Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let Not Your God Gifted Free-Will Reject the Love of God !

One of the the greatest gift that God has given to human beings is the gift of making a choice using his or her mind which is under the full command of the individual and fully free to make any kind of decisions. Practically humans are with free wills ! Even while the human mind could be influenced by many factors, the final choice vests with the individual.

While creating humans, God in his wisdom, had determined that nothing whatsoever would be done to remove this power of free will from them. And that is a universal law of God. God being the designer and creator of life, could have done it in any other way. He could have made humans just as programmable robots. But that was not the case !

But that does not mean that God is not guiding human beings from knowing what is good and what is bad for him. He has given that capacity too to humans and together with it the capacity to choose, either good or bad !

What could be the reason for this ?

Imagine for a moment that you were in God's place. Imagine that you had designed and produced a few humanoids which are programmed to know what leads to destruction and what leads to survival for them. They are also programmed to know what ways some tasks could be accomplished that are beneficial to everyone. And more importantly they can do and decide things for themselves ! They are designed with superior intelligence to decide and act the way they like.

Suppose that I were in the team that designed such a group of humanoids. I would never like those humanoids to use their decisive powers to do bad things that eventually cause much harm to them and may even destroy themselves. Because each them is valuable to us, their creators ! On the other hand, we would be very happy if they decide to do good things for every one including themselves. Such of them are precious for us. Not only they know how to do things, but they also know how to do  good things always after considering all pros and cons !

Perhaps we are like these humanoids that we might work to create, for God and his team who created us !

An intelligent being who can know good and bad and select good always is better than a being who can do good in a situation that permits only good ! At least that is how I see it !

Why does a created being with intelligence to know good and bad with the ability for a free choice often prefer to err rather than proceed the way that would perhaps cause its creator to be happy ?

I think it is some inherent desire co-existent in such beings to rise above the creator even when it knows well that it is not possible ! And that desire transforms it to be a rebel against the caring love of its creator. And that rebellious attitude is denial of the love and care of the creator to such an extent that it feels that it can exist even without creator. A foolish attitude by forgetting the superiority of the creator over the creature !

This situation is the one that transforms a human being, though intelligent but with limited capacity and power, to be over zealous about his or her own abilities to become selfish and egoistic. Selfishness and ego then elate pride to the extent that going against the desire of the creator becomes more important in life even when the individual knows well that it leads to wrong choosing and bad acts. And doing bad things would be detrimental to his or her own life and also to the lives of his or her fellow beings !

This way a human being, a precious being for God, with all the God given abilities might chose to deviate from a good path and chose a path that leads him or her away from the love and care of his creator- a situation that he or she needed most for maintaining his or her life without untimely cessation.

I think most of us have a tendency to deny love ! We have a tendency to underestimate love ! We consider some one who is loving and caring as a weak hearted person. We adore those who terrorise us with the power to cause us harm ! Because, we  erroneously decide that the display of destructive power is the real power !

A child may not obey its parents who are always loving and who do not take the stick to punish it every now and then for its wrongs ! An employee may consider an non barking boss weak and may not like to do the things such a boss lovingly demands !

A citizen might give more respect and show more obedience to the street police officer than his or her head of state because the formers' wrath he or she knows as immediate and sure while about the latter he or she is not that sure, though the latter's immense power is well understood !

But does an intelligent human being need to be reminded of the stick always just as an immature child or an unintelligent beast ?

Perhaps God does not want it to be like that. That is why God is not using his power to punish humans for all their wrong doings every now and then.

But God does not need to do that. He had made the unchanging rule in the beginning itself ! All human beings would face the consequences of his or her wrong choices and acts some time, though not necessarily immediate !

Those who will fully deviate from God's will are doing sins and the outcome of sin is an ultimate cessation of God's love that maintain the individual's potential to live for ever like God !

Knowing this would any one  like to reject the love of God ?

Perhaps yes, if their bloating ego and pride have caused them to be mentally blind ! I think the majority humans have made themselves to fall in this group !

I earnestly wish they realize this !

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Allopathic Medicine Labelling : Forcing the People Swallow the Wrong Pills !

Today morning I was searching for the the tablet that I am required to take regularly to keep my blood pressure within limits. I keep all those pills the doctor prescribe for me for various health problems in a small box which functions as my medicine chest.

Without my glasses I cannot read even the small letters of the newspaper. But my glasses are of no help to read the fine prints on the shiny metallic strips that hold most of my pills. I doubt the existence of  any one in the world who has such a marvellous vision to read those things printed on the tablet strips !

So normally I rely on my sense of touch and guess to identify the tablets that I am supposed to swallow every day to live !

As usual I was about to swallow a white tablet which I guessed as the one needed for my BP. But then as if from a premonition, I thought I should check it and make sure. So I tried to read the name of the medicine. With so much effort with my glasses at different angles, I came to the conclusion that the one I was to swallow was not the one that is needed for my BP. This one was some tablet left over from some previous prescriptions ! I could perhaps be an anti allergic tablet that the doctors consider as a panacea for all kinds of acute illnesses !
Typical  Allopathic medicine tablet pack labeling
Image courtsey: Google 

Being a person who is some what comfortable with reading and writing and the internet, I check the details of the medicines by searching the world wide web. Experience has taught me that I should not rely fully on what the doctor's say when it is a matter of swallowing their pills ! So I do satisfy myself before deciding to swallow any allopathic medicine. These medicines can do more harm than good if you swallow those like an idiot !

Today's incident somehow caused me to think. What would have happen if I swallowed a drug that is not safe having side effects instead of the drug which I was supposed to take ? What if the drugs in question have serious effects if taken or not taken ?

Then I notices another thing. None of these drugs have any legible writings on them to warn the patient about its side effects or its probable uses. What they have instead is a faint warning label : 'To be taken under the guidance of a medical practitioner only !'

So far in my life I have not come across a doctor who had told me all about the pill I was supposed to take ! The chemist is the one who interprets the doctor's code writing and tells me what, how and when !

But even that can not solve the problem that I faced. If I have many tablets to swallow at different times, I am at a loss to identify these tablets. Most of them look similar. The brand name is prominently written and does not make any meaning and no one is going to remember such complex made up names. The generic names again are written in micro prints that one needs some microscope to make out the spellings for a possible check with the google search !

How can an illiterate person identify the drugs when it is not easy for even a literate one to do that ?

No wonder then that the drug induced illnesses are on the rise. [Read this !]

Drug companies all over the world operate as a big cartel and this fact is now getting more and more clear to the public. Drug companies have their own reasons. But I think they should consider packing their products with readable information that the patients can easily understand.

While retaining the authority of prescribing the drugs kept with the medical practitioners, information about the possible uses, generic name, precautions, etc could be printed on the medicine packs in legible form.

Drug controlling authorities and the law makers also should think about it.

I think you would agree with what I wrote !

Monday, May 27, 2013

What Prevents Most Indian Business Men to Excel Globally ?

This blog is not about those Indian businessmen who made  global foot prints by acquiring large business firms in foreign lands. It is about those hardworking Indians who through sheer enthusiasm and dedication have successfully manufactured useful products and yet could not keep a noteworthy presence of their products in the market. Many of them either carry out their businesses on a low profile or proceed in a wavy manner or simply vanish from the scenes without any one noticing.

Some time ago I happened to visit a food product factory being run by a low key Indian business man in Central India. I had heard about his success in producing glucose in large tonnage using many kind of starchy agricultural products as raw materials. This industrial conversion involves many complex chemical processes and was a guarded industrial secret kept by the foreigners some decades ago.

His father who worked for the foreigners in the pre-independence era later ventured in to this field and set up a few factories in India to make this product profitably. His sons later continued with the business. Knowing about this story, I got a technical interest to see the functioning of this industrial unit hidden from normal public gaze somewhere inside the rural area of central India. My interest  perhaps was due to my formal training in chemical engineering. I told my intention to a friend who worked as a superintending engineer of the state electricity board who was officially connected with the work of this factory. My friend in turn informed the owner of this factory who agreed to receive me as a guest to his premises. Incidentally another friend of mine who worked as a leading banker told me about the financial status of this business man. According to him, this industrialist made huge profits from his business and was indeed a billionaire. 

So finally I reached the small town to the pre-designated spot where this business man came personally to receive me. I was surprised when I noticed him coming on a two wheeler to meet me and a four wheeler driven by his driver. The four wheeler was for taking me to his factory. I was taken around the factory by one of his knowledgeable supervisors and I learnt a lot about his factory and the processes. Later I was invited to his house to have lunch with him.

He was indeed a very average looking ordinary Indian and his wife a caring Indian housewife who prepared all the food herself for us. There was nothing there to show off the billions they possessed ! I had a long conversation with this man during the couple of hours I spent with him in his house. He was knowledgeable, successful and enthusiastic to try many innovations in his factory and production lines. He was already making huge profits. Those worked for him in the factory were apparently very satisfied as they were being provided with  permanent employment and the employer apparently was kind and considerate to them.

We talked about the Indian business scenario and many such things related to it. During the talks, he told me about the poor scope of business development, especially in those areas concerning with the processed food industry. The discussion pin pointed to the case of the tomato ketchup industry and about the failure of the case of a ketchup factory set up in Central India by a business group with much fanfare and its eventual failure. His point was that the processed food industry such as this, though had been successful in the western countries, was not so in India.

When he concluded I asked him a different question. I asked him the strength of employees in his factory and the highest pay that he was paying to his highly paid employee. There were nearly 1000 people working for him and the highest paid were only a few and they got something around Rs.10,000/- per month. No doubt, his employees were getting more than what specified by the government as minimum wages and they were a satisfied lot. But he as the owner made a neat profit of over ten thousand times that of the highest paid one got ! I told him that his employees were in fact 1000 consumers who could potentially consume processed food items like glucose and tomato ketchup but unfortunately their incomes are so low that they do not have any extra margin  incomes to indulge in such small luxuries. Whatever money they got is just sufficient to meet their essential needs !

I told him a scenario like this instead. What could have been the situation if he could have distributed, say 25 % of the yearly profits among his employees ? That would be an average Rs.25000 /- per employee per year and that would amount to Rs.25,000,000/- in an year extra in the hands of his employees that would get pumped in to the consuming markets immediately. Perhaps that would turn hands at least 20 times in an year making the total money in the market at a whopping Rs. 500,000,000/-

And that would make the market potential swell so that business men like him would be able to grab it back with their business acumen ! Imagine the government grabbing a neat percentage of that as the taxes !

Imagine the potential when the thousands of businessmen like him in India would do the same ! Then millions of extra house holds would be in a position to buy tomato ketchup, glucose products and such other things which otherwise they would not dare !

It is the simple trick of creating the markets ! It is the trick of mentoring the markets to grow for your own benefits ! It is the trick of inclusive growth !

When I explained this to him, for quite some time he was speechless ! Finally he said: 'Sir, I think you told me some thing that I haven't cared to think so far !'

Though he insisted that we should meet again in future, I could not meet him later. I also do not know whether he made any changes in his business outlooks later !

The point I wanted to make here is simple : Most Indian business men, though shrewd, are misers of the highest order when it comes to sharing of their profits with their employees and shareholders. Even those in the government are also not better when things like giving out come for consideration.

Many of them fear that a proliferation of affluent people in the country would make things worse for them ! Of course it is a baseless fear !

Money accumulation in the hands of a few people are not going to make a prosperous state. Let it happen for motivational purposes. But at the same time, it should not be by depriving the majority. A system where business profits are shared to a large number of people would ensure a society with more people with higher purchasing power. A society where the purchasing power of people are high would grow faster !

It is all about creating more and more economic activities. More economic activities means more employment and more opportunities for innovation and development.

Wake up Indian business men !

There is nothing you would gain by accumulating wealth for yourself ! There is no guarantee that your accumulated wealth would be of any gain to your descendants ! Accumulated wealth in a deprived society is potential danger !

But there is much for you and your descendants to gain if you voluntarily share a portion of your accumulated wealth with the people who associated with you to make your profits !

Every extra rupee that comes into the hands of more and more people is going to make the markets swell and the country richer !

This is just one aspect of spreading prosperity. Being in leadership position of wealth and power, you are also in a position to pull talents to perform much better. That is called mentoring !

For that you should learn the art of developing organizations built up on compassion, empathy and of course character and not organizations built up over inhuman robotic mechanisms !

If you learn these things, there is nothing that can stop this country from becoming another USA or Japan !

If you do not adopt these, your success would be short lived even when you have billions in your accounts !

Should I tell more about the reasons of failure of the Indian businessmen and the Indian society ? You may not publicly accept those failures if you sit there with your muscles tightened !

It is just a food for thought !

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Friday, May 24, 2013

Low Cost Pre-fabricated Houses: Something For Indian Entrepreneurs to Try Seriously !

A couple of days ago, I happen to see a website of a South African company specializing in the design and construction of low cost houses that could be made in just three days ! Later I have found information in the internet about the existence of many such firms who are specialists in this field. The idea they are promoting and implementing is nothing complex as compared to the high tech industries. But they are simple and most useful for human beings.

There are many unconventional options and designs. Pre fabricated and cast in site versions. The beauty is that these designs are very easy to make and are decent and more importantly, inexpensive.

[You may click these links to find it yourself : 1. Cast in-situ houses  2. Modular Homes  3. Modular Home Designs  4. am-cor pre-fab ferrocement kits]

If you search the internet you find that the world is much progressive in this except perhaps this large nation, India.

Indians are now consuming Chinese manufactured things in large quantities. The Chinese have gone ahead in this area too. There are many small and big manufacturers who make various kinds of panels for house construction.

Another important aspect is the large scale use of unburnt soil bricks of various kinds in house construction. Some efforts in this line could be seen in India here and there, but not in an organized manner.

On the overall, house construction in India so far in the organized sector has been in the conventional manner. Burnt bricks, cement mortar, steel reinforced cement concrete, some glass, some aluminium, tiles, etc all labour intensive, time consuming and expensive.

None of the present designs of houses in India are eco friendly. A independent house of say, 900 sq.ft carpet area takes at least an year to complete and costs as high as Rupees two million. On the other hand, a dwelling unit of similar size in a multi storied apartment building in urban India takes more than three years to complete and costs anything in the range of rupess three million to ten million.

Even though India is the second most populous country in the world, more than half of its population of 120 billion people live without a proper shelter. These populace is classified as the below poverty line (BPL) people whose average family income is less than Rs 5000 per month. It is just unthinkable that such people can even afford a housing unit even if it costs only one tenth of the cost of a small house that I mentioned above.

Besides, India has a serious shortfall of skilled labour in the house construction field. There is serious shortage of masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, construction supervisors, planners, experienced engineers and architects.

It is foolish to think that the Indian government can do some thing to sort out such issues. The governments in India now are too short of visionary leaders who could foresee such problems and use their leadership to do some thing !

It is not true to say that India does not have any governmental organizations to do research work in this field and popularize such useful technologies. Organizations such as the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) and many state government sponsored housing boards and other such governmental organizations have been in the field of house research and business for many decades. However, none of them have deviated much from the conventional methods of construction and could not popularize any practical and aesthetic housing designs which are affordable and also good to live comfortably.

Rapid growth of concrete constructions have caused serious depletion of river sand in many regions in India. Kerala is a good example in this regard. Here, river sand has become a scarce commodity that it is being imported from far away countries like Combodia. Even factory made sand, which is nothing but crushed rock, is also getting used as an alternative. The cost of river sand which used to be a few hundred rupees a couple of decades ago is now costing over Rs. 10,000/- a cubic metre. Cost of standard burnt brick has also increased many fold.

Concrete buildings are not at all comfortable to live due to its thermal characteristics. Homes built with RCC roofs absorb all the heat of the sun during the day and radiate it inwards in the night to the discomfort of the dwellers. People who can afford, then spend much on air conditioners and consume so much electricity making India a power hungry nation already, even with half of its population sleeping in the open skies !

All these call for urgent actions to popularize alternative design and construction technologies with regard to the future houses in India both for the urban and the rural people.

All over the world, changes have been brought about by dynamic and visionary entrepreneurs. This is an area where such people can think differently and evolve a business model that is useful to them, the users and the society.

Why not we think about designing, manufacturing and marketing completely knocked down (CKD) houses which could be assembled at site in a few days with the help of trained personnel ? Such houses should also look better aesthetically, comfortable, affordable and maintainable with a long life.

It is not difficult technically. Technologies and know how already exist in the world elsewhere.

What is needed is willing entrepreneurs who can take up the challenge to make a change !

The possibilities and opportunities are immense !

Note dtd 18-10-2013

For those who are interested in knowing more, I am including some prefab home and building manufacturers in India with their web address links:

1. Sri Vijayalakshmi Engineering Works, Bangalore 
2. Sintex Industries Limited, Kalol, Gujarat
3. Pre-fab Engg Consultancy, Bangalore
4. Champion Pre-fabs Goa
5. NCL Industries Ltd, Hyderabad
6. Shadows-Bison Prefab houses, Coimbatore
7. Smartec Build Systems, Hyderabad
8. Everest Industries Limited, Nashik, Maharashtra

Yet, it seems that no builder has apparently thought of bringing this technology to the convenience of the rural and sub-urban folks in India by making it popular and affordable. Those entrepreneurs having an urge for doing business laced with service should think about it.

The question is how a genuine person in India, thinking of building an affordable and durable home can have it constructed and delivered to him in about a month's time? Who will market the concept to such people ? And would such a home of say, 500 sq.ft be available at a cost less than that made using the prevalent technology using burnt bricks and cement and yet stylish and comfortable ?

The technology is available. What is lacking is the will to market it to those who need it.

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

This Could Be A Way How We Could Reduce Corruption In India !

About my perception about the wide spread prevalence of corruption in my country, I have wrote some of my hypotheses about it in these columns. If you have n't seen it before, you may have a look at these by clicking the links below:

1. A Corrupt Society ....Trying to Fight Corruption Brings About More Corruption !

2. Best Way to Have a Freely Corrupt Society while Officially Fighting Corruption !

3. Why Corruption Cannot Be Eradicated in Democratic India Now ?

4. Propagating Corruption Through ATM Machines and Preventing It Too !

While people with corruptible minds are every where, it is not possible to eradicate corruption totally from any society so long as such people exist.

But those high profile corruptions which are perpetuated by those in high positions and authority in a democratic system could be reduced to a great extent if the society could some how make certain systemic changes in the rule books.

In democratic India, the Constitution has overlooked one very important aspect of democracy. The Constitution of India is not making a ceiling on the time period for the top elected posts of the country such as the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Ministers, etc. Though it specifies the term for a particular government, it is not making any ceiling on the number of terms an individual could be in a position of high authority.

For example, in one of the best democracies in the world today, the United States of America, no President can be in office for more than two terms or eight years. However good the President may be, perpetuation of his or her rule indefinitely could be something against the spirit of a true democratic rule !

In effect, a democracy with out a limit on the individual's term of authority is not a democracy at all. It has no difference from the aristocracy that many nations followed in the past. Looking in this perspective, India is not a democracy at all ! It is being ruled now by neo aristocrats in rotation or by mutual understandings. Alliances are nothing but conveniences to perpetuate self interests of a few and are not with any willful mandate of the majority people !

The individuals remain the same, though the titles they hold may change periodically ! Political scientists should invent a new term for this kind of a cracy ! Now for effecting the title changes, elections are held and huge money has to be spend by the title holders.

Now if the title holders have to spend money for this, they have to get back the money some how. They are bound to use their positions of authority for that and that leads to corruption induced by those in high authority. If the fence eats the crop, what could be done ? In a way how could any one blame these individuals because of an original fault in the Constitution that could not be foreseen earlier when it was drafted ?

It is a vicious circle. If any Indian wants to serve his nation and his society, he or she has to spend huge amounts and efforts to get the attention of the people so that the latter could think of electing him or her. If he or she becomes successful this way, then he or she has to get back those amounts that was spent earlier and the system does not have a legal method for refunding the amount spent. The option left is to get back the amount by adopting such methods that are not defined in the rule books. 

There is another danger to this. If the person tries to adopt such a method and get back the amounts, then he or she has violated the rule books and could be caught at any time later when his or her authority weakens. 

So he or she has to do all such things to retain the authority or get back to the authority in the future also till he or she dies. That means a perpetuation of corruption by this individual who has become a member of the demo-cratic system called politics.

Logically, there appears two things by which the Indian system could escape this vicious circle of perpetuation of corruption by those in high authorities.

First, let the rule book be amended so that the term of authority for the top elected posts of the President and the PM and perhaps the CMs are limited to say a maximum of ten years.

Second, let there be a change in the rule books by which there is provision of refunding of election expenses for the winners. Remember, it is the winner who is bound to seek the positions of authority  for trying the illegal means to get back his or her money spend on the elections.

As I have explained earlier, there is no guarantee that this will eliminate corruption.

Perhaps there is a possibility that those who are left with some moral goodness in their consciousness would at least  not try to justify their wrongs and hopefully adopt a path of righteousness. And if it happens, it would be a great milestone of achievement to India !

But again, such a change in the rule book is now possible only when this country is fortunate to get a strong leader at the top who is willing to act saying : ' enough is enough now and let me do it now for my people' !

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Friday, May 17, 2013

Horse Racing, Cricketing, Betting and the Indian Mind!

The games of horse racing and cricketing are not of Indian origin, but are legacies that my country men and women got irresistibly entangled with because of those white gentlemen officers who were bosses of their grandparents often exhibited their royal style by indulging in these games which were told as the games of the aristocrats. 

So their grandparents took it for granted that these games are symbols of aristocracy and affluence and passed on that concept to their children.

So, even after the Britishers packed off from the Indian sub-continent, the Indian mind, the majority of them, dreamed of becoming like their royal bosses of the past whom they adored for their styles and  manners. They wanted to imitate their white bosses and their families to become aristocratic like them.

They imitated their language, their club culture and their games and these things predominated their talks and thoughts most often. Perhaps they attributed the success of their foreign masters to these things and wanted to be like them by adopting these in to their lives !

They envied the whites to the extent of some deep seated hatred but loved their charming culture secretly in their minds !

When the whites left their land, they find it difficult to raise the expensive horses to continue with the horse races and the polo's.

But cricket was indeed different. It needed nothing much of that sort !

Moreover, their erstwhile masters still mentored this lazy game called test cricket which took days to come to any conclusion. Their teams were ready to play with the teams of from the neo Indian nations.

They worked hard to inculcate and indoctrinate the pliable Indian minds with a type of game addiction in such a way that even the learned psychologists would find it difficult to explain the reasons !

With horse racing disappearing the scenes and the Khadi clad puritan Indian politicians denouncing betting and making money through all forms of chance games officially, this cricket soon transformed itself from a gentle man game to that of a game of bet and gamble.

The greed for quick moneys transformed test crickets to one-day-crickets. The Indian youths who toiled to master this game and get the favour of their control board members soon became celebrities making such monies even the cine stars could not even dream.

It was the trick of money begetting more money in cricket now in India.

More and more gullible Indians were getting glued to this game even while they never ever chanced to get a feel of the game by themselves.

The hard and heavy cricket ball and the wooden bats have become symbols of attack weapons and ammunition that have deadly properties only to be handled by select heroes. So the cricket players have become real life heroes who acted without any dupes making them all the more desirable demigods for the public, too eager to worship any such gods !

Added to all these is the greed that governs the minds of many of those from this land. They are willing to do anything for amassing quick money that they themselves have ever paused to think of its utility. The glitter of money and wealth has blinded them to see its actual usefulness for them in reality. They seem to to think of getting it and not of its real value for making their lives hassle free. Had they done that, perhaps many of them would not have spend their lives living in constant fear of those official and unofficial hounds who are after them to tear off their newly added flesh of wealth !

All these complexities are part of the developing culture of India now. A civilization of race mixing and culture mixing never going too far to some acceptable amalgamation !

And perhaps that is what makes India a preferred destination for the cocktail lovers who are after those Bloody Mary's even without ever realizing its real punch !

Too complex, too complicated ! Isn't it ?

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Applying and Getting the Indian Voter ID Card Online: The Latest ECI Initiative !

Unlike the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Election Commission of India is a statutory constitutional authority. The UIDAI though functioning only with some disputed executive authority has anyway moved ahead with the preparation of issuing biometric identity cards to all citizens of India and the Indian public seems to be obsessed with the idea of getting this ID called Aadhaar. [The large number of visits to my blog titled " Finally Aadhaar ID is Downloadable-Here is How You Get It !" is just an indication of this] Perhaps citizens of India have a feeling that Aadhaar would become the foundation of their existence in India as a citizen in the future !

As of now, all governmental authorities in India are working independently compelling one to feel the existence of innumerable governments and authorities determining their fate, rather than just one authority, who is in control. Then they cannot complain, because it is all due to their own reluctance in exercising their responsibility of choosing their governmental authorities, wisely.

Perhaps, the only way they can do it is by participating in the process of electing their representatives to the legislative bodies, the central parliament and the state legislatures.

When it comes to the conduct of elections in India, the authority that determines the process is the Election Commission of India (ECI) which is constitutionally an independent authority outside the supervisory control of the executive authorities. However, the ECI has not much independent machinery and infrastructure to do this of their own. It has to take the help of the existing governmental systems and infrastructure. Even the financial allocations for its functioning have to be from the executive branch of the government.

A good majority of people in the country are constantly on the move on account of their vocations. Besides thousands become eligible for voting every year when they attain the prescribed age for casting their votes and almost an equivalent number cease to be voters on account of death and other such incidences. In such a scenario, it is a Herculean task to maintain a fair and dependable voters' list, the most essential thing to conduct a fair election.

Considering the fact the the ECI has no permanent infrastructure of their own makes the preparation and updating of the voter's quite frequently a task prone to unprecedented errors. In reality, a good majority of people in India are not represented in the voters' list. There are ample chances that the same person may be included many times. There are also enough chances that a person whose name is included in a list may not be aware of the same. 

The work of the ECI in preparation and updating of the electoral rolls for a constituency depends much on the effectiveness and dedication of the enumerators and the staff drawn temporarily for the purpose from other governmental departments. As these staff do not have any permanent office for this purpose of which the common people are aware of, there is enough scope for the voters' list getting prepared in a manner which is totally unprofessional. 

For example, consider this. Some years ago, the ECI determined that a photo Identity card issued by them would be mandatory for any one to vote. Millions of rupees got wasted in making erroneous cards because there was no clear instructions on how the data should be collected. The names of the voters were noted down in vernacular languages and then transliterated in English alphabet making the person with a name that he or his family would have ever imagined. Such goof ups forced the ECI to back track from their mandatory orders making the voters Id a thing of ridicule.

But this also helped many in other ways. The prevailing election processes over a few years in the recent times eliminated almost all educated citizens from the voters' list of India making most middle class and higher class citizens getting separated from the election processes completely. For quite some time the voting percentages in India have been abysmally low hovering around 40-60 percent in most cases. In other words, the elected representatives no more represented the true majority ! The literate class has become a frustrated lot in India having no say in determining their political functionaries. This eventuality slowly happened without many of them even realizing the same. 

The literate middle class has become more and more reluctant in exercising their franchises. Either their names did not appear in the voters' lists or they did not bother to get it included or they simply did not know how to get it done. In earlier days, it was the work of the political parties and their agents to do all the needful to give all the relevant information to the voters so that the latter find no difficulty in locating their names in the voters' lists and knowing the polling booths where they could cast their votes.

But of late, the political parties and their agents have started showing a determined laxity in this. Knowingly or unknowingly they preferred avoiding certain sections of the populace from knowing their details so that they could exercise their franchises smoothly. On the other hand, their existed no facility wherein a voter can find out his name and his polling station by his own efforts. It is not surprising then that the voting percentages dropped down drastically !

When this is the situation for the literate and affluent classes, it is every body's guess about the reality that existed in the rural areas.

With this kind of a scenario that has been existing, it is a welcome move that the ECI has now begun in starting an online facility for the people to apply for inclusion in the voters' list in their respective constituencies in India.

I am not sure how effective it is in its outcome. However, one can now make an effort by visiting the  citizens' service website of the Election Commission of India.

The first thing one has to do is to register in the site by clicking the New User Registration link of this page. For registration one needs his or her mobile number and a valid e-mail id.

One you give this, a one time pass word is send to your mobile for confirmation which is then used to proceed to the next page for entering your primary information and your own passwords.

Once this much is done and submitted, a page will open giving all your profile information for final confirmation. You need to take a note of this information for all your future reference.

Your future id for this site would be your mobile number and your pass word would be the one you have entered while registering for the first time.

Later use this information to enter the site as a registered user.

Then you can make online applications for inclusion in the voters' list. You can also upload your digital photograph from your computer.

Once the online application is completed and uploaded, some officer of the ECI would visit you for verification and issue of the voter id card later.

I have not tried this to this end to verify its workability.

You may try yourself. If it works, it is indeed a praiseworthy effort of the ECI.

Unfortunately, it is not the way I thought it should be.

The ECI site indeed provides for the citizens to upload all necessary information about him including the required document scans, photo scans, etc to prove his idenity, address, etc. Besides, e-mail and mobile phone informations for contacts are also taken.

However, the next part of the process is a thing they could have made citizen friendly. After taking all the information, what the ECI proposes to do is to intimate a date of appearance in person with some of their low key officer sitting in some remote area of the region. Of course they provide the mobile number and the address of this officer and the date of appearance, just as the court or the police call you for an appearance !

They had done that with me too. Unfortunately I do not have the time to find out the the place where this person sits and go in search of that person to present me before him or her for the voter's id card!

Remember, it was the enumerator's job to come to my residence and find me there to make sure that I am indeed a person living there at that residence. How can they do it if I was to go his or her place of temporary existence ?

So for the time being, this exercise of the ECI appears to be another futile thing.

We may have to wait a bit more till the ECI people realize their flaws and rectify the same !

Note Added on 2nd Dec 2013

You should also consider reading the following blogs in this context:

The Unique Identity Crisis of India !

Unique Identity to All: the Simple Thing to Do

In any case, let me admit this. I have many id cards. Yet I have miserably failed to know whether I could vote in this country. I had been voting before these complicated address proof formalities and the photo id voters' lists got introduced. Me and my family have been photographed many times. We had filled the forms many times.

It is also possible that our photos might be appearing in a few voters' lists! The election enumerators are simply ill equipped and incompetent in many parts of this country. You cannot expect them doing a fine job! On the contrary, those very people who work for the ECI on temporary basis out of fear and compulsion could make the whole system fail by making deliberate wrong entries and errors.

There is no way to know how many of our people are really able to exercise their voter's rights. While there are millions in the voters' lists with apparently incomplete names and addresses, there are also millions of educated people with some standing in the society whose names do not appear in the same voters' lists.

These confusions apparently appear as deliberate. There is a general fear in the political parties who had been in power for some time to have only the pliable public as the voters. They seem not comfortable to make a system wherein all citizens are in a position to vote as guaranteed by the constitution.

The ECI is an independent constitutional authority. But the question is : Is it really independent? It is not. The ECI is fully dependent on the government, both at the center and the states for infrastructure and facilities. It can force and coerce government servants to do the duties of election. But it cannot motivate those people to do a perfect job. And that is a big handicap!

It is time that every one in this country give a serious thought of all these, to keep this great democracy to go forward without failing!

Added on 26th April 2014

Even with my best efforts and even after living in a permanent and well known address for the past three years in Ranchi-the state capital city of Jharkhand- I could not find a place in the electoral rolls and I could not exercise my franchise in the May 2014 general elections. This was the case with a number of my colleagues. Though similar conditions have been known in many other places, it is now that a national news paper has made a report about it. The Election Commission of India has admitted the mistakes especially with regard to Mumbai where some 200,000 voters have been reportedly omitted out. See the news scan below:

The Economic Times in its editorial today has highlighted it and opined that we should not discredit the Election Commission for such mistakes. See the scan of the editorial below:

Perhaps they said it rightly. Considering the fact that the EC depends mainly on staff and officers on temporary deputation for all kinds of election work, it may not be possible to do a better work as the control and supervision of the field staff would not be effective at all.

But it is any way a serious issue. Something seriously has to be done to improve the system devoid of such serious mistakes. If citizens are prevented from voting either selectively or erroneously it is a serious matter. It raises doubts on the democratic processes in India!

How Do We Make Collective Decisions Against Our Own Convictions ?

Yesterday I was watching a TV programme aired by the Asianet News Channel in Malayalam language titled ' Akalangalile India' (അകലങ്ങളിലെ ഇന്ത്യ) which means the India far away. Every week this programme took up a news story that normally those Indians sitting in their comfort zones fail to realize about the realities of life their own country men face else where within their country.

Yesterday the theme that they covered was the plight of common people living on either side of the India-Pakistan border in the north-west.

Political ambitions of a few elite Indians belonging to two prominent religions caused India to be divided into two while the Britishers decided to hand over the reigns of governance to the locals some six decades ago. Many in the British political echelons of those days perhaps were of the knowledge about the rivalry of a few emerging Indian leaders in the Indian political organization that the British had created and nurtured for training the locals for future democratic governance of India. After all the British had realized the aspirations of the emerging educated non-royals of India in getting themselves elevated to the neo-royalty of modern India of the twentieth century. Politics has always been a life threatening adventure of those who have overcome the basic needs of life and the emerging leaders of India were no different !

The British could have tried to bring about a forceful peace among the warring Indian leaders and extended their decision of handing over power to the locals at an appropriate time later when the leadership issues among the Indians are sorted out. But the Indians outsmarted the British by instigating religious passions of the illiterate masses and the British had perhaps no alternative but to divide India, that too on a totally arbitrary basis quickly worked out on the basis of religious proportions, something never tried in administrative parlour  ever before in this land.

A Himalayan blunder was made by a few that caused the Indian holocaust of 1947. Had a little bit of wisdom prevailed in the minds of one or two Indians of the emerging Indian politics and one or two in the British government, this blunder and this holocaust could have never happened.

For the mistakes of these handful of people, thousands killed each other and committed all sorts of inhuman acts of  butchery that even the beasts would be ashamed of.  

They had unknowingly became the pawns in the hands of their ambitious leaders and committed such a deadly sin that even their future generations were not going to be spared !

And those who were directly in the midst of all these have all perished. It is their future generations who have ultimately became Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who keep paying for their sins !

It is generally believed that seven generations have to suffer for such sins. That is believed to be a divine decree.  When no one of their future leaders of these countries appear to be so unconcerned of their plights, one may be inclined to believe in the prevalence of such divine decrees.

If you ask any of the leaders of these countries individually and personally, they all admit their sympathies with the suffering of the people at the borders of these Indian origin nations. They are all concerned when they speak personally. They are all humane when they speak out their minds.

But when they take collective decisions, their decisions never reflect their personal feelings. All their decisions are for aggravating the sufferings of the border land peoples.

I keep wondering about this kind of a situation in governance. Who or which is that force that directs the decisions in any government ? Individually you talk to all of the top functionaries in private. They all would perhaps say something quite contrary to their own collective decisions.

Why is it like that ?

How do we make our collective decisions ?

Is it actually a democratic majority decision ?

Is there any unseen and unrecognized force that causes such decisions that go against the self convictions of the individuals in the collective governance ?

In any case, the Indian border lands appear to be cursed regions. We may have to wait for seven generations to over come the curse ! Otherwise why these Indian nations collectively decide to spend all their resources in gathering arms and ammunition to be put on fire across these borders that used to be their heartland some time ago ?

I have no answer !

Do you ?

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Essence of the Religious Concepts Framed by the Indian Companion of Jesus !

After studying the world religions that existed at that time, Ganid, the son of the Indian businessman on business tour to the middle east who was travelling those regions together with the Jewish youth called Jesus of Nazareth for almost an year formulated his own concepts of a religion with the able guidance he received from his Jewish guide. Ganid and his business man father, Gonod, by this time could guess that the friendly interpreter who had been with them for this long period was not an ordinary person, but a man of adorable qualities.[Know more about Gonod and his son Ganid here !] But they never imagined that this Jesus with whom they travelled for all these months is the human incarnate of a Creator Son of God who was responsible for the material creation of this part of a galactic region called the local universe where already over 3.8 million planets like earth are blooming with advanced life forms like the humans of earth.

Ganid could study the essence of these religions now known as  Cynicism, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Shintoism, Taoism and  Confucianism by collecting all available information on these religions from Alexandria and Rome during their long journey with the help of Jesus. Finally he compiled the essence of what he called "Our Religion".

The following was essentially what he compiled as the essence of the religious beliefs for any noble person:

The Lord our God is one Lord, and you should love him with all your mind and heart while you do your very best to love all his children as you love yourself. This one God is our heavenly Father, in whom all things consist, and who dwells, by his spirit, in every sincere human soul. And we who are the children of God should learn how to commit the keeping of our souls to him as to a faithful Creator. With our heavenly Father all things are possible. Since he is the Creator, having made all things and all beings, it could not be otherwise. Though we cannot see God, we can know him. And by daily living the will of the Father in heaven, we can reveal him to our fellow men. 

The divine riches of God’s character must be infinitely deep and eternally wise. We cannot search out God by knowledge, but we can know him in our hearts by personal experience. While his justice may be past finding out, his mercy may be received by the humblest being on earth. While the Father fills the universe, he also lives in our hearts. The mind of man is human, mortal, but the spirit of man is divine, immortal. God is not only all-powerful but also all-wise. If our earth parents, being of evil tendency, know how to love their children and bestow good gifts on them, how much more must the good Father in heaven know how wisely to love his children on earth and to bestow suitable blessings upon them.

The Father in heaven will not suffer a single child on earth to perish if that child has a desire to find the Father and truly longs to be like him. Our Father even loves the wicked and is always kind to the ungrateful. If more human beings could only know about the goodness of God, they would certainly be led to repent of their evil ways and forsake all known sin. All good things come down from the Father of light, in whom there is no variableness neither shadow of changing. The spirit of the true God is in man’s heart. He intends that all men should be brothers. When men begin to feel after God, that is evidence that God has found them, and that they are in quest of knowledge about him. We live in God and God dwells in us.

I will no longer be satisfied to believe that God is the Father of all my people; I will henceforth believe that he is also my Father. Always will I try to worship God with the help of the Spirit of Truth, which is my helper when I have become really God-knowing. But first of all I am going to practice worshiping God by learning how to do the will of God on earth; that is, I am going to do my best to treat each of my fellow mortals just as I think God would like to have him treated. And when we live this sort of a life in the flesh, we may ask many things of God, and he will give us the desire of our hearts that we may be the better prepared to serve our fellows. And all of this loving service of the children of God enlarges our capacity to receive and experience the joys of heaven, the high pleasures of the ministry of the spirit of heaven.

I will every day thank God for his unspeakable gifts; I will praise him for his wonderful works to the children of men. To me he is the Almighty, the Creator, the Power, and the Mercy, but best of all, he is my spirit Father, and as his earth child I am sometime going forth to see him. And my tutor has said that by searching for him I shall become like him. By faith in God I have attained peace with him. This new religion of ours is very full of joy, and it generates an enduring happiness. I am confident that I shall be faithful even to death, and that I will surely receive the crown of eternal life.

I am learning to prove all things and adhere to that which is good. Whatsoever I would that men should do to me, that I will do to my fellows. By this new faith I know that man may become the son of God, but it sometimes terrifies me when I stop to think that all men are my brothers, but it must be true. I do not see how I can rejoice in the fatherhood of God while I refuse to accept the brotherhood of man. Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. If that is true, then all men must be my brothers.

Henceforth will I do my good deeds in secret; I will also pray most when by myself. I will judge not that I may not be unfair to my fellows. I am going to learn to love my enemies; I have not truly mastered this practice of being Godlike. Though I see God in these other religions, I find him in ‘our religion’ as being more beautiful, loving, merciful, personal, and positive. But most of all, this great and glorious Being is my spiritual Father; I am his child. And by no other means than my honest desire to be like him, I am eventually to find him and eternally to serve him. At last I have a religion with a God, a marvelous God, and he is a God of eternal salvation.

[As told by the UB ; adapted and quoted from it]

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]