Sunday, January 26, 2014



     ‘Republic’-A form of government where the head of the state is neither inherited nor a monarch nor divine ruler but an elected one and is the representative of the overall political will of the people of that state and today 135 out of 206  sovereign states use the word ‘republic’ as part of their official names.

                So, democratic form of governments and the word ‘republic’ are intricately linked though there were some integrationist states like USSR which have used the word ‘Republic’ but are not the one’s in true sense of the term.

                 But, we are different. We, Indians are different .NO NO –India is different. it is hard to imagine a country which is multi diverse, multi cultural, a home to all of the world’s  religions except Confucianism and Taoism, multi lingual, multi ethnic, with its varying geographical and climatic  conditions from the south to north to west to north east, more over a country which was never under a single empire except for a brief period of time during the reign of Asoka and possessing many rivers dividing the country into different swathes of lands with varying productivities and types  therefore dictating the plethora of regional flavors-etc factors make India a miracle in the world map and still it’s a nightmare to historians as to how this country could remain united for so long.

              Baring the oppression and suppression of nationalism for over 250 years under colonial exploitation and expansion , A largely illiterate  population with subsistent economy and whose resources are drained and wealth was plundered by the British  to fuel their development and industries , having the Presence of many local Rajas, Kings, Rao-bahaddurs, Nijams etc with their local fiefdoms ,  who were seen by their subjects as the men born with the divine right to rule – when our first generation national political leadership talked about “democracy “ and the right of Indians for swaraj ( “self rule “) , it was seen by many nations, political scientists , authors and the so called intelligentsia representing the then world order as a crude joke. British denied us independence saying that we , Indians are incapable of ruling ourselves and it is their military , police , administration and governance structures that are making and safeguarding India and once they get out they said “ India will plunge into chaos and Indians will become beggars “.

                But we resisted. We fought. We won. And we proved each one of them wrong and 65 years after successfully conducting democratically elected parliamentary form of governments with successive lok sabhas sitting and deliberating public policies , and the robust constitutional framework proving time and again as the greatest strength and the torch bearers of Indian democracy and the institutions like election commission and CAG having gained international applause for their efficiency and unitary judiciary upholding the rule of law and coming to the rescue of common man very time it is required, Democracy in INDIA is not only a successful experiment but also the one to be worth emulating .

                The idea of complete freedom ( the purna swaraj ) has become the sole objective of Indian national movement was adopted in the Lahore session of INC on 26 Jan 1929 proposed by shri Jawaharlal Nehru under the steward guidance and leadership of our beloved father of the nation sri Gandhiji and other eminent national leaders which demanded the complete withdrawal of British forces from India and ultimate self rule for Indians and India as a constitutionally bound sovereign republic .When the British ultimately realized  that their days in India were numbered , our constituent assembly was formed with Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its chairman and the proud son of India Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, being the head of the all important drafting committee in Feb., 1946 after the cabinet mission plan.

                I think, there was never in history it so happened that a bunch of 350 odd people sat together with the baggage of slavery in their minds, many differences, representing many social and economical strata, baring with several points of views , to sow the seeds of a nation with lofty ideals and extraordinary rights. In spite of their differences , I feel , the underlying force behind the success of our constituent assembly , therefore our country  was their unflinching zeal to make India proud of herself , their unwavering patriotism and more so , their uncompromising faith on Indian people.

                That is why we, the people of India has given to ourselves the constitution which is the basic law of the land forming the indestructible union of destructible states called India, that is BHARATH on 26 Jan 1950  , an year later after constituent assembly adopted and enacted it on 26 Nov 1949 as a sentiment for upholding the date of purna swaraj resolution. As Ambedkar said in the assembly, “democracy in India is a top dressing phenomena and we have to work extremely hard to inculcate the values enshrined in the constitution to work “.  I can say, our politics were reasonably successful in doing so till now.

                Barely at the same time, a nation came up from the wounds of ww2, which has seen two nuclear bombs, plunged into economic and political disarray and whose constitution was drafted by 20 American military generals, Japan started its journey anew. Two parallel happenings ,In India, when the efforts to plant the seeds of democracy, universal adult franchise to 90% illiterate electorate, imagining giving fundamental rights to people who  do not know the meaning of ‘right’ and never enjoyed one , Japan had lost everything to America’s wills and wishes.

                 After 65 years of journey, both the nations came far way. India has achieved significant things in the past 20 years and is in the twilight of making reforms both politically and administratively delaying which it can ill afford and Japan became one of the strongest economic powers and one of the biggest strategic partners OF India, our relationship has been growing from strength to strength. That is why, upon seeing this year’s Republic day guest Abe, the Japanese PM, evoked a sense of nostalgia in me and motivated me to write this piece.

                26th Jan is a true festival day for India and all Indians must celebrate this as this is the day we became a sovereign, socialist, democratic, secular, republic, this is the day which gave new life to our sober souls and gave us an identity and a sense of pride as the world’s largest functioning democracy. On this day , I appeal to all my Indian brothers and sisters that Every principle, ideal, vision enshrined in our constitution must be kept in mind and every citizen of India must respect and show tolerance towards the diversity of India. One must keep in mind that whatever we are, what may be our beliefs, faiths, interests- we are first humans, then Indians and republic day must not become another public holiday but is a day we must remember the founding fathers of this great nation and must inject the spirit of constitution into our blood and re -dedicate ourselves to strive for India’s prosperity and growth .


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

suicide , the irrevocable fall

It’s very heartening to know that somebody died committing suicide. Moreover, the profile of the people ending their lives and the increase in the number of cases of late makes me feel sad, at the same time a bit cautious. What if, one day, anybody I know ends up in that position – the very idea is very disturbing and unpleasant .I wonder, why do people end their lives? Isn’t the extreme step is due to an instant outburst of the feeling of not loving one’s own life no more or is it the outcome of a prolonged and sustained depression for some reason or other and the emotional upheavals one is going through either noticed or unnoticed for sometime .Every cause might have its own share and the people might have their own reasons .
But why do only humans commit suicide. There is no animal in the existence seems to have been resorted to this extreme step, though there are certain theories and experiments proving the suicidal tendencies in animals exist, not yet proved with reasonable amount of authenticity. So , why do the homo sapiens sapiens ,calling itself  the wisest of the wise creature in the all life forms existing on earth tries to kill itself where as the other mean living things around it seems to be surviving in spite of many odds.
What is more damaging is that people with less to eat, no space to keep their family, not much literate , no great education , in spite of living at the subsistence levels and less standard of living are not the major chunk  resorting to this step but it is the affluent , high achievers ,celebrities , the so called educated youth – people who have achieved tremendous amount of success are ending their precious lives. Great courage is essential to achieve success in life, many qualities make one achieve consistent results. Then, why those qualities which have helped them in making what they are, have not helped them to cope up with the realities of life. Isn’t people must be more courageous and brave enough to take out the thread or saree to tie it to their fan hanger, to swallow poison, to eat the sleeping pills; isn’t the boy/girl cutting their arm wrists to protest against their parents not accepting their proposals have no courage, a school girl failed 10th class jumping into a well after SMS’ing all her friends expressing her grief does not know the value of relationships ??
In India, the NCRB data says as many as 1,35,445 people committed suicide in the country last year. Statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show that excluding West Bengal, 79,773 men and 40,715 women had taken the extreme step. The rate of suicide last year stands at 11.2 per one lakh population. As per rounded off figures provided by the NCRB, on an average, 15 suicides an hour or 371 suicides a day had taken place. The relatively developed  states like Tamil Nadu tops the list with 16,927 suicides, followed by Maharashtra with 16,112 suicides, West Bengal 3rd and Andhra Pradesh following it with 14,328 suicides. The rate of suicide at the administrative division of Puducherry ,the developed one among  all UT’s was the highest in the country, 36.8 for every 1 lakh persons. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu plus Maharashtra have together accounted for 50.6% of the suicides reported in the country. And the suicide rates on the rise from 1990’s , the time liberalization started in our country. These are very disturbing statistics. Isn’t it..??
Educated youth, housewives make the major chunk. They are not laymen – there are doctors , engineers , IT professionals , army officers , film stars , writers , celebrities etc ,- people who could have contributed so much to the nation are finally ending up as corpses in the hands of their beloved parents , shedding permanent gloom and perpetual sorrow to their near and dear.
All this above discussion makes Suicide a matter worth examining. What motivates one to push towards the edge of life must be explored to stop this national menace. I do not simply buy the argument that people who commit suicide are not brave enough, ultrasensitive, do not take their life seriously, etc kind of reasons. Studies say that 7 out of 10 people resorted to suicide only after they tried every possible way to live. Only after they felt that they are no longer recognized, wanted or accepted by their family and their loved one’s committed suicide, therefore people die not because of their failures (though failure has the potential to cause the mental havoc and diminishing trust on one’s own ability which might have a spillover effect), it is their perceived or actual resistance by the people close to them and their ignorance of the victims social needs that play an important role.
It is not the absence of courage that kills them but the lack of people to pat on their back to give necessary emotional support ,declining means to vent out their grievances , absence of people to lift off the lid over their increasingly pressurizing brains due to the incessant negative thought patterns resulting in more number of ‘neural firings ‘ which will subsequently reduce the number of mirror neurons or empathy neurons which play an important role in keeping the comparisons among the people with similar emotional upheavals alive that makes the victim comfortable as the thought that his/her is not the only one suffering in this world but there are innumerable people out there  facing many tougher and gruesome situations daily but are living in spite of them is very comforting. Proper counseling, visiting a psychiatrist or a psychologist are needed for some who are in deep states of depression, but, that is not the permanent solution. If somebody is kept alive through medication or suggestion it means the target is on the symptoms not on the deep rooted causes that underlie.
I think, majority of the human beings are not living, they merely exist. They breathe, walk, talk, eat, laugh, act most of the time unconsciously without paying adequate attention to the beauty of this life, vitality of the body, exuberance of existence, and the feel of free flowing energy within and without. It does not require great “Sadhana “but a silent sitting for at least 10 min a day in introspection and feel for life around us – from the small house fly to the African elephant , listening to the inner voice , feeling the very presence of our life energies evokes a sense of greatness and gratitude towards the mother  nature and so  will it happen one day when one no longer sees himself as an isolated entity but finds him all over, a way of existing in an all inclusive way. Spending quality time with the family, listening to them – simply listening actively without being judgmental, visiting a place of comfort - that could be a religious center, amusement park , temple ,church, library , a new exotic place , developing healthy habits ,reading good  , inspiring , motivating books , nurturing a balanced attitude towards success and failure etc are all ways to keep oneself energized and engaged in a positive way and everybody should find his/her own way to reduce the stress and anxiety in an otherwise rat race we are in. as someone said “nobody gives us stress except ourselves “ , we should find hammers to break the stress to lead a happy life.
Individuality is ok, it is physical separation, no denying that .But ,individualism is a disease according to me. A man who is not social is either a beast or an angel. our mythology has ample examples of people who faced tougher challenges like harischandra , rama ,bali , pandavas ,bhishma ,ahalya ,etc , despite being in the most difficult situations , facing betrayals ,insults . problems . false propagandas , never once any of the above or the scriptures talked about them put in the choice of committing suicide , and in fact , taking one’s own life was regarded as the greatest of sins by many religions.
This life we possess is going to be with us for a short span .whatever we want to achieve we will and we can but remember “living “itself is the sole purpose of life, there are no original purposes other than that , all remaining are our manifestations. But the quality of life and the feel for it can only be enhanced with increasing consciousness, presence and awareness.
I strongly feel , the threats posed by globalization like  increasing individuality ,declining traditional authority of the families , high achievement motivation , diminishing importance to older people ,their advice and life experiences , love for instant gratification etc are leading to reduced social control , increasing stress levels , fear of failure ,inability to cope up with the problems; nuclear living and instable relationships are adding salt to the injury. The only way to counter act these dilemmas is to increase our perception of life , heightened awareness and understanding the limited nature of human mind , not yielding it beyond its limits..peeping deep into ourselves ,respect for life and love for self not only solves this menacing problem of increasing suicide rates in a country which has taught the world how to live but also makes us good and responsible citizens contributing to the development of this great nation and its society.