Friday, November 22, 2013

Spice M-515 Coolpad Double SIM Android Mobile Phone-An Independent User Experience !

For almost a month, I have been researching to buy a new mobile phone as a replacement to the one I have been using for almost 2 years. 

Not that this one had any problem. It was a Micromax A-75 Superfone Lite which I had purchased for about Rs.8500/-. It was a cute looking black touchscreen mobile with double SIM and a 3.5 inch screen.

Before that I was a satisfied user of another double SIM mobile from the same company which looked like a replica of a famous international brand, but costing only one-tenth. I took the decision to go for a touch screen one from the same Indian mobile phone company, just to prove to some one in my family about the wastefulness of spending high amounts of money for these kinds of electronic gadgets, especially for those expensive models, when cheaper versions having almost the same functionality and better features are also available in the market. The world is now in a fast forward mode with thousands of people engaged in designing and marketing electronic gadgets having various features. The gadget you purchased a few months ago spending a good amount of money would soon become obsolete and cheap when some better designs get released. Those who are rich and have surplus money resources are in a position to buy all these things spending much and throw away those when newer things appear in the market. But it is simply a foolish idea for those who do not have that kind of resources to mimic the rich and waste their scare monetary resources.

But it is the weakness of the majority human beings to mimic those who are famous and rich. Hero worship comes from this inferior mindset. I said inferior, because they lack the ability to analyze situations and take independent decisions that might not be aligned with the thoughts of the majority. So, weaklings are easily brainwashed through advertisements and today's marketing management gurus give much stress to this when they train young marketing managers. An obvious outcome of this hero worship in today's world is the rise of high end brands in the case of marketable products and services and celebrities in the case of marketable human beings. Both these have the followers or fans in millions.

Anyway, that is the status of our world today and there is no escape from this reality. 

And I could not convince the brand fan in my family and I had to keep my new acquired mobile to myself and the brand fan purchased the liked brand having the same technical functionality by paying double the money I paid for my A-75. The expensive brand failed in a few months time while my cheaper brand kept working without any such problems. The brand fan got fully satisfied when the failed gadget got repaired by the company after some prolonged, not-much-cordial customer-supplier exchanges!

But it would not be true if I say that my A-75 was perfectly alright. In the beginning it did not bother me much when the phone took a  second or so to respond to my touches. But later I began to feel it as some thing not so desirable when I compared it with the newer versions having faster processors. Yet that was not enough reason to get it replaced and spending money for another mobile. 

In the mean time, finding some problems with some mobile network caused me to have more Subscriber Identity Modules , popularly known as SIMs,  from all possible mobile phone companies in my locality. These SIMs are some sort of micro-liabilities now-a-days. You have to keep it in safe custody as it is registered in your name. You cannot afford to miss or lose them. If these miniature micro computer embedded metal-plastic combination get into some unauthorized hands, my life could become a nightmare. The law-enforcers of the country could indeed make my life miserable.So, these extra SIMs that I got during these years almost free  now needs to be kept installed in some cell phone, rather than keeping them in some purse pockets! Moreover, I do not have the skill of hand, as some of the younger generation, to keep the phones opened now and then to interchange the SIMs as per needs! Of course this compels me to incur some recurring expenditure as I have to pay these telecom companies regularly whether I use these or not.

And lastly, my better half too began to have a fancy towards this touchscreen in the recent days. That fancy got migrated towards a compulsion when her non-touch screen mobile showed some charging hitches once or twice.

So, the time was nearing for purchasing another mobile, adding the functional mobiles in my household to four. My wife readily and very kindly agreed to be satisfied with my old A-75.

So, I had to do the research for selecting the new one that I am going to procure.

Luckily, the internet is full of information about mobile phones. You can know all the technical specifications, reviews from various novice users and expert mobil-o-holics, price quotes, comparisons, images and the like by just doing a few clicks. [try it yourself here!

Only problem, is that you need to be a bit tech-savvy to select from these the most ideal one for you.

As I have hinted earlier, I am not in favor of paying more just for a product's brand equity. Perhaps, the so-called MNC brands might be doing some better inspection and testing and may be paying more to their personnel than those manufacturers at the lower ends. But, some customers should be there to promote the products of the smaller players as well.

Considering all these and my requirements, after about two week's internet survey, I zeroed in to the model which I purchased. And this is SPICE M-515 Coolpad

I have been using this now for the last few days.

The following is my independent review of this phone as a satisfied user. 

1. Its 5 inch screen which allows me to read word and pdf documents easily and watch photos and videos comfortably.

2. It has a 1.2 GHz processor with enough 1 GB RAM, 4 GB Phone Memory and slot for 32 GB memory card, quite enough for any normal user. It is really swift with regard to the its touch response. It has never hanged so far. I have installed many android apps easily and also uninstalled some without any difficulty. Connection to my PCs through the USB cord was also much easier.

3. The rear camera of 5 MP is reasonably good, with the VGA front camera just for that occasional video calls. Image and video qualities are good.

4.It has some very useful factory installed apps which I find as useful.

5. The pack contains the mini user manual, 2000 mA battery, screen guard, USB cord and charger.

6.The battery lasts comfortably with normal use. It lasts over two days for me, a minimum user. Even with heavy use the battery should last a day.

7. Most important is its price, under Rs.10000/- together with the external memory card of 16 GB.

Perhaps, the only disadvantage that I find with this phone now is the company's inability to supply the flip cover which I find as a very essential thing for touch phones of this size. It is a bit difficult to take it out from the shirt pocket as it could slip from your hands if you are not careful. It could also get damaged by accidental hits! But I hope, this company would soon be able to market the cover!

But remember, this phone is in the market for only for a few months now. It would not be possible to assess its long time usability, customer service from the company in case of problems and its life.

It would be perhaps better to purchase the phone from a local mobile shop, if one reliable one is available, as I have done, instead of ordering it online. The local dealer would perhaps be of better help in commissioning the phone and pasting the screen guard and giving you some better demonstrations!

Added Later:
I am happy that my local dealer could provide me the flip cover for the phone in a week's time as he had promised. With this genuine factory made cover with an MRP of Rs.1000 (the local dealer gave it for Rs.800!) made the phone complete in all respects as far as I am concerned.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Proposed Aranmula Airport of Central Kerala: A Typical Test for Democracy in an Yet-to-Mature Society!

The place called Aranmula [ആറന്‍മുള  in Malayalam, the language of the Kerala people] is hardly four kilometers from my ancestral home in Elanthoor [ഇലന്തൂര്‍ ]. Both these places are peaceful places in the central Travancore region [മദ്ധ്യ തിരുവിതാംകൂര്‍] of Kerala State in south India. 

Aranmula has been well known  for mainly three things. 

One is the Aranmula Metal Mirror called Aranmula kannadi [ആറന്‍മുള കണ്ണാടി] which is a polished metallic mirror made traditionally by some traditional artisan families of this place in some special alloy mix. This traditional knowledge got almost extinct some years ago, only to be revived again, thanks to the prominence of Kerala in the international tourism in the recent years.
Next is the Aranmula Boat Race or vallamkali [വള്ളംകളി] , a traditional water sport conducted in special wooden boats called chundanvallams [ചുണ്ടന്‍വള്ളം ] or snake boats. This is associated with a Hindu religious tradition of the Aranmula Parthasarathi temple [ആറന്‍മുള പാര്‍ഥസാരഥി ക്ഷേത്രം] which is the other thing that makes this place famous. The boat race takes place in the Pamba river [പമ്പാ  നദി ] during the days of Onam [ഓണം]  when the river has enough water. Now-a-days, due to a few hydro electric projects and dams, the river does not have much water during the season and the state government releases water for a few days to help the traditional boat race to be conducted without much difficulty.

But if you consider development and infrastructure in the modern viewpoints, Aranmula can hardly be seen as a developed place. None of the famous things that I  mentioned are visible for a common traveler who happens to pass through this place by road, the only major road through this place which connects the towns of  Kozhencherry [കൊഴെന്‍ചേരി] and Chengannoor [ചെങ്ങന്നൂര്‍] with the nearby district headquarter town, Pathanamthitta [പത്തനംതിട്ട]

All these places in the central travancore area have been traditionally famous for its religious harmony among its peoples who are mostly Hindus, Syrian Christians and Muslims. The Hindus are the major religious community with the Nair [നായര്‍] castes and the Ezhava [ഈഴവ] castes numbering the most. The upper caste Hindus, many of whom associated with the erstwhile travancore royal families have been the traditional land lords of this area. However, the Christians too have prospered much in recent decades and many from this community are very rich due to education and opportunities some of their peoples tried out in trade, plantations and foreign employments. 

When neo rich communities emerge, it is quite natural for people to develop jealousies and suspicions against each other. Typical cases of such happenings that culminated in to tragic holocausts and human tragedies are fresh in the minds of at least a few among the world community even now. I am referring to the tragedies the Jews faced in Germany during world war -2, the upper class faced in Combodia , the Hindus and Muslims faced during India before and after partition, the Sikhs faced in India during the early Eighties, the Chinese faced during world war-II and similar other events, small and big.

Fortunately, Keralites of modern times are in general well mannered and educated and they would not resort to such inhuman acts, even while some of them keeping some jealousies and animosities deep in their minds. Those deep rooted jealousies and animosities could surface as peaceful or violent conflicts cleverly disguised as issues relating to environment, animal welfare, traditions, labor and the like, when issues of public interests are initiated to be resolved.

The general opposition of a majority of people of the local community to the proposed Aranmula International Airport project is to be understood against this background.

Ever since the Indian government moved away from socialism and embraced a mixed culture of halfhearted capitalism in the Nineties, what actually suffered a great deal in India is infrastructural development. Government almost stopped spending on infrastructure requiring major budgetary support such as airports, air transport, harbors, shipping, highways, road transport, postal service, education, telecom, etc all of which used to depend much on governmental support earlier. Instead, there was a major policy change wherein the government seemed to encourage private participation in these areas. Regrettably on account of various reasons, the Indian government could not install firmed up policies and laws which would be a win-win situation for all the stake holders in some generally acceptable manner maintaining reasonable transparency in its decisions, in this regard.

In Kerala, the Cochin International Airport Limited [CIAL] was one major successful project which got implemented specklessly during this time as a beautiful example of private-public participation with a determined and efficient leadership provided by a politically handpicked administrator belonging to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). In a similar manner another one of its kind in north kerala, named the Kannur International Airport Limited [KIAL] is being planned. The small, but highly developed state of Kerala, is perhaps the only state in India with three working international airports within a span of about 600 kilometers and yet another in the making. If the proposed KGS Aranmula International Airport Limited becomes operational, this state Kerala would have five international airports in the same distance. Indeed a remarkable achievement for any Indian state!

If the plans of the Indian government goes well, all the commercial airports in India would become privatized in the near future.

Now, coming back to the story of the Aranmula Airport. Aranmula, as I have stated, is only a quiet hamlet in Central Kerala. There is not much commercial activity visible. But Kerala is different from other parts of India in many ways. It is a full and evergreen state with a full coastal region , a full mountain region and a some plain lands. It has both wetlands and dry lands. It has the sea, rivers and the backwaters. It has the green and cold hill stations like the Munnar. What is perhaps not found in Kerala may be the snow and the desert sands! Big cities are a recent phenomena in Kerala. In reality, Kerala as a whole could be considered as a big urbanized land with all benefits of the farmlands. Population density, literacy and percapita real incomes in Kerala are the highest among the Indian states. Millions of Keralites work abroad and millions from other nations prefer to visit Kerala as it is now a very preferred international tourist hot spot.

Over the years, road traffic density in Kerala has increased many times. Due to this, it would take hours for any one to travel to the capital city Thiruvananthapuram [തിരുവനന്തപുരം] or Kochi [Cochin-കൊച്ചി] or Kozhikode [കോഴിക്കോട്‌] from any other place. Most affected in this respect is the people of the central Travancore areas. At least one member from a majority of the families of this region either work in the foreign lands or in other states of India. If they travel to their home state by air, they have to either depend the Kochi or the Trivandrum [Thiruvananthapuram]  Airports and then take the road route to reach their respective homes. A decade ago, they could reach home in just about 2 hours. But now it takes more than double that time. In the years to come, that would increase further, if the government does not act to enhance the transport facilities.

Thus, there is much commercial and infrastructural logic in having an airport in the central travancore area. The prospects of such a thing was visualized first by a businessman from the same area who happened to amass a great fortune by his decades of work in the United States of America. This gentleman knew that an airport would need a considerable stretch of land, a scarce thing to mobilize in the densely populated central travancore.

But without no one ever noticing much, there was a great piece of land belonging to many local people which many of us of that locality identified as Pannivelichira [പന്നിവേലി ചിറ ] a wet land earlier used for paddy cultivation , fish farming or perhaps even pig farming. Panniveli literally means pig enclosure in Malayalam. In my teenage days, I remember visiting this place and remember it as not used for any useful purpose by its owners for most of the time. The owners of the land considered it as a burden and were ever willing to sell their portions of land to any one who was willing to purchase their pieces of wet land that had become not so worthy now.

So, this gentleman slowly purchased this pieces of land and consolidated it in one single ownership. It was a few hundred acres. Perhaps, while purchasing this land, he had no idea of its future use.Anyway, no one found any thing objectionable for this person to become the owner of this land. In later years, he declared his intentions to construct a private airport in this land. He needed the clearances of the state and the central governments and accordingly moved the applications for this purpose. Remember, this is a case where a private citizen has decided to spend his money to create a treasured infrastructure in a place which was otherwise much inferior in developmental aspects.

But India is a land of differing interests. No one actually does anything unless there is some personal benefit. No one thinks of the overall benefits that can accrue to a nation or its people on the whole. What is the benefit if this man is going to spend money, make an airport, run it and amass more money for him and his descendants? For those in the central government, there is not much benefit if the small state of Kerala gets another airport.

So the files kept moving from department to department and I personally heard from reliable sources about the errands this gentleman made meeting the various VIPs to get the clearances for his pet project of a life time. Many times he became apparently successful when the governments, either in the state or in the center declared some kind of approval, only to be realized later that it was nothing final. In the initial period, there was not much opposition from the local people. But as the project got some favor from one political outfit, the others opposed it. Later, the political leaders got successful in initiating some of the locals too to their fold.

Frustrated, the gentleman realized about his folly and somehow escaped from his mission by handing over his land and project to someone more influential than him.

Now that group seems to have managed to gather the much required central government and state government supports and clearances. No, India is a divided state of opportunists now. It is not that easy to go ahead when the house is divided!

If anyone analyze the whole issue from a pure common sense approach, it would have been the local people who would have given the support to a project like this. If the project, that too an international airport, takes shape, the people in the immediate vicinity are going to be benefited.

There are other projects in India where people are opposing. But in those cases, it is the people who are going to lose land when the government tries to grab land in the name of acquisitions using the infamous land acquisition law.

But in Aranmula, it seems that the issues are quite different. The main opposition here is due to something very different. Let me quote the reasons as quoted from an online media:

"The local people and the Greens fear that the airport to be built on a 700 acre land at a cost of Rs20 billion will destroy paddy fields and upset the ecological balance. They also fear that it would destroy the ‘global heritage village status’ conferred on the town by the UNESCO." [ See the Report ] 

Yet another local group says that the airport would affect the tall flag mast of the Parthasarathi temple and conduct of the snake boat race. [See the report here!

But apparently these are not the real issues. It is not very difficult to see that the airport is not going to disturb the Pamba river or the boat race or even the temple in any manner. On the other hand, it would help more people to come to Aranmula and visit the temple and witness the boat race.About the issue of the airport damaging the paddy fields, it is true to some extent. There cannot be any cultivation where the air port facilities are built. But for that matter, the majority of the land had already been rendered un-cultivatable because much construction actions had proceeded in the land that had been privately acquired. As I have stated, paddy cultivation in many parts of Kerala are not being resorted to by the owners due to the high costs and non-availability of cheap labor. It was true for this land too. That is the common stand adopted by the leftist political parties when they are determined to oppose a project!

But Aranmula is an interesting case in this regard too. It was the leftist government that gave the green signal to the project earlier. Now while the central government ruled by the Congress led coalition (UPA) gives the go ahead clearance duly supported by the Congress CM and some of his cabinet colleagues, another strong group of peoples' representatives from the same party oppose it together with the those of the left parties!

The matter may not be very understandable by the unbiased onlooker. But it is easy to understand, if you look into the whole issue a bit closely.

The issue apparently lies with the ownership of the private project. The original business man who took up the project and the present chennai based business group, KGS, are both from the Christian community, with their ancestral roots in Central Travancore. How can the upper caste Hindus who were the masters of the olden culture and traditions easily accept such a thing? Community jealousies are not easy to be removed from the mind even when you say that you are much literate and educated! Owning a gold jewelry chain and owning an airport are two different things!

The Indian mind in general has not yet crossed the thresholds of communal feelings and biases. A good majority Indians belonging to the Hindu community cannot digest their country being headed by a Christian lady from a foreign land, even when she might be the widowed daughter-in-law of a famous non-Christian lady. They can be easily hoodwinked to believe that the name-sake Christians in power and politics here are the agents of the western nations, the west here is synonymous as the word, Christian. The communal jealousies are more among the people who are literate and well to do among the majority. The jealousies enhance further when they get opportunities to work in the western countries and compare the economic affluence and improved governance of the so-called-christian majority secular nations with the inferior conditions that are perceived in India- the land of ancient history and culture in the whole world. It is becoming a frustrating thing for them to find the actual reasons. It is a common trait of the inferior mind to put blames of their own failures on others. It is a typical attitude of many people. This is the same some management gurus teach while they try to make their students understand human behavior : It is called the 'I-am-okay-you-are-not-okay' syndrome! And this mindset in the majority is a fertile area for some clever leaders to sow and harvest good fortunes when democracy is experimented as the new system of governance. 

Remember, there is not much opposition for the proposed Kannur International Airport. But that is being managed directly by the government with perhaps some minority private equity participation. But in Aranmula, government is only a minority stake holder.

Caste and community feelings are dividing India and the Indian political groups and leaders know too well the benefits they accrue by keeping the people divided over such petty issues. Some of them are too happy to have smaller domains of ruler ship just as the local kings of the olden days. Such divisions can also ruin them and their future generations is what they blissfully forget!

Some seventy eighty years ago, Hitler brainwashed the common christian folks of his Germany to believe that the Jews of his country who were well educated, industrious and generally prosperous were the real cause of poverty and mismanagement of Germany. He was a fiery speaker and writer who could easily convince the general public to vote and support him to accomplish his mission of coming to power.

He managed it somehow. He became the Chancellor of Germany by a flimsy technical majority. Once in power, he used that power to eliminate first his individual enemies and opponents and later an entire community of  a few million Jews. As a person, he was from a decent christian family who got educated to become a christian priest. But politics and power made the man blind and evil! His personal immaturity, jealousies and envy played the rest to his ultimate peril. 

Such evil nature resides in all humans regardless of community, religion, culture or educational status. Give the right manure for the evil nature to grow, it will grow. Greed, jealousy etc are some of those manures for evil to grow. At the same time, some Godly nature also resides in man. Love, compassion, fellowship, honesty, service mentality, etc are the factors that make the Godly nature to grow in man.

But it is easy for evil to develop in mind as compared to the divine nature. Therefore, it is easy for some to make a whole group evil with some manipulation.

When divine nature predominates human mind, humans start developing true maturity. A society predominated with mature individuals accomplish progress, peace and happiness.

I am not for or against the Aranmula Airport project. In the city where I live now, there is an airport in the midst of the city. My home is in the line of the airport runway, just a kilometer away. The huge planes take off and land passing over my residence. There are people just a few meters away from the airport wall who cultivate paddy. We have not felt that it is causing some problems to us.

Development and growth is human nature. And that is connected to creativity. And creativity is divine.

I have been a professional connected with environmental issues for many years. But I am not an environmental activist as the so-called Greens of today. If developments cause environmental problems we have the creativity and the solutions. But blindly opposing everything in the name of environment is insanity.

There are some hardcore environmentalists now who do not even allow the tribal of Andamans to wear clothes! There are some others who do not allow people to drink mineral water or aerated water. They would make a hue and cry over Pepsi or Coca-Cola so long as these multinationals do not grease their palms! The polluted and infected river waters are too good, natural and refreshing than the treated water that these companies use in their bottles, at times! 

Great enthusiasm! Isn't it ?

But when a developmental project like this Aranmula airport is causing some heart burns on the majority community on whatever reasons, a democratic government in my opinion, should not proceed further. Honoring the majority is what democracy is. Development should not be at the cost of hurt feelings, even when such developments appear as quite logical or reasonable.

But how could you determine majority opinion in a democracy? It is a big task in an yet-to-mature society. 

Whatever be that, let not Aranmula cause  building the communal tensions in the Malayalee [മലയാളീ] minds for a potential future explosion, just as it had been happening elsewhere in this great nation for centuries, now and then!  


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of India :A New Era of Indian Democracy in the Making ?

I was born in independent India when the nascent nation was in its childhood days.The first democratic Prime Minister and the First President were in charge. They had a great responsibility to make the nation get rid of its rampant poverty and enhance its abysmally low literacy to some decent levels while taking charge of the governance system that the British had handed over. 

They had everything that they needed. A well drafted constitution, a total democratic mandate of the people and perhaps a top bureaucracy who valued principles and practically in-corruptible.

But essentially they lacked the basic principles of democracy, somewhere. Some of those who jumped in to the 'Swadeshi' movement to get rid of the foreigners from governance were too ambitious to get in to the power positions of government that the foreigners had vacated. Aspiring to come to power positions is not bad per se. What was bad was their desire to stick to those positions indefinitely and their desire to hand over their governmental thrones to their heirs and relations. If it is so, even the royals of the past were also to be deemed as democratic. 

So with that desire deeply rooted in some of them, the politicians of independent India conveniently adopted a constitution that allowed both perpetuation of single person rule and perpetuation of family rule, though not directly.

They preferred to mimic the British Royal system even when they forced that system to be evicted out. They did not find it worth while to consider the system of the most established democracy at that time that had been in successful existence for a couple of centuries, the democratic system of the United States of America (USA)- the nation who fought the independence movement centuries ago from the same British monarchy and established a successful democratic, secular and federal government with a well drafted constitution. 

The future virus of corruption had been knowingly or unknowingly in built within the Indian constitution and the rest is history that we know. The Indian democracy progressed to a full fledged corrupt system-the in built virus multiplying many times in the years to come.

The virus was the constitutional validity of the government and the head of the government to continue in power indefinitely for indefinite terms. There was no ceiling. There was no bar, unlike in the USA where the individual holding the presidential post is barred permanently by their constitution to hold on to that post for more than two terms. Eight years is the maximum a person can be on the top post there, however good he or she may be!

Because, the moment this bar is removed or not incorporated, democracy degenerate to aristocracy. A person holding a power post of governance by all means becomes an aristocrat. If the system allows an aristocrat to maintain that position indefinitely, the system cannot be essentially called democratic.

India is conveniently called a democracy. But is it really so? Democracy is of course majority rule. But how could the people find out the best suited man or woman  to serve them by occupying the elected posts from among themselves ? Those who have come to some publicity limelight are better positioned than those who have not. So those who have held some power positions earlier and seeking democratic mandates in elections are advantageously positioned to get the majority votes.

But this situation cannot be fully eliminated. What best can be done is preventing a person from holding elected posts perpetually or indefinitely. If such a provision is not in built in the system, we cannot say that the system is genuinely democratic. 

India now stands in that position. It is quite unlikely that those who tasted the spoils of such a system would ever want that system to be removed. Though people are the final authority, that is only in theory. It would be difficult for the people to make it practical.

But if history is any indication, there are ample examples to show that people use their authority when the need actually arise. It is not difficult for the determined people of a nation to evict those who cling to power with due disregard to people's genuine aspirations! History also indicates that foolish leaders always act foolishly before they fall from grace. 

But such things do not happen over night, though the culmination of things could happen that way on a night or a day. Historical events do take place after considerable time of gestation. In the last few decades we ourselves had witnessed many such events taking place in this world before our own eyes!

As an ordinary citizen of India who have been experiencing independent India emerging from its weak childhood to youthful vigor and intolerant middle age and its change from idealism to practical-ism, I have a gut feeling that this nation is now infected with old age weaknesses and sicknesses. It now needs some good life saving treatment to maintain its vigor and efficiency to exist for some more years in the same identity.

Is the new political compulsion called the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP going to be the agent for this to happen? Would India be self cured of its illnesses of degeneration caused by all round corruption, nepotism , greed and sycophancy? Would the Indian gen-next to feel and experience some thing any different and better? Only time would make things clear.

I have been a curious onlooker to these developments. To be frank, I am an AAP watcher and well wisher. I have a feeling that there are millions like me in this country. Regrettably, we have been watching the birth and death of political outfits in the past and we would not want AAP to be one such thing. AAP is in the midst of so many AAP haters. But, I think that would add to the strength of AAP.

In the recent times I have been reading some good online articles and news about AAP. More than the articles and the news, the reactions of the common men and women of India are indeed indications to take note of. Let me give some links of those for you to see:

Aam Admi Party got enough funds from citizens, that too in full public gaze! 

Intolerant reactions from a major political party against AAP !

AAP leaders declaring their assets and liabilities !

Ignoring AAP- another strategy !

Fund sources of AAP explained !

AAP history ( in the making) in the Wikipedia !

It is only a few weeks more for the world to know the public mood and swing in its capital, Delhi where AAP has taken the maiden efforts to enter the political arena of India. Unbiased observers feel the public mood already in favor of AAP. But there are many factors in that play in the Indian elections. One has to wait and watch.

But if AAP makes a dent, it would be the beginning of a new era of Indian democracy. The beginning of transparency and entry of light in the darkened area !

What do you feel ?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Some Self Test Questions to Check Your Maturity Status !

Now-a-days it is not difficult to find many tools to check one's intelligence quotient (IQ) and similar other personality traits. These are developed by those who study human psychology in a formal manner and do research on that topic.

Let me admit this thing first. I am not one with any formal training in psychology or human personality research. But I do have some ideas about those based on my self explorations and studies out of mere curiosity. That has been further augmented by my inquisitive reading and self study of the book about which I have written many times earlier.

All humans are alike in many features and are also dissimilar  in several other features. But each one of us have a unique personality that emerges out of our similarities and dissimilarities and perhaps many other qualities that are not normally comprehended. In other words, our personality is the reflective resultant of our inherent and acquired qualities.

Every human being, during his life time earns some experiential inputs which might add up to modify his or her  inherent personality. Similarly as humans progress in civilization, modifications and improvements do happen in the individuals of a generation. In general, every generation of human beings face an average improvement in overall personality. The overall personality of a human being is the sum total of his or her inherent physical, mental and spiritual abilities augmented by his or her experiences in these three fields.

The first thing needed in human development is the material development or biological development. Physical and mental abilities are included in this. The next part is the spiritual development which is essentially some thing which is connected with higher mind abilities. However, physiological or biological development  and spiritual developments do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Biological maturity and spiritual maturity develop separately in us. While biological maturity gets almost gets fully completed, spiritual maturity may or may not be completed in a lifetime on earth!

But if we have to designate a person fully mature, both biological and spiritual maturity need to be considered together. So, by the word maturity, I mean both biological and spiritual aspects of human development taken together. Physical aspects again involves the development of the human body and normal intellect or brain function. Spiritual aspects involves the development of the super intellectual faculties that enable a person to comprehend certain truths that are not easily discerned by simple logic or reasoning.

While biological maturity is synonymous with body development and easily recognizable, that is not the case with spiritual development of the mind. Again, I would request my readers not to confuse with the words biological and spiritual. To make things a bit more clear, you may consider biological development as those involved with the physical growth of the body including that of the brain for making a person live and do his or her normal human activities of physical work, normal communication, courtship and intelligence for doing normal human activities. On the other hand, spiritual development is that which enable a person to comprehend extra ordinary truths such as philosophical truths and divine truths. These are truths which are not normally discernible by the ordinary faculties of physical mind and intellect.

For example, if I say that it is dark here, a biologically mature person might understand it as he or she perceives darkness from light or black from white. One whose intellect is more advanced might understand it in the manner which science has made him to understand as the presence or absence of certain wavelengths of visible light. But a person having spiritual development would be able to attribute more meanings to the same word which is difficult to understand by those who are only biologically mature. 

For living a good and a worthy life both material and spiritual capacities are required in some desirable degrees. A wonderful society would emerge when the individuals of the society are fully matured, both biologically and spiritually.

The problems of this world as we experience today are because of the fact that we humans are in varying degrees of maturity. As we are not all in the same level of maturity, it is difficult for one person to understand the other fully. As a result communication gaps do develop between individuals and among groups. These communication gaps generate conflicts which otherwise could have been avoided had all were matured fully.

It would be interesting to know about our maturity levels comprising of both biological and spiritual development aspects. 

Here are some questions that I have formulated to test your material and spiritual development status or in other words, your maturity status. It is a self test that any one can attempt by spending a few minutes.

Here is how you do it.

There are 25 statements given below. All statements are to be examined by you as per your knowledge and conviction.

If you find the statement agreeable to you, you give it  4 marks. If you are unable to decide it as true or false, or not agreeable give it 0 marks. Then total out your marks. There are twenty five statements and if you have agreed to all, then you would get 25x4 = 100 marks. If you do not agree with any of these, you would get 25x0=0 marks. If you agree with some and disagree with some, then you get your total marks some thing between 0 and 100. 

So here are the statements:

1.  I consider my self physically normal.
2.  I like learning and I can read, write and speak at least one language reasonably well.
3.  I have some special skills and talents because God loves me more than others.
4.  I do face problems in life, yet this life is interesting and there are many opportunities.
5.  If I get power and money, it is okay if I use those for my own benefits and pleasures.
6.  I do some work and earn money for a comfortable living.
7.  I earn enough money and I am capable of making more.
8.  There is no use for working hard and making money if I am not able to enjoy its privileges.
9.  It is better to get some jackpot than working to make money.
10. If some one hurts me, it would pain me, but I would prefer pardoning than taking revenge.
11. I enjoy rest, humor and games; but I don't like to spend time only in these.
12. If I can afford, I will spend my time enjoying rest, games, adventure and such other things.
13. I believe in God and I do think about God often.
14. I think that I am a child of God and all around me are also children of the same God.
15. God is the creator of all, so God should be like a loving father to me and others.
16. If there are bad people, it is my duty to destroy them.
17. Violence is no solution for controlling violence.
18. This world could be better if the rich people distribute their money to the poor.
19. This world would be better if people have good reasoning and understanding capabilities.
20. It is a good thing if I respect those who are elders.
21. Intelligent and clever people would be able to solve all the problems of this world.
22. I don't find any reason to believe in the existence of an invisible God. 
23. I find reasons to believe in God and a possibility of our life continuing even after death.
24. There is some truth in all religions; but none of them may be perfectly right. 
25. Spiritual development involves learning of some special rituals and practices. 

Now to find out your development score you have to do this.

First find out the total score by finding out the number of  statements in the above that are agreeable to you. Suppose that it is 20. That means you have scored a total of  20x4 + 5x0 = 80 Marks.

Then find out how many green statements that are agreeable to you and find the green score. Suppose that you are agreeing to 8 green statements. Then your green score is 8x4 = 32. The maximum green score possible is 10x4=40.

Once you have the green score, you need to have your blue score next. If your total score is 80 and green score is 32, your blue score is 80-32 = 48. The maximum blue score you can have is 100-40=60. You can have both 0 or negative blue scores.

Now with the above scores it is possible to interpret your maturity level. Remember again that maturity here means your comprehensive maturity comprising of both physical and spiritual maturity aspects.

To find out that I suggest you click the link below to open another blog. Go to the blog bottom end. There you will have the interpretations.

Maturity Score Interpretation !

How did you find this test ? Would you like to make your opinion known to others by making it public through the comment facility below ?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halfhearted Privatization in India: Making a Nation Stoop in Shame!

In a democratic country, if major policy changes are to be implemented it has to be done in such a way that it would stand vindicated before the people and before the accepted principles of justice. 

After independence for nearly over forty decades, India's political arena was more or less stable with one major political party determining its fate. The views taken by the leaders of this party in those days were to have India progress in a quasi socialistic pattern where the government was responsible for major economic stability and growth.

All key economic activities in production and services during those days were almost the sole responsibility of the government. There was no field of activity where the central and state governments were not involved. Education was almost fully government owned and it was offered almost free. The fees, even when levied were very negligible and affordable.

For example, I paid no fee for my entire education up to a post graduation in engineering as a general category student.

Personal income tax was not a major contributor to the government income. The Indian government also fought many wars during those days with its neighboring states. Yet all these used to be managed within the government's income. Of course, the government used to borrow a lot, both from the public and from other sources. Huge budget deficit used to be a common feature.

Then came the era of the minority governments and the governments directed by nominated economic wizards. The political leaders apparently lacked the wisdom of complex economics. They were guided by scores of economic wizards drawn from the so-called top intellectual circuits.  It was further fueled by some politico-economic groups of the West led by the UK and others. These groups pushed the globalization agenda to all nations to follow under what was called the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs or GATT.

The time was approaching for the so-called hard core socialists known as the communists too to accept the benefits of capitalism. Communist nations led by the erstwhile USSR began to collapse under pressures of globalization and privatization ideologies. Even hardcore communist China too diluted its policies and adopted capitalism under name sake communist leadership.

In India, as in the case with other nations, the professional politicians were failing to understand the complex nature of the international economic scene. They were forced to sign agreements drafted by international pressure groups, ably aided by a bureaucracy without having much competency  to understand the intricacies of the rules that would emerge in the near future.

The media and media professionals played the drums for these transition. Perhaps they did not have anything much to lose. They simply aimed for spicy news that either scared or titillate the literate public.

For the Indian governmental leadership, the stakes were too appealing to be ignored. They wanted to privatize India at the earliest. Some economic media men projected the great resources that India government would accrue when they sell the hitherto held shares of its public undertakings. They urged and supported the government to sell and divest

But the government did not have the much needed democratic majority. The political opposition was making hue and cries. Unfortunately, in the democratic politics, those in this profession some how consider opposition as opposing everything irrespective of it being good or bad. Many times the governments took shelter in the opposition views as an excuse for not making effective laws or implementing laws effectively even when they are passed. Many times the executive considered law abiding a problem area.

So the need for going in for halfhearted privatization without much transparency. 

Nearly two decades have passed now. India is still a mixed economy. To some extent a worst kind of mixed economy. You cannot make any rational laws without hurting any one, now. You cannot proceed without any one yelling a foul. Too many contradictory policies. Too many chances for arbitration. Too many opportunities for courts and law enforcement agencies to jump in. 

Where are we moving? It is sheer common sense to realize that you would make yourself shear apart if you stood on two vehicles moving at different paces.  Could your economy move forward on two different strategies or policies ? It is bound to shatter. It would take time for us to realize it. When a huge ship sinks, a good majority are perished. But some would also survive!

Now the governments of India have shed their responsibilities of giving affordable education or health care to its citizens. Affordable power or fuel are also not coming under their responsibility. Government is also out from giving any social security to its people. Nothing is done free of cost any more. Every thing is chargeable. That too dearly.

IITs and IIMs take millions now in fees, while they maintain the same old facilities or nothing much improved. Their teachers and faculty have not got comparable pay hikes as they had hiked the fees. Neither are there any assurance of these bright students getting any opportunities to use their skills and training for the benefit of their nation. Forget those who are picked up by the multinationals and eventually converted as non-Indians!

Incidentally, I met the father of a bright young management graduate from one of the reputed IIMs today. She together with another four from her institute was recruited by a South Indian company offering a pay pack of over a million rupees per year. That was through the campus selection process. Once inside, the company refused to pay them or give them any proper pay slips. The company was one among the few such fronts used by a clever Indian for doing dishonest business. His recruitment from the IIM again was just a show business. The girl and her classmates somehow managed to get out in a few months of 'captivity' in this company and its unscrupulous promoter. But what is surprising is the disturbing fact that the IIMs do not have any idea or research data regarding the companies and others who come to recruit from their campuses! The employment situation is not so rosy in emerging India now that it is not easy even for the IITians or the IIMans to get a decent job. Forget those millions who pass out as engineers and managers by paying hefty fees to fill the coffers of many family run 'educational and charitable societies'! There is no reliable data on this count in India. How could any one publish such disturbing information? What would happen to the education business that flourished in a clandestine manner in India post privatization if such information is known to the public ?

The uncertainties of economic policies and their lack of transparency in India have made several Indians to become overnight billionaires. Uncertainties and confusions are best suited for some to make a killing!

But what about those who do not have such a mind set? None can assume that all Indians are like that!

India is fast changing into a land of unscrupulous vested interests. Thing are okay so long as no one raises any voice of concern.

It is easy to govern a large country of divided  and ignorant people in the guise of democracy. But how long?

Is it the India that we are going to give to our children?

I am not against privatization. But halfhearted privatization is another thing. If the policy of the government is for privatization let it be that way. But then what is the responsibility of the government? Let them concentrate only on providing a level playing field in a justifiable and transparent manner to all. Let the public interest be the prime concern for the government when they make policies. Let them not make policies for making high profits and income alone just as a greedy private businessman. Let them concentrate on areas where private players are not able to start any sustainable activity and provide those with the necessary support. Let them make policies that are not changed every now and then. Let those in governance act like sane drivers and not as drunken drivers!

Whatever it is, we are going to be doomed when our fates are determined by dishonest public servants, whether they come through politics or through public selection processes .

It is high time that we put this country back on  the right tracks! Every citizen of this country with some right thinking mind should be concerned with it.

Would there be a day in the near future when India and Indians are not required to be ashamed of what they are !

Monday, November 11, 2013

Evolution of Life on Planets: It is not Automatic, but according to the Plans of God !

Readers who are a bit familiar with this site would have known that many of my blogs here are either based on the knowledge or inspirations I gained from the divinely revealed book of knowledge of which I have been a fascinated student for the past few years. While presenting such knowledge in some capsule form for my readers, I do acknowledge the fact that there are only  a minuscule percentage of people in this world as of now whose curiosities  could get ignited for knowing more. 

Today, I would like to present in brief yet another piece of revealed information regarding the general plan of development of an evolutionary planet with life not only plants and animal life, but also intelligent life (similar to we human beings) as revealed in this book known as the Urantia Book.

But it would be beneficial for the readers to have some idea about the book and some fundamental concepts in this context by reading the following blogs:

The Urantia Book- A Brief by a Fascinated Indian Admirer !

God, the First Source and Centre of everything, is Infinite and is beyond our comprehension. During the times of eternity (that was the period when the visible Universes did not exist) only God existed. Since everything and everybody got created later either directly or indirectly by this very same God, it is better for us to designate this First Source as the Universal Father God.

The seat of God is the Central nucleus of the Universes which is identified by the familiar name, Paradise. To know more about it read my blog : 

If we have any characteristics that is some what similar to God, is our personality. In fact, our personality is a gift of God.

During eternity, some more God-like divine beings originated from God, who too are Gods for all practical purposes. Together, they created innumerable divine beings with various capabilities and purposes. Together these divine beings form the personalities who are responsible for the creation and administration of the universes which got created later.Divine beings who are directly originating from God are perfect and are similar to God in many ways while those who are indirectly created may not be so perfect and powerful as God or His immediate divine associates.

There is one conglomerate of a billion  non-evolutionary worlds revolving round the stationary Paradise which also got created during eternal times. Paradise and these billion supreme non evolutionary worlds together form the central universe. These universes are populated by divine beings of various orders.

Space and time as we understand exist beyond the central universe as seven super universes of equal mass and energy. These universes revolve around the central universe.

Each of the seven super universes comprise of millions of non-evolutionary globes and nearly a trillion of evolutionary worlds more or less similar to our earth. 

Evolutionary worlds are the worlds of mortal races such as human beings, while non evolutionary worlds , also called the architectural worlds, are primary abodes of the immortal celestial beings.

The primary administrative and creative unit of a super universe is the local universe. Nearly 1000 local universes make up one super universe. A local universe will have several architectural worlds, stars, galaxies, planets and other celestial objects such as novas and black holes. Planets may be associated and held together as a group by some stars or larger celestial bodies of higher gravitational forces. Some planets that evolve during the process of creation of universe matter may become suitable for material life implantation. Such a planet where intelligent mortal life gets developed is called a mortal world. A local universe on full evolutionary development would have one billion or 100 million mortal worlds.

Our earth belongs to a local universe called Nebadon, which is yet to be developed to it full capacity of mortal worlds. Nebadon in itself is part of the seventh super universe named as Orvonton. Three divine beings together rule a super universe. These divine beings are known as the Ancients of Days. The creative head and divine ruler of a local universe is a divine being in the order of a Michael, a directly originated divine being from the Universal Father God. A Michael carries out his universe creation and its subsequent governance  in accordance with the mandate of the Universal Father God, ably assisted by his divine superiors, associates and divine subordinates. He is immediately supported by the divine power known as the local universe mother spirit and another local universe divine chief executive. 

To know more about our local universe creator and ruler, read this blog:

Our Sovereign Lord: He has other 3.8 Million Worlds like Earth to look after !

Many planets in our local universe are in the process of becoming life sustaining planets of the future. It might take millions of years for our universe to attain its full capacity. 

Material life of plants, animals and humans are designed and created by another subordinate divine beings called the Life Carriers. They do so with the approval of the local universe creator and ruler. 

A local universe is further divided in to lower administrative units, the lowest being a mortal world such as our earth. A mortal world is an evolutionary planet where life had evolved to such an extent that it contains intelligent life similar to human beings. Intelligent life is that life which can reason out the intricacy of life and admire the invisible creator (God) who is responsible for life and adore the creator as a result of that reasoning and admiration.

Every mortal world has a subordinate divine administration of itself. It comprises of many orders of subordinate divine beings reporting to their local head called the Planetary Prince. 

Most of the members of these divine administration are invisible to the material eyes of the mortals. However, under certain circumstances, some of these divine beings could be perceived by the mortal vision.

For administrative convenience, a local universe is divided in to 100 constellations. Each constellation is further divided into 1000 planetary systems. Every system can have up to 1000 mortal worlds.

The constellations are ruled by a group of subordinate divine beings called the Most Highs. Most Highs are subordinate to the local universe Creator, but superior to the System Head and the Planetary Princes. While System Heads and Planetary Princes are of the same order of divine beings, Most Highs belong to another order of divine beings.

While the Planetary Princes are resident on the planet concerned ( invisible to the mortals of the planet), the head quarters of the other rulers are established on architectural (non evolutionary) spheres (worlds).

Now let us see some more important information in this context:

While there are innumerable agencies of God which control the non-living aspects of an evolving planet, such as energy, gravitational balances, universe communications, etc, it is the primary responsibility of the celestial administrators and their celestial associates to create a conducive over control over every thing that the intelligent mortal life advances in knowledge and civilization. However, they are not permitted to interfere much in human affairs directly. God wants that evolutionary material beings such as humans develop and progress gaining much living experience  using their own intelligence, cooperation and self earned capabilities.

In all normal mortal worlds, mortals are capable of some direct interaction with some orders of their senior celestial supervisors. especially those lower orders of celestial beings who are only a bit superior to human beings. These celestial beings could assist the humans in gaining knowledge and skills much faster than they would have gained it by their own.

Earth belongs to a System of worlds called the Satania system. This system currently has 619 worlds with intelligent mortal life. Earth is world no 606 of this system. The first world of this system is Anova.

A subordinate divine being (let us identify him by the name by the known name, Lucifer) was the System Head long ago. Another of his order, named Satan, was his administrative assistant. A much junior of their order, known as Caligastia used to be the Planetary Prince of earth. Caligastia's administrative assistant used to be another junior of his order known as Daligastia.

They used to work efficiently for the development and progress of earth and its peoples during the initial thousands of years after the Life Carriers successfully created intelligent humans on earth by the process of controlled evolution. You may read that story in the following blog:

Origin and Development of Human Beings on Earth-Have You Ever Heard This ?

Things would have proceeded well on earth as planned by the Universal Administration of God. However, unfortunately things went haphazard for earth and a few others like earth. You may read about it in the following blog:

The immediate effect of this rebellion that happened in the lower echelons of the Universe Administration was that earth and such other affected worlds (worlds where the celestial rulers rebelled against the universe administration of God) got quarantined (they were isolated from the universe communication and energy channels) The effect was that the concerned rebel divine beings lost much of their powers. In later years, the main leaders of the rebellion, Lucifer et al, got detained and removed from their respective authorities. In the case of earth, the Planetary Prince, Caligastia and his followers, too are removed from their authorities. However, they are still free to move around on earth and do some nefarious activities, though their powers are much limited. They are likely to get higher punishment according to the procedures of the universe laws in the future.

Had our earth proceeded according to the plans of God, by this time our earth would have achieved a much advanced human civilization. But the aftermaths of the celestial rebellion has created much confusion among us. Especially with regard to our understanding of God!

We as a class, are miserably failing to recognize and work according to the universal laws of God. When the universe laws are violated, we face consequences accordingly. We make some progress and then our progress moves backward. We are not able to maintain any consistency.

The rebellion has made our world, a world of challenges and great opportunities for spiritual progress. Remember, material progress is not something much to be appreciated. Material progress, though good, is not essential for spiritual progress. Spiritual progress is the one that ensures human beings to advance from the status of mortals to that of immortals. 

The status change from mortal to immortal is what God expects human beings to achieve during their life time as a mortal. If they overcome greed, selfishness, hatred, violence and such other evolutionary animal tendencies from their mind and polish it with love, fraternity, cooperation, honesty and such other desirable qualities they are bound to become god-loving personalities. A god-loving personality is bound to become immortal even when they face mortal death.

How that is done is explained in detail in the Urantia Book.

And knowing that enhances confidence. Confidence in the reality of God and to live according to the plans of God.

Is it not something wonderful ?

Think about it !