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Guns of India

We all have a pragmatic vision to seek and see justice done. Many a times individuals take the need to chastise those who have committed crimes into their own hands. The societies that practice vigilante justice do so because there is no central system to deliver justice for them, or if there is, it is corrupt and worthless.
We believe that punishment should be proportional to a crime. Prima facie, police organization who is believed to be the watch dog shakes it’s legs only after the occurrence of the crime. Stringent security measures are followed only on the visits of VIPs and that too for their protection or after the occurrence of an incident which poses threat to the national security. The police organization has breached the public trust because of which people are leading a tensed life with despair of a crime free environment; hence despite of a large police organization that is deployed to prevent the occurrence of crime, more and more people are applying for the license for a legal weapon under arms act for self-defense and the reasons are legitimate enough to be worked on.
On the other hand we can’t refute the occurrence of incidents related to the flouting of arms act where procuring and misusing of licensed weapons is a matter of pride for the people who are affluent or bully by nature. Reports of 'accidental' shooting of revelers by licensed weapons at weddings are amongst the most common ones.

Assassinating the assassin

I am writing nothing new, many of the eminent writers have written and are going to write on the life of the criminals, the aftermaths of crime and the list of the topics are ever ending, many of the readers have culled out such writings in order to win fabulous prizes in various competitions.

A thing may be that I should write on "Living with the assassin". Despite knowing that the husband is an assassin, how is the wife able to cope a normal life and prove to be a homemaker. How are the children of the assassins treated in the world and many such questions now and then striking in our mind?
Are the assassins who show remorse for what they did, treated as normal humans after their retributive sentence by the laws are over?

Like in the case of Nalini Murugan (the “accused no. 1” in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case); in between serving a prison term and fighting a legal battle for an entry permit into India for her daughter, Megara (15), Nalini, a graduate before she was convicted as the ‘back-up human bomb in the event of Dhanu failing in her mission‘, has been pursuing her MCA studies at the special camp for women in the Vellore prison.

Nalini and her husband (Sriharan alias Murugan), are pursuing their Master’s in Computer Applications from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The counselor rated Murugan, as the “most brilliant” student. “Murugan has got very high scores so far. I have not seen such high scores even in the case of students outside,” said Srinivasan the IGNOU Consellor, running his eyes through the marks sheet available on the IGNOU website.

Despite accepting Murugan's and his wife Nalini's excellent intellect and the fact that they both are now MCA, will the world respect them as computer engineers or will the credence of the world still treat them as social stigmas?

We all have a pragmatic vision to seek and see justice done. Throughout history and in many places around the world today, individuals take the need to chastise those who have committed crimes into their own hands. The societies that practice vigilante justice do so because there is no central system to deliver justice for them, or if there is, it is corrupt and worthless. In our society we believe all criminals should have the right to a fair trial before paying for their crimes. We also believe that punishment should be proportional to a crime. For these reasons we collectively entrust the responsibility of sentencing and retribution to our government institutions.

Our society has enabled our government to carry out the task of administering retribution on behalf of its citizens. Why then has the principle of retribution fallen by the wayside in determining appropriate sentences? Sentencing for the sake of retribution has lost all clout, brushed aside as a primitive instinct. In reality, this innate desire to see criminals pay a price for their crimes is central to our humanity. It is a justifiable objective in sentencing. Is it being delivered? A quick glance at our present system tells us it is not.

Specific deterrence is the idea that a sentence will keep the offender in question from re-offending. General deterrence is the idea that tough sentencing will dissuade future law-breakers.

The first and foremost step in retribution system is to rehabilitate the criminals in the society in order to reduce the recidivism present in them to zero.

We mostly hear about the huge number of rehabilitation programs but seldom do we hear about the results these programs produce.
Sympathizing with a criminal in the prison visiting room is like sympathizing with the deadliest beast caged inside its bars at the Zoo. Its safe enough there, but you don’t want to meet either of them in their natural habitat. Molestation in childhood, poverty and discrimination- something twisted in their brains. What kept them from being a normal human being? For them criminality then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But the decision to change, to do the right thing, ultimately comes from within. A soldier bonded to his peer group would fight valiantly on their behalf when he might have given up if he was alone on the battlefield.

You can reason with a criminal, particularly a professional criminal, who is the ultimate pragmatist. The implicit statement when a criminal is taken at gunpoint is, ‘cease your assaulting behavior or die.’

This does not work for the religiously as opposed to politically motivated terrorist. The religious fanatic who practices terrorism cannot be reasoned with, because there is nothing you can threaten him with, and no alternative you can offer him that is more palatable than his genuine belief that if he dies fighting you, he will be greatly rewarded in afterlife. Only swift and extreme force can stop him.

Plainly we do know what the problem is; the offender's anti-social behavior but we have only the faintest idea of how to correct the problem. The current rehabilitative efforts had no appreciable effect on recidivism.

All the criminals need an identity shift when released again in the society. After conducting further research, studies in several prisons have indicated that recidivism rates have declined where inmates have received an appropriate education helping their social skills, artistic development. This same study provided a critical analysis that showed that; a program’s success or failure is hampered by values and attitudes of those in the authority position, over crowded prison population conditions and inadequate funding for teaching personnel, supplies and materials

As per these studies it is highly apparent that given the right attitude by personnel and a dedicated effort by those in authority, along with points made in this previous study, educational rehabilitation effects on criminal recidivism shows a positive correlations in terms of reduction.

The rehabilitation program should help connect people released from prison and jail to mental health and substance abuse treatment, expand job training and placement services and facilitate transitional housing and case management services.

In conclusion, educational rehabilitation, substance abuse treatment programs and the family all must unite in the previously incarcerated person's life to assist him or her in getting back on or starting the right path. That path is a crime free, employed, and engaged citizen, father and/or leader in the family and community.

Now, I am not saying that all criminals, given the right opportunities and support, will become industrious members of society. But effective rehabilitation programs are surely going to act as a sight for sore eyes for the despairs of all the delinquents.

Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools

Amongst the famous maxims of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is, “Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.” By coining this maxim he wanted to convey that if a person has a strong determination then nothing is impossible for him.
The world is divided into two classes: those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable. The former is often addressed as an imbecile and the latter who apply themselves wholly and indefatigably to their ambitions are omnipotent and are awarded the epithet of “innovators”.
“Where there is a will there is a way,” is an old and true saying and even if there isn‘t a way either I‘ll find it or make one should be the theme of our will .
The fools keep on talking about impossible because they fear to face the failure. To face success one needs a heart to face the failures. For once the failure is tasted; the fear of facing it goes off. We get the strength to take the risks more easily. We’ll not want to snuggle in our comfort zone anymore-we will be ready to fly. And success is about flying, not snuggling.
Electricity and light bulb were impossibilities. Humans safe passage through the sky was unfeasible. But Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers went and did it anyway. Things are impossible only because we perceive them to be impossible. The world makes a way for a man who knows where he is going.
Now it’s our turn to begin our own dynasty-one that brings us greater fulfillment while simultaneously providing immense value to the world around us.

Injustice with the Name for Fame

The renaming of a place is predominantly done to commemorate noteworthy persons or incidents associated with the place and to perpetuate the memories of that person or incident. But renaming a place doesn’t mean that its development process gets elevated too. This sounds alike the palimpsests, the root problems of the predecessor remains the same, neither does the impediments vanish dramatically. A moot question arise that if in a place myriads of people have been the exemplifiers then what to do? How many times will the place be renamed? In the vast Diasporas what do the honourable Ministers want to prove by renaming the places, do they want to prove themselves as exemplifiers of being iconoclasts or just to mesmerize the public? The renaming of the places is just a trivial issue, instead of basking over such trivial issues; the honourable Ministers should focus on the ways to surmount the impediments of the cities/towns development process. They should look into the tangible issues of the general public. There are myriads of tangible issues which impedes the development of the city/town and finally a nation. Removal of slum areas to foster urbanization, refurbishment of the dilapidated roads etc. are few of such issues which need immediate attention. For doing so if needed a call for a strategic multifaceted plan addressing a holistic approach to improve the quality of life may be made. The Ministers should be eager to elevate a city entrenched in seemingly impossible challenges, and if needed the Ministers should even breach the typical governmental patterns to reach beyond usual solutions and have a demonstrable and tangible impact on improving people‘s quality of life.

Kala Pani- The polluted water bodies

Often the turquoise looking rivers, rivulets and canals are bearing the brunt of the discharged industrial effluents which are being released into these water streams, indiscriminate throwing of household, clinical, pathological and commercial wastes, and discharge of fuel and human excreta making them squalid. In fact, the water bodies have become a dumping ground of all kinds of solid, liquid and chemical wastes.

As per a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) action plan the factories cannot dump effluents in the rivers and rivulets but have to send it to a common effluent treatment plant (CETP). But hundreds of industrial units do not treat their wastes as per the inlet parameters of the CETP, and are releasing untreated effluents into the rivers and rivulets. And what say about those areas which are not having any such common effluent treatment plants or about those areas where the effluents and the other hazardous wastes not find any river, rivulet and thus remain accumulated posing serious threats to the life of many residents of that area.

There are myriads of stories like these that go unheard. Invariably, those worst hit by industrial pollution are either rural folk who are unaware of its effects or workers who earn their living from the polluting factories. But more than the polluting industrial units, the blame goes to regulatory agencies — state pollution control boards (SPCBs) and state industrial development corporations — that were created to control and monitor industrialization. Instead, these agencies have been reduced to mere rubber stamps to promote industrialization at a frenzied pace. The industrial system has been reduced to a state wherein it makes better business sense for industrialists to carelessly dump hazardous waste rather than set up mechanisms to deal with it.

Although people are gradually realizing that pollution is leading their lives to predicament, they are not reacting the way they should, considering that their very lives are at stake. The spirit of public good that saw numerous people going to court against polluting industry has been snuffed out after implementing agencies failed to enact the orders of the courts.

Aren’t we behaving like egocentrics, for our self interest we are releasing the poisonous effluents into the natural water bodies and when we realize that these polluted water bodies are posing great threats to our lives, we plan to clean them. Why it’s only the NGOs taking the initiative to clean these polluted water bodies, why not our government and why not each and every individual? When the rules are stringent then why the implementing agencies are being lackadaisical in it’s implementation? Why does the government needs to face the strong revolt by the people to shake their legs?

If each and everyone of us are able to understand our responsibilities then the day is not far when we won’t have to face the industrial turmoil.

Growing Pains of the Youth

Growing up has never been easy especially now in the new millennium amidst unprecedented prosperity, it has become more striving than ever. The cravings to know each and every fact of the existing world around him drives the inquisitive child to a stage of instability. During this stage the child cries for attention, help and love from the parents. This stage if ignored can prove to be lethal for the child.
Parents usually prefer to discuss only the career oriented issues with the child and rest of his cravings are considered as taboo. The child is always raised with pressures to excel in life. When children are young, parents marvel at their every little accomplishment but later the primal ambition left with the pushy parents is just to see their child topping the class. The grim epithet to the tormented lives of the children is the word ‘failure’. Sometimes the children express an inability to cope with the pressure to excel, frittering the dreams of their parents.
Examination fear, sibling rivalry, issues at school, warring parents, fear of punishment, distressed parents, divorce of parents are some of the prominent reasons roosting among the children which are making them vulnerable towards depression or a new world (without parents).
Recent studies show that children who have been given too much too soon grow up to be adults who have difficulty coping with life’s disappointments. They have a distorted sense of entitlement that hampers the way of success both in the workplace and in relationships. The escalating aspirations where the youth believes in achieving anything and the need of instant gratification makes the youth bully in nature. In such cases the refusals by the parents to accept the browbeating attitude of the child drives him away from them towards the world of destruction.
To safeguard the future of their child and to bridge the gap the parents have to bring a cluster of changes in their own behavior and personalities. The parents should ensure that the state of anguish being brought in the lives of their children by the inchoate emotional forces running rampant in the adolescent mind of the child should not go unheeded in any case or on the pretext of being a subject of taboo. Parents should also ensure that they are least absorbed in their own lives and career and try to spend the maximum time with their child. Being pragmatic the parents should establish a few family rules and should stick to them. If children learn to obey at home, it will be easier for them at school. Punishment for not following the rules should be non-physical. The follow ups of these little but primal elements in life by the parents and the teachers will not let the child get bogged down by anxiety, phobias, academic and socialization plights and can restore a happy life to thousands of youngsters. That can really be termed as a gratifying prospect indeed.

Potential threat to fossil fuels heads for price hikes

It is a universally approved fact that petrol is the backbone of a nation. The witnessing of relentless hikes in prices of petroleum products has been a global issue since years. Demands to lower or to freeze the prices are always on high and mighty. The oil market is vulnerable to crises; as a result speculators are driving up the price. People usually accuse the government for being least interested on pondering over the matter, but what thing is not being realized by everyone is that it’s not the government who can bring drastic fall in the prices but it’s the people themselves who can do so. It is believed that high supply with low demands results to lowering of prices and vice versa. When the consumption of the petroleum products will decrease proportionally the price of the petroleum products will decrease too. I believe that people will surely be demurring on my statement.
I too believe that’s it’s not the adequate and significant solution for a long run as sooner or later the demands are going to touch the sky and the fossil fuels are going to vanish. The scarcity of the fossil fuels will further worsen the financial burden on the people. The need of the hour is to head for the exploitation of the alternative sources of energies. The alternative energy solutions include all prime movers that can use a renewable natural resource to produce energy. This may be wind, thermal energy from the earth, and wave action in the shores and solar energy from the sun.
Use of bio-fuels such as bio-ethanol is believed to be one of the prime and best solutions for converting the scarcity of fuel on earth to its adequacy. Bio-fuels such as bio-ethanol can be produced from virtually any organic material which means that it is a secure form of energy and in the long run will be relatively cheap, further it reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, of carcinogens such as benzene and of other harmful emissions such as particulates. It is also biodegradable in water and soil. In a concise statement in addition to the solutions to the other issues it’ll also reduce the air and water pollution and hence will reduce the global warming.

The fate of the Pakistani pacer Md. Asif put in limbo

The fate of the detained Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif's has been put in limbo as the Dubai court, before which he appeared, adjourned soon after hearing recommendations of the prosecutors.Asif was going to Lahore from Mumbai on June 1 after playing in the Indian Premium League for the Delhi Daredevils when he was caught red handed with contraband drugs at the Dubai airport on his arrival. He just appeared before the court on Sunday along with his lawyers for bail.
The court has further forwarded the case to the supreme authority Attorney General of Dubai whose decision is believed to be the final one. The Attorney-General is empowered to sign administrative deportation orders, which could prevent the case from being referred to the Dubai courts.The chief prosecutor cross-examined the witnesses who were instrumental in combing out the banned substance from the bowler. The court case will resume tomorrow," Akram said, trusting that finally the justice will churn out in Asif's favour on Monday.
The probability of Asif's bail has not zeroed but this drug scandal may compel the Pakistan Cricket Board to stringently review its anti-doping regulations to include punishment for the use of recreational drugs.
With the immense pressure on PCB and the image of Pakistan cricket taking an abysmal shape, it is being conceived that if Asif is released, then also the board will penalise him to a maximum ban of five Tests or 10 one-day internationals and even a fine under its code of conduct which is befitted for disgracing the game's repute.

News alert for smokers

The recent research study by Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy has made a splash in the life of smokers. The various research studies conducted on smokers and non-smokers has excavated a well established fact that smoking potentially poses great threats towards heart diseases to not only the active smokers but also to the passive smokers, but hitherto the means of testing smokers' nicotine levels are having somewhat ambivalent appearance in general. Researchers seem to have found a much more accurate means of obtaining a smoker's history than the prevailing ones of asking a smoker or testing nicotine breakdown products in saliva or urine. A U.S. study in Nurses' Health suggests that measuring nicotine content in toenail clippings can assist in prediction of women's risk of heart disease.
According to the laureate 'Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy', of the University of California in San Diego the current methods of measuring nicotine content only reflects usage or exposure within recent days. Toenails may offer a more long term estimate of a person's level of exposure to tobacco due to their slow growth. Toenail clippings would also weigh in exposure to passive smoking and smoking habits such as how much smoke a person inhales with each puff. It is conceived from the research work of Dr. Wael that it will prove to be a beckon beyond the compass of bias diagnostic means being currently adopted . But still the moot question is that isn't it best to quit smoking than to falsify the conjectures of the researchers?

Image of Harvard University under cloud

The worldly famous Harvard University is recently in the limelight of an academic and political scandal after three prominent members of its psychiatry department have been impeached of breaking conflict-of-interest rules by camouflaging the millions of dollars procured by them as consulting fees from drugs manufacturers.
The cumulating of the extravagant wealth with these prominent members of Harvard University has proved that the stratospheric salary of these industrious and prominent doctors has failed to satiate them to earn more. An investigation by Senator Charles E Grassley excavated firm evidences against Dr. Joseph Biederman, who is well known around the world for his work in researching antipsychotic medicines for children and two of his colleagues i.e. Dr Timothy E Wilens and Dr Thomas Spencer. All three of them have been impeached with the charges of failing to report to the University about much of their earnings of $1.6 million and $ 1 million respectively that they had earned in consulting payments from drug companies.
In a questionnaire Dr. Biederman safeguarding himself said that he took conflict of interest policies very seriously; he also added that "My interests are solely in the advancement of medical treatment through rigorous and objective study." Dr Wilens and Dr Spencer too said they thought they had complied with the rules.
It is also stated that the relationship between the Harvard academics and the drug companies has been highly controversial because their research has advocated the use of previously unapproved psychiatric medicines in children.
From the ongoing investigations it is anticipated that more names and the unexplained facts will come in light and the same would be revealed to the public.

Indo-Pak Trades : The Trading for Peace

The Indo-Pak relation has been elevated as a controversial issue since decades. The tranquilization of the blazing guns from either side of LoC in Kashmir for some time through the bilateral talks of the governments of the duo countries has again kindled a ray of hope amidst those traders trading in the border areas here who are optimistic that their rosy days will come back soon after the opening of the border posts again; thereby giving a tremendous boost to the economy of not only the border region, but to both the countries on the whole. The demand for inter-border free trade practice is fair to middling. Though on one end the demands for opening up of the border posts for land trade routes are of vital and substantive nature as it will definitely prove to be a pivot of peace and tranquility towards the deteriorating brotherly relations of these nations and will also meliorate the hardships of the border residents to a great extent, but on the other end it is going to jeopardize the national security caused by the infiltrators who are surreptitiously trying to invade our country and disturb it‘s internal peace.
For bringing the relations between the duo countries to an even keel both of them have to seep the theme of philanthropy to their grass root levels. It’s not always the US who is to be believed the pioneer in resolving peace issues amongst the duo but it’s the mindsets of the governments which can emancipate the free flow of the nationals for better trade and human relations.

What to expect when you are electing, autocracy or the democracy?

Panchayati Raj is a system of governance in which gram panchayats are the basic units of administration or in other words this system is the grass-root unit of self-government. Panchayati Raj has been proclaimed as the vehicle of socio-economic transformation in rural India. Effective and meaningful functioning of these bodies would depend on active involvement, contribution and participation of its citizens both male and female. The aim of every village being a republic and Panchayats having powers has been translated into reality with the introduction of the three-tier Panchayati Raj system to enlist people's participation in rural reconstruction.But the entire meaning of the Panchayati Raj gets transformed when the election phase to the panchayats, block samitis and zila parishads is to take place. A Panchayat election is often termed as the pivotal moment for the fate related to the socio-economic development of the village as it captures a village on the brink of metamorphosis.The campaigns are always hot, the issues raised are vital. What is the best way to combat poverty in villages is the prime ingredient of the election manifestos. The voters are often caught in a situation of turmoil as for whom to elect their representative; none of those fighting in the elections lag to prove themselves as the best icon of philanthropy raising doubts as to whether the polls would give them a greater control over their lives or will shred the tight social fabric of communities. The election results are often on contrary as to the belief of the naïve voters. The conspirers reap the benefits and the naive voters are again the sufferers. The real heroic social warriors have been replaced by the political goons. There are incidents of booth capturing, clashes between different political parties; all these being done either to get forceful hold of the power or to get the compassion of the voters by proving the opponent as being the real goon. There are extravagant expenditures incurred on elections in the form of gimmickries to win an overwhelming response. Under these circumstances the poll results can easily be prophesized. The Election Commission of India had once implemented a rule where the tainted people will not be able to fight for an election. The government should stick with this rule and see that the vicious and goon kind of people remain out of the scene. If needed troops should be deployed to provide security to the voters from the unscrupulous elements. These political goons should not forget that although they may be able to divide some with their indoctrination process, but everyone is united in the desire for internal stability and peace. Democracy is not the family dynasty of the political goons. Each vote cast in an election is another small stride in that direction, but everyone knows that a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
It’s not autocracy which will replace democracy but once again the democracy will succeed in replacing the autocrats.

Killing the honour or killing for the honour.

In the male dominated world the theory of gender egalitarianism has somewhere lost its moral value. Where on one side the feminine section are toiling to establish their expertise to its full potentials in their workplace, the other side they are being oppressed to the extent where they have to cross several hurdles to articulate their identity even in their own family. Being a wife, mother, sister and a daughter usually she has to face thwarts by her own family members so that she fails to grab the opportunities which her male counterparts can’t.
Amongst other crimes against women there is another abominable crime termed as “honour killing” which has brought the entire feminine section of the world in turbulence. These killings are the form of vengeance carried out-usually by family members on women who are alleged to have committed acts deemed as inimical to the family name. Such abysmal incidents are rife not only in India but across the world. The problem is that mostly men are the prosecutors and are generally being supported by the other female family members. The victims include those suspected of adultery, the ones who marry without the family's consent, or those who dares to demand a divorce (which in the opinion of the husband is an act of infidelity). Perpetrates of the honour killings are often camouflaged or are not investigated. They are rampant in backward rural areas beset by poverty and illiteracy.
The pathetic fact is that even if a wife impeaches her husband of adultery, she is brutally murdered on the pretext of saving the ‘honour’ of the husband. When on adultery a wife is treated as a social stigma then why at all a husband is exonerated of adultery even if he is a womanizer?
Keeping in view the theory of gender egalitarianism the only one solution to this problem is to dissolve the orthodox meaning of the prevailing word “honour” and redefine it.
Parents should ensure that the emancipatory changes being brought by them in the life of their progenies are under their control. Too much of freedom or humiliation can outbreak the revolts; creating differences in the generations. The Scarelette Keeling’s murder in Goa is an impeccable reflection of how the excessive freedom proves to be a pivot of sully for the progenies. In the same way the children should respect the feelings of their parents and should understand that their parental ideology is not vague but is just for fortifying their own future. This way the arising mooted situations can be melted to a mutually agreeable solution, safeguarding the honour of the family.

The Other Sikhs in the "Black List"

Though the black list of Indian Sikh expatriates who went down the separatist path and chose antinational activities has been pruned since it’s declaration but still it has been a bone of contention for the Central government.
Citing security concerns the Indian government blacklisted Sikhs involved in anti-India propaganda and vandalism following the abominable Operation Bluestar of 1984. The riot was in wake of the Indian army’s storming the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs in Amritsar, Punjab, to flush out the armed religious extremists, who had fortified the place of worship. The operation infuriated Sikhs across the world, coercively driving the idealistic, emotional youths to join militancy.
With the situation been normalized in Punjab after the end of terrorism the reiterating demands for scrapping the “black list” has gained pace. Though this “black list” can’t be scrapped immediately without proper scrutiny but the Home Ministry and the other intelligence agencies should work microscopically on scrutinizing the antecedents of the then offenders and see whether they are still posing diabolical intentions for the nation proving themselves as still inimical to the country or have changed their mindsets since then.
The act of pity shown by the Indian government towards the Indian Spy Sarabijit’s death sentence in Pakistan appealing the Pakistani government for showing mercy towards him by commuting his death sentence into life sentence symbolizes that for the world India is still the token of love. We should ponder on the principle that ‘the society prepares the crime and the criminal commits it‘. So it’s not the criminal alone who has to be punished but the circumstances created by the society which drove to the delinquency should be uprooted.
The refusal by the government to scrap the “black list” will sensitize the agony of those who have realized that they had chosen the wrong path and are now anxious to visit their homeland but had been denied of a visa. Such hapless expatriates who are proving to be the fulcrum for the nation’s economic prosperity can‘t pose any kind of security threats to the nation. Therefore the government should reconsider the appeal of such expatriates to end up their long lasting exile of more than two decades allowing them to re-assimilate in the Punjab of today.

Venomous Health Ministry, what’s our mistake doctor?

When we look back at the performance of the Health Ministry under any government, what comes to our mind is an abysmal picture of the health status of our country. Public health centres have been the spectacle since years with either no staff or no equipments, what to say about the lack of the state of the art technologies which symbolizes of a fantasy world for the ones residing in rural areas. When comes the situation of tackling with the health concerns the rural residents have no choice but to fork out vast sums of money for private care.
Hitherto after agrarian issues the second most common cause of debt in rural areas is the medical expenditure. The shoddy care combined with coquetries meted out to those who cannot afford anything better makes them shed even their legacies for rejuvenating their health.One out of every 11 children under five dies in India for want of low-cost, low-technology medical intervention. Maternal mortality that is unacceptably high is due to the same reason. Preventive measures which are viable against spread of communicable diseases are most of the time put to ignorance by the Health Ministry. Feasible access to proper sanitation and preventive healthcare can definitely curb the mortality rate of our country. Rather than emphasizing on major health issues our Health Ministry is constantly applying centrifugal force in carrying crusades against irrelevant issues. One of such issues is that during the birth of a child in a government hospital the parents are handed over a vaccination chart indicating the schedule of vaccinations to be given to the child at various stages of the life. One of such vaccine is against Polio. Though the Polio drops are given in general and booster doses at different stages but still the government is keenly providing these drops every year free of cost that too at the door step irrespective of the proper schedule of the vaccine but such drives are not being carried over for other costlier life saving vaccines which itself is self explanatory that how actively our Health Ministry is eradicating the other deadlier diseases which we human beings are actively prone to.
Similar to our Health Ministry the doctors appointed in the government hospitals are of the same pool. The flourishing nexus of, “gift-for-prescription” is alarmingly posing an economic as well as mental hazard for the patients. The patients who often haunt to government health centres on the assurance of being provided with the utmost treatment at cheapest prices, are driven to get the pathological tests (which can normally be got done from the same government hospitals at affordable prices) from the doctor’s recommended test laboratories and scanning centres on the pretext of non-functional test machines of the government hospital or for an advanced study. Sometimes the patients are prescribed costly medicines which are not at all essential to cure the disease but are just multivitamins and are available with the health centres to be given to the patients at free of cost. The government pays special NPA (Non - Practicing Allowance) to it’s working doctors so that, they remain loyal and sincere towards their duties, but such allowances are not able to quench the thirst of these commission agent doctors from earning more and more. Such kinds of doctors are in myriads and ubiquitous, bringing a shame to our nation’s dignity whose pedagogy of medical science in legacy is accepted world wide. The moot question remains: is our Health Ministry close to meeting our heightened expectations or are we being driven towards fool’s paradise?Healthcare should be seen as a crucial investment in human resources without which we cannot sustain the pace of national growth. Once caught red-handed the practicing license of these commission agent doctors should be cancelled for lifetime and should be asked to meet the entire expenditure of the treatment of the patients whom they have driven to economic and mental loss.

Food Crisis in India, Reality or fake?

Since years we humans are pondering over the issue of inducing “Green Revolution” to curb the widely spread famine across our country due to the scarcity of food production either because of the hits by droughts and floods or destruction of the entire crop due to pestilences. Some times the entire produce is annihilated by the rodents. But these days the rodents are not pestering the farmers that much as are the pseudo government employees and the parasite black marketeers who are just not allowing the produce of the farmers to reach the needy ones. The recently conducted raids in the godowns of Delhi by the Food & Civil Supplies Department of Delhi government has brought an eye opening stark fact in front of us. Heaps of the produce are getting decayed in the godowns across our country but news is being splashed that India is passing through intense famines. As per the norms, a licensed trader can store up to 1,000 quintals of wheat and 2,000 quintals of pulses at any given point of time. Non-compliance with stock norms creates artificial shortage of food grains, leading to steep hike in prices. Bad harvest timing, inefficient machinery, lack of storage facilities, contamination, inordinate exposure to heat, cold, and lack of moisture are the major reasons experts cite for the losses which can be prevented to some extent but what can’t be curbed completely is the role of these black marketeers until our government shakes it’s leg. Earlier it was the farmer who reaped the benefits of the green revolution. It was an open, transparent, collaborative effort. The farmers were able to sell their produce at special markets set up by the government but now retail giants such as Wal Mart and Reliance are able to sell food for much lower prices and hence have become a great threat to the farmer's livelihoods. The government should take extreme measures to put curbs on the morass of black marketing in the food products and should ensure that the monster firms like Reliance and Wal Mart are not able to engulf the benefits of the naïve farmers. On the other hand the general public should also take measures to control the population bomb from being exploded which will further fuel the famine in our country. The farmers should relinquish their greed of reaping the maximum benefits as they can, for which they are producing surplus resulting into gluts, they should understand it very well that a bird in the hand is worth than two in the bush.

Tax holiday, how much vital?

Tax holidays are granted to the feeble states by the Centre in the form of concessions to support the emerging industries and to stimulate the growth and strength of the State as well as the industries. These benefits are not in myriads that because of it the established industries can rise as monsters but it can clearly be conceived that these Tax Holidays in states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand have made a trajectory for these States to outshine in strength in the global market.
Punjab’s decision in seeking of compensation of Rs.10,000 Crore from the Centre on account of industrial loss owing to the tax holiday granted to the neighbouring hill states on the pretext of disparity of keeping it’s industries bereft of tax holidays, is not an appreciative approach. When there is intent to make India a refining hub in the global market, why are we robbing it of tax incentives that are vital for the survival of the units. Punjab should withdraw it’s decision of triggering a controversy with it’s neighbouring hill states by filing for compensation, allowing the hill states to retain the sunrise status of it‘s dignity. Instead of pestering the hill states industries for the privileges they have been provided with, Punjab should intensify on its agrarian and other such imperative issues.

Betting in Cricket

The recently announced suggestion by Sh. I.S. Bindra, the senior functionary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow legitimate betting in Cricket in India can simply be termed as captivating by the betters. It’s very much true that it’s going to fetch huge revenues for the government but then the fate of the players and their game will not be decided on the pitch but will somewhat be similar to the fate of the rolling ball in the game ‘Roulette‘. Instead of eradicating the social evils Sh. Bindra is more concerned with the concrete steps for legalizing them. Sh. Bindra should start evaluating the governing rules for the legalized betting. Apart from BCCI now is the time to establish BCCBI (Board of Control for Cricket Betting in India) which would intervene in converting illegal betting to legal ones or coach the betters who are in the stage of infancy of proficient betting skills.
Since ages betting has been a game for rich people, but making this legal will stimulate too the ones whose hard earned money is the only source of earning for their dependents.

Betting is an opportunity where the risk is positive and return is negative. If at all betting is to be made legitimate then a regulatory body should be formed which not only just fetches the revenue from such betting but also monitors the cheats in this legalized game, should stringently look after that no match-mixing is being done so that there is fairness in the betting. A complaint by a better about a fraud in betting should be viewed exactly like any other violation of contract, generating investigation and enforcement.

Sport supplements (Are these worth for use)

If you're a competitive athlete or a fitness buff, improving your sports performance is probably on your mind. Spending tons of time in the gym or at practice may offer results, but it's no shortcut, and sportsmen with busy lives may be looking for fast, effective results. It’s hard to open a sports magazine without being bombarded with advertisements pertaining to sports supplements unambiguously drawing your attention to procure the sports supplements to make you significantly bigger, stronger, leaner, faster or whatever to be a best athlete in your sports. How can you refuse such a tempting offer or better still how can you afford to let your competitor get the edge that you don’t have when even your dietician or the doctors are also being the underpins of this theory.
Most of the foods you see on the shelves of your local grocery store and the drugs your doctor prescribes for you are regulated by a government agency called the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA ensures that many foods, beverages, and drugs adhere to certain safety standards. But sports supplements aren't regulated by the FDA, and no sports supplements have been tested on kids and teens. That means that scientists and doctors don't know whether supplements are safe or effective for teens to use. Lots of sports organizations have developed policies on sports supplements. The National Football League (NFL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have banned the use of steroids, ephedra, and androstenedione by their athletes, and competitors who use them face fines, ineligibility, and suspension from their sports. Still each year billions of dollars are spent in search of the bottle of the “Winning Edge” and every year a new set of wonder substances replaces the last one, these facts and figures are “official”, and can be accepted as being substantially true. But do these sports supplements really work and are they safe? Sports supplements (also called ergogenic acid) are pharmacological products which are used to improve the athletic performance in human beings. These are available in market in different forms such as proteins, vitamins, man made drugs, amino acids and herbs. Creatine, Androstenedione and DHEA, Human growth hormone, antioxidants, are some of the most popular known categories of supplements consumed by athletes in sporting events often to beat their competitors. Athletes usually concedes that such supplements helps them to boost their strength, stimulate their muscle mass and unleash their stamina. They believe that the nutrition which they are getting from the normal food supply is inadequate for them and hence get involved in supplementation. Muscles consist of 75% water, 20% protein and 5% salts and other components. Muscle contraction relies on the protein portion, arranged in the form of muscle fibres: thousands of cylindrical protein filaments mainly made from Actin and Myosin.Sporting performance is directly dependant on muscle contraction. Consequently, muscle integrity is as essential as a good supply of energy. For this reason, proteins, and particularly those involved in muscle architecture and contraction have a very important role in sport.Supplementation no doubt can stimulate the muscle mass but for an interim period and is not an essential requirement in strength training of athletes. Supplements such as antioxidants, proteins and amino acids are the integral components of diet, but additional oral supplementation does not increase endurance or strength.
Many factors go into your abilities as an athlete - including your diet, how much sleep you get, genetics and heredity, and your training program - but the fact is that using sports supplements do have significant side effects that may put you at risk for serious health conditions. So, keeping in view all the adverse effects of the supplements it is recommended for the athletes that they should not waste their valuable money in buying these supplements, instead more emphasis should be laid towards energy rich diets and nutrient enriched foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean meat and low fat dairy products and the last but not the least athletes should be made aware on effectiveness and the potential harmful effects of dietary supplements which they are adding into their diet.

Recipe for a traffic jam

This is not for the very first time that a Prime Minister has prodded the Special Protection Group tasked with his security to minimize the inconvenience to people by his movements and not to perform coercions, such lateral thoughts have been adopted by many former Prime Ministers.
According to the guidelines, the number of policemen deployed along the route traversed by the Prime Minister will be drastically reduced and traffic will be held up only for three minutes. Vehicular movement will be allowed as soon as the last car in the Prime Minister's convoy has passed. Wherever there is a verge or a railing, traffic moving in the opposite direction will not be stopped. Shops along the route will no longer be closed down as a matter of routine. Pedestrians will be permitted to move around except those wanting to cross the road at the time the cavalcade passes by.
Such steps are afoot to scale down the security provided to other VIPs also with a view to reduce Government expenditure and letting police personnel perform their normal duties on the law and order front but only on paper works.
The degree of protection accorded to those who require it should not be compromised with anything. Security should be given in consonance with the threat perceptions to the VIP concerned. A breach in the security of the Prime Minister can definitely jeopardize the safety of the entire nation. But things happens on contrary, religious Gurus are keenly procuring VVIP level securities. When religious ceremonies are held, the entire traffic guidelines are entrusted on the religious followers rather on the traffic cops triggering a lot of inconvenience to the general public. The cavalcade of the Prime Minister causes less inconvenience to the public but that too for an interim period but the religious ceremonies and political gatherings causes a great inconvenience to the public till they are over with (most of the time when it’s peak hours of traffic) and the public can’t wriggle out of such recipes of traffic jams.
Hitherto media has been splashing news related to deaths of civilians caused by stampedes on religious ceremonies or political gatherings, but have never come across with the news of any such incidence with the religious Gurus or the political leaders. Why this disparity in the security of the common man? The only option left with the common man is to be a leapfrog and let these religious and political leaders vault over them.

Punjabi First (Making of Punjabi as a mandatory subject upto matriculation)

The once call decision by the Punjab State Assembly towards making Punjabi as a mandatory subject in all schools till matriculation irrespective of the educational board can’t be defined as a pragmatic one. It’s just a coercion of cultural aspects and acceptance of Punjabi as lingua franca. India being an incredibly rich country in various aspects is a linguistically diverse country as well, it does not have a single official language. Instead, the Constitution of India envisages a situation where each state has its own official language(s), in addition to the official languages to be used by the Union government. Indian schools are segmented into two categories i.e. Government recognized and Private business schools. Hitherto two languages have been enjoying the privilege of being the official languages in the schools of our country i.e. Hindi in Government recognized schools and English in the Private ones. Since long English has been casting conjures towards the students and the parental section. No doubt, it’s still the world’s lofty job-fetching language. If asked about the ratio of how many progenies of our MPs and Ministers have studied or are presently studying in the Government schools (the schools where Hindi/Punjabi is the medium of teaching), the answer would be negligible. Every Minister and MP is just interested to send their progenies abroad for getting high quality of education. Why at all this coercion is being done with the hapless Indians? They won’t have any option except to accept the decision of the Government and see their progenies strive for fetching stratospheric salaried jobs without sound knowledge of English. What if every State Government takes such decisions? Why not to make all the 16 Indian Languages mandatory in the schools up to matriculation and make our progenies jack of all trades and master of none?
The UK Government has made the sound knowledge of English as mandatory for the Indians for being the beneficiaries of jobs in their country but has Indian Government made any such amendments in it’s laws for the foreigners to have sound knowledge of Punjabi or any other Indian language to settle here in India?

Brutality towards humans (It happens only in India)

I happen to come across a news published in the Amar Ujala (one of the leading Hindi newspaper of our country) on 29th March, 2008 depicting an abysmal picture of brutality towards a human being (unfortunately an insane woman). An alarming increase in such dreadful acts is jeopardizing the safety of the citizens especially the feeble women section and hence is tarnishing the dignity of our country as well. Is media proving to be a proxy of the hapless common man to the government or is busy in collecting news just for the sake of its sales promotion? The MPs are demanding for a stringent action against the policemen who failed to stop this heinous crime from being committed, but what about the lens man (press photographer) who captured this incident but didn't even try to shield this hapless woman? Shouldn't he who has no remorse for what he did be held equally responsible for this incident? Isn't it a brutal murder of the hopes of the common man who just thinks that media can some how redress their worsening condition?

Committed to Pay (The Sixth Pay Commission Report)

Since decades there has been altercations between the Private and the Government sector employees on the issues related to the pay comparisons. The recent agitations shown by the Government employees over the inequality of Pay and Allowances as compared with the Private Sectors after the announcement of the Sixth Pay Commission Report reminiscent the era when the same agitations was seen from the Private Sector employees whose salaries were quite meagre as compared with those of the Govt. employees.There are two major tangible factors which outbreaks such agitations, one is that most of the Government Departments are lacking work and productivity so the employees remain idle most of the time and hence can’t demand drastic hikes in their salary for the no work done by them. The second one being the lack of regular inter-departmental competitiveness where an employee gets a chance to prove his/her skill based performance and hence deserves the right to excel by getting the promotion. Lack of inter departmental competitiveness in the Government Sector for those who are willing to excel makes an employee’s skills obsolete and the then skilled employees are therefore not able to strive in the current Private Sector competitions. Hence such employees after putting up 15-20 years service don’t have any other option left with them except to continue with their present job and show their rage over their failure to get more.The productivity-linked incentive/promotion, if introduced, will further aggravate the matters and the sycophants will flourish. Seniors will grade the performance of the junior ones, but who will grade the seniors who according to the junior employees extract most of the work from their juniors which is in fact assigned to the seniors? In such situations grading of the seniors performance by lower level should also be introduced to mark proper justification.The assent towards the flexible working hours for the working women in Government Sector will fuel the agitations. On one side in the men dominated world the Government is pressing hard for giving the gender based equality in every respect to the women section then why such favouritism (still treating women as weaker), aren’t the working men in possession of getting such favours?The resultant factor of all these will be a breach in laws and an intensification of rampant corruption making the high salaried class heave a sigh of relief leaving behind the low salaried class puff for the money.

Wake up time for Indian Players and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

It would be wrong to say that our country doesn’t have sports culture flourishing within or our players don’t have the flair of winning the game. We can’t ignore the worldly accepted fact of the contribution of India/Indians towards the origination of the skilled brain-drain game “Chess” and the current world chess champion Mr. Vishwanathan Anand who is fortunately an Indian too. The remarkable success of Indian shooters at international events has spawned a new breed of non-cricketing sports icons. From Jaspal Rana, Abhinav Brinda to Anjali Bhagwat, this bunch of expert Indian shooters has the whole country drooling over them at present. The rich haul of medals at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games is another shot in the arm to shooting sport in India. Indian shooters blazed the shooting ranges to come home with a tally of 27 medals (16 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze).If our players are not feeble and everything is perfect with them, then what are the major flaws which are forbidding their best capabilities? Obviously it’s not a conundrum without a solution. Here it would not be wrong to say that though our youngsters do have the interest in sports but most of the parents are trying to inculcate the ideological concept of “Padhoge likhoge to banoge nawab, kheloge koodoge to banoge kharab” to their progenies. We often come across with various stars that are from the clans of Hollywood celebrities trying to build up their career in Hollywood but will never be able to find such from the clans of sport players. With the establishment of Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala (Pb.) which is also Asia's largest Sports Institute the government has proved to provide adequate coaching to the upcoming players. But are such institutes adequately equipped with the essential resources or are they bereft of it?The Indian shooters are having abysmal remarks for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for not being able to provide them with the special practicing cartridges; instead they have to practice with the common cartridges. Whereas the government along with the spectators concedes the defeat in an event because of the players who just start basking on their victory and instead of practicing more for the upcoming events they just get busy in broodings.So ending up here the entire episode, I would like to appeal everyone along with the government bodies to encourage the youngsters in your clan or network neighbourhood who are keenly inclined towards sports so that the sports activities are well promoted in our country. And yes along with it the government should tighten up the noose around the guilty sportsmen who are involved in match fixing which gives a bad name to the game and its players. Just remember that a “bird in the hand is worth than two in the bush”.

Broken Indian Hockey Stick

The failure of the Indian Hockey Team in qualifying for the Olympics is really a lament issue and needs to be pondered on seriously. Hockey the national game of India has somehow now been overcome by Cricket and hence is loosing it’s dignity just because of the paucity of game lover’s interest in it. Failure is the other facet of the game which needs to be accepted in sportsmanship. When an individual fails, he is blamed for it for the reasons best known to him, but when an entire team fails then a single person should not be held responsible i.e. Mr. Gill the Chairman of the Indian Hockey Federation in this case. Instead the reasons for the abysmal failure should be traced to the grass root level. One of such reasons is the inappropriate pay and perks offered to the Hockey Players and paucity of proper infrastructure by the IHF which is itself bereft from the essential resources. Whereas in comparison their Cricket counterparts are offered stratospheric offers as an encouragement pack by the BCCI which is one of the most powerful economic body of the world. Most of our schools/colleges are lacking of playgrounds for their students or are having playgrounds which are less than 1 Km in area and hence deprives the students to discover the sporting talent within himself/herself. To help Hockey to regain it’s lost dignity the Government and other related bodies should unleash the terror of the must-must win compulsion, allowing the players to play with their full fledged skills in teamwork.

Road Tolls.......For whom???????

We are currently witnessing rapid developments in the road networks which has always been a vital part of our life. From daily commuters to heavy transporters, everyone intends to have plushy roads which can save ones precious time and money instead of the bumpy and shabby ones which some times proves to be pernicious even to the vehicle and human life. The government is on the plank of massive road development programmes through private sector, which will recoup its investment through tolls. According to the notifications issued by the government, toll rates are fixed on the basis of the percentage of savings that a vehicle will make after the roads are widened or improved. But if studied deeply the overall savings are null because of the consumed time and burning of the fuel at the long queues during the payment of the tolls at the toll gates. What if someone doesn’t wants to pay the stiff tolls and instead ply using the normal roads which is his fundamental right to move freely after the payment of road tax on registration of his vehicle, is there any alternative route provided for such people or is it mandatory to use the toll roads making it a real business? The government definitely has to either review it’s policies in respect of road sector taxation or has to explicate the reason for lagging behind in infrastructure despite collecting appropriate taxes from the public, why every time the common man is raised as the whipping boy for the faults of the government? Perhaps it’s the public who is paying the tolls and not the Transport Minister.

Waivers wave

The Rs.60,000-crore largesse to the peasants announced by the Centre is just a gimmickry act for securing their vote banks. Such act has no doubt brought a smile on the faces of the debt ridden peasants but would not be able to keep that smile perpetual. India, with adequate rainfall, favorable climate, enormous biological diversities, and excellent agricultural practices, has no reason to face agrarian crisis and, given nature’s bounty, its farmers have no reason to commit suicide. The Government can’t escape from it’s onus just by waiving off the loans once. What if the peasants are unable to reap the benefits from the loans given again or in the situation of gluts? The root cause of the failures should be excavated. Where the production is scanty the Government should provide proper water supply for irrigation, hybrid seeds and proper guidelines for the protection of the crops from destructive viruses etc. to achieve high yielding potentials. And where the production is enormous the peasants should be provided with proper help lines from trained technical teams and facilities of storage for releasing their heaped produce in the market to get the best revenue hence avoiding the situation of gluts. Such steps of the Government would definitely make the farmer more independent rather than being dependable on banks hence alleviating the despair of the farmers.

Punjab Budget 2008-09

As the new financial year is just to begin everyone tries to decipher their dreams from the upcoming budget. Every time the budget is announced the noose gets tightened for some and loosened for others as per the relish. It's quite hard to predict that whether the upcoming budget will gratify the common man by casting sign of improvement in his vulnerable financial status, or will it go off the track and prove futile by tantalizing everyone. The recent hefty hikes in the prices of most of the vital commodities including the petrol, LPG and electricity tariffs making them dearer has shattered the dreams of the common man. All this indicates that the upcoming budget is just going to be a gift wrapped in a nutshell.
The budget by now would have been firmly finalized and the basic fabric been laid out, so there is hardly any possibility for the Government to tailor it as per the voice of the common man. But still the Government should keep in view that Punjab has recently been in the highlights because of mass suicides by the farmers and having the maximum number of dropouts from schools. Though the salaried group can somehow cope up with the shortfalls in the budget but what about those who are surviving in the BPL categories and the debt ridden farmers? The budget should mainly emphasize on strengthening these backbones of the nation. The Atta-Dal Scheme announced by the Congress Government and acted upon by the SAD Government has not been able to bring big smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries as the served product has not been able to clear the benchmarks of quality.Budget should be announced keeping in view the requirements of every sector bringing a state of equilibrium; the onus hence lies on the Finance Minister.

Power Crisis in Punjab

It's quite lament that the first and the foremost thing that any new Government does after acceding the ruling status is to adopt a hypercritical nature towards it's predecessor and to make perjures for bringing immense changes in their State for the better upliftment of it's residents during their reign yielding nothing in real. Election campaigns are held on the basis of tangible issues like eradication of power crisis and thereafter the assured promises such as making Punjab a 'power surplus' state gets vanished and nothing is done on the related issues.
These days the power crisis is tantalizing the locals and the industrialists more than the glittering yellow metal 'gold'. The assent of both the SAD-BJP lead and the Congress Government towards providing free power to the farmers just to secure their so called vote banks has worsen the power situation in the state. No doubt, lesser rains has plummeted the generation of power but the issue related to the refusal of the Railway Department to transport the coal to the thermal power units because of the non clearance of the long pending dues by the State Government can't just be ignored. The Government has been hiking the power tariffs from time to time and the consumers are paying for it, when the consumers are clearing their electricity bills on time then what hampers the State Government from clearing it's own dues well on time or to buy power from other States. Instead hefty power cuts are imposed and consumers are asked to use CFLs to meet the power crisis paralysing the life of the industries and the locals. But no concrete action is taken towards MC for glowing street lights during the day time for several hours or towards the PSEB whose own head quarters at Patiala glows with several bulbs and tube lights at nights to give it the ostentatious looks as of a Palace.
The Government should not sprawl back but should work seriously to solve such issues otherwise it's not quite far for another revolt to begin.

Breach in the Traffic Rules

The recently announced sharp hike in traffic penalties by the Chandigarh Administration did not show any sign of protest because such announcements are made for the law offenders and not for the law observers and is over all in public interest. But how come the Administration is so assertive towards its steps to bring any drastic change is still a riddle wrapped in an enigma, as it’s seen that the Administration’s own traffic cops are first ones to breach the laws and the rest of the public follows the suit. The traffic cops themselves feel more honored in the breach than in the observance. The vicious cops are often seen on the road sides asking their shares from the offenders for escaping them from the heavy penalties imposed on them. Though the percentage of such mules is negligible in the Chandigarh Administration as compared to its vicinity states but somehow it still hampers and tarnishes the Administrations steps for road safety. The penalties imposed are higher as compared to the share to be given to the cops for the escape so who will worry for the offence. The traffic cops have to exonerate themselves from impeaches of corruption and get hold on the offenders stringently then only the citizens would get proper safety on roads

Indirect Democracy

There isn’t need of Panches/Sarpanches who just only beguiles the public by bragging about being jingoist and the measures being taken by them for the welfare of the public, we indeed need well educated ones who can really do something for the progress of the villages with their wider vision of philanthropy. The Panches/Sarpanches are expected to proxy for those who are being represented. They should have the capability to filter the demands of the public through their ideological prism and are obliged to ensure that something positive is done about the pressing problems of their villages with vested interest. The Government’s foisting decision of naming the Sarpanch as per the ruling party’s choice is just jeopardizing the citizen’s fundamental right. What’s the difference between the era where we Indians were being ruled by the British and the current situation where we are being governed by politicians who are not of our choice, it’s just like the situation ‘between the devil and the deep Blue Sea’. The Government should focus on the tangible issues related to the development of the villages and it’s residents and should not hurt the sentiments of it’s citizens by reducing their right to choose their representatives.

Money Monster

The rapid changes in the socio-economic trends in leading a congenial and comfortable life has created an inclination of fantasy world amongst the naive rural generation. The rural generation gets tantalized by the luxurious life of the Urban residents. This generation while trying to establish itself in the ravishing and plushy urban world concedes itself alienated and hence thinks to meliorate their deteriorating image. The erection of a spectacular abode with a parked car instead of tractors to plough in the midst of green fields is now the vital hallmark of the rural farmer's life, which is purely the impact of such hindrances. The thing to be lamented on is that to maintain this interim ostentatious image the farmers are ready to loose even their legacies, jeopardizing the future needs of the families too, but still their thirst doesn‘t gets quenched. People should understand that though real estate is a booming sector but it requires proper safe handling of the money for their future needs. Instead of imitating the urban world the farmer should concentrate on his farming and try to generate his revenues from it or he might be landing on the brink of collapse of his ostentatious empire.

Commemorating the War Hero(s)

‘‘Wars are fought for days but the life of the warriors suffer for years,’ this is the present life scenario of our great war hero(s ). The defence forces are contributing their entire life for the safety of the nation and it’s nationals but our Government doesn’t even adhere to support the families of the lost war hero(s) but just thinks its duty is just to commemorate the war hero(s). At NCC the Cadets are inspired to inculcate the theme of sacrificing their life for their motherland but that’s not all to end up with. Youngsters are not interested to enter the Government services (which was once highly in demand). The refusal of approving leave to the fervent defence officers by their seniors at the time of exigencies is another cause of creating lack of interest towards defence services. On contrary private companies like Infosys are providing the best to its employees in every respect along with the elevated ranks for their services and hence is the dream destination of every youngster. We should treat defence officers as humans and not as combatant machines. They deserve the best for what they are.

Need for Speed

Need for speed is the current theme of every country and it’s Government. The slow developments in the third world countries have always relegated them amongst the developed ones. Constant reforms of momentum are required in every phase of development to cope up with the present requisition of the public. It would not be correct to impeach the endeavours of the Government every time in failures of some of its projects which could not clear the benchmarks of public satisfaction. But, the success of Metro rail in Delhi can’t be denied with and can be easily read in the public which is happily ready to pay for it. Imposing of nominal but affordable betterment charges and toll taxes would not be wrong on the projects which have been implemented to meet the current worthy demands of the public for its empowerment. Public places are meant for public and the government should not disturb them at any cost. Rather than extending fad projects to the public, the Government has to be the pioneer and come up with the panacea of homogeneous development projects with quality assurance in every field to accelerate the overall perennial progress of the nation.

Rioting by jail inmates

The rioting by the inmates of the high-security Jalandhar Central Jail is not the first riot of it’s kind. Such riots have occurred earlier and is just in it‘s infancy stage, if not taken seriously it may lead an adverse situation. It’s not as easy task to pacify the present ire of the jail inmates. Lack of proper administration and even the lack in basic amenities are always a glimpse of the jail environment. On one side the jail inmates are being treated as flock of delinquents and the authorities don’t loose an opportunity to take vengeance from these delinquents, on the other side some of the influential delinquents are being provided not only basic amenities but even the privileges of luxuries like mobiles for their convenience and the jail authorities don’t have any sign of remorse in doing so. The Govt. as well as jail authorities should know the ropes of disentangling the basic reason of such riots. Entities like Kiran Bedi have always been a sight of sore eyes. She has played the role of catalyst in bringing drastic changes in the jail environment. Jails should act like schools to remove the inculcated theme of crime from the criminals.

Reading the Word and the World-Literacy in the times of Globalization

Literacy stands second in the phase of communication and reciprocation of thoughts and information after the abilities of listening and speaking. It holds the key aspect to retrieve the knowledge gained from various sources for life long.
The higher illiteracy rates amongst the third world countries have always relegated them when compared with the developed ones. The illiteracy rates amongst these countries are preponderantly as of literacy.
Illiteracy not only shatters the economic growth of the country but it also constitutes a profound injustice amongst its nationals. The illiterates are not only incapable to make self decisions to get justice for themselves or to procure benefits but even show their inability to take part in any development process. Thus illiteracy overall threatens the very fabric of the democracy.
The world over illiteracy rates if not been able to put a curb on will further exacerbate already feeble third world countries. In today’s world, literacy has become a meaningful concept that is being viewed as a set of practices that functions in either empowerment or disempowerment of the nation and its nationals. In literal sense, literacy is being analyzed in sense where it serves to reproduce existing social formations or serves as a set of cultural practices that promotes democratic and emancipatory change amongst the peoples.
Literacy can’t be dwindled just to the extent of the art of reading the letters and words and to write them back. We need to go beyond this conceived notion of literacy and initiate a different vision of literacy being as the medium of learning and prosperity to the world.
If seen even historically, human beings first brought innovations in the world, secondly gained the education and lately wrote the word. The skill of reading the word and learning how to write the read word so that it can be read later is co-related to the skill of reading the world and the transformation of the world by touching the heights of globalization to regain the lost spiritual and technological aspects along with proper modernization as well.
From the origin of mankind to the late 1800s, an educational institution was the only source of information and attending them was the only way to acquire information. With time everything got changed, today we are surviving in a well knit web of information society with hundreds and thousands of sources of information. In present world the word “Yesterday” is history and it may not have any importance today. skills and technologies learnt today will soon become obsolete and would be mastered by new ones. For this reason, knowing how to learn, search for and procure information is more valuable than being a crammer of facts.
According to a recent report declared by UN 90% of the Indian graduates are not proficient and therefore are unfit for the high skilled job market. Today, employer wants an educational system which is exactly fine tuned according to the professional job market so that they don’t have to waste their money and time on inducing training sessions for their employees. The resultant factor is that the schools are now cuddling up to do business instead of providing the utmost education to the student where the student can land up on a platform of vantage. Education has now become a commercial commodity.
Yet another tangible declaration by UNESCO has brought a hall of shame instead of fame for we Indians, according to the report India has slipped down the education ladder, the drop out rates of the school going children in India is increasing terrifically. The children are dropping schools even before procuring the elementary education. The maximum drop outs are the girl students. It’s a matter of great concern for us. When our government has sufficient plans, infrastructure for the implementation of education then why at all are we facing the maximum number of drop outs.
What makes this bitter fact substantially true in not that India is lagging behind in educational system. The fact is that we are not able to produce teachers in sufficient numbers who can hold the students interest in studies and inspire them rather than telling them the lessons, because they themselves are the hapless products of the same cramming system. It would be worth here to borrow the phrase coined by William Arthur Ward that, “The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires”. The teacher teaches in the way that students instead of listening just hear the teacher. The text books of the students are in shabby conditions rather than being presented in a titivated form, which doesn’t catches the interest of the student at a glance. The learning environment is not congenial for the students.
Our education system emphasizes on data and not information. We reward reproduction, not creativity in the classrooms. We don’t encourage curiosities, independent thinking, experiments and digression. How can we expect innovations, original contributions in the numbers that we are capable of.
In an interesting experimental step, that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) mandated in its affiliated schools that every single girl child (a girl with no siblings) must get free education, vanished immediately after being declared because this step was being implemented without giving any compensation to those schools who would in turn bear a great financial loss because of this. Such school would have skewed their admission policies so that they can avoid taking the very students who will cause this loss. Moreover the orthodox parents just have the vision of making their girl child just able to read and write rather than making her self dependent through education. For such parents women like Kalpana Chawala, Sunita Williams or Kiran Bedi have to do nothing in their life.
According to a statement published in ‘The Australian Business’ (a leading newspaper of Australia), “Rich countries are largely rich because of the skills of their populations and the quality of the institutions supporting economic activity”. The US is considered a pioneer when it comes to inducing education and generation of employment.
A study if conducted on the educational system of India would disentangle the riddle related to the rise in number of expatriates students who just not only find the foreign educational degrees far better than the ones being awarded by our own country but also find the degrees awarded by the foreign Universities most rewarding in terms of earnings. An Indian University originated MBA candidate would fetch a salary in five figures whereas the same candidate fetches a salary in six figures after acquiring the same MBA Degree from a foreign University.
“A Rose by another name would smell as sweet”, so why this much difference between the Degrees of our Universities and the Degrees of the Universities abroad? Where’s exactly the fault lying, is it in the Degree being awarded by our Universities or in the capabilities of our own students? Why our own manpower is interested in going abroad and settling there only for the rest of the life?
One of the major objectives of education is to provide worthy jobs for the aspirants. At present school education starts and develops at two different platforms and the matching of the duo at the admission stage of the second is affected adversely. Most of the students not finding themselves fit for technical education remain unemployed and rush out to other countries in search of jobs, mostly menial which they would not prefer doing in their own country. This way we are bearing a great loss of our own manpower by lending it to other countries for their progress. Initially these expatriates develop a fool’s paradise. The working environment of these expatriates is quite pitiable and their condition lately deteriorates. If it’s the government alone to be blamed behind the faulty educational system then it would be wrong to do so, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”, Government is doing it’s best in laying down the foundations for an apex educational system for all but the onus also lies on the shoulders of the parents, teachers and the students as well to apprehend the role of literacy in everyone‘s life. We are now coming across with many Indians who are giving up their promising careers and stratospheric salaries abroad to come back to their native country, not to be a part of the booming India, but to make Swades a better place to live in for the rest of the Indians. They are coming back to provide education even to the slum children so that they may become self dependent when grown up. It’s the time for the teachers to shake a leg, they should forget working in plushy environments and should be ready to move on to the muddy environment of villages too to deliver their best to all.
India has the most excellent legacy of pedagogy in the Gurukul System. We have known about methods of education long before the world even thought of about it. We only need to dig this up and reinvent it by furbishing the mud ridden educational system and titivating it with modern technological aspects. An eye opening fact that can’t be denied and is being accepted world wide is that India is capable of producing a large numbers of renowned engineers, scientists, mathematicians.
The thing to be done is that the knowledge of a school/college student should be measured by their ability to procure information and turn it into useful knowledge rather than testifying their ability to cram up the things.
What is not being understood is that a low scoring student viz. Bill Gates are technicians who continue to keep up their nation a leader of technology, that is because the same students who show limited interest in learning academics, demonstrates great skills and confidence in making innovations. Certain other eminent people like Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison are amongst a few names that found the class room environment conflictive but still made their path to success. Many students accept and believe their educators opinion regarding them as failures but others find alternative educational opportunities and make a bee line to find success.
The industrial age has gone and we are entering the technological era. Today’s narrow profit margins and fast changing technologies are forcing individuals and companies to replace the status quo with continuous change.
Business must implement a leadership style that inspires a love-to-learn and build environment where changes motivates people, because continuous change means efficiency during the current century.
Where skill becomes obsolete in a few months or years, then the newer methods of learning are required. One can’t keep going back to the classrooms every time to fetch knowledge to replace his current skills with the newer ones. We are entering the age where we need continuous education. Continuous education requires the ability to learn without dependency on instructors. All this is to be replaced by self education techniques.
Teachers must be tested regularly and trained continuously with modern techniques of pedagogy so that they keep their skills and knowledge updated and up to scratch. The teachers should meet the benchmarks of teaching.
Motivation is education. Education without motivation kills ambition, the primary ingredient for a productive lifestyle. When a person discovers their natural talent, they are like a fast moving freight train; there is no stopping for them. They will find a way to develop their talent, with or without support from society.
If the pace of national development is to be accelerated, there is need for a well-defined, bold and imaginative educational policy and for determined and vigorous action to vitalize, improve and expand education.
There can be no hope of making the country self-sufficient in food unless the farmer himself is moved out of his age-long conservatism through a science-based education, becomes interested in experimentation, and is ready to adopt techniques that increase yields. In an age of scientific miracles, every field of human endeavour looks to science for the silver bullet to pierce the heart of a problem but denies the fact that the panacea of every problem is definitely in literacy. How many dairy farmers are aware of the fact that cow’s urine can also be an assured source of income for them? Mil from cows can only be procured during their lactation period of 250-300 days, whereas the farmers cans sell the cows urine to persons engaged in the sale and manufacture of ayurvedic medicines?
Indian farmers who have lost their moorings here script success story abroad. The only conclusion can be our faulty planning which needs evolutionary and revolutionary refurbishing. Farmers need to be motivated to adopt vocations like trading, retailing, financing and cottage industries so that they need not to get scared of natural convulsions, famines and pestilence. The farmers should not only know the ropes of farming but should also be literate. The literate farmers reaps the benefits of scientific farming and direct market opportunities, they also suppress the illiterate farmers shattering the agricultural feed of the entire nation with their monopoly. The same is true for industry. The skilled manpower needed for the relevant research and its systematic application to agriculture, industry and other sectors of life can only come from a development of scientific and technological education. Similarly, economic growth is not merely a matter of physical resources or of training skilled workers; it needs the education of the whole population in new ways of life, thought and work.
We should take education as an instrument of Change. If this 'change, on a grand scale' is to be achieved without violent revolution (and even for that it would be necessary) there is one instrument, and one instrument only, that can be used i.e. Education. Other agencies may help, and can indeed sometimes have a more apparent impact. But the national system of education is the only instrument that can reach all the people. It is not, however, a magic wand to wave wishes into existence. It is a difficult instrument, whose effective use requires strength of will, dedicated work and sacrifice. But it is a sure and tried instrument, which has served other countries well in their struggle for development. It can, given the will and the skill, do so for India.
Every student has a natural burning ambition to learn, excel and be somebody. If they are not achieving this goal in the current environment of studies, they need opportunity in a different environment.
For intellectual student, the education inspires a vision, helps them discover their natural talent, opportunity to develop it and helps them to fish out their first job thereby helping them to fulfil their ambitions. Where as, for non-intellectual students the education system labels them as complete failures because they can’t master academics like the intellectuals can. These non-intellectual students are looked up as disdains. Accepting themselves as complete failures they simply give up and choose the path of destruction of their own life and career, get habituated of taking drugs or just end up by becoming a delinquent.
A one education system for all is not feasible. These failure students need alternatives, becoming involved with hand on projects, where academics is a by product.
Students who educate themselves will discover their natural hidden talent without external help and find their own opportunity, usually in the blue-collar world, thereby fulfilling their desires to excel.
We must have a dream and an ambition that motivates us. No one has ever achieved anything without a dream attached to a burning desire. In school we learn how to memorize, and be taught. Learning the skills and knowledge of reducing our dependency on others is provided by attaining educational degrees. We must learn from failures and learn how to bounce back from failures. No one ever succeeded without failure.
The world is now at the beginning of the second scientific industrial revolution of automation and cybernetics, which is likely to be in full swing before the close of the century. It is difficult to visualize the changes it will make in man's life. One thing, however, is certain: unless proper steps are taken right from now, the gap between us and the industrialized countries following this second revolution may become too wide to be bridged. Of course the power of new information technology to bring the world closer and make it more interconnected and interdependent is unquestionable. But the history of technology reveals that unless otherwise managed through public policy, technological innovations tend to accentuate inequalities by being inaccessible to the under-privileged, at least in the initial stages.
Talking on the political aspects of our country, it would not be wrong to say that just one educated generation can uplift the moral, ethical and value levels at which national leadership operates. It was a laudable idea to make a world renowned scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad as the President of India but a single noble laureate like him won’t be able to bring much change in the entire political avenues of the country. With the change in pace, even the employers have been fixing some educational standards for providing employment whereas politics remains the area which has not shown much change since ages. We still are having illiterates as politicians for e.g. Panchayat Pradhans in villages etc. who are in turn governing us with a narrow vision. How can an illiterate person, who is not even aware of his own rights can prove a good stead for the rights of the entire village or the entire nation? An illiterate politician can only beguile the public by bragging about being a jingoist and the measures being taken by him for the welfare of the public, they also foster vulgar wealth alongside abject poverty that can, in turn, lead to violence and anarchy-like conditions, where as a well educated one will do something for the nation with his wider vision of philanthropy. We need the entire political system to be replaced with educationists or politicians who are educated and have a broader vision for exalting the nation. What’s the difference between the era where we Indians were being ruled by the British and the current situation where we are being governed by illiterate politicians, it’s just like the situation ‘between the devil and the deep Blue Sea’.
Here comes the imperative need of adult literacy, the illiterate adult faces more exploitation and is been seen with a view of more disdain than their younger counterparts. A literate adult generation will always behave as catalyst for inspiring their upcoming generations with their broader vision of thoughts and experience whereas an illiterate adult generation will not be able to understand the need of expansion of literacy in today’s world. The illiterate adult generation who themselves are reluctant to get literate will never be able to quench the thirst for information which their younger ones are cultivating in their minds.
Globalization is the integration of fragmented economic, political, and cultural systems across the globe. According to the globalization concept, each entity is a stakeholder. The forces of globalization have engulfed mostly every country of the present world. In this race of globalization literacy plays a key role. Globalization was once associated with the flow of goods but now it’s associated with the flow of ideas and flow of capabilities as well. With rapid communication technologies like internet, an important new notion originating anywhere in the world can be known and understood anywhere in the world very quickly. The generated ideas must be transformed into a product or a process or both for everyone to get benefited.
The spread of literacy and education has been a major consequence of globalization. Literacy and education has spread from high to middle and low income countries. The increase in people’s capabilities and skills due to literacy has been enormous. A literate generation is more specific and cautious towards being civilized and need of hygienic environment and proper sanitation for a healthier and longer survival. Eradication of deadly diseases like chickenpox and measles was also possible cause of literacy. Literacy also plays a key role in overcoming the social evil practices like sati being accepted and spread by the illiterate and orthodox people in the society.
Literacy has also played a leading role in the empowerment of the women section. Literate women are coming forward to share equal or even leading role in earning livelihood like their men are doing. They have also laudably proved that apart from playing alone the domain role of taking care of their child at home they are also having the best feature of being earning hands. The literate women section have also proven false the once used to be said phrase with assert, “Frailty, thy name is woman”. Today the literate women section is empowered with rights which not only protects her from being exploited but also gives her equal opportunities in the competition against men. Literacy has also encouraged women to actively take participate in politics, hence making her more aware of her rights and changing the opinion of the men dominated politics, where the women were just treated as weaker section and where the gender discrimination always existed. Today, the girl has right to choose her spouse instead of getting foisted.
Consumer who was once treated as source of earning has now become the most respectful class. The consumer is now literate and is aware of the consumer right which prevents him from getting deceived by the business class and hence a fair deal is struck between the consumer and the producer.
When comes the question of getting tied in social bonds, we not only accept each others culture, tradition and the vernacular knowledge but everything as whole. We all do not come with such innate and unique capacity of acceptance, it’s literacy which makes us so civilized and adopt a broader vision to accept this and form a human relation which leads to the construction of a healthy society and in turn a healthier nation as well. It’s literacy again which has abolished the practices of apartheid and helped the untouchables to emerge from the disdained section.
Globalization refers to the phenomenon of world wide homogeneity of economy, politics, technology, trade and culture. The fast pace of globalization affects employment hence requisition for preparation of work is acquiring priority. The potent forces of globalization have urged the need of appreciation of workplace literacy. To cater for the rapidly changing demand in the workplace the production systems are also changing themselves significantly. Multi-skills and job rotations are becoming the keywords to avoid the world market from getting paralysed. Workers with adequate literacy knowledge are an asset to an enterprise. Literacy helps to cope up with the international competitiveness in which the higher productivity of both men and machine is required.
Computer literacy and internet has also played its significant role in globalization. Where the internet has not only tied up the entire world in a single net but has also been the leading and fastest source of information and reciprocation of thoughts, trade and technology.
It may be concluded that literacy is the hallmark of progress. It develops the spirit of team-work, interpersonal relations and communication skills amongst everyone. It’s the torque which can determine the overall strength of the nation. A nation whose every citizen is literate has the vision to read the world the best in its form.

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Devendra Lingwal

Devendra Lingwal

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A result oriented writer with a flair to write for books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and web publications for technical, business, and general audiences. Able to conceive, design, plan, and manage all phases of editorial projects; not afraid to dig in and create any single editorial element or group of elements. That's me:

As a Citizen Journalist have won awards for 4 of my articles, ‘Time to have a re-look at blacklisted sikhs’, ‘Killing for honour kills human honour’, ‘Gandhi, youth and globalisation’ and ‘Growing pains of the youth’ as the 'best articles'.


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