Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Nobel Laureate

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The recent interview of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and its report in the media has created a huge controversy. As most of us know by now that Amaratya Sen is reported to have said that he is not in favor of Mr. Modi as Prime Minister. Further, he gave his reason that as C.M. he allegedly failed to protect the minority community in the state of Gujarat.

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Mr. Sen’s eminence in the field of economics is undoubtedly of a high order. Whether his theories have hold any relevance for our Country is all together another question. Most of us are also aware that he does not live in India and has definitely not in Gujarat. If that is the case one wonders about the basis of his comments on the condition of minorities in that state. Does he base his opinion on media reports? Or on feedback provided by the ruling Congress? And has he tried to make any kind of assessment by actually visiting the state?

Of course, there is no doubt that Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra should not have talked about stripping Amaratya Sen of the Bharat Ratna. He has also expressed his regrets, though a bit late. But the question remains, whether Sen should have passed the comment about Mr. Modi (a democratically elected chief minister) in the first place?

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The matter does not rest here. Further, Sen is said to have stated that he would return the award if former Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpee were to say so. The question that immediately comes to mind is whether Sen was aware of the condition of health of Mr. Vajpayee. And where was the question of dragging the former PM into the controversy when the highest civilian award is bestowed by the Government of India. Finally, in dragging the name of one of Modern India’s most successful leaders (at a time when he is ailing) has Mr. Sen conducted himself as a Nobel Laureate?

These are questions which need answers. I would invite your comments on this issue.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Bal Gangadhar Tilak




Yesterday, the 23rd of July was the birthday of Lokmanya Tilak. Born in 1856, he was a truly great leader of our freedom movement, who was conferred the title of ‘Lokmanya ‘- one who has been recognized as the People’s leader. He was the one who heralded the concept of Sampoorna Swaraj.

It is sad to note that our media, including the electronic media, which has all the time and words to sensationalize the most commonplace happenings did not lend any coverage to this great soul of our country.

               I append below excerpts from his life,so gracefully published in Wikipedia for our countrymen, who like to remember this great Lokmanya leader.

               In 1894 , Bal Gangadhar Tilak transformed the household worshipping of Lord Ganesha into a public event. The  large community celebration .

He was an educationist. The Deccan Education Society that Tilak founded with others in the 1880s till today, runs much respected Institutions in Pune like the Fergusson College.

It was he who started ,The Swadeshi movement. This being a part of the Indian independence movement and the developing Indian nationalism, which was an economic strategy aimed at removing the British Empire from power and improving economic conditions in India by following the principles of swadeshi (self-sufficiency; Hindi: स्वदेशी svadēśī), which had some success. Strategies of the Swadeshi movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes.

He, along with other leaders, coined the concept of Sampoorna Swaraj.

He was indeed a great leader.

Our Cultural Heritage!

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Today is Shayani Ekadashi also known as Ashadhi Ekadashi

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It is believed that Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar - cosmic ocean of milk - on Shesha nāga, the cosmic serpent. Thus the day is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi (lit. "god-sleeping eleventh") or Hari-shayani Ekadashi (lit. "Vishnu-sleeping eleventh") or Shayana Ekadashi. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi - eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month Kartik (October–November). This period is known as Chaturmas (lit. "four months") and coincides with the rainy season. Thus, Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chaturmas. Devotees start observing the Chaturmas vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.

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A fast is observed on Shayani Ekadashi. The fast demands abstainance from all grains, beans, cereals, certain vegetables like onions and certain spices.

This day, a huge yatra or religious procession of pilgrims known as Pandharpur Ashadi Ekadasi Waari Yatra culminates at Pandharpur, in Solapur district in south Maharashtra, situated on the banks of the Bhima River. Pandharpur is main center of worship of the deity Vithoba, a local form of Vishnu. Lacs of pilgrims come to Pandharpur on this day from different parts of Maharashtra. Some of them carry Palkhis (palanquins) with the images of the saints of Maharashtra. These pilgrims known as Warkaris, sing Abhangas (chanting hymns) of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar, dedicated to Lord Vithoba.

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This is yet one more display of our rich and varied cultural heritage!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Bad films, Apt response?





This morning I came across a queer report in the newspaper. The headline read “Wrath of the audience”. 

The report detailed how audiences have been tearing the theater seats to vent their anger if the film turns out to be shoddy and boring. Strangely, the report also said that children’s geometrical instruments are used by some people to make the task, of causing damage, easier.

Some of the movies responsible for irking such peculiar responses from the audience ,named in the report, are Himmatwala, Yamala Pagala Deewana 2, The attacks of 26/11, Zila Ghaziabad, Ishq in Paris, Aurugzeb, Aatma, Rangrez ,Jayantilal ki love story and I, me aur main. So many films, in a span of 4/5 months have fared so badly. Then why do they make such movies?

While there is certainly no justification for the audience to misbehave in the fashion described, there is good reason for the producers of the movies to contemplate and think.

The issue of unruly social behavior also concerns the relevant ministry of the government. I would go further and say that our education system is also flawed and needs review and requires correction. In the 21st century this kind of public behavior is almost barbaric.