Skip to content →

Tag: India

Free Speech: The Great India Debate

Free speech, censorship, and the fanatical reactions – during last few years, these co-related issues have been spread quite aggressively by the interested junta over the entire country and even the whole word, in general. There are mainly three parties involved, to be precise, which have shown a great deal of enthusiasm. First, who gave the spark for this issue by the self-generated customized exaggerations, by the name of free speech, liberty, art, literature, awareness, objectivism, and so on. Second party broadly dealt with all such people and organizations who have supposedly (self-acclaimed) got the responsibility to preserve the purity, integrity, conservancy, and righteousness of some philosophy, belief, tradition, and religion which have never had given proprietorship and caretaking rights to anyone. Third party has always constituted significantly those people from elite, intellectual, laureate, and distinguished classes who show middle-fingered attitude for all other issues except those which coherently don’t need their intervention. The core stuff, which keep all three parties rotating on the virtual orbit fanatically one after another, nevertheless wonders and feels pity about its existence precisely because it doesn’t require involvement of any of them.

Calvin on Freedom of Eexpression

Nude paintings of Hindu goddesses by Madhuri Fida Hussein, Calling “Allah” names by Ms. Nasreen, exclusive comments of Karunanidhi over Lord Ram, and so on. These free expressions get followed by the so-called saviour authorities (read, morons) in no time and then, the game starts with several reactions, like violence, riots, fatwas, multidimensional shouting, banning, eliminations, exiles, moral policing, and so many other things. The great India debate, then, gets initiated by media, gurus, religious bigots, politically baptized intellectuals, elite class, and other socially charged people. Some support free speech, some religious interests. Some refutes some; others attack this, rest cry out for the sake of god-knows-what. “Aam junta” get irritated by this cliché and find nothing quite interesting in all this melodrama which further leads to the wastage of all the efforts put by all three parties. This is not the ignorance of general public, rather this is such obvious that even Manmohan Desaai would have discontinued iterating his formulas by this utter obviousness. The continuous cyclic process of sudden rise and sudden fall, however, don’t affect these bigots because the centuries of dependency has made India full of idle juntas, bigots, morons, and Karats. This is still okay, but boss why are you disturbing the life of common men and daily chores of the nation? Will they ever stop with this? Gibberish is gibberish just like “A is A”, doesn’t matter whatsoever way you use, duh!

I strongly support free speech, freedom of expression, right to speak as a fundamental right, and all such related stuffs. I would appreciate every step that is taken for the advancement of the liberty of the man and the mankind. What else a man can give to the mankind but the growth and to make the earth a better place to live? What is the essence of the existence of a living entity if it is not free? This has to make an axiom, a rule, and a fundamental right – a right of man to be free, beyond any boundaries and not captured by any limitations. A man is free to believe in anything and a man is free to refute to be controlled by any belief. A man is free without violating another man’s right to be free.

Friedrich Nietzsche has mockingly described man into his book Thus Spake Zarathustra and that sarcasm is very much relevant while understanding the essence of man’s existence. He writes:

Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman–a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.

Man is surely not a rope if a man celebrates its existence and the reasons behind it. A man celebrates it because the existence has a ration and its sheer joy explicitly ejaculates the joy to be free.

The right of freedom for a man also gives him a duty to make sure that this right is not being violated by his free acts and every man is celebrating with joy that he’s free. The natural law identifies the condition that a man has to be alive to get the privilege of being free and the social law identifies the condition in which an individual has the ability to act according to his or her own will. And this has to be rephrased every time the man synchronizes its existence with the nature and the society. The “liberty” will be a most accurate word here which perpetuates this right. Liberty is a rational approach to attain freedom for an individual yet retaining freedom for every individual.

When the individual freedom decides to connect to the collective freedom, it should be weighed with the fundamental rights of the (collective) liberty! And when it crosses the gate, it needs to be verified and that is not the censoring, rather the regulation and moderation. This regulation ensures that all individuals are attaining this right freely and equally. That is why a man is not a bridge – neither for a superman nor for a man himself.

We are individuals and we have attained some fundamental rights, one of them is the right of freedom. We live in a collective society and the society, as an entity, also holds some individual rights. Hence, we ought to take care of some duties and responsibilities. Social imaginaries and beliefs are deeply rooted in the society. If you say you don’t care about the collective entities, such as the society, then your imaginary and consequences of your free ideas also shouldn’t be reflected to the society. Keep the society unaffected! But if you don’t want this and you let your ideas be floated free in the environment for whosoever picks it, the social imaginaries get connected with your ideas at that very time. And at that time, you get plugged onto the duties and collective responsibilities. If you know about the freedom, you also know the ranges and limitations of your free ideas. Freedom is a concept and a concept always holds some fundamental ideas that are meant to serve the collective liberty. Ever heard of liberty, by the by? Bah!

I am no way supporting or defending, either, any of the three parties. But I get pissed off up and again, every time this nonsense screws up the common man’s right of freedom. And I feel like throwing out the first two parties from the earth sooner than later, even out of the gravitational circumference. These two parties constitute one, who inaugurates the free speech show and another, who cries out loud for the violation for its bleh freedom and henceforth celebrates its freedom by sucking out freedom of much many citizens. The irritation gets just increased when all three parties declare their leadership and authorizing responsibilities, whereas the matter of fact is that all of them are simply the morons-in-disguise.

I mean, who gave you freedom to keep abusing people and keeping the police busy with those who got abused? I mean, why we need law and order when somewhere we are the reason behind breaking the peace. Ideas of “liberty” should also be considered, for sake of itself. Freedom of speech is okay, but when that speech is not bringing any positive/progressive thing as a return and you already know that it will have adverse effects, then those speeches should be avoided and at least, should not be justified by the plea of freedom of speech. If you only need to get rid of the frustration inside you, please do it in isolation and bless everyone else. That’s why I prefer rationality, it bloody solves every problem. Take a rational approach and enjoy freedom of speech!

I am not defending those who are against this. And all of recent examples were not equal to those early transformers who had to go against traditional beliefs, ideologies, and societies. Suppose, I quoted “Allah” a moron, what difference did I bring to me or the surrounding or the society? What kind of significant change did I initiate by saying this? I don’t support this kind of free speech which is not based on rational values and which could be synonymous to irrational statement (sort of abuse which could have been avoided) just for the sake for personal bias, self-satisfaction, and free speech. Drawing nude paintings of goddesses or abusing gods – how rational is this? Didn’t they know that it can bring so much of conundrum and tension to the society? I am asking the same question here – Why do people speak, speak up or speak out?

What is more important – free to speak anything or social peace and harmony ? The freedom which can be irrational as well and when A knows that B will beat him up when abused. Its very much okay that Tasleema wants to put her experiences or stuffs about the part of her life when she suffered from Islam. She should, she must! But why abuse Prophet or Islam? Isn’t she generalizing the largest picture in consideration where she actually had to pick that part which was reason behind her suffering? Is this freedom is justified when it is already clear that it is destined to disturb the peace? Whether Ram or setu existed or not, it was the issue related to that bridge (setu). What was the need to comment on Ram and someone’s faith? Should freedom of speech come at the cost of the peace? Shouldn’t Karunadhi have proposed to investigate the truth behind the bridge et al by the help of archeology, history, or geology? Why did the mythology come in the picture, that too, from the person who had to be concerned with the justified solution, rather than being skeptic, biased, or so. Or MF Hussain is perfectly okay with the nude paintings of Hindu goddesses? Or is Mr Raj Thakarey justified by saying “there is a need to throw out north Indians from Maharashtra by pulling their ears”? These all are demonstration of the right to speech. The bottom line is – Speak anything or peace and harmony?

Free Speech

Okay, we accept that our society has mistakenly nurtured some retards. But who gave these moronic organizations and religious bigots the authority and responsibility to start mental asylum saloons and procurement centers! A philosophy, belief, tradition, or a religion decides its righteousness by its own existence and they are not fragile enough that they ever need to assign proprietorship and caretaking rights to anybody else. You gotta believe or believe not, but thy can never decide its range, righteousness, integrity, and all such things. And yes, ya all religious and political idiots, don’t poke your stiff heads for its conservancy and mind your own business, conservancy, and stuffs! Who the hell are you to decide that which thing offends me?

Religions are not so weak that they need somebody else to be assigned exclusively to protect it or whatsoever; rather they are tolerant enough to forgive all these idiotic stuffs. Neither Tasleema nor Bukhari is authority on Islam. Everybody knows that, including those who initiate such issues and transform them into a drama. Basically we all know that they are the politicians and all these drama is precisely politically baptized. There is one very important thing that Indian politicians learned from British Raj – Divide and rule. Politicians have divided the society on several things – religion, caste, region, culture, language, economy, and so on. And this is the only reason behind all the drama and violence happened in the country during last 6 decades. For the historical and contemporary references, refer to chapter#6 (Our culture, their culture) of The Argumentative Indian, Amartya Sen has elaborated it further here.

Why should Tasleema Nasrin exist? Why should Bukhari/Togadia and all these bloody politicians? Why this type of media? They all are the reason behind this fiery and warfare. Collective approach, which has got a root in general public and the public has always appreciated it, is not understandable by these social messiahs. And more than that, the high-time hypocrisy of Indian politicians take all the bites all the time.

That’s why my dear ignoranus and elite fellas, the authorities are recruited to moderate all such things and the laws have been built to enable moderation of irresponsible showdown of speeches and the pro-active reactions of bigots and morons. This is another topic that who will decide the limits and how rational it has to be. But, moral policing is a different thing and the authorities (which are somehow recruited by the public itself) are not supposed to decide it by their own will. Sometimes it happens, but well, there are some flaws of democracy and it also needs some change, but that is an off-topic. We all rational Indians know that who are irrationals, fanatics, and lunatics. We all will be agreeing that political, religious or regional fanatics need the maximum possible regulations. And this thing can be achieved by the people only, who recruit the right authority by using democracy, law, et al. Those people who are sitting in one chamber and deciding on behalf of us are chosen by us, they are given the authority by us. But here, every idle intellectual mind think that they are better intellect than those fellows, only that they chose not to become a Bureaucrat. And that’s what every fanatic and abuser of the right to freedom think and that’s why these kinds of drama occur in the society. Neither Tasleemas stop abusing Allah nor Imaams stop declaring Fatwas. Neither Hussains stop drawing nude paintings of goddesses nor BHPs stop creating warfare in the society. And each of them thinks that they are better than authorities and since authorities are moron and not taking the corrective actions so they are entitled to this. And this gets continues

I am a very big supporter of free speech and believe that no limitations exist for rational individuals, mind it – rational individual. But I am no way a supporter of these kinds of free speech. I believe that laws should exist and someone (maybe I if I become someday entitled) has to regulate this and make sure that it is being maintained and rest of the people help those who are taking care of laws, liberty, collective rights and peace, and so on. I have several ways to express myself and use my right to free speech and most of those ways will not be violating collective liberty and the peace. I also bloody know that what offends me, ain’t I? I have enough minds to think and decide that which thing hampers my beliefs and the symbols and I can no way let other decide it for me. I am a Hindu because of Vedas, Geeta, Hinduism ideologies, Hindu Gods, and my religious heritage; not because of the RSS, VHP, et al. Thy have no relation to validate, authorize, or protect my, or for that matter every Hindu, decision. My neighbor is Islam because of Prophet and philosophies of Islam and he just doesn’t care about all the Imams and Maulanas. We can take care of it, you stay away!

Democracy Is Better Without Free Speech

Images Courtesy: cooperativeindividualism.org, trosch.org, liberty-news.com

5 Comments

Right to Emergency Care : Bloody Rumours Again

Three days back, I received a forwarded mail from Pragnya, a friend of mine, that was about a judgment of Supreme Court. At first, even I got excited by that amazing information. And why not, it was about the right to emergency care that at first sight, gave me an impression of a revolutionary step by the judiciary system. At the next moment, my mind started playing with its database by the help of heuristics. Within moments, I recalled another similar forwarded mail that I had received last year or something. That was about Section 49′O (negative / neutral voting).

According to 49′O, in a particular constituency, if a voter has dislike to all of the candidates competing there, then he can show his dislike to all of them by registering for 49′O. Now, if the number of 49′O count is larger than that of the winning candidates total vote count, then a re-election is called there.

We will discuss about 49’O at the end of this article (must read the end of this article). This time again, the mail looked too much promising to me. I was busy with work so I ignored this rumour and got back to work. Last night, in an Orkut community Rational Behavioural, I saw that another friend of mine has posted the same thing. Surprisingly, dozens of people already had replied to that post and even few had forwarded the mail to others as well. Lets look at the mail first.

Right to Emergency Care:

Date Of Judgment: 23/02/2007.

Case No.: Appeal (civil) 919 of 2007.

The Supreme Court has ruled that all injured persons especially in the case of road traffic accidents, assaults, etc., when brought to a hospital / medical centre, have to be offered first aid, stabilized and shifted to a higher centre / government centre if required. It is only after this that the hospital can demand payment or complete police formalities. In case you are a bystander and wish to help someone in an accident, please go ahead and do so. Your responsibility ends as soon as you leave the person at the hospital. The hospital bears the responsibility of informing the police, first aid, etc.

Please do inform your family and friends about these basic rights so that we all know what to expect and what to do in the hour of need.Please not only go ahead and forward, use it too!!!!

I was astounded. The first thing that kicked my mind to get some details was the date of the judgment. According to the mail, the Supreme Court verdict came in the month of February. And the verdict was very much revolutionary. So, when our media fills a complete page on absolutely redundant issues, then how come it missed such great news. The suspicion raised.

I started browsing official sites of Judiciary and I arrived at JUDIS(Judicial Information System), an official website of Supreme Court of India. The mail already had given me some initial details to find out more. It said that the judgment came for the “Appeal(Civil) 919 of 2007“. So, first I searched in the JIS that any such judgment ever existed or not. Here are the Judgment search details:

Judgment:

Link: http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/chejudis.asp

I entered:

case type = civil, appeal
case no = 919
year = 2007

Result:- Record Not Found

Undoubtedly, no such judgment existed in the database of Supreme Court who had supposedly declared this in February, 2007. That means, this was a very false information and obviously a rumour. If it had been true, JIS search would have shown the details of the Judgment.

Then, I tried searching if there any such cases ever existed or not! This time, I arrived at Case Status (disposed and pending case status), again a website run by Supreme Court. This website keeps track of each and every disposed and pending cases in Supreme Court of India, all High Courts, and some district courts.

Case Status:

Link:- http://www.courtnic.nic.in/courtnicsc.asp

Case Type – Appeal Civil
Case No – 919
Year – 2007

Status:

Case Status: DISPOSED

Status of : Appeal (Civil) 919 OF 2007
SHARE MEDICAL CARE Vs. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.

Pet. Adv. : MR. Y. RAJA GOPALA RAO

Res. Adv. : MS. SUSHMA SURI
Subject Category : INDIRECT TAXES MATTERS – APPEALS UNDER CLAUSE (B) OF SECTION 130E OF THE CUSTOMS ACT, 1962 ANDSECTION 35L OF THE CENTRAL EXCISE AND SALT ACT, 1944

Date of Disposal : 23/02/2007
Detailed Status:
http://courtnic.nic.in/supremecourt/temp/dc%2010429-1043105p.txt

It was about right to stop elections then, it is right to emergency care now. So, a case of Indirect Taxes had been turned out to be a judgment for the right of emergency care. I am sure that this mail must have reached to thousands of people till now. Instead of having a great resources like Internet and a revolution of e-governance in India, people don’t try to find the truth and stop spreading such rumours. The motive they possess while forwarding such mails get corrupted and affects inversely to thousands. I agree that people are not that much aware and don’t even try to be so until they themselves get affected by the social evils and problems. But, wrong information surely affects people more. Now, it will take a 2-page description to let them understand that this information was actually fake. And what about those who didn’t get access to this clarification?

Anyways, this is a very bad idea indeed and people should verify it once before they spread such information. Try googling for such information, get a list of authorised websites such as websites promoted by government of India and its other entities, or atleast ask people who acquire relevant knowledge. We can’t do for those people who starts these chains but we can break it at the moment they reach us. This is an irony that in the information age and thriving Indian industry and society in this age, it is actually “lack of awareness” that has been lagging the development of people, society, and nation behind. Lack of awareness is the biggest problem that exists in the most informative and elite junta, broadly including who are having access to all such resources such as the virtually-active people or people having regular access to Internet. We need to understand that E-world and E-governance exist for only one reason – to make us aware – to make us informative and wise.

For your quick reference, here is the 49′O case from my mail archive:

Please take some time to read this entire mail. You will definitely feel ts worth. Hope some of you have already got this mail and got to know about the 49′O. It says :

“In a particular constituency, if a voter has dislike to all of the candidates competing there, then he can show his dislike to all of them by registering for 49′O.

Steps for doing this :

1. while registering the name by the time of voting, convey the booth officials that “I want to go for 49′O”.

2. Register your signature in the 49′O form available there.

Done. Now, if the number of 49′O count is larger than that of the winning candidates total vote count, then a re-election is called there.

More than all, the shameful fact is, This 49′O is available ever since 1960, but it is in no way conveyed to the people. Neither the government communicate this, nor did the election commission. As long as the people are unaware of this one, the political parties are enjoying by winning the election and ditching our country. To stop this disaster to continue further, we don’t need to take a swordand fight against the government.

Just help every citizen to know that they have such a powerful weapon which can be used for ensuring their welfare. None of the media will be ready to publish this 49′O. Let us do this by ourselves. Communicate this information with all your family, friends, neighbors as much as you can and let them know their right. Please send this mail to everyone you know and request them to spread it across to everyone. Convey this information to as many people you know.

Not only that, we get a satisfaction that we have done a good service for our country’s welfare. This is very well equal to what our patriots have done for the independence of our country. Very less time left before the next election drama. Before that lets make sure that everyone speaks about this word “49′O”.

Important Update:

After going through comments raised by Bhawna and Ashok, I had to look for the validation and truthfulness of 49 O. And with due apologies to more than 2000 readers of this article, I would like you all to inform that Section 49 O (under the conduct of elections rules, 1961) explicitly says that the elector can decide not to vote and duly notify the election commission of the same. Although not popular and much utilized by the general public, this rule has been in practice since almost 50 years. According to Election Commission of India, THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS RULES, 1961says:

49O. Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

source: MANUAL OF ELECTION LAW

In 2004, Election Commision of India sent a proposal to parliament which included an extension of 49 O, among other proposals. In this proposal, the ECI suggested two main things:

1. Providing a mechanism to use this facility with the electoral voting machine

2. Amendment to specifically provide for negative / neutral voting. For this purpose, Rules 22 and 49B of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 may be suitably amended adding a proviso that in the ballot paper and the particulars on the ballot unit, in the column relating to name of candidates, after the entry relating to the last candidate, there shall be a column “None of the above” , to enable a voter to reject all the candidates, if he chooses so. (this proposal was made in 200l also)

source: Press copy of the proposals on “Electoral Reforms”, 2004 (pdf file)

Notably, famous speaker Shiv Khera-promoted organization Country First is also working for the implementation and promotion of “right to reject” practice by a general Indian.

Also, after many recent incidents and cases where the “right to emergency care” could have helped enormously, the media and the social service organizations have turned their eyes upon relevance and demand of such rights and mechanisms.

22 Comments

Education for all, where is the goal?

Besides all the melodrama of business and engineering education and the quota for minority and backward classes, the current situation of primary education still doesn’t seem to be improved. The government and the HRD ministry just shrug off by giving excuses that they are spending a heck lot of money in primary education. But when it comes to the resultant, everybody starts playing blame game. I wonder why these politicians are worried about quota in elite institutes more than the primary education and educating the mass, especially those living in rural areas. The union government spends an overwhelming amount of Rs. 24, 115 crore every year for education. This is not a small amount of money and the goal can easily be achieved if it could be spent with a serious goal to increase literacy rate. But again, if we see other way round, this is not also adequate money and this sector should be allotted more money through different schemes and programs. It needs intensive care because education is the most important factor that can stop India becoming super-power by 2020 or so, considering the fact that by 2020-30, almost 75% of Indian population will be youth and this young India needs education now. And while the funds are inadequate for primary and higher education, what is the need of spending more than Rs. 40,000 crore to implement OBC quota in IITs and IIMs? It should surely be considered that which part of human resource is being developed by the HRD ministry and how should the overall goal of HRD be conceived by us. The government advocates the implementation of reservation in elite institutes by referring it as the empowerment of the impoverished and oppressed class of the nation. This gets strengthened by the plan of spending more than Rs 40,000 crore which is considerably much greater amount than the money being spent on primary education. I doubt if anybody can justify this policy of the government when the money spent on some 5000 people is more than the money spent on 48 crore children who needs or going through primary education and a approximately 65% of total population who are studying or needs the education. It is crystal clear, even to a layman, that who needs empowerment and special or just honest considerations from the leaders their parents have chosen with a hope to get justice and genuine benefits from the government. One can imagine that how much improvement could have been brought if the money going to be spent in implementing OBC quota would have been spent in improving primary education and revitalizing age-old education policy. If the reason behind this situation had been the failure of the government system, we would have been satisfied with it. But the most depressing point is the motive and intentions of the policies and our leaders.

As I perceive, there are primarily two main reasons behind the digressing rate of literacy and education in India. First, the policies and second, the way available resources get utilized. In my business life, I follow one simple formula – The difference between getting at least 2% profit and losing your shirt lies in the optimizing the efficiency of available resources. Ditto with the machinery of government and Indian education system. For a moment, we forget the policies of central government in quota system, reservation policies, education policies, least effective research to improve education, education framework, etc. Let the leaders work on their vote-bank policies instead of the education policies. But if they work on rectifying the system which spends the funds and implements the resources provided by the government to run educational programs, India will achieve much greater success in primary and higher education.

Kaushal,a friend of mine reminded me of a quote by Rajiv Gandhi today. Rajiv Gandhi has famously said “If we send a elephant from here, it will become a rat before it reaches to a ground level person“. Almost the same has happened with the case of primary education. The central tells the system to teach the kids “education” and the kids finally don’t even learn the “e” of education. If the government runs the machinery in a way that it could utilize all the available and already existing resources, it will receive at least 70% improvement in situations. The problem is not only the inefficient funds or resources to be spent. Actually, the most severe problem is “not utilization of the available resources” and the policy. For example, take any case of government scheme, for instance, JRY. The center releases Rs. 1 lakh and when it reaches at the bottom level (where it had to be spent) it gets reduced to Rs. 20000. Even in the cases where hierarchy is smallest, for example PMRY, the beneficiary receives no more than 60% of actual amount. You have enough resources but the machinery consumes most of this and there is absolutely nobody to take care of this. The common man has been kept in dark and distant and few are taking benefits of this. Besides the dirty politics and vote-bank agenda, still the government doesn’t spend less money. The main issue is that it doesn’t get spent, whatever the problem is and whoever is responsible behind this.

I agree with the fact that a larger chunk of illiterate, poor, and unaware parents don’t want to send their children to the schools and they rather opt to make them work for livelihood. Here, I second V Raghunathan (writer of Games Indian play) when he says that regulation comes from self-regulation. The government has made a roadmap for every common man who later becomes part of that system. The system tells them how to become crook. And when we talk about the self-regulation, we also need to talk about the regulation policies. A simple example is that when all the reports/data/surveys/census tell that the situation of primary education is digressing, then what is the need to spend almost 40,000 crore rupees in implementing OBC quota in IIM/IITs? Shouldn’t this money be spent for improving primary education? Then, why doesn’t the government try to regulate properly. Obviously, it doesn’t like self-regulation because in same manner, the government will also require to regulate itself.

V Raghunathan says:

For example, consider the Companies Act, which governs disclosure of financial information by publicly listed firms. Today, if a public company does not disclose its financial statements on time, the penalty is Rs. 1,000 a day. This implies that if a company is willing to spend $9,125 on fines, it can go a whole year without making financial information available in the public domain. To me, that almost sounds like an incentive for companies not to file their annual financial statements. How can we have self-regulation when the regulations themselves are so weak? The reality is that back when these regulations were formulated, a thousand bucks a day was a lot of money. Today, you would need to charge corporations a penalty of Rs. 10 million a day for it to be a deterrent. The trouble in India is that the chances or being caught are low, and the consequences of being caught are weak. As a result, we have forgotten what self regulation means.

Well, let me take the topic away from the well-known agenda of government and failure of government policies and most of all, the facts of our leaders and political parties. I move to the education system and the process now.

Let me give you an example from Jharkhand. The teachers (from primary, middle, and high schools) get the highest salary than anybody else. Almost every panchaayat has 4-5 schools, even more. Besides all these arrangements of teachers and schools, the government started “sarva shiksha abhiyaan” for rural areas. Local public got selected for this purpose and a committee of 10 persons from the village got appointed in every village. The job of that committee was to vigil and to ensure the attendance of teachers & students and the availability of midday meals in primary schools. Along with it, some more people got hired by the state government at lesser salary to ensure that the schools are not lacking the teachers. These people have been working on partly-volunteer basis and partly-employed basis. Above this bottom level, there has been a well-formed system of bureaucracy which is responsible behind the implementation of education policies, expenditure of funds, and making sure the system works and works well. The machinery is not much adequate or greatly resourced but it can be assumed that the arrangement is good enough to start achieving sustainable growth in literacy rate and basic education.

Then what happened after all those arrangements?

  • Teachers – They still demand for the increment in salary and they are no way inclined to educate the kids. The only good thing is that they at least appear in the schools more often now.
  • Vigilance – There is not any arrangement to ensure that the money is being spent correctly and the system is running well.
  • Attendance – Still the same. Forget the students, now there are the evidences of proxy attendance of teachers and SSA volunteers.
  • Village Committee – They think that they are given an authority by the government, but they don’t still understand the responsibility that why this committee got existence and privileges.

What is the current situation?

  • There is still unavailability of primary schools in every village.
  • Teachers appear in schools but there is no significant development in terms of teaching style and education patterns.
  • There are no private schools in village as well, so one has to go to the towns or compromise with the education.
  • Though the committee is made from the local people, they don’t do anything to persuade teachers to teach students or to convince the villagers to send their children to the schools. To be precise, they dont do anything at all except dealing with the money that comes from government to be spent on midday meals et al.
  • Villagers are either not aware or not convinced to educate their children and there is nobody available to make them aware about the education.
  • There is no such thing in the government machinery to vigil the functioning of the education department, schools, funds, and related bodies and people. I wonder whether DO and school inspectors exist or not.

To start a NGO or volunteer service for primary education is not a viable and efficient option. If the country has to achieve 100% literacy, there is only one way left that is to make the government system run properly. We can’t only blame the top political leadership because they are at least spending money in education sector. There is flaw in the entire system and everything needs a renovation – policy, government, system, teachers, infrastructure, people, students, everything. This will be hypocrisy if we don’t raise our eyes at the primary education, but only make a hullabaloo about the quota issues, entrepreneurship, higher education, research, and stuffs. Primary education is indeed the primary issue and everybody should understand the fact. Sustainable growth and a developed nation will only be a dream if we fail to provide primary education to each and every citizen of India.

If the term government is about the central government (ministers and all) then they are doing the job fairly well (in terms of providing funds for education system). They have allocated the funds for everything, vis-a-vis, infrastructure, teachers, midday meals, etc. Well, we may say that this expenditure is not enough for 100% literacy and HRD ministry should take care of primary education more than the quote et al, but it could at least be sufficient for 70% growth. But the problem is that even 70% is not literate, that means, the available resources are not even fairly utilized. The worst thing the situation didn’t improve after all these extra arrangements and also there is no sign of improvement considering the process remains still. So, why the resultant is cipher instead of that much expenditure? Definitely some people are responsible for that. And who are those people? Obviously, the people who are involved in this education system – the ministry, the teachers, the committee of local villages, AND the parents. This probably forms the entire system that serves the purpose of union government to provide primary education to each and every child regardless of the socio-economical status and all. Ignore the ministers (union and state). Reason: – Their job is to provide funds only and they are doing that (lets assume for a moment). But still, why to ignore anyone? Why to ignore the mistakes of anybody – even us?

Education for all, where is the goal?

The people involved and the “possible” things they should do and don’t.

1. Minister (union and state) : [political leaders]

  • Make policies(for the reason that the current education is not good enough because the results are depressing, so make new ones);
  • Provide enough fund to implement the policies and infrastructure;
  • Monitor the expenditure and results by taking reports in hierarchical manner (union ministers <- secretaries and state ministers <-the bureaucrats who are handling the education department in the particular state);
  • Ensure the functioning of the department by asking for regular reports from officials and providing extra resources that the system requires;
  • Spend some time on primary education improvement instead of wasting months for quota and related issues;
  • Spend some time on improving course of syllabus, education patters, innovation in system, policies making, study materials/etc.

2. Bureaucrats (all level):

  • Ensure working of the officials in hierarchical manner;
  • Employ reporting system;
  • Make proper channel of vigilance;
  • Initiate programs for making common people(villagers primarily) aware and convince them for education (this can be done by using the same people who are employed for part-time teaching or SSA volunteers at lesser amount of salary);
  • Each DO(of each district) should held a meeting at least once a month;
  • Each DO should manage the district vigilance officials and ensure that each school is being visited by them at least twice a month,
  • Take proper action against the teachers who are not attending schools or involved in proxies or not providing midday meals properly or even not teaching properly.

3. Teachers:

  • Should give reports to the district officials once a month,
  • Organize meetings with villagers,
  • Attend schools regularly,
  • Provide good teaching,
  • Create awareness,
  • Monitor the working of village committees and complain to the officials to dissolve and reelect the committee if the committee is failed to perform as it was supposed to do,
  • Coordinate with villagers;
  • Involve with the children closely despite of their social status,
  • Consult the parents if their children are not performing well or not attending the school.
  • Consult all villagers and take an indirect/unofficial survey to choose the right people for the committee.

4. Village Committee:

They first need to understand that all these arrangements are made for the welfare of themselves, their own children. They should :-

  • Coordinate with the teachers;
  • Monitor the attendance, teaching patterns, and performance of teachers, along with the midday meals;
  • Create awareness, convince, and persuade the villagers to ensure that all kids are attending the school (there are several ways to do it-by social pressures, personal pressure, threat to discard from society that they always do – and at least this can be done by the committee);
  • Initiate to involve educated people in the education process whenever and wherever possible.

5. Parents:

  • Monitor the attendance, teaching patterns, and performance of teacher and midday meals whenever possible;
  • Monitor the working effectiveness of committee and involve with them and persuade them if they are not working properly;
  • Ensure the 100% attendance of their children, Provide them study materials (if cant afford, then ask to the elite and educated people from village or even the teachers and officials);
  • Give them time to study at home;
  • Ensure that they are performing well.

6. Other Villagers:

  • Can do most of the things voluntarily that the committee and the parents are doing;
  • Make parents aware and convince them;
  • Educated people can also help the needy children with free tuition, books, and stuffs;
  • More educated people (who don’t live in villages but visit the village) help children with study materials and resources, guide them, and help whoever deserves to undertake higher education.

7. Kids:

  • Attend school, study well, and don’t waste the midday meals.  😆

Now, these are the possible things that the involved(or not involved) people can/should do. I am not blaming just because I have the only thing to do is to blame. But, if we don’t point out the errors, we can’t possible get the solutions. The errors are, for sure, caused by some bugs and talking about them is not blaming them, rather identifying them. As I think, only WE, the people of India, can’t enable the country to achieve the goal of 100% literacy. But also, the goal of 100% literacy can’t be achieved without the involvement of the people of India. One thing is sure that the government system MUST work properly to let the goal be realized because the government has a very large machinery and system and the public/private bodies can’t replicate that. And without having such machinery, 100% literacy is indeed very difficult, if not impossible. That’s why, perhaps, education, healthcare, and infrastructure are called the basic sectors of government. For 100% literacy, we need government. In fact, rather than “we need support of government”, “government needs our support”. It requires involvement of everyone – we, every citizen of India, the government, and the entire system.

The bottom line is to find a way to collaborate the common citizens (including us) with the government machinery and take bottom-up approach to make it work effectively.

This article was all about the current scenario and the problems associated with it. The left points are:- Citizen’s solution to this issue, the education policy, renovation required in the existing education system, and a roadmap to the 100% educated India. I’ll try to write about other dimensions and next steps very soon. Suggestions are welcome.

Image source: TEDxMumbai, Queen Rania of Jordon

4 Comments

Saawan rut aayo rey..

India has an implicitly embedded affection for the season of monsoon and the cultural heritage conveys this beautiful tradition very affectionately. The rain has always been a messenger of celebration for the inhabitants of India. Though this celebration has an obvious reason, that is, the importance of rain for the agriculture, the primary way to earn a living in villages. India and the sense and heritage of India have been arisen from the rural India and for that matter, India is almost synonymous to the rural India. Besides, few decades ago, the economy of India was primarily based on the agriculture and hence, tradition and culture of most of the celebrations are very much related with the agriculture. The season of monsoon gives the birth to the celebration every year. So, if the rain is the cause of celebration for rural India, rain also plays the most vital part for India and its traditions. Precisely, rain gives the life to Indians every year. Every year, the monsoon is not only the initiator of the working season, but also of the celebration, love, relationship, art, music, and the colors of nature; as in the preface of “Meghdoot“, Kalidasa writes:

At the end of the summer, after having languished for months away from his Love and losing much weight, he(Yaksha) saw a large cloud nuzzling a mountain peak in the sky. That sight reminded him how he wanted to hold her close to his heart. Her. Who was not there. He held his tears back and stood there quietly. The monsoons were approaching. “May be the cloud can take my message to her”, he thought and he decided to suck up to the cloud. How a cloud, which is nothing but water vapor, can carry a message? But when you are heartbroken and sick with desire, you will try anything.

“Great Cloud. Please help me. I am away from my beloved and miss her very much. Please go to the city called Alaka where my beloved lives in our moonlit house. Lonely women brush their hair away from their eyes and look up to greet you. Because you bring cool rain. And with the rains return their loved ones. Who wouldn’t rather be with their Loves in this romantic season except the unfortunate ones like me who just cannot be there?..”

Since the history of India and its cultural heritage, clouds have been bringing the message of love, life, prosperity, color, and celebration to the people and lands of the country. After a long duration of hot summer, dull and lifeless earth, dry rivers and ponds, yellow leaves, grass-less mountains, and burning sun-rays; the clouds and the rains appear as the greatest blessings for the people and the nature from the heaven. Every cell of the creatures of the earth waits for the rain to appear, like the bird “chakor” waits with thirst and endless passion. Before the rains fall on the earth, everyone talks of and waits for the clouds. Every inch of soil desperately waits to get a new life and celebrate the blessings. A true India can be seen at the time monsoon appears and as long as it stays. Each cell and object of the earth gets a passion to celebrate its reason of existence. And why shouldn’t they? They exist for the celebration! Rivers and ponds poured with water, green grasses and leaves, singing birds and running calves, happy men and women, and much more than that. Men and women usually put one feet at home and another at their farms throughout the farming season, busy with giving life to the lands who further give them life in return. Everybody gets busy in the month of “Asaadh“, the first month of the monsoon season. For the next whole month, people work as never before and the earth decorates herself as the most beautiful peasant of the universe. The sense of life encompasses all the living and even, non-living children of the mother called earth.

If aasaadh is the month of rehabilitation, the next month “Saawan” is the month of true celebration. The job of life-care ends here, and the moments of festivals start. Saawan is a word which brings a feeling of freshness and life to the Indians just by murmuring the name itself. Today’s world refers India as a nation of democracy and spiritualism. I don’t know whether we really excel in democracy and spiritualism or not, but one has to come to India to realize that nobody and no culture on this earth have ever celebrated the life and the love with nature as the Indians have been doing it from the centuries. In the season of rains and the month of Saawan, the nature itself engages herself attentively and generously with each form of celebration of the people. Perhaps only Indians know the importance of singing “Kajri” after singing “Birhaa” for 4 continuous months. Perhaps only they can tell you the importance of music. In a country of sizzling hot summers – the black monsoon clouds bring with them relief and great joy – with a need to sing out and call for the love. As the folklore says, there was woman called Kajli whose husband was in a distant land. Monsoon arrived and the separation became unbearable and she started crying at the feet of the Kajmal Goddess. These cries took the form of the popular Kajri songs.

Only Indians know the relevance of festivals, when in “Teej“, a brother goes to the house of her sister and when in “Rakshaabandhan“, a sister goes to the brother’s house. And the relations, when a brother brings sweets, clothes, and other stuffs for a married sister in her “sasuraal” and gives a message every year that her family in her father’s place have always been with her and every stages of her life. The relation when a sister goes to a brother with Rakhi and the brother promises every year that he’ll protect her for his entire life-span.

In the month of Saawan, every form of celebration can be seen in India. Women and girls go to the gardens and sing and dance together. Jhoolas can be encountered in every part of the rural India. People relive all the relationship and families enjoy all kind of Indian cuisines. Saawan in rural India says it every year that everybody has a reason to live, love, and celebrate.

I basically hail from a village and, however, the urbanization etc are slowly vanishing the original cultural heritage of the India that appears in villages, I have encountered several such moments. There are 12 months in an Indian year and Saawan is the only month that is worshipped in villages. In almost each village, people offer prayers to the nature, god, and their ancestors. It usually takes form of a festival. We call it “Saawani Pujaai” and we usually performs it at the end of the Saawan, with a sense of gratitude and thankfulness. The day of this pooja can differ in villages and locations. People living out of the village visit the place to perform the pooja. The heritage of celebration and tradition gets inherited in each generation and it takes its place quite deeply in people’s heart. For most of the occasions of the gatherings, pooja, festivals, and celebrations; it doesn’t matter whether families are living in villages or have left the villages to earn their living. Families come to villages in Saawan Pooja, youth studying outside come in Rakhsabandhan, and Teej is still important for the newly married girls and her father’s family. Even those living in foreign countries and distant locations still receive parcels containing rakhis every year. The vanishing traditions can be seen in the acts and the methods, but it is almost impossible to eradicate this heritage from people’s heart, mind, and reasons. The reminiscence relives and refreshes the feeling and respect for our culture, traditions, existence, and the vital relation between the nature and the human lives.

India is truly a place of all rational behaviors that exist and there are indisputable reasons behind everything that Indians do, be it music, dance, festivals, tradition, culture, relations, prayers, or cuisines. The culture and tradition of India defends its existence itself. Though Saawan is the ultimate of all, Indians get a feeling of life and a reason of existence throughout the year from their cultural heritage and traditions, in the form of festivals, celebrations, music, gatherings, and all kind of appearances of the nature. It is the cultural heritage of India which proves that everything exists for a reason, though silently and by taking several forms. It is India which truly tells the world the importance of the humanity, peace, art, love, and life. And why not? Indian celebrate every relationship joyously and selflessly in the form of festivals every year. Indians sing, dance, laugh, love, enjoy the sweets, celebrate its heritage, relive the feeling that they exist for a reason and with the same passion, they still celebrate the importance of life and love in the world that is full of inhumanity, fanaticism, selfishness, killings, and depressions. Indians know that why the humans need to celebrate. Indians know the importance of being a human and existence of life.

The Saawan ends today with the celebration finale of the season of rains in the country where the rains fall on the earth with a message of love, life, and tender. It is Rakshabandhan today, the last festival of Saawan, when almost every brother and sister relive their relationships that they shared in their childhood & youth and will share with equal passion, love, and liveliness in their entire lives. Saawan ends today by giving a message of hope that Indian will celebrate it next year again and the farewell song can easily be heard in a distant village, somewhere in UP (perhaps Mirzapur district) where a beautiful young woman is singing this song, popularly known as Kajri :

Bhaiyya more aaye amwaiwaa sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi
Bhaiyya more aaya amwaiwaa sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi
Na jaibo nanadi, na jaibo nanadi, saawanwaa mein na jaibo
Bhaiyya more aaye amwaiwaa sawanwaa mein na jaibo nanadi

Jhanajhare ke dubawaa gangaajal paani,
chaahe bhaiyya piyen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Sonawaa ke thaari me jewanaa parosen ho,
chaahe bhaiyya jewen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Lawangaa ilaaichi ka bidwaa lagayo,
chaahe bhaiyya poojen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Chun chun kaliyaan main sej bichhaayo,
chaahe bhaiyya soyen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Naa jaibo nanadi, naa jaibo nanadi,
saawanwaa mein naa jaibo;
chaahe bhaiyya aawein chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

(listen to its beautiful rendition by Pt.Channulal Mishra)

3 Comments