Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wheel of Time Marches On

This is the ultimate truth that we live through but often realise a little late in life. This is the relentless march of time through the ages.

There is an element of mystery as our limited human comprehension cannot estimate its commencement or its possible end. The time dimension gets even more warped when we add the space dimension to it.  Its span encompasses a nano second to billions of light years. This is where distance is measured as the quantum of time light takes to bridge that vast cosmic void.  

Coming to a more earthly level, passage of time represents those years flying by, it denotes our ageing, change, progress or otherwise. We gave ourselves a calendar to make sense of this circular movement of time. 

This brings us to the three dimensions of past, present and the future.  We go through these dimensions with a firm eye on the future hoping for a brighter tomorrow. Wise men have always counselled us that we make our own future. It is said, we should take care of the present and future automatically takes care of itself. Our today reflects the way we lived yesterday. We are often wont to repeat our mistakes and live as we did yesterday, thus condemning our tomorrow.

Is it not time that we break this vicious cycle and break free of such enslaving patterns? Come on....let us consciously endeavour to usher in a different tomorrow.

On this day as the year 2009 is on verge of becoming history, let us create 2010 and the years beyond, a different world. I wish every one the very best and urge them to create a golden future for themselves.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Undertake a Fast unto Death - Get a State

We have seen this shameful spectacle of K Chandrasekhara Rao going in a fast-unto-death and statehood for Telangana has been accepted. This is commerce at its worst. Go on a fast unto death and get a state in return. This is a fantastic bargain for the political class.

Are we going to see a renewed balkanisation of our country. A concept of an united India having braved many odss in its six decade old journey faces yet another crisis. I feared the worst as our unscrupulous political class would go to any extent if they sense a chance to further their interests. This is our worst nightmare come true. Suddenly, everyone seems to have a grievance or two and statehood seems to be the only solution.

Telangana has 119 representatives in the Andhra assembly. I find it very difficult to believe that for the last fifty five years these MLAs and 11/12 MPs never worked or could not work for the development of Telangana. M Chenna Reddy, a Telangana leader was the Chief Minister of the state and should one believe that he was powerless in this respect and could do nothing for the region. Now, with statehood being considered, is it possible that this political class can weave their magic and a backward region would suddemly become developed.

Gorkhaland in West Bengal has been the first off the block. The later has been vocal and violent to get their goals. They have an autonomous arrangement within the states of West Bengal. If backwardness is the criteria then every district in West Bengal should be asking for statehood.

Vidarbha, an arid part of the Maharashtra has been poor and backward for many decades. It shot to fame due to its poor farmers committing suicides. If the politicians from Western Maharashtra were enriching themselves, what were the Vidarbha representatives doing. Could they not further the interests of that region. They were voted to do that in the first place.

Carve out

UP into Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh and Purvanchal.....
AP further into Rayalseema and coastal Andhra,
Karnataka into Mysore, Coastal Karnataka and Belgaum-Hubli-Dharwar and Bijapur / Bidar into separate states,
Maharashtra into Mumbai as UT, Konkan, Western Mah, Khandesh, Marathwada and Vidarbha....
MP, Rajasthan, Bihar (whatever is left of it), Tamil Nadu also have undeveloped areas. 
It took the genius of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his tireless assisstant Mr Menon to put all apples in one basket. The genius of our current politicians seems to break the country back into the original 550 fiefdoms.

Jharkhand has been a complete disaster and we are seeing the manifestations. Chattisgarh has been battling the Naxals and Uttarakhand has not made any great impact either way.

This is a dangerous trend and must be put down by national level parties at the earliest. Congress has made its move and is looking very foolish now.

The contributing factors of poor governance, lack of transparency, massive corruption, ineffectiveness of our political representatives need to be tackled with more citizen activism. There are other ways to do all this. Claiming and getting statehoods is clearly not one of them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our Work Ethic - A Critical Look

It was interesting to come across profound philosophy with such practical overtones from two diverse streams of thought from two very different civilisations, so to say, and yet be so similar.

As I reflected on this, it dawned on me that this knowledge needs to be spread far and wide as we in India suffer from a very poor work ethic.

Those of you who need to interact with municipal authorities or any government agency or department , on a regular or one-off basis, will have borne the brunt of a callous and inefficient administration. Things just do not move. Let us take a peek into the minds of the officialdom and see this problem at close quarters. Go back and remember when you applied for a passport, driving license, birth or death certificate or had to apply for your parents' pension or withdraw your provident fund on retirement. The malaise runs deeper and applies  even to departments which have no interaction with outsiders.

This is a subject that has no end and one can keep waxing eloquent about our shortcomings. In this post, I will steer clear of all discussion on corruption and focus on a widely prevalent poor or absent work ethic seen in most government / municipal departments.

We see this affliction manifest in many ways. I have listed some that are easily visible for anyone to see.

  • Procrastinating,
  • Not attending to work at all and keep it pending,
  • Poor punctuality,
  • Spend much time in gossip, office politics, back-biting and frequent refreshment breaks,
  • Wherever there is interaction with members of public - be surly, do not co-operate, mislead or keep raising new doubts or queries every time the person comes to get work done, expect monetary benefits are just some of the few qualities on display,
  • Antiquated administrative rules and proceedures and lack of basic housekeeping and poor hygiene factors, and many others that my blogger friends could point out based on their personal experience.
Is this lack of motivation only attributable to salaries / benefits? or is there more to it?

I sense a complete lack of pride in the job they are supposed to do. There is complete abdication of responsibility and duty is considered as a burden. If one complains or higher authority seeks to discipline then there is a revolt and a "devil-may-care" attitude. Fresh blood infused also catches on and become part of the system.

Negativity spreads fast, becomes a habit and soon becomes a way of life.

What could possibly have contributed to this state of affairs??