Truth is out there…. on the internet!

If you would shut your eyes and pretend not to see, hear or bother about what’s happening around you, it would still happen, it would still be the truth and the reality that you would so like not to be there. Rather if the truth or the reality discomforts you so much, isn’t it logical that you do something about it and change it. Well, only if our politicians were this logical.

This week started off with the unfathomable ire of Indian government against the social network giants worldwide. The reason being that some people in the government can’t take criticism in a good spirit and they have so much of free time that they read each and every post about themselves on Facebook, Google or other blogs. Gosh, now we know why the government is so dysfunctional and is working at a snail’s pace. Only if the people in the govt. understood that life is not a popularity contest, rather its about the way you do your work and change the world around you. Well, the govt. is definitely changing the world for us by making it even more difficult due to inflation, scams and corruption. Therefore, shouldn’t these and numerous other existing issues of the nation be concentrated upon, rather than the govt. behaving like a teenager and complaining about its popularity on Facebook!!

Another way to look at this is aren’t we going the China way in curbing the freedom of the media and internet, and is this justified!! Then why do we even call ourselves democratic, for the way the govt. has behaved in the past with some of the anti-govt. processions doesn’t normally happen in a democratic set up. If you would ask me, I feel the Indian govt. is behaving like a mad bull, desperately trying every move to save its face, popularity and gather support but quite opposite happens every time it does so.

What I am quite curios about is what comment or post exactly hurt the Congress govt. so much!! Is it the sea of information available on the internet about the Gandhi family, starting from secrets of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi’s Italian stories or Rahul Gandhi’s passport name!! Wasn’t much of it known to the public even earlier, if not all.

The point I am trying to make is that it doesn’t really matter to the public who are they governed by, if the governance is good. Its plain professionalism at work, if you are really good at your work no one would really bother about what you are doing in your personal space or have done in the past. The greatest example to prove this would be the infamous Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affair, where Bill Clinton accepted his mistake and was also re-elected for the second term not only because he was honest about his mistake but also because all that US citizens expected from him was good governance!

Gandhian Brainwave – A Chapter Revised

Now, I have not seen Mahatma Gandhi nor lived during his times to realize the effect he had on the masses. I also confess that at times I have had questions about his ideologies and principles in the neo-liberal mind of mine. And many a times, I have debated over the significance of his non-violence movement towards Indian freedom and revolution in South Africa, with my friends and peer groups.

Notwithstanding, what we witnessed during last one week in India has totally erased any doubts that I had about the man famously known as the “Father of the Nation”. A man – Anna Hazare – with a similar personality to that of Gandhi, emerged from the masses to fight for the rights of the 1.2 billion people. While we were just wondering in complete amazement thinking why was he risking his life alone for the whole nation, he was fasting unto death with strong conviction to take the scamsters head on.

This movement was truly one of its kind across the globe. While, all the other movements happening widely are against anti-democratic rulers, ours was a fight against corruption in a democratic set up. We have witnessed movements in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia which got violent during the course, with even the NATO forces attacking the regime in Libya. At this time, no one could imagine a non-violent mass movement to fight for the rights of the common man and against corruption.

For the new hero, starving till death to fight against corruption ain’t a marketing gimmick, a political move or power tactics and yet he check mated all the politicos and his critics in a one man show. At the same time, he taught our generation a huge lesson – the power of the common man! A long forgotten lesson that the politicians are still struggling to deal with.

My genre, the Generation – Y has been majorly looked upon as a bunch of highly career focused individuals who like moving around in flashy cars and are only concerned about their take home salaries. And rightly so!! Politics, parliament and national issues have been the last thing that we care to bother about.

Corruption, scandals, scams are like synonyms for “News” in Modern India. For the last few months, there has been an expose or scam every week in the headlines. Government agencies and politicians have made a mess in the country while all wonder how to tackle the situation. Everyone has grievances but don’t know how to take things in control. At this point Anna Hazare’s movement is like a magnetic compass showing direction to a rudderless ship.

We have heard since long that it takes just one voice to bring about a change but we also had doubts. If it only takes one person to change the world for the better, why hasn’t it happened yet? The answer I guess is, because no one ever tried.

Well, I am going to do what once Michael Jackson said. “I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror, I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways”.

Also Read: Anna Hazare: India’s pioneering social activist – BBC

“I am very encouraged by what’s happened in India” – Julian Assange


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I couldn’t think of any other title for this and that too, on the eve of Republic day of India. Anytime that I have switched on the television to catch some news since past so many months, all that has been making headlines are protest marches, angry mobs, people unhappy with their governments and political leaders. A phenomena that has become universal due to sky-rocketing inflation and high unemployment rates. Seriously, looks like the principal of democracy which boasts about fundamental rights and power to general public, has taken a beating. And, under the present circumstances it is driving people CRAZY!!

Has democracy as a principle of governance failed? Because aren’t the top bosses, whom we are castigating today, been voted to power by us at some point of time. Anyways, I’m no political science expert to reach a conclusion on the failure of democratic establishment globally or make educated judgments and pass remarks.

However, I have come across an interesting observation amongst all the outrage against established and democratic rule in different parts of the globe apart from spiraling inflation and soaring unemployment rates. That is the underlying feeling of hatred and disgust for all the national leaders in different countries undergoing crisis. And ironically, all these leaders had been topping the popularity charts at one point of time.

Closer home, Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, now in his second term, has been recently voted by the Time Magazine as one of the most influential global leaders and most respected among his peers. Currently, he is facing a crisis situation due to various corruption charges against his government and losing support and faith among general public. American head of state Barack Obama took charge amongst so much of pomp and show, but has not been able to prove himself substantial, so far. French PM Zarkozy is as unpopular in his country as his other counter parts, globally. Tunisia which is currently making news for civil unrest (and also the fact that many people have been trying to locate it on maps!!), has similar story; as the masses are going mad at the Prime Minister and President (already fled the country) for price rise. And probably for Italian President Berlusconi, popularity was never his forte’ as he has always found himself under crisis and been named in numerous scams. I think that explains why these leaders can’t stop praising each other whenever they get a chance in different global meets, because that is the only way they get any form of appreciation. Pun Intended!

With so much of animosity for these leaders and masses becoming hostile against their governments due to underlying corruption, no wonder an institution and idea like Wikileaks is an instant hit among general public. No surprises why New York Times wants to imitate its business model. People want to understand the reality and watch their corrupt leader’s pride being torn apart. Apparently, it takes revolutionary minds and absolute courage like Julian Assange of Wikileaks, to take on the crookedness behind democracy, head on.

Perhaps, Chruchill made the following statement out of sheer clairvoyance.

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” – Winston Churchill

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Art of Giving..

Over the last few weeks, there has been quite a stir in the Indian media about the “Art of Giving” in terms of corporate social responsibility. All the buzz started because of Azim Premji’s philanthropic activities worth $ 4.1 billion!!

The general view amongst the Indian masses is the lack of any visible development of the economically challenged sections of the society, despite the phenomenal accomplishments of the Corporate India. Over the last two decades, Indian companies have gone international and are considered to be a force to reckon with, by the rivals abroad.

Surprisingly though, the general public has not seen that scale of development in their economic status. People have started questioning the responsibility of the Corporate India towards the social order and the not-so-privileged sections of the country. And, many think that it might be payback time. But a counter view suggests that these companies are not bound in any way to give back to the society, in legality. After all, philanthropy and social service is a choice and cannot be legally enforced.

And somewhere we have to accept that Indian society is not used to giving to the economically backward sections of the society. Our history books do refer to “bhiksha” or donations given to the brahmins (priests); but not the poor and the needy of the population. We never had the custom of community service for the poor.

For us, it had always been casteism till last few decades. Still continues to be, in some regions!! And the lower caste people were generally, the poorer of the lot and used to be neglected and barred from the society during occasions, while all the donations were pocketed by the higher castes. And from there started the custom of the rich becoming richer, and the poor becoming poorer.

I still remember two years back when I was traveling by Indian Railways, I met 3 European journalists, working for Reuters, on an India tour. Like curious tourists, they were asking me all sorts of questions about Indian culture. They asked me “Why do rich people in India do not help the poor?”. Needless to say I was embarrassed, and had no answer for that.

At a time, when we are trying to paint a broad and advanced picture of India to the world we are ignoring those sections of the society without whom, an all round development is going to remain a distant dream.  The development and prosperity in a society is a collective occurrence and cannot be fulfilled by the assets of a few individuals.

Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can. – John Wesley

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One great thing about never dies!

Happy New Year – 2011

“This year, is gonna be incredible
This year, is gonna be the one
All the planets are lining up for me
This year, I’m gonna have fun

This year, I’ll paint my masterpiece
This year, I’ll be recognized
I can feel like I’ll fall in love for real
This year, this year

This year, I’ll reach the pinnacle
This year, I’ll get to the top
People will ask where she get that energy
This year, I’m never gonna stop”

Absolutely beautiful song from the Serendipity movie soundtrack. And, I am going to start my new year on this note.

One great thing about hope is that it never dies. No matter how strenuous your journey has been in the past with patches of bitter experiences here and there, if you are human you will always secretly deep down inside hope for good times to shower on you once again in life. Doesn’t really matter if your a highly optimistic individual or a depressingly pessimistic person.

Here’s hoping that we would have a great 2011 ahead of us. More jobs would be created in different parts of world, less scams would materialize closer to home and people would get enough to survive.


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