I remember reading an article sometime last year that made a sweeping accusation about Indians as a community turning a blind eye to ethics and ethical guidelines. And I remember how angry I was at that - how could the author make such a sweeping generalization?
A year later, I see myself passing the same judgement as the author. What has changed in the last year? For starters we’ve been hearing more about the levels of corruption in the governing bodies at both the state and central levels. I’ve spent a year working - witnessing ethical grey areas and employee exploitation in the name of “doing what it takes”. I do not wish to dwell further on that, because the last thing I want to be is a whistle-blower.
Even in corporate India, we take the “doing what it takes to get the job done” a bit too seriously. It is not new for project management teams to ask employees to under-report their time sheets to meet expectations. It is perhaps why we are an excellent outsourcing destination.
We have people desperate for jobs, who would do anything to keep their prospects alive. It is like our entire work-force are the Unsullied. Ethical compliance is an eye-wash, and we don’t care enough for strong legislations against it.
What triggered this, is the news of Spot-Fixing in the IPL. Everyone suspected it - I started a Whatsapp group for IPL Banter where a lot of them witnessed obvious hints that spot-fixing was prevalent this time round. But we still do it. Sreesanth, an incredible talent, is accused of it. I just wish he knew better - what a talent that is going to go wasted. And for what? Some money. Its not as if they don’t earn enough from the IPL already. It is shameless greed. And I expect the BCCI to take responsibility for this. They must be made culpable if players who have a BCCI contract engage in activities like this.
Today, I apologize to that author for my strong views against his observations. We are a country where ethics and morals are non-existent. We don’t care for them as long as our interests are secured. And it starts from the very root. Don’t believe me? Go look at what happens in elevator queues in “premier” colleges of this country.
PS : I don’t mean to preach or eulogize. When things weren’t going well for me, I have been guilty of ethical violations too. Its a black hole. I’m just saying that our system and structure mustn’t allow one to exist at all!
There comes a time when birthdays stop inspiring joy. They are nothing more than a reflection of the fact that you have spent yet another year on the face of the planet, and that you are that much closer to more and more responsibility.
And not to mention - its on days like these when that ugly void inside you rears its ugly head. Reminds you of what your life actually is, as against how you’d ideally like it to be. This human need for companionship - sucker blow after sucker blow.
Tell me how birthdays are joyous, again.
When the world heard about the horrific attacks on Jesse Ryder in a local New Zealand bar, we all stood still and hoped that he would make a full recovery. We pitied him for the nature of the assault, and agreed that he did not deserve it.
I am glad that we responded the way we did - nobody deserves a punctured lung and broken bones. All he was doing was drinking with his mates.
But for a second, imagine if he were a young woman in India, who was raped. Would our society react the same way? The following questions and comments would be asked and made :
1. What was she wearing?
2. What was she doing in a bar? What kind of a culture does she belong to? If she was a true Indian lady, she would not be in a bar at all!
3. She is really to be blamed for it - she put herself in a situation that put her out there for exploitation. She got what she deserved.
Shouldn’t we then be making similar arguments about the incident involving Jesse Ryder? Why does he then, deserve our sympathy?
I intend no disrespect to Jesse Ryder - phenomenal talent, and loved him when he played for RCB.
I’m just trying to hold up a mirror to the fact that victim-blaming makes absolutely no sense, is cowardly and is sexist.
All I can say is that Jesse Ryder is incredibly lucky not to have been born an Indian woman.
As long as we have pony-tailed men armed with lawyers and a self-proclaimed sense of achievement and importance in this country, as long as we have a Government ready to buckle down the whims of a heartless capitalist, as long as the Government deems it fit to bring down the UGC website at the whim and fancy of deranged men in India’s sub-standard underbelly of the educational system, I will continue to protest what happened today by writing blog posts like these.
Arindam Chaudhuri, IIPM and UPA, I dare you to bring this down. I dare you to muzzle my voice.
Quite frankly, I don’t know. I don’t know how I spent 4 years of my live at the lowest ebb of my motivations. I cannot recall how I spent 4 years dreaming about absolutely nothing. All I wanted to do, was to get this over with.
I think its taught me a very important lesson about life - you cannot go on “doing the right thing” if you don’t believe its the right thing for you. People like me are driven by happy environments. I’ve never enjoyed or thrived in an “or-else” situation.
I feel different these days - more so in the last couple of months than anything else. I’m dreaming again, I’m more receptive to people, less cynical and my days are happier. Is it a good work environment? Partly. But for a major part, its the freedom to dictate my own terms. It is the freedom not to be answerable to anyone but to myself, and the force I believe in.
And I think it has translated to multiple things for myself - a nifty little performance award, the fire in my belly that has reappeared from absolutely nowhere (no, not the kind that would require me to ingest Tums), and my peace.
Yeah, I’ve missed being happy.
Mohan Bhagwat and Asaram Bapu have pretty much shot themselves in the foot, haven’t they? Their mistake? Expressing views that are not in alignment with the current popular sentiment among the public.
We have News Channels that engage in reporting their interpretations of the facts. Never the truth itself. One statement that is slightly off, and we immediately get Arnab Goswami shouting his lungs out about how the nation is angry, and how a public apology is mandated.
Let me stick my neck out here a bit - I do not think that the statements made by Mohan Bhagwat or Asaram Bapu are out of line. Think about it for a moment - ultimately, deep down, they do share the common goal with all of us - to keep our women safe. The methods proposed may be different and archaic, but the intent is good. And that is what we must recognize.
Its been more than a month, and the morchas have died down. Most profile pictures on Facebook are coming back to flattering photographs of oneself. The black dots are slowly dying out. Owaisi has begun to hog attention. Pakistan has done what it repeatedly does - infiltrate and perpetrate heinous, unprovoked crimes against India. Lets face it - this issue is soon going to be shoved under the carpet.
If we keep making mountains out of mole-hills, attack anyone with a slightly more traditional, old-fashioned view who genuinely mean well for society, we are going to get nowhere.
When my father was working in Libya, there was an advisory from the Libyan Government asking people not to venture out after 7 pm. And nobody did. And if someone did, they paid a steep price.
The solution to rape, is not through legislation. Sure, we need a strong Anti-Rape Law to act as a deterrent, but we must be extremely careful about the potential misuse of the law. We have seen far too many instances with the Anti-Dowry Law when innocent men and mother-in-laws have been painted as criminals before proving their innocence. What Asaram Bapu did was merely point this out, and in the process, managed to utter a few words that were unpopular. Surely, he is entitled to his Freedom of Speech? And surely, he is entitled to being stupid?
Lets look at Mohan Bhagwat - in his mind, he makes a distinction between Bharat and India. Bharat - the culturally vibrant, utopian nation and India - the reality. Was he wrong in his assessment? I don’t think so. He may have made certain sexist remarks that are in poor taste - but does that mean that the media should harangue him on national television?
I’ve always believed that anger is a powerful tool. Channel it well, and you can work wonders. But let it explode, and it does more harm than good. If we keep diverting the real issue on the ground to unpopular statements made by people, we are not going to give ourselves a solution. If you are of the belief that just an Anti-Rape Law will do the trick, you cannot be more wrong. This society needs a round of moral cleansing - and it is people like Mohan Bhagwat and Asaram Bapu who will be important tools in implementing that on ground.
I am as angry as you are. I am as disgusted by it all as you are. But please - let us not divert our attentions from the real issues. We don’t need apologies. We need solutions.
It has been a while since I was last here on Tumblr - and quite unfortunately, it took a lady her basic human rights in the administrative capital of the largest democracy in the world to get me blogging again.
I’m disturbed, but I’m not surprised - which is what is ironic. This is not the first instance of rape, and this will not be the last - while I desperately hope that I’m wrong.
For once, I sincerely hope that the people who find it right to always blame the victim. her clothes or chowmein don’t stoop back down to their lowly arguments again.
But the pertinent question here is what can be done to ensure that our women are safe. I see a lot of people to quit blaming the women and go on to tarnish all living things with a penis - distasteful, but understandable.
I completely agree that we need moral cleansing in this society - coupled with effective deterrents.. social, legal and legislative. I do not wish to be identified as a part of a society that cannot hold women in respect - and I certainly do not wish to classify rape as a “Women’s Issue”. It isn’t. I think its far more an issue with the men who perpetrate these acts, and it is a question of a persons fundamental rights - the right not to be forced into coitus at the whim and fancy of a morally and mentally deranged person.
I think parents need to take the initiative in letting kids know that their women are to be cared for - not beaten, abused and treated like keeps. This is quite a challenge in a country like ours - where wife-beating and verbal abuse are so much a part of growing up for a lot of kids. Forget their wives, how else do you expect them to treat a woman outside his family? And unfortunately, I cannot think of a way that governmental initiatives can change the psyche. Spreading awareness means nothing - creating effective deterrence does.
I keep wondering why we haven’t gotten around to legalising prostitution. How much better would it be if a sexually frustrated man could go and pay for what he wanted? Sure, we’d be facing a lot of associated issues, but there has to be a trade-off somewhere. Where do we draw the line and put lives of innocent women as a priority? More importantly, do we have a government that has the testicles to do this?
We don’t need stringent consequences, we need policies to ensure that rape doesn’t exist. We need better policing. We cannot tolerate exceptions to the law. Gosh - how utopian I sound!
However, when there is scum out on the roads, it makes little sense to cry victim and not do anything to protect oneself. What did we do when we were faced with the SARS/Bird Flu outbreak? We did what it takes to avoid catching the darned disease. And that is the exact same approach I propose for now. Pepper sprays, tasers, self-defence training, et al. Is the situation ideal? No. Is it wrong to expect women to have to protect themselves and be on-guard all the freaking time? Yes.
But is there another way out? No.
Please, stay safe.
“Every South Indian family witnesses an unprecedented increase in coconut build-up in the months of September and October. Even though a 1:1 barter system exists between most families, there is always an exponential increase observed in this period of time”.
This is one phenomenon I have observed over multiple annual cycles, and I am yet to understand how it all happens.
At this moment, the coconut count in my kitchen stands at a whopping 14. I understand that barter happens rather frequently in this period, but it is generally 1:1. A coconut received somehow finds its way to another household. And yet, we observe a rise in stock. And we’ve currently got no clue about how to use the 14 coconuts.
Quite a mystery, this.
Over the years, I’ve prided myself on providing a sentimental perspective to most issues. But not today. Because I believe that the issue I write about today has its genesis not just in real needs and fairness, but also in greed. As Brett Dennen sings… You don’t need a reason or a 3-piece suit to argue the truth. Common sense is all you need. Facts talk… and when you link the multiple stories, you get a clear picture. I do not intend to judge - you can do that yourselves. If you have the patience to read, let me paint a picture for you.
In 1883, the Diwan of Mysore initiated a scheme to use the Kaveri water for irrigation purposes. The Madras Presidency (under the British Raj) opposed this move and thus started the dispute. It surprises me that the Madras Presidency suddenly figured out the importance of Kaveri only when the Mysore Diwan initiated a scheme.
Then began the talks. Most articles I read quote 1892 and 1924 as the two landmark years in the entire dispute. Post the 1924 agreement, Mysore constructed a dam in Kannambadi and Madras did the same in Mettur. They claimed to be able to impound more water since they were downstream in the river compared to Mysore. It is noteworthy that Madras was consuming a far larger volume of the water than Mysore even at this stage. This agreement was valid for 50 years, after which there was going to be a review. And if Mysore wanted to do anything, they had to compulsorily take approval from Madras.
In 1959, Mysore asked Tamil Nadu to sit down again for a round of talks to renegotiate the terms of this agreement. TN declined this outright. Apparently, changes would be explored only after the 1924 pact expired in 1974. This is when the central government stepped in.
Having declined re-negotiation, Tamil Nadu did not sit quiet. They ramped up their irrigation steps at an alarming level - and increased its impound to almost double its usage in 1924. In view of this, Karnataka ramped up its impound as well, but to a far lesser extent. Both, had violated the agreement.
Talks failed, and when Karnataka wanted parity with TN on the utilization allocations, TN went to the Supreme Court.
In 1991, despite the violence seen in Bangalore after the Kaveri verdict on TN’s allocations, Karnataka still held up the order and continued to release the stipulated amount (and even more) except one year - a drought year. The Supreme Court then went to the extent of condemning this, and was noted as a serious transgression that would be kept in mind for all future negotiations.
Cut over to 2012, and you see what you see. A dummy PM sitting at the top of the Kaveri Tribunal directs Karnataka to release 9000 cusecs of water to TN daily for 30 days. In the year, that most of Karnataka is hit by drought because of a bad monsoon. I cannot help but think that there is a political angle to this. A UPA government desperate to cling onto numbers kissing the ass of a regional political party to ensure the survival of a minority government for another 2 years.
And what is more shocking is that this new request wasn’t a part of any agreement - this was a demand that TN made outside the ambit of the Kaveri River Tribunal interim pact to release extra water to save their standing crops! Apparently, because there is no distress formula put in place, they invoke these virtual rights of being downstream to bully Karnataka into releasing more water at the expense of its own farmers.
I have nothing against helping our neighbours. But they must really know their place, and behave in a manner befitting their situations. They are in no position to demand, and we should refuse any directive that puts the interests of the Karnataka farmers in jeopardy. If they claim to be victims of drought, so are we!
This is a classic case of political compulsions coming in the way of a rational judgement. And that just cannot be accepted.
Dear Jayalalithaa (who is a namak-haraam, btw. She schooled in Bangalore and Mandya),
Kaveri nammadu. Now get lost.
Bluestar, no. I don’t have AC needs that you can solve. So stay away.
I am quite astounded by the fact that people who have predominantly lived in extremely hot conditions during their life end up wanting the AC to be turned down to real low temperatures even when the ambient temperature otherwise is perfectly bearable.
Bangalore has subjected me to weather that has never necessitated the use of an AC even during peak summer. So it has given me a fair tolerance to moderately warm conditions.
For the people who come from these insanely hot places from up north and the lower south-east, their tolerance to their own ambient weather conditions has been rendered null by an overdose of AC.
You can’t really blame the poor souls, but it can get on your nerves when people from regions that exhibit 40 C weather in the summer look at you questioningly when you protest an AC temperature that is lesser than 22 C.