Tag Archives: Social

An open to letter to all MPs & MLAs of India

Catch my latest blog post at http://worldasisee.com/an-open-to-letter-to-all-mps-mlas-of-india/ 

Our MPs and MLAs

Our parliament

Our parliament

Parenting…#3

My parents

My parents

This is my third article on parenting. This was an incident which happened with me when I was in College. At that point I felt it was funny and my dad was cool. But today when I see many of my friends and associates having a strange relationship with their parents where the parents do not know what the kids do, who they meet, or the fact that kids drink and smoke to glory but at home pretend to be all saintly, I realise what I had got from my parents. A trust which is so rare today among parents and kids. Both my parents had a rule for me that there should be nothing they hear about me from someone else, and today I realise the worth of that trust. This incident was one of the few examples of the trust my parents always had in me, and touch-wood always will.

Well you know how it is in India..a boy and a girl are seen out together and immediately tongues start wagging….now i had a lot of male friends in college…there was no other choice as there were 45 boys and 5 girls in each specialisation..anyway nevertheless fact is i had loads of male friends…and of course when i bunked classes i used to go out with them…

Now one day a neighbour saw me with a male friend in a crowded mall area…and promptly in the evening when he saw my dad he went and told him..”today i saw your daugher in this area…SHE WAS WITH A BOY” (with a lot of emphasis on the boy part). So my dad looked at him and shook his hands and said and this is quote unquote my dad “Thank you so much for telling me this. I was always worried my daughter has become invisible and people cannot see her. Thanks for telling me she can be seen. Next time when you see her go and say Hi. That way you will clear one more myth I have that my daughter can even talk when she is outside?”….

LOL…you should have seen the look on the neighbour’s face…never again did he try and tell my dad anything about me again 🙂

That day this incident seemed funny to me but today when I look back I realise what amount of trust and faith and liberty was given to me, something now nearly a decade after college I still find lacking in parents of many of my friends.

An open letter to the prime minister (shareholder to CEO of country)

A letter to the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh about the functioning of India

A letter to Dr Manmohan Singh

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

I am writing this letter to you out as I believe that you are the CEO of my country and since I pay my taxes (quite unhappily though), which runs the country I guess that makes me a shareholder and  I feel it gives me a right to bring up certain issues to you. Hence the letter.

I will first start with the functioning of your parliament which I guess is the headquarters of the office you run. I run an organisation here and though am a very relaxed person about rules of attending office on time, etc I cannot in the world imagine how you can have a parliament where your parliamentarians play truant many times and some even 100% of the the time and yet they are allowed to have their job. Better still they get paid for the same. May I know as to how you can spend my money to pay those guys who do not turn up at work? And the ones who do turn up, many of them do not work. I hope you understand that we as citizens pay your salary so you work and not come to the parliament and do nothing? You have a huge percentage of members who have not once whatsoever raised a question in the question hour or done any meaningful work. Yet we seem to keep paying their salaries every month. Honestly its not amazing that the country is in this mess, with such employees. Or should I say its amazing the country is not in worse mess even though it has such employees running the show????????? I do understand that as CEO you have a limited role in some of these cases but at least the employees whom you have brought in, can you not regulate them? And on the same note I would like to add, that I would want you to hire and promote people based only on their expertise and qualifications. I really do not want the first woman President, or the first dalit speaker, or the first sikh prime minister. I just want honest and able people to lead the positions. So if you could kindly refrain from using people’s birth as their qualifications I guess it would do us a world of good.

I would like to bring to your notice another working of your organisation which amazes me. I see many a times that your employees raise the issue of media regulation especially the television. Many times I have heard your information and broadcast minister send notices to television channels about the programs they telecast and the impact they have on children, our society, etc. I mean honestly speaking have your team members ever seen their delinquent behaviour which gets telecast on television daily? Have they ever felt the need to regulate that in regards to the fact that it would spoil the kids or the society. Seeing you guys fight, abuse each other in a place of work, one needs to regulate that channel more than any other channel ever. Why has your minister never brought up that topic? Have they not once thought the kind of impact it would have? Please as CEO can you ask your information and broadcasting minister to first check this telecast before they cast aspersions on others??

The other thing which worries me immensely as a shareholder is the blatant way you guys even in this economy increase your salaries and perks. I do understand that they are the needs and we need to pay you well to function, etc but have you ever calculated the amount of money we spend behind each of your employee? its Rs 2.66 lakhs a month? And time and again you guys increase the same, not once asking the shareholders if they feel like appraising you at all? As CEO of the country, I appreciate you telling the private sector to stop paying the eye popping salaries they pay their employees, but after seeing the salaries you pay your employees, I wonder why the same yard stick is not used to measure your employees?

Mr Prime Minister, I would also like to understand that every year in spite of the dismal performance of the Government I as shareholder have not taken away my faith from this country and moved to another (though honestly that is something which I am very much wondering now) but what have you given me in return? Have we in the last 50 years even made an attempt to improve the selection procedure of the employees we hire? I run an organisation and I ensure I do their background check, check their resume, etc before I even call them for an interview. Yes I too sometimes still choose wrong employees, but you Mr CEO seem to go wrong in the selection process itself. I see no criteria being given to choose your set of probable employees except the fact that they are interested. Also nepotism seems to be the ideal way of choosing the hopeful candidate? Can you please advise me as to why after so many years I still see no improvement in the same and how do you plan to address the issue?

Mr Prime Minister I would also like to talk to you about the various committees successive CEO’s of the country have set up to investigate various and countless crimes done by previous management. When I run my firm, I cannot in the world imagine how I can give a work out without first fixing a budget and a timeframe for the same along with of course the execution plan. But in your company, no matter who is in the helm of affairs the story remains the same. Tell me honestly, do you expect your shareholders to believe it takes 20 years to investigate a crime spending billions of rupees and to give the information which was anycase privy to all? Why may I know are we not changing the system?

The other matter which plagues me a lot is the prizes you decide to confer on sports personalities, namely cricket. Though I do understand that its a very entertaining sport and one which I personally enjoy but I see no reason to give special status to them using my funds in the company while you deprive the others. If you want to spend my money please make it equitable and based on certain criteria, else please do not. I have not invested my money for this.

The other point I would like to understand from you is what is your criterian for breaking the states and making it smaller ones? Is it cause of governance or just cause someone protests? And if it is the latter why not separate out the states which want to leave us? Or is it size matters? States can be separated but not the country? If not, I would like to understand what is the due diligence being done before you or your board take such decisions?

Before I end, Mr Prime Minister I would like to tell you that basically I find you a very able CEO and definitely much much better than any previous management we have had in a long long long time. Hence I felt, that maybe you would try and solve the functioning of this company before its too late and shareholders plan to leave you for other companies. Thus the letter. I do hope that the letter will be received in the right spirit and I hope very soon it will be a pleasure to invest here.

Warm Regards

A small shareholder

Let debate remain a debate…all in favour vote aye

A few days back I had posted an article on marxism and how corporates can make use of the same. Well as always a lot of people commented on the same. Some I agreed and some I disagreed which is always the case. Anyway it so happened that someone made a disaparaging comment about my city and I obviously wanted to comment. So here I got onto chat, and before I knew it, it became a personal attack, to the extent that I was not even allowed to say a word. If I said anything,it was misconstrued in the most amazing way and the point was hammered so many times, that one lost the entire reason for the conversation and it went into a different direction. Well after a couple of minutes I obviously did the next sensible thing to do and just ignored the conversation and actually had a good laugh with another friend who was online who was following the chat with me. But the entire conversation got me thinking, why is it today that debates are no longer reigned within the limits of a debate. Why are people so scared of their point of view being unaccepted that they are ready to rave, rant and go to any low heights as possible? Is winning so important? Or have we reached a stage where intolerance rules.

One of my friends in FB is a staunch communist and she often makes various postings on FB regarding how anti communist forces in West Bengal and India are destroying the country and how communism is the best philosophy to follow. Now I disagree with some of her views and agree with some. Of course when I disagree I give my reasons for the same and vice versa. But what amazes me is the way the comments from the readers flow in any of her discussions. I can accept that one is passionate about what one says and believes in, but I am amazed why people are not ready to listen to another point of view? And when one sees ones point being diluted in the barrage of comments, the comments invariably more often than not become personal. Or otherwise they start screaming and hammering away to glory so much so, that one forgets that one is in a civil society. Internet being an unmoderated medium this becomes even more easier.

If one follows debates on various television channels where one political party is pitted agains the other, the same rule follows. Firstly most debates on TV which involves the politcal class are always so divided and polarized that one rarely gets to hear the true story. Secondly with most speakers who come on TV (there are some good political orators but they generally choose to stay away) its always an extremist point of view that they carry and for them the one point agenda is not to defend their theory but to belittle one’s opponent. In that effort most of the politcal class usually catch hold of the most inane points in the opposition’s topic of conversation and misinterprets it in such a wonderful fashion, and then repeats it so many times that one forgets the real reason for the debate. And if one finds onself in the receiving end of the debate, or losing as one would say, the voices of the loser becomes shriller and louder to the extent that he / she feels that the best way to win a debate is to stop the other one from being heard – decency be damned. Logic and any form of evidence more often than not takes a back seat and all one gets in the end is a shrilly discourse where one hears nothing except some pathetic personal attacks and a loud cacophony of noises. What is worse is that the so called moderator or the anchor of the show actually encourages that cacophony, so much so that at the end of the debate the viewer not only remains uneducated about everyone’s point of view but also needs to clean his ears lest he turned deaf.

One of the most debated topics in India of late have been the Nuclear Deal. I am sure the most of us did follow the same specially on the day the parliament moved the motion of confidence against the Government. The parliament debated over the topic for over 6 hours (a record of sorts since they never work so long but thats a different topic) but tell me honestly how many of you even remember a single debate except the one Rahul Gandhi and Omar Abdullah made. I don’t. And I will tell you why I remember Rahul Gandhi’s speech. After ages I heard a politican who did not feel the need to belittle another party and rather paid respect to all saying all is equally concerned about India. He did not need to scream cause he knew his content made sense. But still no one learns.

In the last two parliamentary elections the BJP lost. Among the many reasons attributed to their loss, I feel one of the reasons they lost is that they forgot that a democracy is a fight for different schools of thought and not of different individuals. At least in urban india one would like to hear a debate on how they different. Their fight in the 2004 elections was anti Sonia and 2009 concentrated on being anti Manmohan. None of their debates had any concrete topics and solutions to the many problems India faces today but just personal attacks. Most of their debates especially if the panelists included people from the RSS was always about a personal attack. They lost the first time and yet refused to learn and fell again. Hopefully this time they wil  learn. Of course I don’t mean congress is any better. They usually have a little more smarter people who come for the debate and hence their tactic more often than not, when they have nothing to say is to catch the most insignificant statement that the opposition makes and keep repeating it so many times, that one ends up discussing a topic completely different from what one started with and before you know it, the time is up. But the best of the lot I find is from TMC and certain marxist leaders. They usually start the debate with screaming and shouting and throw up insignificants points in the air, which have no relevance with the topic and hope that the chaos created by them confuses the audience enough to forget the topic of discussion. Logic and proofs be damned.

I am deliberately avoiding putting up any examples for the above as there are so many that even my debate will lose its relevance. But there is one which I have to point out and I feel its enough to drive home my point. Sometime back in NDTV there was a discussion on Mayavati’s statue building efforts. Now among the panelists was a gentleman who was speaking for Mayavati and her spend. Failing to justify it under any circumstance he came up with this bizarre explanation which flumoxxed everyone. He said that statue building of elephants was to bring in the plight of elephants being killed in India, and since India was racist they were more bothered about the diminishing number of tigers in the country than elephants, who he felt was a sign of dalits. Now in that one swift move he managed to turn the topic of discussion to something completely different and confused the entire panelists to think the discussion was on racism and saving the elephants. Much as I laughed during the debate I feel more often than not today debates are reduced to the same. Create a confusion, rave, rant and in the end ensure people don’t get to hear any opposing thoughts.

When I was a kid and I used to get angry with my people for not agreeing to something I said, I used to scream. Ma always said something, which then I did not understand but today I do. She used to say when you are right your content will do the convincing. Raising your voice only shows how hollow your viewpoints are cause you feel only by shouting you can win. More often than not, your opponent just gives in cause he/ she feels intimidated by you. I guess today we have become so intolerant across all spectrums of life, that we cannot tolerate any other school of thought which contradicts ours. Hence instead of talking sense, we end up just mud slinging each other and screamig.

I am someone who really enjoys a healthy debate, if for nothing else but to make my grey cells ticking. Hence like old times, when debates used to end with the moderator asking all in favour vote aye…i say all in favour of the old form of debate coming back please vote aye…I FOR ONE CERTAINLY VOTE AYE…

%d bloggers like this: