Hind Swaraj

For so long I wanted to read the vision of our Nations’ father -Gandhiji. Whenever he talked to Nehru on issue of India After Independence,he used to refer this work to him . The renewed interest in ‘Non-violence’ & ‘Satyagrah’ as tools for protest, all around the globe, increased my desire to read it. And I bought this thin vision document, which costs around Rs50 in general plus add the import charges. It was a dumb decision on my side.
Later, I came to find the whole book on internet – Open for everyone to read. [check — http://www.mkgandhi.org/hindswaraj/hindswaraj.htm ]

They have whole collection of his work if you are interested.

This is less of book review, more of personal take on it.

Hind Swaraj

By M.K.Gandhi

Indian Home Rule

 

The book is written in the form of conversation between the Editor of newspaper Indian Opinion & its’ readers. It is a compilation of the conversations Gandhi Ji had with the readers. It is divided into separate topics which concerns the future of Home Rule system in India. Gandhi ji answers the questions rattling the mind of the common Indian. Through this conversation he starts to present the picture of his vision to the readers. How he imagine the Indians should live their life under their own rule. The topic goes from meaning of Swaraj to England,Civilization,Condition of India, How to become free, till his conclusion of Home Rule/Swaraj.
Please read the online version if you want to know what actually is written – it will hardly take an hour to go through it.

Now about my views on it. First of all, I would like to point that when I read some persons’ vision – I try to accept all the arguments presented. It helps me understand and have a peak at what the person wanted to convey. Like when I read Mein Kampf by Hitler, I understood his point against Jews as he saw it. The historical time period & conditions do play a role here. And it never means I concur with them .

It’s important to go through all the mud to find the gold dusts in it. There are many lessons from Mein Kampf also. And so I wanted to find some shreds of silver in Hind Swaraj.

Initially, I agreed to his problem with the profession of Lawyers in the society. But then a small conversation with friend bounced me on the other side. The point which was interesting is that – I find similarity in tactics used to resolve inter-office disputes in the corporate. They don’t need any lawyer, they use the established hierarchy & it is solved amiably most of the time. As I understand, he thought that going to lawyers for every conflicts make the conflict permanent in the psyche. There is no scope for inter-party compromise or solution, like self-handling the solution without violence, keeping in line with natural laws & social norms. And the lawyers do suck/depend on quarrels of people for there work. Don’t they?
However, Judiciary is the only governance body which is trusted by the people. His vision for other democratic body has failed today(in some way). Moreover, his prescription would have helped breed more narrow-mindedness & tunnel vision decisions. Imagine Khap Panchayat & Westernization.

I found his problem with Doctors was misplaced. Also the Problem with Machinery of any kind was back-ward looking.Though, I found his methods of protest i.e. Passive Resistance was a watershed in raising voice.

I would like to leave the criticism. Now about the silver linings.
Acc. to me, Gandhi Ji wanted Indians to be dependent on their Soul force to achieve their goals.
The first basic pushing force is sexual(from lizard brain) in nature, so he was for maintaining chastity for life.
The second is money, (from rational mind), which is being used in contemporary world to make people work hard. It has been mixed with the sexual motivation is also being used in a way so as to make people crave for healthy bodies.(Don’t you agree?).

The last one, which is hardest to follow & is independent ,in a way ,is the path of soul. And I can bet that you will agree on this. If you don’t then why the hell books like ‘ Monk who sold his Ferrari’ became so famous. So many management books I have read – with repeated suggestion of self-actualized motivation for living ones life. And as a creative(self-claimed :P) I know how much will-force is required when you make something just for the sake of it.

If you can conquer it than you can conquer the direction of your life & head it anywhere you like. Gandhi Ji wanted each individual to be a self-actualized fountain in him/herself. I found his idea being individualistic to its core; each bonded together in a complex mesh of Hindu(People of India not religious) way of life. Each empowered by the strong will of soul force, healthy body & sharp mind.

Even the visualization of each person being a fountain making ripples in the vast sea of humanity. Each ripple touching, reflecting, penetrating other ripples. The image is so awesome.

Actually, I wanted to find some Business model or Organization model in this work. And to tell you the truth I have formed a picture of it, though its still hazy. Also, the new buzz words disrupting the Organization/Systems like Cooperatives,Share economy, peer-to-peer economy, open models,e.t.c are in some way have adopted his ideas. I tried fitting disruptive entrepreneurs, new technology, social networks and creative innovators in his model – few areas did overlapped with his vision. The new internet technology base may make his vision a possibility in some way or other.

The whole idea of reading Gandhi Ji’s work is to get to the roots of his arguments. And then growing it for contemporary world adding the new innovations as fertilizers.

I will read more of his works & his vision in future. How can Gandhi Ji’s vision be completely ignored, rejecting it as Utopian??
His ways of passive resistance revolutionized the means of Protest all around the world. There is much more one can learn from him.
After all, isn’t it the desire of humans to achieve Utopia, how may impossible that dream be.

Arigato 🙂

P.S – The views are personal as per my rationalization & understanding of his works. One can always differ from them. Also I desire to fit his model into the contemporary models of development,business & productivity. When I read this post – I find some points are not so clearly presented – sorry for that. I visualize the ideas, I am still learning to put them on paper & clearly convey the image to others.

Billions of Entrepreneurs

Billions Of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours

By Tarun Khanna

Rating: 3/5

This book was in my to-read list for almost 3 yrs. Finally, I bought it from Delhi Book Fair this year, along with two others. Good Investments on my part.

Tarun Khanna puts a compelling account of different, but still connected, pictures of two of the most populous countries of the world – China & India. Sidelining the conflict issues between the two nations, it portrayed how the ties & relations between these two nations is capable of changing the world for the better. The mainstream is filled with rivalry between the Dragon & the Elephant in the International arena.But this book puts forth anecdotes & stories exemplifying some of the success stories of co-operations between the two.

“Mutualism currently existing between China & India contains mutual cooperation, but also contains mutual tension”

The Book got a narrative touch filled with life-experiences & personal research of the author. It throws light on issues which are rarely taken notice of in mainstream debates. The book is divided into 3 parts- Foundations , Enterprise & Future.

First Part deals with the past. It deals with the traditional & cultural practices of statecraft in the two nations. How they transformed through the History.From pre-colonialist to colonial to after Independence eras & there respective changes in the society and economy.How Nehru took the line of socialism & how Mao’s cultural revolution changed the economic landscape. The Information accessibility in both the countries, the capability to build infrastructures & deal with financial arena are talked about in the next chapters.

“Whereas order, harmony & hierarchy have been constant goals of Chinese State, India has a proud tradition of pluralism,dissent & debate”

Enterprise section takes one through the ordeal & success of some leading firms. Presenting tales of IT industry of Infosys,TCL in India & the initial struggle of Chinese counterparts.Then the case of FDI was taken using examples of Microsoft fray into China & Metro’s retail in India. After that the importance of Diasporas of each nation(which are significant in no) was talked about. The attitudes of govt. towards their non-residents was mis-managed by India but taken advantage by the changed leadership of China after Mao. The last two parts deal with the decentralization of power to village levels & medical infrastructure availability.

The last section deals mainly with – IT, Cinema,Corporate. Thought the first chapter was given to situation in Burma/Myanmar. How the two nations are dealing with the given issues at present and how it may have the potential to change the world.

“Enlightened self interest need not be a zero-sum game -> This is the key to the resilient bridges between East & West”

It was an illuminating book for me, as I found myself ignorant of the system working in China. All the part about India,which was talked about, did have the same skeptical view- disappointing but hopeful.For me the knowledge about the China was most valuable take away from it. The examples provided in the book can be placed against the negative mutual-tension approach. I have observed that most of the stories of India & China are filled worth negativism and I understand the reasons. But sometimes I genuinely like to look at the positives and this book added them to my knowledge bank. The co-operation between the two giants can surely create innovative & cheap solutions for the whole world.(for example in health sector & agriculture).Also I noted down many examples & quotes from the book – some I skipped because of there length.

I am writing this review at a time when there has arisen. yet again, a tense situation between the two nations – about border crossing.But I will consider the positives also while being cautious of the negatives of escalating the tensions.

It was a good read. Take it up if you would like to get some unexplored angle of relations between the two nations.Or if you like reading the management books sprinkled with examples of success & failures.

Arigato 🙂

A Whole New Mind

 

Finished reading it in Two months, what a disgrace(not this book).

A Whole New Mind (Why Right-Brainers will rule the Future)

By Daniel H.Pink

Rating: 3.5/5

You know TED Talks , yeah you must have heard about it.If not check it out – they are amazing. I picked up this book after I watched the Daniel Pinks Talk on New Age paradigm shift. His concept looked enticing from the first sentence & I looked up his work & got to this book. This type of books are my cup of tea – Non-Fiction Contemporary work. The book proposes the idea of the next paradigm shift in the human society from L-directed thinking to R-directed thinking. Pink puts some convincing arguments to support his idea. And as for me, I do believe in him to certain extent.It is written in a narrative style where it seems Pink is giving a lecture on the whole concept.

The book starts with Pink inside an MRI machine giving out cognitive tests. The cliched idea of L-directed thoughts & R-directed thoughts are put forth. The main point was only to classify the two types of thinking style. By no way it acknowledged the one-sided thought process( as it is not so, we all are bi-lobed thinkers with some imbalances between their utilization). After that comes the three basic questions which are changing the world at present.

1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2. Can a computer do it faster?
3. Am I offering something that satisfies the non-material transcendent desires of an abundant age?

Try answering them. The answers to these questions are, what has been tilting the scales in favor of R-directed thinking : Asia, Automation & Abundance. The presence of these in a globalized world is pushing the Mans’ ability(read Wests) to R-directed working style.The book then goes on to put facts & some western world trend supporting the influential power of above three factors.Pink then puts his idea of ‘Moving to the R-directed Thinking‘ – well to save the west from getting overwhelmed & perish.Then he presents the six aptitudes required for the R-directed thinking in the conceptual age viz.
Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, Meaning.

After that Each section takes up one of the above aptitude & explains through it using quotes & anecdotes from various research, reports & people.At the end of each of that chapter there is a list of things which one can use to inculcate that aptitude.And that’s it, the book ends at the ‘Meaning’ aptitude.

Now about my take on it. I read through some criticism of it before writing this review. And I agreed to some of them. Though one thing was common in all of them( even the criticisms)  Daniel Pink proposes a plausible & convincing idea. And he really does – we all can see that world is getting saturated now with abundance & paced production centers of goods & services. To get noticed in this deluge of items one has to innovate & there comes the R-directed thinking. It is obvious by now that creativity has to show the path now, the time of smoothing out techniques using technology & skills are over. Now is the time to innovate – awesome,amazing, crude, ugly,beautiful, crazy… – stuffs. Then again the L-directed thinking will come into play to streamline & smooth-en it.

However, all that looks good when seen from the Western world perspective.But what happens to country like mine(India) which is in Asia. I think it’s obvious that we will also be soon shifting to the R-directed thinking(Very soon). The peculiar point about Indian diaspora is the social structure & the work structure. The no. of people getting affected by this change will be huge but the no. of people who would be able to shift to this new culture will be too small. The most active players in the changed situation will be the Indian Middle Class.Only they can even care for such transition & they will surely ignore & criticize it.From the look at the present scenario & thought-process with the added problem of ‘risk-averse’ attitude if Indians, this transition will be very tumultuous here. Some who will take the lead here will fail in near future but may be also able to ride the new global trend wave in India.Well, it is only a topic of speculation to think of that way for Indian mind-space.The future will tell about the truth in it.

Leaving the ideas apart, the book was like a composition of great mind-titillating thoughts. I would have loved to quote someone the stuff i noted down from the book. Being a design lover & creativity seeker, this book was one to own.The best things were the references given in the book (a lot many of them).At the end of the book there is a long list of references & books  for further reading- I wish I could have also gone through them( perhaps I will). The section of Design, Story,Symphony & Meaning appealed the most to me. The part of Meaning & Play where psychological studies were given was interesting to know about.If you like you can also take some of the psychological tests (links from the book), I went through them & got to know something more about me.

(click on them to take them)
EQ (Empathy Quotient not Emotional)
SQ (Systemizing Quotient not Social)
Eyes Speak (Aankhein Bolti hain :P)
Fake Smile Test (Teri Muskaan hai Jhooti  :P)

I would recommend this book to you if you have similar taste as mine.Or if you are in an industry or work-area where such transition will affect you or is affecting you. After all (quoted) – “Today we’re all in the Art Industry”.(For Indians, we will be or we are going to be) 😉

Aarigato.

P.S – This book presented to me some moral work dilemmas like Will it be OK if the new work will be low-pay? & would not require much education/training? or will leave a major population into more destitute level of life-style? They are for later posts(if i get time to contemplate over them)

Just Working

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

It was raining heavily on the terrain, the visibility was less than 2 meters. Amir picked up his primitive glasses and pressed the left screen. It was connecting to the server and he has to wait there, hidden in the camouflage. The data was downloaded, now he can view the contours of the forestland ahead of him.Still it was not clear, the dense woods were obstructing the view.He then clicked the right screen of his eye-piece.Infrared visuals were started.Now Amir decided to come out of the hiding and move forward.

Highly exasperating , his heart pounding fast he paced to the left. Amir had to penetrate the enemy-lines and signal his team.He was moving in a zig-zag fashion to evade any snipe shots or laser beams.To his surprise, something came from behind and stunned him at his place. He tried to move his head but coudn’t. His pupils dilated to look for the coming entity towards him.He heard something pouncing the ground, moving towards him, roaring.He was waiting for the stun to wither down.He saw an incoming glowing light towards him, it was a big white polar bear – glittering in an armor with blue crystals.Amir regained his conscious and dodged the incoming threat.It was run for life now – he got on his legs and sprinted.Throwing down bombs on his way and expecting that the bear might get caught in it.*Boom* *Boom*

Amir heard the blasts and decided to go for the enemy lines.He again camouflaged and hid into the bushes for evading any pursuer.Suddenly he found himself chained by a yellow rope and getting pulled away from his hide-out. A warrior woman was pulling him towards her.He felt his body heating up. He knew he would melt away from inside if nothing was done.He jumped towards the woman and pulled a battery size switch from his belt.She was taken aback by this move and was pulling her glowing staff to hit him with.Too slow of her,Amir touched her hand and pushed the button.A red lightning shrouded both of them.The warrior shrieked and the rope was let loose.Not letting anytime waste, Amir pulled another switch which was attached to his back. He pulled the warrior towards him, planted a kiss on her lips and pushed the green button.Ten mile of the surrounding area was consumed by a flash.After the light dimmed, the whole area became an inferno and in the center lied the skeletal of both the warrior woman and Amir.

Fortrunner-364 opened his eyes slowly, adjusting to the bright light coming from the window.He looked at his hand , his lips parted showing his white teeth.And his laughter broke the silence in the room.He was amused by what he has achieved – today he made it to the next hierarchy.Now he will get a raise and more perks.Now he can pay the loan early for his SFe-520 cruiser.Looking through his office hall he felt relieved, now he will get a cabin on the above floor.He will leave this floor, his colleagues. He was expecting that some-one might log-off from his work and he can share the good news.The happiness blooming inside him was making him impatient. He was repeatedly checking the back of his hand.

It was only 04:52 10/02/2090 [GTA +5.00] Wednesday.
Office hours will end at 5:00.

You have 8 more min.Please play and complete the working hours. [The message was flashing on his hand’s skin]

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Faltu Fundae

Have you read the ” Lockhart’s Lament ” ? The argument he put there was hard on point with the new approaches to education. Making Study a Fun time.

What does that actually mean ? Does this mean that you take the idea of having fun( enjoying, playing & taking pleasure) & fuse it with study ? Does that actually feeds the purpose of making education interesting ? I mean learning maths & science by singing jingles & watching cartoons actually makes the subjects interesting. You know i am a movie lover & an animation junkie, but its not like any movie without animation is tasteless or not exciting Or that every animation movie is awesome. I have seen some animation movies with stodgy story lines & some regular movies with amazing story. What makes a movie is the story & storytelling capability.With fusing the fun erroneously with subjects, most of the time the spirit of the matter dies. Making study a fun time needs to capture the students mind.Inspire & engage them with the subject matter. Then only the subjects get easy moving & learning happens & in the process it might generate some amazing results.(atleast that’s what i think).

” Fun in subject = Andar ki baat hai…….bahar kitna bhi decoration kar lo”

The story of Chiemagauer demonstrates that point aptly. The economic professor,Christian Gelleri, of 16yr old gave a project to his students  on money system to teach them the value & working of money.The name of the currency they used for this was named Chiemagauer.That project got so popular that it is now working as a alternate money system in Germany.It keeps the money in the locality where it is generated & works like the real euro.It has given some boost to the German economy with the hovering financial crisis in europe.Read about it in detail here.

All this brooding on education got me thinking over the farm exodus to metros/urban areas.So many people(don’t ask why i didn’t put poor there) on loose migration, always moving from one city to other.The choice of people or the force on them to live from cities.What are the reasons.Its desirable to have the major share of people living in cities.But it should be at least living not surviving.When i see with the education perspective, it raises some questions to me. Will an educated person be willing to work on a farm – tilling,irrigating & harvesting the produce ?  What is the problem with  College graduates working o1n a Farm ? Is it that only the uneducated & poor people should be made to work on farms ?

” Kamar to tootni hi hai kaam kar ke, chahe garmi me Zameen jot ke toote ya A/c me Code tod ke toote” 

I mean we want to educate every citizen of the country.At a point in future there may be a state where most of the people are educated, then the educated have to work in farms & agricultural jobs. You can’t make a machine or write a code so that you can do the farming siting on your chair (Its not farmville ). If by some good policy implementations we achieve our Sarv Shiksha Mission than 15-20 yr later our kids might have to work in the fields, if we see the job as low-level than who will generate the food.So there should be cultivation of attitude in people for these agri-jobs as on-par with the IT-job or Bank job. There has to be a respect for the labour jobs.This point as to be understood by the educated persons.The idea of the inverted pyramid structure of Service,Manufacturing & Primary sectors is a good & valid point; but there will arise the point of educated people doing labour jobs.(Then there will be point of educational cost which may outweigh the earning/salary).

P.S – I don’t differentiate the IT work sitting in A/c working there ass off with the labour work. They are still doing the bonded labours kind of work.As Chetan Bhagat said on the comment of NRN MRTHY that IT industry are like the cattle farms only. I think the Financial industry is the same.

Essay’s on India

Tomorrow’s India – Another Tryst with destiny – edited by B.G.Verghese

After so long i have read a really good book on India.It was collection of essays by some prominent figures in every field of our country, from govt,education,media, defense,history e.t.c. The common to all the people was that all of them were alumnus of  Delhi’s St Stephen’s College.

All that aside, it presented the view of India which seems to grab the future in its hand.But even after reading this, i was not convinced that it will happen soon.Almost all of the essays were history based, putting points on the changes occurred in India, seldom putting any point for future.There was more or less wishful views of India.All in all it provided some good perspectives on various topics of which a country is formed.Noted some great point of views from this book.Read it if you have time, there is some essay for everyone’s interest.