Saturday, April 07, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
All because Supreme Court has stayed the case against bill for Reservation for OBC. The court has stayed the case asking for the validity of the data used, which was based on the Census of 1931. And the judgment is not yet out, it is pretty far off in time. However, with reservation being a "sure fire" ammunition for elections, all the parties are vying with each other to get their own share of the pie - the claim to be the beacons of "social justice and equity". After all, caste politics pays rich dividends.
Is the bandh right in any way? Would getting thousands of train passengers stranded outside the borders of TN achieve social justice? Indians take pride in resorting to bandh/dharnas/fast etc, all in the name of practising the "Gandhigiri". What Gandhi did through his bandhs had a reason: by stalling economic activity, which is essentially detrimental to the interests of the British, he tried to attract attention. It was essentially a weak minority (in terms of power) trying to make its powerful "masters" hear its voice. But, now, what does the ruling party wants to achieve by calling for a bandh, discomforting so many of its own people? Why stall all the activity when it has so much power to do a lot for education of the unfortunate lot, which it never seems to really care to think about? Whose attention does it want to attract? Is it like a third standard school teacher who terrifies her class into silence just to "show off" to the Principal? Probably, with every party going for the kill, the "telecom operator" wanted to differentiate his party from the rest by being "louder and clearer". After all, action speaks a lot louder than words.
The apparent reason for this is to call the people of the state to "unanimously voice their support for social justice". All for 27% reservation in higher-education for the OBC and other unfortunate sections of the society. But not many seems to care about providing primary education to them.
Sensationalism is the mantra: be it selling a "cheap" newspaper or weekly, by throwing in a lof freebies that are got through arm-twisting, or capturing the state, through shameless promises of "free" TVs. Probably the highlights (esp the promised TVs) of the manifesto for the last election were "inspired" by the success of "puthusu kanna puthusu". Kottainaalum kumkumamnaalum gameplan onnu thaan.
The government spent crores of tax payer's money on distributing "free" TVs (romba theva naattukku!!! how else can you increase scv cable revenues? and more than anything, what better way to keep the stupidity quotient of tamilians on the high levels than the idiot box itself?). Why can't it spent a portion of that money on providing primary education to the unfortunate sections? That already a lot of the money spent on education goes to the "loyal" party people is another issue anyway. Recently, government shcools in TN were provided with scrap in the name of desks and benches, from the furniture godowns of close aides of the "commander".
What these unfortunate sections need is not just "muttai" and "sathunavu". The opportunity cost of sending a child to school is pretty high i.e. the loss to the family by sending one of its child to school and not to a mechanic shop or a hotel is high. Going/not going to work can mean whether they do/don't get to eat today while education bears economic fruits a lot later. Unless, this opportunity cost is paid, bringing those unfortunate kids to school is almost impossible. Probably something like school vouchers can be a solution like Milton Friedman said. While school vouchers are essentially like prepaid cards to buy education for your kids, what we need here is essentially payment to study - come to school, get paid. Though it sounds like scholarships, the essential difference is that the payment to the student is over and above the education expenses, which is again met by the government. Again, administering school vouchers wouldn't be easy, given how "safe" stocks in our ration shops are. But, is there any other way to bring those unfortunate kids to take up the "reserved" seats? All that we would end up doing with this reservation is to make the kids of the so-called creamy layer in the OBC even lazier.
The problem is how to increase the pie rather than just fighting mindlessly over the existing insufficient one.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Is love real?
The author of this blog is too intelligent to fall for a positive answer. Yeah, many of you might read 'intelligence' as the manifestation of the 'sour grapes syndrome'. But, believe me, that is not the case here.
Love is just a thought. If you think you are in love, you are. They say love is a beautiful feeling that just happens. Really?
First, feeling or emotion is a just a manifestation of a mishmash of innumerous thoughts, most of which we never know existed. Anything other than the involuntary physiological activities has to have an origin in the brain. Plain and simple. But if it is all about thoughts, how does one have that beautiful feeling of “butterflies in the stomach” on seeing the loved one(s)? Hormones. Just like a surge of adrenaline readies you to fight or flee in the face of danger.
Second, the notion of chance i.e. “it just happens” is the biggest farce. Well, probably it might be true in the case of irreparable idiocy or an abnormally strong memory, which holds dusty archives of “pona jenmathu” experiences. Probably they forgot to add a few words i.e. “it just happens for a reason (or rather multiple reasons, many forgotten)”.
There is a very commonly used, yet seldom understood animal called “unconditional love”. BS. You say the love a mom has for her daughter is unconditional? Think again. It is “unconditional” as far as the daughter behaves. As long as she meets her mom’s expectations. Let her marry a guy against the mom’s wishes and then you will see how “unconditional” the love was. The existence of love is contingent upon the extent to which the expectations are met. Love is about managing expectations. Unmet expectations lead to undesirable consequences, which leads to pain. Yeah, something like what the Buddha said about the root cause of human suffering.
I say, love isn’t, lust is. Love is just an excuse to do or not to do something. It is a concept of convenience that has to be economically viable, emotionally satiable and politically stable. That is asking for too much, huh? Like the Impossible Trinity or economic trilemma? How about friendship? Is it not unconditional? I think most of you are not stupid enough to ask this question in the first place. Anyway, for the others, the answer is no.
So what if love is predicated upon meeting expectations? Is it not that stuff that makes life worth living? I have my own doubts. That said, I have been and will be stupid enough throughout my life to fall in love. And intelligent enough to come out of it, when I had to, with lesser scars. ;)
I am reminded of the lines from my fav comic book hero, Lucky Luke.
"I''m a poor lonesome cowboy, and a long way from home..."
Actually, what made me write this is the irresponsiveness of a few of my online/offline friends. He/she might have had his/her own reasons to not to respond to me. But the pain is real. A "F*ck off. Don’t ever talk to me again" is much better than a refusal and slow withdrawal. At least, it helps me reset my thought engine immediately and go on.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Whom do you think uses his (saripaa samathuvavaathigala, his/her) brain more? The one who keeps his eyes glued to the monitor and his fingers to the keyboard, burning his ‘seat’ off? The one who sees to that the coffee machines keep working harder than himself? The one who goes home once in a while just to make sure that his family doesn’t forget him, and he, his family and address? Or is it the lively one who rarely warms his seat and keeps spreading light of his love and wisdom across cabins, irrespective of the high walls in between?
Did you say – the one who warms his seat the most uses the brain the most? Well, if you say, hotter the seat is, better the brain, you are terribly wrong. May be, he uses his bum more than he uses his brain. Just doing what you are told is not as hard as it seems. You know what you got to do and how to do what you got to do. But, just think about the minority that is left to create work for itself. Imagine how hard the brains of those elite few have to work to keep them occupied. Now, you will realize whose brain works harder.
Okay, a little christening exercise now. In desi Dilbertesque ishtyle, we’ll call the hard-workers, seat-warmers, and the other intelligent minority, heart-warmers. I think I don’t have to discuss about seat-warmers, as I am sure most of you would be one of them and know much more about them than me. So, now that you realize that your bum is burning, before you rush off to cool it down, read through the rest of the post to know what it takes to be a heart -warmer.
You might have heard such comments on heart-warmers more often than not. “The company pays you to keep you from working. Your pay is to insure against the disaster – your work.” – trying to imply “You are good for nothing and your work sucks”, but essentially thinking “You must be too smart to be like this”. This is just a collective whine from the dumb masses which make up the seat-warming community.
But, the truth is management values the heart-warmers more than the other species. Not everybody can be made a heart-warmer. You need exceptional creativity to be one. Kudutha velaiya seirathu kashtam illa, kudukkatha velaya seirathu thaan kashtam. Plain and simple.
So the next time, you ask heart-warmers “Enna innikkum vettiyaa?”, just realize how DUMB you are to be a seat-warmer and more than anything, the management very well knows that.
Remember the old advert for polio eradication featuring Rajnikanth that used to be aired in the mid-80s, especially during the Sunday night movies?
“Maan maathiri thullittu pora intha kulanthaiya paarunga. Intha kuzhanthaiyaiyum paarunga. Intha nelama unga kulanthaiku varaama irukka polio drops podunga”
Need I say more on this?
Your seat/heart warming capacity is heavily dependent on what your parents told you about work and how naïve you were to believe all of that.
Work is worship? Then what is God? Idleness. Of course, you all very well know that God created the world in six days and on the seventh day, He rested. Do you get it?
Be Idle, Be God.