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Monday, January 25, 2010

Should we be doing it?

I often wonder whether, even though we can and also shall, we should be organizing the commonwealth games. The moot point is whether a country that is unable to provide twenty hours supply of drinking water and electricity even to the citizens of its capital city should be organizing an extravaganza like the commonwealth games? Does a capital city where many of its citizens have to carry out their daily morning ablutions in the open, quite often along the railway tracks deserves to organize a sporting extravaganza the outlay on which could have served its inhabitants in a much better way?
And to top it all, the decision makers also appear keen to bid for the olympics! The prospect and also the implications of this decision makes me shudder.
Opinions may vary, but the fact remains that a person deprieved of the basic necessities and also the basic dignity that a human being deserves shall remain unconcerned. The games shall definitely touch the lives of the high and mighty, but the lives of almost ninety percent of its citizens shall remain untouched. The event, by no stretch of imagination can instill a sense of pride in the common man, as is being widely expected in the elite circle.
After all, for a man sitting on a heap of waste and refuse, the talk of pride in the nation is surely a long shot. Not worth attempting, but shall we ever learn? Never, despite being almost at the bottom of the list of nations, and that is why we are where we are.
This republic day, let us all pledge to attempt excellence and pull the nation out of the abyss it finds itself in rather that rejoicing in the transient extravaganza that the games really are!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Why this universal unhappiness?

The universal unhappiness in India worries me. Almost everyone one comes across in this nation of well over a billion people is unhappy with the system, with the people around him and with his own state of affairs. Is it not symptomatic of a deep rooted malaise?
Rajesh Agarwal today defined organization as the co-ordinated working of organs. How true he is. But it leads me to ponder whether we have any organization in the nation except those in the corporate sector and a few in the public? Unorganized organization is a dichotomy that convinces me of the absence of organized systems in sectors that really matter and and are responsible for propelling the nation forward.
There is definitely something wrong with organizations that reduces brilliant individuals to nincompoops in just a few years. Brilliant individuals who excelled in academics perpetuate the established tradition and culture of honoring time-established (for failures) systems and procedures even though these very systems and procedures are at the root of unhapiness of those very individuals.
Mistaking a symptom for disease has become highly common with the results that almost all bodies (I will not call them organizations) remain perpetually sick. And this sickness is not confined to only the financial aspects, it is primarily related to the human ,index of that body leading to universal unhappiness or discontentment.
Is the situation redeemable?. I am convinced that it is. Belief in the tremendous potential and also the inherent goodness of mankind convinces me that the situation in the country is not yet beyond redemption. The challenge however lies in making the people aware of their untapped reservoir of strength and humanity.

Experts on advising others

My belief that we indians as a society are experts on advising others is getting stronger by the day. Ask any man on the street how the nation can go forward, and he would know. Everyone, each one of us has an opinion on how the nation should be run, how the railways can do better even under extreme climatic conditions or how the airlines should tackle problems during fog, how the crime rate can be reduced, how economic prosperity can be brought about or evn how to improve cities. What we do not know or rather do not appreciate is how we should be doing our own jobs.
We believe and quite often take pride in being busy, even though the deliverance might be zero. And that is the tragedy of our nation. We all believe in cleanliness even though we would like someone else to ensure it while at the same time we can continue to litter and make this country a giant dust bin. Since coming back to the railways, my conviction on this front is getting stronger by the day. I find it rater surprising that so far I could not locate even one establishment or evn one small room in this gigantic establishment that can be called clean and/or orderly by decent standards.
Perhaps the reason for such and many other similar issues lies in our inability to govern this nation properly, a fact that is amply reflected through our ranking on various international indices. I hope for the sake of the nation, that we as a society should mature as early as possible. Amen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Commonwealth at Delhi

The present condition of Delhi makes a common man wonder whether Delhi would indeed be ready for the commonwealth games. Construction sites, debris and filth almost everywhere, the entire city is choked with it. Traffic is moving at a snails pace.
I had earlier written that the entire scenario is similar to that of a wealthy person paying a brief visit to a poor man's house. I still agree with that.
The system has failed us, failed the nation yet I have faith in it. I remain confident that the chaos will beautifully subside before the beginning of the commonwealth games and India shall not be let down.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Random musings

I often wonder why the present sarkari systems in the country lay more emphasis on loyalty to an individual than on loyalty to the organization or the nation. My tenure in MP was unique in that, the government - bureaucracy and politicians alike, appreciated the latter and therefore results flowed out in rapid succession. I wish other sarkari setups also appreciate and also inclucate in employees feeling of loyalty to the nation through the organization they are working for. But the wish is bound to remain a wish, that I am pretty certain of.
Our systems, sarkari ones have a trademark. They are characterized by sloppiness. And that is pretty much evident in the environment they radiate. And then everything else becomes a symptom. It becomes pretty difficult for someone not in love with the organization to differentiate between a disease and its symptom and so one keeps on running around a tree ad-infinitum without reaching or even having a hope of reaching the goal post.
But it keeps everyone busy. Busy like hell and it leads to a false sense of satisfaction, a satisfaction that is as temporary as it is fragile of having delivered. True satisfaction is different, but very few, perhaps the lucky ones like me are able to relish it.
HR is the issue, always talked about and flogged but rarely handled properly. And why not? Human relations and behaviour are the most simple as well as most complicated amongst all issues. Simple because everyone knows how he as an individual would like to be handled by the system as well as others and that the others are also individuals like him. Complex because despite knowing the same, people generally do not apply the same yardstick and measures while handling or dealing with others.
Enough for today.