Sunday, November 22, 2015

HNB Garhwal University Semester Exams to take place under CCTV

Written by ABisht
The HNB Garhwal University has issued guidelines to affiliated Colleges to conduct their semester exams under strict CCTV surveillance.

The upcoming December Semester exams of the Garhwal university will take place under CCTVs.

The Vice-Chancellor Dr. A. K. Jha wants the surveillance in order to ensure transparent examinations.

One of the biggest colleges affiliated to HNB Garhwal University, the DAV PG College Dehradun, has assured the University that the upcoming December 2015 Semester examinations will take place under CCTV cameras surveillance.

Good for those students who want to give an exam in all its seriousness

The move may received mixed reactions; but the step is good for those students who want to give an exam in all its seriousness.

Earlier, when the examination itself is less transparent diligent students got indirectly penalized unnecessarily.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Parochial is good, Communal is not... and Bihar chose the Former!

Written by ABisht
In a TV debate, post Bihar Assembly elections verdict; Vinod Sharma, the Political Editor of Hindustan Times, made a very good observation. He said, in the Bihar Polls, he, for the first time saw the rise of parochialism.

What does parochialism mean?

A limited or narrow outlook, especially focused on a local area; narrow-mindedness. In a democratic election, one can see it as voting on the ground of localism, provincialism, regionalism etc.

In a choice between parochial and communal, Bihar chose parochial... and as a consequence BJP led alliance saw itself reduced to 58 seats... with BJP getting just 53.

The defeat can't become palatable even by bringing vote share to the picture. With the vote share of nearly 46 per cent, Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance emerged winner against NDA's nearly 34 per cent. That when BJP on its own contested 157 seats.

Thus, irrespective of BJP led alliance's attempts to bring communal dimension to the polls; development, promises to all; the end result of Bihar Polls was : Caste brought upon by Lalu Prasad; and localism or regionalism  brought upon by Nitish Kumar's development, eventually won.

When it comes to a democratic election Parochial is always a much better option than Communal

That too when the country is as diverse as India.

Why I think so?

As, the very basis of democracy is the bargaining power.

The bargaining power which comes with vote. Not just vote, but the vote of people as a group.

BJP's very premise of carving out a behemoth vote bank of all Hindus, is a flawed model.

Why? As one can't see all Hindus as having the same wants. That apart, if all Hindus have the same wants then any Government which comes to power by gaining the support of all Hindus, will not be able to fulfill the promises made at the time of elections. Because resources are always scarce. Even when a political party manages to gain votes of half the Hindus, and the party gets landslide victory; even then it faces a big challenge to fulfill the wishes of such a large group (36 percent).

In contrast, when the 37 percent is contributed by a couple of vote banks; then the task of performing after the elections becomes manageable. Simply because, the Government can fulfill small but key demands of these vote banks.

Why BJP is finding it difficult to run the Union Government today? Because the 31 percent votes which allowed it to win 283 seats last year; was one uniform vote bank. The basic problem with such vote bank is different aspirations, which were somehow suppressed by some Utopian concept of Hindu Rashtra, at the time of voting. But when the real time of delivery comes, then this vote chunk, starts dividing into its parochial aspirations and wants.

The situation is much manageable for a political party which manages to get 37 percent votes by aggregating votes from a number of vote banks.

Caste is wrongly criticized

The concept of caste, although much criticized in India today, is a better classification than religion. The primary reason for this is: Caste is a much smaller classification compared to a religion. A caste, which is a sub-set of religion, is a more homogeneous grouping in terms of its wants and aspirations.

In short, up to to a certain point, the smaller the classification, the better is the bargaining power for the voter.

In short, up to a certain point, a smaller classification is good for a political party as well.

Caste and regionalism are often over-lapping with each other. As castes are predominantly of regional origin, or a certain caste is localized in a certain region.

This explains, why in the latest Bihar polls, Lalu Prasad managed to win 80 seats by leveraging Yadav and Muslim votes; while Nitish Kumar's JDU, managed to get only 71, even when Nitish had done real development during his tenure.

It's important to understand why minority appeasement is not the same as communal.

The share of Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains etc. in India is so small (not more than 30 percent of the entire population) that rather than communal, their grouping acts as parochial. This becomes even more true, when one takes into account the 14 percent of Muslims are spread across India.

All the elections which took place in Uttarakhand, since its inception; showed a distinct tilt towards parochialism, where people voted and changed Governments based on their regional, caste and localized wants and their non-delivery. It's a sign of political wisdom. It's much better than one single behemoth identity of being a Hindu.

It's time for BJP to re-look at its election strategy. As even after consolidating Hindus on communal lines, it will not be possible for it to deliver, when it comes to power.


You may be wondering why I chose this article for an Uttarakhand website.

The reason is my observation. I have seen that rather than maintaining our regional or caste based or ethnic identities; we have started becoming a small part of big Hindu religion. We have stopped practicing our traditions and; are more and more trying to be part of the behemoth Hindu culture. We must not do that, as that way we as voters will lose all our bargaining power to get our wants and aspirations fulfilled.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Uttarakhand Saras 2015 is Welcome Initiative : But The Objective is Not Clear!

Written by ABisht
Day before yesterday, I happened to visit the ongoing Uttarakhand Saras 2015 Trade Fair taking place at Parade Ground Dehradun.

The trade fair is a welcome distraction, and as expected is seeing good footfalls and purchases.

People, Cooperative Societies and businesses from all over Uttarakhand and India have set up their kiosks, selling and marketing a range of products from -- Organic vegetables, pulses, fruits, to perfumes, handicrafts, garments, to processed foods.

As said, it's a welcome initiative as people have brought very non-transport friendly products to the Uttrakhand Saras. Take for instance, organic fruits and vegetables from Nainital. I'm calling them non-transport friendly as a single turnip may sometimes weigh 600 grams or more.

But as said, the Uttarakhand Saras 2015 doesn't seem to have a clear objective!

The confusion regarding objective seems to exist for the audience and the kiosk owners.

I over heard people bargaining for products.

I also over heard ladies telling themselves and their companions, they will buy the product on display the next time such a trade fair comes to town. In short, they are seeing Uttarakhand Saras 2015 as a mere opportunity to buy stuff.

I think the objective of such initiatives must be clear.

So that the kiosk owners with limited resources and marketing power can benefit.

For instance, it's not logical to put someone selling organic pulses from Rudraprayag or Tehri Garhwal to unwanted bargaining of the crowd. In the same way, it's not logical to put someone selling organic vegetables brought from Nainital or Almora to put to such discomfort. As that defeats the very purpose of such fairs.

The idea must be to increase the earning of such small producers and manufacturers (in case of food processors, traditional garment makers).

This can be attained by helping such people to only showcase the products. That's not make the kiosks the selling counters. Ideally a small producer and manufacturer can demand profitable prices for his/her goods when retailers contact them. In case the kiosk owners want to sell their products to crowd, then they must charge retail prices.

That apart, the Kiosk owners, especially from our hills, need some training.

They should not come to such fairs unless they are organised in some form of cooperative; or have substantial market of their own.

They must also focus on quality. A wayward stitch in a coat or a missed loop in a knitted cap, will not help them grow, beyond these trade fairs.

To end, it's glad to see Uttarakhand people processing their grains to make namkeens, biscuits and tea-time snacks.

It's heart warming to see squashes made out of traditional Uttarakhand fruits.

When it comes to marketing and quality, the kiosk owners from other states are offering better products.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Calling Shekhar Pathak names for Returning Padma Award is ... Absurd!

Written by ABisht
This morning Academic and journalist , Rajiv Lochan Sah, shared a Facebook update as to how he felt lifted after knowing that Professor Shekhar Pathak has returned his Padma award at Nainital Film Festival.

The reason for returning the Padma Shree bestowed by Indian Government, is in protest of rising intolerance in the country.

Within seconds, a section of people online started calling Professor Shekhar Pathak as Fake Litterateur (in Hindi "Farji Sahityakar") and the act politically motivated.

This is the height of intolerance, when the moment one disagrees with someone, such strong words are started being used. That too, when what Professor Pathak has done is return a Padma Sree award! An award which he could have silently retained in his drawing room showcase, if he had wished to do so.

Disagreement can Exist... 

We may agree or disagree with someone.

We may like or dislike Chetan Bhagat's stance on the issue of Government Award Returns.

We may have different stands on issues, but the moment we start abusing someone simply because, we see his/her act and utterances as politically motivated, and arising from nothing but politics, then it is the height of intolerance. And this must not happen in a democracy.

Some among you will have your arguments regarding democracy; and would be more inclined towards India becoming a Hindu State (the country's official religion is Hindu). Just to dissuade such thinking, I want to ask you a simple question: Try recalling (remembering) the person who you can't stand, simply because you feel, he/she has done some wrong things in your life and is continually doing such wrong things! Unnecessarily making your life a Uneasy!

I'm sure, the person who would come to your brain would not not be someone who's a Christian or Muslim or a Sikh; but someone who's within your family, extended family, friend circle, neighbor etc.

I'm also sure, not only he/she will be from your own religion, but also from your own region and even from your own caste.

This happens with all of us. Unless someone belongs to a minority.

Since most people from majority, never get a chance to live among -- Muslims, Christians, Sikhs -- it will be hard to find a person from other religion, causing us a real pain in the neck (means a "real cause of trouble and hardships in Life").

On a lighter note, I explain the phenomenon as : Earning money on Internet or from blogging. Those who claim that one can make real money online; and that too with least effort; often quote some friend's brother's wife's friend earning big money on Web. It's like, narrating an incident where some encountered Ghost.

If, Religious States are Happy and prosperous, then Pakistan would have been a Heaven!

A Better approach

A better way to react to such award returns is to see Shekhar Pathak's Padma Shree Return as his personal choice. If we agree with his reasons, then we can support him. But calling a person a fake, is not good. That too when he has devoted his life to books. The test of every such Litterateur who returned his/her award is that he/she must not accept it again. If the pen is mightier then the sword, then a person should abide by his word.

Before calling any poet, writer, scientist, academic or some Joe (means a common man) a fake; or someone who's pushing fiction as fact; is to ask Self one Question: Do my personal Experience conform to what I'm being told?

This works all the time.

Shailesh Matiyani...

Recently I got the opportunity to visit Herbertpur, Dehradun. There I saw a Government Inter College having a wall dedicated to Shailesh Matiyani.

It was a welcome sight; as though I had heard about Shailesh Matiyani's book "From Boriville to Bori Bandar"; I have not read the book. I only know Boriville and Boridandar are two Local Railway Stations in Mumbai, where Local Trains in Mumbai Ply. May be Mr. Matiyani had lived there, at some point in his life.

Thus, I don't know what political bent Shailesh Matiyani had, but I do know one thing, he read and wrote books. Frankly speaking, if I happen to read his book someday, then I'll simply look for facts and fiction based on my simplistic brain.

But irrespective of what opinion I make about Shailesh Matiyani's Academy, I will not go into frenzied mode. As I know beef is served to rich buyers in Five Star hotels in India; and both Muslims and non-muslims consume it.

I'm content with wearing a leather shoe on my feet and placing a leather purse in my trouser pocket. I'm content with consuming buffalo milk as well. But I'm happy to see a big section of Indians having the same contentment as I have...

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

When Brotherhood Bikers took Mussoorie-Dehradun road to "Save the Girl Child"

Written by ABisht
There are very few things on which I can commend PM Narendra Modi. That too without ifs and buts. One such thing is his Call to the Nation to 'Save the Girl Child' or and 'Beti Bachao,Beti Padhao'.

The primary reason for I agreeing with Mr. Modi on the awareness required among the people about the need to 'Save the Girl Child' is simple : Only the people can save the Girl Child going to take birth in their families.

That's irrespective of how stringent the Laws against Female Foeticide (killing a gild child in mother's Womb) become; if the mother, father and father's mother, father's father etc. (in the same order) have an UNLOVING attitude or hate towards the Girl Child in their family, no one else can "Save the Girl Child". No matter how stringent the law becomes.

Hence, unless parents of an unborn child become loving to their child, irrespective of the baby's gender, an unborn Girl can't be saved.

To cut things shorts, banning ultra sound or any other technology, wont's help save the Girl Child, as these are like some technology to blast rocks. It's up to the user and the customer where it's put to use. The Dynamite can be used to break mountains to make roads. The same powder can be used in a land mine to kill humans.

I have written extensively on female foeticide, and I have firm belief that three kinds of people NEVER have bias towards gender of an unborn child.

These people are :

1) People who are Confident and Liberal in their thoughts.
2) People who've accomplished something satisfactory in Life.
3) People who while growing up never saw gender bias in their family.

They are also the ones who love their child unconditionally, without any bias towards the baby's gender.

I'm restricting this point to Hindus only; as other religions preach their followers NOT TO kill a child in the Womb. Hinduism remains silent on this topic; or glorifies the sons.

Hinduism calls Daughters Lakshmi (Material or non-material Wealth); but it never finds the courage to tell followers : The more Lakshmi the Better...

Riding for a Cause

This past weekend, a pack of 150 motorcyclists plied on the Uttarakhand's Mussoorie-Dehradun road, to raise awareness about the need to save the Girl Child. The pack saw both men and women, either as drivers or pillion riders.

Calling themselves Brotherhood Bikers, the pack , rode down the scenic hill road along Kempty Falls stopping at 6 villages spreading messages of gender awareness.

The bikers campaigned for government programmes like Save the Girl Child and 'Beti Bachao,Bbeti Padhao'. The bikers were brought together by Dehradun-based non-governmental organisation Saheli which works for women empowerment in the city and surrounding areas.

... Very Good. The beginning of the women empowerment starts at welcoming every Girl Child in the family. 

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