Sunday, 27 December 2009

Swami Gulagulaananda is now on Twitter

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Unnecessary it is to explain on pearls hither;
Therefore you can follow me on twitter"

You can just add Swami Gulagulaananda to get regular quotes on Twitter
http://twitter.com/gulagulaananda

Sunday, 29 November 2009

My Netbook Review

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"It's prudent for a chatterbox to buy a cellphone with long battery life, than buying an iPhone"

I purchased a netbook recently, and I thought of posting a small review about it just in case some of you were considering buying one. I hope you find this useful. If you want anything particularly, I will write about that as well.

Specifications
Well, the netbook that I bought is an Acer Aspire D250 model. The specifications are 160GB hard disk, 1 GB RAM (extensible to 2) and 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor, 10.1" LED backlit screen with a six cell battery. It has three USB ports, one port to connect your monitor to, one speaker out, one mic in, one ethernet port and one for charging. It has a camera and mic inbuilt. It has Wi-Fi, bluetooth and 3G for connectivity. The battery life is around 7 hours or so (for sure - sometimes more, sometimes a little lesser depending on usage). The speakers are ok, just good enough, and lacking in bass. Since I use a good pair of earphones, I don't miss it. It is very light, and weighs around 1.2 Kgs I think.

I searched a lot for netbook models to choose from, and found that it was very hard to zero in on one. The reason is the large array of netbook models and companies - However, the interesting point is that most models (nearly 90%) have the exact same specifications!! The price of this model was Rs. 15,600 at the Acer Mall, Manipal Centre, Dickenson Road when I bought it. The price will be somewhere around that.

Buy with a purpose
I found that this particular model had gotten many good reviews. I bought it for the sole purpose of portability. I have a powerful desktop to do any intensive things (including playing graphic intensive games) that I want to do, so I don't really expect the netbook to do anything of that kind. The primary purpose of netbook was to do something on the go - And the main features of the netbook that I feel you should go for, are battery life, weight and cost. Looks etc. are important, but not the main criteria. The trackpad is a little small, but is not at all a hinderance that I thought it would be.

Operating Systems
This model came pre installed with Windows XP and Android. If you are like me, then you will pretty soon feel Android to be very fast but useless. The only purpose you can use Android is to quickly boot and check your mail or do something on the net. However, Windows XP boots a few seconds later, so I never used Android. Instead, I installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix [UNR] Edition. Now this is a good idea for all of you. This version is optimised for netbooks and is very fast. You can install it like an application from inside windows, and remove from inside windows like any other application. So, I think you should go for it - Read more about it here. (How to install? Read in subsequent section)

How to install new operating system?
If you want to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix edition, download it first in the ISO format. If you want to install it through Windows, then you can just mount it on your Virtual CD drive (Netbooks don't have a built in CD drive) You can use Daemon tools or PowerISO for this. Then you can just run the wizard, and you are done. If you want to instead run a live version (To try without making any changes to your system) then first download UNetbootin (Download from here) and run the software. Plug in your USB drive, and it will make your USB drive bootable. It doesn't have to be UNR only, any other Linux distro will do. Restart your Netbook, and press F2 in the first screen to enter the BIOS screen. Go to the boot menu, and change the order to Boot from USB HDD first. Save and exit. Make sure to plug in your USB drive to boot from it the next time it starts.

Please Note
It is always better to take a backup of your default factory settings. Acer recommends putting in a USB CD/DVD writer and taking your backup though the Acer eRecovery Management tool which will take backup. If you lose your recovery partition (explained shortly) you can use this to restore your system. Normally, if your system fails, you can always press F10 just when the system starts and restore it to factory settings (you will lose all your data). Remember that the recovery system is on a hidden partition in your hard disk. So, if you format you hard disk, you will lose all your data, including factory setting recovery part. It is better to take a back up of all your data (including the hidden partition using eRecovery management tool) before experimenting too much.

Applications
It came with several applications pre-installed. Many of them are useless or annoying (mostly both). McAfee antivirus with a short expiration date which keeps telling you that again and again. Microsoft Office 2007 with a short expiration date. Many cute games (loads of fun - timepass) which can each be played not more than 60 minutes (30 mins today and 30 tomorrow means game over - forever) after which you have to purchase them. There were some useful software like Adobe reader, Google Desktop, Windows Live products etc. that also come preloaded. I installed some applications and found absolutely no lag in speed.

Launchy is one of the coolest apps you can download for your netbook.

Google Desktop Search is also amazing, however, disable the persistent search bar, and use the Ctrl button twice hotkey instead to get more space and search results quickly.

Use AVG Free Edition and Open Office in case you don't want to invest on software.

Networking
Buying a netbook is not expensive, so buying additional hardware for it is not prudent. I connected my desktop and netbook via the netbook and was able to share the DVD drive of my desktop, along with files etc. It is a very simple process, and just in case you were thinking of buying some extra hardware, see if you can manage through networking. As of now, you cannot use desktop dvd drive for eRecovery management backups. However, you can do other type of burning. Sharing the CD drive gives you the ability to read from netbook. However, if you want to burn, you have to use Alcohol 120% software on your desktop, and Microsoft iSCSI software on your netbook. There is an excellent tutorial here

Misc. points
The netbook didn't heat up much, and was very quiet. However, remember that it has a radiator on the left, and sucks air from the bottom. So, just try to avoid blocking the air holes at the bottom.

You can consider disabling certain toolbars to ensure a greater viewing area. My computer, IE, etc. come with less commonly used toolbars disabled.

Netbooks with Windows 7 starter edition are supposed to be really good. Do try them out.

You can see how a netbook feels like by visiting a showroom such as Staples (opposite Big Bazaar, which is next to The Forum Mall in Koramangala)

Enjoy your netbook :-)

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Sunday, 22 November 2009

Google Wave - Will it just be a big splash?

Swami Nikhilaananda said :
"It is always wise to test the waters before you surf the wave"

Google is supposed to be one of the most innovative companies, a company that has decided to challenge reigning champion Microsoft head on, a company that plans to make the entire world to shrink even more using the internet. The internet definitely holds great promise - But will it truly completely eliminate all fat clients? Not in the next few years I can bet... In fact, I don't think that the internet will replace local software ever (unless something totally radical happens) and this is the reason why I don't think Google Chrome will rout Microsoft Windows... If anyone has a chance of dethroning Microsoft, it has to be either Linux or Apple Mac OSX. But definitely not Chrome.

Google's wave is the newest of their products that have been creating a lot of buzz for quite some time now. It was a product that made a lot of people to sit and wonder when the question "How would the email be if it was invented today" was asked. Emails have come a long way, and that blended with chat is a fantastic way of communicating. And Google definitely deserves credit for merging the two into a browser, and giving us unlimited space first. (Yahoo and Microsoft only followed their lead) However, all was well till then. And then *SPLASH* came wave...

I was longing for a wave invite for a long time. Iwas constantly watching different videos and reading opinions. But I slowly realised that wave is not a lot different from what email or chat is... In a way, I like the existing technology a lot better than this new thing. Don't call me biased, and don't say that I did not give it a try. Wave definitely has several great features. Here are the things that I found which were not to my liking... [Many limitations may be due to its being a preview or maybe they are not yet activated - I may have made some mistakes here and there, do let me know if you find any, so that I can correct myself amd update my knowledge and this post]

Firstly, I was unable to send myself a mail from some other account (Gmail account and Yahoo account). Which means, if I use wave right now, I cannot receive any mails. Only other people who are in wave appear in my contacts. And it also subsequently told me that I cannot communicate with a person who is not on Wave. This may be a temporary issue. But basically, it is one which prevents me from completely migrating to wave. I cannot communicate with a non wave user as of now.

Wave is supposed to be real time. The video posted by Google which shows the creators of wave talking in real time was very interesting. However, this didn't run well on our systems - perhaps the internet connection was slow? I don't know - we actually have significantly fast internet connection for chat and browsing, but apparently not fast enough for wave to show it in real time. I don't know if this is an issue with wave or my internet connection...

Next, a wave is supposed to be like a small mail or an IM. Now, people can reply to waves. They have showed in the video that the advantage of a wave is that edits can be made anywhere in the wave by whoever is in the wave. I didn't like this feature because after some time, we start losing track of who is doing what and where... You may say - go for the time line feature... But I think that would defeat the purpose of real time if I kept scrolling back and forth in time. In conventional chat, all messages were coming at the very end of the chat window which makes it convenient for us to see and keep track at only one point. With wave, things are growing all over the place... Mind you, I am talking about just one wave with minimum two people. Imagine how it will be when you have some four people chatting with you in multiple waves, with content growing in the middle and at the end and all over... You have to keep going up and down, left and right...

The above feature is only useful if we are having a collaborative discussion, which is not very much in real time. Now let us say I write some points, with questions. My friend can come, write answers, and perhaps make some corrections a little later... and then someone else can do something a little later. So, when I come back to this wave a lot later, I will be able to see all the changes made, and now I can use the timeline feature to see how the wave developed.

Another feature I didn't like was that older waves when updated, didn't come to the top. So, you can't expect me to go up and down to see if some really old wave got updated (is this a bug or a feature?)

And wave doesn't work in IE unless I install Chrome Frame :O How can you design something that doesn't work in the most used browser in the world? (Oh Firefox fans, IE still dominates in terms of number of users - I am not saying IE is better, but IE numbers are higher) Somehow, I am sceptical of using Chrome Frame (is this a ploy to get Chrome numbers higher?) and so I tried it out on Firefox.

While conventional IMs go across when I type a message and press Enter, wave insists on typing Shift + Enter... If this is not the IM equivalent and instead is the mail equivalent, someone please enlighten me about it. Ctrl + Enter on the other hand, creates a sub reply...

Wave may become the next big thing after Google fixes their issues. After all, it is still a baby and is just out... But apart from some ordinary annoyances like being able to communicate with wave users only (which is definitely a temporary problem), other issues like being able to make changes all over the place, etc. are all design features which will not go away. These are definitely things which would prove to be deterrants, at least for ordinary users like myself. But with the current set of features (which I saw in Google's video and used some myself) I am not very impressed and feel that wave will take a lot more time to wash away current technology. Right now, it is only a splash...

Friday, 6 November 2009

To each his own

Swami Gulagulaananda challenged

"It's time to have the greatest discussion now for a face-off... I dare all religious 'experts' to come here and put your thoughts across"

The reason I am writing this article is simple - I recently got some scraps on Orkut from a person who calls himself (montse) Jesus Loves You. And they were some really interesting scraps. They are pasted here as is:

(montse) Jesus:

hi i don't know u, but all i have to say is that Jesus loves you, died for ur sins
believe Jesus for eternity

Nik:

Hi, I don't know you - But I want to tell you that Sri Krishna loves you - Read the Bhagavad Gita and free yourself from the cycle of rebirth. Believe in Him.

(montse) Jesus:

but none died for your sins except Jesus, you should receive your salvation only by believing Jesus as your saviour

Nik:

See, that's where you are wrong - You start off with the assumption that one has to die for someone else's sins. Sri Krishna makes it clear that you can repent for your sins and walk to path of Dharma by accepting Sri Krishna in your heart who didn't have to die (couldn't die) as He was God Himself

(montse) Jesus:

unfortunatley you are wrong, but you cannot realise it, cause the truth been hidden to you and Jesus Christ is the truth,way & the life, the truth'll set you free,
bye friend. hope this's my last message,God Bless you.

(montse) Jesus:

remember Jesus loves you forever none could replace it

Nik:

Think about it logically. If Jesus is the truth, why is he hidden from me? If he wanted me to realise it, he should have come forth. The problem with you is that you think that Jesus is the only one. Sri Krishna never said "Worship ONLY me"

Sri Krishna, in the Gita says that you can attain salvation through many paths - though in the end, it all comes to Him. One of the paths is faith, one is righteousness, Dharma and good behaviour, and so on... So, your belief and faith in Jesus will also take you to Sri Krishna in the end - Continue to believe in Jesus, my friend... Sri Krishna loves you.

Clearly the conversation appears like two people who are saying their religions are nicer. However, if you clearly look at it - This person montse started this discussion. He comes to me saying that Jesus is the only way to heaven. This is one thing that ALWAYS puts me off. These people (He is not the first one to tell me this - remember the priest who played chess?) start their arguments and debates by saying "I am right, Jesus is God, and you are wrong" ... Why? Is it that hard for these people to accept that God is one, and we have different means of reaching Him? Apparently it is very hard for them to accept this - in fact, impossible.

And to top this, this guy's friend comes to me and says that I have to read the Bible to realise why this guy is speaking the truth. This is his message to me, and I quote...
Hi Nik
I saw ure scarp in one of my friend's scrap book.
If you're ready for a healthy debate, then scrap back.
To understand Christianity, you have to read the bible. Then you'll know why man was created and what sin is, how sin was atoned for the Israelites through blood shed of cattles. What happened when God came himself in flesh and died for mankind's sins once and for all. The supreme sacrifice which nobody could do or will do. This is the message of love Christians profess.
Why is there no evidence about Krishna. Krishna is a myth created by a person long back. He is nothing but an idol made of stone/metal.
I am an Indian and believe all religions are important for respective individuals. But I wouldn't agree that religions are same. Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.
If you truly seek Him, you will find Him. But look for Him earnestly. Read the bible like how you would read any book and try to understand. God will show you the way.
You will understand the prophecies mentioned in the bible and realize how many of them have been fulfilled. You will know how the world is going to end with the second coming of Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear friend, have you ever wondered why missionaries worldwide are ready even to sacrifice their lives..it is to spread the good news - the message of love to all the world. No other religion has this message.
If God has given you the intelligence then search for the true living God.

Obviously a Christian believer will ask me to believe what he believes - But what puts me off is his insulting the God we believe in., which is ridiculous. Have you ever wondered what will happen if the ONE thing that you have been believing all your life, turns out to be false? That's what happens to people who shut their eyes, and simply follow what is being told to them like blind sheep. The Church said that the earth was flat, and that the sun is revolving around the earth. So I guess we have to believe it now, because the "Church" told me and ask the scientists who send expensive equipment to space to go to hell (clearly they are wasting precious resources since the church has already told us)

All these people who keep asking me to read the Bible have never once read the Bhagavad Gita or the Vedas themselves... Why? The reason is because - Hey, the Bible is right. Why go elsewhere? Why can't they accept the fact that maybe others are already satisfied with what have? To each his own... I believe in Krishna and you believe in Jesus - So make peace with it. Don't go around saying that those who don't believe in Jesus are heretics and will go to hell - That's your belief which you are entitled to have, but don't enforce it on others. These are the kinds of arguments that often trigger violence in India which believes in Secularism. And this concept of secularism is clearly not entering the minds of people who blindly argue without being rational, open or logical. If you look around, you will not see a single Hindu who says "Worship only Krishna" including me. But you will see scores of people (two in this post and one chess-playing priest) who ask others to get converted. Shame on you.

The way in which these people argue with confidence is like they actually have seen or understood. What makes matters worse is that these people are not even scholars and continue to argue like they know it all. They don't know the size and depth of the Vedas - everything from metaphysics to nuclear technology has been mentioned in the various Hindu scriptures. But we don't go around flaunting it. The time has come for Hindus to become more vocal - We will NOT take this kind of crap from anyone who speaks without knowledge. First read all Hindu scriptures and then talk. To talk with ignorance is something all of us can do - I can talk about rocket science or genetic engineering!

If you have any comments to make - do post them here. Let us have a healthy debate. Remember, I am not saying I am better or that you are not. I reiterate "To each his own". I am saying this because a debate should always consider that the other person is correct, and then logically and conclusively prove them to be wrong. Not saying in the beginning - I am right, you are wrong, problem solved. So, only mature people are allowed to participate in this debate

Comments are moderated. Any kind of abusive or insulting statements will be discarded.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Diwali pollution? Hogwash!

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Those who truly want to do service will talk less and do more... And then there are the hypocrites"

Ever wondered where you can use the words hogwash, bunkum, balderdash and fiddle-faddle interchangeably? It is in the response to the statement - "I don't burst crackers during Diwali because of the pollution it results in"

This is a very interesting sentence. It may seem to be very nice to see people actually being concerned about the environment. But what interests me even more than this is the fact that their concern lasts not more than the three days of Diwali. Most people who make these statements are those who drive cars, hardly use public transports, don't carry their own bags and ask for polythene bags, don't reuse polythene bags, throw garbage around and litter all over the place... Basically, do nothing to conform with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle idealogy (what Captain Planet tried to popularise)

I am not saying all of them do all of these... But my point is that the amount of damage that we are doing to the environment for the rest of the year far supercedes (by several hundred times) what we do in these three days. Truly environment conscious people are those who are green throughout the year, who do more than preaching (or listening to what others say blindly) Interestingly, fire crackers are a rage during matches where India wins. Many people don't switch off lights and fans, keep vehicles idle, leave water running... The list goes on and on. Though it may appear to be small for you, just imagine what will happen when this gets multiplied by the number of people in the world!

Then there are others who argue saying that Diwali Crackers are made by children, and therefore amounts to child labour. I am very much in agreement with that sentence. But the point is that these children are those who are working there because they don't have a choice... Because they are poor and cannot do anything else. If you take away the one thing that is getting them some money to feed them, or sustain their family (or rarely, get them to school) So, though it seems unfair, it is a means of income for them (unfortunately)

I am not saying, don't burst crackers, nor am I asking you to burst them. These are just some things that we should think about before we make blatant statements, especially the one about pollution, while we wreak havoc for the rest of the year. I hope everyone enjoys this festival, and hope that the festival brightens up all your lives :-)

Click on the image below to see Artistick's take on it.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Your father looks like you...

Swami Gulagulaananda asked:
"Is it possible for your father to look like you?"

I happened to read an article on today's newspaper that spoke about some film maker who said that he believed that Lord Krishna truly existed and walked the earth, and he was going to make a film based on it. He said that Lord Krishna was born in 3112 BC. BC clearly indicates before christ... The name of his movie is going to be "The Indian Jesus"... Sheesh! How can you make that kind of an error? It is exactly like telling someone that his father looks like him. You can tell him that he looks like his father. Similarly, you can perhaps call Jesus as the Western Krishna, but not the other way around, since Krishna comes earlier than Jesus chronologically... Of course, I feel he chose that name to make it more appealing to the Western community - But this kind of behaviour is something that I strongly denounce. I liked his idea of making a film about Krishna, but the name is something that I strongly dislike. This is not me saying it with a fanatic mindset, but more so in a logical sense [Making it clear before I see stupid comments :P]

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

What ?!?

Swami Nikhilananda said:
"Think in the language in which you speak; a literal translation seldom gives the right meaning"

This is a small incident that happened a year back. I had attended a wedding reception, and I happened to be talking to my friend's father. The conversation was quite interesting, and he was doing most of the talking. We were both standing and talking, and I had my dinner plate in my hand. He had already finished his dinner... So, as we spoke, I found him saying "what?" at the end of each sentence. Like, for example, "The situation is getting really bad these days... What?" And when he asked me this, I thought he was just testing if I was paying attention or not... So, I repeated whatever he said, "The situation is getting really bad these days"

But as we spoke more and more, he went on adding "what" at the end of every other sentence. I didn't understand why he kept feeling I was not paying attention to him, and I kept repeating his sentences... And I was not able to have my dinner properly. Finally my parents asked me to finish up faster as we had to leave shortly. So I excused myself, and finished dinner. The other day, I was talking to the friend, and he also put "what" at the end of his sentences. This surprised me a little, because I knew that this could not be hereditary in any way.

At that moment it struck me - They speak Marathi, and in Marathi, they put the word "kai" which stands for "what" in the end of sentences. Perhaps these guys were doing literal translation from Marathi to English in their minds. So, I was thinking and chuckling to myself what my friend's dad must have been thinking of me for repeating each and every sentence of his :P I thought he was asking me to repeat, while for him, it was merely a way of talking. He must have thought I am an idiot for repeating every sentence... Oh well, I guess the next time he says 'what', I will just smile and nod along, what? :-)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Independence versus freedom

Baba Gyani Triviani said :
"It has been so many years since we got our freedom from the British. But, are we truly independent?"

There is a difference between freedom and independence. And those of you who don't know the difference should quickly check out the dictionary. Freedom is something great - something, which you won't be able to appreciate till you don't have it. Often, freedom is a word that is mistaken for a lot of things. People have used blogs for freedom of speech and expression. You need to understand that freedom of speech and expression doesn't mean that you can go around maligning people, or spreading slander. One must understand this difference. Freedom doesn't mean you wear revealing clothes or behave obscenely. There is a fine line of difference. This doesn't mean that I am orthodox in thoughts or behaviour - most definitely not. I strongly support freedom, in the truest sense of it. Try going to a country like China or Korea. And then come to India or go to the USA. You will realise what freedom is...

However, in India, freedom is a great thing that is because of two reasons - One, you are in a great country with vibrant democracy and freedom to do what you want, because the law permits it. And two, because you can do anything and get away with it, because the law is very very very slow... (You can add a couple more verys to suit you :P) However, like I said before, people do a lot of things that they shouldn't be doing, and then take cover under freedom of something, that protects them - Or so they think. I hope you bloggers know that you cannot post anything that you want on your blog, and then get away with it, citing freedom of expression, or even by posting disclaimers. Thus, I would like to request all of you to avoid misusing freedom, lest it be taken away, and then you realise the value of it.

The next section deals about independence. Independence basically should be saying that you can sustain by yourself, without support from anyone. This is the surest sign of a superpower. In reality, you can say to a certain extent that no country can be fully independent, for resources are not equally distributed and so on. But when I am talking about independence, I am mostly referring to the financial aspect. No country should be able to dictate terms to India, by saying that, if you don't yeild to our views, then we are not going to give you money/arms/oil/things you need... The only way one can truly be independent is if one is in a position where one doesn't need to succumb to any kind of foreign pressure.

India needs this the most. Especially with the impending threat from China, we need to be ready. An aggressive growth is required. Our economy should be self sustaining, and shouldn't be dependent on economies of other countries. We shouldn't be waiting for other countries to be supplying arms, weapons and technology during times of war. It is easy to hold us at ransom at that point. Being indigenous is what is most important. For two reasons, we get to save a lot of money, and secondly, we are self reliant. There is not much difference between India and any other developed countries in terms of intellect. More often that not, I think we are far superior in terms of "Brain Power". However, it is not getting utilised for unknown reasons - Either a major move should be made towards making the system transparent, or those fearing skeletons dropping out of closets should open their eyes and view reality. Today you make some money, agreed, but on the longer run, you and your kin won't even be alive to use it - What is the point?

I therefore urge each of you to learn the importance of freedom and independence (self reliance) and spread the message around. Dependency is the worst crutch that you can carry around. Jai Hind!

PESIT alumni meet

Swami Nikhilaananda said :
"You cannot have a great car and a potholed road, nor can you have an excellent road with a lousy battered old moped. The idea is to have both - and yes, it is possible"

Today is a special day for two reasons - The Indian Independence day, and also the PESIT Alumni meet. PESIT is a brilliant college, but unfortunately, it has a reputation of that of a school - It's not at all as bad as it has been made out to be. I actually got so annoyed at one point of time, with all the comments from my friends from other colleges, that I decided to go around asking people from my college if they really did find it so hard to live in.

Believe it or not, not a single person said that they hated the college, or had any major issues. Everyone had some small complaints, like security guards bothering us... But hey, no system is perfect. I know everyone has atleast one issue with everything. So, we all love our college, and we have had so much fun. I was actually telling one of my friends that among all the colleges and people I know from other colleges, I don't recall anyone saying that they bunked a day, and went to Wonder La :P Well, we did... So there, nyah! For all who think we are nerds, or live in some kind of a concentration camp, beat that (Ok, fine, some of you may have done bigger things, but my point is, we are still in the game :P)

Our alumni meet today was preceeded by a flag hoisting ceremony, and a very nice talk by the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore university. After having breakfast (served by the new canteen at PESIT, for those who know not, food point no longer exists) we all met at the OAT, with the usual discussions about random things, exchanging juicy titbits and gossip scoops, and the all new swine flu, we all walked towards the seminar hall, which was jam packed. We had heard that earlier, alumni meets were hardly attended. But this time was a lot different. We had people from 1996 and 1998 batches as well. That is really something.

So, after the usual descriptions of every departments, there were several prizes given away. This was followed by a speech by Professor D Jawahar. Perhaps one of my favourite orators... You should listen to him speak. He will blow you off your feet. You will begin to realise that an institution will become successful not just because it has a great management, or because you have a bunch of great students. Everything works like that - You should always have the best of both. You cannot have a great car, and a road full of potholes. You can never drive at full speed, and its full potential is never realised. Nor can you have an excellent road laid out, while you ride a lousy battered old moped. Again, what is the point? Similarly, students who are very good, will go up, no matter what kind of infrastructure is given to them. However, the extent up to which they realise their potential is limited. And an institute can never go anywhere if it doesn't have good students. I say this, because all the great infrastructure that they provide, is like pearls before swine.

However, I would like to mention one thing at this point. The structure of our college, is like a corporation. The management is like the management of the company. However, the students are like the clients, who take from the college, as well as workers, who give to the college. Efficiency can truly be achieved, if the middle management can effectively deliver - It is they, who should bridge the gap, providing to the students, what they need... Although the college is spending so many lakhs and crores of rupees, the electronics department was sometimes left wanting, when it came to lab equipment, or components. These are trivial things, but unless they are quickly and efficiently tackled, we won't reach the heights that we should - Inspite of having a great management, and a great set of students.

The management is not foolish, and has provided complaint boxes, which should be used by the students, who hesitate to do so, some times perhaps because of their fear of rubbing their immediate superiors on the wrong side for bypassing them. But then, I am sure students would not want to do it, if their wants were satisfied at their immediate level. This is not about a particular college anymore. The discussion simply can be used anywhere. Generally, the immediate reaction to a mistake being pointed out is to become defensive, and start pointing out the mistakes of the person who has pointed out yours. Isn't it better to correct your mistakes, and once you are perfect (which may never happen) start pointing out others' mistakes if you still want to have a grudge (which should never happen if you are perfect, as holdig grudges is not perfection by definition :P) This is not applicable only if it is a deadlock, where each one cannot progress without the other resolving their issue. A discussion with an open mind is very important under these circumstances.

Yes, there is truth when you say that we must be the change first, and then you can point out others' mistakes as everyone and everything is lacking in something. But it cannot be used as a weapon all the time, for, I can still point out your mistakes, while I am correcting mine. As we are aware of the quote:

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"If I am a chain smoker and you are one, and I ask you to quit smoking saying that smoking causes cancer, you should be verifying if what I said is true or false, and then if true, quit smoking for your own good instead of telling me to mind my business as I smoke myself. The advice is for your own good, and you are the one who will suffer, irrespective of whether I suffer or not. We should be looking into the truth of the matter. "

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Need for a united India

Swami Gulagulaananda preached:
"A bundle of sticks will never break, a single twig shalt quickly snap;
Beware of all these foreign helpers, for this is indeed a vicious trap"

I don't know if a lot of people are aware of this bit of news that I just happened to read in today's Times of India. A Chinese web-site claims that if Beijing exerts a little pressure, then India is already ready for dismemberment. They claim that by forming an alliance with all of India's neighbours, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, China is going to splinter India into 20-30 smaller independent pieces. It also claims that India was never a country at any point in her history, and was merely held together by Hindus (who have been termed as decadent)

Well, whether this is factually true or not, is secondary. Let us have a quick look at the status. There are certain facts that we need to understand. India is a vastly diverse country, having all kinds of people, belonging to all kinds of sections - We have Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and every other religion that you can think of. I am primarily focussing on religion rather than languages and other types for a reason. Most of the fights that occur are because of these. Either the fights occur among religions, or within religions. And let us face it - Every religion has castes within them. So, let us not get into that argument. If you don't believe me, you can look it up. They may not term them as 'castes' but may call them as sects, classes or whatever you wish to call them.

Then there are also several types of freedom organisations within our country - Each fighting for his or her group's cause. We have the ULFA, Naxals, revolting Nagas and several more. Mind you, I am talking about internal organisations, and not the ones that come from across the border. What is the problem with these organisations? The main problem is that they are weakening us from within. They are like termites that are corroding the structure from inside, while a powerful outsider can, with one massive blow, just crack open the entire federation and leave each piece for the hungry wolves.

Among the countries listed above, China is the deadliest of all. The rest of them are merely minions comparatively. Their collective power is nothing compared to India's, if they try to go head on against India. So, what is the better option? Start creating a weakness from within, and then land a blow from outside. Ok, analyse the countries. Nepal and Bhutan are smaller than almost every Indian state. This means that, they can only support China by providing land. Bangladesh is like an explosive in your belly. India is the only neighbour on every side of Bangladesh, and with a large population, they can start pouring into India, and create a lot of trouble later. Pakistan is relatively very formidable, because of their nuclear status. And nothing needs to be told about China.

However, these smaller countries need to understand that China is not going to spare them in case of an invasion. They will simply be devoured by the dragon. Pakistan will get a lot of spoils, most notably Kashmir. Somehow, it reminds me of World War II with China being equivalent to Germany, and Pakistan like Italy, and these other smaller aggressors like their equivalent in Europe. Sadly, the opposition in this case, is only one country. A country, with a great potential, but sadly corroding from within. A country, which can still offer a stiff resistance, as long as China is not coming head on.

But this teaches us a valuable lesson - We should learn to be united in spite of all these differences. The only way we can even stand a chance, is if we don't weaken from the inside and stand like one solid block, without any fragments. As we know, the chain always breaks at the weakest link, and they intend to create numerous weak links, but perhaps providing arms and ammunition and supporting those who want to split India from within. We should purge out the weak links - either by holding a dialogue, or by an aggressive alternative... The objective of this move is very clear and singular: To ensure that no weak link remains on the inside. And another very important thing that we should learn to cultivate is to work with single minded devotion and work very aggressively towards reaching that goal. China has been doing this quite a lot. A lot of people criticise China for being ruthless, not democratic, etc. But if you look at the end result, if China is pervading while India is eating dust, we would rather not have the current thing going on... It is time to drop the facade, and get ready for action - Jai Hind!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Satyadarshni - The irony begins in the name of this crappy shit

Here is a wonderful mail I received from a friend recently... Just read it, and let me know if it is not natural to get angry, frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or just old fashioned "pissed off" when you read crap (excuse me) like what is being spread by lousy, third grade books like Satyadarshini (what an ironic name... Satyadarshini, my arse) and people who carry these around... It's a shame, indeed. Such people should definitely be severely punished for attempting to bring about defamation.

If you want to join an Orkut community to oppose evangelism (religious conversions) please click here, and help to make the community grow - http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Community.aspx?rl=cpn&cmm=45139734

----------------
Fran├žois Gautier
First Published : 06 Oct 2008 02:12:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 06 Oct 2008 07:40:54 AM IST


I WAS born in a Catholic family. My uncle was a priest, a wonderful man of warmth and compassion and I spent most my early years in Catholic boarding schools. When I was young I wanted to become a missionary and to 'convert' pagans in Asia . What I was taught by priests was that Hindus worship false gods and they needed to be brought back to the True Word by Jesus Christ.


Then of course, I came to India and discovered that actually Hindus, far from being the heathens, as had been portrayed in Europe, not only believed God's diversity, the wonderful concept of avatar, but had given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted), the Armenians, or today the Tibetans.


I am also aghast at the one-sided coverage by the Indian media of the Christian- Hindu problem: blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus in Varanasi , Delhi , Mumbai train blasts, Jaipur, etc. Yet, neither Manmohan Singh nor Sonia Gandhi have pronounced once the word 'Islamic terrorism.' But when furious Hindus, tired of being made fun of, of witnessing their brothers and sisters converted by financials traps, of seeing a 84-year-old swami and his Mataji brutally murdered, of reading blasphemy about their Gods, vent their anger against churches, many of them makeshifts, the Indian government goes after the soft target which the Hindus are. The same thing applies to the United States: they never warned Muslim organisations in India about the killing of Hindus, but when dollars are used to buy new converts and it angers the majority community of India,Washington has the arrogance to issue a warning, and Manmohan Singh does not have the pride to tell the US to mind its own business.
Neither the Indian press nor the western correspondents bothered to write about what made Hindus angry in Karnataka: Newlife, one important westernfunded missionary centre ( http://www.newlifevoice.org/), began making conversions in and around Mangalore by accosting poor people in market areas, or in bus stands, befriending them and then taking them to churches to introduce them to the father.


Upon introduction they were paid Rs 2,500 per person and then taken to the Velankanni shrine, in Tamil Nadu, where they would get another Rs. 3,000.
When they finally converted to Christianity by changing the name, they got an incentive of Rs 10,000 onwards.


Newlife would then give them instructions to abandon wearing tilak on forehead, not to visit and offer prayers at the Hindu temples, replacing the photos and idols of Hindu gods and goddesses with a Cross, etc.


But what really angered local Hindus was when Newlife went one step further and published a book in Kannada — Satya Darshini — which was widely distributed by its missionaries. Here below is the translation of some of the most abusive passages: "Urvashi — the daughter of Lord Vishnu — is a prostitute.


Vashistha is the son of this prostitute.


He in turn married his own Mother. Such a degraded person is the Guru of the Hindu God Rama. (page 48).


When Krishna himself is wallowing in darkness of hell, how can he enlighten others? Since Krishna himself is a shady character, there is a need for us to liberate his misled followers (page 50). It was Brahma himself who kidnapped Sita.


"Since Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were themselves victims of lust, it is a sin to consider them as Gods. (page 39).


When the Trinity of Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) are consumed by lust and anger, how can they liberate others? The projection of them as Gods is nothing but a joke. (page 39). God, please liberate the sinful people of India who are worshipping False Gods. (Page 39)." When blasphemy and much worse is brought against the most sacred Hindu Gods, Hindus are supposed to take it meekly as sheep and let themselves be converted to a foreign religion! There are more than 4,000 foreign Christian missionaries involved in conversion activities across different states.


In Tripura, there were no Christians at the time of independence. There are 1,20,000 today, a 90 per cent increase since 1991. The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1,710 Christians in 1961, but 1.2 million today, as well as 780 churches! In Andhra Pradesh, churches are coming up every day in far-flung villages and there was even an attempt to set up one near Tirupati.


Christians throughout the ages have strived on the concept of persecution and as a brought up Catholic, I remember feeling bad about all those martyred saints of Christianity. Christians in India like to say that they are only two per cent and can do no harm. But it is a sham: in the Tamil Nadu coastal belt from Chennai to Kanyakumari, there must be now 10 per cent Christians posttsunami and the same may be true in other parts of south India .
My heart goes out to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa who took a courageous stand against unethical Christian conversions, but is now under pressure from the Centre.
The BJP, having learnt from bitter experience that the Congress has no qualm in invoking President's rule under fallacious pretexts in states which are ruled by non-Congress governments is in a quandary: it must show some action against militant Hindu groups while remaining true to itself.


This is why Yeddyurappa took some action against Hindu groups while saying that his government will not tolerate forcible conversions and will take stringent action against missionaries involved in conversions.


And ultimately, the blame must fall on Hindus: they are 800 million in India , the overwhelming majority; they have the brains, they have the money and they have the power. But either their intellectual and political class sides with the minorities, out of fear, inferiority complex imbedded by the British or just sheer crass political opportunism, or the bigger mass is indifferent inert, selfish, un-civic conscious. Every Hindu is the inheritor of the only surviving spiritual knowledge which at the moment is under a concerted attack by Christian missionaries, Americanisation, Marxism and Islamic fundamentalism

Friday, 10 April 2009

Probabilities in arguments...

Baba Gyani Triviani said:

"Anything can happen - Any event, can occur... The chances may be low, but that does not mean that you totally discount it, or discard it - A calculated discounting is permitted"


What Baba means by the above statement is that, in life, you cannot simply discard anything without even considering it for a moment. I have seen several people who argue with this attitude. Their arguments are never complete. For example, there was a person who once told me that a certain organisation is known to steal credit from people who do the work... Now, this may or may not be true, one never knows, unless they have gone through this personally (for, it's very easy to malign someone). However, when I told this to my friend, he totally opposed it, with expressions which made it appear to me like even thinking it for a moment is a totaly sin. This kind of thinking is not good - For, though we like to walk around with the belief in the line - "Innocent until proven guilty", it would foolish on our part to not even consider it for a moment. Especially when a warning has been given.

There is nothing wrong in listening, and staying alert. We should be able to judge... Now, the organisation mentioned above may be an extremely reputed one, may have a lot of ethical people... However, there may be some 'black sheep' within - You never know. But to totally shun the idea, closing your ears as if the sentences are taboo and 'thou shalt be punished, ye imbecile' attitude is plain stupidity.

I don't know if you have read a book called "I'm OK, you're OK". It's a famous psycho-analysis book... I will tell you a small part from the book. The author says that every person has three types of thinking - Parent, Adult and Child (PAC). Parent type of thinking, is something like - Your parent tells you that telling lies is bad, or always eat your vegetables. When you are young, you are told this, and you simply accept this to be a fact. You don't think about it, you don't analyse it... It's simply taken to be true. The message needn't necessarily come from a parent, but can also come from a parent-like figure, like a teacher... Now, problem with the parent type of thinking, is that this data that is fed in, is accepted to be true. If the data fed itself is wrong, then there is no processing done, and it will be continued to be accepted as true. So, if a thief tells his son : "All policemen are bad", the son will believe it to be true, and hate all policemen. Now, the thief told it for a reason... But it doesn't matter anymore.

The child way of thinking is typically like a child - All these emotional, impulsive actions etc. are from the child... I won't go too deep into it. The third is the adult type of thinking, where everything is taken in and analysed rationally... The veracity of statements is checked, and only then logical decisions are taken. The child behavior exista among adults as well. The adult way of thinking is very essential, as you may have realised. Also, parent data should be analysed for completeness and truthfulness.

I have had several discussions (arguments) with these people, who simply to shut their minds to possibilities. They are totally convinced about some things, and are not open to newer possibilities... As Phoebe (From famous sitcom, Friends) tells Ross [Roughly] - "You had believed that the atom was the smallest particle that existed... And now you see that there are smaller particles. Why can't you bring yourself to believe that there are other possibilities?" But NO !! For these people, when someone told them that something is true, and they at the moment of listening, believe it to be so, their thinking is simply shut off. It is simply accepted to be a fact. This kind of thinking is not Adult type of thinking... It is simply stored as Parent data.

To summarise, when we are told something, analyse if it is true. Think about all possibilities and probabilities... A 360 degree approach is essential for completeness. Don't simply disregard anything to be stupid, or not at all possible - You never know !!

Monday, 6 April 2009

NGOs and Altruism

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"It takes a lot more to change societies than merely forming groups... If no ground work is done, then you are yet another follower of Times Of India - (Just talk and no work)"

Disclaimer: At the very out set of this entry, I would like to make it very clear that I do not intend to (tangentially even) imply any part of this material towards any existing or non existing organisation, person or group of people. People reading this entry should do so in a completely unbiased manner.

I noticed that there a lot of people with good hearts, who want to do something for the people who are not so fortunate as themselves. So, people who say "There is no good left in this kali yuga" have another thing coming. There are a lot of people who are interested in doing something good - They want to channelise their energy and efforts towards the upliftment of the society, in some way or the other.

So, they do things - some of them do it as individuals, and others do it in groups, or by joining or forming organisations of different types. People who do it as individuals are those who feel that they can be in full control of what they do - though what they are doing is in a very small scale, they do it to satisfy themselves, while at the same time, they are their own bosses - which means that they can flex rules and timing at any point... They are not answerable to anyone. Their level of committment is left to them.

While this may seem to be a nice idea, we should understand that anything done in a collaborative manner will yield better results because of effort getting divided, and funds getting multiplied by a number of people. So, there are people who form small groups, don't give themselves any names and do work - They do it for the joy, or with an objective... However, again, though it is better than the first type in a way, it has some limitations - funds being the main one. For a group which wants to have the advantages of the first type (flexibility and being self-boss) and the second type (collaboration), this does not pose a hinderance. It actually is very convenient.

But for those people who want to do something more.... well, "full time", they cannot have half hearted approaches. They have to do something with a zest and goal in mind. I want to eradicate literacy... Or something else. These are the people who join NGOs. NGOs get a lot of funds from various sources. Some NGOs actually do work, and as usual, there are some who apparently siphon off the money. Greenpeace is among the noted ones who actually do work - w.r.t. their campaign against Tatas to save the Olive Ridley turtles...

Now let's take the situation where youngsters - especially students, who have a lot of time to spare, and being young and fresh, have a lot of energy. You talk to them, and they always come out with a grandiose plan - I will definitely achieve blah blah OR become a politician and ensure that there is no corruption OR I will make sure that there is no illiteracy... something like this. Obviously, you, as an individual, on listening to these claims, say that these are too far fetched. They are young, inexperienced, and have a lot of energy. So, how do we channelise this?

To understand this, we should first understand the situation in a very clear and well defined manner. Assuming that there is a group of young students who get together to make a difference. They want to do SOMETHING. So, what should they be doing? They should first of all form an agenda. The objective of the group should be well defined. The easiest thing perhaps for students to be doing is (a) Spread literacy and (b) Donating blood. Of course, you don't have to be a student for the latter, but still, that is one of the best things you can be doing. If there is no proper objective, then there is no clarity of thought. You can't be running around doing everything, because you have to remember that you are not a large corporation, nor are you being backed by one. You don't have that kind of funds.

Another interesting thing that I noticed among students forming NGOs is the fact that they tend to copy larger NGOs by assigning posts - President, Director and so on. I believe that this kind of categorising people into departments at the very outset is merely an attempt to show structure. The major flaw in this system, is that everyone gets assigned to a position of one of the top posts like the ones that I have mentioned earlier, and then we run out of people and posts - which means that there are no volunteers or no people who are actually doing any ground work. This compounded with the fact that there is no proper agenda or objective severely weakens the group. And youngsters are people with high energy who gain and lose interest very rapidly, because most of the people won't have the will to sustain the enthusiasm that they had at the outset. Which means they lose interest soon, and they drop out, which makes it difficult to actually run the organisation when you need to.

The solution is to treat the group as a group, to have one person to lead or delegate, to ensure that there is one grand main objective, and a very large number of smaller short term goals that are easily realisable. This way, there is constant action, and that will slowly snowball towards the grand objective. Trying to mimic a full grown NGO at the outset is not the solution because there are several technical problems, that inexperienced people including the President cannot understand. Remember, clarity of thought is not important ONLY at the beginning, it is required throughout any project for that matter. Diversifying without losing sight of the "Grand Objective" is most essential.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Q&A

Well, Veda tagged me for answering this Q&A set. And she said that I never cease to impress her - That kinda puts a lot of pressure on me, you know? :P Well, anyway, let's get cracking...

Your crazy about
nothing long enough. I like something, then I love it, then I love it more... Then I drop it. (Yikes ! But it's true)

Your first thought when you hear ‘Pink’
Gay people

You are impressed by
Stuff that someone else can do far better than I can...

You are turned off by
Lack of logic, lack of emotion, boot-lickers

Your glad you aren’t
Anyone else!! I rock :-)

You know you're sad when
I am unable to smile for a long time, and have this sad look (imagine puppy-dog-eyes)

Music is
something that gets me in the groove, and gets me out of the "You know you're sad when..." situation

Sex?
Male :P (That was intentional, people)

Do you want to find your better half now?
Yes. If I find my better half, then definitely... Searching is the problem. Someone do that for me please...

Commitment, right now?
Yaaa! If the above question is satisfied, that is ...

Best part about School?
Friends. And all the amazing memories

Best part about college?
Friends. And all the amazing memories. Frankly nothing else differs for us :P

How will you handle this recession?
Let's just stick to "Trade Secret" ;-) (Frankly, no idea)

Career over love?
No. Both are independent, and I think I can strike a balance.

You hate it when
People do stuff that turn me off (refer above)

Your sibling is
N/A !

You know your in trouble when
I have to depend on someone else for something

You know your in love when
I do all the stupid things lovers usually do, without feeling stupid.

You wish you had
Key to uncle Scrooge's money vault :P

Death?
Inevitable, embrace it.

Old age?
Don't want to be there - If I do reach there, want to be healthy

Your favorite stress buster
Hanging out with friends

Thrifty or splurgey?
Balanced - It depends on the situation.

Favorite game?
Chess...

You’d lay down your ego for?
Some special friends

You don’t understand
Women !! [And yet I have them as my best friends]

Common perception about you, which is untrue.
This is interesting - Different people have different perceptions about me... Really weird ones at times

Something that is actually true.
I go to some weird extents out of my way to help people at times...

God?
I believe. Therefore I am ( God :-) )

Parents?
Love them loads... Cannot explain with words.

I tag Ramesh M R to come up with more interesting answers

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Student Goons

Baba Gyani Triviani said

"The purpose of education is not just to disseminate information, but to instill values"

Everyday, we read in the newspapers about rowdy sheeters hacking one another to death due to gang rivalries and personal grudges. At the outset, we just look at this as habitual offenders committing crimes, and don't pay much attention to it as we consider it to be irrelevant to us, the civilised people... However, hooliganism or "goondagiri" seems to be coming closer to people of the civilised society as well. There have been several disturbing cases of college students resorting to hooliganism on campus.

Why do college students develop an inclination towards hooliganism? One of the main reasons, perhaps could be due to Attention Deficit Disorder. They want to be seen as famous "cool" people. Conventionally, cool people are depicted to be moving around in gangs, with people turning their heads around to get a glimpse of them as they walk past stylishly. They want to be seen as icons, and being unable to gain that status, use forcible means such as bullying and instilling fear in the minds of people. Ragging and trying to show off by getting meek juniors to do their work to project themselves as heroes is quite common on college campuses.

Speaking of heroes, several movies are based on lives of rowdies and underworld dons, supposedly portraying reality. However, these movies seem to glorify the protagonists, and somehow end up giving them the image of a role model. These movies should be shown with the moral that, going through this dark path of crime is not going to get us anywhere except hitting the cul de sac, where only death on the streets in the hands of a rival gang member or the long arm of law awaits us. Movies and movie stars inspire a lot of people although the educated population claims that they are capable of thinking on their own. College students copy a lot of things from movie stars, starting from their hair styles, actions, way of talking or walking and so on. It does not take a student too long to mimic an actor playing a rowdy. Therefore, movie makers must be very careful about the message that is being delivered.

Politicians also tend to exploit a situation where they make use of these students in fighting a proxy war for them. Being under the canopy of politics shields these students from police action. This makes them feel they are above law, resulting in a snowball effect. Doing what they want, and getting away with it also encourages more people coming under this influence. Students getting into politics is not bad per se, as this is likely to bring good and young leaders into our polity. However, responsibility should be shown in harnessing the immense power of the youth, by channelling it for constructive purposes only.

When children show an inclination towards bullying others, they should be immediately reprimanded. Many times, small instances ignored will make a child to believe that this is acceptable. This can be extended to adolescents as well. When hooligan tendencies are forgiven, the goons take it as a sign of acceptance. However, the question that arises in the minds of most people would be - How to oppose this? The reason the hooligans are able to throw their weight around is mostly because people are too meek or scared to question them. Most juniors don't mind getting ragged as they believe being prudent avoids getting into unwanted trouble.

Are there any solutions to hooliganism on campuses? Yes. First, political influence should not cloud the judgements of the college management or the police. The colleges should make strict rules regarding discipline and any kind of misbehaviour on the parts of students should be dealt with severely. The police should be very discreet when complaints about rowdies are being filed. This way, the complainant will be able to lodge a complaint without fearing repercussions. Counselling could be a useful tool to understand why students haven chosen this path. Moral education and parental guidance play key roles in development of personality in today's environment of degrading morality. Teachers should not look at students through the glasses of suspicion or sneer, but should inspire a student. In the end, the purpose of education is not just to disseminate information, but to instill values

Friday, 6 February 2009

Pub Culture

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"If I am a chain smoker and you are one, and I ask you to quit smoking saying that smoking causes cancer, you should be verifying if what I said is true or false, and then if true, quit smoking for your own good instead of telling me to mind my business as I smoke myself. The advice is for your own good, and you are the one who will suffer, irrespective of whether I suffer or not. We should be looking into the truth of the matter. "

The recent attacks in pubs by the Sri Rama Sene (SRS) in Mangalore has definitely sparked a series of comments by different people at all levels - from the youth to Minister(s). However I noticed that the types of remarks being made by the people who are complaining is totally confusing in most cases, irrelevant in some and seriously flawed in a majority of the arguments.

Let's just have a look at some of the arguments and try to look at it in a completely unbiased manner. For some time, forget which side you are on. Just look at the entire argument in an objective manner, and ask yourself what you think from your heart. Let's begin.

One of the main reasons people were anti-pub culture is because they said that it promotes drinking or alcoholism. Now, to this, one of the first few statements you get from the people on the other side is - "It's our life, we will lead it our way. We don't need anyone giving us advice on the way we live. India is a democratic country. I will live this way, screw it up if I wish to. I don't interfere in your life and you don't butt into mine." This may sound really 'Oh-so-true' to most of us. However, when we look at the situation in an unbiased manner, we should agree that drinking is indeed in reality a problem. The problems due to drinking are not only direct but also indirect. We shall see them quite soon, but before that, the people who say that it's their life and it's upto them to screw it up or otherwise need to first verify the veracity of the statement - "Drinking is bad and will hurt you". It may be your life and nobody is denying that, but you should also learn to admit that drinking is bad. If you don't agree, then you can look up the internet for the ill effects of alcohol.

Now that we understand and agree that alcohol is bad, immediately step in the social drinkers. Come on now, alcohol poses trouble to habitual drinkers, and those who get sloshed or wasted. We are those who go to pubs for a couple of pegs, that shouldn't hurt anyone including my liver. I don't see the big fuss. Well, I thought that this argument is quite correct. What will a couple of pegs do? Then when I was talking to some of my friends who drink, they told me that alcohol had different effects on each of them. One of them got a high or a kick or whatever you call it - the dizzy feeling from just one glass while upto four or five didn't affect the rest. From this and from another article in Times of India which said that the alcohol absorption in different people is different depending on their body structure, and how fat they were etc. means that the same amount of alcohol does not have the same effect on different people. While some get a high from a small quantity, others may get a high only after substantial drinking. Therefore who decides what quantity is social drinking and what is getting sloshed? If the answer is "US" then forget it - We have seen how responsible we are while following ordinary traffic rules. Let's face it, we don't have the responsibility to be judging how much is enough. Therefore, since we are not able to quantify what amount is too much (due to its non uniformity) we just have to take worst case scenario that alcohol affects the mind independent of quantity. So social drinking doesn't really have much bearing.

Then there are others who said that the police are not doing anything. They also said that the government should be focussing on providing better roads instead of focussing on such issues. There was another argument which said that the policemen or members of SRS themselves might be drunk. These are absurd arguments. First of all, whether there are good or bad roads, it still doesn't absolve the drinkers. Drinking is bad, whether the police do it, or SRS members do it or a celebrity does it. And that is independent of roads or any other developmental work. We should not forget to appreciate the policemen who are the first people to die when a terror attack such as the ones that happened in Mumbai comes up. When they are willing to sacrifice their lives for us, they are doing this also for a good cause - for our cause. The reasons are below.

If you get drunk by yourself, roll over and die due to some liver problems, I don't think anyone would have had any problems or issues with that. The problem arises when you get drunk and then go kill someone. We have seen several cases including famous actors who get drunk and run over people sleeping on the footpath. Let's accept it - It was alcohol that caused the bad judgement. And if you say that these are sporadic stray incidents, then I can only say that you are extremely insensitive. The incident is sporadic as long as it doesn't affect you. When a drunk runs over you or your family member you will understand. Drinking and driving, as one of my friends said, are harmless independently.

However that seldom happens. Pubs are not next to your houses. You have to go there and get back. If the concept of designated drivers was really that wide spread, perhaps drunken driving would have dropped a lot. But that's not true. And in reality things don't work quite like that. Nobody wants to be left out. All want to get sloshed. And then someone completely not related to them will get squished.
Blaming the police is simple. The police put up bans on the "Night life" in Bangalore, saying that you cannot have a pub open beyond 11 pm. That, according to me is a reasonable restriction. It's been put up for our own safety. Drunken driving as such is bad, and late at night, with drunks doing drag races and speeding, things get worse ten times over. The problem is that they just don't stop at killing themselves, but kill innocent people. The other problem with drinking is that they lose control over the mind, and end up molesting women. Unfortunately women wear skimpy clothes in pubs, which arouses the drunks even more. Now women may say - "Hey, it's my life, I will wear skimpy or fully covering clothes, I don't need any advice. My body, I will flaunt it." True, your body. But when a drunk gets physical, and the clothes adding fuel to their lust, they obviously resort to immoral activities. Now perhaps in Utopia skimpy clothes don't attract the wolves. In real life, it does. That's also a fact. And when it gets darker, the number of people on the streets is really low, and you are at a bigger risk than usual. It's nice to give a speech on woman empowerment, but when it all boils down to reality, you are still vulnerable. Ideally you shouldn't. But you are. And you again blame to police for not keeping the city clean. How many policemen are there? Is it really possible to comb every street of huge cities to see if there is a crime? Perhaps only Batman and Superman arrive at the right place at the right time, but it is not possible for police to be there everywhere. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to take care of ourselves. The ban on keeping pubs open beyond 11 pm thus serves as a check on such crimes being committed.

The arguments will immediately pop up - what about molestation cases that happen before 11pm in broad daylight? Nobody denies that. But we have to take statistical and probabilistic approaches. It has been found that such cases, and drunken accidents occur more often than normal cases. Accidents happen when you are sober too. But the chance of your meeting with an accident when you are drunk is more. Therefore we should be looking at the broader picture. It's easy to blame police for curbing drinking beyond a certain time. It's also easy to blame them for not being there to protect you. But I think we need to stop thinking of it from our view points, and look at it from above. A 360 degree approach is more necessary.

Beating up people in pubs may not be the right solution. But simple education doesn't seem to work. There are people who say practice before you preach. Well, if I am a chain smoker and you are one, and I ask you to quit smoking saying that smoking causes cancer, you should be verifying if what I said is true or false, and then if true, quit smoking for your own good instead of telling me to mind my business as I smoke myself. The advice is for your own good, and you are the one who will suffer, irrespective of whether I suffer or not. We should be looking into the truth of the matter.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

MF Hussain's shameless paintings

Swami Gulagulaananda said :
"Shame on those who don't understand that all religions are nought but different paths to the same destination. Evangelists, Separatists, Hypocrites should be hanged"
I received a very interesting mail some time back. It asked me to forward it to as many people as I knew. Well, I thought it would be better to post it up on my blog before I forwarded it to others. So here is how it goes... You be the judge.

If a person dresses like a Sikh Guru, thousands of Sikhs gather and destroy their establishments , threaten to kill him, announce a bounty on his head - Sikhs are not criticised for being communal and intolerant,

If a Danish journalist depicts the Prophet of the Muslims , Muslims all over the world rise in anger, there is violence, a booty on the head of the Journalist - Muslims are not criticised for being communal and intolerant,


If MF Hussain draws paintings depciting Hindu Gods and Goddesses in sexual positions (which relations are not borne out by ancient texts at all ) and Hindus merely protest , they are called communal, intolerant and taught lessons in secularism by one and all.

Christians in India oppose, Davinci-code is banned only in India from release.
Parzania has self imposed ban by the public of Gujarat, Narendra Modi and Babu bajarangi are blamed
The problem apparently is not with Sikhs , Christians and Muslims, it is with Hindus , because we are not violent, we accept what ever is dished out to us , we do not have the guts to say that this is wrong , we seek acceptance from outsiders rather than from our conscience. We worship the same GOds and Godesses but dont stand up for them when the time comes.

Be a judge yourself of Hussain's paintings below.
Goddess Durga in sexual union with Tiger
Prophet's Daughter Fatima fully clothed
Goddess Lakshmi naked on Shree Ganesh's head
M.F. Hussain's Mother fully clothed
Naked Saraswati
Mother Teresa fully clothed
Naked Shri Parvati Hussain's Daughter well clothed
Naked Draupadi. Well cloth! ed Muslim Lady.
Naked Lord Hanuman and Goddess Sita sitting on thigh of Ravana Muslim poets Faiz, Galib are shown well-! clothed

Full Clad Muslim King and naked Hindu Brahmin. The above painting clearly indicates Hussain's tendency to paint any Hindu as naked and thus his hatred..
Naked Bharatmata - Hussain has shown naked woman with names of states written on different parts of her body. He has used Ashok Chakra, Tri-colour in the painting. By doing this he has violated law & hurt National Pride of Indians. Both these things should be of grave concern to every Indian irrespective of his religion.
!

Out of the four leaders M. Gandhi is decapitated and Hitler is naked. Hussain hates Hitler and has said in an interview 8 years ago that he has depicted Hitler naked to humiliate him and as he deserves it ! How come Hitler's nudity cause humiliation when in Hussain's own statement nudity in art depicts purity and is in fact an honour ! This shows Hussain's perversion and hypocrisy.

Don't feel shy to circulate. At
Lst people should know "HOW COWARD WE HINDUS ARE"
WE DON'T HAVE COURAGE TO PROTECT OUR SELF RESPECT.