Intolerant! Who we?!


Shame on you people for calling us intolerant. We are the most tolerant society in the world. We have a history that is so rich and so embedded in being civilised. 

Where else will you find so many religions, so many Gods coexist in such a peaceful way.

We believe in “live and let live” philosophy to the hilt.

We believe in “atithi dev bhavo” completely.

We do not believe in caste system. I mean look at us. We have created reservation for lower castes in the last century and we still continue with it. 

We do not believe in misuse of the power that has been bestowed on us. Shame on you Trump for behaving the way you do. Just because you are President of the United States of America.

If anything untoward happens, like shutting down of meat shops and KFC in Gurgaon or beating up of the Africans or cops rounding up Juliets too in the anti Romeo drive, we have not done that. It is some external force playing mischief and trying to create problems in this peaceful country of ours.

So please do not call us intolerant in anyway. We are the most peaceful and happy nation in the world (our ranking of 122 on happiness index again is a manipulation of the world that doesn’t like India being such a peaceful super power).

Times


Quoting yet again from a book by Stephen King. This time it is from Christine:

“…there are ” times” in human existence. That when it came to be “steam-engine time”, a dozen men invented steam engine. Maybe only one man got the patent, or the credit in the history books, but all at once there they were, all those people working on that one idea. How do you explain it? Just that it’s steam engine time.

Comes the Civil War and all at once it’s ” ironclad time”. Then it’s “machine-gun time”. Next thing you know it’s ” electricity time” and “wireless time” and finally it’s “atom bomb time”. As if those ideas come not from individuals but from some great wave of intelligence that always keeps flowing… Some wave of intelligence that is outside of humanity”.

Interesting concept right? Through the ages we have had these waves of discovery and inventions that have propelled humanity forward (or hurtled downhill).

There was a dotcom wave where everyone wanted a website that will help people do something and then there was a bust wave too. Just like it is for startups now. Everyone wants one. A 100 others want to be part of every startup that comes into existence. Of course the Malthusian theory of population is at work in corporate world too and hence we see more companies going under than stay afloat.

Not just discovery and inventions, it is also true for people, politics and religion.

Political parties stay in power or ousted depending on the wave. It is not so much the anti incumbency factor but the dying of the wave. Look at our own country. BJP rode to power on a new wave. Congress lost because their time had ebbed. Would Obama had won if he could have gone for third term? Probably not. It is time for Trump. Just the way it was time for Obama. Same goes for religion globally. Won’t discuss that. Its for everyone to see. Not to forget what happened in Germany with Hitler.

Look at history. Dynasties came into existence and then died. Why did that happen? It was their time and then it wasn’t.

Our lives too are driven by these “times”. There is never a stable continuous path to our lives. There is no constant upward movement. Or downward movement. It ebbs and flows. However, we all hope that every downward spiral when it ends, settles higher than the previous low. (Just like market shares which always settle a little higher after every sales promotion). Yes we all want that there is no downward spiral. But it is not in our hands. Time drives everything. Just the way it is said in the song by The Byrd’s… “Turn turn turn…”, there is a time for everything.

Look back at your life. Look back at history. Look back at technology. Look around what’s happening. It is time at play. We are being either buffeted by the waves or floating on serene waters. Now if only we understood this concept, will we not be less disappointed, less stressed and less distressed when it is not our time? Will we not make the most of it when it is our time?

The world around us of course doesn’t give us the luxury to think things through. We are at it constantly. We fight even harder when the times are tough (to not fight is to let the world tell us we have failed). But the fact is, we can’t fight time. I am not saying we lay low and do nothing. But it is about not creating points of resistance for time. Because sooner or later, our upward journey will begin again.

Holds true for humans and holds true for corporates. Cut, slash, burn will not help you grow. It will only make things worse. But stick around, ride out the storm, look closely for trends that you as a person or organization can use to start the next wave. We all can’t be Columbus or Einstein. We all can’t be leaders and innovators. But we surely can develop a sense for the trends. Sense for what trend will fit right in with our capabilities. Oh and before we jump on to the next trend, we must ensure that it is not just a quick passing phase that will be over sooner than you utter the word trend. Quick is always disastrous in the longer run. For individuals as well as corporates.

The key is to understand where we are on the time continuum and gear ourselves accordingly. During an impending natural calamity, we do not break down things, we shore up, we strengthen so why do we do otherwise with our lives.

Politics of Conflict


So here is how it is. The conflict between India and Pakistan will never get resolved. Both need it to Stoke the fires of patriotism and also to align the world for them.

This is nothing new. Not just India and Pakistan but the world over, it has always been the case.

Post World War II, the Berlin wall became a symbol of the divided world. Either you were aligned to the west of the Wall or to the east. Countries around the world had to choose. Either you are with the so called free world or you were with communists. And both sides needed to keep the hype at a high level to ensure stability and rhetoric going at home.

India was aligned with Russia (dumb move that was) and Pakistan with US. The battle lines have always been there and were sharpened even further.

The collapse of the wall led people to believe that things will change and the world will become a better place. Guess what, the things did change but definitely not for the better. US and it’s allies and all their arms manufacturers needed to survive and make money. Thus began the conflict with the Arab world. As someone says in this serial “Designated Survivor”, America needs to put a face to the terror and rally the people behind the new President. Wag the Dog was also a movie pretty much in same vein. 

The jingoism and rhetoric deflects the attention from real problems within the country. To question the rhetoric is to say ṭhat you question the patriotism. Of course the foolish ones think because they are in opposition, they have to question everything. Even if the leader of ruling party sneezes, that should be questioned. It may make them look like fools but hey, the heat they were facing on other fronts is deflected. Look at Mr. Kejriwal for instance. He is a chief minister of Delhi but his utterances have led to him being a national figure!

We are all witness to the ridiculousness of the election process currently on in US. Hell! They make even our politicians look erudite and scholarly!

Keeping the conflict alive and burning is something politicians are very good at. And will continue with that because, to have no conflict means to have no agenda.

I am not questioning the steps taken by the government. In fact I believe this should have been done way earlier! Am I saying this to prove am a patriot? Nope. I would want the conflict killed once and for all so that this government and the next one or the one after that, will focus on making this country a better place to live in. 

Wishful thinking.

The circus is back in town


Five years on.. its back in town. the big democracy circus!

Of course we been going through the teaser trailers for a while now…. the jokers are up out there.. telling people how they are gonna transform the lives of people in this country.

People? what people?? what transformation?

So for next two months, everything will be put on hold and all discussion would only revolve around the big jamboree leading up to 15th May.

And as always we as a nation will get the government we deserve… just like in my profession we say the client gets the agency it deserves.. not the best one but the one they opt for…

And this time for once, I will not be a cynic without a vote.. I get to vote too!!!!

What’s up Mr. Kejriwal??


Delusions of grandeur is it?

The darbar reminded me of all the books I have read on history of India and how the Mughal Emperors used to hold darbar for the common man. Did it feel that you were an Emperor talking down to the aam admi when you you had to speak from the pulpit?

There is an old adage that power corrupts and while I was all your party in the lead up to the Delhi elections, I am not so sure you and your party would stay aam for very long.

Power is an aphrodisiac.. isn’t it? and more importantly when it lets you do whatever you want…

I always used to think that you would be lot more progressive and forward-looking as a person and as a government but the talks of Swaraj and subsidies… seems like you want India to go back into the dark ages. And subsidies reeks of playing to the popular sentiments which all parties have done in the past! Where will the money come from for the subsidies?

And can we be done with the sham of not having fancy houses and one rupee as a token salary?? Let’s get real. And also tell your cronies to get real too. Imagine.. asking the judges to report in front of the minister like they are they lackeys of the government!

Maybe a crash course (the like we used to have back in school in Civics to understand the role of each function).

Keep in mind that you got 28 seats because it is the urban, social media driven people who voted for you and not those who you were looking down at in your august darbar.

Keep your national aspirations aside for the moment and focus on doing something for delhi that will make people believe that they did the right thing by voting for you.

But of course.. why would what I say matter to you. I am not an aam admi and nor do I live in Delhi…

A Culture gone horribly wrong


 

We were supposedly never like this. The word tolerance epitomized the Indian culture. A culture that not only let other cultures integrate within its own but also changed and adapted itself to a changing environment. Of course to many, this would be a truism but to me… it sounds like a lot of hogwash.

And the more I read the newspapers nowadays, the more my belief gets strengthened.

Maybe it is the ever-present media that exposes our hypocrisy or maybe we have actually moved from being tolerant to intolerant… the truth is that this country and the people are on a down hill and the brakes have failed. And I think all of us  are to be blamed for the situation.

Read in the newspapers today about exodus of North-East people from various cities in south and west because of some vigilante threats! Why? and of course for once, since the typical Hindu organizations are not part of this, they are looking at milking this opportunity to present their ‘secular’ credentials by exhorting the people not to leave.

I wont talk about the culture police who raided a private party in Mangalore or the molestation case in Assam. Enough has been said about these two  but it sure is a reflection that this country is moving back into dark ages.

Various news reports about women being told not to wear jeans or there will be acid attacks. People being cruel to their househelps. People being cruel to each other… road rage… abetting suicide…. parents accused of killing their daughters.. khaps… the list is endless.

Why is this happening? Or is it that it was happening for years but it is just that media in their hunger for “breaking news” and TRPs have aimed their spotlight at these issues?

And where is the political view on all of this? Politically quiet because 2014 is round the corner?

The economy is in trouble. The volcano is bubbling under the surface… will explode soon enough. We don’t see it yet because we are too busy leading our lives or trying very hard to, not counting the “inflation-proof people” who continue to revel in conspicuous consumption. The number of BMW X1 on the road would suggest that everything is fine, people are moving up economically. Disposable income is going through the roof. But is that really happening? Or is the economic divide only getting wider?

Corporates, with their strategists and forecasters have probably figured out the downward trend and have started tightening their belts. Strange though… they can see it and government can’t or rather refuses to. The Prime Minister said in his Independence day speech that he expects GDP this year will be around 6.5%… seriously?? How?? How can a paralyzed government which spends more time on figuring out how their candidate can become President & Vice-President have the time to look at the people it governs. Living in denial sure helps. Damn the foreign rating agencies.. they have no clue what they are talking about. After all, they could not predict the crash of 2008 so why should we believe them!

As a country, as a culture we have gone back in times. As an economy we are sitting on a powder keg. I guess our country needs an explosion, a revolution of sorts to come out of the mess we are in. And no… Anna Hazare and Ramdeo Baba are not the ones who can lead the revolution.

 

Arrogance or Head in the Sand Syndrome?


All relevant economic indicators are screwed. What should be up is down… what should be down is up. Standard & Poor downgrades India and what’s the reaction of this government?? Standard & Poor is not transparent! Seriously? I mean SERIOUSLY?

Who are we kidding? How come in the past no one ever commented on this transparency shit? How come when the rating was decent for India, nobody said that “hang on… this rating can’t be right.. they don’t understand our economic structure!”? Mr. T C A Anant.. why didn’t you say that earlier?  I bet somebody else will now say it is a conspiracy against India. Wonder who will it be? Vylar Ravi said it day before, so  some other minister now.

Is it absolute arrogance of UPA that makes them refuse to believe the reality? or is it the Ostrich syndrome?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Standard-Poor-method-not-transparent-Government/articleshow/14076194.cms

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/sp-has-always-been-very-pessimisticindia-t-canant/477162/

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/sandp-rating-bjp-says-wake-up-call-cong-says-not-gospel-truth_781410.html