[SHSF] Youth in Politics

I read this post[click] from one of the blogger I follow.

As it happens, when the topic of politics and middle-class youth participation comes up – it starts with bringing up the problem first. A student from middle class family cannot make his/her way into political system on his own even if he/she is interested.You may cite examples proving it wrong. However, the problem is not only about bringing middle class or lower class. It is for youth in general. It is about bringing youth closer to politics & politics closer to youth.

It was enough to make me curious. I started thinking about closing this gap with what ever current knowledge I poses.

The posts point was mainly about introducing the youth into Politics through Youth Parliament in metro cities. I would like to know your view(for/against) this point.

I put forth some foolish & naive solutions for it. At that time I was reading the ‘District Development Cell'(trying google – it won’t work. Try reading govt. reports or try the links at the bottom) provisions in our constitution for development initiative. For me – politics is not limited to ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Price Tag’ anymore. It has expanded to the ‘real’ – ‘ measurable’ – ‘tangible’ development works & initiative. So, if I want to put youth into politics I would prefer this path where they are introduced to the political system through development i.e. through real change. This way their participation can result into some thing tangible even if it is small as a week’s work or a week program.

There was this link I found about ‘Applying to govt. to set up a Entrepreneur Cell’(To Get specific Detail do check the aicte Website and the various respective sections there) in a college. As the two names sound similar with ‘Cell’ & ‘Govt. Grant’ present in them – I thought,

Why can’t student bodies of colleges situated in a district be allowed to open District Development Cell for their respective districts ? Or Why not have a body of students as support/volunteer staff in these District Development Cell??

Just think about its possibility. There are many youth which will be left out but I think it can be one way to initiate them into socio-political work.
I discussed it with one of my friend (who is keenly interested in entering politics). I found that this is not how the ‘District Development Cell’ system works. They can be established only when DMs,Municiple Heads, Panchayat Heads of the district come together & decide to do so. Plus there is already little say of local bodies in such organization. Having student won’t change anything.

I am still skeptical though, having a curious, impatient, interested & energized youth may create new channels of working in such development cell. Further, the important part is to connect the youth with such process.

I didn’t left him after his feedback. I asked him to suggest what are his views to close this gap. (I would like you to suggest some too)

He proposed that to close the gaps students of a college first have to be included in decision making process. They should be active to ask questions to the college authority. They should be able to propose development initiatives required to better the college infrastructure & administration. For example:

Why it took 5lakh to make a speed breaker?
Why there was no open tender to bid for hostel construction?
Can the college put a computerized system for hostel food/canteen management?
Can college have a gender sensitivity program for its teachers & new students?
Will college help the near by slums in solving some of there problems?
How the central funds were spent in two years & in which activities? How they improved the conditions?…(likewise)

Students coming up to ask,suggest & inquire the college administration. As college are a small reflection of the society outside, so if individuals are active in ‘positive’ college politics then they may do so outside college. One may say that same happens in colleges. But I said earlier it was not about ‘Game of Thrones’ or only being a student representative bodies. No.

What I mean by these is that – we don’t want representative participation in college. We want individuals in college to participate in politics. Representation never works if individuals don’t have any spine to ask the authority. And I prefer if students participate in changing their college first & then their district and then head for the country politics. At present, Students do come out in protest & demand actions from the govt.How I see it is like, student protest for college politics or national politics. What about district??

To conclude it, I say if the ‘District Development Cell’ idea doesn’t work only because it is not allowed in current system – Why not create a new system which enable to do so or better modify the current one.

It is a very naive opinion/proposal. Nevertheless, I consider it to be a worthy idea to be considered. There are some obvious weak points which I am proposing like slowing down the administration, useless bickering of students over small issues, disruption in curriculum & studies(which is main focus of college), focusing students being too much active in political actions. Still, being a ‘Rational Optimist’ – I think these flaws can be overcome by little improvements with each passing year. Our constitution is such an amazing organic document, so why can’t we make such organic politico-development cells for participation of Youth.

I found this idea really interesting. So I will keep it in my mind & contemplate over it. Because I know that my understanding of the actual system is limited by my limited exposure of Indian Political structure. Our media is useless in enlightening common people like me about it. I hope the temples of education can help put some light on it – to kindle the fire into hearts of the youth.

Arigato 🙂

Few links of District Development Cells :
http://nadia.nic.in/District_Rural_Development_Cel/district_rural_development_cel.html
http://ddinajpur.nic.in/Departments/District_Rural_Development_Cel/district_rural_development_cel.html
http://coochbehar.nic.in/htmfiles/DRDC_scheme.html

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Pocket Diary – 16

Wow, last one was in July. I should make it a periodical post. Perhaps, twice in a month – on 15th & 30th.

Peter Ustinov,” I believe in Doubt and mistrust Conviction ;
I believe in Liberalism and detest Oppression ;
I believe in the Individual and deny the existence of the so called Masses ;
I believe in Abstract Love of country and deplore patriotism ;
I believe in Moral courage and suspect Physical courage for its own sake ;
I believe in the human Conscience and deny the right of Fanatics or of those with self created halos to impinge on its necessary privacy.”

and this one also,

” The mysticism of mortals is an attempt to colonize obscurity for the purpose of religious oppression, while a twinge of conscience is a glimpse of God.”

I just read these lines and felt instantaneously connected to his thoughts. The abstract love for my country defines more of my patriotic fervor than the generally perceived notion of patriotism. I completely concur to his beliefs. How about you?

B. R. Ambedkar,” If the constitution of India gets derailed, the reason will not be that we had a bad constitution. What we will have to say is that man was vile.”

Man has become Vile. Constitution is derailing. Tell me if you need proof for that & I will throw at you CDs filled with our parliamentary debates & administrative decisions.( Yeah! CDs will hurt you)

B.R. Ambedkar,” Polarization based on prejudice masquerading as opinion and Opinion masquerading as Arguments.”

Well, you just need to suck a little of our Mass Media news and you will never know whether it was an Argument, Opinion or plain Prejudice. If you can’t notice that in daily “Breaking” news broadcasts, I ask you to go through the debates on Rape, Women & BPL (to select a few).
And people the debate on this party candidate vs that party candidate is not news – its a Indian Premier Show. (its a SHOW not NEWS)

Any views on them? You can put them in comments 🙂

Arigato 🙂

Pocket Diary – 14

Ahh! today I was able to have some leisure time. Didn’t studied any course materials & watched ‘Coupling’ sit-com. It is hilarious but not much of a collectible. From tomorrow the study drill will begin again 🙂 They all are thick ones – would take heavy study time.

I added some more quotes in my pocket diary.

Ryan Holiday, ” Read to Lead -> push yourself to read books ‘above your level’ i.e. biographies over business books, classics over contemporary.”

That’s a great advice. If you like reading, start pushing yourself & if you don’t read, start pushing yourself to read. I am still at business books level, though, I have started with classics. Read to Lead  people Read to Lead. Also join his newsletter on books to read.

Rosa Luxemburg, ” Freedom is always & exclusively freedom, for the one who thinks differently.”

So are you free to think? Its a motto for the Free-thinkers. Marxists have unique ideas on freedom.

“Outlier is a solution: the norm is the problem”

Noted it from a newspaper article. That’s the key to the creative innovation & to the always evolving market. I completely agree to it. And when the case is about India, norms are the way & so are the problems.

Russian thinker Alexander Herzen asked, ” If progress is the end, for whom are we working ?… Do you truly wish to condemn all human beings alive today to the sad role of caryatids supporting a floor for others some day to dance on … or of wretched galley slaves, up to their knees in mud, dragging a barge filled with some mysterious treasure & with the humble words ” progress in the future inscribed on its bows?”.”

If you are a patriotic one, you may say we are working for the nation.
If you are an entrepreneur, you may say we are working to create work for others or we are working for the money.
Looking around, in my nation, I see people working for survival of their families & themselves. Not to support any floor for anyone but to only to support a roof over their heads.
Or simply you can say – I am working for myself. To support that floor myself & also dance on it.
We all know that the mysterious treasure presents the case of ‘multiple possibility theory’. We can never know for sure whom are we working for.

And if you’re working for the humanity – “Is progress the end??”

Mull over them if you like.

Arigato 🙂

History of the World

Here is another short review of a text-book

History of the World : From late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty-First Century

By Arjun Dev & Indira Arjun Dev

Rating: 4/5

Camera 360

Arjun Dev is the author of NCERT textbooks on World History. This book is meant for undergraduate students of history & for international relations. Since the changes in UPSC mains syllabus – this one has become an essential on your table. Actually, I should have gone for the XI class school textbook but decided to get this one. They both are exactly same, there may be minor differences only.

About this textbook, its characterized by what any NCERT textbook are like – lucid,succinct and comprehensive. Its a power pack for learning world history. It starts with introduction to Pre-World War I scenario of the World. Then moves on to the events comprising the WWI. Then the next part describes the changes in world before the WWII begins. After that, the WWII description is followed by after WWII situation of the world.

The book first provides the introduction to the main incident & the reasons behind it. Then it goes on to explain the economic,social & political issues which led to the War. Also the condition of people & the economy during that period. Each European nation is given space explaining the condition of govt, people & workers there. Even Latin American countries exploitation along with Asian & African colonial rule has been showed light on.

The History extends till as recently as 2003 Iraq War by America. Though , in case of India it has stopped at the Non-Alignment Stance. I wished the recent changes in foreign policy should have been included in the text.

Well, it’s a must read book for UPSC examine-es.However, It do not covers the pre-WWI major events like French Revolution,American Independence,Inductrial Revolution…e.t.c. For them I would recommend reading Jain & Mathur‘s World History – It is complete as per UPSC new syllabus on World history. And if you want to have a short & succinct view of World History – pick it up. It will hardly take 2-3days. Although, this book is already in Class XI curriculum of CBSE based schools – you can get it from them also. 😉

Arigato 🙂

P.S – Lately,I have been posting only book-reviews. I am not getting much time to mull over my thoughts & put them into writing. I want to refine them before posting it here.  I am busy finishing one book after other, & trying to squeeze novels in-between. I think I am spreading myself thin.

 

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 🙂

False Sense

[ NOTE– after writing this post I felt I have just stated the obvious inferences & only tread knee deep into the matter. Therefore, this post is categorized as a RANT, read at your own will ]

 

Preparing for UPSC made me aware of the huge mechanisms & complexities that go into strategising for the public welfare. I held the planning of schemes, for a country as diverse & vast as ours, to be a shining example of quality work. Though appraising it doesn’t ,mean I never criticized the implementation part. Still, I am awed by the planning part itself & would wait for the ground work experience to see clearly the implementation part. The words & sentences phrased inside those plans made them a titillating scholarly work for me.

This false sense (which I knew was false) was broken recently because of a conversation with a friend of mine. She also praised the scheme plans but pointed out that the words used are just ambiguous. They don’t tell you anything concrete. What’s happening or what will actually happen. I argued back that it is for good because it leaves space for the zealot bureaucrats to expand on & use creative/innovative methods to achieve the goals. Added that it also leaves space for corrupt & sluggish ones also. My point was that it depends on the character of the executive & the awareness of the masses. This was all agreed to.

However, since that talk – I have been vigil on the words being used in the plans/schemes/reports. To my disillusion, they are really ambiguous not even in meaning but even in the value they create. From the document about Achievements of SSA:-

3,02,872 new schools opened;2,42,608 school building constructed; 10.30 lakh teachers appointed; improve access to 99% of primary level…e.t.c.(check it on ministry site if you want to)

Well, they do feel great to look upon. After all we even lack the infrastructure for the education. Although, I didn’t noticed any data on learning enhancements  being achieved,the knowledge level of teachers trained e.t.c.Even it said that 99% access to primary education but not 99% utilization of the same. In short, I only saw the quantitative data not the qualitative one. The qualitative ones are like the PAISA release & other such reports from NGOs.

It was like we have 1000 acre land supporting 100 people without any infrastructure and human-development. And then we tell people that we built infra on the 80% land including schools,housing,industry & others. There can be two possibilities after this. One, the whole infra is under-utilized because the occupants are not aware about there use. Second, it attracts more people than its capacity & leave everyone with lower than provided quality of services.Like infrastructure was made for 200 inhabitants but is being occupied by 600 of them – making available 1/6th of the service quality.I see the first scene played for the rural & SME sectors of govt. schemes. And the second one being played in the rest. Nonetheless, corruption is present in both the case. To make the matter even more complex the distribution is never equal(how can it be!!) ,thus, creating inequalities between already unequal sections.

Why I have been stating the obvious? It helps me clarify the conditions we are living in and also helps out vent out my frustration with the under-effective executives & uncompromising-selfish masses. All the above rant was only to understand the stupefying complexities of the system in a general sense. Unless the problem is not understood or is not identified, how can the solution be arrived at.

All the above brooding led me to some thoughts though,like – the present PPP model allows the quantity obsessed govt. to work hand in hand with the quality concerned private players(read NGOs). These private players may even help further in implementing the ambitious programmes through their focus on the regional disparities & local solutions within the reach.

I will stop now or my thoughts will roll-on to the other complexities of PPP model like monopolistic tendencies of Big corporate, apathetic action towards the natives, private sector corruption…

Thanks for letting me share this rant with you.

Arigato  🙂

P.S – I think coming posts will be rants only as I am studying for the exam which is only 30days away.May be I will not write any posts at all.

Pocket Diary – 12

I don’t have any thoughts to reflect over today. So, I am putting out few of my additions to the Pocket Diary. Actually, I have many drafts but I am unable to expand over those ideas. It will take time to think over them & put them into words.I will wait for them.

Devdutt Pattnaik “Be careful of ‘stories’ they can easily be used to delude and manipulate, and be passed of as ‘motivation’. There is no truth out there, only stories well told”.

Stories…Stories…& more Stories. That’s all what is being feeded to us now through various media sources.Yeah I take them as stories – Faith put on a story may become your belief. Even principle seems like stories at the start but once beefed up with scientific facts & logic – it changes to a rule. In India, stories are vital part of our daily lives.
And I hope you know about Devdutt Pattnaik. I like his point of view & how he explains the Indian mind-space through mythology. Pick up his work if you like. He is a contemporary, so interpreting his work will be easy.

I.K Gujral “The bureaucracy is the backbone of the govt. & it should be kept happy”.

Everyone will agree that ‘Bureaucracy‘ comprises the backbone of the govt. However, about the ‘keeping happy’ part – instead of govt. supporting them they themselves took the responsibility.Even private players contributed in keeping them happy through the clandestine means. Well, the present condition of country & the bureaucracy is open for all to comment on.

Bertrand Russell “A good world needs knowledge, kindliness & courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant man”.

Russell is not any ignorant man, but whose quote has survived the wheel of time if not the non-ignorant ones. I don’t believe that any statement based on ignorance stands the beating of time.The ignorant comments are generally the prejudices which the individuals have been carrying all through the generations. They are hard to drop away from the society so they persist. The world never stays good – freedom of intellect comes only to few with genuine thoughts.

“Rosy-eyed nostalgia should be no reason to forget that we are living in arguably the most advanced & civilized age in the history of the human race, in no small part due to the ‘materialistic’ work of thousands of scientists & engineers”.

Thank You all the scientists & engineers of our country, for whatever you have contributed. It did had major impact on our lives.And this statement is also for all the skeptical ones. ‘Criticism’ may be easiest to do but ‘Acknowledgement’ is what you sometime have to do.
Adding to it, Acknowledging only the success & excellence  is not what I am asking. I also ask the scientific community to acknowledge their laxity, their lack of zeal, their acts of plagiarism, their weakness. It’s both ways after all.

This much will be enough for today I think. These quotes helps me launch into the orbit of some focused thought. The old texts of wisdom have eluded me for most of the life & I am rediscovering there gems. And reflecting on these fragments of wisdom provide me the nourishing intellectual juices.Do tell me if they also move your gray-matter.

Arigato.