31 August 2007

I have a passion....The rise of a Great Nation.

Its everyone’s dream to live in a developed India. Our Ex. Prez Dr. kalam even compiled a 10-point vision for the country to be achieved in coming 12 years
Global competitiveness for any nation is indeed a big challenge. For achieving such a competitive edge for a nation, it is essential to have a vision. I would like to share with you my visualisation of such a nation.

1. A nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
2. A nation where there is an equitable distribution and access to energy and quality water.
3. A nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony, absorbing technology thereby resulting in sustained wealth-generation leading to greater high value employment opportunities.
4. A nation where education is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination or because of constraints of rules.
5. A nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors from all over the world.
6. A nation where the best of healthcare is available to all and the communicable diseases like AIDS/TB, water and vector borne diseases and other stress diseases, cardiac diseases, cancer and diabetes are brought down.
7. A nation where the governance uses the best of the technologies to be responsive, transparent, fully connected in a high bandwidth e-governance grid, easily accessible and also simple in rules, thereby corruption free.
8. A nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women are absent and none in the society feels unalienated.
9. A nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
10. A nation that is one of the best places to live in on the earth and brings smiles on the one billion-plus faces.

Dr. Kalam doesn’t stop at this point. He provides us an integrated action plan as well.
Integrated action: To meet the need of one billion people, we have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action:
1. Agriculture and food processing;
2. Reliable and quality electric power; surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country;
3. Education and healthcare;
4. Information and communication technology (ICT); and
5. Strategic sectors.

These five areas are closely inter-related and if properly implemented, will lead to food, economic and national security of our country. In each of these areas, there is a wealth of opportunities awaiting nations who would like to work together for mutual benefits in a win-win situation.

Each of these missions comprise many projects, investments, innovations, marketing and therefore many partnerships are possible. Those who seek out will find a new opportunity. Let us remember the adage, 'early bird catches the worm.'

Fellow blogger Gurudev comes up with a superb compilation of goals and requirements to achieve this fete.

What impressed me in the compilation was the importance given to very Indian nature of facts and considerations.

Let me put forth some of my favourite points from that article.
Every child in the country will get a compulsory free and quality primary education (education, not literacy)
No reservations in the education system.
All discrepancies in the current education system will be corrected including wrongly attributing many of the ancient Indian discoveries and inventions to western scientists (ex: Pythagorean theorem, calculus, etc)
History will be presented as it is. The students will have access to a variety of sources of history rather to that of a particular ideology.
The education system has to make a student social centric not self centric.

Employment will be a basic fundamental right
Employment should be based only on capability and merit.

Health Insurance is free for any and every type of ailment and covered by the tax a person pays.
Yoga classes will be introduced in all schools.

Farming of Genetically modified crops will be banned
Farming will be one of the self employments providing great returns to the farmer
It will be illegal to convert agricultural land for any other purpose.

All defense material are indigenously manufactured

No general public case will be delayed by more than a few months
Since all the youth are employed, crime rate will be very minimal zero in the country.

Tax on income will be 30% but this will guarantee free medical care, health insurance, accident insurance, quality motorable roads, free telephone calls within the country, free broadband, free primary education, free minimum electricity, protection of heritage sites, maintenance of gardens, playgrounds, public libraries etc.

Stronger Rupee = Stronger India

30% of the land area will be dedicated to natural and protected forests
Rain water harvesting systems will be set up all over the country and deep borewells will be banned except in exceptional situations

There will be a mandatory public library of latest and up to date digital books
Students will be encouraged more towards basic science than at technological implementations
Air travel within the country is cheap.
Travel all over the country is free for retired personnel by bus, air and trains.
Election Commission, Intelligence agencies, Reserve Bank, Research Organizations, Police forces, etc will be politically independent systems.

All cultural heritage sites of the country will be well preserved.
Every school will also have lessons on various art forms for students. Indian dance forms, ancient Indian martial arts, painting, music, etc will be the available options for students.
There will be a compulsory annual cultural educational tour in every school to at least one of the cultural sites listed by the government.

No person convicted of murder, attempt to murder, rape, corruption, fraud, poaching, misuse of public office will be allowed to stand for an election
If in an election, people of a constituency cast majority negative votes (i.e vote against all candidates in the list), then there will be a re-election in the constituency and none of the existing candidates will be allowed to contest in the re-election.
Government will not favor any religion nor will fund any religious activities.Public will have the right to recall their representative by filing a petition with the election commission, if they feel that the representative is under performing.

There are many more such interesting points that will definitely help India transform into a super power. Gurudev, Thanks for providing us this list. Click here to read the complete article.

20 August 2007

Folklore - a measure of our cultural heritage

Folk singers are a treasure for the society.

Nagamma, a local female singing for me, in praise of Madeshwara, the God.

I cant just explain my joy when I come across such people. I just congratulate them for all the art they possess. Just listen to that amazing voice. She is an ignored woman, and unfortunately, her art is on the extinct way today. Can there be some solace to at least the art she possesses?

She is Nagamma, and today she begs at Talakadu, a historical place near Bengalooru.

P.S. I am more concerned about the huge collection of such folk songs she possesses. Will she be passing them on to the gen next?

16 August 2007

Power of One - Independence day rating

Madame Sonia makes it to the elite list of great Indian architects that too in the list of Power of one, which is the list containing Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, Mother Teresa, Subhash Chandra Bose, Salim Ali and Kiran Bedi, Dhirubhai Ambani among others.

Is this list justified? Hmmmm Kiran Bedi might suit in for her courage of taking an un-dwelled path. Dhiru bhai Ambani, for building an empire out of nothing. And Salim Ali for scripting a different dictionary for biological sciences. But Sonia Gandhi….?!!

May be for powerfully handling the country from behind the screens? Or does she have any hands in this rating?? Oh! Man…after all she has a Prime Minister and a Pressident those who obey her with utmost respect. Why not a journalist, who just publishes a rating?!

And one question… Do we need such surveys or ratings that seem to be biased and un-real?

Here goes my list (10 great Indians) of Power of One.
  1. Mahatma Gandhi
  2. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
  3. B R Ambedkar
  4. M S Subbalakshmi
  5. Vikram Sarabhai / Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam
  6. Lal Bahadur Shasthri
  7. J R D Tata
  8. R K Narayan
  9. Mother Teresa
  10. Rakesh Sharma / Kalpana Chavla

Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and A B Vajapayee might make it in, but not in top 10 though.

Update : This list contains only those Indians who lived in Independent India.

08 August 2007

Thought for the day - Subhashitam

मनस्यॆकम वचस्यॆकम कर्मण्यॆकम महात्मनः ।
मनस्यॆकम वचस्यॆकम कर्मण्यॆकम दुरात्मनः ।।

ಮನಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ವಚಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ಕರ್ಮಣ್ಯೇಕಂ ಮಹಾತ್ಮನಃ
ಮನಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ವಚಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ಕರ್ಮಣ್ಯೇಕಂ ದುರಾತ್ಮನಃ

ಭಾವಾರ್ಥ : ಮಹಾತ್ಮರಿಗೆ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದೇ, ಮಾತಿನಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದೇ, ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದೇ ರೀತಿ.
ದುಷ್ಟರಿಗೆ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲೊಂದು, ಮಾತಿನಲ್ಲೊಂದು, ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲೊಂದು ರೀತಿ.

Manasyekam Vachasyekam Karmanyekam Mahaatmanah
Manasyekam Vachasyekam Karmanyekam Duraatmanah

Meaning : Noble ones are those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony.Wicked are those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect disharmony!!

01 August 2007

On a warring path!!

Last weekend, Pradeep, Raghavendra, Raghu, Vikram, Prashanth and myself planned for a monsoon trek to Kumara Parvatha in the heartland of amazing evergreen forests in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. As the word have gone, Vikram caught fever on the day of journey and dropped out to see that we are not troubled(!). He had developed chickenpox, we came to know this upon our return. He asked me how the journey was and trek in rains. I replied him thru an email which I am pasting further.

Experience :

Road to Pushpagiri

Yes, It was a fantastic experience, to trek in rains..amidst water and leeches.

The forest guard who was at the entrance didn’t allow us to enter the forest. After sufficient pleading, and assuring him that we would not venture further to Kukke Subramanya, he agreed. He charged Rs. 100/- each without giving us any receipt. However, we ventured with our luggage, tents and other stuffs.

Our initial plan was to trek from Somavarpet side(Bidahalli) -> camp at the peak -> trek further to Kukke to end the trek.

Lichen infected ground

But it was not to be, since the forest guard didn’t permit us to do so. So, we had change of plans, to trek till and camp at the peak and return back to Bidahalli. Since all we wanted was a monsoon trek, we went ahead in search of the peak.

If you have done KP(Kumara Parvatha) earlier, you'd know that there are two places in the jungle where water flows across the road and you have no other means to cross it, but to walk on it. In monsoon, these places would be usually flooded. Flow was tremendous, so, we had to be careful in crossing the stream. And once you cross, you are sure to encounter numrous such places where water would be rushing its way dissecting your way. This was exactly the scene we encountered.

The mistic appearance
This apart, it was raining heavily, we had good amount of food and other items with us, along with tent, which was heavy as well. So, cut down in pace, we thought; but least we knew that we had to run for our lives, to escape the leeches. oh! leeches!! I have never come across such a huge stock of them, it was as if they had waged a war against us... rains from above, heavy luggage on our back and leeches from the ground...all were against us.

An encounter with rain

To note, we had already de-paced hearing to the villagers that no amount of assurance would enable the guard to permit us in. Thus, we were running against time as well. We trekked for about three hours to reach the first viewpoint. It was a viewpoint, from where we could see nothing. owing to the clouds that covered the whole region. There was absolutely no distinction between the valley, hill, drop or anything else. Everything was misty, un-real and un-clear.

Tommy, a local dog that trekked all the way, just to accompany us!

It was 5:30 PM already and it was getting late as well. Venturing further, we searched for a sufficiently feasible place for the stay. We found none...the whole place was already occupied by the leeches. Villagers had warned us that the place b/n the view point and the peak was a haunt of elephants. Getting wary of this fact, we decided to head back for a village stay thru the night.

We ran down from here, but it was only by 9PM we could find a village suitable for our stay. We stayed at a hospitable villager's house that night. Village was named Heggadamane. Next morning we started trekking back to the bus stop at BidahaLLi 3KMs down the valley.

A beautiful view from the house of our stay

We missed the bus, but fortunately there was a chap with a jeep that could be hired in that village. We enquired and he agreed. On the way, he took us to a breath-taking waterfall called the Mallalli falls. Spending an hour there, we got back to Somavarapet in time to take the 1PM Rajahamsa. We were back in the city by 8PM.

We couldn’t conquer the peak, but had we some 2 more hours, we could well have done that as well. But I must admit, at the end we were happy to have daringly faced the leeches and their distructive war practices.

A dreamy view in the morning

Pradeep, Raghu and Raghavendra on a privileged walk

Next time, I am sure we can find our blood stains in the hills there, flowing inside some leechs' body!!

What an experience!!

P.S. If you are planning for this route in monsoon, keep the luggage to a bare minimum, and do not miss the 7.20AM bus at Somavarapet. If you miss this, then, you might end up caught between the rain, leech and the setting sun in the heart of the jungle, exactly what happened to us!!

I told Vikram that he missed a great oppotunity of spreading the chickenpox among the leeches!!

Leech bitten Srik

A war over the leeches, rain Gods and the dipping Sun....we won?? They won?? I cant say.

Update: Many are asking me for the means to reach this place. Please read this link, my post on Mallalli falls to know about the road to take, the distance, and bus facilities...etc.