British and Post-Independence governance in India…

Come to think of governance of post independent India and one thing is pretty evident, India is still being governed by “Divide and Rule” policy. Now I don’t really have to explain why I used “still” in the above statement, but still I will go ahead and explain the cause.

It is a well known fact that British entered in India via Bengal route and with a cause of running “East India Company”. And soon it became clear that they wanted to rule India but the then India was divided in so many small dynasties that little could have been achieved to stop the course of action. And the rest is history.

It is very interesting to know that British didn’t just come to India because they felt like it. They were prepared and studied. They studied about the “social built-up” of India and used it to their benefit. They suppressed those who had might to fight back and encouraged those who had no idea what this could lead to and would be loyal to them. British were very cunning in using Indian “class” based setup to capture India.

They knew “Marathas” from Maharashtra were already fighting the “Mughals” on the basis of ideologies and were quite successful in the same. So basically people from “Konkan” side and Maharashtrians were “threat” to them. Bengalis later joined the Maharashtrians to fight the British, but it’s a different subject altogether.

What British did was suppressed the brainy, rebelious people from entering their armed forces. They wanted loyal soldiers and hence they selected people were completely oblivious to what was happening in their surroundings. Thus using “Divide and rule” strategy British captured India.

Now coming back to post-independent India, what we see today isn’t different from what British did to us. Today too, Indian bureaucrats are using this “Divide and rule” strategy to rule India. Since some years it has been obvious that the government, though from behind the curtain, are straining Hindu and Muslim relations to create a divide and capitalize on it.

Is it any different from what British did?

The answer is NO and YES at the same time.

NO – because we see the same traits in governance that we saw in British governance.

YES – because British actually did something good while ruling India. They brought railway in India. They built dams and canals to spread the water in a better way. They built strong buildings and bridges that helped India in growing. Not just infrastructure but they even tried to bring developments in India. They eradicated some of the ancient and troubling laws/customs in India.

Do we see the same happening post independence? I know it is not that easy to bring about changes in the society and it’s a long, cumbersome process to bring them, but we don’t even see the government taking steps towards it. What we see is, they are taking step towards making bigger and bigger scams of lakhs of crores of rupees, to create even bigger divide in Indian caste system and religions, to exploit the people in various ways, no steps towards creating a better infrastructure and the list is never ending.

Some people, of course those who have seen British rule (and now even those who studied history) say that British rule was better (even if you say a bit better than current Indian rule). And we can see why they would make such a statement.

Disclaimer: These are my own views. Also I am not saying this post-independence governance is a complete crap. They have done some good work too, but the amount is very small is what I mean. And instead of moving towards stable and better India, we are going moving backwards again.

Do things really change??? (Part – 2)

This is in continuation of previous post – “Do things really change???

 

Take an example of “Honeymoon”.

Honeymoon, since the historical times, was a tour of newly wed couple away from people to get to know each other well. There are references to ancient times, since which time it is considered to have come into play, which suggest that since 16th century English people started this tradition of Honeymooning. But even before that, Indian elites used to go for “Bridal Tour” with relatives and friends after marriage.

Honeymoon simply described the period after wedding which is considered to be sweet as honey. And this period wanes, fades away as Moon, in a period of a month or so – hence Honeymoon.

(Reference: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeymoon)

 

And consider 20th or 21st century’s example. Newlyweds still go to honeymoon, though the superficial aspects of honeymooning have changed (it’s different issue that these days couples go to exotic places to click snaps and upload them on Facebook). Honeymoon is still a way of knowing your partner mentally, physically well.

Well think this way, newlyweds don’t need to go to exotic places or get away from home to enjoy honeymoon. It can be enjoyed at the comforts of your home also. In old times going out could make sense, clutter of people around all the time, fewer rooms to have privacy – but with ample space, privacy and no clutter of people around, people still prefer to go to different place for honeymoon.

If we think of the reason it is quite simple, the newlywed people need space and privacy to discuss various things and get to know each other well. This is the underlying motive behind going out for honeymoon. It was there in old days and it is still the same.

 

Do things really change? Or our perceptions and methods do? Does underlying meaning or motive of the tradition change?

 

 

 

Do Things Really Change???

 

We generally say as the time changes, most of things change, meaning of various things differ. While I agree to this statement, I also think that the underlying meaning to the things we have been doing since past – remain the same. It’s just the way of doing things that change, the perspective changes.

While the superficial meaning of marriage has changed, the underlying motive behind the marriage institution remains the same. In old times, marriage was to give security and have a partner in all levels of life. It was also to get a legal sex (illegal sexual activities were there in historical times too, just that they were very rare in numbers).

Today, as we are getting modernized, getting laid isn’t much of a fussy subject. We don’t need marriage to get laid (though extra-marital or pre-marital sex is still not a moral thing, though it has gotten legal now, of course a consensual sex). Today people get married to be financially secure (working couple is an example) or for various other things. But even then the underlying motive of marriage institution hasn’t changed. However modernized we get, we still need a partner in all aspects and levels of life.

2 + 2 will always be 4, no matter if we are in 1st century or 50th.

We mould things as per our requirement. Till 20th century asking for a bribe to do your work was a crime. And in 21st century, asking for a bribe and not doing your work is crime or let’s say immoral. (Because such crimes don’t get punished in India anymore, especially if the criminal is related to politics or politician)

But the immorality tag is still there attached with this activity. Asking for or paying a bribe was immoral till 20th century and is still immoral in 21st century. Though in 21st century we don’t consider it outrageous if our things are getting done.

In short, things don’t change really. Our perspectives do. Our methods do. But the underlying meaning, motive behind things don’t change. As we say truth never changes, though the perception about truths change for us.

 

 

 

 

Tragedies, Human and God…

Remember last time you said “Why this pain?”

Yea, sounds like you thought about this just some time before, right?

We have this knack of questioning God’s existence. Accepted that you can’t prove his existence, but then you can’t deny it too. Also, man has this habit of writing off all the credit of his success to his name and all the failures to God’s.

Some question, why there is pain if God is there. And I smile at their childish question. Well is it like if God is there your life is supposed to be all fairy tales? Let me ask you a corollary to it. If God is not there, then why isn’t your life complete hell then? Isn’t your life a balance of beauty and hell? Don’t you get happy moments along with those sad ones?

I have one rational theory behind the tragedies or pain that befalls on us.

Tragedies bring people together, who otherwise wouldn’t have come together.

Consider various live examples in front of us. There have been numerous tragedies in Mumbai (or Bombay, whatever you call it). And you see people flocking in and pooling their efforts to save the victims of the tragedy.

Many a times I have seen it on Twitter, when it rains in Mumbai and roads are water logged, people tweet saying “I am travelling by so and so road. If anyone wants a ride home, hop in”.

Hadn’t it been for tragedy, would you have considered tweeting that? Would you ask someone, besides your friends, to hop in while on way home?

It’s another thing that soon after the meet, we forget about the person who helped you and whom you helped. That was an opportunity to be a human being to another human, and you lose it by not keeping in contact.

Coming back to the point, what I mean is, pain or tragedy comes in our life intermittently just for reminding us that your life cannot be all hunky dory all the time. You lose someone close to you, to learn how to live a life independently. Yea, this is a harsh way to teach things to us, but then that’s the way it is handled.

Because we don’t listen to a lecture if it is free of cost. But when we pay for it, we try to grab every word spoken by the orator.

And as far as God’s reference in this post is concerned, I strongly believe in God. Not the way a priest might believe in, but in more rational way. His presence has simply been brought into existence because we wanted some point, whereto we could stare and find the calmness we want in those anxious moments.

And the pain you suffer is bound to be that way. You are bound to suffer because of your deeds. God neither bring the pain to your life nor does he take it away from your life.

Middle Class…

It’s always a rat race, with middle class. You finish one and get involved in second and the cycle continues.

You grow up in a middle class family where you see your parents just able to bring two ends together. That time you can’t have any luxurious thing for yourself. You definitely think of buying something, but at the back of your mind, Financial Constraint always looms and makes you conscious. You forget about the cravings, because you know they are touch too far from reality. You start to enjoy whatever you have.

You start earning yourself and dream of buying things which you always wanted, a high end mobile, laptop, some household stuff or car. You start enjoying first few months and then are suddenly made to realize that you need to save for your future. You think, “I need to save money for my marriage, some house hold responsibility or something more important”. You think now the responsibility is mine and I need to save for my home. Anything ranging from marriage (yes, marriages these days are very costly affairs) to other necessities bear huge price tags. You cut down on your expenses and you again reach the same starting line.

Now, at this point, you start thinking “Why am I not rich”?

But then there are various aspects to being rich, as they are for being middle class. If you are born in rich family, you don’t value the money they way one is supposed to. Especially not when rich parents consider only responsibility of theirs is to provide money to their kids. And if you are born in middle class and become rich, two things can happen.

  1. Either you understand your background and treat the bountiful a little more vigilantly
  2. Or you get into the wrong stream and start flowing the wrong way. The power of having the money at your disposal corrupts the once rational and vigilant mind of yours.

And who said there isn’t any rat race in rich classes?

It’s a different rat race, obviously, but it is a rat race. The rat race to prove they are amongst the TOP rich classes. That they can do whatever they want. That they can buy anything and everything they want. That they still can have a sound sleep, despite all the thoughts of “How to avoid tax? How to hide those extra bucks?”

Somehow I am partly happy with my middle class background and partly sad. I guess that’s the case with everyone in middle class. Though I would like to be rich, I would like to be so in first category. Earn those extra bucks but be vigilant. You might call it “Lower Rich Class” but I don’t care.

Towards making capable youth…

Yesterday I read an article in Hindustan TimesAre smart phones app-propriate for kids“, regarding “Mobile Apps” for children, or child specific apps on Tablets or Smart phones. I was partly sad and partly irritated, maybe both for the same reason. The only question loomed in my mind was “where are we heading?”

The Gen Y is smarter than Gen X when it comes to technology, it’s an agreed fact. But this smartness at what cost, is the question we should ask. When I was 3 years old I didn’t have mobile phone to play with. But nowadays a new born baby too starts playing with the mobile. This is an effect of generation gap, agreed. We were more technologically advanced than our parents were at our age, no doubt about that.

But my concern is we are taking the new generation towards “Physically Challenged” being.

How?

Well, we are creating “Educational Apps” on tablets and smart phones in order to push the sales of smart phones up. Parents enthusiastically download the apps and their children sit hours and hours with the tablet and get Educational dosage.

But what about their physical well being, have we taken it into consideration?

When we were kids, we had small timber or plastic cubes, alphabets engraved or painted on it. We used to pile all such stuff around us and play with it. Not just identify the alphabets but also learn to build a structure. This exercise was both mentally and physically demanding and motivating. We used to run around in the house with the small bullock cart or car we had. We would take the ball and throw, run behind it on the ground. In short our body was also exercised with the brain, and THAT was healthy.

All the above mentioned activities can now be carried out by sitting at one place and staring at a screen. Where’s the body movement involved in this? Just the movement of fingers can’t be considered as body movement.

The result is we are seeing more and more obese kids around. The age in which they should be fit and fine, they are panting for breath after even a short walk or climbing 10 stairs. Ask a 3-4 year old kid to stretch out and they will fail to stretch fully. They can’t, and that’s where the problem lies.

सिर सलामत तो पगडी पचास”.

Samarth Ramdas (Shivaji Maharaj’s guru) and even Lokamanya Tilak pointed out the same thing.

What’s my point?

My point is simple. Making your child technologically sound and up-to-date is need of hour, no doubt about that. But in that don’t forget that we need to make them physically efficient too. So limit or restrict the use of smart phones/tablets by children and force them to make physical exercise.

We don’t need just Intelligent youth but capable too, to run this nation.