Author: Sudha Narayanamurthy
This book contains collection of short stories, which the author wrote in many newspapers and magazines. The author has traveled extensively to the rural parts of India where she met different type of people in India. She explains how people in rural India are having very high value system and leading a self-contained life. This book contains almost 50 small stories. Written in very simple English, this book explains the author’s experiences. Reading this book also gave me the background information of Infosys able to contribute to the society. Basically the author experienced everything, which made Infosys as a good corporate citizen.
However at some places, the author mixed too much of sentimental stuff which I didn’t like it. Also at some places it became boring as it had similar kind of stories. I would strongly suggest to read this book if anyone is interested in doing charity in India.
There are ample reasons for anyone to flock into the blogsphere. Recently I came across some blogs with gobs and gobs of ‘negative’ contents focusing on ‘controversial’ topics. They quickly become popular as they get high hit-rate and copious comments. These blogs mainly express strong ‘opinions’ against some of the burning issues in the areas of religion, sex, creed, caste, racism, nationality, politics etc. Naturally they catch attention of readers — as it has got to do with an individual’s emotions. Readers quickly tend to take stands and tempted to express their counter arguments.
According to me there are enough avenues to discuss about controversial topics as they are very well known. Especially in countries like India — the media is given complete freedom to conduct debates, opinion polls, panel discussions to discuss flaming issues. Also at an individual level, most of these issues are ‘no-control’ problems and finding a solution is close to impossible. I am not against expressing an individual’s opinions but it will not make any difference to anybody.
When I was thinking in these lines, I asked a question to myself: ‘why do I write blogs?’. After contemplating for quiet some time, I came up with the following points:
- I feel happy when I write.
- Blogs provides a platform to share my knowledge with a bigger world.
- I always wanted to write about ‘positive’ things to ‘influence’ rather than critiques. For example, blogs like ‘Emergic’ has influenced me to a larger extent.
- Connect with like-minded people rather than the general mass.
Request: Can you please post your reasons for blogging?
The Times of India recently launched ‘India poised’ campaign showcasing India’s achievements and problems in various areas. I am able to see the big-B’s TV appearance, huge banners near Richmond road (Bangalore), with this new fad. With India’s republic day is nearing, TOI can get some premium and publicity by initiating such things. These initiatives definitely bring in ‘feel-good’ factor among Indians at the same time there are lot of crude realities, which we need to digest. With over 5000 years of history and 57 years of democracy, I started asking a simple question to myself ‘Am I proud to be an Indian?’. After deep introspection within myself I got the answer ‘yes and no’. How come I can get two answers for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type question?
I feel very proud when I look back India’s glorious past. When the red-Indian tribes were living in north-American jungles, we had a great civilization here. Traces of Indus valley civilization shows the signs of democracy, knowledge about sanity system, collective living and so on. The vedas and upanishads are great source of knowledge even though it is very difficult to interpret them and understand completely. Recently Germans discovered that sanskrit is the best language for computer software usage (I am yet to dig more on this). If westerners can be proud of their management theories by showcasing Peter Druker and Stephen Covey Indians have much more to showcase in Arthashastra (Chanakya) and Thirukkural (Thiruvalluvar).
If westerners boast of their medicines, Indians had ayurvedha as answer. Pathanjali had yoga-sutra, which is proven technique for physical fitness and natural healing.We had great universities like nalanda, vikaramasheela which are equivalent to today’s MIT and Stanford. Students from various parts of the world used to get educated from these universities. Indians invented ‘zero’ without which there is no computers today. We have great architecture and symbols like tanjore brahadeeshwara temple speaks for the high caliber talent in those times. Yes! I am proud indeed when I look into this past! Mera bharath mahan!
Having said that what has happened in the last 1000 years of the history and whats the state of affairs today? We were invaded by every other country in the world and lost tones and tones of materialistic and intellectual wealth. Apart from loosing them, we allowed the British to program our minds by adopting their way of education system. Now let us take latest picture:
Out of 1 billion Indians, 300 million earn less than $1/day and 600 million earn less then $2/day. Among total population 22% of the people live in below poverty line.
Out cities are known for excellent medical institutions like AIIMS and loads of private players. But the rural India the scene is pathetic. We are number two in AIDS affected population in the world.
Only 68% of our population is educated and illiteracy is still a never ending problem even after 70 years of Independence.
Corruption and caste based discrimination are omnipresent. Only in the urban portions things are slightly better off.
After opening up the economy in 1991, the Indian middle class have raised big time. But still the 33% of India’s wealth is with 10% of the population, which shows how discontinuously the wealth is shared. If you want to see this difference in front of your eyes come to Bangalore. A government employee earning an average salary cannot have a good life because of the in-appropriate wealth distribution. Soaring real estate prices are typical example for it.
At the personal level, let us talk about the morality and responsibility of Indian citizens. We don’t keep our streets clean, we spit in public places,We don’t follow line discipline, We keep complaining about anything and everything without taking ‘responsibility’ for anything. If we can boast ourselves as a ‘tolerant’ country by allowing all foreigners inside, why my fellow Indian cannot tolerate for the traffic light to become green? Why should he keep honking his horn when the signal is showing orange? What about the sanitation system? Even today my town school (where I studied) don’t have proper toilets and some residential schools in Karnataka has got 1 toilet for 40 students. Whereas the rich-urban kids are talking about writing IIT-JEE entrance test.
How much amount of economic liberalization benefited the rural Indians? How much amount of technology has penetrated farmers in order to empower them? Except for the mobile phone connectivity and a good banking system I don’t see anything happened for the rural India. I am writing these things based on my experience as I belong to sub-urban town and some of my school friends still make their living by driving auto-rickshaws, working in garment industry as daily wagers and doing the small-scale builder’s job. At the same time our CNN-IBN and NDTV would be conducting polls like ‘Is India shining or not?’ and conclude that we are doing great. Rubbish! Sitting in a AC room in any metro city how can they predict whats happening at the grass-root levels? Now if I ask myself ‘Am I a proud Indian?’ the answer is a define ‘NO’.
In conclusion I would say we need to take the pride of our glorious past and build a great future. My motherland has got so many problems, so what? After all she is my mother. Its time to show more in action than in words.
Technorati tags: India,Society,India Poised
Last night I was watching a TV program ‘Education in India’ in NDTV profit, where a set of educationalists (in my words arm-chair-activists) were talking about the current education system and the discussion turned to giving education in regional languages. Somehow everyone was glorifying the need of English language and telling there is not much need to stress regional languages. When any state government (recently in Karnataka and Maharashtra) tries to ‘impose’ a regional language, people start protesting as if they were born with English language. Frankly speaking I am not able to understand the reason behind simply ‘aping’ the west by embracing English big time.
Speaking from my personal experience, I learned all my education in Tamil till the age of 17 and I was able to understand things much better because it was taught in my ‘mother tongue’. But unfortunately for today’s parents they derive enormous amount of pleasure and they proudly say ‘My son speaks with me only in English and he doesn’t even know how to read or write his mother tongue, because it is of no use’. I am not against learning English language but why should we glorify it? Why we can’t we try to appreciate strengths of our regional languages?
I got my shock of my life when I got chance to interact with Chinese and Japanese folks. They barely speak good English (whomever I have interacted) and I have seen technical papers written by them with lots of grammar mistakes. Apart from that, ranging from MS windows to mobile phone screen, everything is in their language. My simple question is ‘What did they loose by not knowing English? Didn’t they demonstrate to the world their excellence in automobile and electronic fields?’ . One of my friend was doing his PhD in a French university and he told me that they translate the latest books and journals to French.
As again saying, I am not against learning English. In fact I am writing this blog in English and in my workplace I use English most of the times. Today India is having competitive edge because of its large English speaking population. What I hate is the ‘duality’ of some people by using some strange accents and showing-off their ‘pseudo superiority’ of knowing English language.