’s drive will serve as a successful template for immunization of the larger population in the coming months. My best wishes to all the people involved in the drive today.”

I trust the Indian physicians/scientists/health workers/community service workers one hundred percent completely. They are by far the best.

Posted in Political

The loud mouth of some self-appointed custodians of Hindu Dharma!

Like any faith, Hinduism is not 100% perfect. We have our ups and downs. Casteism is our gravest concern. A lot better than we were even a mere half a century ago, Hindu revivalism rests amply on how we take it from here. It is the responsibility of every single Hindu to ensure that none is left out and that our fold is inclusive of those in the fringes.

I shall explain quota reservation the way I have in my previous posts.

Carpark for the disabled is reserved in every corner of the globe – be in shopping malls or cinemas or stadiums or airports or theme parks or public places or wherever. The unreserved if they cannot find parking, can still drive around a block or two and walk a couple of streets to the mall. Something the physically challenged may find difficult to do. Reservation quota is such a small aid given to the underprivileged. You may claim some slots remain vacant, yet they don’t let you fill up because you can take care of yourself as you are fit as a fiddle. You will survive walking the extra 500 m or 1 km. Whatsoever, you will find your way to the mall and will not get lost. You need no direction or assistance. You cannot argue that you have been a fine driver all along and now you are forced to walk in hot sun, but the maimed or handicapped man enjoys the privilege of parking under cool shade even if he arrived late. You cannot argue it is you who is shopping maximum and adding value to economy, and the reserved carpark man in wheelchair shops for nothing and is merely window shopping. You cannot claim the reserved carpark allotted to him is going waste because he brings back nothing from the mall. You cannot lament, you have to carry the shopping bags two streets down to your parked car even if you are able-bodied enough to do it. May be the damaged man/woman was hit by your speeding car in the highway who knows. Hit for long that he cannot raise by himself or drive by himself. He needs a crutch to lean on and to take even a single step forward, while you have been enjoying riding your car at highspeed after a headstart and parking in forefront as long as one can remember…. And in case you deny reserved carpark for the disabled, isn’t there every chance he turns away from the mall disillusioned and disheartened.

At least this is how I see reservation. None in my family has benefited from any form of govt concession. But we enjoy the privilege of our sound birth which has put us ahead of millions in this country. Painfully I remain aware of this one differentiating fact.

Some of us fail to understand the basic lack of humanity in our society and the need to equalize chances for everyone. Which is why we have today ‘Black lives matter.’ If someone is gullible, it does not mean we can continue to take them, for a ride.

The animal abuse in Hindu temples is horrible, horrendous. No endearing kinship between a mahout and an elephant can justify such a blatant cruelty inflicted upon hapless voiceless five sensed gentle giant that belongs in the wild, in the name of God, in the abode of God. One has to be a sadist to do this to a living creature, especially something as beautiful and enchanting and magnificent as the Indian tusker. The spirit of the beast is snuffed in the name of God, the will broken in the house of God. How many know what it takes to ‘break an elephant.’ A sin like none other. Even thinking of this breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes.

The greatest enemies of Hinduism are right here. If they shut their big mouth, world will be a far better place to live in. Anyway who gave these men and women the right to represent Hindu Dharma. Self-appointed custodians of Sanatana I suppose.

I have raised a lot of questions over conversion, yet I have to concede, none in India is forced into conversion kicking and screaming their way. They embrace the Abrahamic fold in freewill because when one’s dignity is at stake, nothing else matters really.

I have not seen worse passive aggressive lot like my fellow Hindus. I have lived among Malaysian/Arab muslims. Filipino christians. What we nurture that they don’t inherently have in them, is this ‘kallam, kabadam’ or ‘soodhu vaadhu’ – trademark birth character of all Hindus. And this ‘holier than thou’ attitude or this nauseating hypocrisy. Such a smug self-righteosness! What an insensitivity and lack of empathy.

Every single argument or post in mass media/social media these days is about castes or religion. Dear smartass Hindu, Lord Shiva cares really whether I go see him in menses or with a cigar dangling in my lips or after a peg of whisky. Whether I go see him in bikini or burqa. Or whether I had beef or panjamritham. This decorum is yours, NOT HIS! How senseless of you to reduce something so profound and infinite to mere rituality and your petty stupid dirty imagination! Whether He is Shiva, are you sure. Have you come back from Kailasha or what, you seem to know too much! Disgusting!

You are born no better than your neighbour by mere virtue of birth. Denying a fellow human his/her dignity is an unpardonable crime against humanity. Parasitic among us will find a 1000 reasons to counter social justice and equality.

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  • Reservation can be phased out step by step, generation by generation. This nation will continue to produce first generation literates/graduates for another 100 years. A clear proof of deep driven schism in Hindu society in existence for millennia.
  • Animal abuse in places of worship to be treated as criminal offence punishable with a sentence. With none to argue their case, wildlife/domestic animals in India suffer trauma at the hands of the abusive.
Posted in Political

Why The Farmers Agitation Will Die A Natural Death.

We eliminated sharebrokers when we went on digital platform and opened demat accounts to trade in stocks and mutual funds. Any retail investor mourned the loss of income to small investment brokerage firms?

What did we do to stop futures trading. Has it or has it not led to hoarding as feared. What are the effects of commodity futures on our national economy. (Me too know some economics ma).

We allow foreign retirement funds to invest in our stocks and take flight after zooming to extraordinary heights in unprecedented bull runs. They drop us like hot potatoes and make good with our invaluable investments leaving us high and dry. Have we even learned our lessons. After all we have allowed Bhopal.

We eliminated house brokers/real estate agents when we started browsing 99 Acres and Sulekha… Have those whose services are now redundant held protests.

We have IKEA-like assembly showrooms now, NO manufacturing units. Any enragement from woodworkers or carpenter class.

We have sedans and SUVs assembled in India, not made in India from scratch.

We ordered our Sardar Patel from China.

Our mobile phones and even air conditioner spares and laptops are made in China.

We blocked the chances of quota doctors who serviced the far-flung and most underdeveloped pockets of the Indian nation, mostly rural and unreachable and cut-off from civilization (kind of) when we ushered in NEET. Now we are waiting for corporates to open swanky hospitals in lieu of primary health centers in these tribal/backward districts. In another 20 years.

We gave a free rein to Bill Gates foundation whose diktat we obediently followed with our immunization programs. We trusted foreign organizations with the health and fertility of our future generations. Hindu population of India is done in. Our fertility rates have plummeted at rocket speed – can anyone deny this. An open challenge to our LIBERAL demographers to elaborate on this.

We permit foreign NGOs to convert Hindus and tribals to Christianity with bribes and rice bags. We have a 100 tv channels in Tamil language alone run by the church. Do we question them. Pseudo liberals please answer this question.

Do we audit madarasas, mosques, churches?

We cribbed about demonetization but lived through it.

We ranted and raved about GST but soon pieces fell into places. Seamless borders now pan India.

We even had issues with our Aadhar-PAN linking but we can’t think of a better fool-proof accounting and taxation method.

We cried foul over Sabarimala and Ayodhya. Ironically we also were up in arms against ban on Triple talak. How is this consistent???

Talking of Ayodhya, what happened to the 100 year church lease expiry in India. Almost all leases granted in British Raj days have expired. Liberals, can you take steps to handover the real estates to Govt of India. Every single christian missionary estate holding title needs a serious legal review.

We deplore caste system but we have no intellectual honesty to admit to victimization by islamic marauders and invaders. We justify Hindu genocides over centuries terming it the war dharma of the bygone eras, but is not by the same law of nature, restoring Ayodhya to Raam an evolutionary step in our history. So is Kashmir. History in the making. Survival of the fittest.

We forget our corner shop/kirana store with Amazon and Flipkart. Now these are fixed unchangeable ingredients of our lives. Living without them is unthinkable.

Is life without Swiggy and Zomato possible either.

PETA more important over local interests and native aspirations and customs and culture. Natives never hunted down any wildlife species to extinction dear liberals. White man did. Founding father of your darling PETA. Which native race hunts wild life for trophies.

India without PETA, Greenpeace, UNICEF, World Vision will be devoid of ‘foreign hands’ and ‘foreign agents.’

From chemical pesticides and fertilizers to GM seeds and GM cows and calves, we have to import semen for any kind of biological reproduction in India (how many of us are aware that there is no more natural conception of cattle in India/other Asian countries these days) because we are sold to the west in and out. Be it native flora or fauna nothing is ours anymore. IVF centers mushrooming is only the next inevitable step. 80% of urban Indian young couples today cannot conceive naturally without medical intervention. Just dare me.

So what is this Farmers agitation for. We are to succumb whatsoever. Corporates manipulate our lives and we dance to their tunes.

It started the day we picked up Pepsi and Coke smashing our Campacola and Thumsup bottles.

Not that we were better off before globalization. We have been controlled by one or other as we know from Shastri’s mysterious death in Russia.

Ignorance is bliss. Those who couldn’t care less are fortunate. Half-baked like me are the hardest hit. For we can guess what is coming.

Brazen church sponsor of Koodankulam and Sterlite protests have opened the eyes of the public. Media and leftists could have been the Biriyani packet dealership agents. Modi is busy only eliminating these agents!!!

By the way middlemen and agents have been systematically rendered redundant – this is a collateral damage to achieve larger growth. Draftsmen etc., were sacrificed in civil engineering work. Even chemotheraphy is now possible with pills. We outgrow many old practices in course of time. We switched from VHS tapes to CDs and now we have microchips. Is it not a way forward. Do we lament the closure of video libraries very popular in the 80s.

As the world mechanizes further and further, a lot more skills and jobs will be rendered waste. But the world population is bound to leapfrog by billions every decade. Expect economic downturns, pandemics and chaos and civil wars in every corner of the globe from here on. Not a doomsday pundit, but it is clear this is where presently the world is headed.

We are surviving right this moment a pandemic. It could have been worse. When virtual classrooms and WFH (work from home) can become the new normal, we are open for any improvisation in future. You can’t blame Adani and Ambani for even the corona. Adaption is key to survival. This too shall pass.

We gain some, we lose some. Elimination of Mandis does sound ominous. Effects of having a MS/MD inexperienced at 28 years will be felt like aftershocks some 20 years later. Service quota is not without a reason. Present Farmer Bill effects will be observable in a short period. Along with that couple the NEP (New Education Policy). Meanwhile hawala funds remain untraceable and keep pouring in, and conversion mafia is unstoppable in India. Add, multiply and square and cube all these omg…. India spinning, spinning, spinning out of control….

Posted in Political

Raaman Aandaalum Raavanan Aandaalum….

a picture is worth a thousand words. Indian CEOs in US: single proof of altruistic relations between the US & India irrespective of successive governments and heads of the state in both the countries…

This piece was originally written hours before Joe Biden decisively won the US elections. Hopefully he proves to be good for India. His personal life tragedies, I trust, could make him by far the most compassionate US president in a long time who knows. Those of us who have walked a bed of thorns think differently. I look forward to better India US relations because America is family for me now! I will love America as much as I love India… started loving America like India the day my son set foot in America. Let the world recover smoothly from coronavirus and let us wait for the dawn of happy times yet again. Indians have vested interests in America. The States is like a second home to most Indian families who have a son/daughter/sibling living there. Indian community has enriched America in myriad ways. We have given America astronauts to top surgeons to software professionals to nursing staff and even hoteliers. Sundar Pichchai and Satya Nadella are not born everyday. To the US with love, INDIA.

However I don’t share such generous views on VP Kamala Harris even if she shares Tambram genes equally as Jamaican. She never identified herself as half Indian all these days. Why sudden Indian/Tamil affinity now. Villagers in Mayavaram are crazy holding prayers for her victory. Anything for the daughter of the soil.

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What a debate the Trump Biden neck-to-neck contest has triggered in our midst.

India is very much concerned because our economy is directly tied to the US. Latest flashpoint has been the H1B visa renewal revised to every year from every three years badly affecting the IT sector and the fresh graduate Indians in the US. Mostly therefore we look at US elections from micro levels because Indian professionals rule the roost in America in key sectors such as IT, Medicine etc. We are more concerned about our kids going for masters to the US, H1B quota for the IT industry and US$ exchange rate over who is good for maintaining the balance of power in the world. Biden may be a better choice but how many of our liberals and leftists pause to think what a damage the Democrats have done to us Indians over decades. Republicans have fared far better (excluding perhaps Nixon). At macro level, for the Indian nation, Republican presidents have always been somewhat favourable politically.

For the leftists I have these questions: So immigrants are fine in Europe, America and India ( with Rohingyas). But why not in Middle East. Name a single islamic country/Arab nation that has taken in Palestinians or Syrians. How dare you. Come to the gulf. You can see thousands of Palestinians without a passport. What an intellectual dishonesty you guys have! You dare to question Trump, Modi, Macron everyone but you have not an iota of conscience because you never raise the flag as far as the islamic nations are concerned. You talk of islamophobia when you know none else in the world issues a ‘fatwa’ calling for death to fellow humans. Nowhere else in the world are pre-teen non-muslim girls abducted, raped and force converted to Islam as it is happening in Pakistan. Yes, every single non-muslim working/living in middle east cannot even proclaim his/her religion in public or criticize ‘the faithful’ lest he/she may rot in jail for rest of his/her life or worse, be stoned to death. And you talk of human rights in secular nations like India and the US. I am challenging you: try eating a pizza or even a pack of peanut in public in Pakistan during Ramzan in broad daylight , leave alone in Arab countries. I will talk to you if you are not already mutton kheema.

Black lives do matter but minorities cannot ever take law onto their hands whatever the pretext. Playing minority victim card is such a regular scene even in India. Just like our liberals/leftists have no word on conversion mafia/hawala fundings, they maintain a stoic silence on crimes committed by the minorities as well. How good is that Vatican keeps pumping millions of dollars into India for conversion guys? Or are you sleepwalkers with selective amnesia. Is it within human rights for foreign/desi missionaries/evangelists to venture into our tribal lands and convert indigenous natives?

Most of us who have been residents in the middle east are aware of the Trump mischief when he visited Saudi that triggered a commotion in the region and threatened world peace a couple of years ago. Trump was no way saint. Yet, that someone had the nerve to call a spade spade was admirable. Have you ever noticed a single leftist/liberal write or talk on triple talak or UCC (uniform civil code) or suppression of human rights in middle east. The leftist sense of justice: Shout out to Rohingyas but go silent on Yazidis. Raise a storm over Ram Mandir but go quiet on reclaiming church lease estate on expiry of 99 years. Even Hongkong could have gone back to China but not a single church may return to government fold. Law interprets itself differently in India. Or for secular democratic nations in general. Same law holds different again for communists and islamists. No audit for madarasa and church fundings but keep the temple administration with ruling government. If this does not smack of hyprocrisy, what does. My take on world affairs altered after i grew cynical on happenings in India.

Nationalism is not born without a reason. You feed it and then you cry foul.

Dear leftists/liberals today you can wag your tail proudly because Hindu dharma has bestowed such a freewill upon you. Democracy is very much incumbent on demography of a nation. Don’t let population jehad reduce you to minority. Then let us see whether you will even have any scope to exist. How many of you have it in you to admit to this bitter truth, a possibility within this century. Has happened in Egypt. Happening in Turkey presently. How long before it happens in India.

The same leftists who call the Dalit treatment a historical injustice, have no word for forced conversions or jiziya or razing of Hindu temples by Moghuls or the islamic anarchy that bled the Hindus for centuries. When you have no sympathy for the Hindu ancestors who suffered persecution under Arab/Moghul/Turkish/Persian marauders and sadistic invaders, you have no right to talk about the caste discriminations in the Hindu society prevalent for centuries. Both cancel out each other. Both were the prevailing dharma of those times. Even slave trade was the norm and dharma of a bygone era. Don’t hold the current generation responsible for the crimes and injustices and atrocities committed by their forefathers – because you never want to hold Indian muslims responsible for anything from past. Let the past remain in past NOT SELECTIVELY but.

If you want to be chummy chummy with muzzies, you are welcome, but don’t ever wag a finger at us Hindus. We have had enough. And now, we are finally on the offensive, having been on the defensive for too long.

In this context, I have always viewed Trump as a plus for India. His actions on immigration could have cost us a bit even if we are legal immigrants in the US (as white collar workers), but he had every right to regularize immigration in his own country. Average Americans welcomed his reforms, at least to my knowledge and thinking. If trump faulted, it was probably in the management of covid 19 pandemic.

I wouldn’t want to judge a man by his words. Rather by his actions. Trump succeeded in securing maximum benefits for the US economy pushing for lowering of trade tariffs in India, China etc. He did what was good for his country whether be it about Climate change or whatever. In spite of signing up for Climate change, what is India doing for a better environment. What are the efforts for greening the planet by the signed nations.

Trump’s scathing remarks on China are true 100%. His fears about China well founded. His warnings on terrorism were not out of place or time. Democrats such as Obama are known for emboldening terror elements. Just see who is rejoicing with Biden win. Our Paki neighbours. Trump stopped the US from financing terror nations and minced no words issuing a statement to that effect. US economy registered a robust growth in last 4 years.

I am very skeptical about Democrat for POTUS because our history is not rosy as I said. These democrats go soft on terror. Our international policies would be at loggerheads. As for the IT sector in India bringing us valuable foreign exchange, it may however be time to cheer with Biden winning the presidential race and it might be good news for our masters aspirants and research scholars and other immigrants, but we need to wait and watch how these guys are going to take our relationship further.

Mostly Joe Biden will be a mixed bag for India.

Those of you who associate Republican presidents with war scenarios forget that the following Democrat presidents never exercised the option of calling back troops but instead supplied additional troops to war fronts.

Health care reforms are fine but we also have south American economies like Venezuela ruined by socialism. Nothing is free in this world. You have to earn every single penny. Unchecked freebies will take any economy to Venezuelan-like crisis.

May be he was haughty and boorish and hated openly, yet Trump was good for India because he was a thorough businessman. You can deal with this kind. It is the dillydallying ones we have to stay wary of. The suave and sophisticated scoundrels reap all the praise because they have it in them to hoodwink the so-called elitist intelligentsia who fall for these nonsense charms head over heels. As for the general janata such as me, it takes a lot more of convincing to consider someone for what they are truly worthy of.

Too early to predict anything further. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Posted in Political

Tanishq Ad

I have done posts earlier on Love Jehad. I do believe this is an unspoken agenda in India, no doubt. At the same time, there are quite a few interfaith weddings that are also happening for the sake of love. How do you know the difference.

Until now my take on interfaith weddings was severe. But with an interreligious or rather international marriage in family, I am looking at these things now through a different dimension. New perspectives emerge. Some convictions I thought that were deeply rooted, seem to have been shaken. Opinions change, we jig and rejig and reprioritize. Probably time for some of us to evolve.

So i am having a rethink on everything from love jehad to interfaith relationships. I do not know what is what honestly. I just know, until it happens to you it is easy to sit on the fence and comment. The love jehad brides were all over 18. Like our christian converts.

I am a new customer with Tanishq but as for jewelry watches, i have always been a Titan fan… my recent couple of buys were from Tanishq and Caratlane. I did wonder at the profusion of islamic style jewelry in their showroom. I could easily tell apart which design was traditionally Hindu and which was Muslim. I completely ruled out the islamic influenced jewelry. Not many women can do that! I mean, unless you are a regular jewelry shopper hahaha it is not easy to differentiate between the two. In some pieces, the islamic representation is subtle. I steered clear of anything resembling islamic in their gallery.

I was also surprised at their robust number of muslim staff. I have not seen this anywhere in jewelry business. Definitely not in Andhra garu showrooms or Gujju jewelry shops.

What i liked about Tanishq was their transparency. You have access to witnessing the gold smelting process, with gold quality and exact weight, system generated right before your eyes. There is no way you can be shortchanged as the gold purity is indisputable and the customer stands to benefit. Since Tanishq is a corporate company, the standard of jewelry and service are par excellence. My friends refrain from Tanishq because it is deemed expensive. They tease me, Tanishq is for NRIs like me.

In all honestly, my gold shopping is always in Doha. In Chennai it is GRT. But of late I am liking Tanishq. When the standard is best, you don’t care if it is Hindu or Muslim. By the way, Tata is Parsi.

(In Middle East, ever since Kalyan jewelers opened up, there is a big shift in consumer preferences. Most Hindu customers moved over from the Alukkas and Malabar to the Hindu owned showroom for the only reason they did not want to give business to christian and muslim owned enterprises. Until very recently, these two jewelry chains monopolized middle east gold and diamond markets as far as Indian customers were concerned. The profits were ploughed back for propagation of their own faith in Kerala, or so it is believed. Kalyan was very much the need of the hour. Huge tectonic shift in customer base for all the three jewelries in last 4 to 5 years to which I bore witness. So I can personally vouch how religious sentiments can influence and impact trade volumes. In a way it pleased me that the Hindus finally learnt to support their own tribe, but at the same time it hurt that we have grown to be this mean and calculative. My personal favourite in gulf: Damas, Arab owned).

If any jewelry retain chain in India measures upto international standard, I would say it is Tanishq. It is not just about the ambience. Tanishq is clearly a cut above the rest with their neat and precise gem cutting and art work, impeccable details and finishing, elegance, exquisite collection, the tasteful ensemble and class. After Tanishq I have a feeling that a sizeable chunk of our others jewelers are nothing but crude and junk.

I am only middle class but like any shrewd middle class housewife and also middle aged housewife, i am fascinated by jewelry and i possess a little (very little) that i dutifully stash away in bank lockers. Yet i cannot resist the temptation for gold shopping at least once an year. Ask any lady!

Just caught up with the supposedly controversial Tanishq ad. I have this to say: was there a deliberate mischief in the ad making. One cannot be sure. But factoring in the nationalistic wave sweeping India, the Tata group could have exercised caution.

On retrospect i do feel that we have regressed not progressed with time. We did get away with Alaigal Oivadhillai in 1980s. Nobody mentioned Love Jehad then. The picture ran to packed house. We have had a Julie in the 70s. And the way we portray Anglo Indian women in our pictures! ‘Nootrukku Nooru’ in Tamil even if under KB banner, always makes me flinch. And what about even Mani Ratnam’s Bombay.

Love wins over caste, community, language, religion, race. You will understand this when you transcend these barriers yourself, or still better your KID does that!!!

Finally some relief for Arnab Goswami and Republic tv, and why even Sushant Singh Rajput can heave a sigh of relief in the nether world. Let Tata take flak for a while 😀

Why should it always be about religion sigh. I am getting sick of this kind of pathetic mentality.

There could be another angle to this story.

Mostly gold business and diamond trade is in the hand of Gujjus. Or Naidus, Reddis. Ever since Tanishq gained predominance in gold jewelry retailing and diamond counter sales, there is a greater transparency with the real value of the jewelry and purity having to be declared to the consumer/customer without an element of doubt. Everything is legal, on paper, 100% accounted for and mainly no ground for tax evasion. 100% transparency. Procuring the precious metal to production and sales are for public eyes. This is where our old gold mafia might be feeling the pinch. My deduction that’s all. Tanishq does not share any bonhomie with any other jeweler to my knowledge and may not belong in the union of jewelry traders, for the chief reason it is a corporate business house. There is absolutely no compromise in value for price. No jeweler liked Tanishq in my estimate but didn’t know how to bring the Tata house down. Whether the top brass gave the nod for the commercial is not clear. Hierarchywise the men at the top need not have to keep themselves abreast with the nitty gritty of advertising and marketing at the grassroots level. This is managed by the men at the base of the pyramid.

Too many loose cannon tweets and comments on such a fine man as Tata. Where did these half baked and nut cases go during Mumbai 26/11. Did n’t the same loud mouths sing Tata’s praises for his handling of the hotel affairs and staff welfare on the aftermath of the terror attack. Public memory is pitifully short!

Ok the commercial is withdrawn now. What do we do next. Get one gujju bhai to match Tata’s quality and honesty in jewelry industry. How could they with men like Nirav Modi.

If caste and religion must be deciding everything and every judgment in this country, then this nation will only be going to dogs in very short time. There is a lot to learn from the Tatas. There is a lot for the nation to be grateful to the industrious Tata family. India is blessed to have Tata. Gold standard. Pun intended.

Posted in Economic

Don’t Please Shrink The Indian Economy…

Covid 19 unleashed the worst in our midst: a deep sense of insecurity over anything.

For one thing, none of us can be sure who it would strike next and to what extent it would be damaging. The corona virus scare is vicious. It is tending to be more and more of a chain reaction since this March when for the first time we had lockdown nationwide and even worldwide. Economy is at its lowest ebb, wave of unemployment surging, crimes spiking, driving men and women alike to frustration and depression.

Natural reaction for the pandemic among us has been to shut ourselves in from shopping, eating out, socializing etc. Northern Indian labour forces have faced criticism down south for years, but this is for the first time that we see a reversal of situation. Now we want them back even after the shameless unorthodox way we packed them back into trains to their villages. As lockdown eases phase by phase, the labourers are not seen returning in a hurry.

Nobody is simply indispensable and nothing is too very important over our own life. Perhaps Assamese and Biharis have decided to subsist on rations of PDS rice bags for the next 1 to 2 years ignoring our invites. Tight slap on those who want checks on labour movements. Now is truly the moment for lazy Tamil buggers to cash in. So what are you waiting for. Why can’t you simply down the shutters of Tasmac outlets and go for packing banians and knickers in Tiruppur textile factories. Why cannot you double up as kitchen and serving staff of our restaurant businesses. What stops you from giving us a nice pedicure in salons or from working the construction sites. Tamil Nadu is reeling under non-generation of income because our Bihari bhaias have deserted us. But for them, our local economy is in total shambles. This is an eye opener to anyone who boasts about regionalism talking petty politics. India is one single entity. Rest of India is waiting for our North East and Bihari, Jharkhand labour force to return to work. I hope never will they be shown disrespect or paid unjustly. I miss the courteous service of our Nepali waiters and the corner shop Momos and Pau Bhajis. Never shy of street food. Born and brought up in good old Madras, immune from anything to everything.

Together we grow, or alone we perish. Businesses continue to stay closed in Chennai even after government allowed relaxations, as the outstate staff are reluctant to resume work at our beck and call. Call center employees were mocked for their listless careers but since these online services now shut shop by 6 pm, cyber crimes spike after business hours when reporting has to wait for until next morning. No service is thus trivial. We have all been part and parcel of the same machinery that was running smooth until very recently. We could be the ubiquitous tiny nail, yet if we fall out of place, our vacuum can be felt by one and all bringing us all to a grand standstill.

This is why, we have keep this machinery of ours lubricated and functioning. The more we idle our mechanism, the more rust will we heap with our inactivity which in turn will take an even longer timeframe to recover and realign.

Let us play our role to keep things flowing, big or small.

To all those who stay away from shopping or eating out, I would plead not to shrink the Indian economy which is slowly coming to a grinding halt. Go out wearing masks, sanitizing your hands and maintaining social distancing. Help the economy expand if you can, in whatever miniscule way you can.

Sheltering overtly can also lower our immunity levels to my layman knowledge. Going out now and then can give you exposure and who knows antibodies, making you immune to the pandemic. So far as I have seen, the least exposed are the first and worst effected by covid 19. Working people and regular shoppers have mild cases even if they catch infections.

In India, numbers are rising because we are 1.3 billion nation. For such a mammoth population, 7 lakh cases is still miniscule considering especially the density of our population. Under 1.6% casualty mostly because of negligence. Covid care is too very good in India as our doctors now have developed practice in treating the viral infection. Very well tackled by both government and private medical centers, if it comes to that. Excellent recovery rate of over 80%. Coronavirus probably has mutated in India and is now like any other common virus, yet I do not want to underplay how devious and vicious it can be to those unfortunate among us.

First of all, let us believe that even if the corona virus gets us, we will be safe. And most importantly, we are saved from this horror for the rest of our lives. That we passed our exams! I know someone in late 70s who is covid survivor after having had major surgeries for last 10 years. My cousins who recovered from covid 19 say, they are relieved that their turn got over! No, do not believe it can return. You are immune for a lifetime if you get it, believe me.

Still Novel Coronavirus is beleived to stay around for another 1 to 2 years with or without vaccines. So should we live this period in fear and foul mood, crushing occupations and lives? Or shall we try to make the world a better place to live in?

  • Call back your house maid if you have dispensed with her services at the onset of corona. Never cut back on the salaries of blue colour workers who make our lives easy.
  • Get your groceries/provisions in the street corner ‘kirana’ stores typically ‘Nadar Kadai’ or ‘Petti kadai’ in Tamil.
  • Wherever/whenever there is a shortfall due to unavailability, procure groceries/provisions online, as much as possible through desi apps. Small vendors are also listed in volumes in multinational online apps, no harm in going for them either. In today’s globalized economy, we cannot lead insulated lives by ourselves. But as much as possible opt for desi apps if you can.
  • If you cannot eat out, you can still get food parcels. Never hesitate. If you stop eating out, the restaurants will cut down on food preparation and serving and kitchen staff. It will take them all the more longer time to open up to full capacity. Your demand generates employment for interstate populations.
  • If you still harbour doubts, order food at least once a week online.
  • If you are hesitant to shop for clothes and other consumer durables etc., in person, order online. Don’t stop shopping because you are not stepping out much. Life will pretty soon return to normalcy. Believe, you will be well alive and kicking to preen in front of your friends in your latest designer clothes. Shoes, bags, watches, clothes, cosmetics or whatever, go for it if you have not had a pay cut.
  • Do not wait to change your tv or automobile. These are big industries that require your patronage. Without customers if they close, thousands will lose work.
  • Use the services of roadside and other tailors, dhobis, auto walas, drycleaners, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and others adopting safety precautions. Employ them as you would under normal conditions in nonpandemic situations. Pay them fair and never bargain. Small traders and service people are most affected due to Covid 19 restrictions, remember.
  • Regularly buy groceries from street vendors. Remember they got food to your table when rest of the world ceased to function.
  • Patronize small professions like that of even temple priests. Every single life is important in our society needing nourishment. Every time you go out do not forget to get fresh flowers from the old lady in front of temples or enjoy tender coconut from the handstand of a coconut seller sweating under the shade of avenue trees.
  • Visit temples but practice corona lockdown safety measures. Your footfall everywhere counts. It means, you are playing your part in oiling the wheels of the Indian economy.
  • Ask the neighbourhood urchin to clean your car. You won’t get corona from him if you maintain safe distance. Sanitize later if you have to. Be courteous to watchmen, civic workers, traffic constables etc., who are working in stressful conditions.
  • Remember small traders, business community and hawkers and sellers constitute the backbone of the Indian economy.
  • One place you can stay away from is Hospitals. Avoid lab testing and opt for home testing. Now this is available in nook and corner of India.
  • If possible unsubscribe from all desi and international news channels and stop buying newspapers. They are nothing but rubbish. Don’t buy whatever the media pedals. Listen to music and read books instead.
  • Shopping malls are still empty. It is safer right now to go for mall shopping. Take advantage of this if you have to . Mall workers need their jobs as well.
  • Remember, right at this moment, every single one around you is under extraordinary stress brought in by the novel coronavirus. Something unprecedented. Not everyone has the same mentral strength to get through this crisis without physical, moral and/or economic support. In whichever way you can, help someone in need. Make a striking difference. It matters.
  • Last but not the least is the role of the health workers in our midst. Standing ovation to them for their tireless services in these hard times. Medicos or paramedics or nursing staff or civic/sanitation workers/janitors or pharmacists, they all are doing a wonderful job in saving our lives endangering their own precious lives. Hats off to them. Let us keep them in our prayers.
  • Not all courses are online. Some friends’ kids who are in medical college have to repeat their year. Let us be sympathetic to these kids. 2020 is not an year to talk about academic achievements or job prospects. Staying alive is the priority.
  • WFH or Work from Home has proved to an effective and ideal solution to many white collar professionals. It can be extended after the Pandemic is over once and for all, to reduce pollution and unnecessary investments in infrastructure, power usage, fuel etc. So not only is this a cost cutting measure, but an evolution in the pattern we work.
  • Covid 19 also has helped some alternate professions to expand: one is that of logistics. Another is packaging industry. Online shopping has touched a peak in the last 6 months and has improved cashless transactions greatly. Whoever was complaining about demonetization and linking of Aadhar-PAN cards and Phone Pe and BHIM/UPI payments is since unheard of lol
  • October-November will see high schools and colleges opening up in India, with the choice to return to the institutions left to students. Nursery, primary and middle school children will be missing one whole academic year. Which is good, take it from me. I homeschooled my son upto his 7th year in Malaysia. I was his first ever proper teacher.
  • The elderly can be miserable. Take time to talk to them and reassure them keeping a tab on their health parameters.
  • Hopefully interstate travel regulations will ease before December in India. From January I hope for international travel restrictions to ease. I am eager and waiting to fly back to my hubby! Yes, the trauma of divided families is indescribable. The stress we undergo is worrying.
  • Top up your health insurance at the same time. Corona or no corona, it is a must. Also add riders to your life insurance if you can.
  • Kal ho na ho…. well, i must not be saying this but enjoy life to the fullest when you can. Let us not wait for that special day to release our new kurta. Today is that day!
  • Fitness should not take a back seat either. At least walk in your terrace if you cannot go for any other workout in gym. Or take advantage of staggered timings of your reopened gym/yoga studio. Online classes also an option
  • Go back to your music lessons, art classes, other hobbies, sporting activities, clubs, cinemas, cafes, get-togethers firmly adhering to Covid 19 safety protocol. Never miss an appointment or opportunity to feel better.
  • With resorts opening, book your holiday adhering to safety measures with respect to covid. Nothing like taking a break in this season!
  • Cutting down on celebrations is happening but better minimize than eliminate festivity bills. Remember, the big fat Indian weddings are essentially great job spinners for people from different walks of life. Now we have sanitation booths in wedding halls/hotels etc. Catering and costumes to florists and jewelry and music bands, everyone can fit in in our gala traditional weddings.
  • Improvise, innovate, do anything that can employ direct and indirect manual labour generating income. Even a fraction of resumption of regularity and normalcy is welcome move. A big shot in the arms of our self-employed and businesses.
  • Keep the cash registers jingling in shops, small trades and businesses, enable cash rotation.
  • Invest in real estate and stocks. Now is the right time for going for long term investment plans. Buyers market.
  • Vaccines are around the corner. Wherever you are, you are safe and you will get it soon. If you are NRI based in Arab countries, rest assured, the oil rich nations will bulk buy the vaccines before rest of the world. If you are in America or Europe, then it means you are residents of nations that value human lives. They will not hesitate vaccinating their denizens in the first instance possible. If you are in India, hahaha, well we will be supplying vaccination shots to rest of the world. Manufacturing labs are ours, so rest assured. Modi ji will make sure that all 1.3 billion of us get a shot as soon as possible. Believe miracles are possible and this magic is what keeps the world going.
  • Meanwhile I enjoyed the videos of peacocks dancing in the highways of Rajasthan and pachyderms walking through the elephant corridors in India, without a care in the world. Covid 19 scare has changed me in many ways as it has affected everyone around me.
  • Grateful for all that life has bestowed on me so far. Absolutely no regrets. Positive thinking only. Positive vibes. Let us get ready to celebrate Navrathri and Diwali in all fanfare and welcome 2021 with a fresh gusto.
  • Indian economy is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s do our bit to the nation. Let’s rebuild India!

Together let us rise and shine!

Posted in Political History

September 17 Contradictions: Coaxis & Convergence

Not only is September 17 the birthday of our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, it also happens to be the birth anniversary of E V Ramaswamy aka EVR aka Periyar, who spearheaded the Dravidian movement in the 1940s that led to eradication of untouchability in Tamil Nadu. EVR is credited with gaining entry access for millions of dalits into the state temples that held their doors closed to them until then. In short, EVR bestowed the much denied dignity on hundreds of thousands who were stomped over by the upper classes for centuries playing the ‘caste card.’ To most, it is a legal victory. Only to the traumatized and stigmatized community, it is akin to winning a psychological warfare.

To some of us like me, both Periyar and Modi are equally important. Dravidianism may have fizzled out presently just like the Congress party has lost steam over decades. That does not imply that these entities did not play their crucial roles at very important junctures of time, crafting history.

EVR managed to accomplish what none of the so-called Shankaracharyas of India even dared to attempt. To me this is the ultimate ‘Bhakthi’ or even better, ‘Mukthi.’ Bhakthi must stem from empathy and compassion or is it even bhakthi. What is ‘mandir’ but a huge hollow otherwise. Most often I see a total divorce between religiosity and spirituality (realization). To me, the chappal mala thrown by EVR would have been smilingly received as a garland of roses by Lord Raam. That is Ram to me. That is how I perceive Ram. This Ram i know wouldn’t have even wanted the Ayodhya. This is what maketh Ram. Sometimes I wonder why I have to think like this. But then I remember this is also the land of Ramanuja. This is faith to me. This is the dharma that i have come to believe in. I do not respect any culture or ideology that denies fellow humans equality and justice and dignity in the first place. I have written much on this. I trust our Sanatana Dharma has always been far above all this, but selfish groups reduced us to this lowly levels. If at all reservation has to go once and for all, I request the upper castes to ‘consider working in crematorium for just an year to experience what these downtrodden went through for ages. None stops you from manually scavenging either. Denial of social justice, equality and knowledge sharing and messing up with someone’s self respect and dignity – this is cruelty worst than cold blooded murder to me. This is what the upper castes of India committed through millennia. And we all talk about ‘Black lives matter’ when for eons we thrived suppressing systematically fellow humanity. What a wrong sense of entitlement some of us enjoy thanks to virtue of birth.

Of late a lot of demonizing such a phenomenal man as EVR is happening. How much is he maligned, how much character assassinated decades after he left. This must reveal to you something. That EVR was undoubtedly an epoch in history whether you like it or not.

EVR cannot be held responsible for the current political scenario in Tamil Nadu just as Mahatma Gandhi cannot be made accountable for the Congress debacle in present times. Denying EVR the credit for what he truly deserves is appalling. The more he is villainified, the more will some of us defend him staunchly. EVR’s views on women for instance! He was far ahead of his times. Much later in subtler tones we had our own K Balanchander make pictures echoing what EVR spoke of in the 40s and 50s. Periyar did not also mince words and did not hesitate from naming and shaming. He called a spade a spade. If it hurt someone, then how about the Panchamas living in the fringes for centuries. They do not even fall within the four varnas. Outside the varna system. If mere words can wound, then what trauma could harsh realities of life have inflicted not for one year, one century but for at least a two thousand years… Not mere untouchability, even unseeability was in force in many pockets of our society, especially in Kerala that gave us Adi Shankara. This was not a 3000 years ago but until a mere 100 years back.

Admiring EVR does not have to prevent one from being nationalistic at heart. Most importantly, Dravidian values need not have to make one any less Hindu. I am equally proud of what our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji is achieving for India, given the complex times we are living in. EVR mattered in the 1940s quite like Gandhi and Congress were relevant during our freedom struggle. Times change, history is in the making, and in modern India of the 21st century, the need of the hour is a man of steely nerves like Shri Narendra Modi who is resolute, determined, selfless, focused and persevering. With him for our PM, our sense of security is reinforced. We know, we are in good hands. Like EVR, Modi ji in a way restored our self esteem and self confidence.

There is also need for Hindu dharma to rise above pettiness in critical times like these. The Abrahamics are waiting like hawks. No one is dragged against his/her will kicking and screaming, for conversion. Conversion happens because, some among us are willing to accept rewards of any kind for promise of dignity in return that was denied to them by the society they have been part of. The converted are our shame! Will some numbskulls ever get it.

Too many self-appointed guardians of Hindu Dharma today out in the prowl doing more damage than they ever realize. Sickening ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

Living a neutral life, striving to remain sane is not an easy job in today’s India. As for me, EVR and PM Modi are two sides of the same coin.

PS: To those of us who invoke Karma at the drop of a hat, has it ever crossed your petty minds that perhaps Ayodhya was also our Karma. Is it possible that Ram with his acute sense of social justice wanted out of Ayodhya when a section of humanity was barred from His holy abode by narrow minded pompous self-important groups? Ram has now returned to Ayodhya because finally on legit grounds, social justice and equality triumphed in India as it never ever did in over 2000 years. Hail Ram! May be this was the destiny of each and every single Hindu temple struck down by the invaders. Hindu Bharatha deserved every bit of this historical correction.

Posted in Political

We are the Indian Subcontinent, Not South Asia.

Bringing out from backburners one more burning issue. Reason is, i caught even my Prime Minister talking of South Asia, not the Indian Subcontinent in our Independence day address after flag hoisting in New Delhi. I winced in pain. I know I am heard. So here I go:

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(originally penned on December 20, 2014) (with due edits and updates)

http://t.co/hFTI4On5do

Excuse me, we are Indians, NOT SOUTH ASIANS, NOT EVEN BROWNS!

Robin Raphael sometime ago was under investigation by FBI for her alleged spy links during her stint as diplomat in Pakistan. She was well known for her staunch anti-India stance and she is credited with the introduction of the term ‘South Asia’ which region was until then referred to as the Indian Subcontinent. It was supposedly to end the ‘psychological’ superiority of Indians. But what beats me is, why do we Indians have to toe the line. We can continue to take pride in in belonging to/coming from our native Indian subcontinent. The new word çoinage of ‘South Asia’ was meant to appease Pakistan that hated being referred to as part of the great Indian subcontinent, that wanted no part of India whatsoever and no reference in any manner to India.

(Well guys, you cannot write Pak history without mentioning India but India need not have to mention you until 1947. You are one sentence for us, nothing more, in our history text books. Forever you will have to live under the shadows of the big brother India. Live with this now. You simply have NO identity sans India.)

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pakistan-lobbyist-Robin-Raphel-under-lens-for-alleged-spying/articleshow/45073087.cms

http://www.niticentral.com/2014/11/08/robin-raphels-illicit-links-taliban-pakistan-lobbyists-244110.html

Well how about the Indian Ocean! So how many nations on earth have an ocean named after them? Live with it guys, again, okay?!

The South China Sea is as petty as China-Chinese. The Indian ocean is vast, mighty, diverse, all consuming, all encompassing.

With ‘South Asia’ the West always wanted to refer to India and Pakistan in one breath. Whereas INDIA IS NOT PAKISTAN AND INDIA DOES NOT BELONG ANYWHERE WITH PAKISTAN. The repeated attempts of the west to tie India with Pakistan is showcased best with the successive presidents of US (and China) for instance visiting India and Pakistan always in one single leg of their journey much to New Delhi’s embarrassment. No America, we are not on same footing: India and Pakistan. And do not hop into your Airforce 1 dear American presidents and put your one foot here in India, with the other in Pakistan….

One more reason we Indians do not like the tour itinerary of visiting heads of the state from the west is, when you try to measure us India and Pakistan in the same wavelength at the same instance, you may lose your objectivity. You will never get the Indian perspective.

I have myself referred to ourselves as ‘South Asians’ sometimes but as much as possible I am trying not to do that. Neither are we Indians ‘brown people.’ I mean we are brown, but not when you try to bring us all together under the same umbrella with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans sorry. We are Indians, and Indians only.

The reason some immigrants in UK/US refer to themselves generally as ‘brown’ or ‘south asian’ is, they would rather like to pass off for Indian than Pakistani. Which is not fair to Indians. I am seeing this psychology even in Middle-east. Whereas NO INDIAN would refer to himself/herself as brown or south asian. And never as a Pakistani in a million years!

If India is South Asia, then Mexico is also America, is it not! Let us refer to Mexico as North America in our media!

India parted ways with Pakistan long back. Our children do not like to be referred to in the same context as Pakistan. We are different breed today, different culture, different society.

Don’t the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans merit their own specific identity. Similarly INDIAN IDENTITY IS UNIQUE. 

My appeal to the BJP government would be to initiate and promote usage of the term ‘Indian subcontinent’ once again in our midst, in our media, in our mindset and get rid of the ‘South Asian’ term.

Call me a racist, I don’t care. I reiterate my respects for everyone but I want individuality. India has her own currency notation. How many nations on earth have that – hardly a handful.

rupee-symbol
The Indian Rupee Symbol

Proudly Indian. Proudly Hindustani, Proudly Bharatwasi. I AM NOT SOUTH ASIAN, I AM NOT BROWN, I AM INDIAN AND INDIAN ONLY! And I am from the INDIAN SUBCONTINENT NOT SOUTH ASIA! How much the Hindu Dharma is proving to be an irritant, annoying the west and the islamists! Well WE ARE, AND WE WILL BE! Do what you can! Indian flag flies high in the space and in Dakshina Gangotri, Antarctica!

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I take this opportunity to clarify one more fact: been mentioning this in many of my posts:

MOGHULS WERE NOT INDIAN. WERE THE BRITISH INDIAN? Moghuls were barbaric Afghan tyrants and marauders who ravaged, looted India and that’s what they will remain to the native Hindu majority of this nation to eternity. Yesteryear Taliban precisely!

Posted in Political

Greta Thunberg, Muslims MUST have an autonomous state in Sweden-Norway!

Sweden and Norway must allow immigrant muslims to form independent states in Scandinavia because this is what human rights is all about. Extremely pleased with happenings in the Swedish and Nordic nations. Valiant struggle for worthy cause! Noble mission! LIBERATE THE SWEDISH AND NORWAY MUSLIMS NOW!

Let Greta talk about human rights violation of Swedish and Norway muslims next time. On how the racist Scandinavian law enforcement targeted muslims. It is important for Swedish muslims and Norway muslims to have their own autonomous Sharia states within Sweden and Norway. India must do whatever in Her capacity to ensure just that. For a starter, we can offer to negotiate for a separate state for muslims in Sweden and Norway with respective governments.

Greta, what a dream come true to have the caliphates coming up in Norway and Sweden first and foremost in Europe! Every Human Rights Activist’s dream! Let us move towards realizing the vision! Looking forward to your opinion and lecture on this!

By the way,

NO NARENDRA MODI IN NORWAY/SWEDEN

NO HINDU MAJORITY IN NORWAY/SWEDEN

NO RASHTRIYA SWAYAMSEWAK SANGH (RSS) IN NORWAY/SWEDEN

NO HINDUTVA IN NORWAY/SWEDEN

NO AMIT SHAH/AJIT DOVAL IN NORWAY/SWEDEN

NO RAM TEMPLE/AYODHYA IN NORWAY/SWEDEN

NOT EVEN A TRUMP IN NORWAY/SWEDEN!

AND OFCOURSE

NO REPUBLIC TV & ARNAB GOSWAMI IN NORWAY/SWEDEN!