Sunday, March 17, 2019

Books of Mind

Close to five years I did not post anything this blog due to a community experiment with corporates!!

"But even those big buildings have their limits. Books have an infinite capacity for changing the way we think and the way we live, but they are also finite objects with dimensions. You can end up with too many books and then you want to give them away. You’re done with Ayn Rand? But then so are 10,000 other people of your generation, and they have all been giving their copies of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged to the same libraries you’re thinking of. And so most libraries can give you no guarantee that the books you give them will end up on their shelves. After all, they have to invest a certain amount of time in accessioning a book, entering it into the catalogue, classifying it and putting it on the shelves. If it is not read, it will have cost them that much money in time of human labour." More is here.

"A milk delivery boy turned language tutor who teaches students how to speak in English — and, because this is the first time that they are actually encouraged to speak in class, how to think." More here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The unheeded lesson from BR Shenoy

The IIM-Bangalore Professor Vivek Moorthy has written wonderful piece on Professor B R Shenoy in today's FE. Its must read article all. He starts his piece with the below lines:

  • "In the aftermath of finance minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden Budget, our policymakers would do well to read and reflect upon the writings and policy recommendations of BR Shenoy (1905-1978). Most readers of this newspaper—or other papers, for that matter—are not likely to have heard of his name. Indeed, the same would apply to economics students and even to many economists in India."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Good read

No labour pain? Rajasthan clears business blockades to encourage industrial activity, generate jobs

"Yesterday, a office driver told me that there i high level of inflation in India because there is too much loan handouts in the society. When I asked what you mean by too much loan, he said almost for anything there is some or other ways to get loans for upper middle class and middle class community both in urban and rural areas and that is creating higher inflation. Too many people chasing too few goods."

Rajaji said to the governors: “You should not imagine that you are just figureheads and can do nothing… Our prime minister and deputy prime minister do not hold that view. They want you to develop your influence for good and they expect you to find means for achieving it without friction and without prejudice to the march of democracy.”

Swatantra Party and Thiruvalluvar's birthday

Thanks to Seetha for her wonderful article on the case for "The Swatantra Party’s relevance today comes through in Rajaji’s inaugural address to the party, where he warned of the dangers of the state becoming a Leviathan, “menacingly poised against the citizen, interfering with his life at all points...hypnotising the people with slogans that are mistaken for thought and wisdom, a scheme of government in which it is taken for granted that the citizen is ignorant of what is his own interest”. 

Thanks to the great imprinting voice by Shri.Tarun Vijay, who spoke in the upper of the Indian Parliament about the need for learning of southern and other regions languages by northern Indians. The following are from his speech in the parliament on 31st July, 2014:

"The glorious history of all Indian languages is unique and supremely great. We must work to develop feelings of appreciation and respect for each other.

In this regard it is necessary that people from North India be encouraged to learn any one Southern language through a free choice option.

For example the incomparable golden heritage that we have in the form of Tamil should make every Indian proud.

Tolkappiam, ,app 5000 years old. And on a broad spectrum Silappadigaram, Chintamani, Manimekalai, Valayapathi and Gundalakesi are great classics of Tamil literature.

The onus of the greatest classic in Tamizh literature undoubtedly goes to Kambar's Ramayana, the epic poem

One of the greatest works in Tamizh, which is widely preached even to this day, is Tiruvalluvar's Tirukkural .

Its imprints are found in various parts of the globe. How many of us know about the global influence and public services of great emperors likeCheraChola, and Pandya kings ? Only Ashoka and Vikramaditya are not India, unless we have an all encompassing respect for Cholas, Krishnadev Rayas and Pandyas also. Similarly we have great history of Bangla, Malayalam, Telugu and other languages.

I demand observing Thiruvalluvar's birthday as Glorious Indian Languages Day in all parts of the country symbolising respect for all Indian languages and introducing Tamil also in North Indian schools as an optional subject for strengthening national unity. Mr Tarun Vijay ended his special mention with Palamaiyana Tamil Mozhiyar Vananguhiren."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Odd reading

At times in the dynamic world of human interaction it is good to follow a odd reading habit. I say odd with blinking  muse of three different worlds, yes three worlds within us-the society, the economy, and the politics.

I also find more useful and also peaceful to simply read things at lea-nth rather to co-opt to write and argue the same stuffs with different slang in languages.

Here are the recent odd reading:

Most of my last decade was spent working with nuts in govts.....At no point I can bear with good B.............ts as saying there are exceptions.

... there are too many people and too much paper money around.

Politics over new head of ICHR- I tend to agree more with S.Dasgupta than R.Guha.

From Guha's piece: "Contrary to what is sometimes claimed in the press, there are many fine historians in India. From my own generation of scholars, I can strongly recommend — to student and lay reader alike — the work of Upinder Singh on ancient India, of Nayanjot Lahiri on the history of archaeology, of Vijaya Ramaswamy on the bhakti movement, of Sanjay Subrahmanyam on the early history of European expansion, of Chetan Singh on the decline of the Mughal State, of Sumit Guha on the social history of Western India, of Seema Alavi on the social history of medicine, of Niraja Gopal Jayal on the history of citizenship, of Tirthankar Roy on the economic consequences of colonialism, of Mahesh Rangarajan on the history of forests and wildlife, and of A.R. Venkatachalapathy on South Indian cultural history."

From Dasgupta's piece: "as repeated controversies have indicated, history is too serious a business to be left to the “eminent historians”. For the past few decades, India’s awareness of its own past has shrunk on account of the growing insularity of its historians. Judging by the dense and jargon-infested prose, India’s historians are no longer communicating with the wider world but engaging in closed-door conversations. This has to change." 

Rajaji said to the governors: “You should not imagine that you are just figureheads and can do nothing… Our prime minister and deputy prime minister do not hold that view. They want you to develop your influence for good and they expect you to find means for achieving it without friction and without prejudice to the march of democracy.”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Some good reading

How a corrupt Judge continued in the Madras High Court-"Katju’s story, three CJIs were complicit in continuing, confirming and promoting an allegedly corrupt judge"

NGO mania in India"Between 1993 and 2012, the number of registered associations (NGOs) rose from 15,039 to over 41,844, but through all these years only 54 per cent to 64 per cent filed details of foreign remittances received. In 2011-12, 16,756 had not filed returns. Those that did had receipts climbing from Rs 1,865 crore to Rs 11,548 crore. The principal donors in 2011-12 were from the United States of America, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. "

About 53% of AIIMS graduates actually leave the country, most permanently, and you cannot really point a finger at them

Sunday, July 20, 2014

NDA's First Budget 2014

First Thought: Given the conditions of prevailing Indian political economy, the Union Budget for 2014-2015 is a good start for many new thinking of the new government. In many ways, the government has clarified the official focuses and intentions in many sectors particularly in small entrepreneurs development, infrastructure development, energy sector, and so on. The income tax and other tax saving exemptions are very important positive development for millions of people.

Sensible good people agree on all the right directions of the Budget and expose the wrong intentions. On that line here are some good points from the random experts. I do not agree with everyone on all the matters of budgeted issues/challenges.

To start with. Dr Bhalla says the "Budget 2014-15 (but not the long “everything and don’t forget the kitchen sink” speech) is one of the best content budgets of the last two decades." 

PBM says "This budget is a cross between bad elements of UPA 2 and NDA 1; there is no new Modi 1 in sight yet. The budget has no poetry and uncertain plumbing."

Dr.Desai on "the gigantic statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I am a great admirer of him; I met him for the last time just two months before his death. But a statue of him is of the same order as the elephants erected by Mayavati, only a hundred times more wasteful."

Other useful links:

If you care about global warming, blame Keynes and follow Hayek.

What does socialism do to ethics

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Professor Kancha Ilaiah

Recently I happened to listen to Professor Kancha Illaiah. He is a famous dalit scholar in India and has significantly contributed through number of published books and public debate. He is also known for his passion and commitment for pro Mandal movements and Other backward Classes in India. That is it.

Though, i am not a big fan of his view points on many things but yet there are some great insights from his works which we cannot ignore. 

He is the only one who predicted the rising of OBCs political leaders in India and particularly predicted that Mr.Narendra Modi would become Prime Minister candidate of BJP. That is what has happened. See my post in June.

There are many other works by Prof.Kancha. We may not like most of his works but ignoring now will cost us in a big way in future. He is on to different path now and is considerably building the next generation of leftist intellectuals in India. 

Just look at some his books with rather interesting titles:

  • Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism
  • The State and Repressive Culture
  • Why I Am Not A Hindu
  • Post Hindu India

Some pondering lines from his works:

"A people who refuse to listen to new questions and learn new answers will perish and not prosper…"

As a south Indian I would take like his views on language. Some of his Asian Age columns are food for thought particularly when we wanted to see the other idea which is not in our focus or attention.

What is more interesting is the following lines of thoughts from Prof.Kancha. I fully agree with him on the following:
  • The dalit's main agenda is not reservations. My way of equality is English education. Even if 10% of our children got English education, the intellectual field would have changed. This country would have changed. My hope is education, not reservation — and I emphasise, English education. Read the full interview from here.

Good reading

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Professor Kancha on CM turned PM Modi

Prof.Kancha Ilaiah wrote in 2002 something very interesting about BJP and Modi. Those wise wisdowms become true to the words of Prof. The following are two paras the beginning and the concluding one:

  • "NARENDRA MODI'S victory with a two-thirds majority in Gujarat has signalled the emergence of a strong, independent OBC (Other backward Class) leader in the BJP. Earlier, two independent OBC leaders — Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav — had emerged from the fold of socialist politics in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. But that was in the context of the Yadavs emerging as landed gentry with some socio-economic capital.

  • There is a lesson here for the secularists and the communists. As Hinduism did not allow Dalits to get into temples they began to move towards Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. If the secularists and the communists do not allow the OBCs to grow in their organisations Mr. Modi will become their national leader and their Prime Ministerial candidate too. And in such a situation, feeble OBC voices like mine will be drowned."

Friday, June 6, 2014

Good reading

"You could, at a stretch, be permitted the luxury of advocating market economics and criticising India’s socialistic pattern of development. But since the Swatantra Party had gone into voluntary liquidation in 1973, this was an indulgence the socialist Establishment conceded to those whose only expression of organised opposition lay in attending Nani Palkhivala’s annual budget sermons in Bombay and Calcutta."

Why Gujarati Muslims are with Modi

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nehru death @50th

It has been 50 year after India's first Prime Minister Nehru passed away. Given the kind of economic and social development we had all these years after his death, it is completely fair point to say that not much has been done to the masses of this vast country. For All wrong reasons he has been given due credit always. Here are some reading which appeared in today's print media about Nehru's good and bad things: I am too young to accept his good things, so i take mostly his bad things first!

"Nehru could have done better with the realism of Patel as well as the free market instincts of C. Rajagopalachari by his side, but the former died too early while the latter drifted off towards lonely dissent."

"The Nehruvian state, in this domain, had become, “maximum arbitrariness, minimum freedom”. Can creating the republic anew reverse this presumption, towards “maximum freedom, minimum arbitrariness”?"

"Even in Nehru’s time the system had become what C. Rajago­p­alachari, better known as Rajaji, rightly described as “licence-permit-quota raj” that inevitably bred corruption. This system should have been ended preferably by 1970. Sadly, Indira Gandhi stretched it too long primarily for political, not economic, reasons, as I.G. Patel, economic affairs secretary at that time, has recorded in the case of bank nationalisation."

"But they too could recognise, including stalwarts like Minoo Masani, a socialist of the 1930s who had become one of the founding members of the pro-free enterprise Swatantra Party in 1959 along with the true-blue conservative like C Rajagopalachari, who was close to Nehru before they drifted apart on the question of public sector dominating the economy"

Monday, May 26, 2014

Modi Govt invitation to President of Sri Lanka:

Modi Govt invitation to President of Sri Lanka:

This is something I have been thinking since last week about the PM Modi Govt's invitation to President of Sri Lanka. I would be very happy to know the views of my buddy domain experts like Jeganaathan Jayakumar,   

Being a Tamil, i find, there is nothing wrong in inviting President of Sri Lanka for the oath taking ceremony which just took place in New Delhi today. My main reasons are as follows:

First, people in Tamil Nadu (including politicians, different organisations etc.) along with rest of India has been blaming Sri Lankan President for years for his alleged role in killing of thousands of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. UN took some actions along with USA, what happened, nothing;

Second, time and again, there has been several incidences of arresting or attacking fishermen of Tamil Nadu. In order to stop such things in future there has to be a close coordination at top level, this is a great chance to take further;

Third, simply not talking to a neighbour for too long period is too dangerous and it cannot go on like it was in the past govt at centre. Remember, the unspeakable or poor spineless top leadership in India.

Fifth, believe it or not a new era of leadership is just beginning in our country with a mandate of new kind and new order ever in Indian political history. Why fear so in not talking to our immediate neighbours?

Sixth, this new govt's approach may be different from the past govt. Hence, there could be every possible constructive dialogue between countries and people.

Seventh, Let's do something beyond the blame game of any two nations and that's too without the intervention of third nations like USA or organisations like UN etc. Its time to think beyond the limited possibility of political will which may be conventionally ill defined. But let's define a new one which will take us to longer journey and a truly pragmatic journey with peace and prosperity.