Sunday, March 22, 2009

India's pride and stance today.....

Culture: The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
Tradition: The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication
Heritage: Property that is or can be inherited; an inheritance.

I thought I'd refer the free dictionary online to check the real meanings of these words. Am sure you'd believe that I had better things to do, than refer to the meanings of these words, but the headline in the Times of India day before yesterday made me recheck the meanings of these words. [ If you have not read the news paper dated, 20th March, 2009, good for you.. Please don't bother reading it...., you'll also end up referring to the meanings of these words....]

Don't you think, you've heard these terms associated with our homeland, India, almost always?? All the Indian books, academic or non-academic, fiction or factual, fable or history talk about the pride of our homeland... and I have always believed in the pride that our country has held high.

If you've read about India, and been in India, you'll surely appreciate the highest respect that our country has always given to women.

India had certain practices and beliefs which ensured that womankind retained their stance and respect in the society. No one took womanhood for granted. No one even spoke about the mutual respect that a man and woman needed to give each other. It was an unspoken truth. It was an accepted belief that men and women respect each other. Whatever be the relationship the woman had with the other, - friend, brother, father, husband, son, there was a level of respect that all these men enjoyed, and still enjoy all the time, at home, work, or a public place. The same goes with women too.. A sister, friend, mother, wife, or daughter, all of them had a special respect in the eyes of the men they know in the family. Respect and courtesy were the terms that were really loud in our culture, and tradition.

Given that, why is India on the headlines for some insane and ridiculous unethical behavior???

I am no journalist to analyze the news about the sad fate of the girls in the headline, and I don't really want to, but I must tell you that we'd better strive a little to get some sense into ourselves - our fellow gentle men, ladies, and children... the sooner, the better... We cant just keep saying : These things always have been happening.. and there is nothing that can be done about this...

We should try a little to understand our traditions and cultural practices.... we have always tried to ask too many questions about old practices and beliefs that in effect, we have come to accepting just about any amount of deviation from Indian standards.

Am sure, a lot of us do not know much about what exactly Indian standards are, because, we have never really read much about it in our education. All the time, the focus is on more practical aspects of physics and chemistry and botany and maths and zoology. All the school and college projects are around these.. Currently there is no focus on Moral education at all after school days. Institutes can do something about this.

Legal studies take care of law, but I believe some basic laws can be taught in college, whether or not you are a law student.

Let's get some course or subject centered around our motherland.. We learn European, American and Indian history in our class ten history class, but all the time we had learnt only about the wars waged and never about the practices/culture/tradition of a specific country.

Even if all of these seem a pointless babble in front of the insane act in question, we really should think a little about what are we doing to ensure that our country's values and culture remain tall always.

Currently Indians are a lot confused between modern ways and unethical ways of life. You do not have to be orthodox, but it is okay to be a little conservative... You can be modern, but it is also important to know when modernity steps on to the boundaries of our culture and personal values.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Trust you...

Trust in God, Trustworthy friend - We have heard of these time and again. I would rephrase it as Learn to trust like a little child.

Last month, I was visiting my friend. She has a one and a half year old, baby girl. I had bought my first chocolate ( Cadbury Diary milk) for the little girl. I don't usually buy chocolate for kids till I know they have been introduced to chocolates.

The little girl wanted to eat the chocolate. Her mom ( that's my friend) asked her to give it to auntie ( that's me ) to open the wrapper. Without a minute's hesitation the child gave me the chocolate. And she looked at it with such eagerness and so much trust that I WILL surely open it for her.

Now, that's what is TRUST. She never once thought that I may not open it, may eat the chocolate myself, or may not give it to her at all. She believed her Mom, and so listened to her and gave me the chocolate. It was a total trust. When there is total trust, you don't have a choice but to keep it up.

Do we trust and keep up trust this way? Don't tell me, grown-ups cannot be trusted like this at all... I agree, but do we even realize that 'To know if someone is trustworthy, we have to trust him or her'. This is a translation of a quote I read in Tamil.

Forget all that.... Do we trust in God completely, this way? If you don't believe in God, you surely must be believing in some thing that's much higher in power than youself - confidence, some principle or a faith.... Do you trust that super-power totally??

Think about it.. I am.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Don't complicate the already complicated system.....

Affiliated to Bangalore university, Recognized by some X state i cant recall, Approved by AICTE - took me a second to recall that this stands for All India Council of Technical Education... I saw this on a college bus just below the name of the college.

I quickly began to think, what else could have been added? Recognized by Government of India, Approved by the United States, Accredited by some committee... and may be many more...couldn't help thinking... Is it recognized by Swiss?

I have a simple question... All I need to know is which college does this bus take me to. As I cross the road, I surely will not want to spend time memorizing all the details I read. I just will remember the name of the college for a later research on the details, if at all I decide to take an admit in the college.

Wonder what so many Recognized by, Approved by credits really mean to the parent community. Everyone today takes stock of how many students from an institute went abroad or to premier institute for higher studies, how many students got placed in campus recruitment, how is the hostel, any bad to worse news about the behaviour of the students that is out on the front page news of any news paper or Internet? That is all anyone cares.

All these accreditation, approvals and recognitions are just for the college authorities to ensure they are doing a good job at educating today's stars. Everyone knows what Govt of India approved institute means and AICTE approved technical education. May be the student group will be interested in knowing which university the college is affiliated to, just to know how difficult or easy it is to study in the institute... Again all this information is not required in a college bus board.

No one is going to put the child in the institute or school just because the college has all these high sounding words along with the name of the institute... people do not really know what each of these certification means.

So why confuse the passers-by on the road with all these high-sounding, totally pointless, highly confusing words on the college bus boards? Why complicate today's already complicated education?


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...