20 Saturday
February 2016
The Importance of Meritocracy.

After the Paris Blasts, did you notice that the mastermind was identified,tracked, and killed within a week of the ghastly act. Before the tears had dried, before the bodies were even settled in the graves, there was closure. This is retribution. But did you wonder why and how they managed? They probably had the best investigative officers on the job, their best forensic people, their best cops. Why doesn’t this happen in India, one wonders? After all we supply the most software techies, the most doctors, engineers and scientists to the developed world! Why don’t our investigative agencies do us proud? Why don’t our doctors command trust? Why don’t our teachers deserve respect???

We do not choose MERIT. We have reservation, sifarish, pull, push, jack, bribe and mindless corruption.

We have reservations for professions like medicine where even the brightest minds struggle with the vastness of the course, where one needs the sharpest brains to take life and death decisions. We have engineering degrees handed out without knowledge, and then we wonder why our roads are not right or our bridges have cracked? We have scientists who lack the spark, but they do have government jobs and secure futures.

We know that out of all the candidates who apply, it’s not always the best, brightest or most deserving who gets the job, it’s the person who’s uncle is the Chairman, or who’s sister in law of our distant relative. To this pandering of personal favours, we sacrifice the excellence of a Nation.

We are a Nation of Averages. A good degree, a reasonable job, a well- planned marriage, a paced career. We only want that for ourselves and our children. We don’t push our kids to follow their dreams, to be the absolute best they possibly can be. We are happy in our averageness. We neither strive for greatness, nor encourage it. In fact we detest any attempts at greatness. We want no one to be better than us, and no one to rise. We frown upon people who break moulds and glass ceilings, though we love reading about Indians who are heads of American Conglomerates. And then we wonder why in India, we have no path breaking inventions, no futuristic ideas, no game changers, few Nobel prize winners, fewer literary geniuses.

The next time you are in a position to give a job, find the best brightest and most deserving candidate for it. Instead of doing a personal favour, do a favour to the nation. Give MERIT a chance.

Jai Hind.

20 Saturday
February 2016

The attack in Pathankot,the Hyderabad suicide, the Avalanche in Siachen and the JNU incident have put the news channels in overdrive. Gone are the discussions about the sensex crashing and the rupee getting weaker by the day, Oil and Gas prices falling all over the world, except for the Indian consumer…. all that really matters is for each of us to get an opinion out on the subject. Everyone has to be heard out loud, and read about and argued with and debated ad nauseatum . The chap Kanhaiya and his entire family’s history have become national news and there are new videos coming out every day on every channel…… point and counter point, and the louder we are , the more we believe we’re right.

How sad a people we have become. That amazingly brilliant film Peepli Live is becoming real everyday. Everyone wants their 3 minutes of fame and prime time TV appearance. The media without verifying the truth or with deliberate malice twist facts, figures, stories, videos and launch them into bedrooms of TV addicts who lap up the drama live and more happening than the dull unimaginative soap operas. All they worry about are the TRPs …..these kids on the road screaming into cameras about the sansani khes khabar. …The very latest thing just off the shelf.

We didn’t even remain in silence for a few days to bemoan the loss of 10 brave warriors who froze in Siachen, guarding our frontiers and more so , the last one who almost made it after surviving 6 days surrounded by a deluge of snow.

We have brave people who leave their families back home and risk their lives everyday. For us. So that we can live, breathe,eat, work and sleep in peace. We owe them a lot more than their salary, rations, medals and our lip service . We owe them our gratitude but more importantly we owe it to them to become better people. More responsible, sensible, mature, well behaved. They deserve to have better countrymen to guard. To want to let down their lives for.

Can we atleast try to be a population worth their sacrifice? ?

20 Saturday
February 2016
The position of Women in India.

We are born to women, brought up by women, fed, bathed , clothed by women, taught by women teachers ( mostly) ,play with sisters , study with girl classmates , marry the women who almost single handedly look after their homes and work with women colleagues.

Still ,some Indian men grow up without a sense of respect to one half of society. HOW does this happen???

I read this piece of news yesterday that in a village called Suraj in Mehasana district of Gujarat, the sarpanch Devshi Vankar has decreed that mobile phones will be banned for unmarried girls and a fine of rs.2100 levied if they are found possessing one. The logic given is that Internet is a waste of time and the girls should study or work and use their time meaningfully.

Bang on, sir, but why only girls. Why must the boys be allowed to while away their precious time on mobile phones. And why only unmarried people, why must not all the people of the village be saved from the evils of the Internet and put to more productive use?? What sort of mind set let’s them think they can get away with treating women like this? ?

Are women cattle? ? Are they not people ?? Are they not human beings ?? What level of hipocracy is being achieved here?? Everyday one sees lower and lower levels are being reached . I cannot even imagine how they thought it was ok to be so discriminatory? ??

First they screen wombs lest the fetus is female. Then they kill baby girls. Then they abandon them on garbage heaps. Or love them less at homes. and don’t let them study enough. Definitely don’t let them go out to work. Harass them in buses and public spaces. Marry them by giving dowry. Kill them for not getting enough from their families. And harass them for not producing boy babies….

This is the same country which had a female prime minister 5 decades back. A country where half the gods are women and women are breaking the glass ceilings of multinational corporates everyday. Where girls are doing consistently better than boys in all board exams.

Yet , we continue to discriminate. And people elected to power have the temerity to pass social laws like these. Sickens me to the core. And beyond.